Ambiguity and Change Essay

Pages: 7 (2338 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 10  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business - Management

Ambiguity and Change

The concept of change is always scary, yet it is inevitable. All the organizations that exist must come at a point where they have to make some changes within the organization that will affect a group of people or even an individual. There are various changes that organizations usually have to undergo or may have to undergo once in the lifetime of the organization, these are;

Changes from a smaller company to a bigger company for instance from a sole proprietorship to a partnership or even from a small company to bigger companies that are traded on the Stock Exchange. There can also be changes in the cultures of an organization for instance from a top down structure to a more democratic management system. There can also be changes from a production focused system to a customer oriented company. There can also be changes in the scope of the operation in that it could be moving from covering a local geographical area to covering an international market.

These above are basically the internal reasons or pressures that may make an organization undergo major changes. There are external forces as well that can compel an organization to institute quite significant changes. These external forces include social factors like the shift in consumer demography, legal factors like pressure to comply with some new rules for instance the environmental legislations, economic factors like the response to the recessions or boom in economy, political factors like the changes in the governance or privatization trends and technological factors like the latest trends in technology for instance the internet selling (the Times 100, 2012).

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Since there is such a wide magnitude of possible changes, it is important to ensure that the management is ready for the management of change rather than reacting to change. This is in light of the fact that change usually comes with ambiguities to the employees as well as the management and the organization at large.

Essay on Ambiguity and Change the Concept of Change Assignment

This aspect of ambiguity that usually comes with change has a profound negative effect among the employees as well as the organization at great lengths. Change usually comes with ambiguity about the role of the employees in the change implementation as well as in their usual positions. This then leads to an increased amount of stress among the employees. According to role theory, the responsibilities and expectations from an employee should be defined. It is only under such circumstances that the managers can the effectively direct the employees. This then means that in the absence of these certainties, then the organization also suffers since the employees cannot effectively rune the organization right from the managers downwards. The ambiguity will also mean that the employees cannot effectively report on their duties as they are not definite about their responsibilities (Turan Cuhadar, 2008).

It is worth noting hat once the employees are not sure about their new roles, their authority and such like pertinent factors, they will consequently refrain from making crucial decisions, a phenomenon that can grossly affect the running of the organization and the performance of the staff in general. Clear role definitions are significant in ensuring that the employees have a strong feeling about their abilities as they know what is to be done as well as what is expected of them.

The concept of change as aforementioned is very challenging since with every change comes the unknown factors being introduced by the change and with the unknown factors then comes ambiguity as to what the organization is, or what the new culture is or even what the structures that have been introduced are or will function like. This is the reason why change needs to be managed so as to help curb those ambiguities as soon as possible and have things running in the trajectory that they ought to run. The concept of managing change is therefore to initiating changes in a well planned and systematic and well managed manner.

According to the UNDP- Capacity Development Group (2006), the change interventions come under three major typologies within most organizations; the Top-Down management which is based on the premises that with proper planning by the managers change can easily be achieved. Transformational change management which looks up to a leader to set an example then the rest of the employees would follow the change initiated, these are the leaders who will take a personal initiative to inspire and at the same time create an environment where such changes can be successfully implemented. Strategic change management is the third one where some change is initiated in the organization and the employees are allowed to see the benefits of the change before they finally agree to imbibe the change and fully participate in it, this is the opposite of the first typography of top-bottom approach.

Though the process of change is nursed by the managers, it is a process that involves people and most of all involves the employees who are entrusted to fully participate in the change implementation step-by-step. It is therefore significant for the management to have a structure of how to nurse the change that can be introduced within the organization from the start to the very end. One of the greatest scholars on the subject of managing change, Kotter, proposed a method that has been widely adopted as one of the most effective ways of managing change within an organization. The process is adoptable in managing change in our situation so as to overcome ambiguity among the employees, and is as follows as discussed by Mind Tools, (2012);

Step 1-Craate urgency; this is based on the principle that change can only be possible if the entire organization badly needs the change. This can be one of the departure points in the quest for the much needed change. This can be created through the management opening a candid and honest discussion with the employees as to the conditions of the market out there as well as with the competitors within your niche.

This sense of urgency can also be created through the management identifying the potential threats and then formulate a scenario of what is likely to take place in the future. Then one needs to look at the opportunities that can be exploited in order to bring about the change. The manager then needs to initiate a dynamic, honest discussion with the staff and highlight convincing reasons as to why they should start talking and thinking about the changes. The manager can also tactfully gather support from the clients as well as stakeholders and the people directly involved in the industry in order to further strengthen the argument that he if putting forth. Kotter further notes that for an initiative, especially dealing with change to be successful, there is need to have at least 75% of the people backing it up. This then means that one should spend most of the time in this step in order to galvanize significant amount of support and consequently surety of bringing about the change.

Step 2- Form a powerful coalition; this is the step that usually takes significant leadership skill and outright support from the top management within an organization. Change cannot be experienced unless it is led as well hence it is necessary to convince people. This stage may need the bringing together of a team of influential people with authority from job titles, expertise in the field targeted for change, status, within the organization as well as of political significance. There needs then to be team spirit among the agents of change that one has identified.

Step 3 - create a vision for change; there could be many suggestions and ideals about the change that is intended. These should then be consolidated into a simple enough to remember vision. This clear vision will be a tool towards everyone understanding why they are being asked to participate in the change process, when these employees see for themselves the sense behind the change they are being urged to champion, then it becomes easier to work with such a team.

Step 4 -- communicate the vision; it is very significant to the change management process what happens to the vision once it has been formed. Kotter suggests that since the other communications within the organization are bound to distract the vision change, it is important to communicate the vision frequently and effectively as well as powerfully such that it is part of everything that one does. The communication should not be just one off thing like calling a special meeting to float your vision but talk about it at every chance that comes up, engage the vision to make critical decisions and providing solutions to problems. The more the vision is kept fresh in the minds of everyone within the organization the better the memory of the same. It is even more important what you as a propagator of the vision does as well as believes than what you say.

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