High competition has pushed organizations to adopt approaches that are aimed at gaining competitive advantage. Adenike, Omotayo, and Abolaji (2013) pointed out that organizational change has become a significant part in enhancing organization’s competitiveness due to the increasingly changing business environment. Armenakis and Harris (2009) observed that advancement in technology has been instrumental in the increased demand for competitive approaches among organizations. Organizational change takes into consideration the improvement of organizations’ technology, systems, processes, as well as current product for the purpose of remaining competitive (Vakola & Nikolaou, 2005; Burrowes & Needs, 2009). The adoption of effective human management resources strategies is important in the extraction of positive work behaviors among organization’s staff for the purpose of embracing the required organizational change (Giauque, 2014; Bouckenooghe, Devos, & Van den Broeck, 2009).
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Organizational change has become a common practice among telecommunication organizations nowadays. Such inevitability to change can be attributed to factors such as cultural changes, globalization, change in customer tastes, advancement in technology, as well as political instabilities. For this reason, it is important for telecom companies and their leaders to be aware of the significance of organizational change in the success of the organization, as well as how to ensure effective adoption of particular changes. In spite of the fact that telecom companies are subject to inevitable change, Beshtawi and Jaaron (2014) found out that most organizations do not have the necessary managerial framework for the purpose of implementing change management within the telecom sector.
With respect to the assertion of Armenakis et al. (2007), telecom companies can achieve success in the implementation of organizational change by focusing on the core competencies of leaders. As noted earlier, telecom companies require change in cases of declining markets, slower growth, technological advancements, as well as international and domestic competition hence, it is important to create the necessary platform for particular change before actual implementation of the change (Madsen, Miller, & John, 2005; Self & Schraeder, 2009).
Readiness for Change
Organizational readiness for change can be considered to be the shared resolve among organizational members to adopt and implement a given change. In line with this definition, Armenakis and Harris (2002) pointed out that dynamism in the business environment increases the demand for organization’s change of culture, process, structure, and strategy. Blackman, O’Flynn, and Ugyel (2013) argued that there are numerous factors, which influence the implementation of organizational change. Holt, Armenakis, Feild, and Harris (2007) asserted that efforts to adopt organizational change face resistance or eventual failure due to lack of provision for the necessary platform to effectively unfreeze the readiness process before implementing the proposed change.
According to the readiness models, it is important to create readiness for change based on the context of a given organization (Cunningham et al., 2002). According to Choi and Ruona (2010), the creation of readiness for change can be achieved through combining the urgency for change, the required change, and the readiness for change among employees.
There are various organizational factors that influence the readiness for change in an organization. For example, Samara and Raven (2014) noted that the extent of job empowerment in terms of opportunities, attitudes, and skills to effectively manage change in an organization influences organizational change readiness, as well as work-related self-efficacy. Thus, the participation in organizational change is predicted by the activeness of, and change scores associated with job problem-solving. Active jobs ensure improvement in performance, increase in initiative and contribution to organizational innovation.
The readiness for change depends on the perception of an organization’s risks of failure, the benefits associated with the proposed change and the demands that arise from the external change (Beshtawi & Jaaron, 2014; Todnem By, 2005). The perceptions of workers influence the adoption and implementation of change in any organization. For example, Crowe, Meghan Fong, Bauman, and Zayas‐Castro (2002) found out that employees tend to resist organizational change due to the risk of a job change or even loss. Nikolaou, Gouras, Vakola, and Bourantas (2007) noted that to create the necessary readiness for change in an organization, there ought to be a discrepancy between an organization’s target objective and present conditions.
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On the other hand, Todnem By (2005) observed that organizational change that presents employees with psychological, logistical and occupational risks has adverse impacts on the success rate of such a change. According to the decisional balance models, the preparation for action towards organizational change is influenced by the benefits and risks associated with the proposed change.
Employees’ resistance and negligence account for most cases of failure in the adoption of organizational change. According to Samara and Raven (2014), organizations ought to carry out an assessment of the success rate of any proposed change with a lot of emphasis on sentiments highlighting the factors that influence the proposed change. As such, key change sentiments’ framework that assesses and corrects proposed change is necessary for any organization. Such a framework is significant in that it lays out the platform for resistance or support of a change. In support of this, Armenakis et al. (2007) pointed out that the change sentiment framework is used to provide a reflection of attitudes that are significant for any change.
The stage models explain how different employees’ stages affect the readiness for change in an organization. Cunningham et al. (2002) noted that failure to modulate the strain associated with rapid organizational change can compromise the ultimate effect of the redesign, as well as the contributions of employees in an organization. Such stress can be modulated through enhancing supportive relationships in an organization and minimizing the number of organizational conflicts. The stage models are significant in establishing organizational readiness for change since they highlight several interventions that can be applied to employees at diverse stages. The functionality of any organization is directly linked to employees’ readiness for change. As such, employees in a similar workgroup are likely to be at the same stages and hence, exhibit same perceptions regarding their readiness for a given organizational change.
According to Simons (2002), the process model is effective in the readiness for organizational change as it takes into consideration the need for knowledge and technological change with respect to any perceived discrepancy. Abdolvand, Albadvi, and Ferdowsi (2008) asserted that success in organizational change should factor in aspects of improvement and change in organizational systems and programs. Nevertheless, it is important to take into consideration the personal and institutional readiness, as well as organizational dynamics (Lehman, Greener, & Simpson, 2002; Weiner, 2009; Shea et al., 2014). Personal readiness to change takes consideration of the availability of the necessary resources and motivation while organizational dynamics involve staff attributes and climate for change.
Shahnawaz Adil (2014) noted that personal attributes that affect individuals’ readiness to change are defined by their adaptability, influence, efficacy, and opportunities for professional growth. On the other hand, Gupta (2016) asserted that organizational climate factors such as openness to change, the efficacy of communication, staff cohesion, and the availability of clear mission and goals can affect the readiness for change. Therefore, telecom companies implementing any change are required to carry out an assessment of the risk and benefits associated with the change, as well as put control measures to deal with any perceived resistance and negligence among employees.
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