Organizational Change Management Effectiveness

Introduction

Change management is the process by which changes that are deemed significant are implemented in a systematic manner so that an organisational change can be effected. For a change in an organisation to be effective, the management must have a solid plan that assures them of positive results at the end of the implementation. A change in an organisation affects many areas of operation in the organisation and all of them have to be attended to. Failure to know the interrelationships in the organisation that the change will affect may result in failure of the change program. Underestimating, bypassing or missing just one variable in the process may force the managers and the employees in the organisation to go back to the previous state. This leads to frustrations and many organisations have given up as a result.

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Importance of Change

Change is inevitable especially if the current system is not working and the customers are not satisfied. In such a case, an organisation must implement the change if it has to remain in operation regardless of whether the first attempt fails. The organisation will need to critically analyse what needs to be addressed for the change process to be effective (Janine 2000). An organisation may implement a change so as to increase its competitive advantage, implement a more effective IT system, change the accounting processes, etc. Implementing the change in the appropriate way and managing the whole process effectively will help the organisation achieve its destined goal for the change.

The Telecommunications Industry

Telecommunications companies have become so many and competition is quite high. To be able to compete successfully, a telecommunications company such as the Singapore Telecommunications Limited needs to make the necessary changes whenever necessary so as to remain in the top in providing telecommunications services. Managing a wide market is one challenge that the company must implement effectively in addition to other changes. To ensure that organisational change is achieved, a critical analysis must be done to ensure that all the areas that are touched are addressed (Warner 2004). This paper will seek to analyze the problems facing Singapore Telecommunications Limited and use the Burke-Litwin Change Model in proposing a solution to the problems.

Singapore Telecommunications Limited

External Environment

Singapore Telecommunications Limited has over two hundred million subscribers and the leading telecommunications company in the world. It provides postal services, mobile services, telephony services, and data services in Singapore and other countries. It is an international company that provides its services in more than twenty countries. It has over nineteen thousand employees. It is very dominant in Singapore and is competing actively outside Singapore. Its primary customers include: large corporations, government, small businesses and residential customers. It also experience competition from companies such as MobileOne, Pacific Internet, Vodafone, Telstra, StarHub, SCV, etc. It aims at satisfying its customers, employees, and shareholders therefore being the best communications group in Asia. All these companies, customers, shareholders, and other institutions such as the Australia’s competition regulator form the external environment to Singapore Telecommunications Limited.

Key Problems and Main Areas with Scope for Improvement

Dispute Settlement between Customers and operators

Regardless of being the best telecommunications company in the world, Singapore Telecommunications Limited has challenges that could require an implementation of some changes and management of the changes. With the many customers in the different countries of operation, the company has a problem that comes between customers and operators. Disputes arise where the customers have complains to the operators but the explanations that the operators give do not satisfy the customers. This is common because the customers have very little knowledge of the regulations applied by the company. The company has not effectively let its customers aware of the regulations that apply to them. Stating that terms and conditions apply is not enough for the customers. The customer needs to be aware of these terms and conditions by the company. The customers affect the company in a great way and therefore letting them know aware of the regulations will help them make effective decisions in using the services. Disputes between customers and the operators may lead to loss of customers to the competitors and would lead to great losses. Even if the complains are not very common, there is room for improvement where the company can reduce these complains by ensuring that the customers are aware of the rules that apply to them (Allan 2009). The individuals who are in the customer care department should be in the forefront in achieving this.

The Billing System

The billing system in many telecommunications company experience some errors and the companies receive complains from customers. Singapore Telecommunications Limited is not an exceptional and customers have brought complains about the way that their bills have been bloated. A problem in the information technology department may result in cases where the usual billing system changes and the customers are charged more or less than the usual charges. A minute fault in the system affects many customers because very many individuals are using the services at any one minute (Savvion Solution Brief 2007). Frequent complains from customers should be avoided and a means of correcting the wrongs should be implemented.

Competition

The company has some competitors who are working day and night to compete it. An advantage to some of the competitors is the fact that they are providing their services to few individuals and serving fewer territories helping them to offer some effective services to their customers. The employees are also not very many and therefore reviewing their work is not very hard. The effective services help such companies win some customers from the Singapore telecommunications Limited. Some of the companies who have their head offices in other countries provide better services in the companies than Singapore Telecommunications limited. Some other companies have specialised in providing one type of service helping them concentrate much on the individual service. Providing better services to the customers would make the company even more effective and help it win more customers.

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Customer’s Differences

Singapore telecommunications Limited as stated earlier operates in more than twenty countries. This means that the top management has a very large team to manage. Satisfying the customers is one of the visions of the company and all the customers in all the countries must be satisfied. However, all the customers might not be satisfied in the same way and some claims are heard as a result of the current operations. Making a change may affect those customers who are satisfied with the current status quo. The principles applied have to be equivalent to all the territories for quality management. This means that the company cannot implement a change in one territory while maintaining the previous status in other territories. Marketing for a company using the telephone is at times disturbing to some customers. The company cannot tell the customers who would like to receive some adverts in their phones. Some short messages to some individuals are unwanted and some customers will complain if they received such short messages.

The Market

The telecommunications industry market changes frequently and the companies that provide these services need to change at an equal rate (Nilakant & Ramnarayan 2006). To gain competitive advantage, companies keep on revising their prices. For a company that operates in different countries, revising the prices in the different countries might take quite sometime because the top management has to be informed before any changes happen in the different territories. By the time a change is completely implemented, there is a chance that some customers will have shifted to other companies offering similar services at lower prices. The company’s network penetration in new markets especially in new countries is a bit slow and therefore not very competitive in the new markets. Some of the regulations by the competition regulators favour small companies and this increases the competitive advantage of such small companies.

Interrelationship between Problems Identified

Most of the problems identified are closely related to competition in the company. When there are disputes between the company’s customers and operators, those companies that have minimum cases with customers are likely to attract customers from the company. If not assured of future rectifications, the customers are likely to shift to other companies. If the billing system is also ineffective, the customers are likely to move in a company where the system is more constant and effective in its operations. If a mistake in the billing happens severally, the customers may be frustrated and feel like it is a plan by the company. The system in place does not please some customers due to their differences. This is likely to make the customers shift to a company where they feel that they are satisfied by the services. Price revisions by other companies help the companies increase their competitive advantage over those companies that do not revise their prices (Marcus 2007). All these factors add to the competitive advantage of those companies that have a constant billing system, little or no disputes with customers, frequent price revisions, etc.

Underlying Source of Problems

The billing system problem comes as a result of some problems in the programs that regulate the prices in the IT department. A small problem might bring great complications in the system and this may affect the billing on the customers. Disputes between customers and the operators are as a result of lack of enough knowledge of the regulations that the company uses in its operations (Kathryn 2000). Very few customers have the regulations with them. Competition is as a result of the broad market and the system of management where the top management is in charge of all the branches and any changes to be made have to be confirmed by the top management. All these affect the effectiveness of the company and some changes might help in achieving some better results.

Interventions Required

Possible Improvements

An area where improvement is required is the area where the billing system becomes ineffective. When the information system department experiences a problem in its operations, a means of correcting the problem should be available to avoid complains by customers. The company can have a different system in place that can be used to replace the system that experiences a problem as the problem is being fixed. The system in place should also be able to handle errors and perform as it was intended when it was designed. The company should also adopt a means by which it will make the customers aware of the regulations that are used by the company in its operations. If the regulations happen to change, the customers should be informed and possible they should be informed in advance (Stan 2008). This will increase customer satisfaction and the customers will be wiling to continue using the services by the company. Special management programs should be put in place to manage the issues related to prices and competition issues. Management in different territories should be allowed to take some actions especially in cases that are likely to affect the profits of the company if an immediate action is not taken.

Using the Burke-Litwin Model in Addressing the Issue

According to the Casual Model of Organisational Performance and Change, the performance of a company is affected by both internal and external forces. For a successful transformational and transactional change to be implemented effectively they should be linked in the correct way and all the departments that are involved should be considered (Jeff & Timothy 2003). As have been seen, the key external drivers are the customers, competitors, shareholders, and employees. The customers can leave the company to other companies providing similar services reducing the large market of the company. The shareholders might sell their shares to support other companies. The employees who are not satisfied may leave the company for other companies. These would bring big losses to the company because it will have to train other employee, look for some other shareholders, and may even run at low prices so as to attract back the customers. The model of leadership in the organisation will be changed so that the individuals in different branches can be allowed to implement some changes that are urgent and then inform the top management later. The policies in the organisation should also allow the employees who perform well and contribute greatly to the company’s success to be rewarded (Klaus 2005). This will motivate them to work harder and will be a challenge to the others. Their efforts will lead to customer satisfaction and because the customers will be treated better when they come for services in the company and other services will be effective. Enhancing the relationship between the management and the subordinate employees will help effect the overall work will be taking the individuals in the management as their fellow employees and therefore will take the roles given in the right way. Good relationship will also help the members work as a team and not as individuals. The individuals in the different departments should have the knowledge that is applicable in the departments. In hiring the individuals, relevance should be a consideration so that the company can be full of professionals. This way, departments such as the IT department will be able to attend to a problem very fast and a solution will be found. The staff members should also receive frequent training especially if changes are made. This will make them value their work and do the work from within. This will raise the level of performance of the individuals and eventually lead to customer satisfaction. Implementation of all the changes effectively will ensure that organisational change is achieved and the competitive advantage of the company has gone up (Krischan 2006). Better services to customers will lead to customer satisfaction and many more individuals are likely to join the company while the others will be willing to stick to the company forever.

Implementation Plan

In order to achieve overall organisational change, the management should involve all the branches that will be affected by the change (Esther & Mike 2004). Missing one area might lead to failure in the implementation. All the individuals in the help desks should be provided with hard copies of the regulations that affect the customers and each customer should be provided with one. The regulations can also be placed where the customers will be requested to pick one. This will help reduce the conflicts between the customers and the operators. The customers should always be informed when changes that affect them are made (Robert & James 2008). The software that helps in billing should be capable of error handling and do the specific work it was designed to do without producing errors. Customers who complain on billing should have their money refunded after it is confirmed that there was a problem in the process. The management should set a team that will be responsible for reviewing of prices in the different territories because prices differ with the territories. Satisfying the customers, employees, and shareholders will increase the competitive advantage of the company and the company will be able to compete effectively even in the new markets (Sarah, Steve & Hilary 2004).

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Conclusion

Managing a change involves implementing all the necessary changes in an organisation in an effective way and ensuring that all the departments that are touched have been involved in the plan. Managing the change is important because it helps the organisation achieve an overall organisational change. The telecommunications industry is very competitive and changes are taking place everyday so as to allow the players make profits and compete actively. Singapore Telecommunications limited is one of these companies that has very many customers and provides its services in several countries. In order to maintain its high number of customers and compete effectively with other companies especially outside Singapore, the company must make some changes and implement them effectively. The external environment to the company is composed of the customers, shareholders, and employees who play a major role in the success of the company. There have previously been disputes between the customers and the employees. Most of these disputes come because most customers are not aware of the regulations that the company use. The billing system at times charges the customers more than expected leading to customer’s dissatisfaction by the system. The company is experiencing great competition especially in other countries other than Singapore. All these factors reduce the competitive advantage of the company and might lead to loss of customers and shareholders. The company should produce hard copies of the regulations that affect the customers and issue them to customers to reduce the disputes. The IT department should develop a system that is capable of handling errors and producing the correct results always. Prices should be reviewed regularly and compared to prices by competitors to help maintain customers. The Burke-Litwin Model can help in implementing the changes effectively to ensure the company’s organisational change has been achieved.

Bibliography

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Klaus, D., 2005. Change Management. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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Krischan, H., 2006. Change Management. New York: Springer Publishers.

Marcus, G., 2007. Change Management: Concepts and Practice. London: McMillan Publishers.

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Sarah, C, S Steve, M, & Hilary, C., 2004. Change Management Excellence: Using the four Intelligences for Successes. New York: Kogan Page Publishers.

Savvion Solution Brief., 2007. A New Foundation for the Shifting Sands of the Communications Industry: Business Process Management. Web.

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