WEEK 12 BLOG: Reflection on Learning

September 28, 2009

I would like to state that learning various theories, concepts and principles of organizational change has been insightful experience to me. I would like to elaborate that learning over the past 12 weeks has helped me to understand organizational change, its objectives, benefits, necessity and the management of change from different perspectives. The learning from this subject will definitely contribute to my professional career in business administration. The knowledge gained can be incorporated into my future work by realizing and understanding the overall concept and management of organizational change.

I would like to state that the chapter from week 5 (Diagnosis for Change) resonated the most with me and I would like to incorporate this into my future study/work. This chapter helped me to understand the role of diagnostic models including Six-box organizational model, Burke-Litwin model in the organizational change process. It also helped me to understand the direct application of a range of diagnostic instruments relevant to various aspects of the process of managing. The most valuable thing which I learnt from this chapter is that diagnostic tools such as PESTEL framework which are very important in the management of organizational change. The chapter also helped me to learn a number of models and assesses their applicability to various aspects of organizational change. For example, different types of organizational change may require different type of diagnostic model. Therefore, a manager needs to be careful on their applications in practical real-life situations. It was also a good learning experience to understand the benefits and disadvantages and/or limitations of these diagnostic tools in organizational change.

The chapter helped me to understand that these models are useful in contemporary organizational set-up because they make the complexity of a situation where thousands of different things are going on more manageable by reducing that situation to a manageable number of categories. Therefore, these models directly help in the management of change. They also help in identifying different aspects of an organization’s activities are those most needing attention. For example, the technologies may need special attention in a change process. Similarly, they help in highlighting the interconnectedness of various organizational properties (e.g., strategy and structure).

Furthermore, they also help by providing a common language with which to discuss organizational characteristics and also by providing a guide to the sequence of actions to take in a change situation.

Overall, I would like to conclude that studying this subject was a wonderful learning experience and I sincerely hope that I will carry these learning to my future studies and professional career. The diagnosis of change is critical and hence I believe that a chapter on diagnosis of change is the most critical for me.

Reference List

Palmer, I, Dunford, R and Akin, G 2008, Managing organizational change: a multiple perspectives approach, 2nd edn, McGraw-Hill Irwin, New York.

WEEK 11 BLOG: The value of contingency approach to change

September 24, 2009

Palmer et al (2008) suggests that the contingency approaches to change challenge the view that there is one best way to deal with organizational change. It is noted that in the contingency approach to change, the style of change varies, depending upon the scale of the change and the receptivity of organizational members for engaging in the change (Palmer et al, 2008). It is observed that the most popular of contingency approaches to change is Dunphy-Stace model which suggests that the style of change (collaborative, consultative, director or coercive) as well as scale of change (fine-tuning, incremental, modular or corporate transformation) should be matched to the needs of the organization (Oxman and Smith, 2003). For example, if the organization requires immediate changes to sustain in the highly competitive environment, the style of change can be coercive because the changes must be implemented at any cost for the organization’s survival (Tushman and Romanelli, 2005).

Dunphy and Stace (1990) suggest that the style of change any organization chooses should be consistent with the scope of the changes it is planning. For example, relatively minor, superficial changes take less time and can be done participatively, relatively quickly (Oxman and Smith, 2003). However, more radical and profound change will be much more time consuming and difficult (Robbins, 2001). Similarly, the transformational change will require a distinctly different change strategy in order to be successful (Roeber, 2000). In addition, any successful organisation-level changes frequently should have a good fit between the style of change and the depth of change (Tushman and Romanelli, 2005). In the similar context, Dunphy and Stace (1990) and Stace and Dunphy (1994) found that organizations trying to make profound, transformative corporate-level organisational change (i.e. a deep change) were more successful if they used a more directive style of change than if they used a more consultative or collaborative style. Although this may at first seem to fly in the face of what is frequently discussed in terms of empowerment, delegation and teams, it is not incompatible (Stace and Dunphy, 1994). Hitherto, it can be concluded that if an organisation requires profound organisation change, it must be hugely out of alignment with its environment which requires decisive action.

The discussions above clearly leads to the conclusions that contingency approaches to change is more contemporary and demands style of change as well as scale of change  should be matched to the needs of the organization. It concludes that any change brought in the organization must be aligned with its environment in order to bring favour results from the change implementation. Therefore, the value of contingency approaches to change cannot be ignored and if carefully, analysed and implemented, it can ensure successful change implementation.

Reference List

Dunphy, D. and Stace, D. 1990, Under new management, McGraw-Hill, Sydney.

Palmer, I, Dunford, R and Akin, G 2008, Managing organizational change: a multiple perspectives approach, 2nd edn, McGraw-Hill Irwin, New York.

Oxman, JA and Smith, BD 2003, “The limits of structural change”, Sloan Management Review, vol. 45, no. 1, pp. 77-82.

Robbins, S. P. 2001, Organizational Behavior, 9th edn, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.

Roeber, RJC 2000, The Organisation in a Changing Environment, Addison-Wesley, MA.

Stace, D. and Dunphy, D. 1994, Beyond the boundaries, McGraw-Hill, Sydney.

Tushman, M.L. and Romanelli, E. 2005, “Organizational evolution: a metamorphosis model of convergence and reorientation”, Research in Organizational Behavior, vol. 7, no. 2, pp.171-222.

WEEK 9 BLOG: OD approach to change in DuPont Case Study

September 10, 2009

The organizational change is an empirical observation in an organizational entity of variations in shape, quality or state over time (Robbins, 2001), after the deliberate introduction of new ways of thinking, acting and operating (Roeber, 2000). The general aim of organizational change is an adaptation to the environment (Palmer et al, 2008) or an improvement in performance (Tushman and Romanelli, 2005) and the multi-national firm, DuPont is no exception. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture, nutrition, electronics, communications, safety and protection, home and construction, transportation and apparel (DuPont Online, 2009). It is noted that organizational development (OD) approach to change is effectively illustrated within the DuPont case study.

It is noted that organization development (OD) is a long-term planned change effort, involves a consultant, is a system-wide effort and utilizes a repeated process of data collection, diagnosis, action planning, intervention and evaluation (Oxman and Smith, 2003). The similar trend is observed in DuPont where organizational changes are seen as doing the regular business of the enterprise. Similarly, the changes at DuPont are long-term and system-wide with an attempt in improving overall organization effectiveness instead of looking for solutions to specific problems (Palmer et al, 2008). In addition, similar to the organizational development (OD) approach, the change management is not rubric used to either accomplish or explain what was going on when the firm decided to shut down its Orlon manufacturing operations and shifted the plant to China. Similarly, slower, incremental change often associated with a traditional OD (Robbins, 2001) is also seen in DuPont which believes in developing people and continually improve.

Tushman and Romanelli (2005) explains that in the organizational development (OD) approach, the changes are brought into the system not because of the need to address any particular problem but as a result of a firm’s desire to continuously improve. The similar trend in observed in DuPont which do have any planned change initiatives but it system-wide efforts to continuously improve. Similarly, it is noted that instead of contemporary change management model, DuPont is using local, widely used, everyday, and common sense model of work performance. This has helped DuPont to achieve gradual improvements (Tichy, 1999). In addition, the changes are implemented at DuPont as experiments which are tried and watched closely (palmer et al, 2008). The management believes that after a designated time, if the change is not working as hoped, then they stops the change implementation which is very similar to the organizational development (OD) approach (Oxman and Smith, 2003).

The discussions above clearly lead to the conclusions that organizational development (OD) approach to change is effectively illustrated within the DuPont case study. This is primarily due to the fact that DuPont treats change as continuous improvements without any change management interventions. Furthermore, it can be concluded that the changes at DuPont has elements of OD interventions where the changes at DuPont are long-term and system-wide with an attempt in improving overall organization effectiveness instead of looking for solutions to specific problems. However, it can be concluded that this approach seems to be working with DuPont however more contemporary change management approaches may be more appropriate in order to stay competitive in the globalized and highly competitive industry.

Reference List

DuPont Online 2009, ‘learn about DuPont’, accessed on 10th September, 2009, http://www2.dupont.com/Our_Company/en_US/.

Palmer, I, Dunford, R & Akin, G 2008, Managing organizational change: a multiple perspectives approach, 2nd edn, McGraw-Hill Irwin, New York.

Oxman, JA and Smith, BD 2003, “The limits of structural change”, Sloan Management Review, vol. 45, no. 1, pp. 77-82.

Robbins, S. P. 2001, Organizational Behavior, 9th edn, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.

Roeber, RJC 2000, The Organisation in a Changing Environment, Addison-Wesley, MA.

Tichy, NM 1999, “The Growth Imperative” Leader to Leader, vol. 14, pp. 24-29.

Tushman, M.L. and Romanelli, E. 2005, “Organizational evolution: a metamorphosis model of convergence and reorientation”, Research in Organizational Behavior, vol. 7, no. 2, pp.171-222.

WEEK 8 BLOG: Signs of resistance & difficulty in its management

September 2, 2009

The organizational change is an empirical observation in an organizational entity of variations in shape, quality or state over time (Robbins, 2001), after the deliberate introduction of new ways of thinking, acting and operating (Roeber, 2000). The general aim of organizational change is an adaptation to the environment (Palmer et al, 2008) or an improvement in performance (Tushman and Romanelli, 2005). It is noted that resistance to change has long been recognized as a critically important factor that can influence the success or otherwise of an organisational change effort (Roeber, 2000). Research undertaken by Tushman and Romanelli (2005) indicated that one-half to two-thirds of all major corporate change efforts fail and resistance is critically important contributor to that failure. Similarly, Palmer et al (2008) informs that resistance is one of the major impediments to the use of production management techniques by British production managers. Similarly, Robbins (2001) found resistance by management and workers to be the major impediment to the use of quality management practices in Australian manufacturing industry.

It can be argued that there can be different signs of resistance which includes lack of conviction that change is needed, dislike of change and belief that the timing is wrong. It can be argued that dislike of change is the most difficult to manage because people sometimes just refuse to change because they dislike the changes (Roeber, 2000). In an empirical study by Tushman and Romanelli (2005), it was found that dislike to change is most difficult to manage because the people in this case are mentally and physically unprepared for any changes. Hence, the workers who dislike the changes will avoid any changes at any cost (Palmer et al, 2008). The empirical study by Oxman and Smith (2003) on the workers of 25 large manufacturing firms in USA found that dislike to change is the biggest contributor to resistance to change. Oxman and Smith (2003) further found that people who dislike change have the maximum resistance to change. In the similar context, Robbins (2001) suggests that dislike to change may be due to psychological factors in the workers and hence, it makes it more difficult to manage.

Other signs of resistance to change such as lack of conviction that change is needed and belief that the timing is wrong may be managed easily and effectively though change management interventions (Oxman and Smith, 2003). However, it can be concluded that persuading someone to change who dislike change is rather more difficult in comparison to other signs of resistance to change. Based on the discussions above, it can be concluded that dislike of change is the most difficult to manage.

Reference List

Palmer, I, Dunford, R & Akin, G 2008, Managing organizational change: a multiple perspectives approach, 2nd edn, McGraw-Hill Irwin, New York.

Oxman, JA and Smith, BD 2003, “The limits of structural change”, Sloan Management Review, vol. 45, no. 1, pp. 77-82.

Robbins, S. P. 2001, Organizational Behavior, 9th edn, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.

Roeber, RJC 2000, The Organisation in a Changing Environment, Addison-Wesley, MA.

Tichy, NM 1999, “The Growth Imperative” Leader to Leader, vol. 14, pp. 24-29.

Tushman, M.L. and Romanelli, E. 2005, “Organizational evolution: a metamorphosis model of convergence and reorientation”, Research in Organizational Behavior, vol. 7, no. 2, pp.171-222.

WEEK 7 BLOG: Diagnostic tool for identifying issues in Boeing

August 27, 2009

It can be argued that Boeing’s strategy, structure, managerial style, and capabilities, buy-in, and loyalty of employees at all levels can impact on customers (Robbins, 2001). Further, it can be claimed that any change program at Boeing, need to embrace and include both internal customers (staff) and external customers (end customers, former customers, potential customers, suppliers, the financial community, etc.) at planning and implementation stages (Bove et al. 2000). Therefore, Boeing needs to include both internal and external customers at the planning and implementation stages. For example, the staff training and development should be made regular and integrated as the continuous process as per changing demands and expectation of the customers (Tushman and Romanelli, 2005). Therefore, “Seven S” framework can be effectively used to identify issues and need for organizational changes in Boeing. According to Palmer et al (2009) McKinsey & Co. argued that organizational change has seven dimensions, which are: Structure, Strategy, Systems, Style, Staff, Skills and Superordinate Goals. The 7-S framework can help in identifying the issues in Boeing in the following ways:-

  • Strategy – It will identify the plan of action initiated by senior management, the manner in which scarce resources (time, money, staff, facilities, and technology) are allocated on a corporate, business, and functional level (Little and Marandi, 2003);
  • Structure – It will identify the manner in which Boeing’s architecture and its organization chart is defined (Robbins, 2001). This will also include the methods of operation governing jobs and authority, span of control, and operating parameters for staff (Roeber, 2000). It donates the way in which resources and responsibilities are allocated (Little and Marandi, 2003).
  • Systems – It will help to identify Boeing’s processes and reporting mechanisms, particularly information flow (inside and outside of the company) (Robbins, 2001). The mechanisms, procedures and processes by which tasks are completed (Little and Marandi, 2003).
  • Style – It will help to identify Boeing’s culture, or ‘feel’ of the organization and what those inside and outside the organization experience of it on a day-to day basis (Tushman and Romanelli, 2005). This includes how management of Boeing relates to subordinates, staff and customers, organizational culture and how well key staff members lead (Palmer et al, 2009).
  • Staff – It will help to identify Boeing’s categorization of job ‘demographics’ (titles, descriptions, and levels of training) and their ability to contribute to company goals and objectives (Tichy, 1999).
  • Skills – It will help to identify Boeing’s special capabilities (innovative, high-tech, proactive, etc.) and/or key staff (Bove et al. 2000). It refers to corporate strengths and core competencies (Little and Marandi, 2003).
  • Shared Values/Superordinate Goals – It will help to identify Boeing’s set of guiding meanings, directions, and concepts as understood by the organization, its customers and suppliers (Bove et al. 2000). It can also be the basis for the corporate mission or vision (Little and Marandi, 2003). These are overarching goals, beliefs and values of the organization (Little and Marandi, 2003).

Based on the discussions above, it can be concluded that the diagnostic tool, 7-S framework will help to identify issues at Boeing.

Reference List

Bove, L and Johnson, LW 2000, “Customer-service worker relationship model”, International Journal of Service Industry Management, vol. 11, no. 5, pp. 87-99.

Palmer, R. Dunford and G. Akin 2009, Managing Organizational Change: A multiple Perspectives Approach, 2nd edn, Pearson, Sydney.

Robbins, S. P. 2001, Organizational Behavior, 9th edn, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.

Roeber, RJC 2000, The Organisation in a Changing Environment, Addison-Wesley, MA.

Tichy, NM 1999, “The Growth Imperative” Leader to Leader, vol. 14, pp. 24-29.

Tushman, M.L. and Romanelli, E. 2005, “Organizational evolution: a metamorphosis model of convergence and reorientation”, Research in Organizational Behavior, vol. 7, no. 2, pp.171-222.

WEEK 5 BLOG: Impact by reputational or credibility pressures to change

August 6, 2009

It can be emphasized that reputation and credibility pressures can also force a contemporary organization to initiate and implement changes to safeguard its intangible reputations in the marketplace (Tushman and Romanelli, 2005). Robbins et al (2001) further explains that such changes involve organizational ethics/values/practices/actions in order to regain the control over the reputational damage. The similar type of organizational changes are seen in one of the biggest Indian information technology (I.T.) company, namely Satyam Computers whose chairman Ramalinga Raju resigned from Satyam Board and accepted huge fraud in Satyam Books (New York Times, 2009). Satyam Computer Services, a leading Indian outsourcing company that serves more than a third of the Fortune 500 companies, significantly inflated its earnings and assets for years, hence roiling Indian stock markets and throwing the industry into turmoil. It is noted that such development is having a major impact on Satyam’s business with its clients, where a lot of Satyam’s clients migrating to competition like Infosys, TCS and Wipro.

It can be argued that such financial irregularities in Satyam Computers have led to reputation and credibility pressures on the firm, thus leading to massive organizational changes including reshuffling of the senior management team and also selling non-critical assets of the organization (New York Times, 2009). In the latest developments, Tech Mahindra has won the bid for Satyam Computer Services and thus the firm has been sold and whole organization has been restructured to regain its reputation in the markets. Tichy (1999) claims that the companies are under mounting pressure to prove their reliability on everything. However, Satyam Computers have let down its stakeholders and thus required massive organizational changes to safeguard its reputations damage. Due to the financial and accounting fraud by the top management of the firm, people started doubting the firm’s credibility. Regardless, of the reputation damage control and PR initiatives, the firm failed to sustain the marketplace and has been sold to one of its competitors (New York Times, 2009). Hence, it can be concluded that the firm, Satyam Computers failed to avoid or minimize damage to its reputations with the help of limited organizational changes. Eventually, the firm is being sold and restructured with an effort to take the firm to its former glory.

Reference List

New York Times 2009, ‘Satyam Chief Admits Huge Fraud’, accessed on 2nd August 2009, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/08/business/worldbusiness/08satyam.html.

Robbins, S. P. 2001, Organizational Behavior, 9th edn, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.

Roeber, RJC 2000, The Organisation in a Changing Environment, Addison-Wesley, MA.

Tichy, NM 1999, “The Growth Imperative” Leader to Leader, vol. 14, pp. 24-29.

Tushman, M.L. and Romanelli, E. 2005, “Organizational evolution: a metamorphosis model of convergence and reorientation”, Research in Organizational Behavior, vol. 7, no. 2, pp.171-222.

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August 6, 2009

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