As a means of accurately comprehending the issues in this case it is essential that analysis takes place using a range of managerial perspectives in relation to the implementation of change in order to understand the deficiencies in BA management’s implementation of change. A classical Organisational Development (OD) approach is focuses on changing attitudes and behaviour whereas in this case focus was solely upon improving effectiveness of organisation.
According to this perspective BA disregarded several key steps in implementing this change as no feedback was gathered from staff. The OD practitioners in this case have ineffective intrapersonal and interpersonal skills as management have failed to gain the trust of its employees and do not display personal integrity. In relation to a sense making perspective BA did not understand that the change they intended to implement needed to have plausibility in the eyes of employees.
Hence management’s approach to abandon talks over the introduction of smart cards and announce their forced implementation at just five days notice [ (Palmer, Dunford and Akin 2009) ]. BA did not effectively convey to positive plausible aspects of this change as employees still thought that the system would be used to make staff alter their working hours at little notice [ (Palmer, Dunford and Akin 2009) ]. Common to various change management approaches are that they highlight the need for communication to be not just about passing on information but allowing different voices to be heard.
BA by abandoning talks with unions and employees and also in the lack of provision of appropriate information to their American customers during the strike demonstrates an inherent incapability of BA management to convey information effectively [ (Palmer, Dunford and Akin 2009) ]. Also apparent in this case is the lacking of one strong leader of multiple leaders not one person in BA’s management structure took control of the situation and it seems that BA management participated in groupthink to the detriment of the organisation namely its loss of 40 million pounds.
According to this perspective it is argued that the style of change will depend on the scale of change and the receptivity of organisational members [ (Palmer, Dunford and Akin 2009) ]. In the case of BA the style of change was not matched to the needs of the organisation. The situation called for a collaborative style of change drawing upon input from a range of sources including employees, unions and management but instead drew upon a coercive approach thus adding further fuel to an already flamed situation, the layoff of 13000 employees.
Viewing this case from a processual perspective this approach highlights a number of stages in engaging in the management of change. The third stage of this approach involves gaining acknowledgement and understanding of the importance of the problem. In relation to the BA case study example BA management fail to effectively understand the problem at hand, instead they made the choice to ignore underlying cultural issues within the organisation and proceed ahead with what they considered as the best course of action from an efficiency perspective.
Evidence is found through CEO Rod Eddington’s comment that he was unaware that there was even a respect deficit to be plugged [ (Palmer, Dunford and Akin 2009) ]. In order to address the issues relating to the implementation of change in this case analysis of why BA has failed should take place. In doing this BA management should attempt to understand why their method of implementing change failed from a range of perspectives. From this BA can develop new strategies for implementing change for example using a particular change management perspective and moulding it to fit the needs of the organisation.
A solution to the problem encountered by BA in this case would be to be more proactive in their change management strategies. If BA are continuously working toward change making use of employee opinions and feedback within the organisation, large scale changes such as the implementation of smart card technologies in this circumstance would encounter less resistance to change as BA would gain the trust and support of its employees due to their participation in the design and implementation of change within the organisation.
In conclusion it can be identified that BA in this case have managed their implementation of change very poorly from analysis of a range of approaches relating to implementation of change and it is proposed that BA being more proactive and making use of a participative approach would be beneficial to the continued organisational development of this business. Bibliography Palmer, Ian, Richard Dunford, and Gib Akin. Managing Organizational Change: A Multiple Perspectives Approach. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2009.
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