Change and culture

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  • Publié le : 23 juin 2010
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There is no denying the fact that the business world has become more and more competitive. In this way, we can observe that companies are obliged to find some way to stay alive. In this respect, companies need to change their organizational culture. Nevertheless, in most cases, companies change and perish. In fact, organizational changes are difficult because they transform all that existedbefore in the business and as a result certain elements cease to exist. Generally, many mistakes are made and consequently they hinder the change process. Based on research about this topic, the aim of this paper is to demonstrate these mistakes and how they can be overcome. Difficulties may appear at an individual level, with regards to the people within the workforce or at organizational level. Onthe one hand, we will see what these problems are that people at an individual level encounter and then the solutions that experts have proposed in order to avoid inconvenience. On the other hand, we will see some organizational problems which can appear and then the solutions expressed by certain specialists.
During organizational changes, problems concerning people may include individualresistance. We will see first the problem about individual resistance as well as a lack of adapted management at the top level and solutions which can be applied. Second of all, we will see the problems and solutions proposed regarding top management. Toffler explained that “people are naturally wary of change” (Toffler, 1970). This resistance to change takes different forms depending on the personalityof the employees. Nevertheless, Mullins notes that “some common reasons for individual resistance to change within organizations include habit, inconvenience or loss of freedom, economic implications, security in the past, and fear of the unknown” (Mullins, 2007). In fact, as changes at work present a part of uncertainty, employees who know what they already have, are afraid by organizationalchanges because they cannot know if the new organization will be better for them. Thus, lack of security in the past and the fear of the unknown can cause anxiety. Moreover, habits defined by a certain pattern of behavior are difficult to modify. This is why we can distinguish a kind of resistance during change.
However, some solutions are proposed by theoreticians to help changes at the individuallevel which correspond to the problem of individual resistance. Mullins suggests that “if there is a clearly perceived advantage, for example a reduction in working hours without loss of pay, there is likely to be less, if any, resistance to the change” (Mullins, 2007). That point may reduce well established habits. Furthermore, Kotter explains that “commitments to produce short-term wins helpkeep the urgency level up and force detailed analytical thinking that clarify or revise visions.” (Kotter, 2007). Thus, a system of offering rewards and bonuses to the workers ensures positive results. Kotter also adds a plan for and creating short-term wins, stating that “planning for visible performance improvements, creating those improvements and recognizing and rewarding employees involved inthe improvements” (Kotter, 2007). Obviously, to minimize the problems of change, these three steps must be anticipated. He emphasizes that employees must be recognized for the work that they did and in turn, receive rewards. Consequently, these mistakes about individual resistance may be avoided thanks to the solutions illustrated above.
Top management can actually increase the difficulties inchange if their efforts are not adapted to individuals. Guyukdamgaci demonstrates that “people may exhibit different behavioral reactions when faced with a new problem and some of these reactions may influence the way they deal with the situation: defensive avoidance and hyper-vigilance” (Guyukdamgaci, 2003). This means that no one person reacts the same way concerning change management that has...