Adapting to Change
Table of contents
- mportance of Topic
- Need and Significance for the Study
- Statement of Problem
- Objective of the Study
- Literature Review
- Adopting to change – Historical Perspective
- Adopting to change – Need, Importance and Strategies
- Theories and Models
The mechanical technological driven world of today is moving fast and in this environment change is an inevitable thing because all the ups and downs; failures and successes faced by the people are dependent on the changes occurring in the surrounding environment.
The capabilities of a person to respond towards the changes and adapt them to determine the way of spending of person’s life. In the personal as well as professional life the people have to be well aware of the changes occurring around them so that they can keep them align with those changes. Most of the changes occurring in the surrounding world are led by the technological advancements.
Technology has benefited mankind in form of many tools, devices, and techniques. These new facilities replace the old one and the way of doing certain thing also change with time. Most of the time these advancements and changes bring improvement in the life of the people but in some of the cases people have to give up their and cultural norms in order to cope up with the changes.
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Adapting to Change
This paper is intended to study different theories and models that are presented by the researchers related with the adopting to change in an organization. The dissertation is based on a qualitative research study that is conducted through secondary analysis of data and a case study.
The case study of a US-based company is presented so that different theories of adapting to change can be studied in the perspective of the company and the evidences could be found about the practical implications of the theories of adapting to change.
Importance of Topic
In the fast-moving world of today ideas came into existence and then they are executed rapidly too, building lot of pressure on the people working in different fields because they have also to adopt the same policy of creating and implementing new and changed ideas from time to time.
The time required for making these changes is often very short but the success of an organization in the highly competitive marketplace of today lies in the fact that how quickly they can respond towards the changes. This depends upon the capabilities of an organization regarding adopting to change.
It is very importance to study that what is the importance of adopting to change in an organization because it is one of the most important issues for the business organization now days and the complete understanding of this issue is essential for individuals as well as organization so that they can manage their existing and design new strategies in this perspective.
Thus this topic possesses great importance from the social point of view that it covers an emerging and updates issue that is necessarily to be understood by the individuals and organizations to survive in the highly competitive marketplace.
Need and Significance for the Study
There is considerable portion of the literature conducted around the topic and numerous research studies have focused on the models and theories of adapting to change and their practical implication.
This dissertation is continuation of the research work done so far because the topic is gaining more and more importance. As the technologies is rapidly spreading so the need of studying the change in organization is also getting more and more important and the dissertation is aimed at fulfilling the need of further study on this topic.
Statement of Problem
“To study the theories and models of adopting to change in an organization and analyze the case of an organization in the light of the studied literature”
Objective of the Study
The study is aimed t achieving the following objectives
- To understand the concept of adapting to change in an organization from the historical perspective
- To study different theories and of adopting to change
- To present the case study of an organization regarding the strategies and planning related with adopting to change.
Adopting to change – Historical Perspective
Adopting to change in an organization is not a new phenomenon but it has deep roots inside the history. Lewin (1952) presented a three stage model about adopting to change in an organization. The three stages identified in the model presented by Lewin are “unfreezing, change and refreezing”.
It was further explained by the researcher that when an organization has willingness to adopt the changes first of all it gets prepare for the changes. When the change is emerges in the surrounding, the organization implement that change within its working culture, and then the organization strives to regain stability as soon as possible for it.
All of these steps are taken by the organization with a specific period of time so that organization can get stability and functionality on early basis (Lewin, p459, 1952). As the time passes, the business world show the need for more turbulent and flexible model of adopting to change that can fit well in the uncertain organizational and environmental conditions as well so the early model presented by Lewin became less appropriate and uncommon.
De Jean (1991) and Malone et al (1992) presented another concept of adopting to change that technology is the main factor that bring changes in the environment and while designing the technologies it is the key issue that the technology must be easily adoptable by the end users and the people can have the opportunity to customize their existing features using the new technology and at the same time they can also create new applications with the help of newly introduced technology.
In this way the features and adoptability of the technology it self determines the success rate of its acceptability. At the same time, the organizations also have to be aware of the fact that how they can implement change within their existing working patterns and what are the most appropriate ways of integrating new technologies in their traditional system.
In this situation the experience of the organization plays the most significant role in determining the role of the organization in the changing situation. Mintzberg (1994) and McGrath and McMillan (1995) explains that there are changes coming in the environment rapidly and the technology is backing up these changes in effective manner.
In this new scenario there are many organizations that are still unaware of the fact that what is actually going around them because they see all of the things like a game that is entirely new for them and they don’t even know the rules and regulations of playing the game.
This is the main factor that can lead the organization towards greater risk of failure because this show the lack of willingness of the company to get prepare for adopting to change and an organization can not survive in marketplace until and unless it is ready to face the changes.
Adopting to change – Need, Importance and Strategies
Victor Siegle (2006) explains that an organization has to be well aware of the changes occurring all around because the success of an organization largely depends upon the fact that how fast and how adequately they respond towards the changes and make amendments in their strategies to meet the demands of those changes.
These changes could be in form of change in the client’s or customer’s requirements and the organization has to provide the goods or services of the client or customer according to their new requirements.
The organization has to change according to the requirements because “the customer is always right” and of they want to keep their clients and costumers loyal with them they have to assure them that their demands will be met on timely basis and they will get best quality services from the organization.
In this regard it is very important for the organization to know that what are the priorities of their clients or customers and as far as there are some changes occur in their requirement due to any factor, then the organization has to keep an eye on those changes and the management has to be always prepare to react upon these changes accordingly. Only then they can be sure about the successful relations
In this context there is great responsibility lies upon the shoulders of the high officials and management. They have to develop such strategies and organizational culture in the company that the staff and their working patterns can easily adjust with the upcoming changes.
All of this has to be done while remaining within the boundaries of the schedules, budgets, people, and deadlines. For better management of adopting to change it is essential to create a synergistic nature of the organization means that different teams should be created to perform different type of business activities separately and whenever there is any change required in the production of good and service, the people concerned with that particular part of the work will be contacted and asked to make changes in their work.
In this way the entire production process or company strategies does not face any set back or major delay. This is necessarily to be done by the management because they have no option to say “No” to the client or customers asking for change. This will not effect the reputation and credibility of the organization but also the sales and revenue of the company will be badly affected.
However it doesn’t means that the organization must be ready and go for adopting each and every change occurring in the surrounding world but there is great need of effective management of adopting to change strategies and planning because unmanaged change can create lots of problem for the organization in terms of increate in the potential of causing disruption to projects already in progress that might lead to the mediocre end product, missed deadlines and budgets.
All these factors will ultimately contribute towards the deterioration of the relationship of the organization with their client or customer. So there are some key steps that must be followed by an organization in the process of change management so that they can be in better position for adopting to change.
For example they have to assure that the new or changes policies will be integrate in to the original or existing policies and working pattern of the organization so that the employees can cope up with these changes easily.
The cost and time involved in the production process should be kept in consideration by the management while implementing a change so that the budget and deadline could be managed effectively.
At the same time, it is equally importance that the management must choose from the emerging changes that which one is beneficial for the organization and which will harm it. This will help the company is getting well prepared for adopting to change in the organization.
Jacowski (2006) explains that the overall success of an organization is greatly dependent on the change adoptability capabilities of the organization. The researcher explains that adopting to change in an organization requires lot of time, dedication, money and effective planning.
It is very essential to manage the change properly because changes can take the organization towards improved productivity, efficient employee’s performance, superior quality of good and services produces and a better bottom line.
In case of failure of the organization in adopting the change there is a great risk that the relationship of the company with its client or customers will be harm, there will be frustration generate in the employees, and the over all productivity and quality of the organization will be badly effected.
In order to avoid the dangers of mismanaged change, it is very importance for an organization to get ready for adopting the change with all its planning and strategies. First of all the change must be added to the company’s function in a practical and meaningful way, otherwise there is no chance that the change will be accepted and successfully implemented in the organization.
Thus the management has the major responsibility to choose that what change is necessary for the organization and above all what are the implications of that change within the existing working culture of the company. The management has to keep an eye on the time matter also to decide and when and in which aspects of the business, the organization will welcome the changes and what are the aspects and policies that will be remained undisturbed by any of the changes.
For the better management of adopting to change in the organization it is a crucial matter that the people associated with the change management must be aware of all the problems and issues associated with the adoption to change sin the organization and they must have adequate work done on the lines that “who will be taking on the change, who will best know how the change will work, and how it can be utilized”.
In addition to this it is equally important that there must be trust worthy relationship between the management and the employees so that the employees can be motivated to work in efficient manner in the changes environment also and they must be mentally prepare to face the changes adopted and implemented by the organization.
It is importance to have trust based relation in the organization to get prepare for adopting to change because in case of lack of trust, the employees will resist strongly towards the implemented changes and it will become even more difficult for the management to implement the changes within the organization.
Moreover the management should also have deep understanding of the employees issues so that they can know that what changes will be welcome by the employees and what changes will be resisted. In this regard the management must have effective communication link with its people so that there could be good understanding of their reservations and concerns.
Theories and Models
Gallivan at al (1994) adaptation to change in an organization requires hard work of many years because it is not something that can occur immediately. The researchers explain that to get prepares for adopting any change, it is very necessary that the management of the organization must assure the flow of concise, readable and to the point information to the employees.
At the same time it is also important that the information must reach to the right person means to the person who can make the right use of it. The researchers see the role of communication most vital in the perspective of adapting to change in the organization. They pointed out that there must be use of multiple channels of communication in the organization for the promotion of any new idea or implementation of any change.
The management is recommended that there must be good communication links built with the employees so that the management can effectively demonstrate the decision of the management regarding the implementation and adaptation of any new change. The role of management is very crucial at this stage because there is a broad spectrum of skills required to lead to effective management of innovation and change within an organization.
There must be programs, workshops, meetings and gatherings arranged by the management with the employees so that both the management and the employees can better understand the perspective of each other. In addition to this the management must also produce and provide some material in form of hard copy or soft copy to the employees.
This material can explain the perspective of the employees in detail and can inform the employees many such things that can not be demonstrated orally.
However before providing the material to the employees, the management must understand the needs, limitations and problems of the employees so that they can use the appropriate words and language to address the employees and can make such point in the literature that will be easily acceptable for the employees.
Kwon and Zmud (1997) explains that adopting to change in an organization is not an easy issue because in many organizations there is great possibility that the employees with resist change and talk about remaining sticking on the same traditional means of doing their work.
He further explains that there are some main reasons due to which the employees within an organization can resist for change and these are the challenges for the management if they want to develop a culture in the organization open towards changes.
An important reason why the employees resist the change in ambiguity that people are unclear about the details of the emerging change and they have certain questions in their mind that what would be the effect of the change over their job position and working patterns.
This unclear image led towards the resistance in the employees regarding the change.
Another important reason is lack of proper communication links between the management and the employees. When the employees are not properly informed by the management neither there is any consultancy done with the employees but the change in imposed on the employees as an order, then there is a generally unlikeness and unwillingness in adopting any change.
On the other hand if the employees are well informed about the change and the policies are discussed in details then thy can meet higher levels of job satisfaction than uninformed workers. This is because people like to know and they have the right to know that what is going all around them and what are the decisions that are taking place related with their work and positions.