Organisational Change and Development

Introduction

Change is one of the processes that affect virtually every business since organisations have to evolve in order to adjust to competitive environment, technological developments, new social trends or other forces that prompt the management to introduce new policies or practices (Bhattacharya & Sengupta 2006). To a great extent, this phenomenon can be viewed as something inevitable. This paper is aimed at discussing the positive and negative aspects of change. Furthermore, it is important to examine the ways in which an employee can offer effective resistance to change. It is possible to say that many workers may try to retain the former practices due to various reasons. Some of them do not want to adapt to new requirements or standards, and as a result, they can put up both passive and active resistance (Oreg, Michel & Todnem 2013, p. 208).

By acting in this way, employees can limit the adoption of change; moreover, they can highlight the drawbacks of innovations introduced by the management. These are the main issues that should be discussed in greater detail. Overall, this information can be important for business administrators who should be able to anticipate possible challenges that normally accompany the process of change. These professionals should keep in mind that various stakeholders within an organisation have to be convinced that new policies are both beneficial and inescapable. It is possible to argue that this report can be applied for the development of practical guidelines that senior executive should use while introducing innovations.

Literature review

Overall, change in organisational can have several positive sides. First, this process can remove those practices or businesses models which have already become obsolete. This argument is particularly relevant in those cases, when a business has to encounter a competitor that outperforms this organisation. For instance, one can mention such a company as Ford that had to introduce new production and quality control methods when its financial performance became stagnant (Jackson 1992, p. 16). In particular, the company adopted the principles of lean manufacturing used by Toyota, which is the main competitor of Ford. Moreover, change can be a positive force when a business has to address various organisational weaknesses such as the increased role of corporate bureaucracy or inefficient use of technological and financial resources (Stein & Voehl 1997, p. 116). Overall, many organisations such as Ford Motor Company benefited from this process if they can rely on the initiatives of employees.

Nevertheless, organisational change can also be viewed as a negative phenomenon. In many cases, companies cannot retain those qualities which enabled them to achieve success. For instance, many companies become bureaucratic as they grow. They lose the culture of openness which is critical for the development of start-up businesses. As a result, they become less responsive to new trends. This experience is familiar to many American corporations at the time when they needed to struggle with their foreign counterparts. Again, one can mention the failure of Ford to respond the threats posed by Toyota, Mitsubishi, Mazda, or other Asian car manufacturers (Huber & Glick 1995, p. 22). The main issue is that the cost-effectiveness of the company was significantly lower in comparison with its Japanese counterparts (Huber & Glick 1995, p. 22). As a result, their financial performance began to stagnate.

Additionally, one should mention that new policies of the management can be based on false assumptions, and they can undermine the work of a company. As a rule, change disrupts the established routine. Moreover, change necessitates many organisations to invest capital in the training of workers. This is another negative effect that can be distinguished.

It should be noted that employees can be reluctant to accept change due to various reasons. One should distinguish such factors as job insecurity, lack of relevant skills, or the failure to understand the rationale for adopting new behavioral models (Barling & Cooper 2008, p. 179). Apart from that, some introvert individuals are less willing to embrace changes, especially if they cannot control their implementation (Barling & Cooper 2008). Overall, changes that are imposed on workers can give rise to the resistance of employees who need to see how a certain change can benefit the organisation as a whole. Moreover, such phenomenon occurs when employees are not involved in the decision-making. This is one of the main pitfalls, that should be avoided by senior executives and frontline managers who need to ensure that new policies are properly implemented and accepted by the personnel.

It is possible to say that resistance to change is an individual’s protective response to the.external stressors that disrupt the routine, established in the workplace (Stanley 2007, p. 23). There are several ways in which employees can resist change. First, one should speak about passive resistance that can take many forms. First of all, one should speak about the feeling of anxiety, distrust, and lack of commitment (Furnham 2012, p. 683). Moreover, such individuals can attribute every possible difficulty or problem to the changes brought about by the management (Cameron & Green 2004, p. 49). Additionally, some workers decide to move to those departments or business units which were less affected by change. Moreover, they may reject new methods or tools while doing their tasks, especially if they are not monitored by the management. Sometimes, organisational change can involve restructuring of different departments. As a result, workers are placed in new teams. Very often, people, who are affected by this change, may be reluctant to assist their colleagues, especially at the beginning of their cooperation. Overall, passive resistance can be more detrimental because managers cannot always detect problems at an early stage. In many cases, they find it more difficult to mitigate the impact of these risks.

Additionally, sometimes employees can openly disagree with the innovations suggested by managers. They may refuse to comply with the new ruled established by business administrators (Furnham 2012, p. 683). Additionally, they can even encourage their co-workers not to accept new policies (Furnham 2012, 683). In this way, they can undermine the reputation of the managers (Buono 2002, p. 69). Moreover, active resistance to change can provoke conflicts in the workplace (Buono 2002, p. 69). Yet, this form of resistance is more beneficial because it helps business administrators to detect problems as early as possible. Overall, it is possible to examine the following diagram which can illustrate the forms of resistance to organisational change.

The forms of resistance to organisational change
The forms of resistance to organisational change

This chart demonstrates that an individual can choose different strategies in order to avoid changes. He/she may evade the necessity of facing and adjusting to new practices or policies.

Nevertheless, one should not suppose that resistance to change is always a negative phenomenon. In many cases, managers can become prejudiced against workers who do not accept new practices. However, very often, these people can offer constructive criticism identifying the weakness of new policies designed by business administrators. Additionally, these people can demonstrate why some of the former practices should be retained. To a great extent, this criticism can warn business administrators about the unintended effects of innovations. Furthermore, they can suggest methods in which new strategies that can be improved. Therefore, business administrators should make use of this resistance since it can alert them to potential pitfalls that should be avoided.

Overall, managers should understand the reasons why certain employees may not readily accept changes. They should place themselves in the position of these people. Additionally, they should gain the loyalty of workers who are more open to changes. Their support can be critical for the success of any innovation that an organisation tries to adopt.

Conclusion

Overall, these examples indicate that change can be regarded as an inseparable part of organisational development. This process can be inevitable for many businesses because they need to cope with new challenges or the transformation of external environment. Overall, there are several positive aspects of this process. First, changes can lead to the adoption of more efficient practices, business models, quality control standards or HR management policies. Furthermore, this can help managers eliminate weaknesses of the organisation such as complex bureaucracies. Nevertheless, there are some important weaknesses that should not be overlooked. This argument is particularly important if one speaks about policies that minimise the former strengths of the organisation. Moreover, change may necessity additional costs that may be needed for the training of employees.

Much attention should also be paid to the resistance put up by employees. It can take active and passive forms. In particular, workers can openly disagree with the policies introduced by the management. Nevertheless, they can also perceive these changes with distrust, suspicion or anxiety. In this way, they limit the adoption of new policies. Business administrators should understand why workers act in this way, because this behavior can indicate that changes can lead to some adverse consequences. Nevertheless, one can argue that change can result in the improvement in the company’s operations, if the opinions of employees are taken into account.

References

Barling, J & Cooper C 2008, The SAGE Handbook of Organizational Behavior, SAGE, New York.

Bhattacharya, R & Sengupta, R 2006, Managing change in organizations, PHI Learning Pvt. Ltd, New York.

Buono, A 2002, Developing Knowledge and Value in Management, IAP, New York.

Cameron, E & Green, M 2004, Making Sense of Change Management: A Complete Guide to the Models, Tools & Techniques of Organizational Change, Kogan Page Publishers, New York.

Furnham, A 2012, The Psychology of Behaviour at Work: The Individual in the Organization, Psychology Press, New York.

Huber, G & Glick, W 1995, Organizational Change and Redesign: Ideas and Insights for Improving Performance, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Jackson, S 1992, Diversity in the Workplace: Human Resources Initiatives, Guilford Press, New York.

Oreg, S, Michel, A, & Todnem, R 2013, The Psychology of Organizational Change: Viewing Change from the Employee’s Perspective, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Stanley, H 2007, Differences in Resistance to Change Between Generations in the Workplace, ProQuest, New York.

Stein, M & Voehl, F 1997, Macrologistics Management: A Catalyst for Organizational Change, CRC Press, New York.

Swe, S 2011, Five factors that can make or break change. Web.