Change Management

Powerful Essays
What a manager does and how it is done can be categorised by Henri Fayol’s four functions of management: Planning, Organising, Leading and Controlling. Through these functions managers can be catalysts for change or by definition change agents – “People who act as catalysts and manage the change process.” (Robbins, Bergman, Stagg and Coulter, 2000, p.438) Wether performing the role of the change agent or not, change is an integral part of a manager’s job. Change is “An alteration in people, structure or technology.” (Robbins et al., 2000, p.437) Change occurs within and around organisations today at an unprecedented speed and complexity. Change poses threats and creates opportunities. The fact that change creates opportunities is reason why managers need to encourage change.
What a manager can change falls distinctively into the three categories stated in the definition of change: people, structure and technology. The manager can make alterations in these areas in an attempt to adapt to or facilitate change. The change of people involves changing attitudes, expectations, perceptions and behaviour. These changes ar used to help people within organisations to work together more effectively. Changing structure relates to job design, job specialisation, hierarchy, formalisation and all other organisational structural variables. These changes are ones that need to be flexible and not static to be adaptable to change. Technological change entails modification of work processes and methods and the introduction of new equipment. Changes in this area have been enormous especially in the areas of computing and communications.
An organisation’s environment has both specific and general components, or micro and macro environments. The organisation also has its own personality or culture. This environment and culture can be the generator of forces for change. Needs from within the organisation can stimulate change, these are internal forces for change. “Of course, the distinction between external and internal forces is blurred because an internally induced change may be prompted by the perception of an external event.” (Barney & Griffin, 1992, p.755) Today’s organisations are characterised by frequent disruptions to its environment. New strategy, new technology and change in employee mix or attitudes are all internal factors that can c...

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...uture. In a chaotic, dynamic world of change we must be able to come up with new ideas and inventions in order to compete in the global market. Those who are good innovators are the ones who can gain competitive advantages.
Change and survival are synonymous. Survival demands change. Managers must be intuitive and read the current and changing situation surrounding them and make the best decision to coordinate work and apply resources. We have discussed what change is, how we depict it and what forces or creates change. Change implemented correctly can unleash employee creativity and potential, reduce bureaucracy and costs, and provide ongoing improvement for an organisation. Given these benefits it would seem a good idea to encourage change.

Barney, J., Ricky, W., (1992), The Management of Organisations, Houghton Mifflin Company, U.S.A.
Cummings, T., (1997), Worley, C., Organization Development & Change, South-Western College Publishing, Ohio.
Graham, R., Englund, R., (1997), Creating an Environment for Successful Projects, Jossey-Bass Inc., California.
Robbins, S., Bergman, R., Stagg, I., Coulter, M. (2000), Management, Prentice-Hall Australia Pty Ltd, Sydney.
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