9.5 The Management of Change
As has been identified in the earlier part of this chapter, a key part of OD is the management of change. The rest of the chapter will explore the location of OD within the main and alternative approaches to the management of change. All sport organisations experience day to day fluctuations, however the discussion in this chapter generally relates to the view of change expressed by Slack and Parent (2006) i.e. change that an organisation systematically develops. They identify that change can occur in four different areas of a sport organisation: The introduction or removal of products and services offered by the organisation. Technological change in terms of production processes and the skills and methods used to deliver its services. Structural and systemic change, for example staffing structures. People, with regard to how people think and behave.
(Slack and Parent 2006:239-240)
These changes are caused by external factors, such as economic and political conditions, and to some extent internal factors such as the ageing of material resources and human resources, in terms of people and their skills and abilities (Mullins 2007). A key task for sport managers is to identify the most appropriate changes and implement them. There are two main approaches to organisational change. This chapter will review them both in relation to sport.
9.51 Planned Change
Burnes (2009:600) distinguishes planned change from other approaches in terms of being “… consciously embarked on and planned by an organisation as opposed to types of change that might come by accident, impulse or forced on the organization”. Planned change is most closely aligned with OD. Accordingly, planned change focuses on change at a group level and factors such as group norms, roles, interactions and socialisation processes and how they create disequilibrium and change (Burnes 2009). As with OD, Lewin was a key architect in developing models of planned change of which his three step model of change lies at the core. Step 1: Unfreezing – as Figure 10.1. illustrates, the belief underpinning this model is that human behaviour is in a quasi stable equilibrium that is supported by a complexity of driving and restraining forces.
Figure 10.1. Equilibrium of human behavior and the forces of change.
For change to occur this equilibrium needs to be destabilized by reducing the restraining or driving forces that maintain current behaviour so that current behavior becomes redundant and new behaviour is enable to be adopted (Burne 2004). This enabling process takes into account the threats people may feel so that psychological safety is created in the new state of equilibrium (Schein 1996). Step 2: Moving involves the implementation of the change through the development of new attitudes and behavior. However, due to the complexity of the forces at work it is difficult to control the direction of change. Therefore it is important to undertake a learning approach, inherent in action research, that takes an “iterative approach of research, action and more research that enables groups and individuals to move from a less acceptable to a more acceptable set of behaviours” (Burnes 2009:339). Step 3: Refreezing – aims to stabilize the new behaviours and lock in the changes so a new equilibrium is attained this may need to be supported through changes in organizational policies structures and norms (Mullins 2007:736). An example of how Lewin’s model could be applied to sport organisations is increasing diversity within the workforce. According to Sport England (2010) this is perceived to be a key issue for sport organisations. The freezing stage would require both individuals and groups to identifying possible diversity issues within the organization. This would need to be supplemented by a moral and business justification for ensuring the workforce is diverse. Positive movement forward would involve diversity training and...
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