Organizational Change Management at the IBM

Subject: Management
Pages: 5
Words: 1395
Reading time:
5 min
Study level: PhD


Organizational change cannot be avoided; it is one of the significant critical success factors that an organization has to incorporate in its policies (IBM, 2009). Organizational change aims at motivating the employees to accept the changes which have to be implemented in the present business context. Organizational change can include various concepts such as: operational changes, which principally entails a change in the manner through which the business executes its business processes; Technological changes, changes in the organizational culture and strategic changes. In order to foster change in an organization, a critical analysis of the present business situation is required, so as to provide a framework for the justification of the implementation of change. In a correlation to the IBM, change initiative is a key requirement since the computing technologies are dynamic; this implies that the company has to initiative organizational change strategies so as to remain competitive at the market place (Fuchs, 2004). The significant driving factors for change at the IBM include the need to reduce overhead expenses, need to increase employee productivity, the need to increase its competitive advantage in its market sector and most importantly, the need for the business to be able to sustain itself amidst technological and financial challenges. These essay attempts to analyze the current business context at IBM, evaluate its effectiveness in the present competitive market after which it will articulate a vision of change for the organization (William, 2003).

The achievement of change that is sustainable starts with having an in depth understanding of the present state of the company, which is then followed by the deployment of effective strategies. Change management lays emphasis on the outcome of implementation of the new strategies (Petch, 2009). Change operations typically involves applying new strategy to the carrying out of a task and in some cases, it entails structural change. The computing technology market is very turbulent and dynamic, with new market players having optimized solutions emerging every day. In order to survive in such a business environment, an organization requires effective change methodologies (Petch, 2009). The organizational strategy that is applied today, probably will not work in future. On a similar account, the organizational strategies that worked in duration approximately five years ago are not effective now. To effectively manage within the dynamic business environment, the IBM has to adapt to the present business context, adaptation in itself implies change. The management and strategic practices of the past can no longer be deemed effective in the current business practices at the IBM (IBM, 2009). Consequently, if the IBM is to uphold its competitive advantage, and enhance effectiveness in terms of service delivery, it must approach the present business environment in a manner that is proactive and agile. This implies that IBM has to reconstruct its organizational strategies in order to survive in the computing market place. The strategies that IBM used during the 90s cannot be effective in the current business situation. Presently, the organizational structure at IBM does not maximize on its potential due to a number of limiting factors such lack of employee productivity, lack of customer satisfaction, ineffective management approaches, increased operation costs and the need for the realization of the business needs, goals and objectives. The organizational culture at the IBM is a limiting factor towards innovation and effective decision making. The organizational culture can be viewed as not effective in the terms of streamlining the execution of business operations at the IBM. Despite the internal driving factors which limit the organizational effectiveness, there are a number of external factors such a bad stakeholder relationships, technological advancements and increasing competitors in the same market as IBM; which pose the need to implement organizational change initiative at IBM. Significant areas which require changes include the marketing strategies, management approaches, employee and customer relations and the organizational culture (IBM, 2009).

Challenges in change implementation

An overview of the IBM reveals that significant organizational and structural changes are required at the company. The main objective behind organizational change is to achieve enterprise growth. Laying the framework for organization change is usually a challenge to the organization; initiating change too is one of the most difficult phases of change management for an organization (Petch, 2009). For the case of IBM and similar companies, it is a common phenomenon for the organizations to focus on technological changes without considering implementing change in terms of the organizational culture and behavior. It is evident change is not easily embraced in any organization, this implies that in the process of initiating change, companies must first consider the challenges that are associated with the implementation of the change rather than prioritizing change which might turn ineffective in the long run (Kotler, 1996). There are a number of challenges associated with the process of implementing changing at the IBM. One of the significant challenges in the process of change implementation is the change readiness of the organization. Change readiness primarily entails an analysis of the levels to which change can be accepted and embraced by the organization (Fuchs, 2004). Another significant challenge in the process of articulating change at the organization is change resistance; changes in organizational culture and strategy are not easy to adapt to, as a result, most of the employees will be not take embrace the change. Change resistance has impacts on the organizational effectiveness due to the fact it will take a considerable time for the employees to become fully conversant with the new approach. The transformational period is usually at the expense of the organization. Another business challenge associated with the implementation of change is in terms of aligning the major stakeholders with the goals behind implementation of the change. The stakeholders require a justification for the change of organizational strategy. The flexibility of the organization is also a major challenge; due to the fact adopting change in an organization that is not flexible risks the effectiveness of realization of transformational goals (William, 2003).

In order to curb the associated challenges of change implementation at the organization, effective change strategies require to be implemented in an appropriate manner. One of the ways of approaching change is in terms of leadership change; this usually entails the development of a culture for organizational change. The organizational change strategy also entails the development of strong organizational culture. This involves the recognition of the importance of business culture as playing a significant role in influencing the performance of the organization. As a result, the organizational change strategy should therefore aim at developing strong organizational culture which can streamline the execution of business operations. It is imperative that the organizational change strategy should not enhance the realization of current effectiveness but also future growth. This is usually attained through the use of effective change management and program strategy. It is also important that the organizational change strategy should put into consideration the organizational design through facilitating of the alignment of organizational structures with the service delivery requirements of the enterprise (William, 2003). Stakeholder participation is a key requirement for the success of any organizational change strategy; this is fostered through appropriate communication channels with the key stakeholders. Stakeholder engagement is aimed at ensuring that there is commitment towards the implementation of change at the organization. Another significant element of organizational change strategy is transformation in terms of culture. Culture transformation plays a significant role in ensuring that there is improved employee productivity which in turn results to improved organizational performance. In the context of IBM, it will be of great value if the change management is technology driven, this implies that the people in the organization become conversant with the technology advancements which in turn facilitates change which is technology driven (William, 2003).

Framework for organizational change strategy

Organizational culture and behavior play an important role in fostering change. This therefore implies that whatever causes the implementation of the change, organizational culture and behavior should be incorporated to the change strategy. Effective organizational change should incorporate concepts such as: leadership is a key requirement for sustaining change in an organization; having a clearly stated vision and a plan of approach; availability of viable alternatives; evaluation of appropriate technology and fostering organizational culture change. The extent to which these concepts are applied depends on the scope and limitations of the change to be implemented and the level of complexity of the organization (Fuchs, 2004).


Fuchs, S. (2004). Organizational change in the internet age. Web.

IBM. (2009). IBM Global Study: Majority of Organisational Change Projects Fail. Web.

Kotler, J. (1996). Leading change. London: Harvard Business School Press.

Petch, A. ( 2009). Managing transitions: support for individuals at key points of change. New York: The Policy Press.

William, B. (2003). Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change. New York: Cambrige.