Managing Change Part 1
Kristie Bohan, Andrea Easley, Teresa Gilbough, Steven Turlington
October 21. 2014
Professor Kari Hicks

Managing Change Part 1
Change has constantly remained an essential feature of today’s workforce, whether small
or large; corporations are forever changing at a rapid pace. However, most large organizations
manage to cope with a collection of changes; therefore, the success of the company depends on
how well the workplace embraces the change. Typically, most corporations today succeed by
obtaining the knowledge that in order to acquire the desired outcome of its people; it must align
the organization’s culture with the behaviors, as well as the values. Meanwhile, as a result of
repeated reports of poor customer service; the team has chosen Walmart as the work organization
in which the cycle of change needs to be implemented in the customer service realm. Although, no
solitary method or approach is always suitable for every organization, yet there are procedures,
implementations, and systems that are adjusted to fit most circumstances. Though poor customer
service can affect an organization negatively in multiple ways; consumers still have a tendency to
do business with companies due to its convenience, amongst other reasons. Ultimately, this brief
synopsis will discuss the cycle of change and the actual change that needs to transpire within the
cycle. Additionally, it will compare and contrast the continuous and discontinuous change in this
situation, as well as, distinguish the two kinds of change agents and how they each can be utilized.
Differentiate between the two types of change agents
Change agents can initiate possible growth within an organization and to differentiate
between change agents of human and non-human types for customer satisfaction is the key to
business success. Human change agents are people such as consultants,
stakeholders/stockholders that have some affiliation with an organization and these groups of
people are the catalysts for changes in the organization for operational success. Non-human
change agents are forces outside the organization like the market, the economy, the government,
technology, and compliance which may be reasons for the implementation of change and how the

change will be executed. Walmart lags far behind its competitors according to an American
Customer Satisfaction Index for its customer satisfaction (Morran, 2014). The human change
agent would be most proficient to the future success of customer service within this organization.
Employing a suitable amount of employees to assist customer needs and wants so that
customers do not have to search for individuals to help in selections or just to have questions
answered about products and services. Employees should be proactive and should ask customers
how they may help them. Staying visible and available for customers, and do not hide and walk
away or pretend to be busy when a customer approaches. Customers who are physically in the
store should take precedence over customers on the phone, greet customers with a smile and also
smile when the customer is leaving and encourage them to visit again. No matter the customer
appearance or their age, all should be attended to. Consistency in the quality of service and the
nice and pleasant attitudes of each day should be shown and expressed all the time. To show
customers that they matter and the organizations cares about their needs, the organization should
put customers first. Employees should not allow chatty customers to control their time while
others are waiting in line. Employees must be professional at all times by keeping conversations
among other employees professional and at a minimal. These are some tips that can be used to
gain customer loyalty and are identified as human agents because they are carried out by
A non-human change agent that benefits a change in customer service within this organization
would be technology. The technology would be the means for channels of open communication
for the concerns of the customers. Surveys, emails, fax, phone, and mail are adequate measures
for customer feedback. Monthly newsletters and discount programs that inform customers of
promotions, savings, and also price hikes. Let customers know in advance and give them an

opportunity to make purchases before price hikes. Always be thankful for the customers because
after all they are the reason why the business exists.
Compare and contrast continuous and discontinuous change
There are two types of changes. There is continuous change and discontinuous change.
Continuous change in retail can be described as an expected change in product pricing, financial
increases during the holiday months, and adaptability to the change of expected customer flow in
and out of retail stores on a daily bases. Discontinuous change is an unexpected change that may
or may not throw a business into dismay. A discontinuous change can happen abruptly and have a
negative impact on any business. These discontinuous changes may come from a huge fall in the
market place, a large amount of recalled products, or a continuous failure to promote an efficient
relationship between the customer and the public relation operations within a company.
Both types of changes are unavoidable in the business world today and should be taken
seriously. We must discuss some of Walmart’s customer service changes that have occurred in the
last few years. Our consumer base is reporting many bad reviews of Walmart’s customer service
or lack thereof. This unexpected change can have a huge negative impact on the company’s
operations. Continuous change for a retail chain is exhibited through their consumer base.
Consumers are constantly looking for a new and better product or service in the market place, and
the proper assistance with their purchases. It is important that Walmart takes the proper
procedures towards enforcing a better environment for our customer base. Our managers should
be leading their staff to become alert, friendly, and proficient in providing the best customer
experience for our in-store shoppers. This means adapting to the continuous change of customer
flow in and out of our retail stores, and providing the correct amount of employees to assist in
each and every customer need. Managers should obtain the essential leadership skills needed to
adapt to this continuous change. According to Life Cycle Engineering (2010), “Let us welcome

the era of continuous change. Flexibility vs. rigidity, adaptation vs. adherence, and leadership vs.
management are the philosophical transitions that many business chiefs – CEO, CFO, COO – now
recognize as imperative to future growth and sustainability” (para. 1). Sustainability is reached
when our staffed is shaped into the morals and expectations anticipated by Walmart stores across
the nation.
Quality customer amenity is essential in making the customer feel as if she or he is given
the best in customer service. A happy customer is willing to spend their time shopping in our
stores, and ultimately spend their money on our products. However, change occurs when the
consumers begins to become selective in their purchases due to dissatisfaction. This dissatisfaction
can be derived from rude, unfriendly and unprofessional customer service provided in our retail
stores. Walmart’s top priority is supplying the continuous needs of consumers based on their
generation’s likes and dislikes. Discontinuous change occurs when bad reviews and dissatisfied
customers rise to the surface. A retail company is then successful if they can adapt to the
continuous change of consumers and provide innovated products and superior customer services
to satisfy the existing consumer base as well as new customer generations to come.
Many Walmart stores have not been successful with their customer service department.
They have had employees quit due to unsatisfactory working conditions. This problem forces the
managers to fill the position if even temporarily with someone not as skilled or trained, which is a
good example of discontinuous change. Discontinuous change is sudden and unexpected. It is not
something a company or its employees will be ready for. This kind of change is not in any way a
process which you can plan for; however, your plans for change can become discontinuous. For
instance, if you are training an employee for a position because the current employee will be
leaving and the current employee decides to quit earlier than expected causing the trainee to be

rushed into that position. This would be continuous change turned into discontinuous due to the
sudden change in the company’s plan for change.
In recent events, Walmart is being forced, by legal action, to reinstate a pregnant woman
to her job for not abiding to the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Walmart had recently changed its
policy, according to an article on the National Women’s Law Center website, which discussed the
terms which pregnant women would be accommodated. For months Walmart ignored a pregnant
woman as she suffered medically because she had to clean the restrooms with harmful chemicals
to her pregnancy. The woman, who had submitted the proper paper work for a transfer, was never
given any accommodations or a transfer. In fact, Walmart not only did not give her the transfer,
they hired new employees for the position which she was trying to obtain. After the months of
getting sick and a few emergency room visits, the woman began to call into work sick which
shortly after led to her termination. This is when she gained legal counsel and Walmart is now
“under the gun” to abide by the law. Though this was an ongoing incident, it was unexpected by
the company and falls under discontinuous change.
In conclusion, the team has developed methods to improve Walmart’s poor customer
service issues. Outstanding customer service is what makes an organization stands out over its
competitor. Therefore, providing unique customer service can aid a corporation to succeed, no
matter what the circumstance. According to Larkins of (KSL Training), “Research shows that if
we receive good customer service, we’ll tell two or three people. Word of mouth
recommendations and referrals are often key drivers of new business. But – if we get poor
service, we’ll tell ten to twelve others!” (2014). In essence, a corporation's reputation is merely as
worthy as the customer service it delivers. Thus, this summary has outlined the cycle of change
and what is necessary to hopefully alter the organization’s customer service reviews. Hence, the

team also compared and contrasted the continuous and discontinuous change in the specific
scenario. Finally, the two change agents were differentiated and reported on how each can be
utilized in the scenario.


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Life Cycle Engineering. (2010). Continuous Change – the Destination, Not the Journey. Retrieved
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NWLC (2014) Walmart, Bowing to Pressure from Women’s, Legal Rights Groups, Improves
Pregnant Worker Policies
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