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Organizational Change Management Sample

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Critical evaluate why models of planned change do not bring about cultural change?

Change management is indeed one of the complex processes that organizations often undergo. It is worth observing that change management has close links to organizational culture as change means doing away or changing some of the long held practices in an organization. The purpose of this paper is to develop a review of literature. The literature focuses on the link between change management and cultural change and whether cultural change models end up imposing changes in culture.

The essence of incorporating organizational history and culture in change management

Reissner (2011) sought to understand change management from the historical perspective. Through the deployment of three different angles taken up by the stories of organizational change, Reissner confirmed that the narration of change management takes a dual approach; bringing out the differences between experiences and expectations on the one hand and the creation of new meaning for organizations on the other hand. This resulted in the conclusion that organizations can hardly make sense of the processes of change if they do not factor culture in the change processes. According to Briody, Meerwarth Pester & Trotter (2012), the culture of a given plan have a critical influence on all the developments that organizational managers introduce. Taking a historical approach in exploring change management in the General Motors manufacturing plant, Briody, Meerwarth Pester & Trotter (2012) emphasized the need to deploy cultural histories in developing and implementing change. These results also coincide with the observation by Senior & Swailes (2010), who observed that change entails the introduction of new content in the realms of management, which might pose pressures on the existing patterns of management thereby impeding effective take off of change.

According to Briody, Meerwarth Pester & Trotter (2012), a substantial number of researches on change management fail to capture the issue of factoring culture in the development and institutionalization of change. In what can be seen as the support for the consideration and reflection on the cultural history of organizations during the development and implementation of change, McCabe (2010) brought to attention the issue of organizational memory as a factor that influence the acceptance and resistance of change. Organizational culture entails activities and functions in organizations that are developed over an extended period of time, as such; change management cannot be optimized if organizations do not induce processes that necessitate a shift in organizational culture and climate. Organizational culture sets the climate or the organization. Models of change management which ail to reflect on the history and culture or organizations often result in significant failures in meeting the goals of change management. Building change depends on the already existing structures, which in this case means that culture is the most essential basis on which organizational managers can peg on while forging the change process (Sopow 2007; McCabe 2010).

Change as a complex process

Change is not an easy step as would be considered by a substantial number of organizational managers concerned with organizational change (Barratt-Pugh, Bahn & Gakere 2013; Ree & Hall, 2010). In their research whose aim was to understand the different ways through which organizational managers factor change in organizations, Burnes (2004) concluded that change management is a dynamic process. The dynamism in the change process comes from the fact that different organizations have different histories and different models of management, which should be the basis on which the selection of the given model of change should be done. Approximately 60 percent of change projects fail because of the failure of the organizations’ managers to select the models or type of change that match the context of change. Instead of simplifying change, by selecting the best suited type of change, some managers further complicate the process of change by seeking to adopt some models, which end up working negative depending on the culture established in organizations (Burnes 2004; Ree & Hall, 2010; Barratt-Pugh, Bahn & Gakere 2013). According to Burnes (2004) and Ree & Hall (2010), the organizational environment is witnessing a substantial number of changes. Based on this, it is imperative to note that organizational managers must move with speed and determine the models of change desirable and applicable for change management in contemporary organizations. Pryor, Taneja, Humphreys, Anderson & Singleton (2008) reiterated the essence of developing new models of change management as this is a strategic move, which not only captures the prevailing situation, but also allows organizational managers to look into the long held operations and how they affect change.

Another issue contributing to the complexity of change management is the question of attitudes and emotions and perceptions. These have a significant effect on the acceptance and embrace of change by organizational managers. At this point, it is worth noting that perceptions, attitudes and emotions can on one hand be considered as critical components of culture or factors promoted by culture on the other hand. Change management necessitates shifts in behaviors, thence can be seen as a psychological process as well (Abdul Rashid, Sambasivan & Abdul Rahman, 2004; Smollan & Sayers 2009 and Diamond 2008). McLoughlin, Badham & Palmer (2005) conducted a study on the influence of culture on organizational change, in which they concluded that culture can be complex due to the factors emanating within the processes of change or the environment under which organizational change takes place. Assessing three issues that are associated with the management of change: vision, resistance and communication, Palmer & Dunford (2008) concluded that assumptions about change should be done by exploring a wide range of theories on the subject of change management and settling on the theories that relate to the context of change management.

Culture has a significant influence on change management

The success of implementing change in organizations depends on the readiness of organizational members to embrace change. Based on the hypothesis that the way the employees perceive the culture of an organization determines the readiness with which they receive change, which in turn affects the implementation and success of change, Smollan & Sayers (2009) conducted a study on organizational culture and change management. In the study, they found out that that the support for the implementation of change by organization employees was higher in cases where employees supported the established systems of an organization. These findings can be linked to the observation by Senior & Swailes (2010) who indicated that the culture or an organization is a reflection of all the developments in the organization, including the politics of the organization, which can either result in support for change or the rejection of change by organizational members. Jones, Jimmieson & Griffiths (2005) found that change management requires the preparation of organizational members as it involves significant forces some of which necessitate a shift in culture. Change begins with the development of a strong sense of the prevailing culture and the ultimate development of the underlying reasons necessitating a shift in culture and communication of the reasons to organizational members (Fronda & Moriceau, 2008).

Culture, organizational leadership and organizational change

More often than not, organizational leaders implement change in phases. In each of the phases of change management, the culture of an organization plays a certain role in influencing the success of change at a given stage. How change management takes shape in organizations comes out strongly in the models of organizational change expanded by a substantial number of researchers. Depending on the given model of organizational change, culture still stands as a critical factor that determines the nature of change processes established by organizational managers besides affecting the outcomes of change in organizations (Latta 2009). Burnes (2004) also sought to develop a desirable model of change by evaluating the work done by Kurt Lewin on organizational change. This led to the conclusion that the change is in constant change, thus the importance of developing a renewed interest in studying and understanding the factors that surround organizational change.

According to Ogbonna & Wilkinson (2003), organizational change, which includes organizational culture, is a transformative process and that the decisions taken by managers in the implementation of change should also support the change in culture. Bell (2012) observed that cultural change requires leadership, especially when the change in culture is as a result of the push for change in organizations. Change management requires an understanding of the culture of an organization by organizational leaders. The articulation of culture change in the broad process of change management requires bold and strategic leadership with the understanding that the steering of change can actually result in the mounting of resistance to that change by organizational stakeholders (Biro 2013; Bell 2012). Biro (2013) developed five principles crucial to attaining culture change as part of the process of attaining change management in organizations. The outstanding thing in five principles is the essence of communication by the leadership of the organization, which have the burden of being strategic enough to let people understand the need for change and their role in the process of change. In their research, on managing culture change, Harris & Ogbonna (2002) concluded that management interventions, which in most cases come from theoretical understanding, have a far reaching effect on the nature of outcomes attained in a change management process. Harris & Ogbonna (2002) further suggested that more studies need to be conducted with regard to the institution of change process by organizational managers in order to develop knowledge critical for guiding managers on how they ought to factor culture in the change management processes.

Conclusion

Change management often comes out as an intense process, especially when organizations want to institute changes based on a long-term. Literature shows that there is a close relationship between culture change and change management. However, it is apparent that a substantial number of change management processes initiated by organizations often ignore the culture of organizations, which is the reason as to why change management often fails in most organizations. The literature reiterates the essence of factoring cultural change in the models of change management, more so considering the fact that there is a lot of diversity in the modern business environment and that change management is something that often comes into picture in most organizations.

Reference List

Abdul Rashid, Z, Sambasivan, M, & Abdul Rahman, A 2004, ‘The influence of organizational culture on attitudes toward organizational change’, Leadership & organization development Journal, vol. 25 no. 2, pp. 161-179.

Barratt-Pugh, L, Bahn, S, & Gakere, E 2013, ‘Managers as change agents: Implications for human resource managers engaging with culture change’, Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 26 no. 4, pp. 748-764.

Bell, CR 2012, ‘Culture Change’, Leadership Excellence, vol. 29 no. 11, pp. 12-12.

Biro, S 2013, ‘Change the Culture’, Leadership Excellence, vol. 30 no. 4, pp. 4-4.

Briody, E, Meerwarth Pester, T, & Trotter, R 2012, ‘A story’s impact on organizational-culture change’, Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 25 no. 1, pp. 67-87.

Burnes, B 2004, ‘Emergent change and planned change – competitors or allies?: The case of XYZ construction’, International Journal of Operations and Production Management, vol. 24 no. 9, pp. 886-902.

Burnes, B 2004, Kurt Lewin and the planned approach to change: a re‐appraisal’, Journal of Management studies, vol. 41 no. 6, pp. 977-1002.

Diamond, MA 2008, ‘Telling Them What They Know Organizational Change, Defensive Resistance, and the Unthought Known’, The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, vol. 44 no. 3, pp. 348-364.

Fronda, Y, & Moriceau, JL 2008, ‘I am not your hero: change management and culture shocks in a public sector corporation’, Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 21 no. 5, pp. 589-609.

Harris, LC, & Ogbonna, E 2002, ‘The unintended consequences of culture interventions: A study of unexpected outcomes’, British Journal of Management, vol. 13 no. 1, pp. 31-49.

Jones, RA, Jimmieson, NL, & Griffiths, A 2005, ‘The impact of organizational culture and reshaping capabilities on change implementation success: The mediating role of readiness for change’, Journal of Management Studies, vol. 42 no. 2, pp. 361-386.

Latta, GF 2009, ‘A Process Model of Organizational Change in Cultural Context (OC3 Model) The Impact of Organizational Culture on Leading Change’, Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 16 no. 1, pp. 19-37.

McCabe, D 2010, ‘Taking the long view: A cultural analysis of memory as resisting and facilitating organizational change’, Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 23 no. 3, pp. 230-250.

McLoughlin, IP, Badham, RJ, & Palmer, G 2005, ‘Cultures of ambiguity design, emergence and ambivalence in the introduction of normative control’, Work, Employment & Society, vol. 19 no. 1, pp. 67-89.

Ogbonna, E, & Wilkinson, B 2003, ‘The False Promise of Organizational Culture Change: A Case Study of Middle Managers in Grocery Retailing’, Journal of Management Studies, vol. 40 no. 5, pp. 1151-1178.

Palmer, I, & Dunford, R 2008, ‘Organizational Change and the Importance of Embedded Assumptions’, British Journal of Management, vol. 19 no. s1, pp. S20-S32.

Pryor, MG, Taneja, S, Humphreys, J, Anderson, D, & Singleton, L 2008, ‘Challenges facing change management theories and research’, Delhi Business Review, vol. 9 no. 1, pp. 1-8.

Ree, G, & Hall, D 2010, Managing Change, In Ree, G, French, R, Rayner, C, & Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, Leading, managing and developing people. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Reissner, SC 2011, ‘Patterns of stories of organisational change’, Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 24 no. 5, pp. 593-609.

Senior, B, & Swailes, S 2010, Organizational change. Harlow, Essex, England, Pearson Education.

Smollan, RK, & Sayers, JG 2009, ‘Organizational culture, change and emotions: A qualitative study’, Journal of Change Management, vol. 9 no. 4, pp. 435-457.

Sopow, E 2007, ‘The impact of culture and climate on change: Distinguishing between culture and climate to change the organization’, Strategic HR review, vol. 6 no. 2, pp. 20-23.

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