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How do organizations cope with change?. Introduction: The first presentation considers change within a broad context, and adopts a critical perspective.

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Presentation on theme: "How do organizations cope with change?. Introduction: The first presentation considers change within a broad context, and adopts a critical perspective."— Presentation transcript:

1 How do organizations cope with change?

2 Introduction: The first presentation considers change within a broad context, and adopts a critical perspective on change management. The second presentation will build upon some of the questions raised in the first presentation and apply change interventions to a practical setting.

3 Introduction (cont): The broad areas covered now are: The nature of organisational change Approaches to change management Coping Strategies Further developments on change

4 The nature of organisational change: Change defined as: ”Making things different ” (Robbins 2005:629) Types of change – strategic, tactical, operational, radical, bumpy incremental, smooth incremental, discontinuous, reactive, proactive, emergent, planned, single, parallel, transformational and more….

5 Assumptions about organisational change: Is there a template for change interventions? Can one size fit all? Can change be managed? Are change interventions the prerogative of management?

6 Classical approaches to change management Arguably rational in nature process-driven task-oriented reliant upon planning and control. May revolve around context, process and content factors. Often conceptual/ theoretical and typically address a single change intervention. Perhaps more comfortable with bounded, measurable factors.

7 But the problem with process driven theory and practice.... Theory is where you know everything and nothing works; Practice is where everything works but nobody knows why; Here we combine theory and practice: Nothing works and nobody knows why. (Grint 1997:1)

8 Change perspective: single or multiple interventions?

9 Change Interventions: (process models) Range of options available, but typically 2 broad types: Systems Change approaches, for example, Systems Intervention Strategy Organisational Development

10 System description Identify options & constraints Formulate measures For objectives Generate options Model options (selectively) Design Phase 2 Implement Design Implementation strategies Evaluate against measures PROBLEM OWNERS Steady State Return to Steady state Diagnosis Phase 1 Implementation Phase 3 SIS (Ref 1)

11 Alternative approaches to change: “Innovative” approaches: The creation of confusion (“scaring people helps”) Allow change to emerge The “explosive” approach Covert agendas

12 Change as a managerial prerogative: Taking responsibility for the change and consequences of change Duty of care as an employer Will the change(s) affect the reputation of the organisation, brand etc? How much change can an organisation take? Organisational Burnout?

13 The coping element: Various definitions of coping (relating to organisational change), but needs to include a combination of: performance outputs and behavioural (psychological and physical) well being.

14 Coping Strategies: Levels of consideration – Organisation wide (strategic) Divisional (tactical) Operational (team and individual level) However, greater emphasis now on the leadership/ownership of change.

15 Coping strategies for individuals: Employees constantly appraise their situation at work (what is in it for me?) and consider their coping responses. Two strategies are commonly found in the literature: Problem-focussed coping and Emotion-focussed coping.

16 Problem-focussed - essentially dealing with the problem that has arisen, For example, arranging to meet with a boss to discuss work overload resulting from changes. Emotion focussed- regulating associated emotions For example, talking to a friend about the amount of excess work that the organisational change is bringing about.

17 But, what is in place if the change goes wrong or needs redirection/reformulation of plans? How will resistance to change be dealt with? To what extent will the organisational culture determine how individuals cope with change? What level of trust is there in the change management team and processes?

18 Research findings on organisational coping: Successful organizations are better at coping Highest correlated factors include: Optimism0.47 (attitude towards change) Adaptability0.44 (responding to external environment) Flexibility0.36 (internal adjustments) (Tan &Tiong 2005:63)

19 Key issues emerging from the literature: Size, resource availability, duration, amount of change and company track record in change Communication strategy, approach to change, organisational culture and support mechanisms Individual concerns, commitment to change, employee engagement, positive attitude towards change and competence with carrying out the change.

20 The future of change management? Greater emphasis upon leading change Further development of change agent competences/OD function Managerial expectation of greater compliance from key employees Avoidance of falling foul to current and future employment legislation Learning from and capitalising from change

21 References: Reference 1 on Systems Intervention Strategy, in Managing Change, (1993) Mabey, C. and Mayon-White, B. (Eds), page 136. Paul Chapman Publishing Ltd. Grint, K. (1997) Fuzzy Management, Oxford University Press. Robbins, S. (2005) Organizational Behaviour, 8 th Ed. page 629. Prentice-Hall Tan, V. and Tiong, T.N. (2005) Change Management in Times of Economic Uncertainty, Singapore Management Review, volume 27, no.1 pp 49 – 68.

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