Change in any business is not only essential but it’s inevitable because the elements that affect a business are not static either. For this reason, our organization has to continuously make organizational changes that will enable it to remain competitive in the dynamic business environment.
There is a need to create greater effectiveness in the competitive market environment and bringing about these changes is very critical. Due to the economic turbulent times, banking is facing an even greater challenge as it has to be able to provide credit to people and manage other financial requirements. The personal finance department has been experiencing various challenges while offering services to customers. Many people are not keeping their money in the banks because they only earn a little or are using the many for daily operations (Miller, 2003, p.123). Loaning has become a problem since the bank has to increase its rates to be able to regain its profits.
At the same time, borrowers at times get so broke that they cannot afford to repay the loans. As these factors interact, they bring out problems like leadership failure, strategy breakdown, politics and power struggle, and demolition of the organizational structure. The main aim of transforming the department will be to create a leaner centralized structure that will provide the best practices and the required expertise in all aspects of service provision, communication, and efficiency.
Other critical sections that will also be addressed are legal governance, human resource management, and Information Technology architecture. Organizational change preparation shall involve the research team so that as many people as possible get the opportunity to contribute to this change in a creative and innovative process.
Considering that almost all the process of organizational change in different organizations involves the human resource team, this bank will engage in enterprise resource planning type of change since there is the expectation of challenges from the banking sector. The focus area will be operations management for the change. Though many people fear change and will be very resistant to it, there is no doubt that without change the organization will not survive those changing conditions.
Continued improvement, innovation, reorganization, and strategic corporate revitalization are some of the ways that banking will take. The pace of organizational change in our bank should be made quicker than ever. There is no time and economic pressure in the Asian market is increasing considerably. Change is hence needed from all dimensions of the organization. The current economy is in a critical condition that requires continuous change at a very fast speed. The change that will be carried out in this industry will be targeting better survival in the economic environment, adjust to the unpredictable marketplace, and the new workforce requirements.
When this is achieved, the bank will be able to attain financial success, satisfy clients and increase loyalty. The employees on the other hand will get more committed when they are actively involved in the business decisions (Miller, 2003, p.123). The management team will hence need to take a proactive role based on the understanding of the type of change that is needed then communicate it to the rest of the organization before it begins and after the change as well. Almost everyone has a dream of changing the industry but the big question is usually HOW? In most cases, the change process is never successful or even finalized while some do not get the support they need from executives.
The banking sector in the Asian market is very critical to the advancement of the economy since it is the leading lender rather than the capital market as it is in other economies like the European Union. For this reason, the management and organization of banking institutions are very vital (Miller, 2003, p.123). Singapore and Hong Kong form the most efficient banking systems in the Asian region and this means that when operating in Singapore, change and leadership are paramount for the bank to remain viable. Basing on leadership, the transformation will aim at bringing about efficient leaders who can handle stress, suggest solutions to critical issues, work with a lot of enthusiasm, commitment, prompt and enduring (Miller, 2003, p.123).
For any business to be successful, it must have a very competent management team and a well-defined organizational structure. This can easily be determined from the business planning and business experts have stated that the management team is the most important element of an organization (Cameron & Green, 2001, p.78).
This will highlight the appropriate experience, past accomplishments, abilities, specialties, current performance, and academic credentials of the management team. Basically, when the management team and the workforce present a very good record of success it means that the business is likely to achieve its goals and hence it can be regarded as a viable business (Miller, 2003, p.123). Though not the same as leading the management is often used interchangeably meaning that managers must have very good leadership qualities.
Bearing in mind that the major problem that is facing the banking sector in Singapore is responses to radical changes, analysis of leadership styles are very critical in organizational change for getting the best style that will fit each of the phases of the change process (Cameron & Green, 2001, p.78). Supportive leadership on the other hand is focused on creating openness and works as facilitators of the intended goals.
The commanding leadership approach is the style that will focus on the performance of the organization is usually short-lived. The goal in this case is achieved by directing. It’s very fast in impacting change. It’s also very effective (Miller, 2003, p.123). The logical approach is whereby the leaders are concerned about dealing with every aspect of the organization. It’s usually a long-term approach that achieves its goals by explanation and entails a lot of reason. The inspirational leadership approach is about the creation of an organizational vision and getting people to collectively work towards it. It is experimentation and it achieves the objective of the organization by creating trust.
Change Management Strategies
Several change management styles have often been applied to monitor and direct the process of change in an organization. In banking, however, it’s very tricky to achieve the desired change since leadership and management could at times have a conflict of interest (Buchanan & Dawson, 2005, 669).
As managers, individuals serve with the interests of the business owner while as true leaders they are supposed to oversee what is correct morally or what can be deemed good by society (Anderson & Ackerman-Anderson, 2001, p. 141). However, some leaders usually work in total contradiction to what is expected of them. Change management strategies in the department will aim at achieving a balance between management and leadership. The changes will be guided by the bank’s vision and mission statement. The roles of the department will be retained while changes will be initiated to ensure that the department serves the customers more efficiently and contribute to the bank’s success.
Power-coercive: this usually works because people are rational beings and would pursue their interests or what they are told. Successful changes are a result of effective communication or sharing of information accompanied by exercising authority (Sengupta & Bhattacharya, 2006, p. 67). The driving forces here include the type of strategy being used, time, and the incentive or the threat that is being faced. This strategy is usually very efficient since in the banking sector, many people now understand how business is and should be done and they know the magnitude of problems that can result from the threat being faced by the business (Buchanan & Dawson, 2005, 669).
Normative-Reeducative: this approach of leadership takes the assumption that since humans beings are social beings, they will comply with what is ethically correct. The type of change that is brought about is based on the way one redefines and gives a new interpretation of the existing norms and develops new dedication to the new ones (Anderson & Ackerman-Anderson, 2001, p. 141). The effectiveness of this approach realizes on culture. It’s often very hard to change long-held cultural beliefs and this needs a very strong strategy to turn around these beliefs. However, once a culturally diverse workplace is achieved, the output will be great (Buchanan & Dawson, 2005, 669). This is because; there will be a pool of talents, abilities, and expertise from different backgrounds.
Environment-Adaptive: the fundamental supposition is that an individual will resists disruption but will quickly adapt to the new situation. The major drawback that can impede the process is the degree to which change has to occur. This strategy best applies to areas that need radical transformational change like business operations (Sengupta & Bhattacharya, 2006, p. 67). A new organization is created and individuals are gradually retransferred to it. This burden is avoided by this process and the obstacles of trying to change people’s culture are avoided hence making the process very efficient.
Empirical-Rational: this approach is founded on the assumption that people will follow their interests. The process of changes is based on balancing the incentive. Humans beings are reasonable or can make reasoned suggestions. This means they can be persuaded (Sengupta & Bhattacharya, 2006, p. 67). This model is efficient when the incentive is not certain as people would question why risk what is in hand for an uncertain future.
Power and Politics
Power and politics are among the key and critical concepts that affect the process of organizational change. They hence form a very big concern in the understanding of the organization’s behavior (Victor, 2001, p. 173). Both power and politics are forceful conceptions and are a consequence of the dealings between diverse fundamentals in an organization. Since banking is a very sensitive environment with ambitious people, power struggle and opposition politics are not only inevitable but are very common (Buchanan & Badhma, 2008, p. 46).
Power is described as the ability to persuade or wing the support of people and control whatever thing is of significance to others. It is the capability to manipulate the behavior of other people in the organization and to make them perform what they would otherwise have not done on their own (Victor, 2001, p. 173). Power usually makes people feel authoritative and it’s a desirable thing in any business. As a result, people will often compete to be in power.
Even though the expressions power, authority, and influence are frequently used synonymously, there is a difference between them. Power is the capacity to effect transformation in an individual or groups of people in several ways (Victor, 2001, p. 173). Power may or may not be lawful, That is, power need not match with an individual’s organizational post. Authority, on the other hand, is lawful i.e. it is the power that is certified by the organization and is often the ‘source’ of power. Influence is a much wider perception than both power and authority.
Organizational politics and power struggle is becoming a common reality in the banking sector or Singapore. Scholars say that this is not only inevitable but its something very essential for the business. Basically, such struggles arise when there are topics that are tough on resources, propose new ideas, bring unexpected changes, pursue personal objectives and enhance one’s stance Victor, 2001, p. 173). It would be a naïve act to pragmatically expect to distant oneself from organizational politics.
The power struggle and political skill are very important and will arise from the process of implementing the organizational change. This presents a challenge to the leaders and managers (Buchanan & Badhma, 2008, p. 46). Organizational leadership is likely to shape itself through power or influence-based hierarchical design where the leader with political skills will be identified and will be able to direct the transformation (Buchanan & Badhma, 2008, p. 46). The political skills in leadership will enable the business to attract more resources and external support. The fluid management style adopted means that there will be more dependence on personal and interpersonal skills which is likely to progress to corporate agenda for bigger success.
Conflict Management Process
Conflicts are an inevitable part of the Organizational Change process. However, how to deal with them plays a critical role in successful change. Management of a bank is quite complex there are very many bright people involved (Thomas, 1997, p.257). Organizational change can bring about strong policies that will result in so much opposition from the workers sometimes escalating to total disagreements (Calvin, 1999, p.585). The process of dealing with conflict entails diagnosing the problems, involving the disagreeing parties, collecting information, reinforcing agreement, negotiating, and solidifying the agreement (Anderson & Ackerman-Anderson, 2001, p. 141).
The first step involves disagreeing parties in separate meetings with a mediator to be able to explain the mediation process to the parties, the duty of the facilitator as well as issues of confidentiality (Calvin, 1999, p.585). The mediator also explores the main issues and recognizes the ideal outcome for both parties. In some cases, the mediator might be forced to meet with individual parties for more than one occasion for clarification of other issues arising in the process of stage-1 development.
The second stage is the actual face-to-face meeting for the mediation talks. The mediator is responsible for making sure that a suitable venue is organized so that interruptions are limited and high levels of confidentiality must be maintained (Calvin, 1999, p.585). The mediator will institute the ground regulations for the meeting which will be respected and adhered to (Thomas, 1997, p.257). And everyone’s viewpoints are listened to in confidentiality, each party gets uninterrupted time to air. They will agree on the relevant agenda to be discussed in detail, explore the concerns with both parties, identify individual concerns, allow open communication and shift the focus from present to the future and promote mutual understanding’s concerns (Calvin, 1999, p.585).
The negotiation is usually aimed at generating and evaluating options, enhancing the resolution of the problem, acknowledgment or acceptance of peace-making gestures, construction of a mutually satisfactory accord for a more encouraging way of working for the future, and establishing fallback measures (Thomas, 1997, p.257).
After the mediation has been carried out successfully, there are always closure measures put in place as well as establishing the follow-up scheme. Their mediation session end when the parties involved have reached an acceptable agreement that the dispute is over and the issues agreed on are clearly stated (Thomas, 1997, p.257). The agreement reached will be recorded down in clear terms and everything else about it clarified.
Organization’s Culture and Design in the Change Process
Over the years, the business world has developed to great heights and the organizational culture has become very popular and it is also becoming very complicated. This factor has also been identified as a very influential concept that has a very big impact on the process of organizational change (Cabrera et al, 2001, p. 245). This factor can determine whether the process can be successful or it would fail. Culture as a resourceful principle has faced a lot of controversies in its definition and application. On the other hand, the organizational concept is even more complicated, and hence applying the culture concept is close to impossible (Iivari, 2002, p. 57).
In the banking sector of Singapore, the way clients are treated and the way workers are managed has become a unique feature for the success of the banks. As the eastern nations keep on changing from the long-held communist beliefs to capitalism, diversity is becoming something to reckon with (Cabrera et al, 2001, p. 245). Foreign banks are employing local and workers from abroad making sure that their organizations embrace the diversity concept. This type of work has been very successful and to carry out an organizational change that will ensure success, culture has to be understood in terms of better management (Iivari, 2002, p. 57).
Organizational culture is perceived as a very crucial metaphor in the conceptualization of an organization. In the process of change, the organization shall be divided into two either the organization itself will be treated as culture or that the organization will be considered as having culture. In the latter referent, the organization has a feature that is referred to as culture (Iivari, 2002, p. 57). Basically, as banking is adapting to the global changes in the financial markets, culture will be a tool that will help in the satisfaction of certain needs or a mechanism to adopt or regulate change. Culture is controllable by managing the team or the leaders and this contributes to the overall balance and organization’s efficiency (Iivari, 2002, p. 57).
In an interpretative model, the multiplicity of meaning is highlighted and then attached to the effort of driving change in various contexts. In this regard, aligning the effort of bringing changes with the context is vital (Cameron & Green, 2001, p.78). This means that principles of compatibility, congruence and suitability ideas will be integrated into the process as the main factors for change (Iivari, 2002, p. 57). The change process is usually discussed in the context of the culture in an evolving process of making sense.
As a factor to recognize in the banking sector, the process of globalization has spectacularly altered competition in the financial sector. The old organizational formations that formed the management of organizations’ resources, especially the human resources are no longer efficient. Indeed, banking is not benefiting from it. Many organizations fail to respond to the dramatic changes and often fail to create democratic workplaces that can support the tapping of beneficial knowledge.
I believe that there is a need to have a change in the banking environment in Singapore underscores the significance of making sure that there is also a solid foundation for critical analyses that will allow continuous learning as great participation heights, profitability, and productivity. At the same time, the change will strengthen the decision to begin a transformation process the will focus on the personnel and the company operations. The management has to be decentralized to allow greater expertise in the management operations. This is because such a model would allow more delegation of duties and the following will be achieved easily.
Planning – a process that comprises the definition of goals, formulating strategies, and development of the plans to implement the strategies and coordinate performance to achieve the organizational goals. Organizing which it involves deciding on what activities are to be done, by whom, how to be done, the flow of information, and when decisions are to be made. Controlling – the process of continuous evaluation of the activities of the organization to ensure that they are accomplished as per the plan while correcting any mistakes or indiscretions. Leading – the aspect of giving motivation to employees, directing their performance, and designing the communication links as well as resolving conflicts.
Critical to organizational change is operation management. This is derived from the fact that in the banking sector, the changes are just like total quality management. This concept allows continuous change in leadership and operations through training, self-support for education, and knowledge-based progress. The new approaches to operations management come in to solve problems of incompatibility, diversity, professionalism, and so on. The final impact is supposed to be a coordination of all the disciplines involved. The greatest challenge of new systems is to be more efficient, utilize resources efficiently, transparency, and quality management.
Management of the transformation entails coordination of duties, human resources, systems, and other resources to offer all the work that is needed to finish a project in a specified time and milieu. In the management of operations, carrying out an organizational change project can hence be summarized as entailing the establishment of new goals of the organization, designing the processes of achieving the goals in a plan format, and allocating the resources needed. There are several phases that this goes through; feasibility study, planning execution, and monitoring and assessment. Basically, the process of change cannot be an easy one since most human beings are very resistant to change since it’s a stressful event. Organizational change is about a stressful process as far as it can get.
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