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This paper summarizes the concepts that are vital to change management and are relevant to all organization for business problem solving. It establishes the relationship between the different forces at work within an organization, namely; leadership, employee behavior, organizational culture, and group dynamics. It discusses the importance of three critical concepts that should be a part of every progressive organization. These three critical concepts are coordination, commitment and competency. These concepts incorporated with other forces at work in an organization can make a winning combination to resolve issues within organizations.
The ever evolving new world economy establishes change as the only constant. Today, organizations compete in a global environment that poses immense external competitive pressure. Yet it also favors those organizations that accept the challenge, and adapt to the competitive forces for profit maximization. However, only those excel that possess strong leaders across all levels of the organization, foster team building, and nurture a culture where the former forces can survive.
Gone are the days when leaders were CEOs sitting at the top of the organizational pyramid. The leaders in the top down pyramid organizations of the new economy are present throughout the organization. Indeed leadership is an essential tool that helps managers motivate employees for task accomplishment. Especially in the avenue of change management the role of a directional, and supportive leader is essential. The leaders implementing change in their organization have to be prudent and sensitive to the needs of their organizations.
Leaders set directions, and provide resources to meet goals. They invest themselves in the problem solving process and take their organization along. Leaders practice what they preach, and that is how they lead the way to task accomplishment “they focus energy for change on the work itself, not on abstractions” (Beer, B., Eisenstat R. A., Spector B.,(1990), Nov-Dec. Why Change Programs Don’t Produce Change. Harvard Business Review,158-166).
Furthermore, leaders take their employees along, they set targets, and make task forces that are competent to achieve those goals. When leaders initiate change they become the flag bearers of change and monitor the progress of change at all times. They communicate their messages effectively, foster learning in their organization and build an organizational culture to support strategic change.
Intertwined with the concept of leadership is the concept of employee behavior. Leaders actually influence employee behavior to make it favorable to the organization. Transformational leaders “inspire followers to transcend their own self interests for the good of the organization”. (Robbins S. P., Judge T. A. ,2006, 437). Employee behavior tends to be directly affected by the role they play in an organization. To mold employee behavior in accordance with a newer organizational strategy, employees should be made to practice the newer set of organizational beliefs. This will help to reinforce organizational beliefs and amalgamate them into their roles, responsibilities and relationships. (cited in Beer, B., Eisenstat R. A., Spector B.,(1990, Nov-Dec). By implementing this concept organizations can effectively regulate business issues arising from unacceptable employee behavior.
In order to be effective organizations need to inculcate commitment as a form of behavior into their employees. In effect employees that are satisfied with their jobs tend to be more committed than others. Employee behavior is also affected by organizational structure: “In general organizations that are less centralized have a greater amount of participative decision making. And the evidence suggests that participative decision making is positively related to job satisfaction”(Robbins S. P., Judge T. A. ,2006, p.561).
Organizational culture is another determinant of an organization’s success that affects employee behavior. In order to build a problem solving and progressive culture; an organization needs to incorporate three sets of believes into its culture. These core beliefs are ‘coordination’, ‘commitment’ and ‘competencies’. Coordination should exist to encourage cross functional teams and collaboration to solve organizational problems. Commitment to achieve organizational goals should be inculcated at inpidual level, team level and organizational level. Finally, competencies of all employees should be developed to provide the required skill set that is needed for task accomplishment.
These three factors are of prime importance when instilling change in an organization(cited in Beer, B., Eisenstat R. A., Spector B.,(1990, Nov-Dec) Why Change Programs Don’t Produce Harvard Business Review,158-166). I term these three concepts as the ‘Change Chain Process’ because of their importance in revamping an organization.
Reorganizing employee roles is the first step towards task accomplishment in group dynamics. Whereas, building an organizational culture that nurtures the aforementioned change chain process is the second building block to encourage team building. In the new economy cross functional task forces are used to achieve quality, efficiency and economy in the fiercely competitive environment. There is difference between theory and practice of group dynamics and team building. “A company issues a philosophy statement about teamwork doesn’t mean its employees necessarily know what reams to form or how to function within them to improve coordination” (Beer, B., Eisenstat R. A., Spector B.,(1990, Nov-Dec)
Why Change Programs Don’t Produce Harvard Business Review,158-166). Successful organizations encourage their employees to develop a shared vision of organization so that they fulfill the function of coordination (one of the links of the change chain process) to gain competitive edge. (cited in Beer, B., Eisenstat R. A., Spector B.,(1990, Nov-Dec) Why Change Programs Don’t Produce Harvard Business Review,158-166). By incorporating successful team building, organizations undergoing change or battling fierce competition can see remarkable improvements in task accomplishment. (cited in Beer, B., Eisenstat R. A., Spector B.,(1990, Nov-Dec) Why Change Programs Don’t Produce Harvard Business Review,158-166).
Organizations are an intricate mesh of employee behavior, organizational culture, leadership, and group dynamics. All of these factors are interdependent and key determinants of an organization’s success. Therefore, organizations need to master the art of tackling these forces of organizational dynamics. They need to identify what form of each force is best suited to their need and then implement the form best suited to their strategy. Doing so organizations can compete in the global economy and more importantly become progressive learning organizations.
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