Organizational Change and Organizational Development

Introduction

This paper would analyze an important issue that is faced at large by the Management due to the complex and revolutionary nature of the global market. This complex nature enforces harsh decisions where the Management has had to make tough choices and adapt accordingly. This very process of change and its lasting impact would be analyzed by looking at different situations and circumstances.

Organizational change is bound by its own issues such as the complexity of the logistics, the increasingly tedious process, etc hence, proving to be severe deterrents. Despite the presence of such negative factors, what cannot be overlooked is the necessity of organizational change and the importance which is attached to the way the Management deals with it subsequently.

What is of high importance is the way the organizations develop and grow over time and the subsequent challenges which are faced by the management to adapt accordingly. According to March(1991), what is highly significant in such occurrences is making use of knowledge which is exploits the firm’s advantages and creates a niche rather than merely exploring.

As defined by Holmqvist(2009:99), exploitation involves much more than more exploration as the management has to make effective use of the current information available at hand to strengthen the output structure. To do so, the management faces a tough challenge indeed as it one to be quick in terms of its learning capacity and hence, over time what has come forward in the recent decade is a test of the management’s knowledge and the ability to apply that knowledge to produce better results.

Efficiency has never been given such importance as it has been given in recent times and this very ability to learn and absorb is defined as the absorptive capacity; Cohen and Levinthal (1990: 145). These researchers made use of quantitative data as well to prove the importance of making use of appropriate knowledge through the use of patents and learning curves.

A literature review of Zahra and George(2002) was used to further explain the importance that knowledge in organizational management as the greater the absorptive capacity the better is the decision-making ability of the management and hence, the better the results. In order to build upon this argument, one could analyze the paper of Bateson(1972 )who confirms this statement by asserting the fact that all firms would require a need for independence through a process that would allow them to learn.

In fact, if one was to study different writers’ works, what would clearly come across is that the fact there is a need to build upon the corporate entrepreneurship amongst the middle management level (Bartlett and Ghoshal, 1993; Drucker, 1985; Noble and Birkenshaw, 1998; Nonaka and Takeuchi, 1995; Woolridge and Floyd, 1990).

In order for the management to introduce organizational change successfully, what are of utter importance according to the aforementioned research papers of subsequent authors is the ability according to which the different elements of management are managed effectively. They can vary from production to the ability to mobilize the knowledge base of the other resources as well.

According to Day (1994), such an inherent ability allows the management to ensure efficient and effective management.

According to a research paper by Kirkin, Jackson & Keenan(2005), the focus which is laid on enforcing a stricter form of management allows the management to produce much better results subsequently. Not only does organizational management defined by the objectives but the practices of the management also play a role in this regard. To achieve change in the organization, a number of ideas have been considered ranging more from the more autocratic to the more democratic forms of management.

Despite all the various discussions and ideas being analyzed, the success of many such initiatives has remained low which proves that the ability to achieve organizational change is still questionable to a great extent.

While some might argue that the failure lies in the design and others in the way it was enacted what cannot be ignored or overlooked in this regard is the fact that everyone analyzes the plan differently. Variations exist in all our minds of what we all claim is the method of achieving success in our subsequent organizational change plans.

According to research conducted by Kirkin, Jackson & Keenan(2005), the fact remains that these varied responses become one of the numerous hindrances in achieving success in organizational change. No matter the expert opinion, there are still a number of expert opinions around. The lack of consensus becomes the very cause for the failure in achieving successful organizational change.

All management levels face tough situations and decisions which can have a lasting impact on the way the organizational management is changed.

The approach which is to be taken upon becomes an imperative question and one which has been closely diagnosed by different researchers. Not only are the approaches differ from organization to organization but the very fact that they vary across departments, managerial levels adds to the layer of complexity. Kirkin, Jackson & Keenan’s (2005)’s paper focuses on management gurus who have identified issues such as culture, leadership, and motivation which cause impediments in a smooth transition.

However, as the paper goes on to explain in further detail, these elements are not sufficient enough to result in successful organizational change but in fact, more is required of the management.

In recent decades, the pace at which organizations have had to adapt to the external and internal revolutions has been nothing short of wonder itself as each and every component of any organizational chain has changed repeatedly. The figure quoted by the Institute of Management could be used in this regard as it was found that above ninety percent of the present organizations have engaged in reducing their organizational hierarchy and size.

This has certainly added to the pressure and demands of the workforce of the management if nothing else.

While one may ponder as to the many causes which have caused these changes, certain important factors come across such as technology, government, globalization, etc as argued by Champ and Nohria(1996). At the same time, other researchers have introduced newer elements such as the increasingly competitive external environment and the pressure to attract more and more clientele(Hussey,1996)

All the above may be true but the most important factor nonetheless is the fact that change is imperative and unavoidable. In order to keep with its rapid pace, the organizations would need to adapt accordingly. As has been suggested by John Kotter(1996), the current environment has resulted in the change occurring at a pace much faster than ever before and the organizations have effectively been left without any option but to keep up.

Once again the question which arises is what methods can be employed to keep up with these rapid changes and what would be required of the management in this regard.

One only has to look around to see examples of rapid change whether it is from the appliances one uses at home, or the new and improved business tools available to us. But they all experience change and newer versions are introduced at a pace much faster than one could have ever imagined.

Hence, this very question forces one to ponder upon the ability of the management which has had to keep up with these changes by constantly renovating and upgrading. What skills are possessed by them and what do they build upon in a world which is constantly changing.

According to a paper by Garvin and Roberto(2005), in order to be a true leader in the cutthroat world of today, one needs to have the power of persuasion. A skill, which is thought of as imperative when leading a team. Ideas are not merely informed about but convinced about. The management has to have the ability to be able to convince its team strongly that the initiative being introduced by them is the best possible solution. Any such initiative has had to be introduced through a process of awareness in which the staff, the clients are all well-aware about the benefits being gained by such a change in order to ensure that the company truly does benefit from such an initiative. However, the success is still not guaranteed which again makes one question the achieving optimal results.

And if one was to analyze closely the reasons behind such occurrences, one basic one would be the inability on the behalf of the team to accept such changes. Thus, in order to truly be able to bring the team around, the leader would have to possess nothing of extraordinary persuasion skills as explained in the research paper of Garvin & Roberto(2005). In this very an example was quoted of Paul Levy who managed to turn the fortune around of a failing hospital and make it a successfully operating one.

This was nothing short of a miracle and the way this was achieved was through open access to his correspondence, data, and daily reports which allowed the management to be aware of the requirements on a daily basis while at the same time understanding what was required by all of them on a personal level as well.

Important decisions were delegated which resulted in strong relationships being created and through the use of effective and open communication networks, the changes were successfully introduced.

Besides the aforementioned requirement, four other critical factors were identified as imperative to the introduction of organizational change and its success in a research paper by Sirkin, Jackson & Keenan(2005) such as duration, integrity, commitment, and lastly, effort. All these factors were identified as imperative in introducing organizational change effectively. In this paper it is argued, that time is such as an important tool in deciding the success/failure of any such endeavor. However, this is the borderline issue for the actual failure of such initiatives as in the haste to be efficient the emphasis on achieving success itself becomes less significant.

According to the suggestions presented in this paper, what would be more rewarding in such an instance would be the ability to review the projects more and more instead of pushing for shorter deadlines. By constantly reviewing and setting goals, the eventual success would be much more probable instead of a mere time-focused initiative. According to the same researchers, effective goals would be those which would allow the management to attain greater achievements rather than the daily targets.

An example was quoted of “Consultations with Stakeholders Completed” being a more effective achievement rather than merely “Consult Stakeholders”. Besides identifying appropriate milestones, of equal importance is the ability to identify any subsequent weaknesses and tackle them accordingly. The other factors which were perceived as having importance were that of integrity, commitment, and effort. Integrity is measured by the ability of any team to depend on others to deliver as promised and to ensure that cooperation is conducted in an appropriate manner.

The teams need to have leaders who are open and the ability to gel-well together greatly depends on the leader’s ability to ensure that all the team members are being brought on board and any issues are being tackled accordingly as more the team-work, the greater the success.

As for the issue of commitment and effort, those are factors illustrate to the team the sort of practices which are being practiced by the management itself. Hence, by illustrating these successfully the management is reinforcing motivation and dedication amongst the entire workforce.

At the same time, the management needs to ensure that they provide all necessary aid to the team at all levels to make them aware of the fact that the management is truly dedicated and concerned about the tasks and team on hand. In this regard, communication is the best option available at hand as the more open is the management the greater is it open to the team. As for the issue of effort, the management has to realize possible potential goals without endangering the daily activities at hand and to realize whether it is even attainable given the circumstances, workforce capacity. In certain cases, failures have occurred due to overeager attempts by subsequent managements.

Besides the aforementioned qualities necessary of any management in order to cope with organizational management, equally important is the ability to create an effective movement of knowledge, to make use of talent as per required and lastly, to face challenges by constantly upgrading that knowledge base. The shifts of today as argued by Hagel,Brown& Davison(2009) ensure that companies are kept up-to-date through a constant process of research and knowledge identification.

Conclusion

Hence, what can be concluded is that in today’s world, where the world is constantly changing and revolving the management has to adapt not only certain practices but certain codes which will allow them to gain a niche in a vastly competitive market. The efficiency with which they are able to address these changes is not defined by their inherent abilities but the way they use those abilities to gain subsequent success in organizational change.

References

Burnes B 1996”Approaches to Change Management”Pitman Publishing, London, Pp. 171

Champy, J & Nohria, N 1996 “Fast forward: the best ideas on managing business change” Harvard Business School Press, Boston.

Hussey, D 1996”Business driven human resource management” John Wiley, Chichester.

Dunphy, D, Griffiths, A & Benn, S 2003”Organizational change for corporate sustainability”Routledge, London.

Kotter, J.P. 1996”Leading Change, United States”Harvard Business School Press.

Coram, R and Burnes, B (2001)”Managing Organisational Change in the Public Sector”International Journal of Public Sector Management 14:2, pp 94-110

Goleman,D & Boyatzis,R & McKee,A(2002)” Primal Leadership, Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence”

Graetz, Rimmer, Smith,L(2002)”Managing Organizational Change” p. 40

Reardon K, Reardon J, Rowe(1998) “Leadership Styles for the Five Stages of Radical Change”Acquisition Review Quarterly

Anderson L(2001) “Beyond Change Management: Advanced Strategies for Today’s Transformational Leaders” p. 15

Garvin,D.& Roberto,M(2005)” Change Through Persuasion” Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation

Hagel &Brown& Davison(2009)” The Big Shift: Measuring the Forces of Change” Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation

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