To take the lead, to be able to compete companies need to change. Changes can be made both at the enterprise level and at the employee level. To effectively implement change, it is advisable to train and motivate people, as without proper understanding of the phenomenon by those involved, the company will not reach the expected results. There are forces that force change and those that oppose change, the balance between these two categories of forces determines the level of performance that can be achieved by the enterprise.
Keywords: organizational change, management, factors change, opportunities, threats, attitude towards change, successful change.
The business environment in which businesses operate is unstable and dynamic, in a permanent process of change and development. To gain competitive advantages over competitors, businesses make increasing and sustained efforts to achieve organizational changes required by major changes in technology and labor. Businesses that have accepted and made the change have been able to revaluate the opportunities and to reduce the threats from the external environment in line with the company's internal potential. Among the obvious reasons that burden the process of change are: managerial incompetence and / or their refusal to accept the «new», non-creation of a climate favorable to assuming responsibility and individual initiative, changes in the external and internal environment of firms, ambiguous legislation, etc. By creating a high-performance management system, it is ensured that the firm operates well in a competitive economy. For companies to be able to compete competitively with business opportunities, they need to plan their changes in the organization. Planning provides greater flexibility of the management system, increased potential for reception and application of everything new and in favor of the firm. This change is the basis for the implementation of any strategy.
«Organizational change is the action, a set of actions, a process that seeks to modify, partially or totally transform an organization, its component elements or the processes that take place here, allowing the transition from the present state to a future state, desirable, which differs quantitatively and / or qualitatively from the precedent. The objective of an organizational change is to establish a new state instead of the existing one " [4, p. 14].
The concept of organizational change refers to a great effort to improve a company's problem-solving and development processes. Organizational change is a strategic activity based on a systemic concept of companies. Therefore, change is a function derived from the company's external environment (economic, social and political) and from internal transactions made between different groups of the firm.
Organizational change is not a goal in itself, but must be seen as a natural process having as its main objective the preservation of a competitive position in the environment of action. The dynamics of the organization's activities impose a need for change at a certain moment, due to the reduced performance compared to the planned ones, the important differences between strategy and reality, the introduction of new methods and leadership techniques .
Organizational change can arise because of the opportunities and threats generated by the external environment and the problems within the firm that companies need to face in order to compete on the market. Among the factors that determine the need for organizational change are: globalization; development of IT; modification of the legislation; changing of needs, preferences, consumers’ expectations; low productivity; qualification and fluctuation of the labor force; insufficient financial resources; diminishing competitiveness with the main competitors; increasing of the profitability; changing the legal status of the organization or ownership form and, last but not least, improving the image of the enterprise.
These are the factors that exert pressure for organizational change: [5, p.88]
- Organizational culture influences how people work. Organizations are social systems, and people are strongly dependent on organizational culture. Long-term performance of organizations depends, to a large extent, on people's satisfaction.
- Mechanisms of communication. Effective communication makes people feel safe, creates a favorable working environment, promotes innovation.
- Response to the environment is the way an organization responds to environmental challenges and contributes to the further development of the organization.
- Responsible for change — on it depends people's response to change, as well as the way the change will be implemented.
- Intergroup relations — the way the relationships between different groups in the organization are shaped influences the quality of the working environment.
- Organizational strategy — strategic reflection anticipates and guides the action of each economic agent. The strategy is formed during the course of economic activity, giving sense to it.
- Participation and cooperation. People's participation since initiation of change contributes to decreasing the intensity of resistance to change.
- Behavior — identifying the dominant behavioral traits of the members of the organization contributes to the establishment of the change strategy. Each member of the organization expresses him/herself best by the adopted behavioral rules.
As there are factors promoting change, there are also factors that make it harder or harder for this process. The forces opposing change stem from the resistance of individuals to change (selective perception, habits, dependence on others, economic motives, group norms and unity, fear of the unknown, economic reasons) and the resistance of the firm (fear of changing power and influence, organizational structure, human resources, large share of fixed assets, interorganizational agreements, investments) [1, p.238].
Managers who can analyze clearly resilience are in the best position to create solutions and to lead the change in a smooth and efficient way, this being the most important skill facing the future challenges. In practice, finding optimal solutions is difficult even impossible. However, any change is unsettling, even for those who can benefit most from it. Sometimes it is possible for some people to be unsatisfied with the changes. The strongest resistance to change will come from either the organization itself, or from the manager or others within the firm . Although many organizations are threatened by the forces of change, it is important to recognize that opposing forces keep the organization in a state of equilibrium .
The process of organizational change may involve modifying the structure and behavior of people, processes, technologies, strategies in order to increase the effectiveness of the strategy and achieve the planned objectives. The organization can cope with changes by promoting internal technical, economic and managerial changes.
The area of organizational change analysis is extremely varied. Ackerman L. proposed the following three types of organizational change:
– change in development that involves improving skills, methods, or conditions that, for some reasons, cannot meet current expectations;
– transitional change means the implementation of a new known state (reorganizations, introduction of new services, products and technologies, processes and systems). Transitional changes may imply changes in development;
– the transformational change that involves the implementation of a new unknown state, being the result of a succession of transitional changes. This implies the crossing of both developmental changes as well as transitional changes. Transformational changes are those that call for employees to do other things than they used to do: from a research organization, a company turns into a sales organization. An expert in engineering, medicine or IT is required to deal with sales or administration to do so, must have new knowledge for which resources must be invested. Transformational change refers to an evolution towards a future state that has been defined in terms of vision and scope, covering the purpose and mission of the organization, as well as its philosophy of matters such as development, innovation and values relating to people, to the used technologies. Such a change takes place in the context of the competitive, economic and social external environment and in the internal context of resources, culture, organization systems .
After deciding what to change, the manager must decide how to actually implement the change. The main concern of the manager is to ensure that change is both successful and timely. The main problem is, in this case, how to deal with the resistance of employees and minimize this resistance. From a functional point of view, the manager's options range from unilaterally imposing the change to letting employees decide by themselves what to change and how to change.
Businesses are influenced by the transformations and changes that take place in society, and within the organization a very important role is given to the people, who, by changing attitudes, ensure the success and efficiency of the process of change. In this respect, the organization's diagnosis, which provides information about what should be changed, and which strategy of implementing the change, to have the least resistance, is particularly important. Given the implications of change within the organization, it is very important to deepen the study of these aspects at different levels. Thus, in the process of adapting to organizational change, an important role lies with the employees, who must change, and an effective change can only be achieved if there is a change of attitude. Changing attitudes is more difficult, the higher the degree of involvement of staff in creating the enterprise structure is.
Particularly important is the identification of the employees’ attitude towards change, this representing the first step in a realistic approach to diagnosis and planning of the organizational change.
Companies that are in a period of intense transformation, adaptation to new environmental changes should also be aware of the attitudes of employees to the future changes, because the people in the enterprise must change, they must acquire new knowledge, deal with new tasks, improve their competence, change their work habits, their values and attitudes towards the way they work in the enterprise. Basically, there can be no real change within the firm without a change in the attitude of each individual working in that entity.
The attitude of accepting or rejecting changes that occur in the organization can be studied through various methods, one of which is the opinion poll. In order to use this method, it is recommended to develop a questionnaire that would allow the employee's opinion on change to be identified. The questionnaire can be structured using the Likert scale, so the respondents will agree or disagree with the following statements:
– I strongly want to make changes to my workplace;
– Most employees benefit from the changes;
– As a rule, changes are an advantage for the organization;
– Change is necessary;
– I often suggest new ways of solving problems;
– Change usually improves insignificantly the work;
– I try to become aware of the new ideas related to the job I have;
– The group to which I belong is in favor of the change;
– As a rule, I put up resistance to new ideas;
– I do not like changes because managers do not usually support them;
– Most changes are useless;
– I use my strength to resist change;
– I often feel less confident after the changes;
– I agree with a change only if everyone agrees;
– Changing, as a rule, reduces my ability to control the effects of work.
The success of change is largely conditioned by the way people perceive and report change, so it is recommended to consider aspects of organizational change management. Under these circumstances, ways to overcome surprise and inefficient attitudes, key factors and psychosocial mechanisms that motivate, stimulate and actively involve people in the process of change can be identified. Engaging people in planning and implementing change, informing them and preparing them for change, is the most effective strategy to lessen resilience to change and maximize interest in planned change.
Business managers are often put in a position to achieve maximum results with a minimum of financial, material and human resources. Therefore, it is recommended to apply the knowledge in the field of organizational change management and not only to ensure a continuity management of the business.
All organizations must change under the actions of the external and internal environments. The rule is that several changes in the environment require more changes within the company, but they may have inappropriate reactions with too much or too little change. And if changes in structure, processes, technologies are easier to achieve, changing people's attitudes is infinitely more difficult to achieve. We believe that it is not easy to introduce, maintain and successfully promote organizational changes because there are too many uncontrollable and difficult items to manage. This is a difficult task, but at the same time interesting, and the problems that arise over time must be solved concurrently on the strength of their interdependence .
Companies need a change either to hold leadership, or to compete, or to survive. Changes can be made both at the enterprise level (organizational climate, technological process) and at the employees' level (change of knowledge, attitude, values, beliefs, motivation). What is important is when the change is made, and who will organize and make this change. To implement the change successfully, people need to be involved in this process. Business leadership needs to be aware that without proper understanding of the phenomenon by those involved, the company will not otbain the expected results. There will always be employees who will oppose this change, the enterprise being between two forces, forces that oblige change, and those who oppose change. The balance between these two categories of forces determines the level of performance that can be achieved by the enterprise.
Any organization can implement organizational changes, but it is important to consider the recommendations of theoreticians on organizational change, how to implement changes applied by other similar businesses, and adapt this knowledge to their own businesses. Managers' ability to learn and change faster than competitors will allow them to gain the competitive advantage and thus defeat the competitive struggle.
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