In today’s business environment, both the internal and external environment changes frequently. To cope with the internal and external environment changes, organisations frequently have to bring change management to embrace the changes positively and use it as a facilitating device for organisational growth. This report sheds light on different aspects of change management. Apart from discussing change management theories, the report also talks about the resistance to change management. Finally, the report also sheds light on the benefits and ways that change management can most effectively and efficiently occur in the organisation.
When there is a complex hierarchy in concealed order, it is called the study of complexity theory. From the definition of complexity theory, it is apparent that management needs complexity theory to bring change to the organisation. Complexity theory is required to bring change management into the firm so efficiently that everybody in the organisation recognises the positive aspects of the changes.
Bringing strategic change through complexity theory
There are many hidden benefits of complexity theory that can help the firm experience change management without losing confidence among the firm’s people. The characteristics of the complexity theory ensure that the organisation experiences proper change management without any delay (Feldwick, 2006). There are many characteristics of complexity theory that enable change management in the organisation so that the manager faces no hassle in implementing this. The following texts describe those characteristics of complexity theory.
(i) Spontaneity of self-organisation
The organisation is made spontaneous by enabling complexity theoretical application inside the organisation. In an organisation where a complexity approach is there, the elements of the organisation can communicate easily. Moreover, the organisation’s people are virtually together when the approach is applied in an organisation. The communicating system is less structured so that all the elements can be easily communicated within the least time possible. The system is made informal too. This also intrigues more communication among the stakeholders. Spontaneous communication efforts make the organisation self-reliant, which paves the way for better change management. Managerial jobs can well be distributed with this characteristic of complexity theory. Planning of the changes can be implemented, and the control system becomes more transparent. This also helps the organisation to implement change management fast. Disputes also are lessened as the transparent and self-organisation system tends to reduce employee conflicts.
(ii) Decentralized control system
The complexity approach does not involve any master key to the control system. This increases the efficiency of change management. Through this approach, the system is made more cooperative so that all the stakeholders can work together. Keeping no key controller in the system enables the decision-making process faster (Clow and Baack, 2010). The complexity theory enables a sense of competition among the people inside the organisation, which increases teamwork. Hence, there is no need for autocratic management where a person is all in all. This increases the efficiency of the tasks. The power is not centralised, and the employees are empowered according to their eligibility. The fair process of power distribution makes the organisation more viable.
(iii) Imperfect estimation of project output
Though there are many positive characteristics of the complexity theoretical approach, there is a negative aspect of it too; that is, the theory cannot predict the output of the whole system. As the number of interactions among the organisation’s people is many, it is difficult to project the output individually. The managers hence face the problem of certainty of the project. As the number of interactions is vast, it is very tough to estimate the outputs that each connection creates. Moreover, the control management is not centralised. Due to this issue, connections might not always be positive, though there are fewer numbers conflicts. However, it does not mean that all the connections create positive outputs for the organisation’s change management. However, there is a way to tackle this problem. The manager should plan for better connectivity, and the transparency should be more on the connections so that each connection’s produced outputs can be measurable.
(iv) Applicability of complexity theory in business
Innovative businesses are embracing complexity theory nowadays. In order to implement innovative change management, it is better to implement complexity theory in the organisation. Today’s competitive world requires firms to be innovative in their change management issues. Hence, complexity theory is the prerequisite now for the firms’ change management implementation. Real-life implications of change management are challenging as many internal and external factors to work against the change management’s implementation. Though there are negative aspects of complexity theory, the positive aspects outweigh the negative ones. Hence, in this competitive business world, it is necessary to bring complexity theory to change management. The linear structure of change management requires continuous efforts from the internal management to take less time to be implemented. Complexity theory allows the management to implement the change faster and in a more reliable way.
The reasons for taking complexity theory for change management by most managers
The strategic change in the organisation requires many efforts from the managers. Due to the nature of complexity theory, it is easier to implement in the organisation. Irrespective of a firm’s type, the complexity theoretical approach is smoothly implemented in the system. It also takes less time to understand the people inside the organisation. There are, of course, other theories for change management (Brondoni, 2010). However, in implementing strategic change in the organisation, complexity theory is the best one for this competitive business world where there is no time for the next move. Besides, change management through complexity theory is better as it takes place in a linear approach. The systematic approach to the theory allows the managers to get feedback from the change management very efficiently. Employees of the firm understand the system faster, and hence they start to work faster. This again improves the effectiveness of change management. The current situation of the organisation might prevent change management in the organisation. However, through complexity theory applied in the organisation, the internal and external factors become less influential in preventing change management. Hence, it also paves the way for better change management in no time in the organisation. Complexity theory includes simulation practices that also ensure better change management, and it also occurs faster than any other theories available in bringing desired positive change in the organisation (David and Markowitz, 2011).
Bringing change is not an easy task to do. Many factors prevent a change to take place in the organisation. There is resistance to change management. From various groups in the organisation, resistance to change takes place. Change provides positive impacts on the organisation. However, this might not be the case all the time. Some of the groups might get initial problems due to changes being implemented. Hence, they create resistance to change. This type of resistance can create many problems in implementing the changes in the organisation. The effective implementation of the changes might also be hampered due to the organisation’s resistance to various groups.
Why the resistance to change affects the implementation of the organisational change
From the pool of reasons why there is resistance to change, we should first examine why people tend to resist change management.
(i) Fearing the unknown: People generally do not like change because they had a prior fear that the changes might hamper them or not accept the change. Their performance might be dissatisfactory with the changes – that is what they fear about bringing change in the organisation. There are many possible ways that the employees might fear that their positions are in danger due to changes being implemented in the organisation (Fill and others, 2009). For example, when the manager plans to set up new technology in the manufacturing plant, the employees might resist the change due to the fear that their jobs are at risk. Anticipated fears are not always valid.
(ii) Unwilling to bring change: All the firm’s stakeholders might not feel the necessity of the changes. Some may see change as unnecessary for the organisation, where it is true that change is inevitable for a successful organisation. Some of the people in the organisation might feel that the existing setting is just doing fine (Dechernatony, 2007). However, just doing fine is not satisfactory for organisational growth. Change smoothens up the work procedures. However, some of the employees might feel that the changes might hamper the efficiency level, which is untrue.
(iii) Changes might not bring the required need fulfilment to the employees: While most views change as the medium to fulfil their requirements, some employees might feel that their required success might be hampered if they change the organisation. Employees have high expectations from their jobs. Hence, they tend to fulfil the requirements through working in the same environment, and when they fear any change, they tend to resist it. However, it should be known that the new environment promises new hope for them.
(iv) Risks overlapping the benefits: Changes might not provide the required benefits that the people in the organisation believe. The accumulated risk might overlap or exceed the employees’ benefits (Getz, 2007). When there is a high risk, the employees will give more effort to implement the change. However, if they do not see many benefits from the changes, they would be disheartened, which might also hamper the employees’ productivity.
(v) Lack of ability to bring the changes: The fear of the lack of ability to bring the change might also be why employees resist change in the organisation. Lack of confidence in bringing the changes hampers the change management (Duncan, 2005). The employee might also call for the full discharge of the changes that take place. Cooperation from those employees is not possible in that position. This has a far-reaching consequence as the employees would not also receive benefits from the organisation, which does not grow due to non-implementation of changes in the organisation. The employees ultimately become dissatisfied with their efforts being gone in vain (Gedenk and Neslin, 2009).
(vi) Fear of change being a failure: Most employees fear that the changes might not work in the desired way that the firm has planned. The changes might not be fruitful. Hence, the changes might not bring any benefits to the organisation (Damm, 2012). Hence, the employee would not want to give much time to something they believe will benefit the organisation.
(vii) Fear of failure to maintain the changes: Keeping the change management process is a huge task. Some of the employees might not be interested in doing so in the long run. Hence, they might not want to bring any changes in the organisation that would overburden their workload.
(viii) Fear of bringing inconsistent change to company values: The changes that are not well communicated to all the stakeholders might face the problem that some of the employees might feel the anticipated changes will go against the existing values and principles of the organisation’s mission and vision (Allen, 2008). The potential changes would cause productivity to be lowered in no time—that is, the employees’ belief when the desired change is not well communicated.
How resistance to change affects the implementation of the organisational change
Resistance does not let change management take place. Resistance is the major reason why the planning, endeavouring, and efforts to change management fails. The following texts depict how resistance to change affects the organisation that wants to bring in changes (Clow and Baack, 2005).
(i) Ill-development of the change management: It is very difficult for human resource management to bring changes as it requires a good deal of procedures from time to time. Only a structured and systematic manner can bring positive changes for the organisation. Reviewing the process, again and again, is very crucial to the success of change management. By motivating higher inputs to the employees, the human resource management must keep the employees up and do the change management (Burmann and Zeplin, 2005). The focus of control should be maintained by providing necessary training and development programs for the employees from time to time. If the human resource management does not recognise the needs of the employees while bringing change, the resistance would be very high. The organisation would not face the success of change management in the organisation, no matter how much efforts are given by the top management (Clow and Baack, 2012).
(ii) Making a vague representation of the change management tasks: New tasks and duties to the employees should be made clear. However, the representation of vague duties and responsibilities distributed among the employees about the new tasks would create chaos. When the change management takes place, employees might be assigned new tasks and responsibilities to fulfil. There is a scope of misunderstanding of the responsibilities, and the tasks might be overlapping in some cases. When this mess happens, the whole change management implementation becomes useless as the employees do not understand their roles and duties well.
For an effective organisational change, the management must ensure reasonable efforts in a systematic and desired way. Involving the employees in the change management process is inevitable. Hence, the employees should be trained well to understand the whole process of bringing change management to the organisation (Dann and Mertens, 2004). An effective and efficient change management process requires upper-level management’s involvement in the supervision level, and the employees should be guided well in bringing the change. The following texts discuss how top management can involve the employees to bring change management in the organisation more effectively and efficiently.
Applying Expectancy Theory to the Management
Naturally, an employee of the organisation keeps certain hopes and aspirations from the job he or she is fulfilling. The expectancy theory describes the expectations of an employee from the roles and responsibilities that he or she carries out. From the perspective of the expectancy theory, the managers must involve the employees with the change management so that they feel important in the process (Bamford, 2001). Their social and psychological expectations would be fulfilled then. They should understand that they would grow exponentially through change management, and their career in the organisation will get a facelift. When managers would consider applying expectancy theory during the change management process, the employees would be self-driven to bring the changes in the organisation.
Little steps for the big leap
The employees should be provided with small targets first, and then they should also be offered something in exchange. Bringing change would require a lot of monetary and non-monetary motivation. The organisation should be ready to fulfil that. Giving the most out of the benefits from the change management should be the aim of the managers (Clow and Baack, 2004). When the employees would feel that it’s their responsibility to outperform their previous records in order to receive better benefits from the organisation, the change management process would be facilitated in a better and structured way.
Applying the Equity Theory for Better Change Management
There are many barriers to change management, as we have discussed earlier. Employees tend to be resistant, and they might also encourage others to join their resistance to change. In order to tackle the situation, the managers should come up with some equal payment and treatment plans for the employees. This should again be made on the ground of eligibility so that the employees do not feel biased. Disparity should not be allowed in any form in the organisation. Dissatisfaction might occur when the firm does not recognise the long-term demands from the employees. Before bringing change, the managers must ensure that there is no sense of dissatisfaction among the employees. Only then the employees would work hard to bring change to the organisation for their betterment.
Involving Employees to the utmost
The major resource of an organisation is the employees that they have. When the employees are involved well in the change management process, it is apparent that the process would succeed no matter which resource the firm lacks. The employees should understand that only the organisation will not grow better due to the change management that the top management has planned; rather, the employees would be better benefitted from the proposed change. The employees get the benefits first, and then the overall organisation gets the advantages of change management. Technology has flourished so much that technology is there to help the employees, for example, not harming their position. The employees should embrace change for their betterment. There should be ample time spent before launching the change management program to educate the employees about the benefits and advantages they would receive due to implementing the necessary changes for their career growth.
Throughout the discussion, it has been apparent that change is inevitable, no matter how much a firm tries to avoid it. Change management is the approach that leads the organisation to embrace the change for the betterment, in a better way, removing the negative aspects of change that will occur in the organisation. Communication is the key to bringing better change management in the organisation. Hence, better management should involve more communication plans for the employees before launching the change management process.
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