Think of an example of an organizational change and provide a brief description of the nature of the change. Using the typology developed in Table 1 in Armenakis et al (1993:692) categorize the context/type of the specific change (i.e. conditions of readiness and urgency). In what ways did the message convey discrepancy and efficacy? To what extent did the actual influence strategies (active participation, persuasive communication, management of external information) match those suggested as appropriate in Table 1—said differently did management adopt the right readiness program given the contextual factors confronting the organization. To what extent do you see any of the competing forces for stability and change suggested in the Leana and Barry article as being simultaneously present during this change initiative? *this is not a paper, it’s only questions my teacher is asking and I only must address the questions above. -Class notes:
Readiness for Organizational Change:
Armenakis et al (1993) introduce us to the concept of ?readiness for organizational change? by pointing out its similarity to Lewin’s concept of unfreezing. ?Interventions to create readiness for change are attempts to mobilize support? for change (Armenkis et al.,1993: 686). At its most basic level,unfreezing requires that organizational members buy into the need for change and have some confidence that change will in fact be possible. Armenekis and his colleagues focused on the change message as the vehicle through which management communicate the need for,and urgency of, change to organizational members and suggest that effective messages emphasize two key attributes: (1) discrepancy ,or the visible difference between our current state and ideal state,or between where we are and where we need to be;and (2) efficacy ,or the individual and collective belief that the change journey will be successful. In the next module,you will be re-introduced to these concepts in Kotter’s (1996) expose on ?Leading Change,? where he describes the early stages of organizational change in terms of establishing a sense of urgency,building support for change,and developing and communicating a vision. Indeed,if you were to analyze the announcements of change made by many CEO’s in the public press,you would find strong evidence that they emphasize both a disconnect between the current and ideal state of affairs (discrepancy: this is why we need to change) and provide a vision meant to create support and a belief that change is possible and will be successful (this is how we will change and change we will). Once the change has been announced,you also see but to more varying degree,ongoing communications and updates that are designed to remind people of the discrepancy,and to reinforce a sense that while we may not be there yet,we are getting closer (communicating small wins in Kotter’s terminology). In his subsequent work (2002),Armenakis and his colleagues add three additional attributes to effective change messages ( appropriateness —essentially the extent to which the change is communicated as being a good solution for the current problem; support —essentially who are the people behind this change and what resources $ will be associated with it;and valence —essentially addressing the assessment of what’s in it for me by stressing the individual benefits that are likely to result from the change).
The extent to which the change message actually works as intended (i.e. to unfreeze) also depends on (1) interpersonal and social dynamics in the workplace,(2) the credibility of the messenger and change agents. For example,we know that individuals are likely to process the change message differently because each individual has a particular schema they use to interpret change—hence management should expect to see varying rather than uniform responses in members. In addition,individuals are likely to make sense of change differently on the basis of organizational role,and professional and social affiliations in the workplace. As Armenakis and his colleagues point out (1993: 687),identifying and working through favorably disposed opinion leaders in various social networks may serve to facilitate more even collective interpretation of change messages. The credibility of the messenger (often the CEO and other top management who first communicates change) and the change agent (often the middle managers likely to be asked to implement the change) also serve to influence the extent to which change targets view the need for change as just and appropriate and the journey of change as worthy and viable.