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Theories of Change Management

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Various Theories of Change Management

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Introduction

In most simpler terms, change management can be understood as a process which is used by organisations to bring changes in structure and abilities so that company can compete with fluctuations occurring in the environment. Change is an attribute which is helpful at all levels of organisation, be it strategic level or operational level. This makes the need of change a crucial part in business firms so that the companies can make plans related to their future requirements and also be able to manage changes. Nowadays, the major requirements in a managerial skill is related with the potential to mange changes in the organisation. With the increased globalisation and fast growing developments in the field of technologies, the manner of leadership has also changed. This has made the necessity of managerial skills in the managers that is related with management of change (Anderson and Anderson, 2010). Many scholars have reported that about 70% of different plans made to bring changes within organisation were failed entirely. This huge figure of failure rate shows that still there is a need to make improvements in the plan and implementation process of changes among companies. The failures reported in the change programmes may be the result of various theories and approaches that is currently used by the firms. These theories and approaches lack many essential elements and are also the subject to unsupported ideas due to which adoption of these theories and practices lead to failures.

Critical evaluation of issues in change management

There is a common accord about the conceptual framework of change management where two major issues have been addressed. The first issue states that great alterations have taken place in the current business environment due to various change management approaches. Secondly, it has seen that changes take place according to various internal and external factors which are applicable on all industries that are existing in market. Hayes, (2014) asserted that changes take place according to three major criteria where one is characterised by its rate of occurrence, second is how it comes and third one is characterised by scale. As per the first characteristic, it states that the organisations should incorporate changes in its system, structures and designs but it should not be changing on frequent basis. There should be the attribute of enough stability so that employees who are working in the firm can also easily accept changes. The frequent occurrences of change make workers less capable to adopt such alterations. Thus, the possibilities of opposing changes by the staff may also enhance (Cameron and Green, 2015). The timely induced changes that are effective for organisation at strategic and operational level will make it acceptable as normal changes and the response towards internal and external environment will be positive. Moreover it should also be kept in consideration that stable and continuous change are the key factors that help in growth of business with better efficiency to respond the external and internal surroundings. McMurray and et.al., (2010) propounds that it is better to keep monitoring the intrinsic and extrinsic components that can affect environment so that small and effective steps can be developed to make success. The next factor of change characterised by how it comes about, suggest inducement of changes in planned manner. It is evident that till now no single theory is widely accepted to apply for managing change which can help in assessing what alterations organisation should make.

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This necessitates the condition of applying planned changes in company so that firms can forecast where various conditions which can come in the way of making changes and that ultimately lead to desired position. Raineri, (2011) states that the planned approach of changes help in removing old structures and processes so that they can be replaced with new ones for better position. The final phase of change which is characterised by scale reflects different attributes. It places the emphasis on continuous process of change so that various alteration coming in the design, structure and plans can be matched. This match making helps the employees and other units of firm to easily manipulate according to such changes. The incremental adjustments refer to the identifiable modifications in the course of actions and plans along with various changing events without disturbing basic objectives and strategies. Contrary to this, modular transformation emphasise upon basic changes where major modifications are brought in one or more departments. This change is made at a smaller level within a part of company while in corporate transformation, this alteration takes at a broader level (Hargreaves and et.al., 2014). Thus, it shows that a proper interaction and successful planning can be developed only through effective implementation of change management. Many of the evidences also reveal that various theories which are in practice nowadays, few of them are appropriate while many among them have challenging assumptions which makes their applicability questionable. Besides this, it is also apparent that the changes must be introduced as an open-ended process so that various unexpected modifications can be translated into useful opportunities and it can also be a source of learning in the organisation. Moreover, it is also apparent that a proper change management aids in minimising the risk factors for the company as firm will be able to develop significant steps as a preparation to meet various risks. In addition to this, it should also be keep in note by the managers of enterprise that acceptance of change by various stakeholders of company is the biggest challenge (Pyšek and Richardson, 2010). Hence, priority should be given to these stakeholders and planning for modifications should be made by protecting interests of all the stakeholders.

Critical analysis of various theories in change management

For an effective change in organisation, it is necessary to develop a right plan of action so that the suitable change management plan's implementation can be done. To introduce change management plan needs an appropriate procedure which can contribute in right plan of action on proper path. The desired objectives of company to get all its objectives accomplished with the help of change management, it is necessary to adopt right approach as per the need of firm and its internal and external conditions. Some of the strategies and approaches through which management can apply changes and have its advantages are described in below section:

Lewin's change management model

The present model was proposed by Kurt Lewin who stated three main stages to bring change in within organisation. The various stages of change management include various elements which are unfreeze, freeze and refreeze.

a)Unfreeze: This stage of change focuses on making preparations for change. In organisational context, this stage needs a proper monitoring and planning as most of the times, various people who are related with possible changes may oppose it (Cole-Lewis, and Kershaw, 2010). Therefore, the companies should make necessary planning so that it can easily be made acceptable by them. For this, they can be explained the need of change and its significance for business. Further, organisation should also tell every concerned person about its potential impacts and advantages for them.

b)Change: At this stage change will be introduced as per the pre determined plan. The key factors that can help in easy implementation of change is effective communication and leadership. Besides this, it is also necessary for managers to understand that because of recent alterations, workers will take some time to properly adjust according to it. With the help of good leadership and coordinative communication, this process can become easier.

c)Refreeze: After the successful implementation of changes, the process of bringing stability will be started at this stage. It is considerable to make staff comfortable with modifications and give them proper guidance as well. With this, continuous monitoring is also necessary so that it can be confirmed that organisation is properly achieving its goals as per the planned modifications (Anastasia, 2015).

As per the case of BBC, this model is of great utility so that the company can manage to improve its degrading position and reform entirely to acquire desired state. Because of its some controversial programmes which also considered to be of poor quality, it lost all its reputation. Hope, (2010) favours that the change management model can help by making various stakeholders prepared for the change as it describes its importance in proper manner. This will obviously make inducement of changes in easier manner. In context of BBC case, it is evident that culture of company was very different, working pattern was not properly disciplined and all workers had an attitude of sticking to old cultures. In this condition, the organisation was in strict need of some modernisation in their work patterns. In addition, the staff was opposing the changes as well. With the help of this model, the staff who were sticking to the old practices may be made clear about objectives of introducing changes. As per the plan, the CEO of company tried to bring alterations in the system and work culture. The company took some time and ultimately the reports showed the improved efficiency of employees and better financial results.

Lin, (2011) asserts that the this model is quite useful as this is one of the simplest model of making changes that has less possibilities of facing opposition from people in context of organisation. Similarly, in the second case of DEI airlines, the company was getting huge losses as a result of weak performances and over staff problems. On application of this model, the manager can make its staff to accept changes so that the position of business firm can be lifted. As mentioned above, the change stage needs effective leadership and communication so that staff can be helped to accept the changes. The said firm here may adopt participative leadership style so that it can manage the staff properly. Open communication to make staff aware of changes that are needed in company which has reached at the level of cutting cost by downsizing employees is necessary. Cummings and Worley, (2014) argued that this model is very short and also presents vague strategies to establish changes.

Kotter's change management theory

This theory was given by John P. Kotter under which he divided the change process into 8 stages. The theory is widely adopted as all of its stages use to focus on various people's attitudes towards changes.

a)Increase urgency: The first stage of this change motivates people to move towards the desired objectives of organisation by creating an awareness for urgency. The same situation could be made in BBC as there was strict need of bringing changes in culture of work. Besides this, in DEI airlines, this stage can be useful by making employees aware of the retrenchment policy.

b)Build the team: This stage focuses on building of a proper team which consists of a different members having various skills and abilities. BBC's CEO did this work by bifurcating its company into three groups Broadcast, production, and news. The performance was somewhat improved as the company became successful in spending less on unproductive works and more on productive aspects (Trkman, 2010). This inspired the CEO to implement the plan in whole group of BBC.

c)Get the vision correct: This stage suggests that the organisation should prepare its vision in a proper manner so that it can reflect proper creativity and clear objectives of business. As per the case of DEI airlines, the organisation was suffering from various difficulties and shortfalls. Therefore, they changed their vision where they shifted focus on better services rather than mere transportation of passengers.

d)Communicate: Communication changes with people on whom its effect will be posed is necessary. With this purpose, both organisation have rightly made their communication of change among employees (Choi and et.al., 2011).

e)Get things moving: This stage proposes that actions should be done in proper way so that work can de done with faster pace to introduce changes in desired way. Both companies did this work by implementing changes and moved further for making developments.

f)Short term goals: This stage entails that the organisation should move in set direction by making short term goals and after that, company can move in further direction. BBC company set its goals at different stages to overcome problems of finance, services etc. step by step.

g)Don't give up: The key factor in success of a firm lies in the spirit of hope where one should not lose hope and continuously try to achieve success (Jones, 2010). The case of BBC shows that CEO brought various changes which were difficult yet, he managed for the same and got success as well. Similarly, DEI airlines also made various plans to improve leadership and survival strategies to lift company's position.

h)Incorporate change: This step states that the company should make focus on implementing right plan so that change can be introduced effectively to make it a part of organisation's work culture. This strategy was applied in right sense as the both organisations made their plans for change which helped in bringing modification in work culture for improvement.

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According to Chiaroni, Chiesa and Frattini, (2011), this theory is better than others as it gives a step by step systematic process which makes it easy to apply. While Anderson and Anderson, (2010) argued that this theory follows step by step process which makes it difficult to move further without complying the previous one. Moreover, Hayes, (2014) contradicts that this model is very lengthy and takes more time to complete.

ADKAR model of change management

ADKAR model of change management is an effective tool to manage the changes in the organisation and overcome the negative impact of that changes in business activities and functions. Basically this model is related to objective under which management teams or group consider on those steps or activities that are directly related to the goals it wants to achieve. The goals or results are cumulative that derived and defined by using this tools. In the context of BBC and DEI airlines, manager must get each of the outcomes in a certain orderly trends so as the changes can implemented in the business activities. In this manner, manager can adopt this change management model in order to feel the gap or holes in the process of change management so that organisation must offer an effective and appropriate training to employees (McMurray, and et.al., 2010). In addition to this, ADKAR model provide support to personnels for go through the process of change transitioning while the changes management is taking place in the organisation. This model assist to personnels while the high level fluctuation occurs in the business activities and practices. Furthermore, this model can used to diagnose and treat the resistance shown by human resources towards changes. In the BBC and DEI airline, this model assist in managing the entire process of changes and provide the knowledge to management that how deal with various changes in the organisation. With assistance of this model, management can come up with a successful and efficient plan for the professional as well as personal improvement of employees during the changes. The major objective of this model is to implement the desired changes and effectively utilise them according to the requirement of organisation (Raineri, 2011). Cited organisation will beneficial by use of this model in the management practices and its employees can able to improve their professionalism.

As per the given case of DEI airline and BBC, there are many change management related problems faced by the employees so as productivity and performance has been negatively affected. In this manner, manager requires implementing this change management model so as organisation as well as employees can easily cope up with changes. ADKAR model is basically stands for awareness, desires, knowledge, ability, reinforcement. These all symptom reflects the positiveness and effectiveness of this change management model. Cited organisation can easili make their business performance smooth and effective by use of this model.

According to Hargreaves and et.al., (2014) ADKAR model offers the capability of identification and evaluation of the reasons to organisation that why required changes made are not working and why desired outcomes are not being obtained. So it can be said that by use of this model, company's can easily identify that why changes are not worked in the organisation and also determined the reason through which it can not obtain desired result. In the contradicting view of Pyšek and Richardson (2010) ADKAR model offers both business dimension of changes as well as people dimension of changes. It means this model assist to cited organisation in order to determine various dimensions of changes. According to the view of Cole-Lewis and Kershaw (2010) mentioned model breaks the changes into the different parts and then make out the points of those areas where organisation has unable to cover the changes. According to the view of Hope (2010) this model assists to organisation in addressing those area where it has not reached. Further, by this company can develop a new improvement in various area of business. In the contradicting view of Lin (2011) this model provides an opportunity to employees for developing their personality and professionalism because by this they can able to take training and innovation programs.

Conclusion

The change management is a tool that is crucial for all organisations to make them able for facing challenges occurring in the environment. Various internal and external factors that pose threats for business are evident in present corporate world which necessitates to make modifications in the structure and design of company. The report has concluded that effective implementation of change management plan is essential as unplanned introduction of change may face great challenges and also fail to achieve the major objective. This has necessitated the application of various models and theories by organisations so that effective change can be induced. The report has focussed on theories of Lewin and kotter along with ADKAR model that has helped in understanding the importance of models in context of BBC and DEI airlines. It can be summarized that the business entities use Lewin's change management model, which have three components such as unfreeze, change and refreeze by which it able to adopt changes and run the business. Another theory used is Kotter's change management theory which have important such as increase urgency, build proper and effective team, get vision mission clear and correct, proper communication, formulate effective goals etc. Apart from these both theories, companies use another model ADKAR which also helps to DEI and BBC airline organisation to adopt changes in the firm. Hence, it can be concluded that with help of change management theory and models the mentioned companies are able to run business very smoothly.

References

  • Anderson, D. and Anderson, L.A., 2010. Beyond change management: How to achieve breakthrough results through conscious change leadership. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Cameron, E. and Green, M., 2015. Making sense of change management: a complete guide to the models, tools and techniques of organizational change. Kogan Page Publishers.
  • Chiaroni, D., Chiesa, V. and Frattini, F., 2011. The Open Innovation Journey: How firms dynamically implement the emerging innovation management paradigm. Technovation. 31(1). pp. 34-43.
  • Choi, S. and et.al., 2011. Executive management in radical change—The case of the Karolinska University Hospital merger. Scandinavian Journal of Management. 27(1). pp. 11-23.
  • Cole-Lewis, H. and Kershaw, T., 2010. Text messaging as a tool for behavior change in disease prevention and management. Epidemiologic reviews. 32(1). pp. 56-69.
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