In today’s business climate, implementation of projects requires high level of creativity and innovation from the executive and employees of organisations.
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The process of implementing projects requires application of innovation management in which firms cut cost as a way of remaining relevant in today’s competitive business environment.
Managers have to use appropriate tools of innovative management in order to influence workforces to work towards achieving organisations’ common goals.
Since organisational projects always aim at helping firms in realising their goals, the inclusion of innovation management is necessary in allowing managers to have joint understanding of objectives and procedures in implementing such projects.
Project managers must have wide management skills to forecast on the challenges that may arise during the implementation stage and even draw possible solutions to the same.
Project Implementation Process
The process of implementing new ideas within an organisation requires managers to influence perceptions of stakeholders to support the concept.
Cultures of other organisations may hinder innovation and creativity from the argument that the management only accepts ideas that are in line with the daily operations of the firm and maintain the status quo (Watad 1).
In such firms, employees are passive in their positions, as the management holds the key to all new ideas. However, the current globalisation rate forces firms to adjust changes in order to remain relevant in the market.
Therefore, the management has to convince every person in order to support the implementation of new programmes. In convincing stakeholders, managers have to get the majority on board through consensus building to implement new ideas successfully.
Resistance to Project Implementation
In innovation management, even employees have to contribute creatively and innovatively to the progress of a firm. For instance, in a situation where clients’ demands and wants are not met, innovation management helps in finding solutions to those needs.
Resistance in an organisation that originates from company’s beliefs and practices poses great challenges to implementation of projects. Managers should be flexible in their management styles in order to alter the culture of their organisations.
Since implementation of a project does not guarantee achievement of the goals and objectives of the firm (Kilicoglu and Yilmaz 14), most stakeholders develop resistance to such changes.
Inclusive implementation of a new project remains a challenge to most organisations, hence the need for innovative strategies in managing diverse stakeholders’ positions and views.
Companies that desire to gain competitive advantage over their competitors in the market have to employ innovative management in their operations (Collins 8).
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Such firms set up training and development departments to help in training all staff members. Project managers involve themselves in designing, developing and executing of training programmes through practical in-house training.
A key problem that arises during implementation of projects majorly comes from organisational culture. This involves rigidity of corporate cultures, as some executives are always resistant to accept change that may occur after implementation of a project (Kilicoglu and Yilmaz 20).
Some projects do bring changes to a company’s organisational culture. Organisational culture is the collective way by which employees interact at the workplace. It encompasses life experiences, values, and beliefs that unite employees within the firm.
Organisational culture is also the way employees in an organisation behave, and the connotation that people attach to their behaviours and life experiences. There are essential aspects of culture that firms have to consider in their management processes within an organisation.
The evaluative element involves the social anticipations, prospects, and principles that companies follow in their daily operations.
Lastly, the social interaction element involves the means of communication within a firm. For instance, the language of communication and communication methods within an organisation constitute social interaction as an element of organisational culture.
Culture brings people together. The concept of corporate culture drives employees in an organisation towards achieving a common goal, hence making them develop a sense of unified responsibility.
As an initiator of unity, culture helps in developing consensus between employees and the management. For example, organisations can conduct training for their employees in order to inculcate the corporate culture in employees.
In this aspect, all stakeholders within the organisation strive to work towards achieving the centralised goals. The whole concept of culture within an organisation brings out the image of a firm that the management would like to project (Watad 3).
It remains the role of the HR executive to design ethical organisational behaviours so that employees be able to reinforce the whole system in unison.
It becomes difficult to reshape an organisational culture where unethical practices are manifested at the topic as compared to one, which manifests from the bottom. Clearly, implementing new projects in an organisation that has morally upright executives is quite easy.
The HR should also foster good working relationship and ethical culture within the organisation. Project managers have to make employees and the entire management think differently in order to see the need for such cultural changes.
Organisational and Individual-Level Resistance
Since stakeholders cannot have the same perception on the impacts of a project in the organisation, managers have to instil changes in mind-set to the rest of the team. Currently, organisations are experiencing numerous changes in their systems of management and operation.
Resistance within organisations can transpire in three different forms that are at the organisation, group and individual levels. If a project is meant to benefit one department within the firm, resistance can arise in a form of power and control.
The process can create conflict among departments in a firm, as some may feel disadvantaged even after being involved in the entire process of project initiation, implementation and evaluation (Kilicoglu and Yilmaz 15).
At the same time, constant technological updates and demographic characters force organisations to manage change and resultant resistance in order to survive. Organisational-level resistance can also emanate from differences in functional orientation given that departments can view changes within the organisation differently, thus having difficulties in arriving at an irrefutable agreement.
In addition, changes that occur during implementation of a project can alter the norms and values within an organisation. Some corporations have conservatism nature in their cultures, hence focusing less on change as attempts to do it may affect others (Watad 8).
In this aspect, resistance to the changes can arise from the organisation, as the process attempts to disrupt organisational culture.
Simultaneously, cultures that support implementation of new projects can accept lucrative projects, and end up having minimal or no positive effects on the operation system of an organisation if they lack adequate skills and resources to see the project through the phases.
Identifying, planning and financing projects require potential funding backed by necessary skills. In the identification stage, the innovative team identifies ideas that work and those that do not in order to avoid failure during introduction in the market.
This process requires designing of exit strategies to help in conducting viability assessment on potential projects during the early stages.
Employees can also have resistance at group level if they expect the change to interfere with the group cohesiveness and norms. According to Kilicoglu and Yilmaz, changes that tend to alter interactions between groups owing to changes in tasks are likely to receive mass resistance (18).
Moreover, an employee may resist implementation of a project if he/she is uncertain of his/her job security after the changes. Therefore, fear of the unknown can make workforces become resistant to any change that may take place within the company.
In addition, an employee’s economic concern can result in resistance to a project that may reduce the management cost for a firm.
For instance, introducing technological applications within a firm can lower the income level of employees or result in lay-offs. From this dimension, an employee will oppose out-rightly projects that tend to automate services within a company.
Remedies to Resistance
Practical in-house training instil required skills into workforce, thus eliminating instances of inadequate knowledge and information management. In project implementation processes, there are instances of lack of training and communication among all stakeholders.
This mostly occurs when there is no training or the training failed to touch on the significance of information flow among stakeholders (Macdonald 16).
The lessons should capture the communication chain and process so that stakeholders understand the formal process of reporting findings. Such seminars create strong awareness among the executives, thus increasing tolerance of uncertainty in introducing new ideas.
In implementing IT innovations within organisations, uncertainty is always predominant. Therefore, managers are to handle external pressures by creating technology awareness in the firm (Austin and Claassen 22).
This move helps in building consensus in a team, as learning is an inclusive affair. Commitment by the executive is vital in implementing IT-enabled innovations given that the management can influence employees’ attitudes to a given project.
Consequently, training can be a great investment in a firm if the facilitators have expansive knowledge in the field where they are conducting the exercise. The organisation had to put into consideration the different dimensions of training apart from just conducting the training.
There should be a need to achieve competitive advantage over other firms after the training period. Through this process, the organisation can generate new knowledge that can have immense impacts on their operations.
Communication and organisational learning
The inclusion of ICT in this process advances the whole process and increases the adaptation of organisation to the rapidly changing environment. Notably, thorough quality analysis enriches an organisation’s strategic planning.
Moreover, ICT can increase communication between the line staff and managerial of a company, thus enhancing greater employee involvement in decision-making processes.
Companies that inculcate regular training sessions in their programmes, find it easy to introduce new changes in their systems, hence gaining competitive advantage over their competitors, which are adamant at introducing such training programmes (Austin and Claassen 27).
Therefore, organisational learning has a direct impact on competitive advantage of an organisation. Firms that constantly engage their employees in training, seminars, and workshops realise massive growth. Businesses should be proactive and remain focused on achieving their strategic objectives.
As a result, such organisations must be open to learning new ideas to advance their knowledgebase. Obviously, organisational learning starts with individual learning that provides a favourable environment for general learning.
The development of knowledge foundation culminates into organisational learning (Collins 7). It is from this foundation that an organisation develops its competitive advantage.
In implementing IT projects, managers identify the nature of interactions that affect the process and impact the effectiveness of the innovation. The framework identifies threats, weaknesses, and opportunities of an innovation project (Bhatti par. 1).
Staff can demonstrate resistance to change passively, actively or aggressively. Resistance from stakeholders can be the threat, while weaknesses can be lack of awareness among stakeholders in supporting the project.
Strengths can be the trainable workforce that only requires well-planned training content on the essence of adopting new ideas. Opportunities can be the inputs and outputs or results that come after implementing the project.
In a passive resistance, employees may accept supporting the implementation process of a project, but end-up not doing so, while active resistance involves blatant actions like engaging in strikes and absenteeism.
The above framework sets a clear path for implementing new projects with minimal resistance from stakeholders given the inclusion of their thoughts and ideas in the whole process.
In addressing resistance to change in an organisation, innovation management becomes necessary for instilling the essence of implementation into the new project in employees and other stakeholders.
Management can employ numerous actions to minimise resistance that may cause insecurity and uncertainty. Education and communication are the aspects that firms can use to communicate with employees in order to enable them to see the sense in implementing a new project.
Resistance that can emanate from groups that supervise substantial amount of resources in a firm is likely not to occur, as their contention with the situations will not be logical in comparison to the new changes.
Communication is essential within a firm, and resistance can even become stronger due to poor communication among stakeholders.
In resolving this challenge, innovation management comes into practice to alter a group’s threat perception of new changes within the firm (Austin and Claassen 29).
Besides, management-employee relations must be based on mutual trust so that there is minimal resistance at the project implementation stage.
Involving all stakeholders in the change process helps in overcoming resistance that can be detrimental to achievement of an organisation’s goals and objectives since it is less likely for individuals to oppose implementation of the decision that they supported.
The stage of making decision requires creativity and innovation to address issues raised by those opposed to the change.
Even though the process consumes a lot of time, inclusive decision-making encompasses the ideas of all stakeholders and, consequently, results in successful implementation of a project.
Employee cancelling and therapy helps in facilitating adjustment among stakeholders on the new project. If resistance emanates from an extremely powerful source, negotiation becomes the best tactic to handle the situation.
Information and knowledge management
Information and knowledge management is critical in influencing thoughts and perceptions of organisational members. Introducing new IT system requires strong organisational learning process.
Organisational learning is a process where an organisation creates a favourable environment within its premises to enhance knowledge, improve standards and efficiency by making use of its employees (Macdonald 17).
KM sets a platform that helps in reducing resistance to new projects since employees and other stakeholders will be aware of the impacts of such ideas. Even though some projects may come with limitations, employees will accept them given the varied benefits that accompany the projects.
With constant market dynamism and introduction of new technological advancements, it is critical for organisations to ensure that their employees are updated on these changes.
Moreover, firms can develop a well-organised knowledge network and relation to understand the continuously changing economy. Knowledge management, therefore, is essential in offering organisations with potential or capability to grow and expand their operations.
This will come with speedy response and increased profitability. According to Watad’s research, businesses that have well-organised and managed data improve customer satisfaction and minimise IT costs, thus increasing revenue and improving operational efficiency (7).
This enables organisations to serve their clients better and retain most of them. Consequently, stakeholders will support the implementation of a new project that tends to address clients’ needs and increase customers’ satisfaction.
KM helps in adding value to information that a firm already holds and influence human resource to enhance performance in the organisation. Knowledge acquisition reduces organisational resistance as it ensures efficiency in using resources and effectiveness of a firm.
In setting up a platform that is ready to accept new ideas, firms must be able to create and apply new knowledge in order to bring new ways of behaving in the organisation.
For instance, in implementing IT in an organisation, managers have to educate employees on the importance of tools like e-mails, bulletin boards, and video conferences.
In IT-enabled innovations, system thinking coupled with information and knowledge management put a company above others when implementing such projects. Tacit Knowledge (TK) is crucial in a workplace since it promotes sharing of ideas among stakeholders.
With the current employee diversity in terms of demographics, sharing of information is essential in creating awareness on the need to inculcate recent technological developments in the management process (Macdonald 20).
Organisations with strong KM experiences less resistance in case they introduce and implement a project.
Content of the Learning Sessions
The process of educating or training stakeholders as a way of altering the culture of an organisation to accept implementation of a project should take place in a well-coordinated manner in order to facilitate successful delivery of innovation management outcomes.
The plan should capture the cultural issues of an organisation, as this helps capture the true picture of the resistance. Afterwards, employees will join the change process with less or no resistance.
When a training process analyses the historical aspects of a firm, the delivered content does not become subjective in criticising the culture of the organisation, but objective on the content.
In addition, understanding the opinions employees hold helps in applying an inclusive learning approach that easily alters the perceptions of employees on change and innovation processes.
Training makes employees become diverse in their thinking instead of having fixed minds on the given issues.
Resistance to changes or implementation of new ideas reduces if an organisation hires a flexible management team, which reciprocates by instilling the spirit of dynamism and flexibility in employees.
The training process develops a framework that makes an organisation ready to implement a new programme at any time.
Research and Development
Companies that set a culture of dynamism are less likely to meet resistance during project implementation phase (Anderson 6). As a result, organisations are to promote research and development as it sets a learning culture within the firm.
Such firms are always ready for any change, and, in the process, make employees receive and implement new ideas. Therefore, research and development play a significant role in facilitating implementation of innovative concepts.
Companies that do not invest in research and development rely on new ideas that their competitors discover. In the end, they lose competitive advantage among their competitors in the market, given that they play catch-up tactics in the operations.
Research and development prepare organisation to accept and apply new ideas that can be beneficial to the market (Anderson 10).
From the aspect of research and development, managers have to work with all staff and the innovation team in identifying good ideas and developing products that will create positive impact on the entire market.
Proper coordination of each stage requires effective management in order to help a great idea reaches to increase its potential. The management process requires establishing policies and procedures that the innovative team follow during implementation of concepts.
Developing workable plans as well as implementation processes are crucial in realising success of a project.
Organisations should create innovation culture so that the environment and people can offer required foundation for occurrence of innovation. Innovative organisations have been able to sustain their innovation levels.
For instance, the Coca-Cola Company has enticed consumers by introducing the Coca Cola Free Style machine that helps consumers mix and produces its own beverage of different flavours (Bhatti par. 5).
This innovative idea has made it difficult for competitors like the Pepsi Company match the levels of this company. This strategy, coupled with the differentiation strategy, will continue making the company profitable even if several beverage companies enter the market.
Therefore, the management at the Coca-Cola Company has been able to instil innovative culture in the entire staff successfully, thus creating experiencing less resistance in implementing such new projects (Bhatti par. 7).
Conclusion and Recommendations
Innovation management is necessary in successful implementation of key projects in all organisations. Due to rigid culture, challenges of organisational resistance can put a company at a disadvantaged position in the current global and dynamic market.
Dynamism within an organisation should start from the executive down to the employees, and not in the reverse manner.
This form of resistance has been a major challenge in most firms, given the differences in age between the ambitious young employees and the old senior management staffs who desire to maintain the status quo.
Corporations have been engaging in management overhaul to absorb pro-change executives. KM, organisational learning, and information management have been applicable in altering the cultures of most organisation and the mind-sets of many employees.
These approaches should encompass innovation management practices in their contents as well as the market dynamics that necessitate the need for new ideas, which can be of great help to organisation sustainability.
Even though the discussed measures cannot completely remove resistance to implementation of projects, they assist in creating stakeholders’ awareness, which is extremely vital in minimising huge resistance.
In addition, these programmes ought to inculcate the view of a global market in their analysis as a way of minimising resistance that can emanate from stakeholders.
Anderson, Donald. Cases and Exercises in Organization Development & Change. Los Angeles: Sage, 2012. Print.
Austin, Michael, and Jennette Claassen. “Impact of Organizational Change on Organizational Culture: Implications for Introducing Evidence-Based Practice.” Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work 5 (2008): 1-40. National Chung Cheng University. Web.
Bhatti, Iram. “Management Project on Coca Cola Beverage Company.” Slideshare. Slideshare, 5 June 2012. Web.
Collins, James. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap–And Others Don’t. New York, NY: Harper Business, 2001. Print.
Kilicoglu, Gokhan, and Derya Yilmaz. “Resistance to Change and Ways of Reducing Resistance in Educational Organizations.” European Journal of Research on Education 1.1 (2013): 14-21. International Association of Social Science Research. Web.
Macdonald, Stuart. Information for Innovation: Managing Change from an Information Perspective. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998. Print.
Watad, Mahmoud. “The Organizational Dynamics of Knowledge and IT-enabled Innovations.” Journal of Technology Research 12 (2011): 1-12. Print.