Managing Change In The Workplace Management Essay

High performance workplaces are by nature vibrant. Organisations that want to survive as well as to flourish are innovative, plus effective change management is a requisite skill across all workplaces. Novel technology, novel systems, company mergers in addition to the impact of global trade mean that workplace change is a feature of all of our work lives. Winning employees’ commitment to innovation and change in the workplace is the key challenge for contemporary management. (Mullins, 2006)

Workplace changes are introduced for many reasons. A number of these reasons will be obvious to everyone in the workplace as well as some less so. Cost saving, quality improvement, increased management control, increased employee empowerment, introduction of novel technology, service expansion and improvements to health in addition to safety are some of the goals that may be sought through workplace change. The impact of any change depends a great deal on how it is implemented. (Mullins, 2006)

Change processes usually include four phases – planning, consultation, implementation and monitoring/evaluation. Each phase takes time, as well as while it is important to reach the outcome, not putting the maximum effort into any of these phases may result in problems impacting on the outcome for a very long time. (Mullins, 2006)

An understanding of culture in organisations can offer insights into individual and group behaviour, in addition to leadership. It can help to explain not just what happens in an organisation, however why it happens. (Mullins, 2006)

However, many people are concerned not just by means of understanding culture, as well as hence organisational life. They see culture as something to be influenced to achieve organisational goals of productivity, profitability, and success in core business. They want to manage culture. (O’Connor, 1997)

High performance organisations are successful for the reason that they adapt and move by means of the changing times. They know that the most important thing in preparing for change and in implementing novel arrangements is ensuring they involve their key resource – their employees. Effectively involving employees through consultation as well as participation at the outset in any change management process is vital to ongoing workplace productivity in addition to efficiency. (O’Connor, 1997)

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Can culture be managed?

Optimists believe culture can be managed; pessimists deny that it can be, according to (Mullins, 2006). They claim that optimists are often business oriented people, who optimistically see the culture of an organisation as being unified and unitary. On the other hand, pessimists are often academically or theoretically oriented, as well as more interested in explanations than practical utility. (Mullins, 2006)

Realists, however, can see both sides of the debate. They are frequently interested in exploring culture change and are ready to admit some sway 􀄃 if not control 􀄃 of culture.

Can culture be changed?

One of the major ways that managers believe they can manage culture is by changing it.

They can use one of the guides that are available, that suggest how to form, transmit or change culture, such as that by (Mullins, 2006).

However, just for the reason that peoples behaviours have changed in a number of measurable way, it does not mean the organisational culture has changed 􀄃 although behaviour change may be all that managers are interested in. (Mullins, 2006)

Difficulties in managing culture

Management of culture is hard if there is no agreement on what culture is in addition to culture can be viewed in an enormous variety of ways.

The complexity of culture can lead organisations to attempt „quick fixes° that are superficial.

Value-laden judgements on what is the right culture for organisations, devoid of taking into account the unique environments in which they exist, can also make success hard for managers.

What are the ethics of trying to manage culture?

(Proctor, 2002) poses organisations by means of ethical questions they could ask before attempting to manage 􀄃 or change 􀄃 culture to influence organisational capability:

What are the moral and ethical implications of trying to alter such things as feelings, beliefs, values as well as attitudes?

Is culture the prerogative of management furthermore does management having the right to try to control or change it?

What does culture change do to the quality of life for people in organisations?

What costs to individuality result as of encouraging people to devote themselves to the values and products of the organisation, and then asking them to assess their own worth in these terms? (Proctor, 2002)

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What tools can one use to manage culture?

Tools for managing culture comprise:

1. Management systems

2. Organisation models

3. Strategies.

A number of these have been influential for a time, and have then been replaced or extended by novel ideas. They can frequently be seen as trends as well as fashions 􀄃 a number of enduring in addition to some not. (Proctor, 2002)

1. Management systems

A number of management systems used by managers attempting to manage organisational culture include:

Organisational growth (OD):

This is a management system of slow, planned change. It is slackly shaped around organisational culture, emphasising how participation, teamwork in addition to problem solving can assist an organisation survives environmental challenges. It is still being used; however its effectiveness is being challenged. (Proctor, 2002)

Total Quality Management (TQM):

This is a management system used to increase an organisations productivity and quality by focusing on people making continuous incremental development inside existing cultures. A number of see it, however, simply as a control system which produces as well as enforces uniformity, devoid of an understanding of existing organisational culture and the possibility of sub-cultures. (Proctor, 2002)

Business Process Re-engineering (BPR):

This is a management system of forced, speedy culture change. Where TQM builds a culture that supports improvement, BPR is a result of frustration over the time it takes to do this.

Organisation models:

A number of organisation models used by managers attempting to manage organisational culture include:

Sustainable organisations:

The sustainable organisation demands a radical change in thinking regarding culture, transforming the organisation as of being part of the problem to being part of the solution. It is concerned by means of increasing productivity in the long-term in order to survive. Its managers aim to build human capabilities that create continuing innovation as well as high performance. It challenges the dominant economic paradigm and involves broader interests than just shareholders, such as the community in general, the biosphere in addition to future generations (Senge, 1994).

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Innovative enterprises:

This model is similar to that of the sustainable organisation; however its managers attempt to institutionalise innovation to give the market edge. They aim to make innovation ordinary and frequent good practice. This model is useful for those who want to build an organisational culture in which innovation flows naturally as of how the organisation faces its environment, structures its bureaucracy, leads itself, and manages its internal management system. (Senge, 1994)

Learning organisations:

This is not a one-size-fits-all model. The learning organisation continually expands its abilities to shape its own future, influenced by specific elements of organisational culture, which determine, for example, whether the organisation learns as of mistakes or ignores them, sees opportunities or threats, as well as is pro-active or reactive in its strategies. Such organisations try to make a working reality of such attributes as flexibility, team work, continuous learning in addition to employee participation and growth. (Rosenhead, 1989)

High performing organisations:

In this British model, managers focus on people and their learning, and the growth of trust, personal responsibility as well as leadership. Supporting elements such as structure, strategy, systems, procedures in addition to resources are seen as useful only in empowering people and enabling them to achieve the full measure of their abilities. (Senge, 1990)


Strategies used to manage culture include:

Strategic alliances:

These are cooperative efforts on specific ventures and joint projects, which demand an understanding of each partner’s culture.

Knowledge management:

This is a strategy of transmitting culture by making use of novel technology in information systems, as well as by reinforcing the value of people in addition to their contributions to organisations. Knowledge management can encourage organisations to be learning organisations which are open to change. (Proctor, 2002)

Flexible learning, which includes e-learning, is regarding the learner deciding what, where, when and how they learned. Flexible learning therefore offers a client-centred and workplace-centred focus for an organisation. Flexible learning practices have had a wide impact on many determinants of organisational culture: learners; teachers, their job designs, work, safety in addition to professional growth; human resources practices; organisational management; as well as technological resources. (Pedler, 1992)

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