Overview of Change Model
The Stationery Supplies Company intends to globalize its business by introducing a new branch in the United Kingdom. The introduction of this branch is inspired by the compatibility of language in the USA and the United Kingdom. However, globalization will change the organization’s structures, operations, and strategies. As a result, the management seeks to apply a leadership model that allows the smooth adoption of change. While considering the situations that face this company, the management should apply Kotter’s management model which consists of eight steps.
Kotter (2012) suggested that management should apply eight procedural steps to introduce change in an organization. In the first step, he argued that the management should create a state of urgency so that the whole company wants the change to happen (Kotter, 2012). As a result, the manager must gain the support of all the stakeholders including employees, customers, and shareholders. In order to attain that support, the managers should define the importance of change to a high degree of convincing clarity. Further, Kotter (2012) suggested that they must provide an honest description of the market situation, competition, and potential threats. In addition, he contended that the agents of change must provide possible solutions to those threats. This detailed description triggers the stakeholders to feel the urgency of adopting the change.
Besides urgency, Kotter (2012) suggested that managers should form a powerful coalition that forms a strong force of change. In this regard, Lee (2006) suggested that the team should not necessarily follow the organizational hierarchy. Instead, it should include people with influential factors such as job titles, expertise, and reputable status (Lee, 2006). This team is mandated to intensify the urgency which drives the momentum of change (Lee, 2006). In order to accomplish this role effectively, managers must convince the team members to dedicate their efforts towards the attainment of the envisioned change. This ensures that the team is committed to focusing on the common organizational objective.
The third step involves the articulation of the vision where the change agents portray their ideas about the envisioned change (Lake, 1984). Moreover, Lake (1984) pointed out that the change agents should describe the core ideologies of that change. In this light, a brief summary that articulates the future of the company should be presented in order to capture the stakeholders’ attention. A strategy that elucidates the course of action should be described satisfactorily so that the stakeholders assess the validity of the envisioned change.
In the next step, team leaders should inform the stakeholders about the strategies that will be applied to introduce change (Lake, 1984). In this regard, Kotter (2012) argued that change agents should not convene an urgent meeting to deliver this information. Instead, the vision should be used when conducting business activities such as decision making and conflict management. However, the agents of change must ensure that the vision is implemented as much as it is stated.
The fifth step of this model focuses on removing obstacles that might hinder the realization of that vision. It considers that people’s resistance might delay the entire process of introducing change. As a result, the change agents must develop strategies for removing those obstacles. Some of the strategies that can be used to remove obstacles include focused leadership, motivation, and personal advice.
The sixth step purports the creation of short-term wins which can be achieved within a short time (Lee, 2006). In this case, Lee (2006) suggested that the agents of change should target cheap projects that could be implemented without much effort. This undertaking motivates the stakeholders since the short-term wins prove that the ultimate vision can be achieved (Kotter, 2012).
However, the seventh step contends that the agents of change must apply the short-term wins cautiously. In this light, Kotter (2012) pointed out that the agents should not declare success at the early stages of the process. He argued that the agents must wait for that change to establish in the organizational structure (Kotter, 2012).
Lastly, the eighth step involves the integration of change in the organization’s culture. The change should be applied in all the activities of the company so that all stakeholders act in accordance to the new ideologies (Lee, 1984). In addition, the agents of change should acknowledge the main leaders of the team.
The application of this model is extremely beneficial since it introduces the change gradually. As a result, employees do not feel the impact because the change takes place slowly allowing personal reorganization. Otherwise, introducing change spontaneously could affect the entire organization. In addition, the gradual and systematic change reduces resistance leading to fast organizational progress as compared to sudden change. In fact, this is evident in the Stationery Supplies Limited where the CEO suddenly decided to open a branch in the UK. After making a sudden decision, he opened the branch without consulting other stakeholders. When he announced the launch of a new branch, employees developed different opinions concerning his decision. Further, the CEO opened the branch without consulting the R&D department which is mandated to conduct research before the introduction of that branch. This implies that spontaneous change leads to uninformed decisions since the management might not have enough time to evaluate potential threats and risks. On the other hand, Kotter’s model ensures that the management applies a detailed procedure of introducing change. Lastly, Kotter’s model is applicable in the introduction of the new branch since it could ensure that all stakeholders understand the rationale of introducing the desired change. In this regard, the model suggests that the agents of change must create urgency by clarifying the importance of introducing that change.
Managers of Change
Kotter (2012) contended that change cannot be managed by a single person or one group of people. This implies that we should not expect the CEO to manage change alone. As a result, change management is the responsibility of all the stakeholders. In this case, management should not be viewed from the traditional perspective that equates it to giving orders and directions. Instead, it should be viewed as a task that needs a team approach. However, a team that represents all the stakeholders should be created in order to superintend the entire process. The team should comprise of employees, administrators, and shareholders. In regard to the Stationery Supplies Limited, the team could include the human resource manager, public relations director, and head of marketing along with the head of the customer service. This could ensure that all the departments are involved in managing the change. In this light, the human resource manager will be directing employees while the public relations director will be creating good relations between the company and the citizens of the UK. Additionally, the head of marketing will be ensuring that the company has efficient strategies that could help in gaining a competitive advantage. Lastly, the head of the customer service will ensure that the new customers are orientated about the company’s services.
Roles of Change Agents and Leaders
Change agents and leaders play fundamentally vital roles in introducing organizational change. First, the agents and leaders initiate the change since they are mandated to develop the organization. They discuss the appropriateness of change, implementation period, and how the company should implement that change. This initiation contributes to the success of the company because the company cannot progress without discovering new ideas. In addition, the change agents and leaders are required to communicate to the entire company about the vision, progress, and strategies of change. This communication is very crucial since it coordinates the efforts of all the stakeholders. The role of coordination was evident in the Stationery Supplies Company. In this case, a member of the R&D team communicated to Kenneth informing him about the environmental law which prohibited some paint’s ingredients in the UK. Kenneth was expected to deliver that information to the CEO although he anticipated that the CEO could have become angry.
Lastly, the change agents and leaders are mandated to motivate other stakeholders including employees and shareholders (Kotter, 2013). At some points, the introduction of change becomes difficult and discouraging. Employees lack the synergy to adopt new business strategies, operations, and management. As a result, the change agents and leaders should motivate them by rewarding any accomplishment (Lee, 2006). In fact, this motivation plays an important role in the introduction of change.
Inefficient communication is one of the conspicuous weaknesses of Stationery Supplies Limited. For instance, Jane missed a conference call because Carmen had not provided a schedule for the calls. In another instance, Kenneth admitted that he could not inform Charlie about the law that banned some of their paint’s ingredients. In this case, communication was delayed owing to Charlie’s anticipated response. As a result, this company needs an efficient communication plan. Otherwise, communication should not be subjected to stipulations and emotions. The players must ensure that information reaches the right people at the right time.
|Communication plan for Stationery Supply Limited|
|Communication objectives|| |
|Main Messages|| |
|Communication tools|| |
The most essential question that might arise could focus on the organizational hierarchy. In Stationery Supplies Limited, various departments including head of marketing, head of retail, and human resource manager are positioned directly below the CEO. This structure might raise the question of who should report directly to the CEO. In this case, all the heads of department should report directly to the CEO about the undertakings of their respective department. In this case, none of the heads is superior to the others.
Problems of Applying Poor Change Strategies
There are various ethical issues that emerge when the management applies an ineffective change strategy. Some of these issues are evident in the case of Stationery Supplies Company where the CEO introduced a new branch spontaneously. First, the company will face a dictatorship when embracing change. In this case, spontaneous change leads to resistance which might force the management to dictate issues. This implies that employees will be executing the strategies forcefully. However, forceful implementation of strategies results to poor performance. Second, the company will face a conflict of interest where the management and the employees have different goals. This is, also, conjoined to conflict of roles where the members of the change team might be ignorant about their roles leading to confusion.
It is evident that the company’s employee fear approaching Charlie especially when they are delivering unfavorable information. This is portrayed when Kenneth suggest that Charlie could have flown if he receives information about the banning of the company’s paint in UK. Further, it is evident that the leadership of Charlie is mostly affected by his personalities. This implies that Charlie should improve his leadership skills in order to increase openness with his colleagues. This improvement can only take place through three stages which include leadership assessment, application of development strategies and measurement of the outcomes.
In order to improve his leadership skills, Charlie should conduct a personal assessment regarding his personality. This assessment could be based on the Big Five Locator model which focuses on five aspects of personality that include emotional stability, extroversion, openness to experience, agreeableness and conscientiousness (Draper, 2005). Assessing emotional stability focuses on aspects such as calmness, eagerness and sociability. It measures how a leader can control his emotions in case of a crisis and conflict (Draper, 2005). For example, Kenneth states that the information about paints could upset Charlie. This means that he can hardly control his emotions when he receives disappointing information. The analysis could form the basis of improving his emotional stability and composure. The second locator focuses on the level of extroversion. Extroversion assesses factors such as optimism, selfishness, generosity and pessimism (Draper, 2005). The assessment could enable Charlie to determine whether he is over-optimistic or pessimistic about ideas. For example, he rushes into introducing a branch in UK without consulting the R&D department in order to obtain relevant information about the market. He argues that language compatibility could boost the business in UK. However, he is over-optimistic about the success of the branch in UK.
This implies that he should determine his level of pessimism and optimism. Openness to experience focuses on aspects such as the level of focus, motivation and interaction (Draper, 2005). He should understand whether he is easily distracted by temporary failure. For example, becoming upset by the prohibition of paints portrays distraction by temporary challenges. This implies that he should determine his level of distraction in order to improve on openness to experience. The fourth aspects measure the degree of agreeableness (Draper, 2005). It is evident that Charlie criticizes the MBA leadership in a very profound manner. This implies that he is a challenger. The character might prevent him from accommodating other people’s opinions and ideologies (Draper, 2005). As a result, the locator could help him to determine his level of agreeableness and improve it. Lastly, the model focuses on conscientiousness which aims at measuring factors such as time management and self expression. It could enable him to understand whether he procrastinates or rushes to implement ideas without evaluating them.
Leadership Development Skills
In order to develop leadership skills, Charlie should embrace professionalism when he is tackling organizational issues. For example, Charlie discussed globalization with Paul when they were playing golf. He considered the decision as the final one and proceeded to implement the idea. This informality led to the emergence of different opinions in the organization. He forcefully implemented the idea without consulting key personnel including R&D director and human resource manager. As a result, the establishment of a new branch in UK failed owing to uninformed decision. Professionalism could, also, help him in managing emotions so that his employees do not fear when they are delivering information (Vries, 2011). Charlies should improve on his desire to listen and learn from other people even if he does not believe in their ideologies. Vries (2011) contended that communication involves more listening than talking. Further, he contends that listening forms the main basis of learning. However, Charlie believes on his ideologies so strongly that he cannot learn from other people. He openly dismisses MBA manager claiming that his leadership work better than their strategies. This is not recommendable since he should understand that the managers have much to offer. Lastly, Charlie should improve his approachability so that employees feel free to interact with him and share information. In this light, Vries (2011) contended that a manager should always be approachable. This helps the employees contribute freely and share their opinions to ensure fast organizational progress.
Pless (2011) argued that a successful leader must evaluate the outcomes of his leadership and compare them with the goals. In this light, evaluation becomes a crucial undertaking that helps the manager to improve skills. The author argues that the most effective ways of evaluating outcomes of leadership include feedback from followers and evaluating performance indicators. For example, the leaders could use a suggestion box to collects feedback which include compliments and complaints. These compliments and complaints are considered when the leaders are considering future leadership strategies. On the other hand, evaluation could be conducted based on the premises of progress. For example, increased income is an indicator of good leadership.
This is the act of forcing people to implement something without their willingness. The Stationery Supplies Limited has been affected by dictatorship where the CEO discusses issues with Paul and start implementing them without consulting other stakeholders. This implies that employees execute roles unwillingly leading to the ultimate failure of the strategies. Dictatorship leads to polarization of employees, fear and little progress. Donaldson & Werhane (1979) contended that dictatorship prevents the development of employees. They contend that a working environment should develop employees into managers. This philosophy implies that the ideologies of the leaders should help followers to become leaders. He states that dictatorship is the worst leadership strategy that a leader can apply. In this case, dictatorship weakens all followers such that they cannot operate in the absence of the leader. It, therefore, implies that dictatorship could lead to little progress. in order to eliminate dictatorship, Charlie should learn to appreciate the inputs of his employees and listen to their opinions.
This implies that he should always consult them before making decisions. It ensures that employees execute their roles willingly and passionately. Additionally, Charlie should adopt a team approach when making decisions. In this case, he should understand that change needs a multidisciplinary approach where the R&D experts, HR manager and other experts are needed. This ensures that all factors are considered before making a final decision. Otherwise making decisions alone is restricted to personal experience and expertise which is essentially dangerous (Donaldson & Werhane, 1979). Lastly, it is important to state that a leader must consider other people as human beings regardless of their hierarchy. Forcing people to follow orders without giving opinions is barbaric and inhuman.
The organization suffers from informality when conducting business activities. In this light, Charlie discusses the idea of globalization with Paul and proceeds to implement it. This is the highest level of informality that a CEO could portray in leadership. This informality is reflected in the lower levels of management where Jane misses a conference call owing to the speculation that the company could not operate on a holiday. It is informal for an employer to miss a critical undertaking because she speculated that the company could not operate. Employers should always attend to the company’s functions until the management directs differently. However, it is evident that Carmen had not provided a formal calendar that could direct Jane in accordance to the schedule. In fact, Carmen sends the calendar when Jane requests for it. This is not the formal way of conducting business activities. Donaldson & Werhane (1979) argued that employees should not be expected to know it they are not informed. An organization cannot operate on probabilities. Charlie can eliminate informality by taking the initiative of embracing formality. He should ensure that he makes his communication formal to trigger other employees in the same manner. This ideology is known as a top-down approach where senior administrators set the pace for the other employees. When he embraces that formality, managers and heads of department will reciprocate triggering their followers to embrace the same ideology.
Misappropriation of Fund
The customer service department has filed grievances with the human resource arguing that it is using funds inappropriately. They reveal that the department uses the company’s funds to fill their dining rooms with snacks and pizzas. The retail department has, also, violated the company’s handbook while accepting some expenditure. Nonetheless, Charlie does not take this report seriously. He laughs as he reads the report during a managerial meeting. This is an ethical issue that could lead to the downfall of the company (Donaldson & Werhane, 1979). Charlie should become diligent when he is dealing with issues concerning funds since the embezzlement. In this case, Donaldson & Werhane (1979) suggested that managers should employ an internal auditor who will be auditing the expenditure of each department to determine whether the departments are using funds appropriately or not.
Roe (1990) argued that managers should treat all the employees equally. Discrimination in the organization leads to lack discouragement and conflict between employees. In Stationery Supplies Company, the customer service department has pointed out that the human resource department gives uniforms of different standards. This is an ethical issue which could lead to conflict in an organization.
Ethical Practice to Address unethical Issues
In order to solve these issues, the entire company should uphold professionalism when they are conducting business activities (Roe, 1990). For example, fund withdrawal and usage should follow a formal process. Before money is withdrawn, the involved department should account for the expenditure and wait for approval. This process could ensure that money is not misused by the departments. Professionalism could, also, be used to eliminate issues such as discrimination and informality (Roe, 1990).
Structure, Composition and Skills
The present executive team comprises of the CEO, HR Manager, Head of Marketing, Head of Customer Service and Head of Relation. However, the company has excluded a very crucial office of the Financial Manager. The customer care department has been complaining about the misuse of funds in the HR department. However, this is not role of customer care department. Hawkins (2011) suggested that financial management should be assigned to a financial manager who has the required expertise. In this light, the CEO has neglected a department that is very vital in an organization.
After globalization, the company should add another member of the executive who will be dealing with crisis management. In this case, globalization will lead to many legal and financial crises. Some of the unexpected crises lead to profound impacts. As a result, the executive team should include a crises management officer who is in charge of a crises management team. This implies that the company will be prepared for any crisis (Hawkins, 2011). This implies that an ideal organization, which has pursued globalization, could comprise of the eight personnel.
In addition, globalization of the company could result to new skills and needs. In regard to needs, the company will be required to increase the number of employees. In this case, globalization requires the company to open new branches across the world. These branches require a branch manager and various departmental heads such as the head of marketing, customer care and public relations. This implies that the company will increase the number of employees internationally. In addition, the company will require improved ICT systems which can coordinate all branches (Rothacher, 2005). In this case, the company needs to improvise an integrated system that enables the branches to communicate with the headquarters efficiently. This will ensure that the organization can be easily managed despite globalization. Moreover, the company will need a training program to train the new employees who are recruited in various countries (Rothacher, 2005). This is based on the premises that new employees are not conversant to the organizational strategies, cultures and missions. The human resource department is mandated to create a team that could initiate training for the new employees in order to maintain competitive advantage (Rothacher, 2005). Lastly, all these needs lead to increase financial requirements. For example, employing new employees require additional funds for wages. The expansion of ICT systems requires a lot of funds from the company. As a result, the management must be prepared of the increased financial demands if they aspire to become a global company.
Consequently, some of these needs require the company to apply new skills and expertise. In this case, the development of integrated systems could require the company to seek the help of an ICT expert (Rothacher, 2005). In some case, they would employ an ICT officer who will be in charge of the systems. Globalization, also, leads to expansion of political and cultural autonomy of the company (Rothacher, 2005). The company operates on different forms of governances which nave diverse policies such as corporate taxation and environmental concerns. These aspects requires the company to seek the help of international relation officer who has the require knowledge concerning international policies (Rothacher, 2005). Lastly, the company could need a legal advisor who will be mandated to advice the company about international legal issues (Rothacher, 2005).
Cox (2001) suggested that organizations comprise of people who come from different cultural background. Further, the author contends that people have individual differences which are based on their personal experiences and expertise (Cox, 2001). However, an organization must work towards fulfilling a common objective regardless of cultural diversity and individual differences (Cox, 2001). In this regard, Stationery Supplies Limited is not exceptional. The company’s employees and managers come from different cultures. In addition, they have different personalities, experience and expertise. This implies that their perspective of viewing issues is equally different. Carmen must, therefore, apply strategies that help to harmonize them in order to attain a common goal.
First, Carmen should embrace the interpretive approach when he is working with his colleagues in the organization. This philosophy is concerned with understanding of human differences (Cox, 2001). He, further, points out that managers should interpret daily social roles according to the meaning given to those roles rather than the individuals (Cox, 2001). This implies that the most important factor relating the employees and the organization is determined by their roles rather than the personalities. As a result, the philosophy implies that Carmen should entirely focus on the roles. It, also, implies that Carmen must take an empathetic stance when he is approaching his juniors (Cox, 2001). This empathy can be attained if Carmen understands that his subjects view issues in different perspectives owing to their experiences. As a result, he should be guiding them frequently in order to shape their mentality toward the organization’s objectives. While guiding them, he should understand that cultures are not either backward or developed. Instead, he should entirely view them as a set of people’s believe and behaviors which are not inferior or superior to other cultures.
Impact of Cultural Factors
There are cultural factors, such as ethnocentrism, cultural mores and competing customs, that impact on the progress and management of an organization. Alvesson (2002) defined ethnocentrism as judging people according to their cultural values and standards. This is manifested in form of cultural profiling of employees in an organization (Alvesson, 2002). Ethnocentric managers profile employees according to their cultural background assuming that some cultures are more primitive than others (Alvesson, 2002). Profiling leads to underestimation of employees’ capabilities due to stereotypes (Alvesson, 2002). For example, if a manager feels that a people from a certain culture are prone to theft, he might deny them an opportunity an opportunity to serve as financial manager. However, the employee might have the expertise to serve as a financial manager. This implies that the company loses helpful human resource owing to cultural profiling. Second, competing customs pose another cultural challenge for the company. In this case, people compete in accordance to their cultures. Some people believe that their colleagues come from inferior culture (Alvesson, 2002). They tend to compare their personal culture with the ones of their colleagues.
This competition creates personal differences among the employees leading to poor relationships (Alvesson, 2002). Poor relationship result to misunderstanding, hatred and personal conflicts. This implies that such employees cannot work together in harmony to attain the organizational objective because they have personal differences. In addition, the competing employees impact on the unity of the organizational leading to poor performance. The employees divert from the main goal of the organization for the sake of competition. They execute roles in order to disapprove their fellow employees rather than to achieve stipulated objectives. As a result, the organization operates in separation. Communication becomes difficult since some people cannot work with their cultural counterparts. Protocols are not observed satisfactorily because some employees despise their seniors if they come from cultures which are regarded as inferior.
Another factor that impacts on the success of an organization is referred to as cultural more. Alvesson (2002) defined cultural more as the tendency to elevate some cultural aspects above others. For example, some cultures suggest that marrying relatives is an immoral behavior. In fact, it is referred to as incest. Cultural mores can impact on the management of the organization since the employees should not be forced to execute roles that are against their personal culture. This implies that an employee can refuse to execute a core role owing to cultural mores. As a result, an organization might incur a loss due to that failure. In order to curb such inconveniences, managers should consider such ramifications when they are assigning role so that those roles do not contravene their cultures (Alvesson, 2002). In addition, cultural mores could impact on interaction of employees. For example, some cultures forbid their member to interact with members of another culture (Alvesson, 2002). This restriction can impact on interaction of employees, managers and customers. This is evident in cases where employees portray discrimination when they are serving customers. In this case, an employee might serve people who come from their cultures before others. If customers realize this behavior, they might withdraw from the company (Alvesson, 2002). Consequently, the company loses customers leading to increased financial losses.
Cultural Assessment of Current Employees
While conducting a cultural assessment, there are various factors that the assessor should consider. First, the assessor should focus on the ethnic affiliation of the employee. In this case, ethnic affiliation determines aspects like food and clothing preferences. In addition, since ethnicity is conjoined to geographical location, it affects the exposure of the employees. This implies that the ethnicity should be assessed in order to offer the right training to the employees. Language is another factor that could be used during the assessment. In this light, the assessor should focus on both the primary and secondary languages. Language assessment could provide information about the culture since different cultures mostly have different language. In addition, the assessment is very crucial to the Stationary Supplies Limited because the language of employees is very vital during globalization. In this case, the company aims at introducing branches in different countries that might not be using English. For example, China is a country whose most citizens are not conversant with English. In fact, 90 percent of the Chinese use Mandarin for communication. As a result, the assessment could assist the organization profoundly. In fact, Charlie suggests that they could open a branch in UK due to the compatibility of language. This confirms that language is an important aspect in this organization. While evaluating cultural satisfaction, the assessors could focus on the adequacy of the salaries that the employers get from the company. In this regard, the cultural origin determines whether the employees are satisfied with the salary or not. This is based on the premise that different cultures have different expenditure rates according to geographical location and exposure.
Sander (2012) suggested that the executive leadership is mandated to create an appealing psychological atmosphere for the company. Psychological atmosphere determines the openness of employees, socialization and overall performance. In this light, the executive should ensure that they are sociable to allow the employees interact with them. In addition, they should ensure that cultural diversity is not a unifying factor. Instead, cultural diversity should be transformed into an asset (Sander, 2012).
The leaders should encourage employees to focus on the organizational objectives and abandon their personal differences.
Alvesson, M. (2002). Understanding organizational culture. London: SAGE Publications.
Cox, T. (2001). Creating a multicultural organization: a strategy for capturing the power of diversity. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Donaldson, T., & Werhane, P. H. (1979). Ethical issues in business: a philosophical approach. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.
Draper, T. (2005). Locating The Big Five Personality Factors In The Relate Relationship Evaluation Measures. Psychological Reports, 97(7), 877.
Hawkins, P. (2011). Leadership team coaching developing collective transformational leadership. London: Kogan Page.
Kotter, J. (2012). Leading change. Boston: Harvard Business Review Press.
Lake, D. (1984). The General Managers by John Kotter. Human Resource Management, 23(1), 101-105.
Lee, H. (2006). Kotter’s eight steps change model applicability in the 21st century way of doing business. Fresno, California: Fresno Pacific University.
Pless, N. (2011). Responsible leadership. Berlin: Springer.
Roe, M. (1990). Ethical issues. London: Britannia.
Rothacher, A. (2005). Corporate globalization: business cultures in Asia and Europe. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Academic.
Sander, P. (2012). What would Steve Jobs do?: how the Steve Jobs way can inspire anyone to think differently and win. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Vries, M. (2011). Leadership development. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.