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Organizational Change Management
It is not uncommon for an organization to choose to conduct a project that will have impact on the organization itself. Examples:
New Time and Attendance System
New email system
Transition from paper to electronic Requisitions
Change from primarily print to primarily electronic media
Introduction of a new technology (e.g. EDMS)
Distribution of workers in new office space
Upper Management undertakes these projects because they believe that there is sufficient gain to the organization to warrant the expense.
And Upper Management usually moves forward on the basis that since it is in everyone’s best interest, those individuals affected will of course endorse the project and work to make it a success.
And all too often Upper Management receives a rude shock.
What is Organizational Change?
It is generally considered to be an organization-wide change, as opposed to smaller changes such as adding a new person. (See first slide of this section for examples)
It includes the management of changes to the organizational culture, business processes, physical environment, job design / responsibilities, staff skills / knowledge and policies / procedures.
When the change is fundamental and radical, one might call it organizational transformation
Factors in Organizational Change
Efforts by employees to block the intended change is referred to as Resistance to Change.
Resistance to Change has been defined as:
”...behavior which is intended to protect an individual from the effects of real or imagined change" - Alvin Sander, 1950
”...any conduct that serves to maintain the status quo in the face of pressure to alter the status quo“ – Zaltman and Duncan, 1974
Resistance to Change
Why people resist change:
Resistance to change can be a defense mechanism caused by frustration and anxiety
Individuals may not be resisting the change as much as they are resisting a potential loss of status, pay, comfort, or power that arises from expertise
In many case there is not a disagreement with the benefits of the new process, but rather a fear of the unknown future and about their ability to adapt to it, e.g. fear that one will not be able to develop new skills and behaviors that are required in a new work setting