Samenvatting Agents and Instruments of change (2e druk, Cawsey)
Organizational change: planned alterations of organizational components to improve the effectiveness of the organization.
These components include:
Mission and vision
Change drivers can be internal and external, managers should adapt to the organization’s environment. Some changes are very tangible and thus easier, others – such as a change in culture – are intangible and more difficult.
The focus of the book is on organizational change as a planned activity designed to improve the organization’s effectiveness.
The book has an active, action-oriented emphasis coupled with a deep understanding of organizations. The twin theme of knowing what to do and how to do it is the main approach in order to fill the knowing-doing gap that the authors believe to exist.
Environmental forces for change
Environmental forces may be a surprise where others are anticipated. We will discuss some environmental trends.
Social, cultural, and demographic environment
Demographic changes influence the social, cultural, and economic environment. The Western world has an ageing population which has financial consequences. When economies are poor, the fertility rate is high and there are many young dependents relying o working adults for sustenance. When fertility rates drop, the ratio of working adults to dependents increases, leading to surplus wealth.
Then all those people age and dependent, seniors become a larger percentage of the population. Other issues are gender, race, diversity, global warming, sustainability, and social responsibility.
Data mining is the transformation of data into information. Technological forces result in shorter product development and life cycles. Technological breakthroughs can result in obsolescence. So change leaders should be aware of trends and be proactive.
As organizations become global, they need to clarify their own ethical standards. They need to understand the law and determine what norms of behavior they will work to establish for their organizational members. The politics of globalization have created opportunities and issues. They influence market development and attractiveness, competitiveness, and pressures on boards and executives.
The lessons from the economic crisis concern risk management and capacity building. To be able to respond quickly, capacity is necessary and thus mechanisms to anticipate.
Influences of worldwide trends on change management
Barkema described new organizational forms and management challenges based on environmental change:
Macro changes and impacts – digitization leading to:
Faster information transmission
Lower-cost information storage and transmission
Integration of states and opening of market
Geographic dispersion of the value chain
All leading to globalizations of markets
New organizational forms and competitive dynamics:
Global small and medium-sized enterprises
Global constellations of organizations (networks)
Large, focused global firms
All leading to:
Spread of autonomous, dislocated teams
Digitally enabled structures
Intense global rivalry
Running faster while seeming to stand still
New management challenges:
Greater synchronization requirements
Greater time-pacing requirements
Faster decision making, learning and innovation
More frequent environmental discontinuities
Faster industry life cycles
Faster newness and obsolescence of knowledge
Risk of competency traps where old competencies no longer produce desired effects
Greater newness and obsolescence of organizations
Barkema argues that much change today deals with mid-level change (more than incremental but not revolutionary). Middle managers will play increasingly significant roles in making change effective.
Four types of organizational change
Change literature classifies changes into:
Episodic or discontinuous change
Organizations have significant inertia
Change is infrequent and discontinuous
Emergent and self-organizing
Change is constant, evolving and cumulative
Kaizen programs in Japanese automobile manufacturers
A second dimension of change is:
Proactive, planned, and programmatic: managers anticipate events and shift their organizations
Reactively in response to external events: shifts in the external world lead to a reaction
Nadler and Tushman combine these two dimensions, offering four types of change:’
Tuning: incremental/continuous and anticipatory (need for internal alignment)
Focuses on individual components or subsystems
Middle management role
Implementation is the major task
E.g.: quality improvement initiative from an employee improvement committee
Adapting: incremental/continuous and reactive (need for internal alignment)
E.g.: modest changes to customer services in response to customer complaints
Redirecting/reorienting: discontinuous/radical and anticipatory (need for positioning the whole organization to a new reality)
Focuses on all organizational components
Senior management crates sense of urgency and motivates the change
E.g.: major change in product or service offering in response to opportunities identified
Overhauling/re-creating: discontinuous/radical and reactive (need to reevaluate the whole organization, including core values)
Focuses on all organizational components to achieve rapid, systemwide change’
Senior management creates vision and motivates optimism
E.g.: a major realignment of strategy, involving plant closures and changes to product and service offerings, to stem financial losses and return the firm to profitability
The last two are more time-consuming and have a greater impact on individuals.
Plans and intentions
Despite the high failure rate of change, inaction and avoidance are no options. Hamel and Pralahad argue that re-engineering and restructuring are to catch up but that strategy and industry should be reinvented by building competing capacities.
Common managerial difficulties:
Managers are action-oriented and assume others behave rationally
Managers assume to have power and influence
Managers look at the transition period as accost, not an investment
Managers cannot estimate the resources and commitment needed
Managers are unaware that their behavior sends out conflicting messages
Managers find managing human processes threatening because of the potential emotionality and difficulties regarding prediction and quantification
Managers lack the capacity to manage complex changes involving people
Managers’ critical judgment is impaired due to overconfidence and/or groupthink
Organization change roles
Change leader/agent: leads the change. Plays any or all of the initiator, implementer, or facilitator roles. Often the formal change leader but informal change leaders will emerge.
Change initiator: identifies need and vision for change and champions change.
Change implementer: has responsibility for making certain the change happens. Nurtures support, alleviates resistance.
Change facilitator: assists initiators, implementers, and recipients with the change management process. identifies process and content change issues and helps resolve these. Fosters support, alleviates resistance.
Change recipient: is affected by the change. Has to change behavior to ensure change is effective.
Becoming a successful change leader
Successful change leaders have a balance between insight and a passion for action. They are sensitive to the external world and can anticipate the external world. They understand organizational systems, themselves, and their influence and image. Personal characteristics:
Tolerance for ambiguity
Comfort with power
Sense of risk assessment
Need for action and results
Persistence due to optimism and tenacity
Desire to learn
Distrust of organizational fads
Also, they embrace the paradoxes of change:
Driving change and enabling change
Resistance is a problem and an opportunity
Focus on outcomes and carful about process
Getting on with it and changing direction (modify objectives and respond to environment)
Balance patience and impatience
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