· The need for change within organizations and the need for leaders who can successfully manage change is continually growing
· The leadership style of the top exec sets the tone for how effective the organization is at continuous adaptation and innovation
· Transformational leadership is particularly suited for bringing about change. Top leaders who use this style enhance organizational innovation both directly, by creating a compelling vision, and indirectly, by creating an environment that supports exploration, experimentation, risk taking, and sharing of ideas
· Successful change can happen only when employees are willing to devote time and energy needed to reach new goals
· There are 4 stages of commitment to change:
o Preparation: Employees hear about the change through memos, meetings, speeches, or personal contact and become aware that change will directly affect their work
o Acceptance: leaders should help employees develop an understanding of the full impact of the change and the positive outcomes of making the change. When employees perceive the change as positive, the decision to implement is made.
o Commitment: involves installation, which is a trial process for change that gives leaders an opportunity to discuss problems and employee concerns and build commitment to action. The final step is institutionalization, where employees view the change as not something new but as a normal and integral part of organizational operations
o Institutionalization: stabilizing the change – reinforcing outcomes, evaluating results
4. Do you think factory employees would typically be more resistant to changes in production methods, changes in structure, or changes in culture? Why? What steps could managers take to overcome this resistance?
Visionary leadership is crucial for change; however, leaders should expect to encounter
resistance as they attempt to take the organization through the three stages of
the change commitment process. It is natural for people to resist change, and many
barriers to change exist at the individual and organizational levels.
Barriers to Change
· Excessive focus on costs
o Management may think that costs are all-important and may fail to appreciate the importance of a change that is not focusesd on costs, like a change to increase employee motivation
· Failure to perceive benefits
o Education may be needed to help managers and employees perceive more positive than negative aspects of the change
· Lack of coordination and cooperation
o Conflict often result from the lack of coordination for change implementation, and in the case of technology, old and new systems must be compatible
· Uncertainty avoidance
o Many employees fear uncertainty, so constant communication is needed so that employees know what is going on and understand how it affects their jobs
· Fear of loss
o Managers and employees may fear the loss of power, status, or their jobs, so implementation should be careful and incremental, and all employees should be involved as closely as possible
Techniques for Implementation
Top leaders articulate the vision and set the tone, but managers and employees
throughout the organization are involved in the process of change. A number of
techniques can be used to successfully implement change
1. Establish a sense of urgency for change.
2. Establish a coalition to guide the change.
3. Create a vision and strategy for change.
4. Find an idea that fits the need.
5. Develop plans to overcome resistance to change.
Sources of Individual Resistance to Change
Cynicism about Change
· Feeling uninformed about what was happening
· Lack of communication and respect from one’s supervisor
· Lack of communication and respect from one’s union representative
· Lack of opportunity for meaningful participation in decision-making
Overcoming Resistance to Change
· Education and commitment: this tactic assumes that the source of resistance lies in misinformation and poor communication
· Participation: prior to making a change, those opposed can be brought into the decision process
· Facilitation and support: the provision of various efforts to facilitate adjustment
· Negotiation: exchange something of value for a lessening of resistance
· Manipulation and cooperation: twisting and distorting facts to make them appear more attractive
· Coercion: the application of direct threats or force upon resistors
5. “Change requires more coordination than does the performance of normal organizational tasks. Any time you change something, you discover its connections to other parts of the organization, which have to be changed as well.” Discuss whether you agree or disagree with this quote, and why?
Recent thinking has refined the idea of organic versus mechanistic structures with
respect to innovation creation versus innovation utilization. Organic characteristics
such as decentralization and employee freedom are excellent for initiating
ideas; but these same conditions often make it hard to implement a change because
employees are less likely to comply. Employees can ignore the innovation because
of decentralization and a generally loose structure.
How does an organization solve this dilemma? One remedy is for the organization
to use an ambidextrous approach—to incorporate structures and management
processes that are appropriate to both the creation and the implementation
of innovation. Each of these organizations found creative ways to be ambidextrous, establishing
organic conditions for developing new ideas in the midst of more mechanistic
conditions for implementing and using those ideas.
Although many individuals have creative ideas, most innovations
are created through groups of people working together. Smart companies find ways to get people communicating and collaborating across boundaries. One large
consumer products company, for example, had lots of employees capable of coming
up with good ideas, but they still weren’t innovating. To kick-start collaboration,
the company held an off-site conference designed to get people from different specialties
who had complementary skills and talents talking to one another. Everyone
was given an electronic name tag which contained information about the person’s
skills and interests. When an employee approached someone with complementary
skills, the badge would light up and flash a welcome such as “Hi Susan. We should
be talking about biochemistry.”40 Many of today’s successful innovators even bring
in people from outside the organization. For example, IBM held an online town hall
style meeting, called the Innovation Jam, inviting employees as well as clients, consultants, and employees’ family members to an interactive online brainstorming
session about new technology ideas.
6. A noted organization theorist said, “Pressure for change originates in the environment; pressure for stability originates within the organization.” Do you agree? Discuss. Write your own opinion