The research paper for a professional degree attempts to analyze the typical changes that organizations of today need to manage. Organizational transition is inevitable and was an important issue in the past for the management, and is likely to be an important management issue even in the future. The paper discusses the common types of changes that organizations experience and some effective strategies which company managements implement to overcome those problems.
What happens if an organization fails to adopt an organizational transition? Well, the answer lies in this famous tenet: “The old order changed, yielding place to new.” It’s an obvious answer perhaps. The organization will cease to exist. And that is the reason why the process of managing organizational change is of utmost importance for all companies. Change is inevitable everywhere and it extends to the workplace as well. Even the Darwinian concept of natural selection and mutation in living organisms is related to change. Interestingly, an organization has similar traits to that of a living organism. The most evident trait which both shares are the attempt they make to harmonize with the changing environment. Whereas a living organism harmonizes in a different way, an organization tries to harmonize with its environment by responding to the changes in the economy, markets, governmental policies, social community and even the environment and weather.
First of all, there is the issue of ‘organizational change’ and ‘individual change’. Inherently, both these changes are related. Whereas ‘individual change’ is concerned with the behavior, knowledge, beliefs, aspirations and expectations of an employee, ‘organizational change’ pertains to the collective change in the behavior, knowledge, beliefs, aspirations and expectations of the employees. It is commonly stated that the most important resources in any organization are the employees or human resources (Salancik & Pfeffer, 2003)
There are three primary stages of handling an organizational transition; namely unfreezing, moving and refreezing. Organizations sometimes go through smooth and gradual organizational transitions and certain radical and fast transitions. The smooth transitions are called ‘evolutionary change’ whereas the rapid ones are called ‘revolutionary change’. Research conducted by Scott 2007, indicated that, there is a strong relationship between job performance and job satisfaction. Moreover, forces of transition can be of several kinds. Companies can experience reactive and proactive changes. Changes can be environmental, in which ‘controlling environmental forces’ is the best way of handling an environmental change.
There are several strategies to deal with organizational transition. The ‘adaptive strategy’ is one such strategy which takes a marketing approach to the changing demands of the environment. Some other strategies attempt to solve the problems of change by sensing a change in the internal or external environment and obtaining information about the changes. Service led marketing should form an important part of an organization’s overall marketing strategy (Clegg, & Lawrence, 2006). Another key issue while dealing with organizational transition is ‘external dependence’. An organization will have more stability if it can reduce ‘external dependence’. One of the best methods to reduce external dependence is ‘diversification’. Finding an environmental niche and developing mutual dependence are two additional methods which will further help the organization in avoiding external dependence.
A recent study has demonstrated that teamwork is effective (Scott, 2007). In an effort to improve teamwork, company managers occasionally reinforce new guiding principles and try to maintain an ‘organizational fit’, since without an organizational fit or an organizational compatibility, the organization will continue to be unstable. Teamwork is aided by group based incentives (Poole & Dooley, 2000). Furthermore, organizations have to cope up with the workforce changes or suffer the consequences. Managers play a vital role in creating strategies for effectively solving the problems which arise because of workforce change. Either a management takes the ‘bottoms up’ strategy to deal with organizational change or they resort to ‘tops down’ strategy. There is another approach called ‘contingency approach’ which can effectively handle the changes in the workforce. Pertaining to the employees, changing the knowledge of employees is easy. On the contrary, changing their belief and attitudes towards an organization or a field of work is difficult (Osland, & Turner, 2006). Changing individual attitudes is a continuing process and a change in attitude is dependant on the situation and the nature of change. Furthermore, changing behavior of the employees is even more time-consuming since preferences in behavior are subjective and vary from one organization to the other.
There’s a famous tenet ‘the only constant in the world is change’. Failing to manage change would result in a devastating consequence, which is ‘extinction’. Therefore, a sound knowledge of management is of vital importance for managers of an organization, since having the knowledge of management procedures and strategies helps the management to solve virtually all problems that arise from organizational transition.
Clegg, S. & Lawrence T. (2006). The sage handbook of organization studies. Beverley Hills: Sage Publications.
Osland, J.S. & Turner, M.E. (2006). The organisational behaviour reader Englewood cliffs. New York: Prentice Hall.
Poole M.S. & Dooley, K.(2000). Organizational change and innovation processes: Theory and methods for research. England: Oxford University Press,
Salancik, G. & Pfeffer, J. (2003). The external control of organizations: A resource dependence perspective. Canada: Stanford Business.
Scott, W.R. (2007).Institutions and Organizations: Ideas and Interests. Beverley Hills: Sage Publications.