In a changing world the only constant is change.

“The world hates change but, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.”

Charles Kettering (

“Change is a pervasive influence. We are all subject to continual change of one form or another. Change is an inescapable part of both social and organizational life.” (Mullins, 2007:909)

“Organisational change means significant alteration in any one or more of the tasks, techniques, structures and people of the organization.” (Saiyadain, 2003:174)

Change is introduced either to improve effectiveness or to adapt to external changes. Managers face complex and challenging pressures and opportunities while introducing change in an organization. They must ensure the efficient use of resources and, at the same time, find ways of guaranteeing the long-term effectiveness of the organizations for which they work. Planning, implementing and coping with change has been, and seems likely to remain, one of the main challenges facing managers, in both the private and public sectors, today. In manufacturing, banking, education and health care change is the norm. (Carnall, 2007)

Managing change at the best of times is a challenge since it goes beyond the realms of logic and delves into the realms of perception. People are naturally inclined over centuries of conditioned behaviour to be comfortable in the present and any announcement of change makes them perceive new situations, new people, new places, and newer security issues. Once again, when man is asked to think outside his comfort zone, his first perceptions are mostly defensive and negative, hence managing change is a challenge.

Managing change in a personal or family environment is difficult enough in light of changed equations, changed economic status, and changed relationships. However, there is rarely any competitiveness or a threat of economical or emotional security from one’s near and dear ones. None the less, the two points mentioned in the earlier paragraph about man perceiving change negatively remain a challenge.

The process of organizational change can be initiated deliberately by managers, it can evolve slowly within a department, it can be imposed by specific changes in policy or procedures, or it can arise through external pressures. Change can affect all aspects of the operation and functioning of the organization. Most planned organizational change is triggered by the need to respond to new challenges or opportunities presented by the external environment. Planned change represents an intentional attempt to improve, in some important way, the operational effectiveness of the organization.

Thus, the basic objectives of managing organizational change are:

Modifying the behavioural patterns of the members of the organizations

Improving the ability of the organization to cope with changes in its environment.

It is also important for management to understand the reasons for, and nature of, resistance and to adopt a clearly defined strategy for the initiation of change. The successful management of change is an increasingly important managerial responsibility. (Mullins, 2007)

The merger and acquisition boom has brought change on its trail throughout industry and commerce. A major aspect of organizational change can be viewed in an acquisition. In order to understand this facet, I studied the case of an Indian company acquiring a UK one; the Tata’s acquiring Jaguar – Land Rover. Tata is seen to value its employees as much as its profits, and prides itself on equality and fair management. After a great deal of bidding and negotiations, the Tata’s bought the earlier Ford owned Jaguar – Land Rover, for a whopping USD 2.3 billion. Both the corporations entered into mutual agreements regarding various aspects such as support facilities like IT, design and development of the automobiles to keep the uniqueness intact. By studying this organizational change, I analysed and focused on, how smooth communication and understanding can lead to copying with resistance of any sorts.


The concept of organizational change is a wide change as opposed to small changes. Examples of wide change may include a change in a mission, restructuring operations, new technologies, mergers and acquisitions, re-engineering etc. change should not be done for the sake of change – it’s a strategy to accomplish some overall goal. (

Typically there are strong resistances to change. People are afraid of the unknown. Often there are conflicting goals in the organization. Organization’s wide changes often go against the very values held dear by members of the organization. That’s why organizational change discusses needed changes in the cultural aspect of values and beliefs.

Planned Organization Change Process:-

(Behaviour Modification)

Organizational change calls for a change in the individual behaviour of the employees. Any organizational change whether introduced through a new structural design or new technology attempts to make employees modify their behaviour because unless the behaviour patterns change, there will be very little impact on the effectiveness of the organization. Kurt Lewin came up with a three-phase process of behaviour modification to implement planned change.

Change in Organization


Change in the behaviour of individuals

Calls for




(Ahmad, Gilkar and Darzi, 2008)

Unfreezing – The process of ‘unfreezing’ is the toughest phase where one has to overcome the inertia of comfortable practices and complacency to convince others that the change is not just necessary but desirable too. Lewin believes that change should not come as a surprise to members of the organization, unannounced change would be socially destructive and opposed by the members. (Cole, 2005) The management must pave the way by unfreezing the situation, so that members would be willing and ready to accept the change. This way any resistance to change can also be neutralised.

Movement – Once the unfreezing process is complete and the members of the organization accept and recognize the requirement of change and have been fully prepared to accept the same, their behaviour patterns have to be redesigned. (Kumar and Mittal, 2002) This can be done by establishing new reporting relationships and creating reward/incentive systems.(Hunt & Simms) The movement process involves development of new attitudes or behaviour and the implementation of the change. (Mullins, 2007)

Refreezing – Change or movement phase continues until a new balance is made between the forces driving and restraining change. Thus the aim of refreezing is to establish this balance at a higher level of performance. This is done by supporting mechanisms “for example policies, structure or norms” (Mullins, 2007:910) which positively reinforces the new ways of working. (Hunt & Simms) During this phase, individuals internalize the new behaviour developed in the movement phase.

Resistance to Change:-

Change in an organization can have different responses. The most obvious one is resistance. Any change whether beneficial or superficial, is likely to meet some resistance which is usually from the people of the organization, especially if the present system favours them. Respect for individuals and communication are the basics required to help people adapt to change. (Hunt & Simms)

In a sense, resistance to change is positive. It provides a degree of stability and predictability to behaviour. If there is not some resistance, organizational behaviour would take on characteristics of chaotic randomness. (Ahmad, Gilkar and Darzi, 2008)

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“Resistance to change can take many forms and it is often difficult to pinpoint the exact reasons for the resistance. The forces against change in work organizations include: ignoring the needs and expectations of members; when members have insufficient information about the nature of the change; or if they do not perceive the need to change. Fears may be expressed over matters such as employment levels and job security, de-skilling of work, loss of job satisfaction, wage rate differentials, changes to social structures and working conditions, loss of individual control over work, and greater management control.” (Mullins, 2007

Resistance to change can be classified into two categories:

Individual resistance

Organizational resistance

Reasons for individual resistance to change within organizations include the following:

Selective perception: People’s own interpretation of stimuli may lead to selective perception which further form a biased view of a particular situation, and thus cause resistance to change. For example, trade unions may have a stereotyped view of management as untrustworthy and therefore oppose any management change; however well founded might have been the intention.

Habit: people tend react to situations in an accustomed manner. Proposed changes to habits, especially if the habits are well established and require little effort, may well be resisted. However, if there is a clearly perceived advantage, for example a reduction in working hours without loss of pay, there is likely to be less, if any, resistance to change.

Inconvenience or loss of freedom: If the change is seen as likely to prove inconvenient, make life more difficult, reduce freedom of action or result in increased control, there will be resistance.

Economic implications: People are likely to resist change which is perceived as reducing their pay or monetary rewards, requiring an increase in work for the same level of pay or acting as a threat to their job security.

Security in the past: In times of difficulty or when faced with new or unfamiliar ideas and methods, people tend to reflect on their past to find a sense of security. For example, in bureaucratic organizations, officials often tend to place faith in well established procedures and methodologies and adhere to them as giving a feeling of security.

Fear of the unknown: Many major changes in a work organization present a degree of uncertainty; for example, the introduction of new technology or methods of working. These changes which confront people with the unknown cause anxiety or fear.

Reasons for organizational resistance to change within organizations include the following:

Organisational culture: Culture is pervasive in nature, develops overtime and may not be easy to change. It has a significant effect on organizational processes and the behaviour of the staff. An ineffective culture may result in a lack of flexibility for, or acceptance, of change.

Maintaining stability: Organizations pay much attention to maintaining stability and predictability. The need for formal organization structure and the division of work, narrow definitions of assigned duties and responsibilities, established rules, procedures and methods or work can result in resistance to change.

Investment in resources: Change often requires large resources like buildings, technology, equipment and people, which may already be committed to investments in other areas or strategies. For example, a car manufacturer may not find it way to change to a socio-technical approach and the use of autonomous work groups because it cannot afford the cost of new purpose-built plant and specialised equipment.

Past contracts or agreements: Organisations enter into contracts or agreements with other parties which many times limit changes in behaviour for example, organisations operating under a special licence or permit.

Threats to power or influence: Change may be seen as a threat to the power or influence of certain groups within the organization, such as their control over decisions, resources or information. For example, managers may resist the introduction of quality circles or worker-directors because they see this as a threat to the power in their own positions. (Mullins, 2007)

Managing organisational change:

The successful management of change is clearly essential for continued economic performance and competitiveness. New ideas and innovations should not be perceived as threats by members of the organization. The efforts made by management to maintain the balance of the socio-technical system will influence people’s attitudes, the behaviour of individuals and groups, and thereby the level of organisational performance and effectiveness. (Mullins, 2008)

Overcoming resistance to change

A manger need not always be saddled with the task of change in organizations where resistance is strongly prevalent. There are some techniques which can assist him in overcoming resistance. But he should not underestimate the variety of ways people react to change and the ways they can positively influence specific individuals and groups during the change process. (Ahmad, Gilkar and Darzi, 2008)

There are a number of ways in which resistance can be minimised. These have been developed from the ideas of Kotter and Schlesinger (1979)

Education and Communication: Educating people and providing them with adequate information before the change takes place may not lessen resistance but should reduce the unnecessary stress. Managers should communicate their ideas via one-on-one discussions, presentations or reports, so that people understand the need of rand see the logic of the proposed change.

Facilitation and support: If the proposed change is likely to mean changes in skills, time needs to be given for training and development. Managers need to provide all the support they can and lend an ear to their subordinates and their grievances.

Negotiation and Agreement: It is possible to reduce resistance by offering incentives to active or potential resisters.

Co-option: Another way to overcome resistance, obtain commitment and increase the quality of the change, in an individual or group is to give them a role with responsibility and status attached, in the implementation of the change.

(Hunt & Simms)

Organizational Responses to Disruptive Change

Christensen and Overdorf, identified three factors that affect organizational responses to different types of change and what an organization can and cannot do:

resources – access to abundant, high quality resources increases an organization’s chances of coping with change

processes – the patterns of interaction, co-ordination, communication and decision-making employees use to transform resources into products and services.

values – the standards by which employees set priorities that enable them to judge whether an order is attractive, whether a customer is more or less important, whether an idea for a new product is attractive or marginal.

There are three possible ways in which managers can develop new capabilities to cope with change:

create new organizational structures within corporate boundaries in which new processes can be developed

spin out an independent organization from the existing organization and develop new processes and values

acquire a different organization whose processes and values match closely the new requirements.

(Mullins, 2007)

Actions to Secure Effective Change

Kotter and Cohn list the following eight steps for successful large-scale change.

Create a sense of urgency among relevant people, whatever the nature or size of the organization.

Build a guiding team with the credibility, skills, connections, reputations and formal authority to provide change leadership.

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Create visions which are sensible, clear and uplifting, and sets of strategies.

Communicate the vision and the strategy in order to induce understanding and commitment.

Empower action and remove obstacles that stop people acting on the vision.

Produce short-term wins that help to provide credibility, resources and momentum to the overall effort.

Don’t let up but maintain the momentum, consolidate early changes and create wave after wave of change

Make change stick by nurturing a new culture, and developing group norms of behaviour and shared values.

(Mullins, 2007)

A Chosen Case : Tata’s acquisition of Jaguar – Land Rover

Allow me to illustrate- ‘In an economics class, some students felt that capitalism has negative connotations leading to disparities in society and hence socialism is a better option. The economics class teacher threw change in the direction of the students by offering an average gradation to all students ala socialism. At the end of the first test the students were all given B which was the cumulative average of the class. The students who usually did well did not find this change acceptable as their A’s became B’s and so in the next test the good students made lesser effort and the poorer students hoped that the performance of the good students will keep their grade at B. But in the second test, since the good students had made lesser effort the average of the class fell down to C and this made everybody unhappy with change and fulfilled the innate human belief that change is negative and bad.’

Arising from the above example, it becomes obvious that the change agent must not only have a powerfully beneficial idea but also have plans, programs, initiatives and good communication to help overcome the known and existing devil of negative perception to change in the human mind.

It’s in the above context that we assess how the new owners of the legendary Jaguar and Land Rover dealt with the organizational change in light of the ownership transferring to the Indian industrial giant-the house of Tata’s.

“Tata Motors is India’s largest automobile company, with revenues of US$ 8.8 billion in 2007-08. With over 4 million Tata vehicles plying in India, it is the leader in commercial vehicles and among the top three in passenger vehicles. It is also the world’s fourth largest truck manufacturer and the second largest bus manufacturer. Tata cars, buses and trucks are being marketed in several countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, South East Asia and South America. Through subsidiaries and associate companies, Tata Motors has operations in South Korea, Thailand and Spain. It also has a strategic alliance with Fiat.” (

In January 2008, Tata was named the prime bidder for the upscale Jaguar and Land Rover units besting two other finalists, Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. and US private equity firm One Equity Partners LLC. On March 26th, 2008, Tata Motors announced its acquisition of the Jaguar-Land Rover businesses from Ford Motor Company for a net consideration of US$ 2.3 billion on a cash free, debt-free basis. The final purchase consideration includes the ownership of Jaguar and Land Rover or perpetual royalty-free licences of all necessary Intellectual Property Rights, manufacturing plants, two advanced design centres in the UK, and worldwide network of National Sales Companies. Ford completed the sale of its Jaguar and Land Rover businesses to the Indian multinational Tata on the 2nd of June, 2008. Tata Motors established that Mr. David Smith, the acting Chief Executive Officer of Jaguar Land Rover, would be the new CEO of the business. (

Long term agreements and contracts have been entered into for supply of engines, stampings and other components to Jaguar Land Rover. Other areas of transition support from Ford include IT, accounting and access to test facilities. The two companies will continue to cooperate in areas such as design and development through sharing of platforms and joint development of hybrid technologies and power train engineering. The Ford Motor Credit Company will continue to provide financing for Jaguar Land Rover dealers and customers for a transition period. (

Britain’s traditionally feisty and combative trade unions, cheered Tata’s purchase of Jaguar-Land Rover. The top bosses of Unite, the UK’s largest trades union called this acquisition real good news for the UK automotive industry because according to them ‘Tata’s are into making cars, not just money’. Tata also promised that including retaining jobs and existing employee contracts for at least the next 5 years as well as putting money into J-LR to ‘grow the business’. Tata recognised the Britishness of the two brands and have no intention of closing any plants in the UK. In fact they are committed that after 2011, all the Jaguar – Land Rover products will still be designed and manufactured in the UK. (

The purchase agreement was seen by trade unions as safeguarding jobs in the UK for two reasons. First , Tata committed to follow an existing five-year plan to invest in and develop the car manufacturing businesses. Jaguar and Rover employ just under 16,000 people, most of them in the Midlands and at Halewood near Liverpool. Also, Tata is contracted to buy engines and other parts from Ford until at least 2012, which should protect employment at Ford’s plants in Dagenham and Bridgend. As of now, Tata has no plans to relocate manufacturing capacity to low-cost India. Instead it appears to see the purchase of Land Rover and Jaguar as a route into the middle to top end of the global motorcar market. Ford also reassured employees of Jaguar and Land Rover that they will face no financial risks from the takeover and that their pensions are safe – because it will inject £300 million into their pension scheme, to eliminate any deficit. (


The Tata deal is known to be one of the most ambitious purchases of a British based manufacturer, by any company from the fast emerging economies of Asia. It is considered to be a momentous time for all at the Tata Corporation. The announcement of Tata’s acquisition created many unusual challenges including cultural, financial, industrial and communication challenges. But, the Tata’s managed this situation thoroughly and coped with any resistance they faced from the employees or the company really well.

An advantage: Tata’s had an edge as they had very recently acquired the steel producer Corus Steel. This gave them an upper hand over the rest of the bidders as they had enough knowledge concerning the laws, mind set, unions, heritage, business culture etc which helped them understand the British environment better than the rest.

Pre – Soaking the government: Tata’s also did a very wise thing by approaching the government of the United Kingdom before the final bidding. They pre-soaked the government and most rightly convinced them about the acquisition which helped them out with understanding the scenario in the country.

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Education and Communication: Information is the life blood of any organisation and the way in which any idea is communicated can make a difference between a productive and committed workforce and one that is sceptical and unreceptive. Tata’s took extreme care in their communication, initial interaction, minimal disturbance to operating practices to ensure that they had enough time to understand the national and corporate culture at Jaguar – Land Rover. This also made the Jaguar – Land Rover’s management and staff secure about their job and financial security and thus provided them with the conviction to protect them both.

Retaining many officials: A judicious decision which the Tata Corporation took was to retain the chief executive officer and many other top level management of Jaguar – Land Rover. This made it easier and convenient for the Tata’s to transmit important information and communicate effectively through the employees’ own credible leaders. Thus the workforce was more receptive to any decision or conclusion arrived at than that was expected to be.

Negotiations and Agreements: Corporate values must be understood, respected and appreciated while entering into such propositions. This is essential to ensure that the merged organisation is run to the new organizational culture that they have jointly created. Tata entered into long term agreements for supply of engines, stamping and other components of Jaguar – Land Rover. Both, Ford and Tata will continue to cooperate in different areas like design and development. This motivated and provided incentive to the company and its employees and thus Tata’s avoided any resistance in this area.

Facilitation and Support: Different perceptions of time was a particular challenge for both Jaguar – Land Rover and Tata’s. Indians usually take more time than the Brits to meet and interact with employees at all levels and develop relationships. This on the whole conflicted with the approach of the Brits who paid greater importance to things being done quickly and relationships can wait for later. The Tata’s built excellent relationships with the management and the company. They took one step at a time. They have even agreed to keep intact the plants in the UK and committed further that the designing and manufacturing will be based there as well.

Co-option: Including and involving the present employees of Jaguar – Land Rover is an extremely important area which needed to be targeted. This is mainly so that the employees feel a part of the proposition and refrain from any sort of resistance to the acquisition.

Thus from the above derived points and discussions, it is evident that the Tata’s coped with resistance to change very well. There were no major problems that they faced regarding resistance and in fact were cheered by the employees for their entire proposal. The complete catch in the whole acquisition is time. All that the corporate world, specifically which of India and the United Kingdom needs to do is to wait and watch. It is with time that one will know how successful or unsuccessful this proposition of Mr. Ratan Tata (Chairman of the Tata group) will be.


A broad recommendation that I want to touch upon is that there is an enormous need for an organisational behaviour division in all corporations. Organisational change is not an easy task. It is serious business and may be one of the most risky decision making processes which no organisation can avoid either. The main aspect of change is faced and resisted by people ranging from the ones working in the organisation, running it or may be even the ones outside it. Thus the facet that organisational change impacts the most is organisational behaviour. It may be said that the human resource department can handle such deeds. But, in my opinion a human resource department looks into and understands matters of people of one particular country or culture. With the emerging multicultural, multi-geographical and multi-country mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures, it is of crucial need to start an organizational behaviour division which handles these features of organisational change to secure the financial health and reputation of a company.

To conclude, I feel that steps should be taken to ensure that the human element is not ignored in the acquisition of Jaguar – Land Rover because at the end of the day it is the combined effort of each employee that will have the biggest impact on the booming outcome of this acquisition. This can be done by watchfully selecting potential leaders in the organisation to help carry out and communicate the necessary changes to all other employees as this will subsequently help ensure they feel cared for. It is exceptionally necessary that the Tata’s take out time to understand and appreciate the impact of a changing organizational culture on its employees and at the same time, recognize the challenge of bringing together both the national cultures or else the company will risk a lot at stake.

With estimates signifying that as many as 80% of international and cross cultural mergers and acquisitions fail, it is only two years down the line in 2012 when all the agreement and contracts entered into by both the companies end, that we would have known whether Mr. Tata’s team in spite of the unforeseen global economic downturn were able to achieve a smooth organizational change and manage it with élan or were they 8 of the 10 that fail.

To summarize, I began my essay with a brief introduction on managing organizational change and my specific case to illustrate the theme of the paper. This was followed by deeply understanding the main theories and points supporting managing change in the literature review section, where I focused mainly on resistance to change and different ways to cope with it. I then brought forward the case of Tata’s acquiring Jaguar – Land Rover and discussed the basic facts and information of the acquisition which led me to the discussion section. I pointed out various ways by which Tata’s coped with resistance of any kinds and on paper seemed like one of the most perfect acquisitions. In conclusion, I further gave in some of my recommendations to support the case and of what I felt was the need of the hour.


Ahmad, Gilkar and Darzi (2008) Organisational Behaviour Atlantic Publishers & Distributors

Carnall, A.C. (2007) Managing Change in Organizations 5th ed. Essex: Prentice Hall

Cole, G. A. (2005), Organisational Behaviour Cornwall : Thompson Learning

Hunt, M. S. & Simms, H. Organisational Behaviour and Change Management

Kumar, N. and Mittal, R. (2002) Organisational Behaviour New Delhi : Anmol Publishers

Mullins, L.J. (2007) Management and Organisational Behaviour 7th ed. Essex : Prentice Hall

Mullins, L.J. (2008) Essentials of Organizational Behaviour 8th ed. Pearson Education

Saiyadain, M.S. (2003) Organisational Behaviour New York : Tata McGraw-Hill Available at [] Accessed on 2/01/2010 Available at [] Accessed on 1/01/2010 Available at [] Accessed on 30/12/2009 Available at [] Accessed on 1/01/2010 Available at [] Accessed on 1/01/2010

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