Change is an organisation is a fundamental reality. In most firms, change is described as the process of shifting to a better position. Since change is a common event in organisations, companies are expected to provide concrete plans to anticipate such occurrences. The vitally of change is evident in the adjustments made by organisations in their goals. There are several elements that contribute to this observation. External and internal changes are usually the classification maintained by organisations. Categorising change according to impact allows firms to use appropriate measures and techniques.In only 3 hours we’ll deliver a custom Change Management Programs and Public Relations essay written 100% from scratch Get help
There are important considerations specified by firms in implementing policies for change. Most of these programmes are studied and deliberated before infused in an organisation. It is imperative for companies to assess the strategy before making adjustments. This will prevent the entities involved from acting differently. The versatility of firms is also a critical aspect when dealing with change. In most instances, organisations that are open to change succeed in the industry. Moreover, the preparation of contingency strategies is also needed when dealing with changes.
Firms that resist change have experienced difficulties in dealing with problems and opportunities. It is important for organisations to understand that change is both inevitable and intrusive. There will come a period in a business cycle when a company has to make radical changes. Change also affects the manner in which the general policies of organisations are made. Success in the current global setup is dependent on how firms manage change
Objectives of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to identify different public relations approaches for change communication strategy. It is important to emphasise on the impact of these strategies in effectively implement internal changes in firms. In achieving this general objective, there are specific goals that need to be discussed. The study attempts to discuss public relation tools as used in firms in transition. The research will also focus on the benefits and drawbacks of these public relations techniques. Moreover, the study will determine the efficacy of these mechanisms in ensuring organisational success during changes.
The following questions will be discussed in the next section of the paper: 1. what are the available communication methods for communicating change programmes to employees; 2. are there media related strategies that can be used to tackle change; 3. what are the risks involved in implementing these strategies for an internal change process; 4. how effective are the strategies identified; 5. are there measurement mechanisms to ascertain the effectiveness of the methods provided; 6. what are the crucial elements needed to form the best strategy for organisations managing change.
It is important to underline the importance of creating a generic strategy that can be used by firms. This is also part of the process that will be expounded in the study. At present, there are several techniques used in handling changes in organisations. Each of these methods has proven strengths and weaknesses. It is imperative for study to determine the right combination of programmes that will allow firms to make smooth transition.
Background of the Study
The process of change is anticipated through processes, technology, and statutory policy. Change is managed through planned programmes and proven strategies. In most firms, change management is pursued to ensure that the employees will make the necessary adjustments. Effective change is a regarded as a challenging ordeal for most organisations. The idea of altering what has proven to be successful complicates the situation. Some firms fail to change because their systems work. Other organisations are just ill-equipped to handle any form of change.Academic experts
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There are several methods in which change management is implemented. But the most critical step is for firms to understand the individuals involved in the change. In addition, the organisational change theory has to be the basis for all process and mechanisms. When a change is being implemented in a company, the most affected entities are the employees. Their adjustment is also critical in ensuring that changes are realised. Personnel reaction to change is viewed as the crucial part of the process. All the efforts that were devoted prior to the implementation will be wasted.
Firms change because of various reasons. Most companies cite cost reduction as the most influential catalyst to change. In a workplace for instance, retrenchments will have great impact on the remaining employees. Change in the organisational culture also affects the employees. This is true in most firms that have maintained a tradition but needs to change because of necessity. Firms need to change because it is necessary to survive.
Aside from the employees, the management of firms are expected to facilitate transitions. In a nutshell, the management is tasked to determine the changes in the environment. These movements are either happening outside or within the firm. Anticipation of changing events allows the management to plan for strategies. The management needs to be the first to recognise that change is inevitable. Part of the process involves assessment of employee behaviour. Even before admission to the company, employees are required to provide answers to some psychological queries.
The second phase involves evaluation of employee reaction to the change is programmes. There has to be a flow in which personnel are informed before the change in implemented. The management has the capacity to devise this information dissemination. Firms usually gather their employees to discuss these changes. Some companies ensure that change is part of the entire system. The management has to provide an avenue where free discussion of change is done. In this manner, the employees involved in the change will have the opportunity to provide some insights and valuable suggestions.
Organisational learning is also part of pushing for change. Part of the goals of firms is to learn the methods of building lasting relationships with personnel. It was observed that the most viable source of competitive advantage is the learning that the employees obtain. Learning is being used as mechanism to deliver competitiveness in organisations. Learning enables employees to closely relate with the customers. This strategy becomes the basis for identity that all firms try to establish in competitive markets.
The skills gained by the employees through learning are an advantage that is seemingly impossible to imitate. Because of this exclusive advantage, firms are enabled to offer superior value of products and services. Superior technology and sound operational processes are considered as prime sources of competitive advantage. Most observers, however, argue that information and knowledge acquired by the employees is more important. The production of excellent products and services still wrests in the hands of the employees.
Learning is noticeable in organisations where the climate allows individuals to develop their potential. In addition, learning is extended to significant stakeholders such as customers and suppliers. Moreover, learning is carried out easily through planning and its emphasis on the overall business policy. Learning becomes more meaningful when an organisation continuously undergoes positive transformation. There has to be a balance in the use of human resources development to facilitate development and the effective use of these learning activities.15% OFF Get your very first custom-written academic paper with 15% off Get discount
All entities involved in the company needs to make a choice regarding the impending changes. There are differences in views as to how these changes will be tackled. Moreover, there are groups that exist within firms that have similar perception on change. Understanding the behaviour of these groups is a good first step. Most important, the groups’ ability to react positively when changes happen needs to be ascertained. In the process of change, there has to be focus on the behaviour of the personnel involved. This is critical in evaluation the success and failures of change programs.
There have been several change programmes introduced to firms. Most of these are entrenched processes and alterations. Some of the change processes are technical. There are other methods that focus on the psychological and emotional state of employees. But programmes involving public relations have yet to gain mainstream discussion. Public relations remain concentrated on external change that affects the firms. The role of public relations is to maintain the image of a firm. The public outside the company is needs to be provided with the good that is promoted by the firm.
The accurate definition of public relations is vague. But the function of public relations in an organisation is definite. PR is a function that connects with the firm with the public. There are firms that believe in PR as tool that is capable of improving performance. In addition, PR is also used in dealing with internal issues. Firms use PR to connect with its employees and announce company developments. Moreover, PR is implemented within organisations to maintain the reputation of the company as perceived by the workforce.
PR has an established following and is learned through rigorous training. Like other professionals, there are groups of PR experts working to perfect their craft. In UK, for example, PR practitioners have established the UK Chartered Institute for Public Relations. The goal of the organisation is to maintain the competency of the PR profession. The institution is also taking solid steps towards improving the scope of PR in most organisations. Programmes and enhancements are implemented by the organisation to further improve the capacity of PR to make a difference.
Significance of the Study
This study was conducted to emphasise on the transformation of PR as a tool to administer organisational change. PR has been viewed as an image building mechanisms for firms. But its importance within the organisation has been provided with less recognition. The value of PR in a firm goes beyond channelling reputation to the public. PR needs to be accorded with an expanded role within organisations. The most important addition to that role is using PR in making changes.
Organisational change is normal in a firm. The effect of these changes is observed within the organisation. Observers contend that changes are more viewed in the general structure of firms. But it is hard to ignore the impact of these changes to the employees. The workforce is tasked to implement the processes in companies. Hence changes are mostly evident in the performance and behaviour of employees. Instead of concentrating on the holistic company performance, the focus shifts to the soldiers in the field. This study will illustrate the value of employees when changes occur.
Another important element of this study is its attempt to measure the efficacy of these change programmes. These strategies are integrated with PR. The measure will be manifested using appropriate approaches. After measuring the benefits and drawbacks of change programmes, a general strategy will be devised. The study will focus on the most used change programmes. These are time tested and developed through scientific measures. This study will also serve as blueprint to further studies concerning PR and organisational change.Get your customised and 100% plagiarism-free paper on any subject done for only $16.00 $11/page Let us help you
Rationale of the Study
There are several theories that support the role of PR in the process of change organisation. Process Oriented Psychology creates a picture that describes human relationships. The process involves shifting of roles to transform existing organisational systems. There are also schemes that eliminate assumptions from a conversation. This method is designed to extract ideas from the group. Firms are also concerned with the integration of change in the current networks and systems. Appreciative Inquiry insists that change is simultaneous to the existence of organisations.
Schematic programmes on change is common is large organisations. Firms conduct scenario planning to create an avenue that allows management and personnel to evaluate future changes. This is done in reference to the current position where the organisation stands. There are also firms that value the future of the company instead of the past. Most change programs based on this assumption are dynamic. These theories are important in crafting the ideal change mechanisms using PR.
There are also psychological justifications for the conduct of this research. When change occurs, the most affect part of the human body is the brain. In addition, it is the psychological state that guides future behaviour of employees when changes occur. It is important to inject psychological elements in the study. This will provide a holistic perspective regarding the role of PR in promoting change in an organisation. Moreover, there are several psychological theories that support some processes discussed in succeeding sections.
Review of Related Literature
This chapter will tackle on the various literatures that will serve as guide throughout the discussions. The chapter highlights relevant literatures that are both directly and indirectly influential to the subject discussed. This chapter will assess the extent of research that has been conducted related to topic. The scope covered by the subject suggests that several explanations were documented before the research came to the period of conception. Moreover, this chapter links the gathered information to the justifications made in subsequent stages of the study. Furthermore, the chapter serves as support to claims and conclusions that will be stated after the discussions.
Change management is often perceived as negative both within and outside an organisation. Aside from the internal challenges to deal with, management is posed with other obstacles and problems that need to be addressed properly in order to provide a successful public relations campaign.
Public Relations or PR, as Bates (2006) insist is a professional endeavour which is the management function of external communication of an organisation to create and maintain positive image. Public relations involve announcement and popularising of successes, downplaying failures, or announcing of changes through varied methods and techniques. The publics plays a major role in the process as it decides the success of public relations campaigns. It constitutes customers, investors, employees, suppliers, legislators, competitors, government officials and the so-called influential individuals or groups (bates, 2006).
Public relations according to Random House Dictionary is the art, technique, or profession of promoting goodwill between an organization or an individual, employees, customers, and the public in general. The American Heritage Dictionary defined public relations as, “the art or science of establishing and promoting a favourable relationship with the public,” (Cutlip, Center and Broom, 1994). Many public relations firms provide this service mainly by promoting favourable news about an organisation. The public relations professional develop programs and craft messages to create favourable support for the goals of the organisation they represent within the context of prevailing public opinion, laws, politics, as well as societal norms of the country or countries in which they work (bates, 2006).
It is believed that the term public relations was first used by the US president Thomas Jefferson during his address to Congress in 1807 (Boorstin, 1972). Edward Bernays defined, “Public Relations is a management function which tabulates public attitudes, defines the policies, procedures and interest of an organization followed by executing a program of action to earn public understanding and acceptance,” (1972).
According to Heath (2005), Public Relations currently encompass a set of management, supervisory, and technical functions fostering the organization’s ability to strategically listen to, appreciate, as well as respond to the community or individuals whose mutually beneficial relationships with the organization are necessary in order to achieve its missions and values. It is a necessary management function focused on two-way communication that fosters mutually beneficial relationships between an organization and its publics.
The industry today evaluates a product or individual’s public perception through market research, situation analysis and pervading images that is expressed openly or otherwise by the public. Data about image and perception on a product, service, or organisation are collected, then challenges are identified before solutions are presented in a campaign strategy to meet goals and objectives. It is widely acknowledged that techniques may vary from campaign to campaign.
There are standard tools used provided by either an internal or external department or agency that most often include press releases, press kits, media information, satellite feeds, pod casts, web casts, wire service distribution of information, publishing of information materials, internet placement through blogging, forum posting, discussion groups and community feeds. Others forms of tools include entertainment product placement in television, radio shows, events, celebrity endorsements, product launches, press conferences, media seminars, production events, speech writing, establishing partnerships and community relationships, and collaboration with other organisations’ or individuals’ related or current campaigns (Cutlip, 1999).
The key objectives are gaining significant, positive news and feature coverage in the print, broadcast, and now, internet media.
Public relations is compared against advertising and marketing as “soft sell” than “hard sell.” The emphasis is information and persuasion as opposed to packaging and paid media, diplomacy against force, and subtlety is more acceptable despite outside view as “propaganda” or “spin” (Bates, 2006).
Public relations professionals may be viewed negatively as corporate servants but reality is that almost any organization that has a stake in how it is portrayed in the public arena needs at least one PR manager or coordinator. It is suggested that larger firms or organizations as well as individuals have dedicated communications departments. It is a given that government agencies, trade associations, political groups, and other non-profit or peoples’ organizations commonly carry out PR activities (Cutlip, 1999).
Professional public relations is acknowledged to have been misused from time to time, but its historical achievements suggest a much deeper and abiding respect for as well as adherence to openness and honesty in communication (Bates, 2006).
To make public relations effective, careful planning for an organization is necessary. It is developed and polished over time to communicate a message that coincides with organizational goals. At most, it is lined to benefit mutual interests as much as possible for both organisation and target public (Ewen, 1996).
The evolution of communication process in industry consolidation has allowed many organizations and individuals create their own public relations department. But “boutique” firms have emerged as against “global” communications firms who cater to various clients with wider targets now gaining momentum with organisations and individuals. The smaller boutique firms specialize in only a couple of practice areas and offering a greater understanding of their client’s business. They usually deal with limited and certain journalists with greater frequency so that these specialty firms often have stronger media contacts in the areas that matter most to their clients. In addition, smaller specialty firms provide a more personal attention and accountability, as well as cost savings making them more popular today (Seitel, 2006).
Some organizations that cater to specialized or “boutique” practices are found to use traditional PR techniques but devote most of their efforts towards gaining exposure, such as broadcast and cable television news outlets. Print media downsizing across the globe due to the impact of Internet has provided television an important role in establishing customer acquisition. Many reputable firms provide customised stories for broadcast which appear on certain talk shows, while other public relation firms create “spin” that is often slanted stories to serve their client’s interest and purpose (Seitel, 2006).
The methods, tools, and tactics used in public relations and publicity are not always the same although many PR campaign include provisions for publicity. It is to be understood that publicity is the dissemination of information to various media and information outlets in order to gain public awareness for a product, person, service, cause or organization. This is seen as a result of effective PR planning. In planning, one fundamental technique used is identifying the target audience. This way, a customised or tailored message that is expected to appeal to that audience is created and provided to the media. Some messages or information in the form of news, feature or trivia articles can be addressed to the general, nationwide or worldwide audience. Nevertheless, a certain slant or spin often targets a certain segment of the population. While researchers and marketers refer to economy-driven “demographics” or audience, the public relations firms’ audience is more fluid and it could be anybody it wants to reach (Cutlip, 1999).
In addition to the organisation and the audiences are the stakeholders or the people who have a “stake” in a given issue. The interests of differing audiences and stakeholders in a given PR campaign affect the creation of several distinct but still complementary information sets or messages. This may be a challenge as one spokesperson or client may provide some information to one audience that angers another audience or group of stakeholders, or conflict with other information that has been issued by the same group (Tye, 2002).
Likewise, there also exists third parties for certain public relations activities such as lobby groups. They are said to be established to influence community views, government policy, corporate policy, or public opinion in general. While some of these groups claim to represent a particular interest, there are also groups that have varied, or even hidden purpose and support base it is known as a front group (Tye, 2002).
In public relations, “spin” is usually a creation of news or public relations information with a slant or biased portrayal in favour of an event, situation, individual or organisation. Traditional public relations most often use and present creative presentation of the facts in contrast with the perceived “spin” which insiders or those in-the-know may find to imply disingenuous, deceptive, or highly manipulative information or tactics. The techniques used in this process vary:
- selective presentation of facts and quotes to support a position (also called cherry picking),
- the “non-denial denial” technique which is the phrasing of words or presentation of sentences in a way that assumes unproven truths
- use of euphemisms to draw attention away from certain issues considered distasteful
- ambiguity in public statements for the sake of providing an answer to an issue
- careful timing in the release of certain information or news to take advantage of popular or current events in the news (Seitel, 2006).
Other known ways and forms of public relations include:
- “Publicity events, pseudo-events, photo ops or publicity stunts
- The talk show circuit. A PR spokesperson (or his/her client) “does the circuit” by being interviewed on television and radio talk shows with audiences that the client wishes to reach.
- Books and other writings
- After a PR practitioner has been working in the field for a while, he or she accumulates a list of contacts in the media and elsewhere in the public affairs sphere. This “Rolodex” becomes a prized asset, and job announcements sometimes even ask for candidates with an existing Rolodex, especially those in the media relations area of PR.
- Direct communication (carrying messages directly to constituents, rather than through the mass media) with, e.g., newsletters – in print and e-letters.
- Collateral literature, traditionally in print and now predominantly as web sites.
- Speeches to constituent groups and professional organizations; receptions; seminars, and other events; personal appearances,” (Wikipedia, 2008).
Language management is very important and crucial in public relations. An organization can use a fitting phrase in relation to an issue during interviews or news releases and if found sound, the news media will often repeat it verbatim, without questioning the aptness of the phrase.
There are several empirical evidences that point to the extensive use of learning is organisations. In a study conducted by Tucker, Nembhard, and Edmonson (2006) the process of organisational learning is better approached by creating project teams. Normally, individuals become more receptive of the changes and become more cooperative in the learning process. Also, project teams have the capacity to get over barriers that resist change. In addition, it was emphasised in the study that the knowledge transfer becomes more successful when the source is highly reputable (Klein, et al., 2001)
Another research conducted by Badger, Chaston, and Sadler-Smith (2001) suggested empirically, that organisational learning provides positive effects in small firms. In particular, small firms enhance the management of knowledge that is relevant to the operations. Also, learning enables small firms to be equipped with the capacity to manifest changes, for instance, technology transfers. The study specifically underlined the need for small firms to continuously invest on promoting learning within the organisation and ensure that effective processes are being implemented.
Teo, et al. (2004) conducted a study on the impact of learning in guiding employees towards successful adjustments in complex technology situations. Based on empirical evidences, the learning approach used by firms can assist the employees to adjust in complex situations. Most important, the study discussed the extent of organisational learning manifested in firms. Accordingly, the learning capacity affects the performance of companies.
The development of organisation learning has created several models. Chen (2005) introduced a systemised method to promote organisational learning. Basically, the system has adapted some conventional models developed by several theorists. The system emphasises on the continuous process of gaining knowledge and incorporating the information in the operations using management tools. Moreover the system is designed to ensure that the learning initiatives are flexible enough to adjust with the uncertain changes in the environment. Finally, the system focuses on maximising the dimensions that make learning processes function with efficiency.
The process in which learning organisations evolve has been linked with technological changes. According to Tahir (2004), using electronic learning can serve as investment for organisations. It is imperative to identify the role of electronic learning In the initiatives of organisations to gather, disseminate, share, and store knowledge. Since learning requires training, using electronic mechanisms appear to be logical. Aside from the effectiveness, electronic learning has been viewed to be cost-effective. All these aspects are crucial in brining success to organisations.
Since learning covers all organisations, it is interesting to explore on the use of learning in education. Empirical evidence suggests that learning is an important contributor in the success of educational institutions (Bauman, 2005). Researches and studies conducted by different entities have been critical in the success of schools. In particular, educational organisations have been pacing their process of gaining knowledge to meet their goals.
Friedman (2002) suggests five approaches in the organisational learning process that closely resemble some the models discussed in the previous section. Initially, an individual recognises a discrepancy or any form of contradiction between the current situation and the standard by which the individuals assess performance. In this process, Friedman adds some supplemental specificity about the kind of concrete experience that produces learning. The next approach involves individuals engaging in a process of inquiry and data collection to make sense of the mismatch. This requires recognition of underlying circumstances relative to the situation.
After performing the initial approaches, proposals and ideas are devised to create a change. The change has to be accepted by the entities that will manifest the action planned. Moreover, the individual has to ensure that the ideas have to be undertaken. This is the climatic step that will lead to the final stage of the process. The organisation recognises the learning and inserts it in the organisational process. Once an organisation is successful in inserting new learning into its organisational schemes, new capacities for learning are enhanced and become available for the organisation (Thomas, 2002).
Among the global issues, globalisation is regarded as an impact maker in organisations. Le, Collins, and Egmon (2002) studied on the effect of globalisation in practising organisational learning. Based on the findings, globalisation has the capacity to distort the learning process. The study underlined the importance of analysing the current global market situations to decrease the tendency of learning distortions.
Soft Systems Methodology
The idea of Soft System Methodology (SSM) has been introduced by Checkland (1981) to deal with situations that pertain to social, political, and human activity component. The thing that separates SSM from other methodologies is its inclination to problems that are non-technical in nature. Despite its systematic nature, SSM is perceived to be inapplicable in the real world. A decision to treat a part of the real world as a system for problem-solving purposes has to be made consciously with transparency.
Malcolm (2004) explained that SSM is most used in responding to symptoms when the underlying problem is not yet understood. Once the problems have been explored in this way, these can contribute to a SWOT analysis. Following the process outlined in this article will help analyse the different needs of various players in the environment. Its strength in this application is its holistic view of the business systems, helping to ensure that convincing effects of a change are recognised and accommodated. The methodology provides firms with different dimensions in addressing the problems that stall future growth and development.
Checkland and Holwell (1998) have mentioned that SSM recognises the complex environment in which human systems operate. Instead searching for the one optimal solution or end-state, SSM value other solutions that are deemed as effective and efficient. Such notion is highly dependent of the judgment of the solution and on the definition of a desirable system that can accommodate the needs of multiple stakeholders. In essence, it creates several satisfying alternatives. SSM is acknowledges the reality of changes and how these modifications affect effective measures.
SSM directly addresses several difficulties and needs of sustainability planning, beginning with its treatment of the individuals and perceptions in systems. A key concept in SSM is that it takes an interpretative perspective on human systems. It has been stated that social reality is the ever-changing outcome of the social process in which human beings continually negotiate with others their perceptions and interpretations of the outside world (Maede, 2002).
Couprie et al (2006) has reported on the use of SSM based on its seven stages. Wilson (2001) provided a comprehensive approach to the seven stages of SSM in a particular firm related situation. First, the firm has to identify the problem and understand the elements that revolve around the stated predicament. It is important that the company will absorb the experiences of being part of the problem. The problem has to be expressed using “Rich Pictures” as bases.
Checkland and Scholes (1990) defined rich pictures representation of the problem situation, typically in the form of an abstract drawing, that describes the structure, processes and issues of the system that are relevant to the problem definition. It attempts to provide a complete picture of actual activities rather than reducing problems to their component parts.
The third stage deals with the development of root definition, which is the participant-defined perception of the system functions, its rationale, and the desired results and outputs of the system. The fourth stage requires the construction of the conceptual model that identifies goals of the system. It ascertains the activities in the systems and the intention of such endeavours. (Forbes, 1995) In the fifth stage, the conceptual model is compared with the real-world system to underline possible areas where changes are needed. This conceptual model will identify where problems and deficiencies exist between what is happening and what is desirable as defined by the models.
The sixth changes to address the disconnects’ or gaps between the conceptual model and the real world as identified in stage 5 are introduced and evaluated for feasibility. Finally, in stage 7 of the SSM, recommendations for change are implemented. These changes result in a modification of the problem situation. This is important to ensure that the system is maintained. It is critical for the organisation to provide concrete changes. Then these modifications are channelled to the employees. The method has to follow the previous approaches identified in the system.
The challenges in the corporate world have paved the way for the implementation of democracy in workplaces. As Novak (1982) pointed out, reinforcing the corporate structures with some sense of democracy will result to fluidity. Basically, industrial democracy pictures an organisation that is allowed to freely determine its needs and maximise the potentials provided by the market. Most important, industrial democracy promotes risks minimisation and the production of goods and services where the prices in the market are determine by the provider (Ackoff, 1994).
In most firms, democracy is fuelled by the management initiatives. Drucker (1992) explained that the management as institutionalised in firms have shifted the focus on propagating knowledge and depending on professionals to facilitate the process. The principle that all individuals employed in a firm has to be accorded with rights to run the company. In this event the workers can elect the directors and managers, and control all decisions taken. The actual direction of a firm can be by managers appointed by its owners, but workers can be consulted about decisions. This is usually manifested through work councils elected by the employees, or through their trade unions.
Industrial democracy appears to target the entire essence of organisation existence. Employee involvement particularly targets a specific aspect in employee participation. Although both concepts targets outcomes that shows improvements, it has to be noted that employee participation is useless without industrial democracy. In essence, industrial democracy has to be completely implemented with its fundamental goals determined. Unless the organisation decides to allow processes to run without constraints, then it is unlikely that employee involvement will occur.
Industrial democracy captures the need of organisations to provide their trust on knowledge and personnel to achieve success. Employee participation, however, focuses on ensuring that the personnel perform beyond organisation expectations. Holistically, employee involvement is one of the vital components that are needed to be present once organisations decide to push for industrial democracy (Hodson, 1996).
Participation of employees in all aspects is a vital right. For most organisations such privilege has been accorded given the different stipulations. The expanded role of HRM because of the developments has made it the ultimate communicator to the employees. HRM personnel are in-charge on providing the information that the employees need before participating in decision-making process.
The concept of employee involvement is rooted to the desire of organisations to allow the employees to participate in the decision-making processes. This involves providing inputs relative to the discussed matters and ensures that their opinions will be considered in framing courses of actions. According Cole (1989) firms that have valued the idea of employee involvement has realised improvement in quality of production.
Employee involvement has viewed as an effective mechanisms used to address issues within organisations. It has been viewed that allowing employees to be more involved in organisational process reduces the negative tendencies and boosts relationships. Osterman (1994) noted that several companies have been devoting resources to push for the development of the concept. The primary scheme used to manifest employee involvement is to provide programs that enhance performance based on relationships and psychological needs.
According to Konrad (2006), power is an essential element is creating involvement among employees. Power, as discussed is referred to as the capacity of the employees to make decisions. Also, power allocates responsibilities to employees and improves their accountability over accomplishing given tasks. Because HRM is an independent department, it can designate employees to perform roles that provide inputs useful in making critical decisions that will affect the performance of the organisation.
Vital information regarding companies is kept among higher ups and key stakeholders. Usually, the employees are deprived to have access on such data that will show the performance of the companies. The task of HRM is to orient the employees with the current corporate trends and illustrate the need to improve based on the presented information.
Employee empowerment is an important entity of involvement. The years when employees were relegated as mere minor stakeholders are slowly dissolving. Interestingly, HRM also becomes a powerful mainstay because of its capacities. HRM practitioners will definitely argue that the employees deserve to be credited and suitable reward for their hard work is the chance to be a part of the decision-making process.
The Role of Leadership
Using the term manager became ubiquitous when ownership was extended to different individuals and institutions. Also the creation legal business firms allowed the creation of managers for planning, supervising, and controlling tasks in organisations. The current environment treats management as the scheme in administering various business levels. The sphere of management has widened with the development of relevant techniques and theories used for efficiency and effectiveness.
Management is separate and distinct from leadership. Although some theorists maintain that leadership is part of the entire managerial function. Koontz and Weihrich (1998) stated that the managerial function of leading deals with the schemes of influencing the employees to work productively to achieve the goals of the organisation. On other hand, Byars (1987) consider leadership as a higher form of management. A leader has the capacity to affect the manner in which the employees act and provide opinions; whereas, managers only affect the actions and decisions of the employees.
Bjerke (1999) maintains that it dangerous for the company to be led and managed by incapable individuals. Excessive leadership and management has some adverse effects. It is imperative for organisations to ensure that the leaders and managers work in moderation. Successful firms have illustrated the ideal combination of solid management and clever leadership. Managers tend to focus on process; leaders are inclined to concentrate on imaginative ideas. Leaders dream up ideas and stimulate and drive other people to work hard and create reality out of ideas. One such leader had the chance to sell a revolutionary product he had invented to a large, established company. Instead of selling to this formidable competitor, the entrepreneur decided to ignore the advice of business consultants and continue with his own company.
The consultants believed that instituting management processes would be too costly, time-consuming, and difficult for the entrepreneur. Avoid the risks of a competitive battle with a world-class corporation that has an infrastructure in place and is ready to do battle rather than give up market share to a newcomer. The consultants overstated the importance of process and underestimated the effects of the driving vision of the leader on key subordinates. The company remained independent and produced enormous wealth for the entrepreneur, his associates, and investors (Zaleznik, 1989).
Managerial goals are passive, deeply embedded in the structure of the organisation. In contrast to entrepreneurial or individual leadership goals that actively shapes ideas and tastes. Instead of boldly adopting technical innovation or taking risks to test new ideas, managers survey constituents’ needs and build their actions on anticipated responses.
Leaders avoid direct confrontation and solutions that could stir up strong feelings of support or opposition. The ideal of managers is to make decisions that fall in the range of subjects that individuals feel personally unaffected (Finn, 1987). It is essential for firms to understand that leadership and managerial tasks do overlap and provide similarities. The difference in the two concepts has to be clarified to all organisation entities.
Total Quality Management
Total quality management is defined as a management approach that suggests participation of all entities in the decision making process. TQM emphasises on satisfying consumers using competitive pricing schemes (Colman, 2001). Juran (1969), Ishikawa (1985), and Deming (1993) contended that the main purpose of firms is to stay in the industry with goals that seek to improve customer satisfaction through useful products and services. Companies have to secure continuous growth within organisations and the development of the individuals involved in realising the aims of the organisations. Theoretical support and quality performance have further improved the use of TQM among firms working for competitiveness.
TQM as developed assumes concepts that are existent in organisations. Juran (1969) explained that the cost of low quality products is greater than the cost of developing the products into high quality commodities. Using traditional gauges of performance, it is indeed more advantageous to spend and ensure high quality than to limit production expenses and produce sub-par products. Deming (1993) further expounded the importance of TQM in evolving organisations into competitive players in the long run. Such aspect of TQM has motivated several organisations to extensively promote quality as the cornerstone of operations.
The second assumption of TQM revolves around the willingness of the employees to actively participate in aiming quality production. Accordingly, it is presupposed the workers with the proper tools and guidance normally seek to produce quality products. Ishikawa (1985) stated that organisations have to eliminate policies that produce fear and implement regulations that merit employee performance.
The founders of TQM contend that the circumstances within firms and in the external environments are highly interdependent. Still, it is highly possible that all parts will overlap given certain situations. For instance, employees who are in-charge of the overall design of products have to consider challenges in the manufacturing processes to better address quality. Juran (1969) and Deming (1993) suggest that the cross functional issues are addressed as a whole. On the other hand, Ishikawa (1985) maintains that allowing each component to have individual goals and direction will be more beneficial.
The final assumption is placed on the top management is all companies. Normally, the elite in firms are the ones responsible for the creation and design of operational processes. Therefore, the commitment to value quality has to start from the efforts being shown by the executives. Deming (1993) maintained that the employees mirror the effect of the systems made by the executives. Demanding quality from the workers starts with the formulation of policies that promote quality.
Aside from the assumptions, there are basic principles that revolve around the concept of TQM. First, organisations have to observe the processes within the firms. Clearly, Juran (1974) describes the processes as the determinant of product quality. Eventually, the superiority of products against the competition is decided by the procedures developed. Second, organisations have to critically understand the variables that are uncontrolled by the processes. It is imperative for firms to gather information and analyse these situations. Third, Ishikawa (1985) values the systematic determination of problems and procedural development of solutions to the aspects that affect quality. Finally, improvement has to be continuous and the improvements instilled in the processes have to be learning experiences (Deming, 1986).
Business Process Reengineering
Nutt (1992) characterised the tendency of change to be planned or unplanned. Planned change is equated with control and schemes. Unplanned change, however, goes with the shift of variable that act within and outside organisations. The aspect of change is perceived as temporary that responds as situations necessitates immediate transformations. Stalk (1998) described change as an instrument of strategy. It was added that change is implemented by the initiatives of the workforce.
Business process reengineering (BPR) is a management method that analyses the aspects of business including its interactions. Primarily, BPR works to improve the efficiency of prevailing systems used by businesses. It has been described as radical because at some point companies totally remove non-performing activities. Essentially, there are several stages that needs to be completed making BPR procedurally approached. BPR highlights the manifestation of radical changes to dramatically reinvent different aspects of the firms. It is important to obtain fundamental results in the different indicators of performance to ensure that BRP is completed (Guha et al., 1993).
From a given design and process, BPR seeks to inject essential upgrades to instantly turning the tables for the firm. The impact that BPR provides changes the entire perspective of organisations including their philosophy (Hammer and Champy, 1993). According to Davenport (1993), BPR encompasses the framing of innovative working strategies. It touches the different aspects including the complex issues that make organisations effective. The focus of BPR is on the core components of the firm and underlines the imperative activities that provide immediate results.
BPR is embedded on the notion that firms need to change. Despite the success that most companies have been experience, the room for improvement is still wide. Both concepts value the mentality of firms to keep on changing when opportunities come. Moreover, BPR is geared towards the realisation of effective and efficient processes. These are fundamental goals that both methods seek to accomplish. Moreover, BPR was created to improve the relationship of firms with customers. The idea is to use both concepts in driving competitiveness to improve customer satisfaction.
Johansson et al. (1993) stated that BPR is considered as a notch higher than TQM. BPR concentrates on the core concepts that improve business process. This is different to the goals of TQM, which is geared towards quality in all aspects of the organisation. Another important difference that needs to be discussed is that TQM promotes continuous and gradual improvements. BPR, on the other hand, is motivated by the idea that immediate and radical changes are more valuable in the long-run.
Whole Person Systematic Approach
The Model describes some skills that have to be entrenched to employees when changes occur. The model maintains that there are some aspects that are more important that flexibility to change (Dooley, 1998). Firms are challenged to implement the model by level of importance. The innermost core of the model talks about inner mastery. This part of the model illustrates the skills exhibited by employees in chaotic situations. Most leaders in organisations are known to have mastered their inner skills. The development of the mind is considered as the most effective training vehicle for inner mastery.
The goal of employees in this process is to have a deep self connection. This will allow the employees to connect with their peers. Mindfulness is crucial in dealing with changes. Having a grasp of the inner mind will allow employees to make smooth transition. Employees who have mastered their inner skills are also known to have controlled their violent behaviours. The employees can manage their tempers even at worst conditions. Moreover, it is important for employees to be in touch with reality.
The second core of the model deals with skilful speaking and listening. This part of the model details the communication capabilities that employees have. The most common trait exhibited in this model is the personnel’s ability to make comprehensive requests and accountability to their actions. When change occurs, employees need to communicate their perceptions. When the discussion encounters problems, then the superior conversationalists will come into the picture to mediate the situation.
When this skill is fully developed, employees become more committed to speaking and listening. Changes are easily delivered because employees will listen first and speak later. There is transparency in terms of discussing the effects of such change. To achieve this level, it is important for firms to conduct leadership conversations. Some of the tools also used include dialogues and action research. The other elements to reach this level promote installation of core values and creation of behavioural inquiry. Each of the mentioned tools is as important as the others.
The third component of the model details the skills needed to efficiently implement group discussions. The end goal of the process is to arrive at concrete decisions. Most firms have adopted this skill as part of the training provided to their personnel. The results of this skill building include milestones, strategic planning and reinforcement of employee confidence. There are several vehicles used to meet this skill. The instruments include group practices, group facilitation, building of divergent and convergent processes, and formation of group tool aimed at managing breakdowns.
The outermost layer of the model deals with the restructuring of models related to catalysts of change. There are basic techniques improved to meet the demands of organisations. Because this layer is basic, it is expected that employees are oriented with effective work processes, emphasis to change, peer learning, and customer-centric views. In this process, basic skills building is implemented. It is also important to accept the business process and provide systems techniques for design and implementation.
The stages of change, as derived from the study of Booth-Butterfield (1996) start with pre-contemplation. In this stage the supposed change has yet to gain the awareness of involved entities. Contemplation is a stage shows that the employees are aware of the change. But the focus of the personnel is on different concerns. Then, the employees are prepared for the implementation of changes. In addition, the employees are tasked to perform the modification and provided with maintenance programmes.
Prochaska, et al (2001) devised a process that prepares involved entities to change. The cycle starts with the raising of consciousness among the employees. In addition, employees are given with proper tools to handle the change. This is more than just compliments but actual benefits in the growth of the personnel. Moreover, employees are given opportunities to let go of their emotional contentions. This is usually done when the change starts to take effect within an organisation. The employees are then subjected to further evaluation. This is more of a comparison of behaviour before and after the change.
Since the problems are identified, the management needs to eliminate stressful components of change. It means that negative stimuli stalling good behaviour will be removed. The company also needs to emphasise on the commitment of the employees to change. This is like a renewed assurance to accept change. The last phase of the process involves finding the proper behaviour for expected changes. This also includes the elimination of bad behaviours that ware observed.
Schein (1999) created a model that describes change. This method was called cognitive definition. The first stage involved motivation to change. This process is more of a self-evaluation that employees need to determine. The stage includes acceptance that previous actions failed. The second part of the model asserts changes in needed areas. Most firms are concerned about the extensive resources which will be devoted for the activity. But the benefits of this initiative will alter the cost. It is critical for the organisation to balance the threat from negative behaviours and the desire of entities to make change.
In manifesting change, it is important to identify a strong vision for the desired goals. Formal training is important in areas where employees are proven as inefficient. There has to be personal control in the process of learning. In addition, the training modules have to be focused on the group concerned. Firms have to pool quality training resources for the employees. Moreover, the leaders in the organisation have to step up. It is important that a support group is established to maintain performance. Most important, rewards have to be provided for personnel who are successful in making the change.
Schein (1999) further emphasised on implementing permanent changes. This stage is considered as the maintenance phase. The end product of this process includes creation of new identity for the organisation. The behaviours established in the process will serve as strong foundation for future changes. There is a possibility that new behaviours will evolve. These are important is strengthening interpersonal relationships. Firms that successfully undergo the process can address change handily.
Formula for Change
The Formula for Change or Gleicher’s formula was coined after Richard Beckhard and Davud Gleicher. The formula was designed to evaluate the capacity of programs to implement organisational change (Beckhard, 1969). The formula also maintains that change has to happen in three reasons. First, there is evident dissatisfaction regarding the status of an organisation. It is also important to have concrete vision on the future results. Firms have to identify feasible actions to implement the vision. One important note that needs to be maintained is that the product of the three reasons is greater than resistance.
When resistance is lower than the mentioned justification, then there needs to be change. It is also important to understand that the absence of any of three components will make resistance higher. For instance, dissatisfaction alone will not merit for change. The company needs to provide the value of change and the manner in which this value is achieved. There are notions stating that resistance also mean the cost of change. This definition is harder to overcome. Even when change is required, firms have to check their coffers and weigh the financial sacrifices.
Strategic thinking is critical in implementing change. The vision is crucial in defining the future actions for change. Moreover, firms have to recognise the existing dissatisfaction within the organisation. This can be done by consulting the entities involved with the firms. Suggestions on how to make the shift are important inputs for the companies. There are certain mathematical processes included to accommodate change with monetary considerations.
Integrating Public Relations and Change Management
This portion of the chapter will try to provide as much information about change management, internal conflict and its impact on public relations in order to allow an overview as well as provided with insights to improve strategies in launching effective public relations campaigns.
The management and organisation of a firm’s external communications spawned significant changes where the two external communications of marketing and public relations or corporate affairs become significant area of consideration. The practical reasons for integrating and closely aligning marketing communications and public relations provide a richer knowledge base and focus on the capabilities of practitioners. Likewise, techniques as discussed earlier can be cross-fertilised wile there is room to coordinate various communication vehicles and tools to send out consistent messages about the organisation (Gronstedt, 1996).
Heath suggested that:
“Some companies and other organisations are well-known for their ability to conduct a truly integrated communication campaign designed to get the message across even though it is tailored to various stakeholders. Not only is the matter one of providing a coherent and consistent message that fosters an understanding of the company as its management and employees want it to be understood, but it also means that key audiences are addressed in terms of the stake each of them holds with regard to the organisation.” (1994, p 55)
Within organisations thrive rumours that potentially damage the management and structure although rumours are considered by employees to be major source of information about their company (Foehrenbach and Rosenberg, 1983). Cornelissen and Thorpe (2001) suggested that organisational departments involved in a company’s external communication programmes are correlated with such internal environmental conditions. It is therefore necessary to streamline a consistent image and consciousness within the organisation for more credible and effective public relations programmes.
DiFonzo et al (1994) suggested that rumours become rampant during organisational change. In fact, they pre-empt formal announcements of management, predict the nature of change such as direction in which change may be heading or such as in merger, and even allege dire consequences for employees such as laying off. There is also the noted speed of rumours so that the popular business press is filled with mergers, layoffs and CEO appointments and resignations information (Cringely, 2001).
Bordia et al (2006) suggested that rumours are an essential element of the collective informal sense-making process to improve management of organisational communications. It also allows a deeper understanding of the deep structures underlying employee collective behavior in response to turbulent work environments (Heracleus and Barrett, 2001). They are organisational and verbal symbols that describe an aspect of an organisation, serve as energy control that channel and effect motivation, and provide system maintenance for direction and meaning to organisational existence (Bordia et al, 2006). It provides useful insights to dominant concerns of anxiety among staffs that need proper action and management for a better and consistent projection of positive organisational image.
As Carroll (1989) suggested, there is a widespread belief in the management world that the future of a company today depends much on how it is viewed by key publics such as shareholders and investors, customers and consumers, employees and members of the community which the company resides. A careful integration of the concerns that make up this view makes management concerns include the internal issues.
Companies need to exert effort in portraying themselves as ethical organisations as well as differentiate themselves in a more socially and democratically ruled market. The “belief in the sanctity of ‘I sell, you buy’ is simplistic and ignores the new reality of today’s business climate. No organisation can survive while ignoring the impact of social, political, technical and economic changes on its relationships,” (Broom, Lauzen and Tucker (991, p 220).
In here, there is the necessity of integration. Integration, as defined by Duncan and Moriarty (1997) is a cross-functional coordination that enables a greater interaction across communication disciplines — advertising, issues management investor relations, media relations among or direct marketing — as well as the consolidation of sets of communication disciplines into departments. In turn, this will strengthen interrelations amongst the various disciplines as well as enable the corporate communications functions to play a critical and more focused role in strategic management.
The following diagram illustrates the organisational relationships between departments as suggested by Cornelissen and Thorpe (2001):
Cornelissen and Thorpe (2001) suggested that internal environmental conditions determine the organisational relationship between communication departments while organisational relationship between departments relate to the dynamism of a company’s external environment.
The Impact and Importance of Public Relations
Since the focus f this research is public relations and its role on change management, this paper will limit focus on public relations functions, importance and outcomes.
Arthur Page, writer and editor for World’s Work Magazine was offered work as AT&T vice president of public relations in 1927 but he accepted the job with premises, amongst his philosophy that, “All business in a democratic country begins with public permission and exists by public approval. If that be true, it follows that business should be cheerfully willing to tell the public what its policies are, what it is doing, and what it hopes to do. This seems practically a duty,” (quoted by Bates, 2006, p 14). Likewise, Page also enumerated the five principles of corporate public relations:
- That management should analyse its overall relation to the public
- Create a system for informing all employees about the company’s general policies and practices
- Provide contact employees the knowledge needed to be reasonable and polite to the public
- Create a system that draw employee and public questions back up through the organisation management
- Ensure frankness in telling the public about the company’s actions (Seitel, 1997).
This provided basis for many practitioners in years to come. As Woodward (2003) suggested, there is a need for a practical-critical approach to communication and that critical analysis should have practical consequences, specifically to extend participation and to introduce innovative forms of communication. Planning and action process models in public relations using practical-critical positions develop a reconstructive revision of existing, instrumental models. In this process, focus is on “variabilities and contingencies in communication, temporal sequencing of cooperative activity, conditions of uncertainty that are part of pursuing a shared focus through joint activity, and the interdependent relations among material, symbolic, and relational dimensions of process planning and action,” (p 411).
Functions of public relations, according to observers have changed from functional perspective to a cocreational one. As a functional perspective, it perceives the public and communication as tools or means to achieve organisational ends focussing on techniques and production of strategic organisational messages. As such, the major relationship of interest is between the public relations firm or practitioner and the media with corresponding emphasis on journalistic techniques or production skills. This way, concern is on business-oriented topics of advertising, marketing and media relations.
Research focus is on the use of public relations as an instrument to accomplish organisational goals and relationships are only secondary, if existing at all (Botan and Taylor, 2004). Likewise, information subsidy, media relations, agenda setting and persuasion are included.
In cocreational perspective, there is focus on communication as a meaning-making process where the public is seen as cocreators. There exist shared meanings, interpretations, and goals. The focus is on relationships amongst publics and organisations so that research is utilised to advance understanding and sharing of values of approaches and community (Botan and Taylor, 2004). The publics became partners and no longer instrumentalised.
Other considerations in public relations for change management is the life cycle of an issue as this does not spring into full-blown life of its own from nowhere. Practitioners consider the life cycle of an issue crucial in order to form a strategic campaigns such as those use in applied communications (Crable and Vibbert, 1985). The stages of this life cycle that follows are suggested to be defined by specific publics and how many different publics decide to attach importance to an issue:
- Preissue is the stage during scanning of environment by practitioners where they keep track of the social trends that are “detectable changes which precede issues,” (Jones and Chase, 1979, p 11) of which the publics have not yet attached significance, but there is high probability that there could be. Rumours and image perceptions are the preissues that may confront change management.
- Potential issue is when certain groups or important individuals attach significance to a preissue, in change management, persistent rumours within and outside the organisation. Potential and imminent stages fall into this stage when an issue is not yet broadly known. At this stage, strategic options are open. At this stage, the organisation may consider its imminence and thus, a need to start planning to address them (Crable and Vibbert, 1985).
- Public issues occur once the public such as the consumer or regulatory, or even advocacy groups endorse a potential issue, thus, generating legitimacy in the eyes of others and influence mass publics. Botan and Taylor (2004) acknowledge that, “the usual route for an issue to attain public status is through media exposure,” thus meeting someone’s definition of news worthiness, specifically, a reporter or an editor who has professionally judged importance to warrant a media coverage. Once the issue makes the news, a legitimacy is conferred in the minds of the mass public. At this instance, strategic options are said to be diminishing quickly. In fact, public exposure creates instances where a lot throws in their stake and will not risk to be perceived as loser. While negotiation and compromise may be difficult, these involve careful, scripted language to make it appear that all parties involved are winners. It is to be noted, however that an issue may become public through conversations within the community, door-to-door and mediated campaigns, direct mail campaigns, petition drives, and even demonstrations, pickets or protests, amongst other communication methods.
- Critical issues is the stage when issues “are at a moment of decision” (Crable and Vibbert, 1985, p 6) or that the issue is ready for resolution in the minds of the public. Failure to move to some kind of resolution may be interpreted as suspect behaviour. Often, the critical stage offer little time or room for negotiation. Pubic relations at this instance is in a crucial position to iron and act out what is best for both stakeholders, the public and the organisation. Either a resolution is demanded by the public or stakeholders, or that the crisis would serve as a turning point for an organisation (Botan and Taylor, 2004).
- Dormant issues are either resolved or simply fade although not necessarily go away. It may return to preissue or potential stages and that it needs monitoring and response development. It s then suggested that any resolution to an issue must be considered temporary.
This discussion on issue management is closely linked to applied communication for the presence of the publics and the role of communication in building relationships with them. This is of utmost importance in organisations of changing management. Issues management allows individuals, organisations and the media to adopt roles in social and political matters involving the detection of a problem, the attachment of significance to an issue, as well as in organising activities that may influence the issue. In early detection of a problem allows management programs to provide answers and that it will be enabled to organise activities for research and analysis, response development, as well as communication strategies (Botan and Taylor, 2004).
Issues management is relevant for organisation interested in shaping societal or political situations and is a valid approach to social and political issues as any organisation or group may use it.
Cornellisen and Thrope (2001) provided an insight in research with regards organisations’ internal communications as follows:
In identifying the internal communication process within the organisation, we are presented the underlying information dependence, domain, similarities, connectedness, sharing, goals and formalities that exist. Through this, organisations may proceed to integrating internal to its external communications thereby providing the publics a coherent image.
Identifying communication processes within the organisation help rein in internal problems, allow the organisation research and analysis of techniques to employ in addressing internal issues, facilitate development, as well a fully integrate a whole image to the their publics. In this process, change management in an organisation applies public relations within as well as outside its
In this section, research methods to be used in the study will be presented and discussed. The research methodology serves as the backbone of the study. Primarily the research methodology will serve as guide in providing a sound frame to the study. The methodology will comprehensively discuss the research philosophy, research approach, research strategy, and the methods of data gathering including all mechanisms involved. It is necessary to view these aspects in both technical and theoretical sense. The success of the study greatly depends on the manner in which all procedure is carried. An established methodology enhances the credibility and accuracy of the results obtained from the analysis of data.
Easterby-Smith et al. (1997) identify three reasons that lead to the exploration of research philosophy. These accordingly play significant roles is guiding the entire research methodology. First, establishing the research philosophy can aid the researcher in refining and specifying the research methods to be used in a study. This is actually essentially in defining the overall strategy to be used in the research. Second, the research philosophy enables and assists the researcher in evaluating different methodologies and methods. This is undertaken to avoid inappropriate use of instruments and unnecessary procedures through the identification of the limitations.
The ideal research philosophy in this study has to grasp on all dimensions of reality pertaining to the subject. Although specific areas have to be thoroughly discussed, it is highly beneficial to determine the impact of all aspects that are related with the subject. The researcher becomes an objective analyst, providing detached interpretations about those data that have been collected in an apparently value-free manner. In addition, the emphasis is on a highly structured methodology to facilitate replication and on quantifiable observations that lend themselves to statistical analysis. In this process, the assumption is that the researcher is independent and will never be affected by the subject and in the same manner never affect the subject. (Saunders et al. 2003).
This study will approach data gathering using the multi-method strategy that includes both qualitative and quantitative approaches. The quantitative approach pursues facts and is employed when researchers desire to acquire statistical truth; while the qualitative approach recognizes the focal importance of the researchers’ viewpoint and is used when researchers want to observe in detail their own research viewpoint. According to Gall, Gall, and Borg (2003), asserts that qualitative research assumes that individuals construct reality in the form of meanings and interpretations, and that these constructions tend to be transitory and situational.
As the objectives of the research suggest, the study information retrieved will be analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively. Schurink (1998) defined quantitative research as a paradigm based on positivism which takes scientific explanation to be nomothetic. Its main aims are to objectively measure the social world, to test hypotheses and to predict and control human behaviour. Hara (1995) identified quantitative research is an endless pursuit for facts with the desire to obtain statistical trends. Smith (1983) described the use of quantitative research as the best manner of finding exact facts. The goal of the method of research is to gain universal value. This universal value remains applicable regardless of changes in time, events, places, and circumstances.
Solutes (1990) indicated that using the quantitative research approach is aimed at the objective determination of facts. Popkewitz (1984) added that quantitative research is value free and the use of statistical tools reduces the ambiguities and contradictions that are expected as the research progresses. Van der Linde (2001) maintained that the quantitative methodology and its requirements almost became the only accepted methodology even to the level of an ideology.
In some discussions it often seems as if statistics and hypothesis testing dictated the research process than the research problem and the phenomenon being researched. Such an approach quite often led to the quantification of man. Respondents, thus, becomes mere numbers. Research appeared to become equivalent to a mechanical implementation of a measurement instrument and statistical testing. Consequently, the question arises whether it is acceptable to equate statistical significant results to a substantial contribution to the body of scientific results.
Although the qualitative method is extensively is academic researches, several changes and modifications has made the method highly flexible. This means that the approach is applicable to many other situations because of its objectivity and being value-free. This means that any subjectivities and value judgments on the part of the researcher are separated from the research. The other advantages of qualitative research include: the method is universal; it consists of axiomatic principles that considers theory to be value-free; and mathematical statistical analysis reduces ambiguities and contradictions, making the research possible to be generalized (Popkewitz 1984).
As for the qualitative research approach, one of the major benefits is that it highlights the researcher’s viewpoint in the research process as well as on its results. Moreover, the qualitative research approach can explain the psychological dimensions of human beings which are impossible to represent numerically in the quantitative approach. Another benefit of the qualitative research approach is that the research can be expressed comprehensively through verbal analysis of human behaviour.
The qualitative research approach is limited by its nature that the researcher controls the research. This means that the approach emphasizes the researcher’s decision in both the research design and the analysis of the data. Thus, interpretation of data is influenced by the researcher’s perception (Eisner and Penshkin 1990).
No single research method is inherently superior to any other all methods have their relative advantages and disadvantages. Instead of clashing one approach against another, it is more fruitful to follow a strategy of integrating these methods. The primary benefit is that using such approach results to pluralism which can occur in an integrative way. This closes the gap between the quantitative and the qualitative approaches. A variety of research methods can be combined within this approach, where, for instance, researchers may collect both qualitative and quantitative data from the same participants to provide different perspectives on the study’s research questions.
The research is a multi-stage study that involves several procedures that will allow the research to fully grasp the demands of the study. The second stage is related with the development of a framework that serves as the guide in the conduct of the research. The framework, illustrates both the dependent and independent variables are that present in the study. The dependent variable pertains to the results of the study attributed to the information. The independent variables are the data gathered by the researcher. The data needed comes from primary literatures and other forms of relevant documentation.
The most effective source that can aid the researcher is the library. In this sense, however, library pertains to the source of recorded information and documented findings. Definitely, providing these form of data will improve the analysis which will conducted in the next stage of the research. Indeed, there are several; kinds of data that the researcher can use. Based on the requirements of the research, the research will focus on two basic sources of information.
Secondary data will be collected from books, journals, articles and other valued documents. Library research is traditional and the use of internet instruments is often suggested. Usually, the internet provides unlimited information regarding the subject being studied. Data gathering is critical because the bulk of the discussions will be based on the information extracted. Without the sufficient information, it will be difficult to produce quality results and formulate accurate conclusions. Secondary information is also vital and serves as the support for the primary data. Secondary data are taken in the same manner as primary information is extracted.
There are a plethora of secondary data sources. The researcher will start wide, and will go through the task of identifying and analysing information that has already been compiled and published in any form. The research aims to secure the necessary information and to implement the required methods in conducting studies. There are observations that the schemes of research are patterned after other successful studies. The effectiveness of those researches will make the entire process successful. The availability of the information is critical in the entire research process.
Although information is readily available, the gathered data will be checked accordingly using various criteria. Some information appears to be useful, but lacks the proper documentation and credibility. In that circumstance, the gathered data is removed from the study. The completeness of information has to be stressed. Despite the barriers to research, there are several avenues that can be used to make all necessary information present in the table before the study is conducted.
Most of the secondary data will come from the following journals: International Business Review, International Journal of Business Studies, International Journal of the Economics of Business, International Journal of the Economics of Business, and Research in International Business and Finance. Journal articles that discuss and examine organisational change and public relations will be highlighted. Online database, such as Proquest, Science Direct Elsevier Science Journal, Emerald Journals, Expanded Academic ASAP, and Questia will be consulted for materials and references.
Method of Analysis
The general idea of the research is to provide peer review on some literature provided by previous researches. In this approach, there are several techniques that will be used. The research will compare and contrast programmes that will be included. The review will focus on the salient points being promoted by the programmes. In addition, the review will contain some important views included in the study. The review will also include the provision of empirical evidences.
In the previous chapter, there were assumptions listed for references. The succeeding analyses will also include measures for organisational change programs. The researcher will identify the common requirements for programmes to succeed. The criteria established will serve as guide in facilitating the discussion section of the study. Although there are several measures of success, the research has identified seven of the most prominent. The details of these measures will be explained in the next chapter.
Aside from the criteria, the selection of programmes will be based on the literature provided. Programmes that are vastly covered in the sources stated will be selected. In addition, the appropriateness of the programmes in the topic will be considered. Strategies for organisational change can be general and specific. The research attempts to balance the distribution for both forms of techniques. Among the various change programmes, eight were determined as helpful to the goals of the study. The discussion will be purely based on the coverage of these ascertained strategies.
The study will also include scoring of programmes according to the criterion given. Each method will be assessed with a specific criterion being the guide. For instance, Organisation learning will be scored based on its cost-efficiency. The highest score provided to a programme is 5. The lowest score is 1. The scores of each programme will be added. Since there are seven criterions, the maximum total score for a programme is 35. The lowest possible score for a programme using this metrics is 7.
Scope and Limitations
The coverage of this study is focused on change in organisation. Since organisational change is broad concept the research will filter it and concentrate on change programmes. These programmes are preferred by most existing firms today. In addition, the study will integrate public relations are facilitator in implementing programmes. Public relations as used in the research’s context are similar to the strategy used by firms. The discussion, however, is limited to the review of these programmes. But there are scoring metrics provided to infuse essence in this endeavour. The limited information of PR in organisation change is established. It is critical for the study dwell on the data provided to prevent other aspects from being discussed.
Results and Discussion
This segment of the paper details the results after gathering literature related to the topic. The discussion involves evaluation of various change programmes identified in the previous chapters. In addition, public relations will be integrated in these programmes are enhancement. This chapter also involves figures to provide a different perspective to the change programmes described. It is imperative for the discussion to answer the questions that were provided as guide for the study.
There were several programmes provided in the study. Each of these tools has benefits and drawbacks. To further expound on the feasibility of these techniques, criteria is provided to grade the systems. There were seven element identified which are critical in the success of these programmes. The first criterion provided is measurability. This is ascertained through the tangible results obtained from the use of the change programmes. The programmes are also assessed through their cost-effectiveness. Firms value change techniques that require minimal cost.
Another criterion identified is the flexibility of the programme. This pertains to the capacity of the programmes to be changed when necessary. Timeliness is also a valuable element that needs to be included. The period in which the tools translate into results is vital to organisations. The systemic identity of methods ensures that processes are available. Procedures are important because the employees have to be oriented to change in a schematic manner.
The ability of these programmes to merge with employees is vital. Firms emphasise on personnel based programmes when dealing with change. The last criterion included is the programmes’ contingency. This pertains to the capacity of tools to provide alternatives when failures are detected. The programmes are scored according each criterion given. The highest score given to a programme per criterion is 5 and the lowest score is 1. The scoring will be made on the assumption that the change programmes will be implemented in a company.
The tangible benefits derived from the programme are critical for firms. Examples of results include increase in production and better use of time when at work. The grades indicate that there are three programmes that obtained a score of 4. TQM, BPR, and FFC had the highest scores among programmes identified. This can be explained by the mathematical equations involved with these tools. These programmes appear to be more quantifiable because these use figures. Organisation learning (OL), however, got the lowest score. Since learning is a general thought, this low score can be justified.
Some programmes are proven as costly to firms. Most organisations do maintain strict budgets even when change is necessary. The results illustrate the cost-effectiveness of short-change programmes. These are change methods that are implemented over a short period of time. SSM, WPSA, and TTM got the highest score in this criterion. These programmes are more focused on a firm segment unlike other programmes that are concerned with holistic change. This view explains the low score given to TQM. It is a management system that is applicable in all processes implemented by firms. When change occurs, TQM is implemented across all company segments.
When change occurs, there is no assurance that it will happen at one point. There is a possibility that change will still happen even when a change tool has been implemented. Among all programmes given, OL is the most flexible. It is general and undertaken in various phases of the business cycle. Moreover, OL is a framework based tool that is subject to revisions and enhancements. On the other hand, TQM appears to be the most permanent. TQM is built through systems that are only altered when the results are achieved.
Firms value the ability of change programmes to produce instant results. The timeliness of these methods is measured through the production of benefits. In general, majority of the programmes provided showed capacity to provide immediate results. But the standout programme in this criterion is BPR. As stated in the previous chapter, BPR was devised to provide quick change in a firm. TQM, however, was last in terms of timeliness. Companies that use TQM can confirm that the programme is suitable for long-term results.
The schematic arrangement of programmes allows firms to make better implementations. Change methods that have no order will likely cause more changes. It is critical for firms to create change programmes that defines stages and specifies phases. The best programmes in this part are TQM and TTM. Both programmes are based on systematic approaches. TQM is general while TTM is specific. Among the methods, OL was provided with the low grade. OL is highly dependent to necessity such that structures are only built when requirements are identified by the firm.
As the study has identified, this is the utmost priority of firms. The tools that will be installed needs to conform to the needs of the employees. Moreover, the programmes have to connect effectively with the personnel. As the results suggest, most of the programmes identified were sensitive to employees. This is important because change is influential to employee performance. FFC, TTM, WPSA, and OL are the most concerned with employees. These are programmes that place personnel at the focal point. On the other hand, BPR and TQM are more concerned with all the entities in organisations.
The failure of the programme during the course of change is highly probable. There are no certainties when it comes to change management. Based on the results, it is clear that majority of the programmes to be improved in terms of having future options when failures occur. The emergence of OL is expected because it is composed of general learning frameworks. Once inability is detected, firms have more freedom to change these learning systems. Focused programmes such as WPSA have to be enhanced. Firms that have programs with multiple alternatives tend to be successful in dealing with change.
Public Relations Integration
In the first chapter, one of the questions raised was the media available for these programmes to be implemented. To provide an answer to this query, the study will integrate PR with the programmes discussed earlier. There are two important aspects that will be included in the discussion. First, the manner in which PR is included in the programmes. Second, the impact of integrating PR with these systems will also be discussed. It is important to clarify that leadership is also a component of PR. Hence leadership will be part of the elements when PR is being assessed.
The most common form of OL is the creation of groups to tackle change issues within the company. This method allows employees to be at their comfortable crowd. The integration PR is done by appointing facilitators for the group. When discussions are in progress, the facilitator will serve as the information provider. The facilitator will narrate the changes that need to happen and the ways in which the employees can adjust. Moreover, the facilitator will deliver the points of the employees to the management.
The presence of a PR personnel acting as facilitator is critical in OL. There has to be knowledgeable individual who will provide the employees the facts. In addition, the PR person serves as an assurance that the employees will be heard. The existence of a PR facilitator also helps the company build its image to employees. When changes occur, there are instance when employees doubt the intentions of the management.
Soft System Methodology
The role of PR in SSM is specific and defined. There are two stages in the programme where PR is highly applicable. First, PR can be used in presenting the changes to the employees. Some personnel are unwelcome when it comes to making adjustments. But PR can be used as tool in making the change appear effortless. In addition, PR can be used to explain to the employees why the company needs to make a change. PR is expected to connect the employees to the actual portion where change is implemented.
The ability of PR to present negative news to positive undertakings is crucial. Perhaps this is twisting the facts involved. On the contrary, the PR initiatives will simply create an optimistic environment amidst change. Moreover, the presence of PR personnel will allow the employees to make easy transition. This is important in the stages where the course of actions is being outlined. PR is an able compliment to SSM
The technical definition of TQM excludes PR from the equation. But TQM can still be revised to make PR an influential component. In the previous programmes, PR initiatives are prominent in the start. In TQM, however, PR will come in the latter stages. As defined, TQM functions in systematic phases. The end parts consist of trainings to employees. The role of TQM in this stage is simple. PR personnel need to create a picture that will allow employees to understand the necessity of their training. Instead of being a requirement for change, the training is designed for professional improvement.
The impact of PR in this programme is summed up in different ways. PR is important because it will motivate employees to train. The presence of PR personnel is needed to ensure that the training schemes are of top-notch quality. Moreover, PR is necessary in building the character of employees. TQM ensures that employees will become a vital cog in sustaining competitive advantage. This part of the training needs to be emphasised through PR programmes.
Like TQM, the integration of PR initiatives in BPR is moderate to minimal. But the role of PR in BPR needs to be emphasised. Among all the programmes determined, BPR provides the most immediate results. This means that employees become aware of their performance during the change process in a short amount time. PR comes into the picture after the initial results of the scheme are obtained. The role of BPR is to motivate employees to do more when their performance is sub par.
Sustaining the positive results gained from the programme is a challenge to PR personnel. Since change is a continuous process, employees have to be constantly motivated. The integration of PR in BPR is not as comprehensive. The coverage of PR in the BPR process is limited but the impact can determine the success of the company in managing change.
WPSA is composed of 4 segments. The first part deals with basic learning and skills integration. PR is important in this stage as employees have to be informed of the importance of change. The second part talks about group discussions. Like in OL, PR personnel will serve as the facilitator in the discussions. In the third part, employees are required to undergo speaking and listening activities. PR personnel will act as the outlet for employees to speak and listen effectively. The last core of the programme certifies expertise among employees. In this stage PR personnel play minimal roles.
Except for the final phase, PR plays as prominent role is WPSA. Since most of the activities require human interaction, PR will be prominently discussed. PR initiatives are important in building bonds between the management and employees. The PR personnel representing the management have to connect with the workforce. The exchange of ideas between two parties is important in tackling changes in the organisation.
The model in developing change awareness among employees is being handled by the human resources team. Aside from the HR group, PR personnel have to be involved in some critical parts. Mind conditioning can result to both positive and negative effects among employees. The role of PR is this process is to eliminate the negative effects. This can be done by creating an image of change that is beneficial to the employees. It is also important to highlight the positive impact of change as foundation for mind conditioning
The awareness of employees to change shapes their behaviour. PR acts as the image builder of change. There are employees who view change as hindrance to growth. This attitude is observed in companies where most personnel are used to their environment and tasks. It is important for PR to transform this negative perception to motivational. Change needs to be described as an event that will provide better opportunities to employees.
As discussed in previous programmes, the role of PR in TTM is threefold. The first task is to inform the employees about the need to make changes. The changes have to be viewed as positive in the future of employees. The next task requires PR personnel to motivate employees during the process of change. As the organisation evolves, PR has to mould the employees according to the vision crafted. The final task that needs to be manifested by PR is the sustenance of good behaviour. The positive attitude towards change needs to be maintained.
The value of PR in this programme is evident. In some of the programmes provided, PR was given limited role. The task of PR personnel was specific and focused at identified aspects. TTM, however, provides an avenue for PR tools to be more entrenched. Since TTM is primarily a behaviour building programme, then PR is allowed to play dynamic tasks. It is clear that the framers of TTM recognised the value of motivation and persuasion in building behaviour. Even in technical aspects, PR needs to establish its existence.
Formula for Change
FFC is an equation that attempts to quantify the necessity for change in an organisation. The formula serves as guide to calculate circumstances that make change urgent. Although there are branches in organisations designed to tackle dissatisfaction, PR can assume this role. For example, firm has been noting decline in sales figures. Instead of pressuring employees to perform, PR personnel can present such need in an optimistic tone. In addition, PR tools can illustrate the plans for change in a manner appreciated by the employees. Most important, PR has the capacity to limit forms of resistance. PR is vast enough to tackle even monetary hindrances.
Through the use of PR initiatives, employees become aware of the demands of competition. The least action that personnel need is pressure. There has to be emphasis on urgency to perform. But employees have to be placed in the centre of the process instead of being part of the supporting cast. Although FFC is mathematical, it crosses several elements that are nearly impossible to quantify. The presence of PR will allow firms to maintain the concentration of figures without creating confusion in the workforce.
Firms have to recognise the risks involved in each programme when merged with PR initiatives. Since change is dynamic, it is imperative for firms to contingency measures when the programmes fail to meet expected results. In OL for instance, there are some negative effects when PR is significantly involved. Learning has to be depicted according to facts. There are instances when PR becomes subjective in favour of firms. When learning is founded on perceptions employees are bound to make excuses than justifications.
TQM and BPR are systematic and scientific. In addition, both processes are driven by the concept of quality. Moreover, the entities in these schemes act independently. There are PR tools, however, that focuses on creating ties within process. With PR in the picture, the possibility of linking these processes is high. When this happens, each stage of development becomes more dependent to other phases. It deviates from the idea of TQM and BPR that connections are established when quality results are confirmed.
Another risk that needs to be addressed is related to PR existence in the process chain. In most organisations, segments have specific task to perform. The welfare of employees in organisations is under human resources. PR is part of the marketing team that firms have. There are instances when overlapping of tasks in observed. In these situations, one department has to push the other segment out of the scheme. It is vital to have coordination between and among firm departments. It is hard to channel to employees the importance of change when management teams are stiff on such idea.
The most important risk that needs to be considered is that PR is dependent of trends and common practices. Some PR experts maintain the dynamics of tools used for public relations. There are PR practitioners who are firm in their use of established PR tools. But changes in the organisation also require changes in PR schemes. This is an important adjustment that PR personnel need to make. There are situations when the PR tools preferred are not necessarily the best practice. It is important to note that circumstances and nature of change defines the PR tools.
Mode of Evaluation
There are several methods of evaluation that can be used to ascertain the effectiveness of the programmes. Since PR is involved in the process, it is imperative for the PR team to provide evaluation systems. Measurable criteria will be provided to guide the evaluation system. The measures include tangible results and quantitative analyses. Firms have to establish frameworks to monitor the progress of entities involved in the change program. The HR and PR teams need to cooperate to further improve results. The concentration of the teams involves the behaviour exhibited by employees in the process of organisational shifts. Proper documentation is necessary to support any claims made after the evaluation process.
The second part of the evaluation process involves interviews and surveys with employees as respondents. The goal of this scheme is to gain the insights of the workforce regarding change programmes. There are two parts that comprise this method. First, a random number of employees will be determined for the survey. It is imperative that all segments of the organisation are provided with a representative. The other half of the process involves interviews with employees. This is done after tangible results are obtained. It is expected that different segments will have varying interview process because of results.
Since the process of change has phases, it is important that each stage is assessed before moving to the next part. Micro evaluation is tedious but appears to be necessary. There are some firms that consider this process as costly. This method, however, ensures that all spots are checked. Detailed evaluation is important in determining areas that have to be changed. As discussed earlier, the unpredictable nature of businesses requires firms to create systems that are open for revisions. Even in times of change, organisations have to explore instead of being particular with one programme.
The final phase of the evaluation is a crucial move. This method considers comparison of firm results to competitors and other organisations. Benchmarking results is important. Some organisations, however, treat benchmarking as an optional endeavour. Benchmarking provides industry trends and best practices. The role of PR is this method is limited. But it has to be clarified that PR’s role is as critical as the responsibilities of other business departments. Information obtained outside of the firm is important in framing future change programs.
Ideal Organisational Change Program
A change programme is important because it guides all entities through organisational shifts. It has to be noted that PR is the actual element that has significant place in these schemes. Change programmes have to provide measurable results. It is hard to gauge the success of the programme without any valid evidence. Outcomes such as positive behaviours and optimistic outlooks are prime examples. Numbers can also be integrated with the results of the programmes.
Strategies for change have to require minimal costs. Enhancements such as trainings have to be developed within. Cost is a primary consideration when implementing change programmes. It was discussed is one programme that cost will prevent firms from pursuing change. But firms can still venture into high cost programmes when better results are assured. Moreover, change programmes have to be revisable. This means that PR initiatives can handily work even with the strategies’ technical aspects. Firms have to ensure that PR will serve as a supplement instead of hindrance to the programme.
There are strategies used by firms that have no structures. Most of these methods fail because there is lack in schematic processes. A structured programme is needed by organisations. Structures allow firms to determine possible loopholes. Most important the schemes will show areas where good results are obtained and areas where improvements have to me made. Aside from the scheme, programmes have to provide results within target periods. Most firms postpone change strategies because of delays. Because the impact of change is critical, the programmes have to provide immediate results.
Employee focused strategy is an utmost priority for organisations. When firms undergo series of changes, the most affected entities are the employees. It is critical for organisations to include the needs of their workers during the process of change. The manner in which the workers adjust to the programmes will determine success. In addition, firma have to be prepared when these programmes fail to meet the established standards. Having alternatives ready for replacement is a helpful strategy. It will allow continuity in the change process and ensure sustained inflow of results.
PR has to be involved in most of the processes. The participation PR personnel in briefing employees about the change are important. The role of PR is the change process has to be established from the start. It is also vital for PR to define its purpose and ensure ability to change. The evolution of organisations is highly dependent on systems that work within. But the lack of communication among units in firms causes failures in meeting the demands of change. It is expected that PR will serve as the glue that will make this units work as one.
Changes in organisations are planned or unplanned. In both situations firms have to undergo process of adjustments. Firms have to respond to trends in the market. Hence change is imperative to maintain firms’ competitive edge. When internal changes are implemented, companies have existing systems to facilitate the shift. These systematic programmes designed to ensure positive transition. Aside from the conventional schemes there are other methods used to improve the results.
The integration of public relations in change programmes is imperative. This notion is driven by observations that employees are the most affected entities when changes occur. The technical use of PR is to build the positive image of the organisation. But this function is more focused on entities outside the company sphere. Applying the concepts of PR in change management provides crucial benefits. Part of the task of PR during periods of change includes motivation and sustenance of strong performance. PR also provides support to the HR team in handling workforce behaviour.
There are change programmes that are flexible enough for PR elements to penetrate. These programmes are specifically designed to track employee behaviour during phases of change. But there are programmes that limit the efficiency of PR initiatives. Programmes that focus on the entire organisation instead of the employees are hard to integrate. Organisations, on the other hand, have the capacity to be creative in merging these ideas. This is the most important role that organisations have to play when changes occur.
There are two forms of programmes that firms can use in managing the change within. The first group consist of systems that are designed to facilitate the entire firms. This means that systems are intertwined among employees, facilities and processes. The second group of programmes are more focused on the employees. These are specific strategies created to prepare the workforce when change is inevitable. Most systems are systematic and are sensitive to the requirements of the employees.
Among the programmes identified, the method developed by Schein (1999) obtained with the highest score. The mean score of TTM is 4, which indicates capacity to exhibit the criteria effectively. OL and FFC also acquired high scores. Both are created out of scientific processes. FFC, for instance, uses mathematical equation to determine the need for change. OL, on the other hand, is a process that instils positive attributes to employees. WPSA and CO are strictly focused on the employees. This was evident in the high scores obtained by the two programmes in the employee-centric criterion.
The programmes that received low scores were part of the general strategy group. As discussed earlier, these methods are more focused on holistic change. BRP and SSM are strategic programmes that focus on immediate organisational changes. These are applicable in the entire firm. The programme with the lowest score was TQM. This is expected because TQM is concerned with quality of processes. The inclusion of employees in the scheme is specified after the other entities are addressed.
Another aspect discussed in the research is related to PR integration in the programmes. PR is an important part of organisations used in projecting positive image in the public. But within the organisation, the role of PR is vague. PR tools can improve these programmes and facilitate the change process. The programmes focused with employees are good combinations with PR strategies. PR techniques are used in preparing employees to change and motivating the workforce to perform. The existence of PR initiatives allows the organisation to picture change as positive reinforcement.
Nevertheless, in the information gathered under review of related literature, many companies have employed public relations not only in their image building but also in change of management. As Bordia et al (2001) noted, an intact and polished internal communication reflects image amongst the public. Interdependency is highlighted showing the importance of integrative and specialised role of external communications as well as their interaction and involvement between departments. Their study pointed out the structural relationships between internal and external environmental conditions with open systems perspective.
Risks were also considered in the study. The generality of TQM and BPR makes it hard for PR initiatives to merge. There are also concerns about PR’s overlapping with the responsibilities of other departments. For instance, the motivation and training of employees is a task performed by the HR department. But the presence of PR creates redundancy. In the evaluation process, firms were expected to monitor the progress phase by phase. In addition, interviews and surveys will be conducted. The evaluation process is crucial because it will determine the progress of the programmes.
It is difficult to construct perfect programmes for firms undergoing change. But there are some aspects that have to be present in the change strategy. It is important for the programme to produce measurable results. Strategies that are cost-effective and systematic are highly preferred. Programmes have to be schematic and open to changes even during the implementation phase. Since change is dynamic, timely results are required. Strategies also need to focus the employees and their needs.
Based on the results of the study, there are improvements that can be made. The research tackled on the issue of PR as an effective tool in facilitating organisation change. This still can be narrowed to some interesting areas. Instead of selecting a number of programmes, future studies can focus on one strategy. Among the programmes provided, TTM appears to provide critical insights. Selecting one programme will make results more specific. Moreover, the findings will show the real importance of PR in managing change.
Conduct of surveys is also a possible enhancement. Future research can inquire some PR practitioners regarding issues on organisational change. At least 200 PR experts will be randomly selected. The respondents will be asked different questions regarding the use of PR in internal firm proceedings. It is important to get the views of personnel directly involved with PR. Although some literatures provide support to this idea, having information direct from the source is valuable. Moreover, interviewing the PR experts adds to the credibility of results obtained from the research.
Another research enhancement can be done by comparing PR process in two different firms. For instance, a manufacturing company and a customer service provider will be selected as prospects. In these organisations, workers have different roles. It is interesting to study the manner in which PR works in these organisations. In particular, the role of PR in these firms during changes will be assessed. An access to the actual methods in which PR is manifested will provide better insights.
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Appendix 1: Milestone Chart
|Consultation with adviser||1stweek||2ndweek|
|Submission of final research proposal||2ndweek||3rdweek|
|Data gathering and desk research||3rdweek||6thweek|
|Preparation of the dissertation (first draft)||4thweek||7thweek|
|Submission of the dissertation (draft)||7thweek||8thweek|
|Revision of dissertation||8thweek||9thweek|
|Submission of dissertation (final paper)||9thweek||10thweek|
Appendix 2: Programme Matrix
|OL||Focused on continuous learning and enhancement||Generalised process and multiple stepped|
|SSM||Allows employees to develop their path of change||The rich pictures developed are often vague|
|TQM||Emphasis on quality in all aspects of production||Lacks the focus on employees and their necessities|
|BPR||Provides immediate results and progress||Less systematic than the other alternatives|
|WPSA||Most initiatives are devoted to motivate employees||There are no technical aspects involved|
|CO||Multi stage process that provides rewards||Stiff on some aspects that requires flexibility|
|TTM||Centred on employees’ holistic development||More concerned on behaviours of employees|
|FFC||Quantifiable and uses figures as evidence for change||Greatly influenced by cost of programme needed by firms|
Appendix 3: Scores of Programme (per criterion)
Appendix 4: PR Participation Rate in Change Programmes
Appendix 5: Evaluation Process