Professional Practice in Managing Organizational Change

Introduction

The modern world is changing fast and, as such, there is need for nations to adapt to the changes. Nations that handle change in a good manner thrive, while those that do not, have to put an extra effort in an attempt to survive. The context of change management is familiar in today’s world though this varies depending on the change itself and the kind of citizens involved. The chief part of change management depends on how far the citizens of a given country understand the process of change (Akram 2011).

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Discussion

Identify and briefly describe the three steps involved in the process of managing organizational change, according to Kurt Lewin, and specify which of these three steps President Clinton initially handled very poorly in the above scenario

Kurt Lewin’s model of managing organizational change is divided into three processes which include Unfreezing, Change and Refreezing. According to Lewin, one must first understand the significance of change before initiating any change process. He states that “Motivation for change must be generated before change can occur. One must be helped to re-examine many cherished assumptions about oneself and one’s relations to others” (Banhegyi 2006).

Unfreezing, which is the first step in managing organizational change entails preparing the organization to admit that change is compulsory. It involves breaking down the current norm in an organization before establishing a new status quo. Creating a compelling message stating why the current technique of doing things needs to be changed is the main concept of unfreezing. This is easy to structure especially when the manager can point to things such as low sales, poor economic results and high levels of customer dissatisfaction (Cameron and Green 2009). These and other reasons act as clear indicators that things in an organization have to change. During this stage, the beliefs, principles, approaches and behaviors that define an organization are challenged. This part of an organizational change process is the most challenging and demanding (Benn 2003)

According to Lewin, the second step involved in the management of organizational change is known as “change”. During the stage, people begin to determine their ambiguities and start looking for new techniques of doing things. They begin to trust and behave in ways that support the new change (Charantimath1988). The movement from the unfreeze phase to the change phase is quite involving since people may take time adapting to the new change and proactively taking part in the new change. To understand the change and to participate in making the change victorious, people need to know the benefits associated with the change. Time and communication are very crucial in this step. People need adequate time to familiarize themselves with the change and they also need to feel linked to the company all through the transition period (Blokdijk 2008).

The last step involved in the management of organizational change is known as refreezing and this happens when the changes are crystallizing and everyone has accepted the new methods of operation in the organization (Jung 2011).The major indicators of this step include a steady organizational chart and reliable job descriptions. During refreezing, people need to institutionalize all the changes in the organization. This calls for ensuring that new changes are put into use each and every time and that they are incorporated into every day activities (Boonstra 2004)

President Clinton initially handled the first two steps poorly as illustrated in the above scenario. He did not survey the country in an attempt to understand the existing state. As shown in the case study, Clinton just believed that there was discrimination against homosexuals in the nation. He did not care whether members of the military would support his idea of issuing an executive order and this, therefore, led to tremendous disagreements and conflicts in the nation. The fact that President Clinton was not able to show the importance of the change by giving the reasons as to why the change had to take place led to his failure. He did not communicate with other members of the military about the change.

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Identify the approaches that can be used to manage resistance to change, and specify which of them the president was using when he made his initial announcement regarding the planned Executive Order, and which were probably used in reaching the final resolution to this issue

Education and communication is the first approach of managing resistance to change in an organisation. This is applicable to companies where there is lack of information or where the available information is inaccurate. The approach enlightens and informs people about the change effort in advance. This helps the employees or the citizens in a nation to see the sense in the change effort. Education and communication minimises baseless and incorrect rumours pertaining to the results of the change in the organization (Kenton 2009).

The second approach is known as Participation and Involvement. This is mostly used in situations where the change initiators lack the relevant information required in planning and the people have substantial power to resist the change. When members of an organisation are incorporated in the change effort, then there is high probability that these people will want the change with very few resisting it. The approach thus lowers resistance of those who go along with the change (Kubr 2002).

Facilitation and Support is the third approach used to manage resistance to change in an organisation. It is applied where members of an organisation resist change mainly due to problems arising as a result of adjustments of the normal conditions. It helps managers in an organisation to avert potential resistance from employees by supporting them during tough times. Through facilitation and support, employees are able to take care of their fears and worries during change over. The foundation of resistance to change in an organization is the acuity that some form of negative effect caused by the new change might occur. Facilitation and support approach is accompanied by special training beyond normal office premises (Lawrence and Dalton 1971).

The approach of manipulation and Co-optation is also used to manage resistance to change in an organization. The approach is mostly used in situations where other approaches may not work or are too costly. It involves co-opting with persons who are opposing the change. This includes incorporating people into a change management program not because of their substantive contributions but for appearance (Sinclair and Simms1997). This entails choosing some leaders from the group opposing the change to take part in the change effort. These are usually assigned symbolic roles in decision making and it should be ensured that this does not threaten the change efforts. The approach may at times be disadvantageous to the organization. For instance, if the leaders feel that they are being fooled, they are likely to increase their resistance to levels higher than if they were never incorporated in the leadership (Schermerhorn1990).The approach of Negotiation and agreement can be used to manage resistance to change in an organization. It is mostly applied in organizations where the members do an organization so that they cannot resist change. This can also be done by letting those not benefit from change and have substantial power to refuse to give in to the change. The approach entails combating resistance by giving incentives to members of not accepting the change to point out certain elements of change that they find intimidating. Those resisting the change can also be given incentives which allow them to live the organization through early takeover and retreats (Ramnarayan and Nilakant 2006).

Explicit and Implicit Coercion is an approach to managing organizational resistance which is only used in situations where speed is a crucial aspect. The approach is disadvantageous and is only used as a last option. It involves organization managers openly or unconditionally forcing the organizational members to change. The managers in this case make it clear that failure to accept change can lead to job loss, removal from office, employee transfer or no more promotions on their side (Singh and Kriel 2005).

President Bill Clinton on issuing an Executive Order banning all forms of discrimination against homosexuals in the military was using the approach Explicit and Implicit Coercion. This is because he did not consult with members of the military and was unconditionally forcing them to accept the change. However, the approach did not work and was accompanied by tremendous controversies.

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To reach the final resolution to the issue approaches such as education and communication, participation and Involvement, and most probably Facilitation and Support were used. By incorporating members of the military in the change effort, President Clinton increased the probability that the citizens would want the change with very few resisting it. The approach thus lowered the resistance of those who opposed the change.

It should, however, be noted that the major part of managing resistance to change entails understanding the real nature of the resistance. This is because what people resist is actually not the practical change but the change in their social lives that occur as a result of the technical change (Sharma 2006).

Paper structure

The process of managing organisational change is composed of three steps. The first step, which is known as refreezing involves developing the motivation to change. The second step “change” entails encouraging effective communication and allowing people to accept new ways of operation. The process ends with “refreezing” where the organisation acquires a state of stability.

There are six approaches that can be used to manage resistance to change. Education and communication approach enlightens and informs people about the change effort in advance while Participation and Involvement approach is mostly used in situations where the change initiators lack the relevant information required in planning and the people have substantial power to resist the change. Facilitation and Support is the third approach and is applied in cases where members of an organisation resist change mainly due to problems arising as a result of adjustments of the normal conditions.The approach of Negotiation and agreement is mostly applied in organizations where the members do not benefit from change and have substantial power to refuse to give in to the change. The approach of manipulation and Co-optation is used in situations where other approaches may not work or are too costly. Explicit and Implicit Coercion is only used in situations where speed is a crucial aspect. The approach is disadvantageous and is only used as a last option.

References

Akram, S. (2011) Change Management for Semantic Web Services. New York: Springer.

Banhegyi, G. (2006). The Art and Science of Change. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

Benn, S. (2003) Organizational change for corporate sustainability: a guide for leaders and change agents of the future London: Rutledge Publishers

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Blokdijk, G. (2008). Change Management 100 Success Secrets – The Complete Guide to Process, Tools, Software and Training in Organizational Change Management. Calif: Sage Publications.

Boonstra, J. (2004) Dynamics of organizational change and learning. Hoboken: Wiley & Sons Inc.

Cameron, E., and Green, M., (2009) Making Sense of Change Management: A Complete Guide to the Models, Tools and Techniques of Organizational Change. London: Kogan Page Publishers

Charantimath, M. (1988) Total Quality Management. Philadelphia: Kogan Page

Jung, C. (2011) The Importance of Change Management in Organizations: A Strategic Analysis of the Daimler-Chrysler Merger. New York: Dordrecht Publishers

Kenton, B. (2009) HR: The Business Partner. London: Rutledge Publishers

Kubr, M. (2002) Management consulting: a guide to the profession Geneva: International Labor Office

Lawrence, R., and Dalton, W., (1971) Organizational change and development. Homewood: Irwin & Dorsey

Ramnarayan, S., and Nilakant, V., (2006) Change management: altering mindsets in a global context. New Delhi: Response Books

Schermerhorn, R. (1990) Managing organizational behavior. New York: Wiley & Sons Inc.

Sharma, M. (2006) Change Management. New Delhi: Tata McGraw-Hill.

Sinclair, M., and Simms, H., (1997) Organizational Behavior and Change Management. New York: Select Knowledge Limited

Singh, D., and Kriel, G., (2005) Focus on management principles: a generic approach Lansdowne: Juta Academic Publishers

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