Managers’ Role in Implementing Organizational Change: Case of the Restaurant Industry in Melbourne

Topics: Change management, Management, Business Pages: 16 (5125 words) Published: November 20, 2010

MANAGERS’ ROLE IN IMPLEMENTING ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE: CASE OF THE RESTAURANT INDUSTRY IN MELBOURNE Mindy Man Min Chew, Joseph S. L. Cheng and Sonja Petrovic-Lazarevic1 “You know, I’m all for progress. It’s change I object to” Mark Twain, cited by Pietersen, 2002

The restaurant industry is an integral segment of the hospitality sector that is sensitive to external environmental changes. In order to remain competitive, restaurants must be flexible to quickly react and adapt to external environment challenges. Due to the close interactions and relationships between employees and managers, there can be direct effects on a restaurants performance when internal and external change occurs. This research project was conducted in the city of Melbourne, known for its fine dining and cosmopolitan style cuisine. The study investigated managers’ role when initiating and implementing organizational change in order to minimise possible employees’ resistance to change. The findings support previous theoretical approaches to effective change management. The key elements to support change were effective communication, employees’ attitude and perception of managers’ undertaken actions. INTRODUCTION Change, defined as an effort that consists of actual physical changes to operations and different emotional stimulation (Bernerth, 2004) is painful in the workplace, going from what is certain and known to the otherwise. Employees lose the comfort of the known and the familiar, the sense of competency they used to possess, the status and/or financial security they once enjoyed and networks they have gone at length to build. Mindy Man Min Chew holds a Master of Business degree in Professional Accounting from Victoria University, Australia. Prior to that, she completed her Honours Degree of Bachelor of Business in Monash University in 2004. Mindy’s research interests include: employee performance and management, organizational change, managerial communication and consumer behaviour. Joseph S. L. Cheng has been a PhD candidate with the Faculty of Business and Economics in Monash University, Australia since 2001, and his current research focus is on leadership and change management in university. Before joining Monash, Joseph was a senior administrative staff in The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Sonja Petrovic-Lazarevic, Associate Professor at Monash University, Australia. Professor at the University of Belgrade, Visiting Professor at the University of California Berkeley, Fulbright academic exchange scholar. She has published books on social welfare, business economics, engineering economics; journal papers and book chapters on governance, ethics, e-business, and business decision making processes. 58 ©Journal of Global Business and Technology, Volume 2, Number 1, Spring 2006 1

Mindy Man Min Chew, Joseph S. L. Cheng and Sonja Petrovic-Lazarevic Though we all rationally recognize that progress means change, and that we all need to progress, but not even the prospect of attaining benefits from change would make everyone ready and willing, or indeed able, to embrace change. On the contrary, it is widely believed that most would resist change. Duck (1993) bluntly points that “change is intensely personal” and Pietersen (2002) reckons that “for many people, the spectre of change produces what is sometimes called the Factor- Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt”. Since change is widely accepted as almost always top-down and induced by the management, those being managed would also almost always resist to change, imposing an imperative for managers to overcome the resistance before it could bring the change forward. Resistance to change is often understood from the management standpoint as a perceived behaviour of organization’s members who refuse to accept an organizational change (Cheng & Petrovic-Lazarevic, 2004; Coghlan, 1993). It is also defined as a multifaceted phenomenon which...

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