Managing Change In Difficult Times Management Essay

There is need for the Management of blue Marina to embrace change which will be offered in form of restructuring, outsourcing, culture change programmes, business process reengineering, the implementation of enterprise system ,development of competences and capabilities, new business models and introduction of new product and services.

Blue Marina is a restaurant that specialises in the preparation, service and sale of choice menu to the general public, such as main courses, pastries and desserts.

It is a Family owned business of Italian origin, and prides itself in its choice of clientele over the past years.

It boasts of staff strength of about 40 people, of which 50% is on a permanent contract while the rest is shared within the part-time and relief workers.

However, there has been a major concern for the Management of Blue Marina as the staff turnaround time has been on the high side which in turn affects both efficiency and service delivery to customers as they have to wait for longer period of time before being served.

At present Blue Marina restaurant has recorded losses for the first time on its balance sheet and this has called for need for change within the establishment if it still want to remain in the food business.

Managing change is perhaps difficult and risky – why should this be so?

One reason is the absence of a universal change theory, which requires an understanding of organisation, strategy and change. Before attempting to change something there must be an understanding of what needs to be changed as change in this context could mean the alteration of organisational components such as the strategy, goals, structure, processes, system, technology, and people to improve the effectiveness or efficiency of the organization.


It is very important to understand the range of approaches to change management that exist. One approach to understanding change management is the identification of major schools of thought. Burnes (2004a:262) highlights three schools of thought upon which he believes change management is based:

the individual perspective school

the group dynamics school, and

the open system school.

While Paton and McCalman (2000 :2) regard management and change as synonymous Hamlin (2001: 44) offers a typical overview of the mainstream theoretical perspective to understanding change management within an organisation


Triggers, drivers and tracers of change:

Drifferent authors offer different degrees of sophistication in their specification of triggers and drivers. De Caluwe and Vermaak (2003:80) eloquently defined a trigger ‘as the emotional characteristics that contribute to the emergence of a change idea’.

Tichy(1983:147) regarded large scale strategic change as being ‘triggered by a large -scale uncertainty – in the form of either a threat or an opportunity’. More recently Patton and McCalman (2003:23) identified potential triggers that include:

government legislation,

advances in process or product technology,

changing consumer requirements,

expectation or taste, and competitor or supply chain activities.

Drukker (1994) suggests that organisation should frequently challenge every product, every service, every policy, every distribution channel, with the question if we were not in it already, would we be going into it now?

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Before an effective change can take place within the Blue marina restaurant, there is need to understand the past, present and future of Blue marina restaurant in general.

As in the case of Blue Marina the under mentioned reasons have necessitated the need for change.

These reasons are as stated below:

High turnaround time

Long delay in preparation and service of food to customers

Decrease in sales figure

Low profits margin

Low patronage

External competitors

Need for expansion


A model is a representation to show the construction or appearance of or explain something: Phil Kelly (2009:146-147).This enables an organisation to identify targets for change, diagnose problems, while it outlines the necessary action for change enabling it to create a road map and implementation strategy. Many models helps us to understand how organisations operate, what to change and how to effectively carry out the change.

Change Models: an abstract representation of describing the content or process of changes.

Mckinsey 7-S model; this is a model that looks into organisational analysis and dynamics including components: such as strategy, structure, systems, style, staff, shared value and skill.

Nadler and Tushman congruence model: they both viewed an organisation as asset of internal, transformational, components that must be congruent with each other and the organisation strategy and environment

Burke-Litwin model: a causal model that both looks into transformational and transactional organizational variables represented in an open system.

Though all these models have their inherent strengths and weakness, but Nadler and Tushman model have been able to recognize the fact that organizations are influenced by its environment of which their models were divided into input, process and output.

Nadler and Tushman(1989) argued that there is need for transformational process components to be congruent or fit with each other, which may either have its advantages and disadvantages.

Their model suggests there is no one best way to organize change. Which is why it is been recommended for the Blue Marina Restaurant change Managers.


It is important for people managing change in Blue Marina restaurant to be aware of the nature of the resistance they may encounter from other managers as well as other workers. These difficulties must be addressed before unfreezing can take place. Fransella,(1975:135)argued that we may like change and regard it as essential feature of living ;it does not mean that we always welcome it.

Similarly, Paton and McCalman (2000:47) have identified why organisations individuals and groups fear change which include the resulting organisational redesign, new technological challenges and challenges to old ideas.

Lines (2004 :198) concludes that resistance towards change encompasses behaviours that are acted out by change recipients in order to slow down or terminate an intended organisational change. Dawson (2003:19) on his part identifies the following examples of organisational factors from which resistance can result:

Substantive change in job


Reduction in economic security or job placement.

Psychological threat

Disruption of social arrangements and lowering of status

There is no concrete explanation of resistance to change that currently exists ,it is also unlikely that a single universal explanation of resistance to change will ever be sufficient.


Turning around Blue Marina Restaurant requires that the change Managers build a change team, develop detailed communication plans and understand how to manage the change transition. There is need to mobilise every staff of the restaurant to have a positive vision towards the proposed changed plan.

However, there is need also to gain support from members of staff and as a consequence I would recommend an involvement strategy which involves attention to many areas just as Kotter and others (2007).had thought– the following were proposed :

Establish a sense of urgency

Create a guiding coalition

Develop a vision and strategy

Communicate this with others

Empower action

Generate shot term win

Consolidate gain

Going further on how to manage and implement change in Blue Marina Restaurant, in the 1940s and 1950s, Kurt Lewin concluded that to be successful, the change process needs to follow a three – step procedure namely :




His theories were later expanded by Schein who described the three stages as :

Unfreezing- creating motivation and readiness to change by demonstrating a need and vision for change in a manner that would not result in the blame being associated with the managers who had let the organization deteriorate.

Changing- organizational members identify with a new model or way of doing things

Refreezing- refreezing must occur at the individual level with employees accepting new behaviors and also at interpersonal and interdepartmental levels ensuring new behavious fit well with the rest of the organization.

These three stages are highly recommended to the Change Managers of Blue Marina restaurant. Managers wanting to introduce change would understand and recognize that change occurs slowly and moves through a series of stages. For instance, one needs to recognize the need for change. Next step is to determine where Blue marina restaurant stands as it relates to the problem, where it plans and wants to be, and how it plans to get there.

Bullock and batten after reviewing over 30 models of planned change ,came to the conclusion that change activities could be grouped into four phases namely:

Exploration phase: recognizing the need for change, deciding on the type of changes and commit resources to planning the changes, sourcing for a consultant who assists with planning, implementation and defines everyone’s role as it affects Blue marina restaurant.

Planning Phase: This is a phase where understanding Blue marinas restaurant problems set in. It involves gathering of information and useful data in order to diagnose the problem and proffering solution to them while seeking approvals from the necessary quarters.

Action phase: implementation and arrangements of the changes to manage the change process and getting necessary feedbacks in other to make the needed adjustment.

Integration Phase: consolidating and stabilizing the changes to become part of the new Blue marina restaurant organization in general

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Phase 1

The first phase is targeted at being ready. There is need to answer the following question: “how much of change management do we need for this project?” The first phase is to provide the situation awareness which very critical for effective change management in the restaurant .

Outputs of Phase 1:

Change characteristics profile

Organizational attributes profile

Change management strategy

Change management team structure

Sponsor assessment, structure and roles

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Phase 2

The second phase is based on plans that are imbibed into the project activities – what people generally think of when they talk about change management. Based on research, carried out there are five main plans that should be considered to help Blue Marina Management move through the change Model.

Outputs of Phase 2:

Communication plan

Sponsor roadmap

Training plan

Coaching plan

Resistance management plan



Phase 3

Equally critical but most often overlooked is the third phase of where project teams create plans to make sure that the change plan is sustained. At this point , project teams leader create and develop measures to ensure the change has taken place and to also actually confirm if employees are doing their jobs the new way and to celebrate success.

Outputs of Phase 3:

Reinforcement mechanisms

Compliance audit reports

Corrective action plans

Individual and group recognition approaches

Success celebrations

After action review



Finally, to make any change click, it should be part of Blue Marina restaurant. Corporate plans often determine what is done, so there is need for the proposed vision to show in day-to-day work.

Continuous efforts should be imbibed to ensure that the change is seen and noticed in every areas of the organization. This will give the change a strong place in the organization’s culture.

It is also important that Blue Marina leaders continue to support the change. This will include staff and new change leaders who will be brought in. If the support of these people is lost, one could just end up where one started from.

The following action plan should be put in place:

Communicate effectively on the progress at every chance one gets. Tell a succes stories about the change process while repeating other stories one hears.

Including the change ideas cum values when inducting and employing new staff

Publicly recognise key members of your original change coalition and make sure the rest of the staff – new and old – remember their contributions.

Create plans to replace key leaders of change as they move on. This will help ensure that their legacy is not lost or forgotten.

If you need help on enabling positive change to create the performance breakthroughs you need the honest answer which is that you manage it pretty much the same way you will manage anything else of a turbulent situation or chaotic nature, that is, you don’t really manage it, you grapple with it.

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