Nature of Personal Change: Managing Personal Transition

Subject: Management
Pages: 12
Words: 2925
Reading time:
11 min
Study level: PhD


Change management is a vital aspect of today’s organizations and managing personal transition is an essential element. However, it can be evaluated that Knowledge Management and HRM are clearly linked to personal transitions. Medich (2004) believes that if man must grow like a plant does; he must accept change to himself and his personal surroundings. This is the law of nature and growth is his bequest. However, for growth he must be inspired to grow, like a plant would when it’s nourished with water and sunlight. Inspiration to man is like fuel that runs an engine; it works for us in the same way a car would, But like a car has a driver that moves it towards a certain direction.

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The same way we could be inspired if we are heading in a certain direction and at times inspire the tendency to move us without us really knowing it. According to him, a change in our personal life is what Personal transition could be a blessing or maybe hazardous in adopting it. We call it Transitions. For Transitions in its very meaning is a connection (a word, phrase, clause, or sentence) but metaphorically apply it in our lives and it means a change from the old into the new. Any transition could have its effects in our personal lives whether it is positive or negative.Some of the feeling could manifest into nervousness, contentment, fright, intimidation, shame, despair, disenchantment, aggression or denial. The author mentions that transition in life can come in different forms and has to be dealt differently (Roy 2001).

Body of report

Findings from empirical studies as found in refereed journals indicate this trend that Knowledge Management and HRM are clearly linked to personal transitions. Medich (2004), in the article ‘The management of expatriates and Personal change’, mentioned that there was once a corporate executive who was climbing the corporate ladder with easy and have been awarded many times for his hard work and invocations he brought to the company business needs. This executive started in the organization at the base level and was on his way to higher management in a couple of years. He was known for his calm composure and his level of understanding of the companies business. He was to get married with the love of life, he had known for 8 years but suddenly one day they broke up and he was devastated. In a couple weeks his performance at the company dropped and there were errors in his reports, which was critical to the company. He became very argument all the time and was getting difficult to handle.

However, the company tried retraining him but he one day came to the office and resigned. There is many aspects on the Executive case study, what could the company done for him? How could they have retained him? What he could do for himself? The incident is his life became a personal transition crisis, which overflowed in his work life and eventually left him on the roads. He was going through a personal life transition that could have happened to anyone of us. This may sounds like a sad story for the Executive, but could he have been retained if something was done on his behavioral patterns?

The executive should have looked at his life and dealt with it the same way he would have dealt with his professional life, when things were going right for him. The traumatic experience was however beyond his control, but his behavior was within his control and he needed to address it. Which he probably didn’t until it came to a critical point was he had to leave his job. Transition awareness is a must for everyone especially the HR and Managers of any originations. It helps in understanding deep issues regarding conflict and crises of their subordinates and the company’s business needs.

However, Ryan, in the article ‘Who is watching over you? The role of shared identity in perceptions of surveillance’, notes that a deep study into transitionally behavior offers insights and survival strategies in this rapidly changing world, and it’s interesting to know how Humans behave with the change in their surrounding. If it bring joy, happiness or well been then the transition was a good one, if not it could lead to serious complications irritation, depression, broken relationships, careers and at times on extreme cases death. There is a misconception that transition behaviorally patterns happens at the same time at the time of transition, however it is not entirely true, it sometimes manifest after a period of time and recovery could take weeks or years. (Ryan 2002)

This particular executive was going through a personal Transition and he need to deal with it by reflecting back and trying to draw strength from the time he over came other obstacles. He should have talked to people rather then going into a shell and if needed seek professional help. There are different stages of transition designed by Dai Williams who talks about a human response from the time of the change to the time of crisis or happiness after the change. A particular feeling of betrayal or sadness in an organization after working so hard for many years or in a prolonged relationship could cast shadow on future relationships or other organizations. This article is more philosophical than statistically proved but it presents a very well structured argument about the concept of the Nature of Personal Change and Managing Personal Transitions.

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Value of personal change in context of knowledge management

The implications of administration of knowledge for personal change is extremely important as seen in most of the studies provided view the aspect of personal change indicating the role of KM at an organizational level. Incidentally, Plimmer (2007) is more concerned about Knowledge management when it comes to change. However, Plimmer (2007) acknowledges the value of personal change and states that it is difficult to handle because it carries with it the aspects of Knowledge management.

The aspect of KM is essential in the context of change management and it is a more valuable issue when personal change is concerned. This is because with personal change the productivity and application of an individual changes. This affects the core knowledge base of the company as the change may degrade the knowledge base acquired by the individual through experience and learning. As it is, the management of knowledge it not very well defined and calculated, thus, it makes more difficult situation for the company to evaluate the loss due to personal transition making it an ambiguous and obscure quantum to deal.

Similarly, Ruzzier (2007), in ‘Human capital and change,’ is in favor of Plimmer and opposed to Ryan, believes that the aspects of KMS plays a crucial role in the decision making process of a firm since it’s functions are directed at making all the organization’s factual documents to its employees. Thanks to the KMS every individual employed in the firm can have an access to all the sources of information as well as the key solutions that the firm uses for its operations or for some specific project. Now, the use of such a system is dependant on exactly how the firm is organized and whether every member of the staff is equally involved in the firm’s functions (or a given project) or not. The use of a KMS has often been advocated based on its capacity to distribute important organizational information amongst the staff members. While some think this is an advantage, others tend to disagree. The parties who support the system argue that such transparency within the organization can help work to be completed promptly and thereby prevent the repetition of jobs. Avoiding such repetitiveness, they say, also helps decrease the time wasted on training employees. They also think that if employees are let into the secrets of the firm right from the beginning they might feel far more attached to the organization. The decision regarding the organization of a firm and how it might be managed therefore is deeply entwined with the decision regarding the use of a KMS. As a result, it becomes really important for the HRM and thus the conclusion makes the article highly valuable for the study of the Nature of Personal Change and Managing Personal Transitions as it shows the value of the need of this subject.

Human resource

However, contrary to Ruzzier and Plimmer, Mirvis (2002) studies the importance of HRM under the influence of personal change and transition. This is because any individual in an organization is a part of the HRM process and in personal change would affect the equilibrium of the HRM department of an organization. In the context of Human Resource, it is stated that HRM is a systematic and complex strategy that is planned top-down for increasing and implementing effective organizational change. It mainly aims to change the structure, attitudes, standards and thinking of an organization through interventions so that it can adapt to new and better challenges, technology and marketing strategies. It does not simply make an organization better but focuses on interpreting and supervising an organizational change by involving organizational planning, expression, system improvement and analysis bringing about the required result. It is characterized by individuality, learning, inspiration, sociology and psychology and its qualities are interdisciplinary. It has three components – diagnosis, intervention or action and evaluation, which need to be properly controlled to bring about an effective change.

Personal System

Ritchie (2007) in this context is well aligned with Mirvis but is in favor of Personal System rather than HRM system. He notes that it is true that a good Personal System is a major asset to a company and a bad one can even cause a company to fail. Ritchie (2007) believes that the power of a good Personal System is such that it can even give smaller companies the opportunity of taking on the larger ones. A good Personal system allows a company to manipulate data for obtaining a consistent forecast whose formulation is especially important for companies having an online component and marketing strategies. Using the internet even smaller but strong companies can easily compete with larger ones if they have a good Personal System supporting them. For a company to meet its goal and thus, prosper a lot of data and personal needs to be considered all the time and the decisions made need to reach all the members at the proper time. This is among the major objectives of a modern day company. So, with the help of a good Personal System not only will a company be able to manage its personal and data efficient but also maintain a proper communication channel among the employees, employers, customers and other entities of the company.

Similarly, O’connor and Wolfe (2006), in ‘From crisis to growth at midlife: Changes in personal paradigm’, indicated that a good Personal System will not only empower the company but also provide it with the best personal required for its effective working. A good Personal System also reduces the time its employees spend on carrying out a particular task since they can quickly access and easily understand all the important data and respond on time. It helps to convert current and important data into valuable personal which can be delivered to other people in almost no time so that they can work with it and respond quickly. The Personal System can be modified according to the individual user and requirements of the company so that it works towards the success of the company. Although initially the benefits of a Personal System may not be completely clear, it is very important that the Personal System is allowed to grow as the business evolves so that it becomes better and in the process helps the company achieve its goals for becoming successful.

Change management

But Marshall (2005), a rigid believer if fundamental change management, analyses the aspects of Change management principals in terms of personal change and is not keen on the aspects of Personal System in the article ‘The roles of outside and inside sales representatives: Conflict or cooperation’. He believes that the aspects of change management principals play a huge role as a part of HRM in this context. The author indicates that under the parameters of today’s value analysis and comparative advantage the aspects of change management are of primal importance and the department of HRM is the integral part of it as an organization is made up of people and not just machineries and statistics. As it is, with the transition of any individual personal change the entire department becomes affected. Thus, the aspects of change assessment, change implementation, achievement graphs and planning related to change becomes important.

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According to the author, the most important aspect of change is to make employees understand the value of their contributions towards the organization. The author believes that once an employee understand the responsibility and the individual position of importance in the context of organizational parameter, it is logical to believe that the individual would feel more accountable and thus the affects of personal transition would affect less in the long term. This formula is a juxtaposition of change management principal and approaches related to organizational behavioral principals. Additionally, the author indicates that a proper formulation of the said principals would ultimately lead to creation of unique identity within the organization and develop distinction, conviction, concern and confidence among the group members and ease the relation between hierarchies of the company.

Paglis, however, looks into the aspects of personal transition from a very different perspective without conflicting or agreeing with the others. Paglis (2007) mainly looks into the parameters of methods related to change of personal transitions. He indicates that methods of personal change management are wide. It follows several stages.The stages of change start with pre-contemplation. In this stage, the details of the proposed change are yet to be assimilated by the organizational members. Contemplation stage implies that the employees are made aware of the changes proposed to be made. After this stage, the employees are required to be educated or guided to perceive the change in the same way as the leaders perceive them and are to be convinced to accept the change. However, it is recommended that the professionals need to deal with personal change and make sure that the change in concern is well understood by the administration and decision makers. It is important to assume change beforehand and work accordingly. The authority level of managers must be well established in the first place to ensure smooth transition. This would foster better communication among the ranks and that would enable to lower anxiety among employees and this would definitely help in restoring the goal of the ongoing project. The enhanced confidence level would also minimize personal transition of change. The article is full of important data and is a very important work.

Short term effect

Nicholson (2004), on the other hand, mainly points out the short term effect of this element is to pacify the initial objections against change among the employees. A good leadership would be able to control the workers against change and make them understand the requirement of change. In the long term this would prove to be very helpful as it would construct a better cultural health of the organization and enhance productivity in the future. The short term effect of a properly formulated version of change management would result in smoothness of change that is going to happen in near future and in personal context this would be applicable to individual transition too. Thus, the initiatives of the management are fulfilled. On the other hand the aspect would help the management on a long term basis as in future the management would be able to formulate strategies in advance without worrying about resistance to change. Setting up a proper system of change would not only be beneficial for the management to initiate the change in hand but also help the organization to set up a benchmark of future changes. This makes the article an interesting work though the views are too generalized with little examples of case studies.


However, all these arguments and counter arguments and studies are focused on an end goal. It is the possible effect of change. Very develops this very aspect of short term results and extends the scope of learning in terms of positive and negative results. Very, (2005) indicates that in an organization a change could reflect in a positive or negative way and one person’s resistance to the change could in a way reflect the thoughts of the entire team and not necessarily the individual view. In the time of uncertainty were the cloud of recession looms above, changes in an organization are as frequent as drinking water. To prepare yourself should be on the primary agenda and training the staff around you for it. Make a study if the change is necessary and if there is an acceptance to the change, make notes of the changes and why is it on the company’s agenda. Discuss this with your superiors and if there is a turn around to the situation. There is always a benefit towards change and would give a new lease of life to the order in which work was carried before. However, this article is based on European firms only though it provides enough data to make it interesting and valuable for researchers.


Marshall, J. (2005), ‘The roles of outside and inside sales representatives: Conflict or cooperation?’ Journal of Direct Marketing, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 8-17.

Medich, H. F. (2004), ‘The management of expatriates and Personal change’, Agribusiness, vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 383-389.

Mirvis, P. (2002), ‘HRM success and the boundaryless career under change’, Journal of Organizational Behavior, vol. 15, no. 4, pp. 365-380.

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O’connor, D and Wolfe, D. (2006), ‘From crisis to growth at midlife: Changes in personal paradigm’, Journal of Organizational Behavior, vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 323-340.

Nicholson, N. (2004), ‘Syndromes of management and organization: the view from evolutionary psychology’, Managerial and Decision Economic View, 19, no. 7-8, pp. 411-426.

Paglis, L. (2007). Leadership self-efficacy and managers’ motivation for leading change’, Journal of Organizational Behavior, vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 215-235.

Plimmer, G. (2007), ‘Possible selves and career transition: It’s who you want to be, not what you want to do’, New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education’, vol. 2007, no. 114, pp. 61-74.

Ritchie, W. (2007), ‘A good Personal System and its relationship to the financial performance of nonprofit organizations’, Nonprofit Management and Leadership, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 67-82.

Roy, R. (2001), ‘Dynamics of organizational HRM’. System Dynamics Review, vol. 24, 3, pp. 349-375.

Ryan, M. K. (2002), ‘Who is watching over you? The role of shared identity in perceptions of surveillance’. European Journal of Social Psychology, vol. 14, 4, pp. 112-124.

Ruzzier, M. (2007), ‘Human capital and change’, Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 15-29.

Very, P. (2005), Relative standing and the performance of European firms’, Strategic Management Journal, vol. 18, no. 8, pp. 593-614.