“Change is nothing new and a simple fact of life. Some people actively thrive on new challenges and constant change, while others prefer the comfort of the status quo and strongly resist any change. It is all down to the personality of the individual and there is little management can do about resistance to change” (Mullins 2010: 753).

Regarding this topic, this blog will first demonstrate what are the reasons that cause individual and organizational resists to change. Then, I will express my own opinion whether it is essential for organization to change.

What makes individual and organization resist to change?

There are several common reasons that refrain individual from change in the organization. The most common reason people resist to change because they fear of unknown outcomes, lack of competency, attach with old procedures, change in status quo, and so on (Rick, 2011). The figure below shows the psychological reactions to change.

CLASSIC PSYCHOLOGICAL REACTIONS TO CHANGE

Reactions-to-change-1024x614(Source: Rick, 2011)

Individual may deny change initially when they do not understand the need of change; they will feel angry, anxiety with the changes; and finally they will accept and have confidence at the end when the purpose of the change is clear already.

In relation to organization, often it is not easy for organization to alter its organizational culture that has been formed over a long period of time – how things are normally done. Also, in most cases, change required significant amount of resources for organization to change, hence, organization resists to change. Change of organsation’s management can be viewed as a threat to the power or influence of particular group in the organization (e.g. the power of individual’s control about decisions, resources or information) (Mullins and Christy, 2016).

What force organization to change?

Generally, an organizational change is mainly because of the external forces rather than internal urge (Goodstein and Warner Burke, 1991).

Mullin (2010), claimed that change also arises within the organization itself. A lot of changes within an organization is part of a natural process of maturity of the business.

For instance, organization may want to adopt new technology or new methods of work to increase the efficiency of the company with intention to improve the organization’s business performance, or a company may also want to change because of the changes attitudes of employees. These internal forces can be managed with careful planning.

On the other hand, as mentioned before, the main pressure of change is mainly coming from external forces. For example, the changes of legal forces in the market may require the organization to adopt the new policy; the changes of customer’s attitudes may push the company to do some changes in order to retain or attract customer’s attention. Another possible external force is globalization. Mullins and Christy (2016) said that it is important for organization to strategically prepare to face the need of change in order to remain competitive and successful in the market.

Arguably, I personally agree that it is essential for organization to be able to change or be flexible with the changes of external business environment. Organization may need to alter its outdated and or lack of flexibility way of performing it business and be able to respond to new challenges.

How Change Can be Managed

Lewin proposed three-phase process of behavior modification (Goodstein and Warner Burke, 1991).

  1. Unfreezing – the recognition of the need for change and improvement to occur
  2. Movement – development of new attitudes or behaviour and the implementation of change
  3. Refreezing – stabilizing change at the new level and reinforcement through supporting mechanism, for example, policies, structure, or norms
Stages in a Planned-change Effort

Manager needs to consistently stick to the organization’s goal in order to be more aware of the need of organizational management change. There are some stages that manager can do to overcome resistance to change (Kitchen, 2012):

Source: (Kitchen, 2012)

 

  1. Leadership commitment and communication

Manager need to the communicate the need of change, and give direction to employees.

  1. Define the business result and destination

Manager must focus on clearly identified goal that provides a sense of continuity.

  1. Identify the current state

Manager needs to understand what is the company’s current state by understanding the business or cultural context and announce the change process will take place.

  1. Build creative tension

Manager should identify enablers and barriers.

  1. Design the change
  2. Implement the change
  3. Sustain the change

In term of financial industry, it is crucial for the organization to capable to change as banks interaction a lot with customers, governments, and clients; and operates in a highly competitive market. Therefore, I think banks needs continual changes in its business operation, particularly due to legislation issue and customer’s changes attitudes.

Conclusion

Many reasons cause organization resist to change, however, it is essential for manager to understand the need of change and implement changes in order to survive in the market. Manager needs to carefully plan to ensure that changes are practical and distribute beneficial outcomes to the organization, although changes are not easy to be implemented and required several stages to reach actual changes.

 

References 

Clayton, M. (2007). Scott and Jaffe’s Change Grid – the human response to organisational change. [online] Available at: http://www.mikeclayton.co.uk/DownloadFiles/Scott-Jaffe.pdf [Accessed 18 Mar. 2017].

Connelly, M. (2016). The Kurt Lewin Model Of Change. [online] Change Management Coach. Available at: http://www.change-management-coach.com/kurt_lewin.html [Accessed 16 Mar. 2017].

Goodstein, L. and Warner Burke, W. (1991). Creating successful organization change. [online] http://www.sciencedirect.com/. Available at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/009026169190050J [Accessed 15 Mar. 2017].

Kitchen, N. (2012). Search. [online] Facebook.com. Available at: https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=LSBF%20Global%20MBA%20-%20Lecture%20in%20Organisational%20Change&ref=eyJzaWQiOiIwLjc5NDI2MjM4MjU0NDQ0NDgiLCJxcyI6IkpUVkNKVEl5VEZOQ1JpVXlNRWRzYjJKaGJDVXlNRTFDUVNVeU1DMGxNakJNWldOMGRYSmxKVEl3YVc0bE1qQlBjbWRoYm1sellYUnBiMjVoYkNVeU1FTm9ZVzVuWlNVeU1pVTFSQSIsImd2IjoiYmVlMDlmOTNmYTczMmNmYTU5YTFjYjZkOWY0NTBkMzg5MjQyNGU0OSJ9 [Accessed 18 Mar. 2017].

Mullins, L. and Christy, G. (2016). Management & Organisational Behaviour. 11th ed. New York: Pearson, pp.558-559.

Mullins, Laurie J.. 2010., Management and Organisational Behaviour. [online]. Financial Times/ Prentice Hall. Available from:<http://www.myilibrary.com?ID=278599> 15 March 2017

Ramakrishnan, S. (2014). Change Management Models – Scrum Alliance. [online] Scrumalliance.org. Available at: https://www.scrumalliance.org/community/articles/2014/march/change-management-models [Accessed 16 Mar. 2017].

RICK, T. (2011). Top 12 reasons why people resist change – Understanding reactions to change. [online] Torben Rick. Available at: https://www.torbenrick.eu/blog/change-management/12-reasons-why-people-resist-change/ [Accessed 18 Mar. 2017].

Steven H. Appelbaum, Sally Habashy, Jean‐Luc Malo, Hisham Shafiq, (2012) “Back to the future: revisiting Kotter’s 1996 change model”, Journal of Management Development, Vol. 31 Iss: 8, pp.764 – 782

 

 

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21 thoughts on “Leadership and Change

  1. Mitchelle, I really enjoyed reading your blog. I absolutely agree that change is very necessary due to internal and external circumstances. Do you know of any other organisational success stories regarding change?

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    1. Hi Haiqal, thank you for your question. another example of successful company through changes is Semco. This company changed the leadrship styles of the organisation from autocratic to democratic, where the majority of the employee prefer more to this leadership styles, as a result the organisation is successful. I hope my answer will give you better view.

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  2. I agreed. In my opinion, change is something need to do to make organization become relevant with today’s situation. It’s might be affect by culture, social, policy, economy, or technology (external variable) and employee’s activities, organization goals, strategy and company policy (internal variable). it’s common to have fluctuation or denial from its employee, because they don’t like accept something new (esp if the policy will harm them). But it usually happen for conservative employee. As time goes by, i believe the change will be accepted, but of course it needs time.

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    1. Hi Vania. I personally think that it is essential for the manager or leader to ensure the empoyees that the comapny would bring more benefits to them through changes. Although, changes are more challenging for the company when dealing with older employee because they have get used to with old methods.

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  3. Goodjob chelle! Very well-written blog. I agree with you that one needs to understand the needs of change first so that the changes can be executed succesfully afterwards. Maybe stating stories regarding how a leader deal with changes and how the results turned out will be another good point in this blog:)

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  4. This is the great article!!!! I am really interesting about psychological reactions to change, its really show how people think in a way of changing.. by the way, i will find more article to read about it.
    Thank you for sharing to us 🙂

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    1. Hi Vladimir, thank you for your question. Fortunately, I have not experienced any change, but if I will I already know how to deal with it through theory that i learned in leadership class.

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  5. Nice blog chell ! I like how you explained that there’s a resistance to change and that we need to understand about the need to change. And I agree that in organizational change there should someone or a leader that will need to plan and help to guide the organization to reach the actual changes. Maybe later you can share more about the role of the managers and how they will actually influence the organization.

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  6. Such a great theories! I think that there is one more thing to discuss. What are the factors that affect us to conduct a change? And when does an individual finally decide that he/she should create a change in order to solve his/her issues?

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    1. Hi melisa,
      the strongest factors that cause us to change is because we think changes can bring us more benefits or better performance. they will decide to change when they are centain about the outcome of changes

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  7. Hey Mitchelle. I really enjoy reading your blog here. I personally agree that people need to know, even understand the need to change, and there’s a resistance of it. So, I would like to share my opinion based on my point of view as a Psychology student. Everyone faces problems in their life, even its a personal or mutual relationship. Sometimes you cant just let the problems go on its way, you need to bear the problems and finish it. How? You need to know the chance to change, consider the situation, and let yourself changes, maybe out of your comfort personal zone. For me, it will automatically affect your mutual relationship too (in this case: organizational change). So, based on the theories you wrote, I found that usually organizational changes are because external forces, yes it is. But, how you handle the changes out there is still based on how the way you know about your self, and change it based on certain situations.

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    1. Hi medy. thanks for your comments.
      to change sometimes you just need to be brave to change, and out of your comfort zone. being brave to take the risk, because we never know what is the exact outcome of the changes.

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  8. Interesting thoughts on managing change! You mentioned that change are mainly caused by external forces. How does this apply to the financial industry and how to manage it effectively? Thank you.

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  9. Hi Mitchelle, what a good opinion you have! I agree with the theory eventhough it is hard to implement. I would like to ask how do we assess the unfreezing situation when we need to change. Also, I would like to ask if we take Nokia, which was the largest mobile phone company as the example of leadership changes, They did not change to the technology development to use Android as its Operating System. The question is, was it wrong? Some people though that Nokia had kept its identity so that they did not change to Andoid system. I want to know your thought about this. Thank you.

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