Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Basic Context For Organizational Change

Basic Context For Organizational Change
It seems like the topic of organizational change has reached evangelical proportions. There is an explosion of literature about the subject and an accompanying explosion in the number of consultants who offers services in this general areas. The following information attempts to provide some basic perspective about the concept of organizational change.

What is organizational change?

Typically the concept of organizational change is in regard to organization wide change, as apposed to smaller changes such as adding a new person.It includes a change in mission, restructuring operations, new technologies, major collaboration, new programs such as total quality management, re-engineering, etc.Often this term designates a fundamental and radical reorientation in the way the organization operates.

What provokes organizational change?

Change should not be done for the sake of change. It is a just to accomplish some overall goal. Usually organizational change is provoked by some major outside driving force such as substantial cuts in funding, address major new market, need for dramatic increase in productivity etc.Basically organization must undertake wide change to evolve to a different level in their life cycle, e.g..going from highly reactive.Transition to a new chief executive can provoke organization wide change when his or her new and unique personality pervades the entire organization.

Why is organization wide change difficult to accomplish?
Typically there are strong resistance to change. People are afraid of the unknown.Many people think things are already just fine and dont understand the need for change.Many are inherently cynical about change,particularly from reading about the notion of change as if it is a mantra.Many doubt there are effective means to accomplish major organizational change.Organization wide change often goes against the very values held dear by members in the organization, that is the change may go against how members believe things should be done.That's why much of organizational change literature discusses needed change in the culture of the organization, including changes in the members values and beliefs.

How is organization wide change best carried out?

Successful change must involve to management including the board and chief executive.A change agent role is usually responsible to translate the vision to a realistic plan and carry out the plan.Change is usually best carried out as a team wide effort.Communication about the change should be frequent and with all organization members.To sustain change the structures of the organization itself should be modified including strategic plans, policies and procedures. This change in the structure of the organization typically involves an unfreezing and re-freezing process.The best approaches to address resistance id through increased and sustained communication and education.For example the leader should meet all managers and staff to explain reasons for the change, how it generally will be carried out and where other can go for additional information.Plan do change.


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