Contemporary Issues in Change & Project Management


Lewin’s change management model theorized three stages referred to as unfreezing-change-refreeze. It encourages the rejection of prior learning and replacing it with improved knowledge. The theory presents a practical method of enhancing change and understanding its implications. The absence of change can hinder the establishment of the desired level of behavior, making it difficult to achieve organizational objectives (Burnes, 2017). The argument is that the more people understand the need for making changes, the more they are likely to feel motivated and support the establishment of the necessary changes. According to Lewin, the absence of change is the source of poor organizational performance marked by the high cost of operations, making inappropriate decisions, poor quality, and market failures.

PESTLE and Porters for Supermarket

PESTLE and Porters are effective tools applied to evaluate organizational performance and analyze the operating environment. PESTEL offers a framework for analyzing the unpredictable and dynamic environment by explaining forces that impact performance. It examines factors such as socio-cultural, economic, political, environmental, legal, and technological (Burnes, 2017). Porter’s five forces focus on the identification of new entrants, competition, the threat of substitute products, and buyer power.

Tesco and Wal-Mart Case Studies


The two companies operate in many countries, and they are expected to follow various regulations to ensure the safety and compliance of their products. They should evaluate the changing political circumstances to enhance stability and productivity. Since there are varying operating environments in every country, these companies are expected to establish effective measures to work with new regulations (Burnes, 2017). For instance, the trade wars between different countries, such as between China and U.S, can affect them in many ways.

Economic Factors

A volatile economy affects both Wal-Mart and Tesco, implying that each company needs to prepare for possible uncertainties. Since these companies focus on the presentation of products at the lowest prices, a harsh economic environment can raise their cost of operation and influence an increase in the price of products (Burnes, 2017). This would hinder the presentation of products at a low price in the market and affect customers’ satisfaction. Moreover, these companies are expected to make swift decisions to respond to economic changes in their operating environment since they can affect their sales, distribution, profit, and revenue.

Social and Environmental Factors

Social and societal influence determines the buying habit, and every company attempts to establish strategies to boost bulk buying. Every business focuses on the establishment of tactics to enhance its competitive advantage and outdo others in the market. Both Wal-Mart and Tesco ensure that consumers have sufficient products to select what want they want in terms of quality and price (Burnes, 2017). Tesco shifts its attitude toward organic products to win and satisfy many customers. Moreover, every company has a role to play in conserving the environment and creating a sustainable society.

Legal and Technological Factors

Tesco and Wal-Mart must adhere to the international market laws to ensure smooth operations. Rules and regulations established by the Food Retailing Commission must be followed to avoid facing legal issues. Moreover, every company is expected to keep up with the changing technology to remain relevant in the market. This includes enhancing online shopping and promotions of social media to improve interactions and connections with customers.

Diagnosing Change

External forces for change emerge outside the organization and may include technological changes, workforce diversity, managing ethical behaviors, and globalization. Internal forces entail factors within an organization, such as changes in employee expectations, work environment, conflicts, as well as declining effectiveness (Burnes, 2017). Internal functioning influences low satisfaction and performance and hinders the achievement of organizational mission. Organizations are expected to evaluate their operating environment and make the necessary changes to improve their position.

Psychological Contract

Psychological contracts entail unwritten expectations related to the relationship between an employee and employer. It entails mutual benefits, informal arrangements, perception, and common ground between two parties. The contract explains many factors such as the attitude towards work, interest in the achievement of organizational goals, and desire to make an extra effort. It also includes mutual beliefs, informal arrangements, and common interests between an employee and employer.

Leadership theory argues that leaders should have the ability to inspire and influence others while responding with agility and vision during periods of uncertainty, disruption, or growth to facilitate the achievement of desirable changes. Organizational leaders must understand their operating environment since changes are happening at a high rate necessitating a better and faster response. Change leadership competencies promote change management and facilitate the making of effective decisions. Lewin’s theory explains that behavior entails a dynamic balance of forces coming from the opposite direction. The equilibrium approach refers to the point where the driving and restraining forces balance and do not occur. Changes in the operating environment can lower or raise changes occurring between the two forces.

Kotter’s 8-step change model suggested that change management could be achieved by involving powerful change leaders, creating a sense of urgency, communicating effectively, and building a vision. The model encourages the elimination of success obstacles and facilitates the development of a beneficial culture that promotes hard work and determination. Moreover, traditional traits theory encourages leaders to recognize and examine the methods and characteristics of successful individuals (Burnes, 2017). This theory argues that successful leaders can support and nurture other people to attain desired results. Change management can be achieved when leaders show interest in the improvement of employee satisfaction.

Charismatic leadership is a new style that promotes persuasiveness and commitment. It encourages leaders to convince their followers, enhance confidence, and communicate effectively. These leaders support change management by promoting a vision where they focus on improving and achieving better results in the future. Leaders need to be creative and think widely to offer solutions to existing problems and transform their businesses.

Kotters and Lewin’s approaches to leadership vary in many ways in their applications. Transformational leadership attempts to influence changes by motivating and inspiring others to follow. This implies that it requires strong cooperation, coordination, and communication. On the contrary, transactional leadership is based on control and processes requiring the establishment of a strong management structure. Change agents entail an individual from within or outside an organization to support the transformation of ideas. They influence and inspire others to achieve their set goals and objectives. Change refers to the process of modifying or altering organizational activities. They facilitate the achievement of the set objectives by taking new measures. Buchannan and Brody (1992) is an agent of change who encourages flexibility to enable leaders to modify their plans based on the operating environment, internal factors, awareness, and responsiveness. Leaders should have strong networking, negotiating and the ability to resolve conflicts.

Approaches to Promote Innovation

Approaches that make an organization more innovative promote creativity and a sense of freedom, provide necessary resources and invest in research and development, and support teamwork. Providing flexibility motivates workers and encourages the presentation of beneficial ideas that can help transform an organization. Resources to support the implementation of business ideas, research and development are necessary since they facilitate the achievement of improved outcomes.

Traditional Organizational Structures to Support Innovation

Matrix structure would be the most appropriate to enhance innovation since it enhances coordination between managers and workers to facilitate the achievement of desired goals. It promotes the acquisition of knowledge and sharing of information across task boundaries. It entails a combination of projectized and functional structures where functions determine the division of departments. The structure supports the efficient exchange of information, improved motivation, and worker satisfaction.

Weber’s Theory

The theory argues that bureaucracy should be considered the most efficient way to manage and set up an organization. It enables large enterprises to achieve optimal productivity through promoting efficiency in the management of tasks and employees. Since people have varying talents, it is necessary to divide labor based on individual skills and expertise. The hierarchical management system should have clear lines of responsibilities and communication.

Project Management and Standard Management (classical)

Project management refers to the application of tools, skills, and knowledge as well as techniques to accomplish a given activity. It has five different processes including, initiation, planning, execution, control/monitoring, and closure. Standard management or classical refers to an approach where activities occur in phases or sequences (Large & Gray, 2011). It depends on predictable experience and tools where each activity or project follows a similar life cycle. However, the management approach assumes that cost and time are variables with fixed requirements. Timeline and budget issues present similar problems in standard management. Project management focuses on teamwork, flexibility, coordination, and customer collaboration (Hamilton, Mitchell, and Mangan, 2019). In classical management, the developers work individually in their teams, while in project management, collaboration and working in pairs are mostly embraced.

Modeling Tools for Project Management

Gantt chart, PERT chart, Critical Path Method, Triple Constraints Model

Gantt chart is a tool in project management that assists in project planning and scheduling. Although it can be used in all project sizes, it requires more effort in creating and managing it. PERT (Program Evaluation, Review Technique) Chart is another tool in project management that gives a graphical illustration of a project’s timeline. In this chart, it is easy to analyze tasks since each of them is broken down individually (Large and Gray, 2011). However, this chart may not handle situations if more projects are sharing resources.

The critical path method (CPM) is a tool in project management that describes the time taken to start and finish a project in the form of paths. It identifies the most critical tasks to ensure the entire project is on the required schedule. However, it also denies managers a means of allocating resources required to meet time estimates. The triple Constraints Model focuses on the time, cost, and scope functions of a project. The model depicts that if the schedule is to be shortened, then the cost must be increased (Large and Gray, 2011). The main drawback of this model is that a change in one function affects the other two factors invariably.

Corporate Social Responsibility and Milton Friedman-Shareholder Value Theory

Corporate social responsibility refers to a management concept in which companies incorporate environmental and social concerns regarding their business operations as well as interactions with the stakeholders (Mitra and Schmidpeter, 2020). The Friedman shareholder theory holds a belief that a firm has sole responsibility to its shareholders in that its main goal is to maximize returns. However, Friedman’s Doctrine faces criticism since it ignores the entire corporate social responsibility activities.

Edward Freeman’s Stakeholder theory and the Triple Bottom Line Theory

Edward Freeman’s stakeholder theory argues that firms should take care of all stakeholders’ interests. His argument claims that all stakeholders should be treated equally (Mitra and Schmidpeter, 2020). This theory addresses values, morals, and ethics in business, especially on projects that involve stakeholders. The triple bottom line is a theory in economics that believes that companies must focus on environmental and social concerns similar to their profits. It argues that firms should not have one bottom line, but three, namely profit, planet, and people.

Archie Carroll-The CSR Pyramid

Carroll’s CSR pyramid is a corporate framework suggesting that firms must fulfill their responsibilities based on four levels, namely ethical, legal, economic, and philanthropic. The ethical level states that a firm has a responsibility of acting morally and ethically (Mitra and Schmidpeter, 2020). The economic level suggests that the entity has a responsibility of making profits while complying with the required government rules and regulations (legal level). The firm is also expected to give back to society through donations, goods, or money to fulfill philanthropic aspects.

Reference List

Buchanan, D.A. and Boddy, D., (1992). The expertise of the change agent: public performance and backstage activity. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.

Burnes, B. (2017). Managing change. London: Pearson Education Limited.

Hamilton, L., Mitchell, L., and Mangan, A. (Eds.). (2019). Contemporary issues in management: a critical management approach. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Large E.W. and Gray C.F. (2011). Project management: the managerial process. New York: McGraw-Hill Hills Companies, Inc.

Mitra, N. and Schmidpeter, R., (2020). Mandated corporate social responsibility. London: Springer.

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