Critical Review of Change Management Initiatives

Subject: Management
Pages: 10
Words: 2774
Reading time:
11 min
Study level: PhD

Introduction

Increased competition in the business world is pushing numerous organizations into embarking on flexible and congruent strategies, which focus on organizational change. Recognizing the needs for organizational change and steering organizations through that change is generally acknowledged as the most challenging and critical responsibility (Pearce, 2007). Change is a dominant feature in every organization at all strategic levels. Consequently, every organization ought to identify its future goals and forge strategies to help it achieve the goals. Organizational changes are hard to detach from organizational strategies (Pearce, 2007). Given the importance of organizational change, organizations are continuously seeking leaders capable of initiating and managing productive organizational changes. With the current rate of globalization, technological advancement, deregulation, change in demographic and social trends, and increased base of knowledge workforce, the key duty of management today is to control organizational change (Pearce, 2007).

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Change initiatives lie into two broad categories, viz. transformational changes and transactional or transitional changes (Pearce, 2007). Transformational initiatives include initiatives aimed at changing organizational culture, leadership, and external environment. On the other hand, transactional initiatives include initiatives aimed at changing the management practices of an organization, operating systems, changing organizational structure, and work unit environment (Pearce, 2007). These initiatives help in enhancing organizational performance and growth. Nevertheless, the initiatives are also accompanied by numerous setbacks, which if not well managed may be detrimental to an organization. To enhance growth in a beverage company, one may consider implementing numerous change initiatives. The initiatives include changing the organizational culture, organizational leadership, and management practices. Furthermore, one may opt to change the organization’s operating system or work unit environment. This paper aims at critically analyzing some change initiatives that can be used in promoting and enhancing the growth of a beverage company.

Changing organizational culture

Organizational culture underscores the way in which things are done in a given organization. Moreover, organizational culture may imply the attitudes, values, and beliefs that dictate how employees view and construe events (Schneider, & Barsoux, 2009). The issue of culture is particularly crucial when seeking to manage organizational change. Organizational leaders are realizing that, in spite of strong business plans, organizational change must focus on not only changing organizational processes and structures, but also changing the organizational culture. Numerous benefits are associated with changing organizational culture. A strong organizational culture helps organizations meet their long-term goals (Schneider, & Barsoux, 2009). Changing the organizational culture of a beverage company would help in boosting employee morale, as it would introduce diversity within an organization. The success of any organization does not only rest on the ability of the organization to hire competent employees, but also the ability of the organization to promote employee commitment. Establishing and maintaining a vibrant organizational culture calls for regular communication between the organizational leaders and employees (Schneider, & Barsoux, 2009).

Diversity brought about by changing organizational culture may be of significant help to the beverage company. The established culture may help in bringing together expertise from varied cultural backgrounds, thus enable the company to establish product and brand differentiation to overcome competition (Schneider, & Barsoux, 2009). To surmount competition in the beverage industry, organizations should be innovative and creative in both products development and organizational processes. Organizational culture dictates how people perceive and do things within an organization. Hence, to come up with novel products, organizations have to change their processes, which calls for changing organizational culture. Beverage companies have to change their organizational culture regularly to accommodate for new operational processes and strategies.

In spite of the numerous benefits that the beverage company is likely to enjoy upon changing its culture, numerous challenges arise and the company must be ready to face the emerging challenges during the change process. Changing organizational culture to embrace diverse cultural practices may slow down operations within the company, thus affecting its productivity (Fey, & Denison, 2008). To ensure compatibility amongst the varied cultural practices, the management should allow time to build rapport between individuals practicing the varied cultures. In addition, communication between people with diverse cultural backgrounds is difficult. Hence, changing organizational culture with the aim of incorporating diverse expertise in an organization may affect organizational performance at times, due to communication barrier between employees with diverse cultural practices. Employees with different cultural backgrounds hold diverse expectations. Hence, changing organizational culture may lead to conflict of interest and negative evaluations among the employees.

Changing leadership

Leadership is an essential theme that drives the success or failure of every nation, organization, and /or religious institution. The rate of change and intricacy in present business environment makes leadership progressively more taxing, thus placing idealistic hopes on valiant leaders (Yukl, 2008). Apparently, it is becoming hard for a single leader to possess all the requisite abilities and skills needed to lead organizations adeptly in the contemporary times (Pearce, 2007). O’Toole, Galbraith, and Lawler (2008) posit, “Frequently, organizations learn the hard way that no one individual can save a company from mediocre performance, and no one individual, no matter how gifted a leader, can be ‘right’ all the time” (p.67). Pearce (2007) adds that, as organizations enter into the knowledge economy, they will no longer depend on straightforward ideas of top-bottom and leadership based on command and control. To enhance organizational development, organizations ought to embark on a system of shared leadership. A managing director currently manages the beverage company. He is responsible for making final decisions on matters affecting the company. He issues directives to departmental managers, who in turn share the instructions with their staffs in the various departments. This system of leadership has been a significant impediment to the success of the company. Hence, to overcome this, one would consider introducing the system of shared leadership into the company.

According to Avolio, Walumbwa, and Weber (2009), shared leadership refers to an environment where individuals work together in a bid to achieve organizational goals. In a shared leadership, all members assume responsibilities, as opposed to as single member carrying the burden of all the responsibilities (Carson, Tesluk, & Marrone, 2009). Shared leadership is credited with numerous benefits. One of the many benefits of this system of leadership regards expertise and synergy obtained from this model. Shared leadership helps leaders use their varied strengths (Miles, & Watkins, 2008). Moreover, organizations can reap from diverse opinions shared by leaders during decision-making processes. The system ensures that every member assumes leadership in an area that he or she is best suited. Consequently, introducing this system to a beverage company would facilitate in enhancing its competitive advantage (Kocolowski, 2010). Employees would specialize in areas that they are enthusiastic about, and thus give their best in these areas.

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All organizations are currently experiencing continuous transformations in varied areas. Consequently, it is difficult for a single leader to cope with challenges caused by transformation like those associated to jobs and employee behavior. Hence, shared leadership is the only system that offers a solution to challenges encountered during organizational changes. The system assigns leadership responsibilities to individuals based on their skills thus avoiding chances of a leader making wrong decisions.

Despite the numerous benefits associated with shared leadership, introducing the system into a beverage company may have numerous limitations. It might be extremely hard to implement this system of leadership. Almost everyone believes that leadership is an isolated undertaking. Consequently, introducing shared leadership into the company might lead to regular conflicts between the leaders. The process would require a thorough employee preparation to ensure that the different leaders identify their individual responsibilities. It is hard for a group of leaders to make quick decisions on matters affecting their organization. Hence, introducing shared leadership into an organization may slow down the pace of decision-making process thus affecting organizational performance (Miles, & Watkins, 2008). Shared leadership is adversely affected by turf battles, team attitudes, and personal career objectives making it hard for leaders to make substantial decisions.

Another nightmare that the company is likely to face because of shared leadership is establishing evocative purpose, dedication to team performance, and attaining accountability. Profit making organizations are hard to manage using a shared leadership system (Miles, & Watkins, 2008). Organizations hardly achieve equal influence amongst team members. For the system to be productive, it would require regular re-evaluation and assessment it to gain elasticity and receptivity towards a changing environment.

Changing management practices

The success of any business institution depends on strong management practices. Organizational management practices span a wide area; however, one of the most crucial management practices involves managing employees. Employees act as the organization’s engine. They drive day-to-day operations of any business institution (Rizov, & Croucher, 2008). For an organization to succeed, the leadership has to establish vibrant human resource management practices. Another change initiative that one would consider implementing in the beverage company is altering human resource management practices. Rizov and Croucher (2008) posit that, there is a strong relationship between human resource management practices and organizational performance. Working on human resource management practices would go a long way in helping the company enhance its competitive advantage. Rather than recruiting new employees whenever there are changes in the organization, it would be imperative to nurture and develop the existing workforce to cope with emerging changes (Rizov & Croucher, 2008). In the process, an organization would enhance its performance by avoiding chances of employee turnover due to lack of skills. In the current knowledge economy, human capital is becoming one of the strategic tools, necessary for organizational sustainability and profitability.

The human management practices changes that ought to be implemented in the beverage company include workforce planning, employee training and development, compensation and reward, and recruitment procedures. Making changes in employee training and development practices would help in promoting organizational performance. Employee training and development would equip existing employees with novel skills necessary for organizational growth (Khan, 2010). Training and development would enhance employee commitment since equipping them with requisite skills would boost their morale and encourage innovation. On the other hand, changing employee reward and compensation scheme would promote innovation and cut down on employee turnover.

Normally, employees leave an organization due to frustration (Khan, 2010). If employees realize that an organization does not recognize, appreciate, and reward their performance, they tend to relax their commitment and eventually leave the organization and seek new openings where employee services are appreciated. To encourage employee commitment in the beverage company, there is a need for the establishment of a performance-based reward system. Recognizing employee commitment would encourage them to explore new frontiers in the beverage industry thus promoting organizational growth (Khan, 2010).

Despite the benefits attributed to changing organizational human resource management practices, there are various limitations and barriers that the organization is likely to face in the change process. Initiating employee training and development would require thorough preparation, not to mention that the process is costly in terms of time and money. Competition in the beverage industry requires companies to keep on coming up with new products and product differentiation strategies. Hence, employee training and development need to be a continuous process in the organization. Establishing this practice would cost the company time and money (Boselie, Dietz, & Boon, 2008). It would require money to hire trainers and time to take employees through the rigorous training.

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Changing the rewarding system may promote or hamper employee commitment (Boselie, Dietz, & Boon, 2008). Rewarding only the performing employees may lead to other employees getting frustrated thus affecting their productivity. On the other hand, coming up with a reward system, which rewards all employees equally regardless of individual contribution, may lead to employee stagnation. Another limitation that is likely to crop from performance-based reward system is eradicating cooperation between employees. Every employee would struggle to see that his or her contribution to the organization is acknowledged and thus probably decline to work with others (Boselie, Dietz, & Boon, 2008).

Changing workplace environment

Workplace environment affects employee engagement, productivity, and morale. Workplace environment is reflected by the lighting system in an organization, arrangement of furniture, noise, and protective and emergency measures provided for employees (Chandrasekar, 2011). In addition, workplace environment also refers to the prevailing relationship between employees and their supervisors as well as the manner in which communications take place within the organization. Promoting a favorable working environment is paramount. A poor working environment contributes to employee absenteeism due to health related problems. In return, it affects organizational productivity. Most organizational leaders work under the assumptions that employee performance depends on the reward given (Chandrasekar, 2011). Even though this might somewhat contribute to employee performance, there are organizations with strong employee rewarding systems and continue reporting poor employee performance.

The quality of employees’ workplace environment affects the level of employee motivation and successive performance. How employees relate with their immediate environment contributes to the magnitude of their errors, degree of collaboration and innovation, absenteeism, and the length of their stay in an organization (Chandrasekar, 2011). To encourage employee participation and commitment in the beverage company, one would consider establishing an environment that would involve employees in setting organizational goals. Consequently, employees would set goals they are capable of achieving within the set timeframe. At times, workplace environment inhibits innovation. Some organizations have established guidelines on how things need to be done. Hence, employees are not supposed to deviate from these guidelines. This discourages employee innovation and development (Chandrasekar, 2011). In the beverage industry, it would be imperative to establish a working environment that promotes innovation. Employees would be given the freedom to come up with novel ways of running their operations, so long as these ways help in achieving the overall business objectives.

Currently, the beverage company has limited space to run its operations. Consequently, the premise is highly congested with poor ventilation and lighting systems. Apparently, these factors contribute to the high rate of employee absenteeism and accidents reported in the company. The congestion leads to accumulation of heat within the premises thus making employees suffer from stress and exhaustion. To overcome this challenge, one would consider transferring the company to a spacious ground to ease congestion. Moreover, one would consider working on the lighting system to reduce the number of accidents in the company.

Establishing a favorable working environment requires commitment from both the management team and the employees. Employees need to respect and work per the established organizational policies. On the other hand, the management team ought to respond to employee complaints and regularly monitor the organizational policies to make sure that they do not inhibit the employee’s ability to exploit his or her skills and dexterity (Chandrasekar, 2011). Unfortunately, it is difficult to achieve this level of commitment from both parties. As the beverage company aims at increasing its profit, the management team is likely to establish policies that it feels would help in improving the profit margin of the company regardless of whether these policies affect employees negatively. Hence, striking a balance between the two parties would require sacrificing from both employees and the management team, which is extremely difficult.

Conclusion

Increased competition in the business world is compelling numerous organizations to embark on flexible and congruent strategies that focus on organizational change. Realizing the needs for organizational change, and steering organizations through that change, is generally acknowledged as the most challenging and critical responsibilities. Change is a dominant feature of every organization in all its strategic levels. Consequently, every organization ought to identify its future goals and forge strategies to help it achieve those goals. The beverage company has numerous change initiatives to consider for implementation. These initiatives include changing organizational culture, management practices, leadership, and working environment. All these changes have both positive and negative impacts on an organization, and their implementation would depend on the magnitude of benefits relative to limitations.

While changing organizational culture may lead to a strong product differentiation strategy, the move may also slow organizational growth because of divergent opinions coming from the diverse cultures. Embracing shared leadership system would help the company cope with challenges associated with organizational changes, since every leader would specialize on areas he or she is best suited. On the other hand, shared leadership system might cause the beverage company to experience reduced employee commitment due to conflicting decisions made by the different leaders. Dynamic management practices would motivate employees and thus enhance their performance. However, this would cost the company its time and money. Workplace environment impinges on employee commitment, productivity, and team spirit. Hence, changing the working environment would lead to increased organizational performance. On the other hand, it would be hard to change the working environment completely for the beverage company because of conflict of interest between the employees and the company’s leadership.

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