Figure 1: Change Management
Change is a form of transition to be different and it’s an inevitable element which takes place on a daily basis. Like it or not, every day there appear to be something which is constantly changing, be it social or organizational life and we are all subject to change of one form or another (Mullins et al 2013). Management change is the systematic approach and application of knowledge, tools, and resources to enable an organization to be more efficient in terms of productivity and performance. These changes have to be realistic, achievable, measurable and most importantly sustainable (Metre 2009).
“It is all down to the personality of the individual and there is little management can do about resistance to change”
I would disagree with the above statement as the management of an organization can come up with alternative methods to resist change.
According to Mullins, selected individuals actively thrive on new challenges and constant change while some would resist these changes to remain in their comfort zone. In my opinion, the need for change is imperative to remain competitive and to keep up with rapid globalization as well as hastened technological innovation. As quoted by George Bernard Shaw, “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything”. Therefore, organizations and individuals must always adapt to change to enhance organizational and personal growth.
On the other hand, people resist structural and cultural changes due to selective perceptions, breaking routines (Brown n.d.), loss of status (Brown n.d.) and fear of uncertainty which takes place in an organization when certain changes are implemented (Mullins et al 2013). For example, an individual may resist taking up a promotion because of uncertainty over changes in roles, responsibilities, and methods of working (Mullins et al 2013). These are the kind of people who are contented with their current position in a particular organization. Additionally, some have developed a stereotype view of a management, for example, biasedness and therefore oppose any management change because, in their minds, any decision taken is going to be biased to a selective bunch (Mullins et al 2013).
I believe that both changes and resistance can bring a positive or a negative impact to an individual or an organization depending on how it is perceived. The leader and the management of an organization are responsible for making the right changes, hence creating a positive impact for the organization. According to Ford, Ford and d’Amelio (2008) and Ford and Ford (2009), resistance could also increase the quality of management and decisions in a change process as a certain form of resistance should be understood as an important source of employee feedback if appropriate methods of communication are provided (Bringselius 2010).
Change Management Models
Figure 2: Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model
Kotter’s 8- Step model would be one of the change management models which I would recommend to managers. Kotter began by listing common errors that leaders make in an attempt to initiate change (Lunenberg 2010).This model is directed at the strategic level of the change management process which focuses primarily on the establishing a sense of urgency to kick-start the efforts taken for a change to take place in an organization (Lunenberg 2010). A vision is then developed and communicated, followed by eliminating barriers to change and to encourage risk-taking and creative problem-solving. Moving forward, short-term improvements are then planned for which would lead to more change which involves more people and policies (Lunenberg 2010). These changes are reinforced by clarifying connections between new behaviors as well as processes and organizational success (Lunenberg 2010). Leadership development and succession are vital during the final stage (Lunenberg 2010). Limitations of this model include a lengthy process which consumes time and could also lead to frustrations among employees if their needs are not taken into consideration.
Kurt Lewin’s 3 step change model involves three stages which are to unfreeze, change and refreeze. The goal of unfreezing is to create awareness of the current status which has caused a crisis in an organization (Lunenberg 2010). The status quo is considered the equilibrium state (Kritsonis 2005). Symptoms for changes are identified in this stage. Unfreezing is necessary to overcome individual resistance and group conformity (Kritsonis 2005). In the second stage, driving forces and restraining forces for change are identified and more driving forces would move the current status to a new equilibrium level. Changes are then implemented to develop new values and behaviours (Lunenberg 2010). The final step is to refreeze whereby changes are stabilized and new patterns are reinforced in an organization in terms of organizational culture, policies and staff norms (Lunenberg 2010).
An organization which embraced change to create a positive impact
Figure 3: Pearson
Pearson is known to be one of the established book publishing companies. John Fallon, the current CEO announced a company-wide transformation known as the Global Education Strategy (GES) in 2013 and implemented a massive reorganization that clustered the workforce into six business units (Wang 2014). The focus of this company was shifted to the proposed strategy which intended to strengthen the company’s position as the world’s largest education company. The GES is the most substantial restructure the organization had undergone in its 150-year history and Pearson took home the 2014 Work Better Together Jive Award (Pankonien 2015). Fallon also demonstrated transparency through his employee collaboration solutions via regular blog posts and feedback which was an efficient way to communicate about the company’s restructuring (Pankonien 2015). Additionally, Pearson demonstrated a culture whereby leaders are open, transparent and practice effective communication (Pankonien 2015). It’s believed that employees will respond to change more quickly if they feel consulted and informed (Wang 2014).
An example of resistance to change
Figure 4: Taxis and Uber
The traditional taxi industry is now facing an issue trying to make a living due to the recent trend of ride-sharing services such as Uber. The taxi industry’s resistance to the introduction of Uber is a pointless attempt to impede innovation (Bouquet et al. 2014). Taxi drivers complain about Uber’s “illegal” activities, stating that they do not own official permits and can’t charge by the kilometre since they do not have meters (Bouquet et al. 2014). Most people opt to take Uber because it’s cheaper, more reliable, transparent and safer as compared to traditional taxi rides. Uber ‘s success primarily falls back to its response to customer needs as it offers a unique and innovative experience as compared to taxis (Bouquet et al. 2014). Taxi companies being pioneers in the transportation spectrum are still in denial thinking that they could succeed with their current business strategies (Bouquet et al. 2014). If they refuse to innovate, they would probably be left behind.
Bouquet, C. and Renault, C. (2014) Taxis Vs Uber: A Perfect Example Of Resistance To Change [online] available from <http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/taxis-vs-uber-perfect-example-resistance-change-1463787> [16 March 2017]
Bringselius, L. (2010) Resistance To Change: Four Interpretations [online] available from <http://www.lri.lu.se/media/lri/workingpapers/2010-1-resistance-to-change-louise-d.-bringselius.pdf> [16 March 2017]
Brown, G. (n.d.) Resistance To Change In An Organization’s Structure & Culture [online] available from <http://smallbusiness.chron.com/resistance-change-organizations-structure-culture-16622.html> [16 March 2017]
Lunenburg, F. (2010) Approaches To Managing Organizational Change [online] available from <http://www.nationalforum.com/Electronic%20Journal%20Volumes/Lunenburg,%20Fred%20C%20Approaches%20to%20Managing%20Organizational%20Change%20IJSAID%20v12%20n1%202010.pdf> [16 March 2017]
Metre, C. (2009) Deriving Value From Change Management [online] available from <http://repository.upenn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1027&context=od_theses_msod> [16 March 2017]
Mullins, L. and Christy, G. (2013) Management & Organisational Behaviour. 10th edn. United Kingdom: Pearson Education Limited
Pankonien, L. (2015) Pearson’s New Workstyle Is Transforming How Leaders Lead [online] available from <https://community.jivesoftware.com/community/jivetalks/blog/2015/02/26/pearsons-new-workstyle-is-transforming-how-leaders-lead> [16 March 2017]
Shaw, G. (n.d.) George Bernard Shaw Quotes [online] available from <https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/g/georgebern386923.html> [16 March 2017]
Wang, D. (2014) Successful Organizational Change Examples You Need To Copy [online] available from <https://www.tinypulse.com/blog/sk-successful-organizational-change-examples> [16 March 2017]
18 thoughts on “Blog 4 – Leadership and Change”
I like the way you have written about change. The example on taxi and uber in terms of resistance to change is a very interesting and a creative example. How important is change to you? Good effort.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Taxis going against Uber was a heat all over the world where Uber currently operates, hence I thought it would be good to connect that scenario towards resistance to change. In my opinion, changes play a very vital role because we wouldn’t be who we are today if not for changes that occurred throughout our lives. There’s no way a person or an organization will remain the same throughout. If there’s no change, there won’t be any improvement in our lives.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Good sharing on the Uber-Taxi War. I can relate to this example easily.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Yes because it’s happening all over where Uber currently operates. Appreciate your feedback, thank you.
Clear explanation on the theories of managing change. For the Pearson successful change, would be good if you can explain more on the roles of the six business unit which contributed to Pearson’s success.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thank you for your feedback. The six business units under Pearson’s Global Education Strategy (GES) focuses on schools, higher education, professional papers and three geographic market categories which comprise North America, core markets and markets deemed for growth. The GES is designed to make Pearson more digital, service -oriented and focused on emerging economies as well as more accountable for learning outcomes.
You have given several needs for change and well written. I like the example Uber V taxi resistance to change. Taxi is now traditional and I believe they are feeling the strain. Well I believe they have to change too. Well written blog.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Appreciate the feedback, thank you. I would agree with you that taxis are way too traditional with their beliefs and mindset and they would need to come out of it to be more innovative in tackling their problem of not being as profitable as they used to be. I also believe that taxis have lost a major part of their credibility due to they’re cut-throat habits of overcharging customers. Additionally, I notice a couple of taxi drivers switching to Uber because they feel that they can make more money through these ride-sharing services.
Overall great explanation. I like the ways you describe the example (Pearson) and is new to me. Good sharing.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thank you, appreciate the feedback. Please continue to follow my blogs and feel free to comment.
Well written and it would be perfect if you could explicit stated the 8-steps of Kotter model. Overall, great effort!
Appreciate your feedback, thank you.
well written, can you elaborate more on how resistance creates value for the change process?
Appreciate your feedback, thank you. Resistance is a form of resource which could create awareness to employees about a particular change and also those who are outspoken about a change are the ones who genuinely care about getting things right and close enough to the inner workings of an organization to recognize possible pitfalls in a given plan. Additionally. resistance could also build engagement and participation among employees as positive and negative feedback could be used to come up with a mutual solution that satisfies the majority of the employees.
Interesting write-up! The Uber example is an excellent example of change. What qualities or abilities do a leader need to implement successful change in a company, according to you?
LikeLiked by 1 person
Appreciate your feedback, thank you. In my opinion, a leader should be innovative and communicate transparently about the change which is about to be implemented. The leader should have the ability to support, coach and guide his/her subordinates during the change process. Additionally, the leader should motivate and rewards his/her subordinates when the change process is successfully implemented for their effort, co-operation, and competence.
A very clear write-up about change. I personally like the example on taxi Uber dilemma. With globalization burgeoning in Malaysia, do you think Malaysian companies are adapting to change or resisting it?
Appreciate your feedback, thank you. In my opinion, I think that most Malaysian companies are adapting to change ecspecially with e-commerce booming. With smart phones and mobile apps, everything is just a click away which forces the traditional way of doing business to slowly become obsolete. For an instance, marketing companies based in Malaysia no longer focus on traditional marketing so much and the focus is more towards digital marketing as people are now more tech-savvy and prefer buying products through online platforms.