Transformational Change: Role of Leadership

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Abstract

Change is all around us. In a world characterized by global competition, deregulation, sharp technological change, corporate gambling, political turmoil and terrorist activities, organization change seems to be inevitable. Managing change is like a day to day activity in organizations today. It is so common these days that independent consultancies have been established in order to manage and consult the change process in organizations. Almost all the articles reviewed in this paper second this idea. This idea is the basis on which the articles were written in the first place.

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Every person has a unique way of thinking and understanding. That’s why there are various approaches towards managing change. The articles highlight different traits, qualities and behavior that leaders have to adopt towards managing and leading the change. More than two authors have agreed on the fact that leader should be able to have a vision and make it a reality.

The articles discuss a variety of topics such as the types of leadership and change, the process of leadership, employees’ emotions towards the change process, barriers towards change, role of managers when outsourcing change, why people fail to respond to change, how leadership varies across different types of changes and impact of change on leadership as well. Transactional and transformational, importance of both types of leadership is highlighted in the articles. Relationship of culture with change and leadership is also mentioned in one of the articles.

Transformational Leadership in the context of Organizational Change

Many change theorists have the eminent and significant role played by leaders in the change process but still there is very little conclusive research done in this area. Previous researches didn’t focus on the relationship between leadership and change. Successful managers manage change with extensive communication. They also believe that low cost probes enhance learning about future possibilities. They also make timely and realistic projections related to achievement of goals. The leaders follow a proper process which starts by recognizing the need for change, followed by creating a new vision and then finally institutionalizing the change. Certain leadership traits are uniquely appropriate for heading certain unique types of change (Eisenbach, Watson & Pillai, 1999).

The article is entirely based on secondary research and used authentic data sources. It gives clear definitions of the two variables; leadership and change. Further types of changes and leadership are also discussed with the importance and differences. It also derives a proper relationship between the two variables and the process is also detailed. Various literatures have been impeccably integrated. The steps that a leader should take throughout the change process are also highlighted. The article fails to give an authentic and elaborative background as to why there is a need of linking organizational change to leadership. The facts and previous researches that indicate any sort of relationship between the two variables is missing. The existence of other factors during the change process has been neglected totally.

The Role of Affect and Leadership during Radical Organizational Change

This article examines how employees’ emotions affect their dedication and their behavioral contributions to the change effort. It also studies how leadership skills in managers can impact employees’ attitudes and behavioral reactions to change.

The results of the study showed that employees who experienced higher levels of positive affect were more affectively and normatively committed and dedicated to change. Manager’s transformational leadership behavior promoted the relationship between employees’ commitment to change and the reduction of resistance during the change. The results also highlight some surprising results such as that managers’ transformational leadership behavior magnified the negative effect of employees on their commitment to change (Myeong-Gu, Taylor & Hill, 2007).

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Both primary and secondary resources have been used for the writing of this paper. The author gives a clear background as to why this particular field of study is essential. In depth explanation of all the variables is given. However while selecting hypotheses and various types of employee behavior and types of leadership, the authors fail to justify their choices.

Implement Change through Strong Leadership

This article is a short piece of writing which tells how managers should implement change. It highlights various steps that should be taken when initiating change and moving through the change process.

During organizational change, it is imperative that managers provide appropriate information to all the stakeholders so that they can actively participate and understand the situation as well. Understanding change and accepting the challenge is very crucial to success as change means moving into an unfamiliar territory. Therefore leaders should acknowledge the difficulty of the situation. In order to encourage trust and appreciation, managers also need to provide clarification about the after affects of the change decision. Empathically listening to fellow employees and subordinates helps in rebuilding confidence. Lastly, managers should ensure that everyone’s working together (Teller Vision, n.d).

The points mentioned in this article are not from research or any data findings but even then they give important guidelines to the fellow researchers and managers. The author has identified some key areas of blunders and then given solutions and recommendations as to how the problem can be overcome.

Leadership in Organizational Change: Rule for Successful Hiring in Interim Management

In reality executive members of the organization call change experts from consultancies to deal with specific change issues and limit their own role to that of deciding on the right person. After review the literature, the authors see that chances of success in organizational change increase when the hiring manager invests in the initial phase of change and checks out the proposed interim manager himself or herself.

The paper also highlights manager’s role that will make the interim management successful in implementing the change. Successful managers keep control of the project and are active even before the interim management is appointed. They actively choose the interim management and influence the plan of action. Being involved in the execution phase and giving meaning to the overall change management process is also manager’s responsibility.

This article is surrounded with different variable which are very realistic. In practice, the management gets worried while implementation of change and outsource the whole change management process. Therefore it’s important to understand the role of managers when outsourcing the change process. This research is done through case study method and thus real life situations in public companies are also discussed. This helps the readers to relate to the situation (Smid, Van Hout & Burger, 2006).

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Transformational Leadership and Organizational Change: The Impact of Vision Content and Delivery

It is an exploratory study which explores how specific transformational leadership behaviors influence employees’ support for organizational change. According to authors, the leaders should have a clear vision of change and should communicate the need of change and emphasize the positive outcome that the change will bring for both the organization and the employees. Employees should have trust in their leaders. Change-oriented vision content and vision delivery motivate employees to support organizational change.

The authors realize the importance of the delivery style in communication and thus due importance is placed on this variable. The authors also investigate the influence of leader’s non-verbal cues as well. These include facial expressions, eye-contact, body language, vocal tone and hand gestures (Howarth & Rafferty, 2009).

The authors give a very detailed theoretical framework and model which enhances the understanding of the subject matter. The research done is very comprehensive and tiny details are also acknowledged. As there are many variables under study, the authors have made number of hypotheses as well. Specific reasoning of the selected variables is given in the paper. Specific guidelines can be extracted from this study for organization as for leadership selection and development purposes.

Leadership and Change

Annabel Beerel, author of ‘Leadership and Change Management’ is of the opinion that strong leadership means recognizing new realities. Successful and effective leaders know that change is complex and important. Normally leaders initiate changes that are neither reflective nor realistic. She also points out despite of the importance of change in today’s competitive era, we fail to respond properly. Various reasons of this attitude are highlighted.

We fail to acknowledge the reality. There’s so much happening around us that we simply screen out stuff that we don’t like or is not that attractive. Another issue with change is that mostly top management or top authority decides for other as to which realities they should respond to. Accepting change and reality is as important as the change itself. Many people tend to shy away from the reality which shouldn’t be the case. And lastly true change means new and different people as well.

This article highlights the areas on which leaders and employees should work on. The pitfalls and mistakes mentioned in this article give us a clear understanding as to why many organizational changes are not successful.

Strategic Organizational Change: the role of Leadership, Learning, Motivation and Productivity

The paper explores strategic organizational change and its impact (managerial) on leadership, motivation, learning and productivity. It gives a detailed account on all the variables. The article discusses the sources and determinants of strategic organizational change, management implications, leadership an impact of change on productivity. It also elaborates the conceptual framework of the strategic organizational change. History has also been integrated in this research.

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The elements elaborated here are on the basis of secondary research only. After studying all the above mentioned topics in detail, the authors propose a model for strategic organizational change. The model is very comprehensive and tries to cover each and everything. This model can be used by both management and organization researches in order to facilitate the implementation of strategic organizational change (Appelbaum, St-Pierre & Glavas, 1998).

The Crucial Role of Leadership in Meeting the Challenges of Change

Beverly Alimo-Metcalfe and John Alban-Metcalfe discuss the nature of leadership that should be exercised to manage change effectively. Due emphasis is placed on the effect of organizational culture on organizational change as well. Another interesting fact that author points out is that both types of leadership i.e. transactional and transformational are important in the process of change. The author highlights that doing the transactional activities in a transformational way is the most challenging part.

The findings and results are based on investigation from over 4,000 male and female managers and professionals. The authors have also used a unique tool; 360-feedback instrument. The questionnaire highlights three main areas which are ‘Leading and developing others’, ‘Personal Qualities’ and ‘Leading the Organization’.

The research findings are that leading change requires a workforce that is empowered, leadership that has vision, people in authority willing to seek feedback of their effectiveness, admit their mistakes, to take steps for their development process and following of the ethical principles.

Various literatures have been impeccably integrated in this research. The research methodology is very strong and authenticates the findings. The pictorial representation and models give a clear understanding of all the steps taken and actions proposed. The 360 feedback model is highlighted very briefly but the authors have written other papers which cover the topic in depth.

Leadership in Times of Change

Change is inevitable and is all is around us. The process of changing and going through the change is very challenging. Being a leader is more challenging as the leader is the one who has to guide everyone, make decisions, handle the emotional and work pressures. The article is in written with respect to change occurring in Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) but is applicable for everyone. It discusses the barrier to change which are inadequate culture-shift planning, lack of employee involvement and improper communication. The article also elaborates how IMA was able to process through the change and how it removed the barriers to change with hard work and great leadership skills (Brausch, 2010).

Beyond the Charismatic Leader: Leadership and Organizational Change

Changes occur all the time and ere everywhere therefore it’s imperative that we classify these changes. The authors David A. Nadler and Michael L. Tushman identify various kinds of changes which are tuning, re-orientation, adaption and re-creation. The role of leader will vary across these different types of change and hence the characteristics and traits required would vary as well.

The main focus of the paper is to identify leadership role during re-orientation. Re-orientation is associated the most with success. They have a lot of time in which the leaders can empower people, revise strategies, build coalitions etc. They are generally riskier and big changes. Followed by this is a detailed analysis on the charismatic leader. This leader has the qualities of envisioning, energizing and enabling. To produce unbiased and neutral research, the authors also describe the limitations of the charismatic leader as well. These limitations are then overcome by instrumental leadership. It revolves around structuring, controlling and rewarding.

This model is also extended by three potential leverage points which are the senior team, broader senior management and the development of leadership throughout the organization. These three dimensions are then elaborated in great length. Their position, roles, behavior and task are also identified.

The author concludes by saying it is impossible to remain stable in this era of change, so in a nutshell the management should be flexible in adapting new strategies, processes and changes.

References

Alimo-Metcalfe, B & Alban-Metcalfe, J., 2005, ‘The crucial role of Leadership in meeting the challenges of change’, Vision (09722629), vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 27-39.

Appelbaum, S, St-Pierre, Q & Glavas, W., 1998, ‘Strategic organizational change: the role of leadership, learning, motivation and productivity’ Management Decision, vol. 36, no. 5, pp. 289-301.

Beerel, A., 2009, ‘Leadership and Change’, Business NH Magazine, vol. 26, no.11, pp. 33.

Brausch, J., 2010, ‘Leadership in Times of Change’ Strategic Finance, vol. 91, no. 7, pp. 6-61.

Eisenbach, R, Watson, K & Pillai, R., 1999, ‘Transformational leadership in the context of organizational change, Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 80-88.

Howarth, M & Rafferty, A., 2009, ‘Transformational Leadership and Organizational Change: The Impact of Vision and Delivery’, Academy of Management Proceedings, pp. 1-6.

Myeong-Gu, S, Taylor, M & Hill, N., 2007, ‘The role of Affect and Leadership during Radical Organizational Change’, Academy of Management Proceedings, pp. 1-6.

Nadler, D & Tushman, M., 1990, ‘Beyond the Charismatic Leader: Leadership and Organizational Change’, California Management Review, vol. 32, no.2, pp. 77-97.

Smid, G, Van Hout, E & Burger, Y., 2006, ‘Leadership in Organizational change: Rules for successful hiring in interim management’, Journal of Change Management, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 35-51.

Teller Vision, n.d., Implement Change through Strong Leadership, 2010. Web.

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