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Process of Change Management

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Essay title: Process of Change Management


Process of Change Management

Process of Change Management

Organizations large and small undergo change almost on a constant basis. It has been said that the only constant is change. Organizations must change in order to survive in today's global marketplace. Organizations from the smallest of mom and pop businesses to the largest multinational corporations must utilize change management principles. Change management theories are part of the process of change management in business. There are different change management theories that have been developed over the years.

Change Management Theories

One of the early change management theories was a three step model developed by Kurt Lewin in 1947. Lewin believed that change was inevitable but short lived. Lewin's model consisted of three steps. The first step was unfreezing whereby the old behaviors were stopped or broken. This process of breaking the behavior could be easy or very difficult depending on the situation (Burnes 2004). The next step was that of moving. Moving was the actual changes taken place or where the old behaviors were replaced with new behaviors. Resources were identified and used during this step to make the change (Higgs 2005). Lewin believed that in order for change to occur. In order for change to occur all elements of the change needed to be identified and reviewed. The third and final step was called refreezing. Refreezing was the step in which the behaviors that were changed were stabilized. Lewin believed that change without reinforcement was short lived. Sometimes in order for refreezing to occur organizations had to change their culture and policies and procedures (Burnes 2004).

Lewin's change management theory approach was uniform in nature. Another such uniform approach to change management theory was that of John Kotter and Leonard Schlesinger (Higgs 2005). Their theories reviewed the reasons for resistance to change and also approaches to decrease the resistance to change. Kotter and Schlesinger cited four reasons causing resistance to change. First there was parochial self interest which concluded that the individual was more interested or concerned about what the changes would mean to themselves rather that the business. Second was misunderstanding typically caused by lack of a operational communications apparatus. Thirdly, there was low tolerance for change people by nature want to feel secure and have stability in the workplace. Fourth and finally was the different opinions for the change need. Some people would disagree with the need for change. Kotter and Schlesinger also described six approaches to lessen the resistance to change. These six approaches include education and communication, participation and involvement, facilitation and support, manipulation and cooperation and finally explicit and implicit coercion (Kotter 1978).

While change management theories and models such as those of Lewin and Kotter were ordered and the approaches were predictable others offered approaches that were not so predictable. One such management theory was known as the Change Equation developed by Richard Beckhard and Reuban Harris (Higgs 2005). With the change equation there are three basic elements to overcoming change. The first is dissatisfaction with the present situation. Second is the vision for what the future possibilities are after changes are made. Thirdly there are definite first steps that can be made towards the desired change. This change management theory is simple but very effective in offering results. Another difference here is the move toward more employee involvement in the change process with the company thereby decreasing the natural resistance to organizational change.

In the simulation on organizational structure the company Synergetic Solutions was out of necessity undergoing organizational changes to help increase it computer network solutions business. There are both internal and external factors that are effecting the change processes now being implemented. Internal factors include the goal of increase sales of network solutions they have over $5 million dollars in contracts waiting to be acted and other potential contracts in the making. Another internal factor that needs to be considered are the proficiency levels of its current employees. Overall productivity level is down due in part to the proficiency of current employees due to lack of skills or low morale. Still another internal factor is the fact there are not enough employees within the organization with the skills necessary for developing and implementing complex computer

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