Impact Of Motivation On Organizational Change Management Essay

This study focuses on a research topic – Impact of motivation on organizational change, on the basis of the theories of Research Methodology for Business.

The outline of the project will cover:

Chapter 1 provides the background of the study underlining main objectives, questions and hypothesis of the study.

Chapter 2 focuses on general definitions. Models and theories related to motivation, leadership style influencing motivation at time of change and communication process, methods and models will be reviewed and described.


Chapter 1

1. Introduction

1.1 Background

Organizations are marked by constant changes taking place in its orientation, strategies and even structural set up. The workers need to constantly adapt themselves to such changes. This often cause stress on their mindset and affect their work quality. At this juncture it is important to shove away any misconception or doubts and bring back the trust, which is extremely essential for the organizational success. In order to achieve this, internal communication needs to be strong and effective. There is a possibility the motivation in the workforce might be restored through successful communication within the organization.

Information Technology provides several options for this. E-mails, intranets and other innovations help in meeting the high demand of communication during such time of alteration within the organization (Wojtecki and Peters, 2000). Face to face communication also might help a lot to sort out the differences. There have been mostly separate studies about leadership and grapevine communication.

According to McKenna (2000), leadership is an art that can get the optimum work required for the organization. The leader also communicates the organizations goals to his team members. He does not discuss about the communication that is more important between the leader and the team and the effectiveness when such communication occurs in an informal way that leads to more interaction and hence develops a bond with each employee and all together leads to commitment. 

According to Robert E. Hoskisson, “Organizational Structure specifies the firm’s formal reporting relationships, procedures, controls, and authority and decision making processes.” (Hoskisson, 2008, p.100) This accrues to the basic framework of assigning roles, allocation of resources and provides a basis for cooperation, coordination and communication among the organizational hierarchy (Hoskisson, 2008).

Harris and Hartman discuss the problems of Grapevine. According to them, it is not a dependable source and cannot provide full information and maybe distorted (Harris & Hartman, 2002). In the article, “Heard it through the grapevine: for communicating during change, facts and tips” by Baxter-Southward, an extensive study has been done about grapevine communication- the negatives and the positives, and how to deal with this in organizations.

However the right answer can be provided by a proper survey of the opinions of managers and workers. Whether such communication actually restores the faith and motivation and can assist in successful implementation of change will be explored in this research.

1.2 Objectives, research questions and research hypotheses

The objective of this study is to deal with the issue relating to organizational behavior and organizational development. This study is to analyze whether the successful communication by the organization to its employees at the time of change will result in the motivated workforce and lead to successful change or not. Additionally, the research will analyze the effectiveness of good leadership and managerial as a means to improve to motivation, productivity, employee job satisfaction and commitment.

The core objectives of the study are:

To study the components of resistance to organizational change viewed from the workforce.

To study the motivational factors to implement change successfully

To investigate whether communication is the most critical factor in implementing change

Based on objectives identified, the following questions are raised:

What are the components of resistance to organizational change?

What are the critical motivational factors in implementing change?

Is communication the most critical factor in implementing change?

Based on objectives, conceptualizing structure for this research has been developed. The main variables are evidently showed through coherent analysis in the structure. Based on this structure, the null and alternative hypotheses are developed as the followings:

There is a set of components of resistance to change from the organization development theory.

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There are critical success factors in motivating workforce to accept change.

The communication factor is most critical success factor in implementing change.

1.3 Scope

Change is inevitable. Whether an employee is at the higher level of or at the lower level of an organization, one thing the employee can be sure of in the future is that there will be change. In this turbulent environment it is important for the managers to react quickly. Motivation of employees at the time of change via successful communication will lead to successful communication or not will be described. Moreover, it will be analyzed whether communication can or cannot bring a motivated workforce. Further more, the current research will be focused on essence of good leaders in motivating employees and increasing productivity.

Chapter 2

2.1 Change and Change Management

Success is not just for survival it must be achieved in a world of intense competition, continued globalization, and rapid technology change” (Schermerhorn, 1996). Currently change has become the part and parcel of every organization to predict future trends and to forecast the changes that need to be encountered. Change is an ongoing process in every organization and for the organization to be successful and survive in a dynamic environment, it is important to have effective management of human resources”(Mullin, 2005).

People are the major resource of any organization (MULLINS, 2005). The efficiency of staff, their commitment towards the aims of the organization, and the skills and attitudes they bring to stand on the quality of service offered will undoubtedly affect the overall success of an organization (MULLINS, 2005)

So in order to achieve success, it is vital for the organization to develop communication processes, motivation processes and a working environment that will help to ensure that individuals will deliver results in accordance with expectations of management.

2.1.1 Core Principals that revolves around change:

According to Bernstein (2003) over 70 % of all organizational change efforts fail to meet expectation and delivered planned results. Before implementing change in an organization it is very important for the leader to understand the difference between the change and the transition process. Additionally, a leader should keep in mind that the success of change implementation process is a key driver of how organization will deal with changes, how changes are directed and administered by the leader.

According to Barons & Greenberg (1990) there several principals about change:

People perception about change

Individual barriers to change:

Economic insecurity

Fear to Unknown

Threats to social relationship


Failure to recognize need for change

Additionally Barons & Greenberg (1990) listed the following organization barriers to change:

Structural inertia

Work group inertia

Threat to existing balance of power

Previously unsuccessful change efforts

According to Bennis, Benne, & Chin, R. (1985) there are several key drivers to change:

Nature of workforce



Economic Shocks

Changing social trends

World politics

2.1.2Classification of change

Table 1-Classification of changes

According to Ackerman (1997) there are three types of changes


2.1.3 Organization Change Management Model

As per the theory proposed by Kurt Lewin there are three stages in change process as illustrated in Table 2.

Figure 1-Kurt Lewin’s Change model



Table 2-Stages in Change Process


The research conducted by Hayes in the year 2002 shows that, most of the change management process models have three phases as illustrated in Figure 2.

Figure 2-Change management Process Phases


2.1.4 Resistance to Change

Figure 2-Resistance to Change


Resistance to change consists of any employee behavior designed to discredit, delay or prevent the implementation of work change. According to Kotter (1996) resistance to change is the action taken by individuals and groups when they perceive that a change that is occurring as a threat to them. Most of actions that are taken to manage change fail due to improper planning and implementation (Coriat, 2002).There are three different types of resistance among employees (Newstrom & Davis, 1993) as illustrated in Table 3.

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Table 3-Types of Resistance


According to Kotter & Schlesinger (1979) there are four main reasons people in an organization resist change as described in Table 4:

Table 4-Reaons for Change


Kotter & Schlesinger (1979) suggested ways to deal with the changes which have been illustrated in Table 5.

Table 5-Reaons for overcoming resistance to change


2.1.5 Successful change vs. Unsuccessful change

A study that is done by the Conference Board of Canada found that 66 percent of organizations that completed streamlining initiatives showed no instantaneous enhance in productivity; more than 50 percent realized no short-term profit improvement and only 30 percent actually lowered costs (Thompson & McHugh, 2002). These are astounding figures that would be enough to dishearten any organization contemplating major strategic change. These results are common when organizations focus their change efforts and priorities on processes, finances and structures. There is no fool proof way of making all aspects of organizational change run flawlessly. However by valuing, respecting and communicating with people, by devoting as much effort and attention to the needs of employees, any organization is well on the way to managing change effectively (Sisson, 2002).

‘When people are confronted with the need or opportunity to change, especially when its ‘enforced’, as they see it, by the organization, they can become emotional. So can the managers who try to manage the change’ (Nichols, 2000). Diffusing the emotional feelings, taking a step back, encouraging objectivity, is important to enabling sensible and constructive dialogue. To this end, managers and trainers can find it helpful to use analogies to assist themselves and other staff to look at change in a more detached way. Kotter (1996) identified eight key reasons for successful change as described in Table 6.

Table 6-Successful Change



Increase Urgency

Leader should set an example for there employees and should be proactive to the situation. So, that the leader can inspire people and can make real and relevant objectives.

Building the guiding team

Find a devoted team with right expressive dedication and right mix of skill.

Get the vision right

Find a team which will follow a simple vision and strategy and work on creative aspects.

Communicate for Buy in

Involve as many people as you can, communicate transparently and respond to people needs proactively. Use technology in favors of you and not against you.

Empower action

Eliminate obstacles, allow positive feedback and lots of shore up from leaders – reward and recognize progress and achievements.

Create short term wins

Focus on short terms wins. Manage your initiates accordingly and prioritize your tasks. Finish current stages before jumping into new one.

Don’t Let up

Encourage willpower and perseverance. Encourage ongoing process reporting, highlight achieved and future milestone.

Make change stick

Strengthen the importance of successful change via recruitment, promotion and new change leaders. Merge change into culture.

Source: Kotter, J. P. (1996). Leading change. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press, 3-15.

Additionally Kotter (1996) identified eight reasons of unsuccessful change processes:

Allowing too much complacency

Failing to build a substantial coalition

Not understanding the need for a clear vision

Permitting roadblocks against the vision

Not planning for short term results and not realizing them

Declaring victory too soon

Fail to anchor changes in corporate culture

2.2 Role of Communication and Consultation at time of Change

One of the common issues faced by the organization while under going change is to find the measures for effective communication with their employees. Leaders’ communication and consultation is important for every management function. The effective communication and consultation plans results in successful implementation of change. The steps for communication for effective change management have been illustrated in Table 7.

Table 7-Steps for Successful Communication


2.2.1Steps in Formal Consultation process

Based on Schein (1999) research formal consultation process include following main steps as described in Table 8.

Table 8-Steps in formal consultation


2.3 Motivation

The level of performance of employees relies not only on their actual skills but also on the level of motivation each person exhibits (Burney et al., 2007). Motivation is an inner drive or an external inducement to behave in some particular way, typically a way that will lead to rewards (Dessler, 1978). Over-achieving, talented employees are the driving force of all firms so it is essential that organizations strive to motivate and hold on to the best employees (Harrington, 2003). In a turbulent environment where changes take place very often, therefore it becomes important for managers to analyze the level of motivation of each employee.

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Every individual have their own set of reasons to get motivated. Some individuals are motivated by financial factors while others are motivated by non financial factors as illustrated in Figure 3. Motivation can be classified as external or internal motivation. Finishing deadline on time is an example of external motivation. The fear of loosing a job in case of uncompleted task is an example of internal motivation. Both the external and internal motivation is equally powerful.

Figure 3-Financial and Non Financial Motivators

The four most powerful type of motivation that can influence an individual are listed in Table 9.

Table 9-Types of Motivation

Human beings are complex in nature, and are usually motivated by a combination of four elements. Figure 4 illustrates 4 types of motivation, which come together to produce four key areas for the managers to focus on when trying to motivate their employees.

Figure 4-Four key elements of motivation


Source :

2.3.1 Major Theories of Motivation

Motivation is not only in a single direction i.e. downwards. In the present scenario, where the workforce is more informed, more aware, more educated and goal oriented, the role of motivation has left the boundaries of the hierarchy of management. The Figure below shows the major theories of motivation that can be applied in the working environment as well on the employees to see the impact of motivation on the organization as a whole.

Figure 5-Theories of Motivation

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Figure 6-Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

By applying Maslow’s theory of motivation, modern leaders and managers find way of employee motivation for the reason of worker and workforce management. According to Maslow the humans are motivated by unsatisfied needs and the needs which are at low level should be satisfied initially and then the higher order need should be looked upon. As given in Figure 6 there are five general needs of the humans that should be satisfied before the human start behaving unselfishly. Therefore, in a real work time scenario it becomes important for the leader to understand which needs is currently active for an individual employee motivation.

Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory

Figure 7-Hygiene and Motivation factor


The psychologist Fredrick Herzberg asked the questions from employees in the year 1950s and 60s for understanding employee satisfaction. The results of its finding revealed that there are some factors of a job which are constantly connected to job satisfaction, while dissimilar factors are linked with job dissatisfaction. The hygiene and motivation factors are illustrated in Figure 7.

To apply Herzberg’s theory, managers need to take up a two stage process to motivate people. Firstly, managers need eliminate the dissatisfactions the employees are experiencing and, secondly, managers need to help employees to find satisfaction.

Equity Theory/ Social Comparison Theory

Figure 8-Equity Theory


Equity theory states that employee always tend to compare the situation (Outcomes) they get while working in relation to what they invested (Inputs). Additionally they also willing to compare what are the ratio between what they get from what they put in. Moreover people also attempt to compare their input and outputs with their coworkers as illustrated below.

Figure 8-Equity Comparison



According to the literature the change must be consulted at the same time practices show that change can only be successful with proper consultation and internal communication process. Literature of this study suggests that it is important to implement changes with proper implementation strategy, internal communication and consultation in order to achieve goals and avoid failed change, poor morale and resistance to further change.

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