Research Paper on Organizational Change
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Example research paper on Organizational Change:
In the fast-paced world of today’s business, change, whether it is planned or unplanned, is inevitable. How an organization handles the change will either make them or break them. The following paper will look at the new way versus the old way of handling change within an organization.
Planned changed is an effort to move an organization to a higher level. Unplanned change happens when pressures of external factors are so overwhelming that resistance to change is unavoidable. Having some guidelines for implementing change will assist in the success of the change process (Axelrod 1).
The way organizations have been approaching change for the past 20 years is no longer producing the desired results the organization is hoping for. As stated in the article, Terms of engagement, by author Richard Axelrod, “The current management paradigm actually increases bureaucracy, reinforces top-down management, and increases cynicism and resistance…” (1) Therefore, changing the paradigm of change is now changing itself.
There are certain factors that come into play under the old paradigm to change. Here is a list of few: 1) allowing the few to decide for the many, 2) separating the design process from the implementation process, and 3) making process improvements primary and cultural shifts secondary (Axelrod 1). In other words the change comes from the top and is not shared throughout the organization.
In the new paradigm of change, Richard Axelrod, suggest four key principles should be applied: 1) widening the circle of involvement, 2) connecting people to each other, 3) creating communities of action, and 4) embracing democracy. Widening the circle of involvement suggest that an organization go outside the typical top management, and to involve employees from all levels.
This would enhance the second principle of connecting people to each other. “When people connect with each other…, creativity and action are ensured” (Axelrod 2). People learn how their actions fit in to the organization as a whole. When employees understand that they too make a difference it can only enhance the change process.
Creating communities of action is the concept that a community of people can approach a situation much more successfully than a person working alone. “Democratic principles provide an ethical foundation and a moral fiber for the change process in business as well as professional life.” Democracy builds trust and confidence in those who are leading the change (Axelrod 2).
With this current paradigm of change it is no wonder change is met with resistance. Resistance to change usually happens when people of an organization are not involved with the change. Most people naturally fear the unknown or uncertainty change brings. There is a fear of personal loss, or a fear of how they will be affected by the change. Resistance also comes from a lack of understanding the purpose for the change, and not understanding can lead to mistrust in management (Principles of Management 2).
There are steps an organization can take to reduce resistance to change. Communicating information in regards to the change in simple easy-to-understand terms to all employees would reduce the fear factor. Involving all key employees the change will affect, whether or not the employees are on the management team, or a subordinate level. Support the change by having resources available to help with the change.
Among the new trend of implementing change in an organization, is the use of an organizational behavior consultant or change agent. These change agents, can be from external or internal sources; they focus on the people side of an organization, along with the working side of an organization. Their perspective from the outside looking in could be a great asset when implementing change. The purpose of a change agent is to help minimize resistance. One of the ways a change agent can do this is by making sure everyone involved understands the benefits.
Dealing with resistance to change can be approached in a positive manner. It can be handled through education and communication, or through participation and involvement. Communicating and educating people before change happens mean that the change will be met with less resistance. Allowing people to be involved and participate will ensure cooperation. Supporting through actively listening to problems and complaints helps others to overcome fear. (Schermerhorn 1)
In conclusion, with business today reaching new levels of technology, and spanning around the globe, change within an organization in inevitable. The old way of doing business and promoting change is no longer effective. An organization needs to change the way it approaches changes within their organization when implement change in business itself.