Concrete Experience and Reflective Observation
I have always realized that any complex process presupposes the existence of multiple stakeholders and contexts that precondition its further evolution. The same idea can be applied to the functioning of organizations. Traditionally, I am the person who prefers to consider all existing actors that might be affected by specific managerial decisions or offered interventions. For this reason, my current practical experience evidences the fundamental character of stakeholders regarding the organizational change. Leading my section at the Mixing Department at the Bridgestone Aiken plant, I was also able to recognize an outstanding impact of context on both internal and external organizational change as all processes had to be negotiated and coordinated with leaders of other departments and top managers with the primary aim to achieve success.
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At the same time, employees who worked with me also correctly realized the existence of various actors who take an active part in the development and functioning of the company. It means that the key role of stakeholders in any organization is clear to the majority of workers. This assumption evidences that the current contexts also depend on how different meaningful actors cooperate within the same organization and what perspectives they have on the organizational change. In other words, stakeholders are the main drivers of organizational change.
Reflecting on the personal experiences and the critical importance of the discussed issue, it is possible to formulate some basic takeaways. First of all, any individual within a company who has a certain impact on how it evolves can be considered a stakeholder. In other words, an organization is a combination of attitudes, actions, and decisions made by people who belong to it. From this very perspective, the change process becomes significantly dependent on various stakeholders and the degree to which they are involved in the proposed transformation. That is why it is extremely important to ensure a clear understanding of the new demands among all parties and their improved coordination and commitment to achieve an appropriate result.
As for the contexts, they remain the second critical factor while speaking about change. From my personal experience, I can assume that every managerial decision rests on a particular situation that presupposes specific responses. In other words, no one can offer a set of actions that are not appropriate for the given organization. For this reason, it becomes especially important to consider all factors that affect the development of a particular department and offer strategies accepting the basic peculiarities and needs topical at the moment. It becomes a critical element of the work of any responsible leader or manager.
Theories and Principles/Abstract Conceptualization
Identification of stakeholders can be difficult because of the existence of multiple barriers or effects that might be promoted by factors that are not taken into account. At the same time, it is an erroneous approach to consider all managerial stakeholders that should be given attention while analyzing a particular context or looking for certain strategies to promote change. For this reason, several theories can help to identify all stakeholders and existing impacts.
The first and the most important paradigm related to the discussed outcome is the stakeholder theory stating that multiple actors are involved in the functioning of a particular organization or a certain project. Management of these actors demands consideration of business ethics, morals, and values to optimize relations between them and increase their effectiveness (McGrath & Bates, 2017). Additionally, identification of the key stakeholders plays a critical role in the work of any organization, which means that there is a set of strategies focused on this very task.
The second important theory is Kotter’s paradigm for introduction and managing change. It presupposes eight steps that should be made with the primary aim to achieve the desired goal and reconsider the functioning of an organization (Kotter, 2012). In accordance with this idea, identifying important stakeholders is an important task that should be given critical attention to attain success.
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Finally, the last theory is The McKinsey 7-S model approach that analyses how effective the company is at the moment and all contexts that should be considered to successfully implement change (Mulholland, 2017). Adhering to this theory, a specialist can acquire a complete image of the firm and needed alterations.
In such a way, stakeholders play a critical role in the functioning of any organization. For this reason, their identification is important for the process of change as it guarantees their involvement in the most important problems and reconsideration of outdated practices or ineffective approaches.
Testing and Application/Active Experimentation
The utilization of all three mentioned theories is an important part of the work of any specialist who is responsible for leading a certain organization and implementing change. From the practical perspective, adhering to the first theory, I will be able to align the improved relations with all stakeholders and ensure that they will remain satisfied with the current situation and engage in the transformation process. As for the remaining two paradigms, their effectiveness in the determination of weak points and contexts means that the necessity of their utilization in real-life conditions to achieve the best possible results and support the change process effectively.
Kotter, J. (2012). Leading change. New York, NY: Harvard Business Review Press.
McGrath, J., & Bates, B. (2017). The little book of big management theories:… and how to use them (2nd ed.). Harlow, UK: FT Press.
Mulholland, B. (2017). 8 critical change management models to evolve and survive. Web.