This is solution of Organizational change assignment help, describes about the organization structure and behaviour and its impact.
Organizational change- What and Why?
Organizational change refers to the change in the overall structure of an organization such as a change in company’s mission, mergers, implementation of newer technologies, re-engineering, diversification, consolidation etc.
Organizational change management is a process which has some strategic reason behind it. The change should not be just for the sake for it. Behind every organizational change, there is, and has to be a strategic reason. This reason can be the change in the mission of the company-say for example transition from a largely manual organization to an automated one. This can be one scenario warranting an organizational change. In the case of Sky Building Society also, there was a need for an organizational leadership since the society was in a high cost and low growth position. Until there was an organizational change, it was difficult to save the company from the sinking position it was in.
Organizational change- How?
Organization change is like a re-engineering your current machine. It becomes imperative to execute the change with diligence and as gingerly as possible since a fallacy in the change can lead to disaster for the organization. There have been many theories proposed for change implementation. Some of them are (Spector, B., (2007)) –
Kurt Lewin Model of Planned change
Kurt Lewin’s philosophy’s main idea was that the permeation of democratic values into all the facets of the society could prevent the worst extremities of social conflict. Lewin propagated a theory called the field theory which says that human behavior is a function of an individual’s inherent characteristics as well as the external environment i.e. the social atmosphere around a person. He established a model to study the variables that are involved in planning and implementing a change. This model is called as the force field analysis.
Lewin states that there are both driving as well as restraining forces influencing a change in the state of affairs. (Lewin K. (1943)) Driving forces are those that tend to initiate a change. The restraining forces, on the other hand, tend to restrict this change. The change is initiated with the help of the initiating forces and continues until equilibrium is established between the restraining and driving forces. According to Lewis, change is a three step process with the three steps being (Lewin K (1947))-
Unfreezing is the step where the old practices are discarded and a realization for change is established. An increase in the driving forces coupled with a decrease in restraining forces disturbs the equilibrium and the process of change gets initiated in this phase.
This step is concerned with creating a new set of behavioral patterns. Once the old practices have been disturbed and discarded, the new practices or behavioral patterns are introduced in this phase which are reinforced over a period of time. This introduction of new practices has to be reinforced in order to have a sustainable change.
In this step, the situation is moving towards a new equilibrium. Driving forces are nearing the magnitude of resisting forces and the new practices and behavioral patterns are being established in this step. In the refreezing phase, there will still be restraining forces, but they will be challenged by the driving forces and the system is trying to attain a state of equilibrium.
The Kolb-Frohman model establishes that the change is a 7 step process. He lists these steps as-
- Scouting – This is a stage in which the user and the designer assess each other to see a match in their understanding of the change process.
- Entry – The user and the designer enter into the agreement to initiate the process of change in the organization.
- Diagnosis – This is a stage where data collection is done. The data which is relevant for bringing about the change is collected in this stage using various methodologies.
- Planning – In this stage, the planning is carried out. User and the designer decide on the goals which they have to meet and various deadlines are set.
- Action – This refers to putting the plan into action. The plan which is decided in the fourth stage is implemented in this phase.
- Evaluation – After the implementation of the plan, the user and the designer evaluates how the plan is executed. They find out and try to rectify the mistakes- if any in the change process.
- Termination – This stage marks the actual completion of the change process with the designer handing over the control of the affairs to the users.
The designer being used above can be a manager of an organization or can be a consultant while the user can be an organization itself.
Business Improvement-Ensuing out of organizational change
Business development is an approach with which an organization thrives to make more effect utilization of its resources or to optimize its process in order to achieve more efficient results. (H. James Harrington) The organizational change which has been described in detail above aims at bringing about Business plan improvement in the state of affairs of an organization. A change is fruitful only if aims to achieve business improvement. The process of business improvement lays a lot of emphasis on measurable results. Hence, any organizational change can be said to have brought about a business improvement if it leads to a measurable change in certain parameters. There can be benchmarks set which can be used to measure the business improvement by measuring the change in the set standards.
Relation of theory to practice
Organizational change is aimed to bring in a Business Process Improvement in an organization. There have been many examples where companies have done wonders after undergoing organizational change. Many organizations have gone from being process focussed to people focussed which has worked in their favour. Take for example the case of HCL. Under the leadership of Mr. Vineet Nayar, there was a transformation in the organization. He brought a change in the organization with his philosophy of “employees first”. The motivation level of the employees in this organization witnessed a tremendous boost after the change he brought in the company. It was rated as the best Indian company to work for by many rating agencies in India.
In the provided case also, the change transformed the organization. There were two kinds of changes that took Sky building society witnessed in the period 1981-1989. One was under the leadership of Brown and other under Taylor. Brown was an autocratic leader and he joined the company when the company was in a stagnated state for a long time. There was a need for change in the state of affairs of the company. Brown’s vision and his methodologies served as the driving forces in initiating this change. He was very knowledgeable in the field of IS and hence realized the importance of IS in the business. This also served as a driving force and led the systems in the organization to be more IT based. These driving forces were met by restrain from the employees but this restrain was pushed to the backburner due to autocratic nature of Brown. The same came to the forefront when Taylor later joined the organization. As per the Gleicher’s formula, which establishes a relationship between Dissatisfaction with how things are now (D); Vision of what is possible (V); Initial, concrete steps that can be taken towards the vision (F); Resistance to change(R),
D x V x F > R for the change to successfully get accomplished. In case of Brown, D and F were quite high which made the change relatively easier for him. The company was already in a stagnated state and hence the magnitude of D was quite high. He laid down concrete steps to be followed which resulted in a high level of F. This, coupled with a relatively lower level of R made the change possible for him.
As proposed by Lewin, (Spector, B., (2007)) this phase of unfreezing was followed by moving. A new state of behavioural pattern was developed as is clear from the case and new management practices were established. The system which he proposed was put into place and got well established which is termed as refreezing by Lewin. Hence, the theory proposed by Lewin as well the Gleicher’s formula is equally relevant in practice.
Further, when Taylor took the charge of the situation, it became difficult for him to bring in a change readily in the Sky Building society since the magnitude of D was lower now. Although he had a vision in introducing an effective participating management style but he was not able to present his vision clearly to the members of the Sky. This becomes clear from the deputy chief executive’s statement that “we are into the strategic dangers of designing systems for today with no awareness of tomorrow”. This led to a relatively lower level of V.
This made the change process relatively difficult for Mr. Taylor as compared to Mr. Brown. Hence, the phenomenon of change, as is seen in the case can be well established through Lewin’s and Gleicher’s theories also.
Limitations while relating the theory to practice
Although the theories proposed are quite relevant in the context of organizational change, they have their own set of limitations while they are applied to the process of any organizational change. It is very difficult and next to impossible to implement a process which is already planned to the ever changing and dynamic organizational environments. The change process can’t be treated as a series of linear events. The analysis of politics of managing change is also needed to be incorporated. (Cummings 1997)
Many theorists believe that when it comes to such an open-ended and continuous change as is happening in modern days, a planned approach as Lewin’s is way too simplistic and mechanistic (Dawson, 1994; Garvin, 1993; Kanter et al., 1992). A planned approach such as Lewin’s ignores the role of power and politics in an organization. These theories can’t be incorporated in case of a transformational and radical change (Dawson, 1994; Dunphy and Stace, 1992). Although Lewin’s model is very rational, goal and plan oriented yet it doesn’t take into account personal factors that can affect change.
In the pertaining case also, when Brown joined the Sky society, the change was readily accepted by people since it was a top-down change. The theory of Lewin’s or Gleicher’s formula is readily and very effectively applicable in case the organizational change is initiated from the top management level. These theories can’t be applied with 100 percent efficacy in case the change is a bottom up i.e. the change is brought about by the middle management.
Moreover, when Taylor joined the organization, a need for the change was there, since he proposed and propagated a participative leadership style as compared to an autocratic style as was practiced by Brown. Going by Lewin’s theory, the change should have been brought about in three steps i.e. unfreezing, moving and refreezing. But things did not turn up as they should have as per the theory. Brown’s overnight change was accepted much more rapidly and vehemently as compared to Taylor’s gradual and planned process. The reason for the same can be stated as people’s mind frame of receiving instructions which they had developed in Brown’s tenure. They were not able to adapt to the brainstorming technique proposed by Taylor. Even though Taylor was more planned on paper in bringing an organizational change, the way Brown went about the same was more by a brute force. Yet, it is evident that Brown’s method of bringing in change was more effective as compared to Brown.
Hence, although Taylor went by all that was written in the books related to change, yet when it came to application, Brown’s strategy proved to be much more effective. This could have been a result of political situation of the company or the level of distress in people.
It can be safely said that although these theories provide a basic framework for establishing the change process in an organization, yet they have their own limitations when it comes to putting them into practice.
Spector, B., (2007). Implementing Organisational Change: Theory and Practice. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice-Hall.
Lewin K. (1943). Defining the “Field at a Given Time.” Psychological Review. 50: 292-310. Republished in Resolving Social Conflicts & Field Theory in Social Science, Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association, 1997.
Lewin K (1947) Frontiers in Group Dynamics
Markus, M. L. and Benjamin, R. I., (1997) “The Magic Bullet Theory in IT-Enabled Transformation”, Sloan Management Review, 38(2), 55-68.