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Managing Change

Managing Change

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Published by: Annonymous963258 on May 26, 2011
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Managing Change
Salini C. Babu
Roll No: 18, MBA-IBSchool of Management StudiesCUSAT, Kochi-22E-mail:shalinibabu@yahoo.com
Abstract:
This paper provides a general introduction to ‘Managing change’in an Organization; definition and phases in change process; resistance tochange; and IT & managing change. It is presented as a seminar report.
Keywords:
Change, definition, phases, organizational change, resistance tochange, managing change and role of IT.
1.0INTRODUCTION
Change management is one of the most keenly studied management disciplines today.Keeping in mind the fact that the organizations, which embrace change, are likely to bemost successful one. For this reason, many firms and institutions are alert to the need of continually monitoring their structure and procedures with a view of improving them. Thisarticle focuses not only on the change but the whole process of change – starting from theintroduction to the consolidation of change. Definition of change:
 As a society, we havebeen moving from old to the new. And we are still in motion. Caught between eras, weexperience turbulence.” - JOHN NAISBETT.
Change is inevitable in the life of anorganization. According to Stephen P. Robbins- change is concerned with making thingsdifferent. Things must be different because they change constantly. Change can bedefined as – when an organizational system is disturbed by some internal or externalforce, change frequently occurs. Change as a process, is simply modification of thestructure or process of a system. It may be good or bad, the concept is descriptive only."Outside environment of the organization is ever changing, even socially and politically weare always on the move, looking for newer and better ways of doing things. The industrialrevolution & shareholders and other stakeholders demand in an organization today alsopresses the organizations to move. Added to this, the globalization and inter-culturalexchange had made us even more susceptible to change than ever before. We arebecoming increasingly expected to adopt new techniques, due to the fast additions &changes in technology and even in management theories and practices. Competition andchanging management focus also makes it inevitable. The strategic emphasis on costcutting and being innovative and competitive makes it even more important to be open to
 
change rather to resist it. Accepting change whether it is structural, operational, functional,role oriented, compensatory or strategic is important.Change is difficult to define because each organization will face its own challenges and,therefore, its own rationale for change. Equally, each organization has differing resources,company culture and personal dynamics. The leaders of individual organizations havevarying aims. Among all differences, one point remains intact and that is change is theonly permanent thing that modern day organizations of varying businesses, sizes andethnicity have to adopt in order to survive and sustain.
1.1 Why Organizations change?
Organizations change because of several reasons some of which are external to thecompany & others are internal to it. The External causes can be some of the following:1. Government policies2. Changes in the economy3. Competition4. Cost of raw materials5. Pressure groups6. Technology push7. Scarcity of labor 8. Social pressures9. Legal requirements, etcInternal causes can be such as following:1. Change in leadership2. Implementation of new technology3. Decline in profitability4. Changes in employee profile5. Union actions6. Low morale etc.The organizational changes that are commonly seen in today's modern world areDownsizing, Introduction/ implementation of new technologies, Mergers & acquisitions &technological changes.
2.0 CHANGE AGENTS
Change Agent
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the individual or group who undertakes the task of introducing andmanaging a change in an organization. To succeed, they must be perceived astrustworthy, be experts with proven track records, be similar to those they are workingwith. The change agent can be internal or external. A person who leads a change projector business-wide initiative by defining, researching, planning, building business supportand carefully selecting volunteers to be part of a change team. Change Agents must havethe conviction to state the facts based on data, even if the consequences are associatedwith unpleasantness.
 
A change agent lives in the future, not the present.
A change agent is fueled by passion, and inspires passion in others
A change agent has a strong ability to self-motivate.
A change agent must understand people.Who in organizations is responsible for managing planned change activities? The answer is
Change Agents.
The term change agent is used in broad sense because a changeagent can be managers or non-managers, employees of organization or an outsideconsultant. Terms such as OD Consultant, OD practitioner and Change Agent are usedinterchangeably. For major change efforts, top managers are increasingly turning totemporary outside consultants with specialized knowledge in theory and methods of change.
2.1 Classification of Change Agents
Change agents can be classified into:1.External Change Agents: These are outside consultants who are temporary employedin the organization to remain engaged only for the duration of the change process.2.Internal Change Agents: These are individuals working for the organization who knowsomething about its problems and have experience of improving situation in the sameorganization. These Internal Change Agents, when assigned a responsibility of interveningin a system come from entirely different department or division of their organization.The difference between the two is clearly shown in Table 1.
AdvantagesDisadvantagesExternal Agent
Credibility as anExpert
No negativehistory with theorganization.
Objective outsider 
Wide experienceand diverseknowledge.
Perceived as anoutsider 
Lacks knowledgeof organizationand it’s way of life
Often has limitedavailability of time.

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