Quiz 6: Managing Change: Innovation and Diversity
Change is driven by environment and management functions. When internal or external environment change, organization need to adapt to those changes. Managers implement plans as part of their day to day functioning and that leads to change. Changes are of four types: Change in strategy, change in structure, change in technology and change in people. Change in strategy refers to an organization deliberately changing its business strategy to exploit the external environment. The change may be at corporate, business or functional level and may be in response to environmental factors. Change in structure refers to changes in organizational structure like departmentalization, chain of command, responsibility and authority and coordination. Change in structure typically follows change in strategy. Change in technology refers to changes made in the system, process, machines, level of automation and IT infrastructure deployed by the organization to achieve its business objective. Change in people refers to changes in skills and performance level of people, attitude and behaviors, changes in culture. These four types of changes are interrelated. Together they form the system that organization has deployed to achieve its objective. Change in strategy A change in organization cannot be effected without change in people. When an organization implements new strategy to enter new products, it plans changes in skill level of the employees to design and service new product. Attitude and behavior of people may need to change to tackle entry into new market or new geography where employees would be dealing with entirely new types of clients. A change in strategy to design new product would also entail change in technology. New technology deployed to make new product has to fit into existing technology infrastructure of the company. Organization structure would change to accommodate new division. Change in people Change in people may affect strategy, structure and technology. An example of such change is changing attitudes of new generation towards its use of technology and work life balance that leads organization to adopt latest technology like e-mails, web conferencing and virtual offices. This would lead to change in structure and reporting hierarchy also that would cut several layers of management. Changing attitude of people may lead to change in strategy related to how company structure and deploy its resources and how it can use new attitudes and behavior to exploits market opportunities. Change in technology Similarly change in technology like implementing a new IT infrastructure may reduce several layer of management and thus change structure. Implementing new technology may lead to changes in strategy as new, better and faster resources would be available at organizational disposal to exploit market opportunities. This may also lead to changes in people as people would be retrained and develop new skills. Change in structure If organizational structure is changing in terms of altering the existing chain of command, departmentalization, responsibilities and authority, this would lead to changes in peoples attitude and behavior as they would have to adjust to new type of set ups. Technology needs to be realigned to adjust to new structure. Such changes may require change in strategy itself or may follow change in strategy. As is obvious form above discussion, one type of change affects all other types of change. This is the system effect. Types of changes does not work in isolation but is related as the system wherein change in one leads to changes in other.
Change can be driven by environment and management functions. When internal or external environment change, organization need to adapt to those changes. Sometimes, managers use their own judgment and alter strategy and plans as part of their day to day functioning and that leads to change. Example of internal changes could be shift in on objectives of the organization, change in senior management including new leadership taking over, and internal drive to improve productivity, efficiency and profitability. These factors would drive organization to embark of change program by changing strategy employed by the organization. It is obvious form the case study that these are the not factors that are driving change in Dell. Hence, change in Dell was not driven by internal factor. Choice a. is incorrect. Change can also be driven by external environment. Such changes would refer to changes in consumer preferences for goods and services, actions of the competitors, changes in economic environment and changes in regulatory frameworks. From the case study, it is obvious that competitors of Dell embarked on a series of strategies to bolster their performance. Consumer preferences also changed as a result of advancement in technology. Dell did not keep pace with such changes. Hence, change in Dell was driven by external factor. Choice b. is correct.
Change is driven by environment and management functions. Organization needs to adapt to internal or external changes. Managers implement plans as part of their day to day functioning and that leads to change. Most of the failure in implementing change is owing to employees resisting change. There are three major sources of resistance and three major focus of resistance. This gives nine possible types of resistance to change. Sources of resistance to change are facts about impending change, beliefs based on subjective opinions and values system about what is wrong and right. Focus of resistance to change are self which related to how change is going to affect the employees, others which relates to how it is going to affect other people and work environment which relates to physical setting of the work environment itself. A combination of one focus and one source would make one type of resistance of change. Given statements are classified based on sources and focus of change. Statement 1: It is a fact that this work was never done before by the team. Note that statement is not about oneself or others but about the team. The statement indicates focus on work environment. Hence, source of resistance is fact and focus of resistance is work environment. Statement 2: It is the belief of person J that person L is not as good as person B. The belief is about others, that is person L and person B. Hence, source of resistance is belief and focus of resistance is others. Statement 3: Person M believes that he must help others so that they like him. This is his value system that encourages him to help others to be likable. The value system is about himself. Hence, source of resistance is values and focus of resistance is self. Statement 4: Person making the statement believes that he is not smart enough to learn how to use computers. The belief is about himself. Hence, source of resistance is belief and focus of resistance is self. Statement 5: It is a fact that person C broke in the last rookie. She is also getting along well with him and hence it relates to her. Hence, source of resistance is fact and focus of resistance is self. Statement 6: Manager believes that current form is fine. This is about belief system of employee and manager. The focus is a form which is work environment. Hence, source of resistance is fact and focus of resistance is self. Statement 7: Person D believes that what she is doing is more important than what her manager is asking her to do. This is about belief. The belief is about work that is being performed and that needs to be performed. Hence, source of resistance is belief and focus of resistance is work environment. Statement 8: It is a fact that team in question has the lowest performance record in the department. Since person making the statement does not want to work in the team, it is about self. Hence, source of resistance is fact and focus of resistance is self. Statement 9: Since drinking is against one's religion, it is about value system. Value system is driving the person to keep away from a job in the bar. Hence, source of resistance is values and focus of resistance is self. Statement 10: Person thinks that showing picture of people burning in a fire to sell smoke detector system is unethical. He is driven by his value system. Since even competitors of the company do it, it is about work environment. Hence, source of resistance is values and focus of resistance is work environment. The source and focus of resistance for each of the statements above can be presented in the table below. First column refers to the statement. Second column gives the source of resistance. Third column mentions the focus of resistance. Last column mentions name of the resistance. Most of the failures in implementing change arise from employees resisting change. There are several reasons for resistance of change. There are also many ways that an organization can use to overcome the resistance to change. Analyzing the source of resistance and focus of resistance help determine the exact reason for resistance and help tackle the resistance. This exercise helps to analyze a situation and determine the source and focus of resistance. This exercise would be useful in analyzing situations where there is resistance on part of employees, colleagues and juniors. This would also help in responding to such the situation appropriately.
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