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Helping Organizations Manage Change Essay

2630 words - 11 pages

Helping OrganizationsManage Change Change is a feature of life, and in a changing world, standing still is rarely an option. An organization needs to account for changes in the environment, or face the possibility of failure to achieve objectives. It takes a lot to be a survivor in today?s rapidly changing corporate environments including a solid understanding of the change process and one?s role in that process; answers to questions that managers and their fellow employees have about change; and a set of tools to help a manager facilitate change and navigate to the outcome he or she wants.Managing today means dealing with change: understanding it, leading it, integrating it, responding to it, and creating it. But most organizations are organized and staffed for current operations. They have limited resources for planning and managing change. The failure to adjust workloads or reallocate resources during change is one of the primary sources of resistance and breakdown. Major change calls for intensive and sustained effort at many levels. It may mean driving a new culture through an organization, or integrating a newly acquired business, or divesting some operations, or installing new systems and processes. It?s been observed that change happens, and can?t be managed. Some changes are external to the organization and can?t be controlled. But the organization?s response, or the initiatives it takes to prepare for change, can certainly be managed (Fox).Change means an end to certainty, a leap into the unknown. A new job may entail uncertainties about role, capability, and unknown changes in social contacts, need to move house etc. These may be seen as exciting challenges or threatening instabilities. Change may threaten a system of meaning, organizational system or cultural establishment. A move from clinical to managerial control of health services substitutes one set of values with another. Those adhering to the old system will find the changes threatening to their assumptions about what is to be valued, and may question their own worth. Change may bring loss. A move to a better job entailing emigration means loss of many familiar aspects of life in one?s home country. These losses may outweigh the possibilities of the new position, or may enhance the feeling of a new start. Change may threaten existing power or other interests. A new system of ?quality circles? within an organization that cuts across traditional hierarchies may be threatening to lower managers who had previously been seen as the ?leaders? within their organization.Whichever of the above factors are relevant to a particular change in the environment, a person?s response cannot be predicted from the change itself. Even the most extreme changes, such as the death of a spouse, need to be fully contextualized to discern the meaning that they may have for a particular person. Redundancy may be deeply threatening to one and liberating to another (Fox).There is good news and bad news...

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