Free «First Position Paper: Change Management and Applied Communication Technology» UK Essay Sample

First Position Paper: Change Management and Applied Communication Technology

Preface

To align with the worldwide trend of globalization, many organizations have implemented the latest information technologies that have significantly revolutionized during the recent years. Therefore, they caused a phenomenon of an ever increasing need for the availability and accountability of knowledge. The accessibility opportunities presented by the Internet and new media platforms, including social networking websites and mobile devices, caused an unprecedented scrutiny from the companies’ management and stakeholders.

With the business environment experiencing so many organizational changes, it is clear that the ability to manage and adapt all of them so easily is essential in any workplace today. Moreover, any significant organizational change occurs due to some exterior innovations rather than internal changes. In such way, the ability to easily and rapidly handle persistent structural, cultural and organizational enhancements create an important competitive advantage for the company that usually results in drastic profits.

Problem Statement

As the big coffee shop chains like Starbucks Coffee or McCafé continue dominating markets worldwide, small independent coffee shops have to act entrepreneurially if they want to compete with them in a coffee business.

Therefore, if a new dynamically developing start-up company in the coffee industry wants to become successful, it has not only to forecast future operating costs with the reasonable accuracy, minimize possible expenditures, and imply the latest technological improvements. First and foremost, it has to create a sound and flexible organizational culture that will have an opportunity to manage the above-listed changes easily.

Background of Change Attempt

Nature of Change

To succeed, a new dynamically developing start-up coffee company (hereinafter – the Company) must constantly undergo various changes in order to remain competitive in the market. Such changes can be both minor (new software installation), and major (refocusing general marketing strategy, transforming company’s organizational form, enhancing corporate culture). However, to ensure that a company can respond to unforeseen events in an appropriate manner, it must possess reliable personnel that fits the existing business environment. Hence, the effective transition of organizational changes and the employees’ perception are of paramount importance for the interests of the Company.

Issues

Taking into account the fact that individuals naturally defend ones’ interests and are reluctant to changes, it is logical that the employees’ most common response to any organizational change is skepticism and resistance. Taking into account the comprehensive nature of the staffs' resistance, it should be noted that the vast majority of companies face the particular organizational issue extremely often. The staffs' resistance to imposed changes often forces management or the companies' owners to negotiate with employees regarding the improvement of working conditions therein. Obviously, it becomes difficult or even impossible to imply organizational changes that are necessary in the modern society. Moreover, it has been identified as a crucial factor of the organizational change management that is vital for a successful organizational change of a company.

Therefore, the companies' managers must also seriously take into account and consider all the possible problems and risks that may arise after imposing organizational changes. In order to ensure the successful transition to the desired organizational management condition, managers have to be in effective change management, they must stay involved in all the necessary negotiations with the staff as well as to manage how to resist them and ignore employees' objectionable proposals.

Change Agent

In order to effectively move the organization from its current state to a future desired state at minimal cost, special change agents from the Coffee Nostra Ltd will be involved. The company appears to be one of the most successful and rapid growing customer-oriented start-up enterprises over the last six months. It uses the latest technological innovations and possesses a sound organizational system.

  1. Personality: If a company eagers to be successful, it must always stay closely aligned with its labor force. Every associate must be highly valued, and the Company is the one who is responsible for creating a good working climate. Thus, if the employees' knowledge and diversity are properly exploited, they will think more about their customers, and consequently enhance the Company’s effectiveness. Herein, the best solution is to foster employees, who will perfectly fit their positions and will not be eager to keep looking for the new ones. To do it, a company has to care about its staff members and try to hire only dependable and process-oriented workers, who will accept every reasonable organizational change.
  1. Power: The main goal is to create such an organizational environment that will ensure the Company to function smoothly like a solid mechanism in spite of constantly changing worldwide technologies. Moreover, such agent will also have the power to identify and report about the areas that need improvement and, moreover, to ensure that the Company works properly at its maximum level of productivity. It is worth mentioning that these organizational benefits are usually common to a company and its employees, so a relevant organizational change will make organization stronger as a whole.
  2. Change orientation: The Coffee Nostra agents will have to develop the overall direction for modernization of operational economic activity and labor relations within the Company. Consequently, Coffee Nostra staf will not only be able to implement the changes but also show the other employees how such changes must be applied.

Change Targets

  1. Personality: The personality change target is to create a cohesive work team that can easily cooperate with each other, share workloads to achieve the best results and deliver appropriate services effectively and efficiently. Achieving the desired result depends not only on a matter of stating the goals. It involves congruent engagement of both managers and employees in order to permanently maintain internal corporate sustainability.
  2. Power: The ultimate aim of the particular change target category is to reach the maximum level of production efficiency and effectiveness of the Company. Correctly implied organizational change shall lead the Company towards such benefits as competitiveness, improved financial performance, mutual satisfaction of employees and customers, continuous improvement and sustainability.
  3. Change Orientation: The change orientation target of Coffee Nostra Ltd. is to imply new technologies and organizational changes simultaneously, which is important for the successful organizational development. Moreover, considering today’s challenging business environment, a new start-up company has to be registered in different social media services (LinkedIn, 4 Square, Yelp, Facebook) in order to constantly improve customers’ satisfaction level and Company’s profitability and overall sustainability performance.

Statement of Theory

At the organizational change stage such organizational strategies as the heuristic-systematic persuasion model and the functional approach model will be applied.

Heuristic-Systematic Persuasion Model

  1. Key concepts: The heuristic-systematic persuasion model is a persuasion theory that was introduced in the early 1970s by Israeli-US psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. According to them, heuristics refers to the tendency of people to think more instinctively and emotionally, rather than logically and rationally, according to various factors. It often happens when someone uses less cognitive efforts and fewer cognitive resources, or if people are subjected to pressure or manipulation by government, media, corporations, advertising etc. Therefore, it results in making wrong judgments about the probability of an event under uncertainty.
  2. Explanatory statements: Tversky and Kahneman have defined such psychological category as the heuristic representativeness, which means an assessing similarity of objects and their organization based on similar categorical prototypes. The problem is that people overestimate their ability to accurately predict the statistic chances of different events. Knowing and understanding basic persuasive tactics will grant a manager with an ability to influence employees' attitudes, motives and behavior and correctly perceive manipulative or deceptive intentions. Consequently, a simultaneous usage of such managerial skills as persuasion and deception will clarify what kind of further organizational climate managers or owners can realistically expect. Thus, when someone rely on representativeness to make judgments, they are likely to be wrong due to the fact that something more representative is not actually more plausible. Therefore, it results in neglecting relevant rates and leads to the adoption of wrong statistic decisions (Grimolizzi-Jensen, 2015).

Katz’s Functional Approach

  1. Key concepts: American psychologist Daniel Katz developed a person-oriented theory of attitude change, which examines psychological motivations and provides information on how attitudes influence social behavior. According to his approach, every attitude is caused by one of four main functional areas corresponding to four major psychological philosophies:
    1. Utilitarian function (behaviorism). Current function refers to the basic principles of reward and punishment. If someone accepts person’s social attitudes, the other people will reward them with social approval and acceptance and vice versa.
    2. Value-expressive function (humanism). The attitudes people express are caused not by objective product qualities, but due to other peoples’ expressions.
    3. Ego-defensive function (psychoanalysis). It defines the individual’s ability to protect his/her self-esteem or justify actions that make him/her feel guilty or insecure.
    4. Knowledge function (cognition). The particular function is referred to the individuals’ necessity for a consistent and relatively stable environment. It allows to predict what is likely to occur, and gives a sense of control.
  2. Explanatory statements: According to the approach, attitudes are determined by person's motives and they exist because they serve some attitudinal functions that can be qualitatively measured. Moreover, it helps understand how attitudes influence social behavior and make necessary conclusions.

Change Management Plan

3.1 Change Goals

  1. Instrumental: In order to attract new customers, the staff will have to actively use various social media services for the successful promotion of coffee products. Nowadays, services like 4 Square or Yelp are widely used by many people, when they decide where to go or where to buy a cup of coffee. Therefore, the customers’ feedbacks are valuable and have great influence on the owners of customer-oriented companies nowadays (Milfont, 2009).
  2. Relational: Nevertheless, it is essential to build sound relations between the colleagues, which have to be based on mutual trust and respect for the achievement of the best possible results.
  3. Face: To bring the Company to the new organizational state, the Coffee Nostra agents will have to be situated in attractive places with a welcoming aesthetic interior that will inspire clients to stop for a coffee-break. Moreover, such strategy will help generate higher sales. Moreover, the staff has to be knowledgeable and friendly so the clients would like to come back again.

3.2 Obstacles to Goal Achievement

Various obstacles may appear within the Company during organizational change implementation process. The most distinctive are the following:

  1. Heuristic-Systematic Persuasion Model. Heuristics, in the context of heuristic-systematic persuasion model, refers to the tendency of people to think instinctively and emotionally, rather than logically and rationally, based on a variety of factors. Thus, such an intuitive way of thinking commonly leads to the staffs’ dissatisfaction and unwilling to accept organizational changes, even if they are absolutely indispensable.
  2. Katz’s functional approach. American organizational theorist David Nadler identified six main sources of resistance: habit, economic factors, fear that one’s position is becoming obsolete and fear of the unknown and social factors.

3.3. Strategies to Overcome Each Obstacle

  1. Heuristic-Systematic Persuasion Model. By understanding heuristics, we can identify and evaluate risks arising from the Company’s activities and develop measures to reduce the negative effect caused the employees' resistance. Furthermore, can understand why and how people think, make decisions, and behave, and, afterwards, apply such factors on people's thinking and influence on their decisions by using indirect interventions (Gigerenzer & Gaissmaier, 2015).  
  2. Katz’s functional approach. To overcome organizational change obstacles, the Katz’s approach requires a holistic view of the organization in order to find the best way to obtain the top management support, encourage participation of the employees, foster open communication within the company, and reward people who contribute to the change implementation process. Moreover, an internal resistance can be significantly minimized or aroused by competent managerial actions, such as negotiations, offering rewards, proposing employees operational involvement, using subtle tactics (proposing prominent positions) or applying strategy of coercion (punishing those who resist changes) (Prediscan & Bradutanu, 2012).

3.4 Indicators of Success

Indicators of success can be grouped in terms of maximum and minimum indicators.

Maximum Indicators of Success

  • Minimizing costs and increasing financial performance;
  • General organizational order and stability;
  • Growing number of loyal customers and increasing loyalty among the Company’s staff;
  • Sharing common corporate goals (especially regarding the company’s growth strategy).

Minimum Indicators of Success

  • Improving interpersonal communication;
  • Increased attention from new customers.

3.5. Costs and Risks of Strategies

The risks involved in the implementation of the aforementioned strategies include financial and operational risks. The financial risks include additional expenses for the consultants’ involvement, conducting of trainings, general expenses, event costs, and change management resource costs. The main operational risk is the employees’ resistance caused by the abovementioned influences.

Therefore, in order to overcome such particular risks and enhance general profitability of the company, a new organizational management must be imposed by using a special combination of different approaches that will allow solving the arisen problems comprehensively and minimizing financial and operational risks (Packard, 2015). Correctly chosen organizational change strategy, or a combination thereof, can strive to develop a complex approach that will be able to comprehensively withstand a myriad of possible organizational issues and situational factors. Thus, if an organizational approach will fail, other approaches may be used subsequently. Therefore, combined approach involving numerous resistance patterns will cover more sustainable amount of possible combinations and sequences how to successfully withstand the employees' dissatisfaction.

3.6. Probability of Success of Intervention

An integrated approach for the simultaneous implementation of different organizational change models, proceeding from the experience of similar service-oriented companies, indicates an increased probability of success. Moreover, involvement of the Coffee Nostra agents, which are renowned for their service quality, additionally maximizes probability of successfully changes in an organization.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it must be noted that the Company’s leadership, its top-managers, marketing directors, and Companies’ owners have to accurately forecast and properly handle new epochal and fundamental innovations within the particular market. Thus, early efforts for implementation of such innovations combined with relevant organizational changes will ensure having a solid position in the market, and will sufficiently increase chances of making more significant profits.

Obviously, in the modern world, the introduction of new technologies is not less important for any client-oriented service offered by a company than the organizational “health”. Therefore, in order to achieve success in a market, a start-up company has to simultaneously and uniformly introduce both technological and organizational improvements. It is caused by the fact that present globalization of markets and rapidly evolving technology force businesses to change constantly.

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