Managing Organizational Change: Company Focus


Technological advances and a dynamic business environment have led to the significant rise of organizational resources in the whole world (CIPD 81). Critical challenges are facing organizational change today which has uplifted human resources and other functions to become key strategic functions. For an organization to survive, it should reform itself to comply with the needs of a quickly changing world business environment. In addition, business and organizational leaders need to reiterate actions that help adapt to changes as quickly and gradually as possible (CIPD 81). Organizations should undergo four phases the stages of which vary depending on the momentum of the organization. If an organization fails to follow these phases, it will wane as well. Changes comprise restructuring, downsizing, rightsizing, outsourcing, mergers, and acquisitions.

The Problem Organisations Face Today in the Field of Organisational Change

Resistance of employees regarding organizational change is attributed to the loss of jobs, allowances, and privileges. Since the organization strives to increase productivity, communications, efficiency, quality as well as motivate employees, there are aspects of change that employees find disadvantageous (Cuizon 12). This happens when the administration fails to communicate and avoids cynicism and skepticism relating to major developments in the organization. If they are not convinced to see the general picture of the company, it is difficult to have them work with diligence and industriousness usually required in their job.

The management needs to provide leadership that guides the entire change process by allowing employees to identify and solve problems associated with their work environment. By doing so, the organization will be able to grow, learn, change, experiment, and improve its functions. Issues of problem-solving include the capacity to meet customers’ needs, employees’ information exchange, and adaptation to new ideas and common vision (Cuizon 12). Leaders are responsible for the attitude that employees have towards the change process. The managers can help in identifying new opportunities, which will be created as a result of the change. It should also seek to know from an employee’s point of view what the problems are, and possible solutions to be given. Besides, change points out a new method of doing things that challenges the old system. Therefore, managers should explain and emphasize the change as beneficial in the short- and long-terms (CIPD 892).

Systems and processes of the organization need to remain stable when change takes place. If the systems and processes are destabilized, it possibly engenders disharmony and suspicion on the part of employees. The efficiency and effectiveness of organizational processes are based on how the company engages its factors of production to meet customers’ needs. The employees, on their part, get tuned and used to the methods of production, and with the lapse of time will not accept the change that distorts their thinking and practice. Change should not jeopardize the relationship between the organization’s functions, stakeholders, and communication but instead, help merge and streamline the activities of the organization (Cuizon 12).

There are situations where an organization’s management fails to select, retain, train, and communicate with employees on how to deal with the realities of change. Employees are left to judge on their own how to approach the changed circumstances and this fact impacts their productivity. Employees require training and recognition of their talents in an environment where employee turnover is quite high together with low levels of unemployment (CIPD 12). Organizational change should put into consideration the best skills, talents, and teamwork especially in the era of competitiveness, innovation, and focus on profits. Change management will consider employee remuneration package, associated benefits, autonomy, job enrichment, and improved working environment (Cuizon 62).

Nokia was originally established as a lumber company that was engaged in manufacturing all the equipment and tools required for large-scale tree harvesting in Finland. It gradually moved into papermaking, which, later transformed into information technology and later invested in mobile telephony. It was forced to change the nature of business as a means of survival and also create an opportunity to increase the business base in a quickly developing world. Since entering the internet and communications sector, Nokia has made remarkable developments and growth in sales of computers and mobile phones. Their key service objective is to provide a variety of mobile gadgets with tailored services and software. The company currently specializes in video, television, navigation, imaging, and games.

Signs of resistance were exhibited in working and conducting business in the early months of program consolidation of Nokia Siemens’ COM division and the network business group. Upon merging, non-standard procedures interfered with consolidation and standardization of business procedures (CIPD 92). Every year, the company has resolved to change leadership and embrace organizational change. The company has also decided to enhance its sales and marketing which especially affects the market unit. This is anticipated to influence 450 employees, which should not be more than 100 employees in Finland from 2008. Adjustments have also been made to affect the positions of deputies and about 35 other positions (Palmer et al. 129).

The Nokia Research Center (NRC) has received the task to undertake research, and they do it on a long-term basis. The research study will cover about 130 employees globally, among whom about 100 will be students studying in Finland. There was also a plan to close the office in Turku town in Finland, and take all the operations to Salo town, also situated in Finland. This plan presupposed about 220 employees relocated in early 2009.

Nokia uses alignment and scenario planning models in establishing organizational change. The organization can, therefore, align its operations by using the model mentioned before on-site. It is used by Nokia to fine-tune strategies and seek reasons for failure. This model also helps in planning programs and resources, working on adjustments and inclusion issues in the strategic plan (CIPD 312). Scenario planning is also applied with a selection of various external forces and changes. The worst-case scenarios are reviewed to help invoke motivation and change strategies. Although most Nokia employees will be affected by organizational change, this company is working out strategies of making sure that the stakeholders are satisfied. These stakeholders conceive the effects of these changes to be high since success and failure are placed in the center of the company and after every identified project is carried out (CIPD 12). It would be difficult if Nokia imposed organizational changes where appointees are not willing to put these changes into practice but it would be better if the company managed to convince its employees and staff of the importance of changes for them and the organization (Palmer et al 81).

Change in the Nokia company was attributed to the willingness by its management to put clear organizational structures, enhance leadership capabilities, create more learning opportunities, and allow a good working environment to execute these strategies. Mergers were more important at the time when expansion and demand for better methods and increased market share were prioritized. The communications sector is highly competitive and dynamic requiring that media and technological advancement must be synchronous with the vision and mission of the company. To ensure smooth program change, the company rebranded the change initiative and made it everyone’s initiative and not isolate daily business obligations, systems, and processes. It was important to learn that the changes were internalized in people’s work environment, methods, learning, and recognition.

Nokia also managed to create a variety of initiatives to foster their vision required to drive change, create expertise based on change network and promote good behavior and understanding. Building strong internal communications helped solidify communication, assemble and share best practices and lessons which were important in showcasing business area improvement. Leadership training and coaching launched by Nokia has helped to create influential leaders, foster change, and evoke enthusiasm. Change managers were aligned against their skills and talents out of which a positive change took place as the organization embraced new working methods. A case study aided in better understanding the benefits of change and how it affected the dynamics in an organization. Program leadership was, therefore, responsible for overall business performance, incentives, and results-based progress (Palmer et al 82).

The company developed quote-to-cash leadership in its Siemens networks. The aim was to help put forth business cases that received the management’s approval and became sustainable. The business case has helped track realistic and accountable progress by enabling a platform where change program works in the entire organization. The developed program also managed to overcome performance degradations which were initially experienced by many organizations at the stage of merging. A case study aided in better understanding the benefits of change and how it affected the dynamics in an organization.

The benefit of this program has increased average on-time implementation performance in the countries which were established (Palmer et al 771). The precision of demand planning greatly increased, thus, allowing the company to lower its inventory value and the backlog of sales.

Consolidation is quickly changing with the program intended for a business change playing a significant role in enhancing the goals of the company by fostering its growth, improving the dominant customer’s priorities, and winning global reputation. Nokia has experience in change management and is developing in the change capability platform (Palmer et al 82).

MacDonald’s Corporation

MacDonald’s corporation is a global leader in foodservice with over 50,000 restaurants serving more than 50 million people in over 120 countries. It has more than 1,500,000 workers the majority of whom covers the youth (Vignali 82). However, with greater expansion and growth, many critics have lashed out at the company for promoting efficiency, control, and predictability at the expense of human innovativeness and creativity. The systems and processes in the company are closely monitored and highly standardized. The failure regarding equipment, systems, and processes does not mean a break on the part of employees. For instance, the management’s concern about cleanliness was so intense that the employees loathed the procedures and routines of the company (Vignali 82). Being the pioneer of standards in a fast food production enterprise, it is associated with exploitation and discrimination.

Many employees who work or have worked in McDonald’s indicated limited job breaks, poor safety, and understaffing which made them work for more hours. Profitability has been focused on so much that even training and close monitoring does not help change the state of things. The employees continue to get dissatisfied, more resistant, and discontented with the unchallengeable system and lopsided communication structure which ignores employees’ complaints as it is focused on getting more customers. The company has proposed some changes to improve its employment situation by applying several changes like participation, collective bargaining, and involving unions. These changes are meant to improve employment conditions, motivate employees and allow them to participate more in the decision-making process, increase their benefits, rights and promote fair labor issues.

The changes to be undertaken will take more than five years and do not influence the structure of employment but improve workers’ conditions (Vignali 87). The process of participation will entail procedures of grievances, notice board use, crew meetings, and RAP sessions. Participation as has been adopted in the US does not imply delegating decision-making functions to the workforce as they are perceived to interfere with management prerogatives. The current participative process at McDonald’s gives no power to employees to usurp roles of decision making. The employees need the freedom to openly express feelings about the company they are working for. Thus, they should be incorporated in making suggestions and work-related discussions.

‘McParticipation strategy’ is created so that it addresses issues that concern employment only in cases where there is proper manager training and execution procedures. McDonald’s has been known to openly oppose employee unions and always thwarts employee efforts to belong to and enroll in a workers’ union (Vignali 72). According to the company, subscribing to a union means selling their bargaining stake to employees who will have greater say concerning their grievances, problems, and issues of employment. McDonald’s considers that issues and problems can be properly dealt with within the auspices of the company. The changes regarding unions are expected to allow employees to join unions, adopt pro-employee rules and procedures which will be fair and effective.

To achieve this goal, the company identifies John Adair’s leadership style as the most appropriate. This style maximizes the components like task achievement, team development, and individual development. In this situation, the manager involved in the change defines tasks and monitors the company’s progress (Vignali 73). Quick implementation and monitoring will help attain the company’s goals within the conceivable time frame. The changes in the company will serve to improve the present conditions of employment in McDonald’s.

The workers’ state of employment will be anticipated to change as well as improve the present situation, thus, averting resistance. This can only happen through guided planning and good implementation and when the plan of change is streamed down from top management to ordinary employees of each local company. It will be noble to always inform and communicate with workers about changes in all aspects (Vignali 512). The changes regarding unions are expected to allow employees to join unions, adopt pro-employee rules and procedures which will be fair and effective.

To achieve this goal, the company identifies John Adair’s leadership style as the most appropriate one.

Works Cited

CIPD. Change management. UK: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development 2010. Print.

Cuizon, Gilbert. What is an organizational revolution? Canada: Media Inc, 2009. Print.

Palmer, Ian, Dunford, Robert, and Akin, Gilbert. Managing organizational change. 2nd Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2009. Print.

Vignali, Christopher. “Think global act locally: The marketing mix”. British Food Journal 65.2 (2001): 97-111. Print.

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