A Research on SMRT’s (S’pore) resistance to change

Topics: Change management Pages: 7 (2094 words) Published: August 21, 2014
1. Introduction
Established in 1983 in Singapore, SMRT, a transport service provider, took over the roles and responsibility to operate Singapore’s Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) when it started its operations back in 1987. From 1987 to 2013, SMRT has grown from a medium sized corporation to a billion dollar Multi-national Company. SMRT now controls the far-reaching MRT and the light rail (LRT) system in Singapore which includes 93 stations which spreads over 136.4 km (as of 2013). Beside the MRT and LRT, SMRT as well owns a fleet of 1,050 Buses which seamlessly connect people to their destination. It was as if this was not enough. The monopolistic company as well a fleet of 3,000 taxis which it leases to its clients. SMRT has a total of 15 subsidiaries based in Singapore, U.A.E and China (SMRT, 2012) Proposed Project Title: A Research on SMRT’s (S’pore) resistance to change How resistance to change affects SMRT’s efficiency in the transport industry (i) To Research on the importance of Change

(ii) To Investigate why change is resisted
(iii) To Search for methods to reduce resistance

To make this huge organisation tick, SMRT employs about 2,700 staff (SMRT, 2012). This would mean to say that implementing a series of change into the organisation would be met with resistance. In the past years, SMRT trains have been hit by poor maintenance issue as their trains were breaking down when it was needed the most (peak-hours) thus affecting their efficiency. After the major breakdowns, SMRT publicly announced numerous of changes. However, there were more break-downs in the following months. A research will be done in this paper to study, investigate and search reasons for this resistance. 2. Literature Review

Change is something most people are afraid of as it sometimes requires a walk into the unknown and it definitely disturbs the status quo of the present environment. The researcher would be discussing this subject matter as shown in the diagram below.

2.1 Importance for Change
Change in an organisation often occurs as a response to an ever-changing environment, a retort to a recent crisis situation. The developing body has within it an underlying form, logic, program, or code that regulates the process of change and moves the entity from a given point of departure toward a subsequent end that is prefigured in the present state. (Weick and Quinn, 1999, pp. 361--386) Individual characteristics are not seen as an important determinant of innovative behavior between people in organizations. However, administrative positions and roles do seem to have an impact on the involvement of an individual in the change process. Structural characteristics of the organization strongly affect the organization's innovative behavior. Political and economical factors and other organizations innovativeness is a major determinant of an organization's change behavior. (Baldridge and Burnham, 1975, pp. 165--176) In this viewpoint, the political, economical, social and technological factors play a major role in the importance for change. 2.1.1 Political and Economical Factors

Even though political and economical factors are two separate factors, economical issues are usually derived from legislations be it local or in a foreign country. Change can be affected by these factors by a number of causes. It has been identified that political issues can affect the success in managing change. (Baldridge and Burnham, 1975, pp. 165--176) “A good example would be the need to find an alternative to oil. It is a particularly related illustration at the time of writing, with the condition in Iraq remaining unsound and with U.S. – Iran affairs being unstable” (Rafailidis, 2013). While managing change, firms need to sustain a high standard of honesty and integrity to be able to operate successfully in markets (Rettab and Brik et al., 2009, pp. 371—390) especially in countries where the government keeps a close eye on its economy. However, in some instances,...
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