- Understanding and managing changes are the dominant themes of management today.
- Adapting to the ever-changing present is essential for success in the unpredictable future.
- However, there is no one ‗right formula‘ for the management of change.
- The success of any attempt at managing change will also be dependent on the wider context in which that change is taking place.
- Different styles of managing change are likely to be necessary according to different contexts and in relation to the involvement and interest of different groups.
- The styles include:
- Education and communication,
- Direction, and
- Coercion (most extreme form).
Education and Communication
- Involve the explanation of the reasons for and means of strategic change in order to win the support of every one in the organization.
- Based on the assumption that if people are given the rationale for change, they will see the need for it and therefore accept it.
- This may be useful when resistance, based on inadequate or inaccurate information, is anticipated.
Collaboration or Participation
- It is the involvement of those who will be affected by strategic change in the identification of strategic issues, the setting of the strategic agenda, the strategic decision-making process or the planning of strategic change.
- Can be helpful in increasing ownership of a decision or change process, and in increasing commitment to it.
- Leads to better quality of decisions than would have otherwise been achieved.
- Involves the co-ordination of and authority over processes of change by a change agent who delegates elements of the change process.
- The change agent could delegate certain elements of the change process to project teams or taskforces.
- The teams become involved in the change process and see their work building towards the change process.
- Beneficial in that it not only involves members of the organization in idea generation but also in the implementation of solutions.
- Involves the use of personal managerial authority to establish a clear future strategy and how change will occur.
- Usually top-down management of strategic change and may be associated with vision or strategic intent developed by someone recognized as the leader in the organization.
- Involves the imposition of change or the issuing of edicts about change.
- It is the explicit use of power and may be necessary if the organization is facing a crisis.
- This style may be useful in crisis situations or rapid transformational
The styles of managing change are not mutually exclusive in a change programme. Application of one style in managing change does not preclude the application of others. Different stages in the change process may require different styles of managing change and that different styles suit different personality types.
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