My preferred topic is organizational change; it is essentially defined as a process that involves transition from one way or system of performing work (which includes the culture) to a new way or cultural relation of an organization. I have chosen Taxes Electric Inc which is a small organization with vibrant presence in the market.
To position itself effectively in the market, the management has identified particular areas that need to be changed. A strategic team has been appointed by the management to draft a paper on how the organization will implement the strategies to harvest maximum benefits. After several sittings, the strategic team identified several areas that needed some changes. Among some of the areas to be reviewed was, the organizational structure, operations, and organizational culture.
The organizational structure was reviewed with some of hierarchy levels being scrapped to avoid conflicts and redundancy. This meant that some employees would lose their position or be redeployed to serve under other departments. Those affected received this with a lot of resistance because of the change in the status quo. The current structure had a poor reporting relationship with many employees unable to tell whom to report to. There were many overlaps of duties and responsibilities that rendered operations inefficient.
The current operations of the company were very inefficient. With the global economic meltdown, the company employees had to contend with working more hours for less pay.
This strategy was not received well by the employees. The strategic team identified that to support the change strategies developed, a strong organizational culture had to be cultivated. The culture will encourage innovativeness and greater individual flexibility. The employees should develop ownership of the company and freely participate in increasing company’s productivity.
The transition mechanism put in place to oversee the changes was not successful. The greatest mistake was the composition of the strategic team. Top management was over represented giving an impression that is unbalanced. This invoked a lot of resistance from the lower level employees who felt left-out of the process.
The management did not communicate the need to change to its employees in time. The employees learnt of the changes through informal networks prompting the management to resort to damage control. The need to change though positive was critically negated by the management of transition process.
According to change theories, people are always resistant to change. If the management of Texas Electric Inc needed to implement changes in the organization, they needed to be keen in managing the transition. Kurt Lewin theory explains change transition in his ‘freeze, ‘unfreeze’, and ‘refreeze’ model. Before the change, the organizational behavior is in the ‘freeze’ stage (repeated pattern of behavior based on the past experiences which people are unwilling to change).
To ‘unfreeze’ these behaviors, the organization should communicate and develop the need to change amongst its employees. When all the employees have understood the need to change, then the desired change strategy can be implemented. After implementation, behavioral effectiveness and efficiency can only be achieved when individuals ‘refreeze’ the changes. This can be done through monitoring and support where necessary.
Texas Electric could have easily managed change and obtained the desired result if they had adopted such a system. The company needed to have communicated the need for change to all its members. The next stage would be to build consensus on what areas need to be reviewed and the potential implication to both the employee and the employer.
Appointments to the strategic team should reflect the composition of the organization in order to build credibility. When specific strategies have been achieved, then the implementation process should be followed by close monitoring mechanism and support in order to achieve the desired goal.