The Culture of an Organization: Change Management

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Introduction

An essential part of any change management plan is the culture of an organization. Developing a strategy without considering cultural background can be difficult for the success of a change initiative. First of all, the impact on the individuals concerned and on the organization will be discussed. Secondly, cultural elements, which affect the development of change strategies and their implementation, will be assessed. Thirdly, challenges associated with the mentioned changes will be discussed. Lastly, a strategy to mitigate the challenges will be offered.

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The Impact on Individuals and the Organization

The impact of changes can be both on individuals and an organization. As Cawsey et al. (2016) mention, the perception of changes is essential as the reality of change itself. It is vital to create a positive perception of changes within an organization, being precise among employees. In this case, change agents are those in a company responsible for assessing an impact on individuals, especially for those who are essential that changes are brought about. It is vital, as any modifications require people in an organization to change, and it consequently means that they will review benefits, costs, and risks for themselves.

The above discussed can be better explained using the ADKAR model offered by the CEO of Prosci Jeff Hiatt. The model implies that for a successful change, an individual should have an awareness of the importance of change; a desire to participate in change. Moreover, an individual should know how a change can be implemented, the ability to use required skills; and reinforcement to keep the change (“What is change management”, n. d.). According to the ADKAR model, the change can be successfully introduced if an employee can complete all steps.

In terms of the organizational level of change management, it is vital to understand that it implies a series of actions that aim at building awareness, desire, knowledge, ability, and reinforcement – the ADKAR model. The set of actions involves the five steps of change management, including a “communication plan, sponsor roadmap, coaching plan, training plan, and resistance management plan” (“What is change management”, n. d., para. 26). Successful implementations of the five steps mean creating awareness, desire, knowledge, ability, and reinforcement in an organization.

Cultural Elements in Saudi Arabia: Business Culture

First of all, it is essential to state that the country’s collectivist nature deeply impacts Saudi Arabian business culture. Family and close relationships are of the highest importance for Saudi Arabian people, implying that they will likely start business relationships with people they know. Moreover, social status (age and gender) is an essential element in Saudi Arabian relationships, including in doing business (“Saudi Arabia: Business practices,” 2020). Business decisions are made vertically hierarchical, which means that decision-making processes occur at the senior level. As personal relationships and trust are especially vital in Saudi Arabian society, people tend to establish an intimate relationship before doing business together: it can happen during joint meals or informal communication.

Another essential element to be mentioned is time management in Saudi Arabian society. People in the country perceive time as flexible, fluid, and not strictly fixed (meetings set, preferably at a particular time of the day, as in the morning). It is acceptable to be late for a business meeting or cancel an event at the last minute (“Saudi Arabia: Business practices,” 2020). However, it does not concern the time of prayer – all other appointments, including business-related fade into the background.

Challenges Associated with a Change Management Plan

It should be highlighted that a change process affects all people regardless of their position in an organization. As Setyanto et al. state (2019), there are five significant challenges of change management. First of all, it is fast increasing applicable endorsements, which implies that a change agent should wait for approval to complete the process of transformation. Secondly, changes might provoke conflicts among the staff, as they may feel vulnerable and lost. Thus, management’s central aim is to resolve those conflicts and help people feel comfortable during the time of change. Thirdly, it distinguishes the necessities of different destinations, which means that some scenarios might fail in some locations, and management needs to shift their tactic. Fourthly, it is impossible to imagine a successful change implementation without tracking, and refreshing records to correspond to transformations that occurred. Last but not least, a proper plan is necessary to arrange a change in an adequate manner (Setyanto et al., 2019). Without a clear set of actions, the whole process might turn into chaos.

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A Strategy to Mitigate the Challenges

To alleviate the above-discussed challenges, it is essential to understand and employ a clear step-by-step strategy. The strategy implies four major parts: identification, presentation, planning, evaluation, and communication (Setyanto et al., 2019). Firstly, the identification process means that a change agent or manager should weigh the advantages and disadvantages for employees to support the change. Besides, after performing the analysis, a manager should make the change as attractive for everyone as possible. Secondly, the strategy includes presentation and planning which are vital elements of managing challenges. A well-thought presentation and a plan of action should explain why a particular change is crucial and how it will be implemented in an organization. Thirdly, evaluation is another procedure that is needed to alleviate challenges. Management should review the process regularly and adjust their actions. Lastly, without proper communication, it is impossible to adopt any change (Setyanto et al., 2019). Consequently, a change agent should control and promote communication among employees, especially vertically, as it is the way how the decision-making process occurs in Saudi Arabia.

Conclusion

In the current paper, the four major parts of a change management process were discussed. First of all, the impact on individuals concerned and on the organization was addressed. Secondly, the basics of business culture in Saudi Arabia were evaluated. Thirdly, challenges associated with a change management plan were presented. Lastly, a strategy to alleviate those changes was offered and explained. It is essential to highlight that a change management strategy should be clear, concise, and well-planned. Besides, the cultural elements of a particular country (in this case, Saudi Arabia) should be taken into account.

References

Cawsey, T. F. (2016). Organizational change: An action-orientated toolkit. Sage.

Saudi Arabia: Business practices. (2020). Web.

Setyanto, E, Ikhwan, A., Amin S., Shabir, M. U., & Suharto, A. (2019). Challenges of the change management for managing people and organizational culture. International Journal of Recent Technology and Engineering, 8(2S11): 3822-3826. Web.

What is change management and how does it work?. (n. d.). Web.

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BusinessEssay. 2022. "The Culture of an Organization: Change Management." November 27, 2022. https://business-essay.com/the-culture-of-an-organization-change-management/.

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