Engaging Employees In Organizational Change Management Essay
Let it sink in: Rosenberg (1993) states that people need time to adapt to the idea of change. It is best to announce the change management plans much before the actual implementation begins rather than springing up the announcement as soon as the actual transition is about to take place; in most cases it has been noted that individuals were unhappy with the rapidity at which the change management course was employed rather than the idea of change itself. If for example a company plans to layoff 20% of its staff by the end of the week; no prior announcement of this action might result in severe chaos, anger and frustration by the employees who would have to deal with the situation there and then which could result in severe emotional and mental trauma.
Teach the staff well: People are usually comfortable with the familiar and suspicious of the unfamiliar. For this purpose individuals might resist changing over to a new system or procedure of doing things simply because they are afraid of making mistakes and would prefer to work according to the tried and tested procedures. Management here needs to ensure that individuals are encouraged to experiment under the new system and are allowed to learn from their mistakes rather than being reprimanded for their behavior.
Relinquish some control: Rosenberg (1993) has mentioned time and again in her article that to bring about an effective change, it is necessary to give autonomy to individuals so that they feel that they are also in control and play an integral role in the course of managing change. Again resistance is not necessarily to the change itself; rather than the way the change was implemented. A good manager would always involve his employees in the change management process to garner their full assurance and support to the change being implemented.
Communication is the key: This is a very important aspect as employees want to be constantly kept in the loop regarding what changes are taking place in the organization. Both the employees and their managers have to keep an fluent mode of conversation so that the queries and grievances of the employees can be addressed by the managers and the managers are also aware of the strategies they would have to use in order to compel their workforce to remain committed to the cause.
If managers want to successfully overcome resistance to change then these are some of the few viewpoints they have to keep into consideration when being involved in a change management process.
Kimberling (2006) has suggested four simple steps for overcoming resistance. For today’s management one of the growing challenges is overcoming employee’s resistance to change. It is widely assumed that people dislike change.
There are some ways of overcoming employee’s resistance to change as given below:
Identify change agents early in the project/program
Train, train, train
Involve employees in the change enabling process
According to Brown & Cregan (2008), “Cynicism tells regarding employee’s opinion of their organization’s management and it is derivative of employee’s familiarity with the environment, it may require considerable efforts by management to trim it down.
Engaging employees is one of the ways of managing Organizational Change Cynicism (OCC). Sharing information has been considered as the approach is suitable top-down form of engaging employees which has important and negative association with OCC. It is believed that information passed down by the management is based on employee accepting of management decisions and thus reducing level of OCC. Taking inputs from employees validates that employees and employers have differing interests in the employment relationship. Delegating the role of decision making reflects shift in the form of employment terms.
Managers and employees work in a cooperative environment where solutions/ decisions may emanate from either side and no more managers are the only authority holders. Engaging employees in decision making reduces levels of OCC.
This helps employees in understanding the fall out of managerial decisions as nothing comes to them as a surprise this undermines the potential of cynicism to develop.
This point of view is further supported by other researchers who state that constant communication and employee involvement is the key to a successful change management process. Communicating decisions justifies change, improves sense of employee effectiveness, and makes clear the changes to employee responsibilities (Young and Post, 1993). Besides, it provides employees information on how the intervention will happen and its fall out and hence allowing them greater control over the process of change.
Successful Change: Paying Attention to the Intangibles
Adams (2003) asserts that though bringing about any sort of change is a challenging and daunting task, confrontation to change can be combated and an organization can make the transition to a new environment successfully. Adams (2003) further states that while there would be approximately 10-15% of an organization’s employees who would be resisting change; there would also be another 10-15% who would be supportive of the change. Organizations who have implemented the change management program successfully in their vicinity have done so by involving these proponents of the change management program from the beginning stages in order to garner their full support. This does not mean that these organizations did not face any sort of resistance; resistance to change was there just like any other change management program but it was dealt with in a smart manner so that the hostile and negative feelings of the employees did not take over the entire process.
The basic factors that have been identified by Adams (2003) for successful change implementation are: accepting the need for change, faith that change is both favorable and probable, enough fervent assurance, explicit deliverable goals and a clear starting strategy, structures or mechanisms that require a repetition of the new pattern, feeling supported and safe, patience and perseverance, clear accountability, the responsibility of ‘others’ in the organization (not just change agents) and rewarding of new behavior. All of these factors combined have worked together in bringing about a successful change program in various organizations that applied these theories or factors either entirely or used combinations that supported their organization structure. The basic premise of bringing about a successful change program has been that it is possible to overcome resistance if a clear strategy if firstly identified and secondly people are managed in such a way so as to develop feelings of enthusiasm and commitment towards the process of change. It is how these intangible factors of change are managed that determines the successful implementation of any change management program in the world.
Simultaneously, with fast pace of change organizations are currently experiencing, there is parallel increasing interest in the role of organizational trust within these processes. (Mayer et al., 1995). Lower level of trust in organization will make change look doubtful and upsetting. Change agents need to take a closer look at trust and control factors in order to comprehend better how a constructive association among employees and employers can be continued.
Triumphant organizational change can take place if employees stick to the processes sketched by organizational leaders. Non-acceptance or refusing attitude towards change may harm the relation between individual and organization (Ferguson & Cheyne, 1995).
On the other hand, control is seen as ‘a regulatory process by which the basics of a system are made more foreseeable by making standards in the pursuit of some preferred goals or state’ (Leifer & Mills, 1996, 117). This means that when employees have a high sense of control over a change intervention, it means they predict the result associated to it, hence they feel comfortable increasing the probability of sticking to the change.
Some authors have treated trust and control as substitutes (e.g. Inkpen & Currall, 1997; Leifer & Mills, 1996), such that the more trust there is in a partner, the less need to control its behavior.
A different approach is presented by Das & Teng (1998) which state that these parallel phenomena hold a supplementary character. According to them, “If employees’ perceptions of control over change represent how comfortable and familiarized employees are concerning the change, what is the impact of lower or higher control in the relationship between employees and organizational agents? Although the stronger is employees’ trust in their supervisor, the more committed these employees are to their organization, we believe trust has differential effects on work outcomes depending on how employees perceive change (i.e. how much they feel they control the change process)”.
For this purpose Das & Teng (1998) explain the concept of organizational change interventions. Organizational change interventions are situations in which both perceptions of trust in the supervisor and control over change are high stake factors because of the risks entailed in them. A situation in which employees have low perceived control over an organizational change intervention is a situation where trust concerns are increased. If an employee has lower control over the change, a trusting relationship with his supervisor will help him maintain his level of commitment to the organization. As a consequence, not only employees with low perceived control over change and low trust in the supervisor are expected to have the lowest levels of organizational commitment, but also the relationship between trust in the supervisor and affective organizational commitment is stronger for employees with lower perceptions of control over the change intervention.
Brockner et al. (1997) found that when trust concerns become more prominent, the level of employees’ trust in organizational authorities is more likely to influence their support for the organizational authorities and their organizational commitment.
The Hard Side of Change Management – The DICE Factors
Sikrin et al. (2005) has a different opinion on which factors to focus on when bring about the change. Recently the gurus of change management tend to pay more attention and emphasis on soft factors such as culture, leadership and motivation. These factors play an integral role in making an organization attain success but one cannot focus on these factors only when an organization needs to be transformed. Such basic factors do not always affect the change management programs in organizations. For example, a good leadership is essential to the success of any organization but is not the sole affective factor. Communication plays a major role when bringing about any change but again, is not the only factor to severely affect the change process. The most difficult factor to change is changing the mindsets of individuals; individuals and organizations have certain perceptions and behaviors that are so deeply inculcated in their personality that it is very difficult to steer them in a different direction. Sikrin et al. (2005) also states that while surveys can be conducted to understand the effect of such soft factors such as culture and leadership, it is difficult to quantify such soft factors.
An emphasis on the unconventional outlook of change management, the hard factors, is also important to be taken into consideration. These factors have three important characteristics which are as follows:
Organizations are capable to evaluate them in straight or circuitous methods.
Organizations can simply correspond their significance, both inside and outside of the organizations.
And possibly mainly vital businesses are able to influence those essentials rapidly.
Such important factors that directly affect the change process are the time span taken to undergo a process, the individuals necessary to carry out the various job requirements and ultimately the financial returns that such an activity leads to.
There are numerous researches that depict that hard factors play an essential role in bringing about any sort of change process, else the organizations face failure. (Sikrin et al., 2005). On the other hand it is also necessary for the management to pay an equal amount of attention to the soft factors. However, if organizations do not firstly emphasize on the hard factors, the entire change process would result in severe failure.
Sikrin et al. (2005) write in their article that they gained an insight into a new aspect when they studied and identified the basic factors of change that all processes shared. They conducted a hypothesis that studied how various organizations conducted similar transformation programs. For this purpose the authors studied various industries in various countries in order to take out the common elements. 225 companies were part of the research conducted where it showed that there was a directly related relationship between the outcome of a change process and tough four elements: “plan life span, specifically the time between plan feedbacks; performance veracity, or the abilities of project teams; the dedication of both higher staff and the lower staff whom the transform will influence mainly; and the extra attempt that peoples must make to manage with the alteration. They named these factors as the DICE factors since we could stack them in support of projects’ accomplishment” (Sikrin et al., 2005).
According to Sikrin et al. (2005) “We finished our learning in 1994, and in the 11 years since then, the Boston Consulting Group had used those four elements to forecast the results, and direct the completion, of more than 1,000 change management stances globally. Not only has the association held, but no other elements (or combination of these factors) have forecasted results as well.”
The Four Hard Factors
Organizations work with the four factors in different ways in order to create new combinations. On one end of the continuum, there are projects that will ultimately face success than the ones that are going to face failure on the other end. For example, Sikrin et al write, ” At one end, a small plan led by a capable, ambitious, and consistent team, led by top management and implemented in a division that is open to the change and has to put in very little further attempt, is destined to thrive. On the other end, a lengthy, designed plan implemented by an unskilled apathetic, and incoherent groups, without any higher management sponsors and aim at a function that disapproves the alteration and has to do a excessive efforts, will be unsuccessful”.
Through this process the organizations can then find out which change program fell at which end of the continuum. However, most of the change processes ended up in a neutral position where it was difficult to find out if they were a success or if they had failed. It is the responsibility of executives to conduct an in-depth analysis of the DICE factors to decipher which direction the change program go.
Following are the DICE factors:
D. The time span “Duration” required concluding a transformed plans if it has a limited duration; if not limited, the longevity of time between feedbacks of objectives.
I. The plan’s team’s performance Integrity; that is, its skills to finish the program on time. Which are linked to team’s abilities and expertise as per plan’s necessities.
C. The Commitment to revolutionize that top hierarchy (C1) and staff affected by the transformation (C2) display.
E. The Effort other than the routine work that the transformed initiative necessitates from staffs (Sikrin et.al., 2005).
This study therefore goes to show that there are multiple methods that could be adopted in order to bring about an effective change management process. Furthermore, case study research shows that there are multiple methods adopted for managing change. “While many prescriptions, guidelines and models exist, managers responsible for executing the changes are selective in the way they use these ideas” (Storey, 1992).
Keeping in mind the above mentioned point of view we can assume that to a major percentage of the change varies from person to person. “Those who see themselves as creating organizational change as an intentional process (i.e. top management formally leading change) will have a different perspective to those who are on the receiving end of change” (Kanter et al., 1992).
Change Management Around the World
Change Resistance in Bureaucratic Organizations in Jordan
To understand why employees resist change Khassawneh (2005) highlights the reasons and causes behind employees’ resistance to administrative change in various bureaucratic organizations in Jordan.
There were eleven factors, were identified as being major causes of change resistance in bureaucratic agencies. These factors include: inadequate financial and non-financial incentives offered to government employees, lack of employees’ participation and involvement in the change process, distrust between employees and higher management, expectation of more control and supervision from higher management, expectation of additional job demands and requirements, comfort with status quo, disruption of stable work standards and social relations, lack of goal clarity, lack of employees’ conviction in the goals of change, fear of loosing job and/or job prerogatives, and the sudden and confused manner in which change is introduced (Khassawneh, 2005)
According to Khassawneh (2005) the most significant reason of resistance to change was found out to be lack of employees’ participation in the change process. This factor was assessed on the basis of two parameters: seniority in organization and number of training programs attended by employees. Senior employees who were part of the organization for five years or less resisted strongly due to lack of participation in the change process than their seniors who had served in the organization for periods ranging from 6-20 years. Employees who had served for five years or less in such government institutions made up 32% of the sample (133 respondents). These individuals were involved in activities concerning of an executive nature and therefore played a significant role in the running of the bureaucratic organizations.
Employees who had not attended any training program felt that lack of involvement led to resistance to change. Therefore this attitude goes to show what an important role the training programs play boosting employee morale and involvement as training enables individuals to discover their strengths and weaknesses and also instill in them a sense of belonging in their organization. Therefore the respondents who did not get an opportunity to participate in any training programs claimed to have low sense of involvement with the organization treated the management with greater suspicion, than those who took part in certain training programs.
Another major cause of resistance to change was as found out by Khassawneh (2005) was lack of proper incentives for employees. This lack of proper incentives was correlated to five of background characteristics of respondents which were namely; seniority, administrative rank, number of training programs attended, age and level of education (Khassawneh, 2005). Younger, low level ranking employees resisted more due to lack of proper incentives. Employees who have served for longer periods of time tend to receive greater incentives as the longer they remain in a government organization.
Resistance to change also came about when the employees viewed the management with suspicion and distrust (Khassawneh, 2005). Younger employees working at a low level position who did not get adequate decision making authority or those who did not attend enough training programs were mainly the individuals who highly resisted any sort of change.
Khassawneh (2005) states that if such low ranking employees are also not given enough information regarding the change process, then such employees would always create issues in the organization.
Change Management in Indian Banks
Hegde & George (2002) in their study further highlight reasons of why employees resist to change of shifting towards automated services in the banks. Before the privatization wave began in India, the public sector commanded a major chunk of the economy. Though there was excessive regulatory mechanism there was widespread corruption, a high cost economy and poor performance from the state owned enterprises. State-owned banks were also run in an extremely inefficient manner due to interference from political quarters and as a result these banks were frequently caused to go through bankruptcies. Employees in these banks too were not ready to accept any new changes as they preferred the old practices and lived happily under the umbrella of State protectionism.
Hegde & George (2002) conducted this at Goa, in which a sample of 100 branch managers (BMs) with the objective of finding out the factors that motivate or inhibit BMs in servicing customers. They also focus on the reasons why employees resist any sort of new change taking place in the organization.
Transition to a new work methodology was cited as a major factor contributing towards employee resistance. Since the traditional bureaucratic banking practices did not focus so much on customer service, the employees had to be given intense training in how to deal with the customers, how to respond to their queries regarding new services and how to respond to complaint situations. This required a whole new work ethic and attitude to be developed among employees as well as they were not equipped to deal well in the customer dealing sphere. Along with this the staff had to also be trained in the new technological aspects of the innovative banking solutions as well (Hegde & George, 2002).
Secondly the researchers found out that lack of technological know-how/training also contributed to resistance to change. Branch managers admitted that they were not aware of all the workings of the new banking system and could not answer customer queries regarding ATM machines as they were not knowledgeable about the workings of ATMs. Added to this computerization was another major woe of the employees as they employees were give inadequate training where they learned through a trial and error process which resulted in delay and frustration with the work at hand. Furthermore the top management frequently decided to change the software being used so the employees had to go through the whole process of learning through trail and error again. Lack of communication and inadequate training resulted in a high level of de-motivation and resistance from the employees who were not willing to accept the new changes as they felt that the new process created more confusion and damage rather than resolving the issues.
Hegde & George (2002) also discuss how the staff was downsized by the management in order to cut down on its cost where a Voluntary Retirement Scheme was introduced in order to let the staff go. This resulted in paucity of staff a the branches where the few remaining staff was overworked and underpaid which led to further resistance and de-motivation of the staff, many of whom quit their job as they felt exploited by the new change management process introduced by the top executives.
Through the course of their study, Hegde & George (2002) find out that the key to customer satisfaction is firstly employee satisfaction as employees who feel de-motivated and discontented of their jobs and companies exhibit their feelings via not serving the customers properly and even by speaking bad about their company in front of the customers. The main reason why employees resist changing is because the reasons and benefits of the change are not communicated to them, adequate training to deal with new procedures is not provided and furthermore staff is laid off without any prior warning which creates feelings of insecurity and mistrust towards the organization.
Finally resistance to change could have been overcome if the management proceeded to bring about the change process in a systematic manner. If all the employees were communicated the plans of the management right in the beginning and the benefits of the change to the employees and the organization were made common knowledge, then the employees would be more emphatic towards the change process. An organization is nothing without the support of its employees and in order to bring about any sort of change the organization has to make sure that its internal customers are satisfied before the external customers are serviced.
The IBM Making Change Work Global Study
IBM’s (2008) research department addressed the issues as to why most organizations cannot bring about a change successfully in an organization. IBM’s research was conducted using a sample size of more than 1,500 key practitioners through surveys and detailed interviews. The purpose of the research was to find out why implementing a change management program was met with resistance by the employees and why the program failed to be implemented in most organizations successfully.
The study revealed that 44% the projects failed to be completed on deadlines, or within budget or without decided quality of end goals, while 15 percent either ceased or failed to meet any of the objectives. The reasons cited for these failures range from lack of clarity of goals, failure to execute the project successfully from the perspective of the top management and lack of employee involvement, age factor, educational level and fear of new change from the perspective of the employees.
The major challenges to change were divided on two parameters; soft factors and hard factors. The soft factors of resistance to change included: changing mindsets and attitudes, corporate culture, complex nature of the change process, lack of dedication from the side of upper level management, and deficiency of motivation of employees involved. While the hard factors of resistance to change included: shortage of resources, lack of change information, not much transparency because of incomplete or unreliable information, change of process change of IT systems, technology barriers. Its was found out from this study that while the hard factors play an important part in hindering the process of change, surprisingly it was the soft factors that was harder to get right. “Altering thinking, behaviors and norms of an entity typically need different methods and skills that are applied time after time and over the time. Sometimes they require being applied over a series of consecutive assignments and even some of them often continue after the project has been finished formally”. (IBM, 2008).
In order to overcome these resistances, the study then focused on the parameters that made a change successful. While leadership, employee engagement and honest communication were cited as the major areas providing impetus for change; again the list was divided into hard and soft factors that made a change management process successful. The soft factors comprised of: higher management’s commitment and support, employee motivation and participation, open and accurate communication on timely basis, organization environment and culture that motivates and promotes change. The hard factors included: efficient training programs, adjustment of performance measures, efficient organization structure and monetary and non-monetary incentives. The major responsibility of implementing the change was that of the top management. The results of the research revealed that “Practitioners firmly place key responsibility for the fate of change projects in the executive suite – an overwhelming 92 percent named ‘top management sponsorship’ as the most important factor for successful change” (IBM, 2008).
Therefore it can be concluded from this study that while employees would always be suspicious of any kind of change and would resist the efforts of the management out of this fear and suspicion. It depends upon the top management to ensure timely communication, encouragement of employee involvement and appointing of professional change agents would pave the way for a successful change management process for any organization.
Factors Affecting Resistance to Change: A Case Study of Two North Texas Police Departments
Gaylor (2001), tried to explore the issues that affect conflict with change. For this purpose a law enforcement agency was chosen as the case in point i.e. two North Texas Police departments where the police consequence of mature education and expectation on the police team’s level of opposition to change and the results of contribution and mutual understanding on reliance were examined.
There were 5 factors that were identified as very influential on organizational change. These factors were: 1) Employee participation in resistance to change, (2) Trust in management, (3) Communication process, (4) Quality of information available and (5) Education (Kent, 2001)
Research resulted that factors that affect resistance from employee side are involvement in the process, believe in management, processes of communication within organization, and exchange of information.
The synopsis by Kent (2001) states that employee involvement in the process of change encourages him to feel to be owner for the new system and therefore, boosts the level of comfort and trust between employees and the management. Secondly, the organization needs to have a proper system of communication for employee remedy and support. This also increases the level of trust between the two stakeholders. Third, employees must be provided with accurate and timely information so as to reduce the level of chaos that is normally created at the time of change in any organization. And finally, to feel secure about their jobs and statuses and other issues of change process, employees have to have a high level of trust in management.
Leading and Coping with Change
Woodword & Hendry in 2004 undertook 2 surveys to look at different perspectives in research on how change is being managed in financial services institutions of London’s. These involved representatives of senior management personnel who were responsible for initiation of change in the organizational and all other employees inclusive of managers experiencing change while serving at different levels.
The aims of the study were:
To define the skills and attitudes required to lead change and those needed effectively to cope with change and
To develop a model to show how change is absorbed within the organization
They organized their findings in five parts as described below, which have been arranged in the following manner. In the 1st section, as people keep on seeking to explore that what is going on in their organization, states what the employees and employers consider as the main pressures for change, their formal boss’ responses, and in what ways these changes have impacted them. Then, as conventional ways of working are tempered, in parts two and three they show how people cope and what different resources are required in terms of skills and competencies to perform well in this new changed environment.
Then in part four they describe specific qualities required by the change managers to cultivate with respect to employee needs. Finally, they state what the organizations do in order to support their employees through out the change process, and how senior management and employees percieve this. The results of this research provide the researchers with reasons behind the failure of many initiatives of change management and how failures may be managed successfully.
Woodword & Hendry (2004) then investigated what various employee coping strategies were adopted during the change management process. They told employees to indicate the level of their readiness in responding to any further changes in their job or work. A considerably large fraction of those who were surveyed were seen to be ready for the change and considered it a part of life with a positive feel about it.
As coping is about creating a balance between demands and living within the limitation of the system, employees were told to specify main hindrances they had to handle with in the new environment. Five factors that were extracted from this exercise were:
Increased accountability but reduced resources;
A focus on tasks with a corresponding neglect of employees;
Feelings of insecurity and uncertainty in roles and direction;
Other employees not coping and lacking skills to adapt;
Managers themselves failing to cope, and employing poor coping strategies.
On a question of most helpful personal coping strategies, employees listed several strategies, which included from proactive approach to denial or avoidance.
The researchers also studied the various competencies that are required for coping with the change. Adapting to negative or positive coping strategies is affected by the way in which employees perceive demands and resources balance in the new employee-to-work relationship in changed environment.
Hence, coping strategies are influenced by the availability of resources. Skills and competencies are a major personal resource. Employees specified a number of skills and competencies they found especially helpful in absorbing and coping with change:
Communicating with others holding different perspectives (since nowadays people work in teams for many activities);
Organizing work and managing time effectively (in response to increased job scope and the need to meet a variety of objectives);
Assimilating and interpreting information (to identify significant information and filter out irrelevancies);
Dealing with people (since financial and professional service organizations deliver many of their services through people);
Innovative problem solving.
Also specifying the above mentioned skills, employees rated many other personal abilities, skills and qualities as very important. These include motivation; judgment accuracy; customer need understanding; commercial awareness; ability of influencing and negotiation; lively mind; and positive attitude towards change.
Senior managers were of the view that key personal skills or capabilities of performing well in a dynamic environment should also contain a dedication to change, acceptance of the changing situation, an ability to gel in the changed environment, and a variety of personality traits.
Woodword & Hendry (2004) then go on to discuss how important is it to for the change managers to lead change in a competent manner. However, this important part is still overlooked by a considerable minority level, with 33 percent of senior managers claiming that human aspects were ignored in the change initiatives. Only 20 percent employees rated the concerned management as very able enough to implement changes in the organization. Almost all the rest had equally divided responses, ranging from average to poor. Inspite of the low rating, employees were observed have a sense of sympathy and appreciation for difficulties faced my management in leading and managing the change.
Employees were inquired as to when and how sometimes it becomes difficult or hard for employees to absorb change or adopt it. These key areas were classified into six categories, as follows:
Communicating (not being kept informed, receiving conflicting messages, wanting to understand but not being given explanations);
The change process itself (when change is perceived as happening too slowly or too fast, when leaders are seen to hold unrealistic expectations, or when change is managed with incorrect sequencing);
Relationships (including situations when change leaders seem remote and isolated from employees, do not exhibit constructive attitudes and behaviors, or behave in an autocratic fashion);
Consultation (when employees do not feel they are informed or consulted, and when staff needs and ideas are disregarded);
Skills and experience (when change leaders are seen as lacking the required skills, abilities and experience, and when the change leader lacks credibility);
Motivation for change (when there appears a lack of involvement or motivation for change at the top, or among senior managers elsewhere in the organization).
The employees were also inquired about how managers, actions could be was most helpful to them to cope with changes in the organization. Out of 19 objects gathered from the traditional change management literature, each except one was rated ‘very helpful’ or ‘quite helpful’. Senior managers identified the competencies such as strong leadership, purpose/mission clarity, enthusiasm, participative employees, and improved communication. These were somehow similar with then ones identified by the employees.
Again this is not applicable to conventional behaviors and with ‘top-down’ attitude.
Finally, employees were told to express their feelings on the extent they received support while the implementation of change in the organization with the statement: ’employees are provided with adequate problem prevention and support to cope with organization changes.’ While a majority of the senior management staff agreed with this statement, less than 25 percent of employees did. There is, therefore, a gap in how each looks at the quantity of support provided. For example, a majority of employees said that their employer entity ‘let them have sufficient authority to get their work done in an effective manner’, and hence, there existed ‘better professional relationships’, but for other factors, only a minority reported availability of support. On the other hand, the most common mechanisms of support that senior managers report included detailed career development counseling with their employees so that they could be skilled enough to be ready their new job responsibilities; skills enhancement; telling them as to where the organization is heading, and what would be the roles and responsibilities of employees’; measures to make sure that there is an alignment between structures and systems and improved salary and compensation packages.
Comparing this with what employees report, Woodword & Hendry (2004) state that employees and managers do agree on some of the important points, but show disagreement on how adequately the provision of these is.
Managers also rely on comparatively few major sources of support. Eventually, organization employees emphasize more or less entirely on those things that give them a sense of control and autonomy, while managers rely on the things which they control as managers. This then continues in the pattern where senior managers exhibit a traditional leadership model, while employees be able to get a wide variety of behaviors that are useful for them.
The Dynamics of Change in the Modern World
The ever changing global economy and rising competition is compelling organizations to constantly adopt new practices and to proactively embrace change if they want to survive in today’s global economy. This constant need for change also arises as newer economies enter into the world market bringing new competition to the forefront. According to Bridges (2003) if a company wishes to stay alive in today’s world of competition, it has to face ten times harder time than surviving in the industry say 10 years ago. Industry giants have to constantly introduce new ideologies, technologies and new marketing concepts in order to remain a step ahead of their competitors, while new organizations have to fight hard to enter into a market and retain the interest of their customers and stakeholders. Failure to adopt to newer change models by either of the classes would greatly hinder their chances of survival in today’s competitive environment.
Keeping in mind the variables identified by the literature, the researcher has developed the following figure (Figure 1) as depicting the theoretical framework. Developed from a change perspective, its assumption is that resistance to change is actually exhibited from the employees when certain factors create a sense of confusion and uncertainty among the employees facing the change.
Figure : Theoretical Framework of the Research
A review of relevant literature reveals that the common causes of change resistance at individual level fall within certain aspects or areas such as fear of unknown, climate of mistrust, disruption of stable work norms and relations, fear of loosing job and job security, habit, misunderstanding of the purpose of change, lack of employees’ participation, comfort with the status quo, group norms and threat of power and influence.
Intensity of resistance to change in an organization is also complemented by factors such as employees’ level of education, the number of years employee has worked with the organization and employees’ rank in the organization, if they add up with the main causes mentioned above.
The research, being a case study, was qualitative in nature.
Since the research was exploratory in nature the researchers chose a case study methodology. Moreover, out of literature reviewed by the researcher, many of the research papers and articles emphasized on qualitative case study pattern and researcher was of the view that case studies provide a detailed study of the various frameworks and theories.
Level of education
Rank in organization
The respondents were employees belonging to the Top to Middle Level Management of HBL. From these levels of hierarchy the employees from branches and head offices were chosen, as the major change management process was implemented in the branches of HBL primarily. 30 out of 157 branches of HBL in Karachi were chosen on convenience basis. The branches selected were those, which were in existence before HBL was privatized.
Approximately 2000 middle level management employees work in HBL at Karachi, out of which the research sample size consisted of approximately 150 employees, who work in branches and have been with HBL before privatization.
Apart from branch level employees, questionnaires were also distributed from business heads (or their nominated personnel) of 3 departments namely Human Resources/ Organization Development, Branch Banking and Service Quality as these departments were directly in interaction with the employees and played an important role in managing and implementing the change process. The number of business heads that were interviewed was 8 individuals.
Sources of Primary Data
Interviews of Top Level Management: The first method of data collection was the interviews of top level management of HBL which were conducted by the researcher in order to understand how the resistance to change was managed while implementing the change management program at HBL. Questions were put forward to the top management from the departments of Human Resource, Organization Development, Branch Banking and Service Quality as these departments are directly in interaction with employees and have a considerable role in managing and implementing the change process. For this purpose Senior Managers and Heads of Departments were interviewed and a total of 8 senior management personnel were interviewed.
Questionnaire: After conducting an experimental test survey, the formal questionnaire survey to be administered to the branch banking employees of HBL was carried out. The questionnaires were developed keeping in mind the variables identified during the interviews with the top management and also the common variables that were found out during the course of the research of various literature on change management. The questionnaire questionsOrder Now