How action research can be combined with other methods to reduce barriers between different staff and employees groups
Action research involves data collection and analysis and initiating actions based on what the analysed data indicate. In situations of change management, implementation actions are based on the data findings. Action research normally undergoes various processes ranging from diagnosis to evaluation. Within the continuum are the analysis, feedback and the active processes. Most organisations utilise the processes in assessing the relations among employees, reduce frictions and bring about improvements to the management processes, which in turn enhances productivity.
Actions research has several benefits to the organisation, particularly in the management of employees. First, action research is problem-focused. In other words, action research tends to be objective in dealing with the organisation’s problems and determines the possible solution. Second, resistances to the determined changes are reduced. Resistances to changes are reduced through participation or involvement in determining appropriate solutions to the problems (Waddell et al. 234). Within the processes, employees are normally involved in the feedback stage.
Action research is normally combined with various intervention strategies in order to bring about the desired change. Interventions such as Appreciative Inquiry (AI) and communication strategy are normally applied together with action research in order to attain the desired results. The communication strategy is normally applied in all the five stages of action research in order to enhance understanding among the employees while AI is majorly applied in the first stage. Generally, action research is normally collectively applied with other strategies to attain the desired change, which bring about improvements to the management processes and enhances productivity.
The Human Resources (HR) interventions that can be used in large organisations and how they can be combined with the change strategy
Various Human Resources (HR) intervention strategies are available for organisations to effect the desired change. However, the most important strategies include employees performance management, employees development and employees wellness programs. The intervention strategies focus on improving employees’ satisfaction and performance. In fact, the HR intervention strategies focus on activities that enhance change processes through the modification of structures, technologies and operations. In addition, the strategies focus on changes in the processes, roles and procedures within the organisation.
Performance management interventions emphasise on goal setting, progress evaluation, sharing feedback and reinforcing actions that lead to the attainment of goals. Employees’ development involves training and skills enhancement through various strategies. In the change management process, employees are trained on the preferred change processes. Employees wellness programs are closely related to performance management strategies (Waddell et al. 75). In fact, the performance can be enhanced by increasing the sense of well-being among employees.
The manner in which poorly planned communication limits the change management implementation in an organisation
Communication is one of the critical aspects of managing change. Studies indicate that effective change management is attained through appropriate communication. While most managers would want to implement changes within their organisations, they lack communication skills to convey the desired prerequisites for change. Due to lack of communication skills, most managers end up with poorly planned communication during the implementation stage of the desired transformation. As a result, most employees resist the desired change.
Essentially, poorly planned communication leads to confusion and misunderstanding of the basics of the preferred transformation, which result in increased resistance to change (Waddell et al. 157). In other words, inappropriate communication means that the goals, objectives and the consequences of the desired change are not acknowledged by employees leading to increased dissatisfaction and resistance to the change.
The manner in which effective communication strategy can be used to reduce employees’ resistance and gain commitment to change
Currently, effective communication remains critical to the success of change implementation within the organisation. The reason is that appropriate communication is applied in announcing and explaining the goals and objectives of the desired change as well as preparing employees for the consequences of the implemented transformations. In fact, poor communications provide a clear explanation for the failure of most of the change management processes (Waddell et al. 234).
Prior information about the desired changes in an organisation is critical in overcoming the resistance to change by the employees. In fact, in order to minimise the change resistance and win the employees’ commitment to the desired transformations, prior information on when the change will be implemented is necessary. In addition, prior information on how the change will be implemented, expectations, the influence the change will have on jobs, and the manner in which the firm will support the implementation process, motivation and need to commit to the change process is critical. Predictability is also significant in the working environment. Good communication strategies enhance the predictability regarding the changes within the organization (Waddell et al. 158). As such, resistance to change is minimised.
In fact, various studies have cited the importance of communication strategies during the change management process. Kurt Lewin’s three-step model of change management and force-field theory of resistance to change focuses on the need for appropriate communication strategy to manage successfully the required changes in the organisation. In addition, the Kotter’s eight-step as well as Nadler and Tushman’s congruent models have put a lot of emphasis on the significance of suitable communication strategies in effecting change with the organisation. Kotter argues that change resistance can be minimised through the provision of prior information. However, the information should be clear, precise and understood in order to avoid unpredictability, cynicism and uncertainty.
The main differences in scope and focus between Organisational Development (OD) and Organisational Transformation (OT) interventions
Many scholars have provided explanations of Organisational Development (OD) and Organisational Transformations (OT) through the comparison of their intervention strategies. However, studies indicate that these processes are complementary in terms of their scope and focus. In other words, both the processes are critically important within the particular contexts (Waddell et al. 234). While OD is primarily based on behavioural theories and focuses on the data collection and analysis, OT focuses on the humanities oriented visions for the organisation. In other words, OT is more practical in scope as opposed to the theoretical approach of OD.
Essentially, OD presents significant steps that aid an organisation or a unit to function effectively within the parameters of its stated mission and goals. Conversely, OT offers steps and technologies that aid an organisation to explore its very purpose and fundamentally realign with the environment. In other words, while OD interventions focus on issues of effectiveness within a given purpose, OT interventions focus on changing the very purpose (Waddell et al. 189).
Moreover, the OT involves the configuration of behaviours, roles, attitudes, motives, beliefs and values of employees within the organisation. On the other hand, OD involves the refining, unfolding and strengthening of behaviours, roles, attitudes, motives, beliefs and values within the organisation. In essence, the OD and OT interventions are qualitatively different even though they are complementary strategies. In other words, the OT and OD interventions and not mutually exclusive approaches to the management of organisation change.
Reasons why OT is better suited to bring about change in organisations operating in the uncertain globally connected environment of 2011
OT interventions are transformational and undergo various processes before the desired changes are attained. While various models and stages have been identified during the transformations, seldom do organisations move smoothly or linearly through these stages. The speed and pattern of movement also vary depending on the internal and external factors. The slow and transformational process is critical for the success of the organisation particularly in a complex and competitive environment (Waddell et al. 190). Slow growth and transformation allows the organisation to learn and understand the environmental dynamics, which provide mechanisms in which the organisation escapes the competitive barriers.
In fact, the OT process is different from the traditional linear mechanistic concepts, which are mainly concerned with an orderly supplying or fixing defective item. In other words, OT allows the organisation to stabilise or do away with destabilisations caused by environmental factors. The problem solving processes of OT including the move from the traditional paradigm, dealing with environmental stimulus, and adopting the new paradigm of creativity, innovation and discovery explains the reason why OT is a critical component process of the current organisations.
The manner in which knowledge management and organisation learning can bring about effective changes to the structure, systems and culture of large organisations to add value and provide sustainable competitive advantage
Knowledge management and organisation learning are important concepts to the firm particularly in an uncertain and highly competitive environment. In fact, knowledge management is the surest way of gaining and sustaining competitive advantage to the organisation. With appropriate knowledge management in addition to supportive environment, organisations can change its structure, design and align its processes to the needs of the market (Waddell et al. 255). In other words, appropriate knowledge management within the organisation enhances the understanding of all the business processes including offering solutions to the current problems. In fact, knowledge management promotes organisational learning, which in turn leads to innovation, creativity and increased adaptability to the current environmental conditions.
In large organisations, knowledge management is normally applied in the identification, selection, conveying and transfer of critical information and technological knowhow. The processes enable the organisation to be efficient and effective in drawing solutions to the current problems. Moreover, the transfer of information and expertise increases the dynamic learning, strategic planning as well as decision-making processes within the organisation.
For instance, in most of the global organisations, knowledge management has been focused on making out and transferring knowledge in order to be jointly reapplied in various areas within the organisation. Current studies argue that effective knowledge management and organisational learning are supported by the organisation culture, structure, strategies and technology. Cultural component remains significant particularly in enhancing the organisation learning. In essence, the application of the two concepts is the surest way of adding value to the firm, which in turn provides sustainable competitive advantage.
Waddell, Dianne, Andrwe Creed, Thomas Cummings and Christopher Worley. Organisational Change Development and Transformation. Boston, Massachusetts: Cengage Learning. Print.