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Organizational Change and Resistance to Change

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Essay title: Organizational Change and Resistance to Change

Organizational Change And Resistance To Change

Future generations, looking back on the last years of the twentieth century, will see a contradictory picture of great promise and equally at great uncertainty. The 1990's have all the symptoms of a "turning point" in world history, a moment when many of the structural "givens" of social development themselves become problematic and world society undergoes profound reorganization. These developments occur within a frame work of rapidly expanding social and economic interdependence on a global scale. Organizations evolve through periods of incremental or evolutionary change. The major work changes happening today are changes in organizational strategy, organizational structure and design,

technology and human resources. A change in organizational strategy is an attempt to alter the organization's alignment with it's environment. Mercedes, for example, is going to introduce this year the new Classe A, which is more oriented to the new young generation who wants to own a Mercedes. Though Mercedes wants to keep its image of a high class car producer, it overtook this new strategy to reinforce its presence in the market. Organization change might also focus on any of the basic components of organization structure or on the organization whole design. Nobuhiko Kawamoto, president of Honda, recently reorganized the Japanese automaker's management hierarchy. He drew up a new organization chart, he created a planning board and he has taken steps to empower lower-level workers. All this in order to adapt better to the fierce market of car making.

Because of the rapid rate of all technological innovation, technological changes are becoming increasingly important to many organizations. One major area of change involves equipment, thus a change in work processes or work activities maybe necessary. Timex, for example, 3-D design software from Toronto based software Alias Research Inc. to be able to turn out watches faster. Organization control systems may also be targets of such a change.

Another area of organization change has to do with human resources. An organization might decide to change the skill-level of its work force and the level of performance of its workers. Perceptions and expectations, attitudes and values are also a common focus on organizational change. Organizational change is anticipated or triggered because of different changing circumstances, an organization might incur a change because of forces bending its environment. These forces might be either external or internal. The external forces derive from the organization's general or task environments. The general environment is parted into different dimensions: the international, the economic, the technological, the socio-cultural and the political-legal dimension. A good example is Russia's shift from a communist country to a capitalistic one. This shift affected organizations inside and outside Russia, on the economical and political-legal levels, organizations inside the country had to take on drastic changes to flow with the environment nationally and internationally. On an international level, international organizations saw in Russia an interesting potential market.

As for the task environment it includes competitors, customers, suppliers, regulators and strategic allies. Pepsi Lebanon had always been the only cola producer in the country since the early 1970's, until lately Coca-Cola entered the market once more. Pepsi realizing the danger of its competitor launched a new marketing strategy to keep its customers.

The internal forces are mainly related to the organization's internal environment but some internal forces might be reflections of external ones. All organizations will experience change at one time or another. Obviously, expanding the boundaries of exchange and cultural contact creates both opportunity and risk. The challenges for managers is to adapt properly the culture and the strategy of their organizations to its current environment. Unfortunately, management isn't working as it should: in a telling statistic, leading practitioners of radical corporate reengineering report that success rates are between 20% and 80%. Determined managers follow up with plans for process improvement. Managers look for enthusiasm, acceptance and commitment, but it gets something less. Hence, communication breaks down, implementation plans miss their mark and results fall short. This happens often enough that we have to ask why and how we can avoid these failures.

Although each company's particular circumstances account for, some of the problems have common roots: n Managers and employees view change differently: top level management sees change as an opportunity to strengthen the

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