Organizational Change

Topics: Change management, Bureaucracy, Organization Pages: 8 (1919 words) Published: March 17, 2013
Organizational Change
Organizational Change Management is “all of the actions required for an organization to understand, prepare for, implement and take full advantage of significant change”.
The goals of Change Management are:
* The successful design, implementation, measurement and maintenance of an organization’s change initiative * Enhancement of their on-going capacity for managing change Lewin’s force field analysis model states that all systems have driving and restraining forces. Change occurs through the process of unfreezing, changing, and refreezing.

One side of the force field model represents the driving forces that push organizations toward a new state of affairs. These might include new competitors or technologies, evolving workforce expectations, or a host of other environmental changes. Corporate leaders also produce driving forces even when external forces for change aren’t apparent. For instance, some experts call for “divine discontent” as a key feature of successful organizations, meaning that leaders continually urge employees to strive for higher standards or new innovations even when the company outshines the competition.

The other side of Lewin’s model represents the restraining forces that maintain the status quo. These restraining forces are commonly called “resistance to change” because they appear as employee behaviors that block the change process. Stability occurs when the driving and restraining forces are roughly in equilibrium, that is, they are of approximately equal strength in opposite directions. Lewin’s force field model emphasizes that effective change occurs by unfreezing the current situation, moving to a desired condition, and then refreezing the system so that it remains in the desired state. Unfreezing involves producing disequilibrium between the driving and restraining forces. As we will describe later, this may occur by increasing the driving forces, reducing the restraining forces, or having a combination of both. Refreezing occurs when the organization’s systems and structures are aligned with the desired behaviors. They must support and reinforce the new role, patterns and prevent the organization from slipping back into the old way of doing things.

Six reasons why people resist organizational change

1. Direct costs. People tend to block actions that result in higher direct costs or lower benefits than those in the existing situation.

2. Saving face. Some people resist change as a political strategy to “prove” that the decision is wrong or that the person encouraging change is incompetent. This not-invented-here syndrome is widespread, according to change experts. Says one consultant, “Unless they’re scared enough to listen, they’ll never forgive you for being right and for knowing something they don’t.”

3. Fear of the unknown. People resist change out of worry that they cannot adjust to the new work requirements. This fear of the unknown increases the risk of personal loss. For example, even if many FBI managers and professionals recognized that the agency should change its mandate, they likely were reluctant to push the changes forward because it is difficult to anticipate how this mandate would affect them personally.

4. Breaking routines. People typically resist initiatives that force them out of their comfort zones and require them to invest time and energy in learning new role patterns.

5. Incongruent team dynamics. Teams develop and enforce conformity to a set of norms that guide behavior. However, conformity to existing team norms may discourage employees from accepting organizational change.

6. Incongruent organizational systems. Rewards, information systems, patterns of authority, career paths, selection criteria, and other systems and structures are both friends and foes of organizational change. When properly aligned, they reinforce desired behaviors. When misaligned, they pull people back into...
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