In 2013 PRASA experienced a significant organizational change in the approach to sustainability. By 2017, PRASA’s strategy aims to build a modern public organization capable of providing high-quality passenger services over the long term. This is achieved in the following ways: Invest in new capacities such as the latest trains, signaling and communication systems, infrastructure, traffic-oriented development, and new generation power plants, access control, and other operating systems. Investment in new capacities such as the latest trains, signaling and communication systems, infrastructure, traffic-oriented development, and new generation power plants, access control, and other operating systems were maintained by me.
It is generally accepted that construction activities consume a significant portion of natural resources and, at the same time, have many negative impacts on the environment and society. At that time, there was no consensus among stakeholders on how railway projects could achieve project sustainability. The metrics used to determine the long-term sustainability of a railway project can be linked to three factors: economic, environmental, and social sustainability. A good project needs to objectively investigate these three factors and balance them.
However, given the views and concerns of stakeholders, achieving this in a real project was difficult. Our team was required to provide long-term development strategies for sustainability to succeed. I was involved in constructing this development strategy, which was a big responsibility because long-term development is the most important organizational change that modern enterprises must undertake. The entire history of industrial enterprises is based on the material basis of natural exploitation, which has had external consequences such as environmental degradation. This major organizational change has only recently penetrated corporate and government agendas.
Since I have worked in the operating systems department, the organizational change affected me and my work in many ways. First, our team and I have completely changed the approach to the operating systems and started to work towards sustainability from a long-term perspective. Many of the costs and benefits mentioned so far seem to merge. For example, a decrease in oil reserves can be seen as both an economic burden and an environmental benefit. Distinguishing them and determining the impact of each stakeholder can take a considerable amount of time and effort (Leong and Hazelton, 2019). One of the important points that need to be emphasized is the potential impact of discount rates.
Traditional cost-benefit valuations use discount rates to describe inflation and asset depreciation over time. That is why I have managed a decision to apply discount rates to sustainability issues. This was a risk-taking decision since sustainability is rarely included in the cost-benefit analysis because it can be difficult to determine discount rates for difficult-to-quantify issues such as the value of clean air. The timing factor of investment is different from the general cost-benefit analysis when considering the economic impact of sustainability concerns.
Next, I have emphasized the need for transparency in the development strategy prepared by my team and me, as technological advances make it impossible for companies to hide their businesses. Internal dynamics require more accurate, relevant, and timely data-based decision-making. Our call for greater transparency in reporting on sustainable initiatives emphasized the importance of measuring and disclosing performance as a driving force for change. Given the complexity of the enterprise, integrating sustainability data with other operational metrics and systems can synchronize many areas of global activity.
Integration brings distributed employees and their knowledge together with large amounts of distributed, isolated, heterogeneous data. When I have discovered an increasing trend in reporting system collaboration and networking, I have identified integration as the driving force behind change. To set up a sustainability business case, I was required to quantify the relationship between sustainability initiatives, sustainability performance, and financial benefits.
I also saw a big need for the technology switch for the new development plan. Technology switch is a multi-faceted method that encourages the adoption of a brand new concept. I have decided to emphasize technology transfer as a solution since it is an important tool for developing countries to overcome their lack of social and economic development capacity. The technology transfer required for economic development from one place to the required place is called technology transfer. Vertical and horizontal technology transfer is possible. Vertical transfers are done within the enterprise, and horizontal transfers are done from one industry or one country to another.
Knowledge spillover can be passive or active, depending on the human capacity and willingness of the country to bear the costs of technology transfer and innovation. As a result, countries can develop faster based on capacity, institutional barriers, technology transfer incentives, FDI, trade, licensing, education, and technology acquisition through joint ventures. The flow of technology transfer and its use varies from country to country.
Rail transport revived in the 21st century, attracting significant infrastructure investment in many countries worldwide, including Africa. Africa’s first colonial railroad was built in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1852, and most of its major branch lines were completed in the 1920s. In particular, after independence, the railway transportation network deteriorated due to a shortage of human resources with the skills necessary for railway maintenance, management mistakes, and control of vehicle traffic.
Various mechanisms for overcoming or mitigating these technology transfer barriers include measuring the effectiveness of transfers, proactive communication, documenting existing methods, and linking developer and user reward mechanisms. I have started to address relocation barriers and consider technologies in their overall context for the social and economic development of PRASA in the global market. Some sustainability challenges, such as global climate change, are increasing even after successful mitigation measures.
Many of the smaller early routes that replace crowded bus routes have a little immediate impact but are usually much larger, to drastically change the shape of cities and traffic over decades. It serves as the backbone of large-scale expansion plans (Domingues et al., 2017).
As a result, potential future benefits should be weighed against existing costs and benefits associated with rail links. These factors may require additional weighting in the cost-benefit analysis to reflect increasing social benefits rather than decreasing over time (Thakhathi et al., 2019). In addition, the alignment with the rail may also be incorrect. Most of the reviews presented here compare rail and diesel-powered buses. However, as mentioned above, bus propulsion is increasingly being switched to more environmentally friendly types such as hybrid, electric propulsion, and compressed natural gas.
As PRASA has made sustainability a strategic goal, the challenges associated with performing these tasks increased. The discrepancy between intent and implementation can be explained in several ways. By focusing on sustainable development and the transition to a sustainable society, it can be understood that sustainability should be an end goal in itself (Arroyo, 2017). However, the terms used to describe sustainability, organization, and programs are confusing. The turmoil is exacerbated by competing definitions of sustainability (Pasha et al., 2020) and vague commitments to a “sustainable” environment or efficiency strategy.
The level of integration is a sustainability component that is often overlooked in management systems and changes management designs and provides space for scale development and empirical validation. In my strategy for development, integration refers to a wide range of activities related to environmental and social sustainability, such as the acquisition, management, decision making, measurement, and reporting of corporate resources used to create value. This concept emphasizes that evaluating performance in the vertical and horizontal directions of sustainability initiatives and several aspects relies on integration. We already understand that individuals, businesses, and government agencies are involved in the integration approach (Orji, 2019).
Although there are varying levels of integration, integrated organizations and management systems can be expected to perform better than non-integrated organizations. As the management of sustainability programs becomes more complex, PRASA has begun to quantify countermeasures and costs by regularly updating its environmental management and information system capabilities. According to Passetti et al. (2018), sustainability has long been fixed in management systems.
The initial focus on the system was how EMS could reduce waste and improve quality simultaneously in the enterprise. We have advocated continuing the combination of lean manufacturing and sustainability. To achieve this goal, EMS has evolved into a more comprehensive system approach to historic environmental hygiene and safety functions. It is the basis for evolving management system integration of environmental performance.
In addition to changes in the technological efficiency of raw materials and processes, sustainability requires organizational change management (Rosenbaum, 2018). Leadership, vision, people, and guidelines should be included (Lozano and Garcia, 2020). Organizations that resist change risk becoming more vulnerable to external factors. Internal change and innovation provide a top-down strategy that emphasizes measurement, management, and control, while internal change and innovation enable an inside-out approach (Narayanan et al., 2019). Our team and I have proposed a hybrid approach to change management in the form of “organized changes for corporate sustainability.” The organizational system goes through the transition phase before adapting to a more sustainable form in the change phase. This iterative process enables the development of change drivers and drivers and the implementation of strategies to overcome sustainability barriers and new reporting requirements.
According to PRASA performance report 2012/13, a portion of the capital allocation will be required to keep the railway system up and running during the modernization phase. These efforts are essential to regaining and maintaining confidence in the system that has served South Africa for decades. In 2012/13, PRASA used a capital program to create jobs through suppliers and contractors. As a result, nearly 5,000 jobs have been created and maintained.
Focused on youth employment in 2013/14, PRASA Technical will pursue this in many projects scheduled for procurement next year. My efforts have provided many important insights for the team and me. Initially, sustainability and dissemination are inextricably linked. Sustainability issues can hinder adoption, and ways to disseminate new technologies can improve or compromise sustainability. Second, there are time-dependent processes affected by several interconnected elements at different levels of analysis. Third, there is no checklist to handle these concerns efficiently.
Overall, I think that the organizational change was managed well by PRASA. The organization has improved the technological choice towards more sustainable technology. However, there were not enough diagnostic approaches. We know which types of factors and processes have a significant impact on sustainability, but timing and context determine which are relevant. Instead of a mechanical factor-based approach, it provides a diagnostic approach that includes management attention and vigilance.
It is sensitive to a combination of concerns that support or endanger these processes in specific settings. Paying attention to these issues does not necessarily guarantee long-term viability and widespread use, but it will certainly increase your chances. After all, this work revolves around the importance of timing, ordering, and tempo. When additional conditions are met, certain less complex changes can propagate at an alarming rate. Rushing to implement and distribute changes impacts the influence of those improvements and their long-term viability and can jeopardize their dissemination if the appropriate conditions are not met.
In the future, I would consider the objectives of the outcome and the consequences of the taken measures in a long-term perspective. PRASA must focus on improving sustainability; however, it is also essential to consider the effect of the actions taken on the other sectors of the organization. For example, how changing technological approach will influence the company’s financial efficiency in 15 years. I would look from a wider range of perspectives on the issue in my future work on organizational change.
PARSA’s organizational change towards sustainability has changed my feelings towards the operating systems approach. Firstly, I was making many risky decisions concerning organizational change. For example, applying discount rates was a high-risk decision; however, it had a positive outcome for the organization’s performance. At first, I felt stressed and was worried because of the big responsibility on me.
I understand that changing the already maintained system and approaches could be difficult and overwhelming. However, after I had managed to take action towards the improvement, I felt satisfaction, especially after seeing the results of my work. In addition, I have learned how to work in a team more efficiently. I believe it is very important because the organizational change affects my work and the work of the whole team members.
Next, I have started to think about financial leverages and have become concerned about environmental issues. I have started to analyze what impact our work has on nature and our consumption of natural resources. Our team has applied different management techniques, the main of which was based on the integration. Integration required me to be accurate and concentrated in my work. Because as I have mentioned before, integrating one aspect in the work of an organization may severely influence another operating area. In the future, I would like to improve my knowledge on how to apply integration strategy in a more efficient way. In the future, a more comprehensive approach to managing systems related to organizational change should be implemented.
In addition, I have learned the importance of organizational change for the company. From the example of PRASA, it could be seen that an organization might need to change its approach in order to meet the requirements of modern business and society. In order to implement the organizational change effectively, several factors should be considered simultaneously. Because it is a serious step for the organization, the managers should be responsible and accurate. As a manager, I have learned to pay attention to long-term goals when constructing a development strategy. Constructing a development strategy required diligent work and a versatile approach from me. From experience, I may conclude that the organization needs to maintain certain management changes to meet the modern business requirements and growth.
Arroyo, P., 2017. A new taxonomy for examining the multi-role of campus sustainability assessments in organizational change. Journal of Cleaner Production, 140, pp.1763-1774.
Domingues, A.R., Lozano, R., Ceulemans, K. and Ramos, T.B., 2017. Sustainability reporting in public sector organisations: Exploring the relation between the reporting process and organisational change management for sustainability. Journal of environmental management, 192, pp.292-301.
Leong, S. and Hazelton, J., 2019. Under what conditions is mandatory disclosure most likely to cause organisational change?. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal.
Lozano, R. and Garcia, I., 2020. Scrutinizing sustainability change and its institutionalization in organizations. Frontiers in Sustainability, 1, p.1.
Narayanan, V. and Boyce, G., 2019. Exploring the transformative potential of management control systems in organisational change towards sustainability. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal.
Orji, I.J., 2019. Examining barriers to organizational change for sustainability and drivers of sustainable performance in the metal manufacturing industry. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 140, pp.102-114.
Pasha, J., Dulebenets, M.A., Singh, P., Moses, R., Sobanjo, J. and Ozguven, E.E., 2021. Towards improving sustainability of rail transport by reducing traffic delays at level crossings: A case study for the State of Florida. Cleaner Logistics and Supply Chain, 1, p.100001.
Passetti, E., Cinquini, L. and Tenucci, A., 2018. Implementing internal environmental management and voluntary environmental disclosure: does organisational change happen. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal.
Rosenbaum, D., More, E. and Steane, P., 2018. Planned organisational change management: Forward to the past? An exploratory literature review. Journal of Organizational Change Management.
Thakhathi, A., le Roux, C. and Davis, A., 2019. Sustainability leaders’ influencing strategies for institutionalising organisational change towards corporate sustainability: A strategy-as-practice perspective. Journal of Change Management, 19(4), pp.246-265.