FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHANGING AN ORGANIZATION
The following factors should be considered whenever change is being contemplated:
- The Change Agent
- Determining What should be Changed
- The kind of Change to Make
- Individuals affected by the Change
- Evaluation of the Change
THE CHANGE AGENT:
The change agent might be a self designated manager within the organization or an outside consultant hired because of a special expertise in a particular area.
This individual might be responsible for making very broad changes, like altering the culture of the whole organization; or more narrow ones, like designing and implementing a new safety program or a new quality program.
Special skills are necessary for success as a change agent. Among them are the ability to determine how a change should be made, the skill to solve change related problems, and facility in using behavioural science tools to influence people appropriately during the change process.
Perhaps the most overlooked skill of successful change agents, however, is the ability to determine how much change employees can withstand.
Managers should choose agents who have the most expertise in all these areas. A potentially beneficial change might not result in any advantages for the organization if a person without expertise in these areas is designated as a change agent.
DETERMINING WHAT SHOULD BE CHANGED:
Organizational effectiveness depends on 3 classes of factors:
People Factors are attitudes, leadership skills, communication skills, and all other characteristics of the human resources within the organization; Structural Factors are organizational controls, such as policies and procedures; and Technological Factors are any type of equipment or processes that assist organization members in the performance of their jobs.
For an organization to maximize its effectiveness, appropriate people must be matched with appropriate technology and appropriate structure.
THE KIND OF CHANGE TO MAKE:
Most changes can be categorized into one of the 3 kinds:
These 3 kinds of change correspond to the 3 main determinants of the organizational effectiveness – each change is named for the determinant it emphasizes.
Structural change emphasizes increasing organizational effectiveness by changing controls that influence organization members during the performance of their jobs.
Structural change is aimed at increasing the organizational effectiveness through modifications to the existing organizational structure like:
- Clarifying and Defining Jobs
- Modifying Organizational Structure to fit the communication needs of the organization
- Decentralizing the organization to reduce the cost of coordination, increase the controllability of subunits, increase motivation, and gain greater flexibility.
Although structural change must take account of people and technology to be successful, its primary focus is obviously on changing organization structure.
Managers choose to make structural changes within an organization if information they have gathered indicates that the present structure is the main cause of organizational ineffectiveness.
The precise structural changes they choose to make will vary from situation to situation, of course. After changes to organizational structure have been made, management should conduct periodic reviews to make sure the changes are accomplishing their intended purposes.
Matrix Organizations is a traditional organization that is modified primarily for the purpose of completing some kind of special project.
Essentially, a matrix organization is one in which individuals from various functional departments are assigned to a project manager responsible for accomplishing some specific task.
The project itself may be either long term or short term, and the employees needed to complete it are borrowed from various organizational segments.
Although successfully changing people factors necessarily involves some consideration of structure and technology, the primary emphasis is on people.
Organization Development (OD): People Change emphasizes increasing organizational effectiveness by changing certain aspects of organization members.
The focus of this kind of change is on such factors as employee’s attitudes and leadership skills.
The process of people change can be referred to as organization development (OD). Although OD focuses mainly on changing certain aspects of people, these changes are based on an overview of structure, technology, and all other organizational ingredients.
One traditional used OD techniques for changing people in organizations is called Grid Organizational Development, or Grid OD.
The managerial grid, a basic model describing various managerial styles, is used as the foundation for grid OD. The managerial grid is based on the premise that various managerial styles can be described by means of two primary attitudes of the manager: concern for people and concern for production.
INDIVIDUAL AFFECTED BY THE CHANGE:
To increase the chances of employee support, one should be aware of the following factors:
- The usual employee resistance to change
- How this resistance can be reduced
Resistance to Change:
Resistance to change within an organization is as common as the need for change.
After managers decide to make some organizational change, they typically meet with employee resistance aimed at preventing that change from occurring.
Behind this resistance by organization members lies the fear of some personal loss, such as a reduction in personal prestige, a disturbance of established social and working relationships, and personal failure because of inability to carry out new job responsibilities.
Reducing Resistance to Change:
1. Avoid Surprises
2. Promote Real Understanding
3. Set the Stage for Change
4. Make tentative Change
EVALUATION OF THE CHANGE:
One must evaluate the change one makes. The purpose of this evaluation is not only to gain insight into how the change itself might be modified to further increase its organizational effectiveness, but to determine whether the steps taken to make the change should be modified to increase organizational effectiveness, next time around.
Evaluation of change often involves watching for symptoms that indicate that further change is necessary. But the decision to change must not be made only based on the symptoms. Additional Change is justified if it will accomplish any of the following goals:
1. Further improve the means for satisfying someone’s economic wants
2. Increase Profitability
3. Promote human work for human beings
4. Contribute to individual satisfaction and social well being.
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