Examples of Organizations’ Experience of Change
Change can lead organizations either to success or failure. Organizational change is usually driven by necessity rather than anticipation, i.e., organizations tend to resort to change when there is a recognized need for such and a threat to their current operation, profits, or even existence. Changing thus becomes a way to survive, and the normal direction, in this case, is toward expanding: discovering new demand and engaging in new production. There are many examples of businesses that grew after pursuing organizational change. However, there are also examples of poor implementation or poor strategic planning, and some businesses have failed as a result of their attempts to change.
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A positive example is Pearson, one of the largest publishers in the world. Though the company was quite successful, a new chief education advisor (CEA) decided to implement organizational change in 2011 (Radjou & Prabhu, 2013). He recognized that the company possessed sufficient assets and resources to become the biggest player in the education business. The CEA proposed restructuring with the main focus on efficacy, both internal and external. This means that the company formed goals to create a strategy of delivering high-quality education at the lowest possible cost and to operate as a global education organization with minimal resources. The change was challenging, and the resistance was intense, but the company managed to succeed due to proper planning and communication.
An example of poor organizational change is the case of Firestone Tire and Rubber. A leading player in its industry, the company had constantly been growing, but its profits immediately decreased when a different company introduced a new technology (radial tires), against which Firestone could not compete (Ferrell & Ferrell, 2014). Technological myopia was an issue, but there was a need for action. The company attempted to change, but the power of inertia was too strong. Existing procedures were too inflexible for change, and the company fell behind its competitors. This illustrates how the rigidity of operation and an established “formula for success” can harm a business.
Personal Reflection on Organizational Change
I think that managing organizational change should be focused on ensuring that every modification is justified and linked to a goal that is clearly defined before implementing change. Also, it is important for managers to realize that organizational change is not the same as altering existing procedures by force from above—a change that is imposed like this is likely to fail. Instead, the purposes of change and the potential positive outcomes need to be properly communicated to employees, who should be willing to adopt new practices.
I do not think that organizations can avoid changing in the modern world. They either change or fail. Demand is constantly changing, and technology is constantly changing, which is why businesses should change, too (Radjou & Prabhu, 2013). Besides, there are many businesses around that do change, so they are more likely to develop competitive advantages than those that prefer to stay the same.
I believe that change should be driven by leaders (as opposed to grassroots movements) because it is the responsibility of the leadership to see the bigger picture and to suggest how distant goals can be achieved (Ferrell & Ferrell, 2014). Organizational change should be conducted strategically, and it is the leadership that is in charge of strategies. However, grassroots initiatives should not be ignored because they may provide perspectives for business development that are invisible for some reason to the leaders.
Organizational change normally faces resistance, and it should be addressed through communication efforts, but I think that organizations should not resist change if there is an acknowledged need for it. Companies rarely perish due to change, but they often perish due to staying the same, which is why I believe that changing is more of a good thing despite its difficulties.
Ferrell, L., & Ferrell, O. C. (2014). Examining organizational integrity failures. In R. C. Chandler (Ed.), Business and corporate integrity: Sustaining organizational compliance, ethics, and trust (pp. 181-204). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.
Radjou, N., & Prabhu, J. (2013). How Pearson is reinventing global education. Web.