Diggins-Reinholdt Plastics Inc.’s Organisation Change

Subject: Management
Pages: 6
Words: 1651
Reading time:
7 min
Study level: Master

Description

The work of the lead manager of an enterprise is associated with change. It can take place in different areas of the firm’s activities. Due to the changes, the manager improves the management of the enterprise. Any changes are related to the development and improvement of the firm’s activities. In the case given to me for analysis, the company’s management decided to merge the two companies. This decision was made to combine technological solutions and take the companies to the top consumer ranking. The changes in structure determine their impact on the enterprise. The enterprise manager sees these changes almost immediately and tries to influence them. The manager is often the initiator of alteration, as in the case. The company has undergone structural change in the first place because two businesses have merged.

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Structural changes have to do with the composition of the enterprise. The manager can influence it; they mitigate the adverse effects of the changes and accelerate and stimulate their absorption in the organization. When planning for change, the manager should consider the problems that arise during the change process. The main problem of change implementation in the company in the provided flight study turned out to be the problem of adaptation to the changes in the team. The staff is wary of change because they believe that any change could affect the firm’s existing structure and upset the balance that has emerged. This is why they resist, postponing change.

For instance, according to a study carried out by Christine Barclay, a large number of employees did not show up for work for one reason or another. Most of them attributed this to the high level of stress due to the merger of companies or more precisely, to the uncertainty this merger caused. This is one of the main problems of employees adapting to the merger – they do not know what to expect and how to work further.

From Barclay’s point of view, the main reason for adaptation problems is too abrupt a transition to the new work system. Also, the rank-and-file employees and employees at the organization’s upper echelon do not get enough information to give to their subordinates (Lapoint & Haggard, 2011). This gives the impression that everyone in the company ignores the need to have complete information about the changes in order to adapt to them appropriately. Christine Barclay feels that the company is not paying enough attention to bringing all its employees up to speed in a good way.

As for the company’s CEO, Edward Jenkins, the main problem is a decrease in the quality of work within the team and employee dissatisfaction. He believes he has made the right decision for the company and its prosperity and does not understand staff dissatisfaction. He also does not see the problem in the lack of employee awareness and consequently does not support them on this issue. Having analyzed the information provided to him as a result of Barclay’s survey, Jenkins still sees no concrete guidelines to improve the situation. Overall, the main problem of this company is the misunderstanding between employees and management, which leads to a problem in adapting to the new order. In addition, employees receive too little information to form an objective opinion about the merger and are therefore guided only by their subjective perceptions.

Analysis

The problems of organizational change in a given company can be considered from the perspective of several theoretical concepts. For example, the Burke-Litwin model shows the different change factors and ranks them in terms of importance (Burke, 2007). It can be conceptualized as a diagram with the most critical factors at the top and the least important at the bottom. The model states that all factors are integrated to a greater or lesser degree – hence changing one of them will eventually affect the whole system. Considering the case given, the most influential factors in the Burke-Litwin model are leadership, organizational culture, and corporate climate.

Regarding leadership, this factor takes into account management behavior and how the organization perceives it as a whole. The nature and ways in which change is implemented and accepted in an organization will depend largely on the attitudes of its leaders. In addition, they will also depend on subordinates’ perceptions of their leaders (Heracleous, 2003). In this situation, because subordinates do not get enough information from management, their leadership attitude becomes distrustful. As the employees themselves say, even those leaders who liked to talk in the past now give little or no information. This indicates a change in the leadership factor, in this case, a change in management style, which affects the overall change in the company.

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The second factor is that the culture of the organization also influences the course of change. The culture of an organization broadly reflects the way it operates. It takes into account the beliefs, behaviors, values, and conventions that prevail in a given team. The manager must implement the change with the organization’s standards and values in mind, based on the employees’ expectations. In this case, change was introduced without taking into account the values and beliefs of the team, which values stability and predictability. Changing this factor led to team excitement and high levels of stress, which negatively affected the implementation of structural change.

Corporate climate takes into account how employees perceive their colleagues and the work environment as a whole. The work environment often shapes employees’ perceptions of the organization and has a strong influence on their job satisfaction. Changes in the work environment must be approached carefully, or they may provoke emotional reactions and resistance from employees (Harrison & Shirom, 1998).

This is especially true if the change involves a move, a change in personnel, or a change in the working environment. In this situation, the change was just about a global transformation in the work and structure of the company, which required special attention to staff adaptation. Thus, based on this model, the main challenges for the company are mistrust of company leaders, a dramatic change in the organizational climate, and a lack of staff awareness.

Regarding company capabilities, the PESTLE model can be used to determine company capabilities. It is the most common tool for identifying macro-environmental factors that can affect a company. It helps to identify and evaluate external environmental factors in 6 categories: political, economic, sociocultural, technological, legal, and environmental factors. I would like to focus on technological and economic factors. The foremost opportunity for the company is to expand its customer base by introducing new technology through consolidation. By combining production developments, the company will be able to reach a fundamentally new level and occupy a broader niche in the market. This, in turn, will help improve pay conditions for employees and increase their loyalty to the management.

Recommendations

Recommendations for organizational change are based primarily on challenges for the company and how to overcome them. Firstly, management needs to outline the objectives of the company’s association to its employees in a timely and comprehensive manner. As research has shown, most of them do not see the need for a merger and therefore have no reason to support it. At the same time, management sees the change as necessary for the company’s growth and development. It is essential to explain to employees that every action has a purpose. In the context of change, products, services, processes, tools, or organizational culture will be improved.

For example, in terms of a processual framework, changes in a company are permanent and changeable, and they cannot remain static (Burnes, 2005). It is vital to communicate this to employees and explain that some changes will always take place and that it is necessary to adapt to them. Not only should a complete, specific, measurable, and time-bound goal be articulated, but the intermediate steps to achieve it should be noted.

In addition, it is essential to make this information publicly available to all employees. In this way, it will be possible to understand how the company is progressing towards the goal and ensure coordinated action by the entire team. Secondly, weak leadership positions and lack of team alignment need to be addressed. This requires a review of the change team. A lot depends on the selection of change leaders. They need to embrace the idea of transformation fully, understand its reasons, and see the benefits for everyone involved (Barends et al., 2014). They also need to be able to communicate this message to those around them.

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It is better to consider as candidates formal and informal leaders of real teams who can work together and complement each other, enhancing the impact on employees. Good change leadership will help get through all stages of change with the least amount of disruption to employees.

For example, leadership can operate within the framework of Kurt Lewin’s model. According to it, the change process takes place in three stages: unfreezing, moving, and freezing (Burnes, 2005). Unfreezing is the stage where the manager’s actions are aimed at getting people to recognize the need for change. In this stage, a good manager will allow people to experience legitimate pride in doing business the way they used to, as well as demonstrate recognition of their past achievements. People should be provided with enough support and personal security to be willing to engage in the risky enterprise of change.

The second phase is movement, or the practical implementation of change, which also requires careful planning and wise management. This is only possible after reviewing the change team and ensuring they have received proper training. The final stage is freezing, when new norms of behavior are established. Adherence to the old norms is punished in one way or another, and the new norms are rewarded. In this way, changes in the company will go much more smoothly, and employees will finally be able to understand the purpose of a company merger.

References

Barends, E., Janssen, B., Have, W., & Have, S. (2014). Effects of change interventions: What kind of evidence do we really have? The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 50(1), 5–27. Web.

Burke, W. W. (2007). Organization change: Theory and practice (2nd Ed.). SAGE Publications.

Burnes, B. (2005). Complexity theories and organizational change. International Journal of Management Reviews, 7(2), 73-90. Web.

Harrison, M. I., & Shirom, A. (1998). Organizational diagnosis and assessment: Bridging theory and practice. SAGE Publications.

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Heracleous, L. T. (2003). The role of organizational discourse in understanding and managing strategic change. In Heracleous, L. T. (Ed.) Strategy and organization: Realising strategic management (pp. 113-124). Cambridge University Press.

Lapoint, P. A., & Haggard, C. R. (2011). Diggins/Reinholdt Plastics, Inc.: A study in resistance to change in the aftermath of a merger. In Lapoint, P. A. (Ed.) Cases and exercises in organization development & change (pp. 245-254). SAGE Publications.