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Importance of Understanding Planned Change

Introduction

There are number types of planned changes which occur in organizations. In analyzing these types of planned changes, two cardinal issues are put into consideration; specific areas in the organization that can be changed, and how managers can initiate and implement ideas to each category of change. The most critical types of organizational changes include: strategy, products, technology, structure, human resource. Depending on either internal or external environmental forces of change, institutions may decide to innovate in one or more areas. This paper discusses importance of planned change and types of planned change.

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Importance of Planned Change

Planned change has a positive impact on employees. Foremost, organizations don’t change but employees do or do not change. Successful implementation of change in any organization depends on employees trust on leadership, acceptance of organizational vision, and accepting the necessity for change (Goman, 2000). Planned change must appreciate the fact that individuals throughout organization receive change differently.

Some employees like the status quo and would always resist change. It is important to determine and encourage and develop early adopters. Organizations should be encouraged employees who are adept to change to understand how to enhance these qualities further. Employees who are adept to change are usually energized at work since they are at home to a world constantly keeps on changing. They have distinct strength in attitudes they hold and strategies they adopt (Daft, 2005).

Planned change lays down elaborate factors which select individuals in organizations to deal with change successfully. These factors include: confident individuals, that individuals who are ready to take risks, highly motivated, and full of self esteem. In essence, employees understand their strengths well; employees who like challenges (Rainey, 2009). Managers need to make employees excited about the new prospects in change; more flexible individuals are capable of coping with change.

They can embrace change by agreeing to responsibility and taking control, and creativity is also an important factor. Creative people can easy be recognized in an organization. Creative employees constantly find ways to improve products, services, and even themselves. Planned change must also be recognized as an event. It should not be treated as a physical or mental process (Goman, 2000).

Change in organizations evokes varying emotions; negativity, acceptance, denial, commitment, and others. Leadership in organizations must facilitate this emotional process. Last but not least, planned change needs open and honest communication. The role of organizational managers in planned change is to communicate the vision for change. They also need to establish elements of support necessary to effect successful change.

Types of Planned Change

There is a close interrelationship of different types of changes in organizations. A change in one area of the organization may require adjustments of other areas. For instance, introduction of a new product requires changes in technology, and this new technology will demand new people skills or new structure. The type, level and degree of the change process complicate understanding of planned change. These variations have not been carefully incorporated by most researchers. Most studies concentrate on general frameworks that cover broadly many types of changes. However, Daft (2005) states four types of change that organizations undergo, such as: technology changes; administrative changes; changes in products and services; and changes in human resource.

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Changes in Technology

Changes in technology relate to changes in production process of an organization. This refers to how an institution does its functions. Technology change is aimed to make the product or service production more efficient. Good examples of technology changes include computer based self service checkout systems adopted by supermarkets (Daft, 2005). Production organizations adopt many changes in technology. A planned technology change must be carefully initiated by managers. Generally, changes in technology occur from bottom-up. Bottom-up perspective reflects that ideas are initiated at lower organizational levels and sent upwards for approval by top management (Rainey, 2009).

Technical experts at junior levels act as initiators of ideas and invent improvements in technology. Employees at junior levels understand technology and have expertise needed to propose changes. In this case, it is not easy for a top-up approach to function effectively. Managers at higher levels of management are distant to the production process, thus lack expertise in technological developments. The catalysts for concrete new ideas come from people near the technology.

Changes in Human Resource

Changes in organizational structure, technology, products or services do not happen on their own (Rainey, 2009). Changes in any of these parts require changes in people as well. For instance, assembling a horizontal cross functional team for new product development does not ensure a collaborative process unless it is accompanied by key changes in attitudes and beliefs of employees and managers. Employees need to embrace new collaborative ways of thinking and acting. Consequently, managers have to be willing cede control and empower teams to make decisions and take action.

A human resource change refers to changes in terms of employee values, norms, attitudes, beliefs and behavior (Rainey, 2009). These changes depict how employees think or reason; changes in their mindsets. Human resource change pertains to a few workers, for instance, when a handful of middle managers is referred to a training program to improve their leadership skills. In this case, specific tools can be applied in changing people; training and development program, and organizational development (OD) (Daft, 2005).

Training and Development Programs

Training and development is the most common tool used to change people’s mindsets. An organization may offer training programs large blocks of its employees on subjects, such as; teamwork, diversity, emotional intelligence, communicational skills, quality circles, or participative management.

Organizational Development

Organizational development is planned systematic process of change that uses behavioral science knowledge and methods to improve organizational health and effectiveness through its ability to adapt to environment, improve internal relationship, and increase learning and problem solving capabilities (Rainey, 2009). Organization development emphasizes human and social aspects of the organization. It works to change attitudes and relationships among employees and strengthens organizations capacity for adaptation and renewal. Activities of OD that enhance planned change include; team building, survey feedback, and large group interventions (Daft, 2005).

Conclusion

In sum organizations undergo at least four types of changes, such as: changes in technology which happen in production processes and equipment, as in installation of word processing systems; administrative changes which include new systems of appraisal, such as Performance Management and Recognition System meant for middle managers in the US federal civil service; pay for performance systems; and programs for affirmative action; product and service changes which abound in all types organizations; and changes in human resources which occur as a result of training, and recruitment efforts aimed at improving leadership, practices of human relations, or employee skills upgrade (Daft, 2005).

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Reference List

Daft, R., & Marcic, D. (2005). Understanding Management: New York: Cengage Learning.

Goman, K. (2000). Biggest Mistakes in Managing Change. Web.

Rainey, H. (2009). Understanding and Managing Public Organizations. New York: Wiley & Sons.

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