Organizational change is defined as change that has an impact on the way work is performed and has a significant effect on staff. (The Vector study, 2012). Organizational change can be major like a reorganization or a much smaller change such as new computer software. Changes can include structure within the organization, working practices that include hours and schedules, role changes, and the environment within which work is done. Whether change is viewed as large or small it can affect production, employee satisfaction, and profits.
When an organization faces decisions that may cause change, the leadership must have a vision of the objective. In order for change to happen, the entire organization needs to share a vision of a desirable future. Today there are many reasons for change in an organization. One major factor is technology. The technological advancements in business resulted in frequent changes and more are coming. Organizations use technology to look for ways to make things easier and less costly. In an ever-changing global economy the demand for higher services and quality place pressure on an organization, implying that change is a constant way of corporate life. Businesses want results and the addition of the Internet, web meetings, and cell phones have created an environment of instant results.
Technology has advanced business needs to unimaginable heights. With changes, though, comes implementation. These changes are not easy and will affect the team members. Management has to be on top of the newest developments and decide how best to use them. Leadership must implement strategies that will help the entire organization see the vision they have for the company and why this change is necessary for progress. For an organization to be successful in leading change it is essential that members are of the same mind-set and share the sense that change will lead to progress. Teams leading change must be credible and committed to the change process.
Possessing the skills necessary and the ability to guide others is crucial to success. Failing to do so leads to market share and profit loss. Shareholders lose confidence in senior management and the loss of key employees can perpetuate an unstable environment. The economic and social forces such as globalization, social/culture, political/legal, competition, technology, liberalization, deregulation, unstable financial market and advancement in information technology have made and continue to make the business environment dynamic in all operating aspects.
Competition is another factor of organizational change. A small business may find themselves directly competing with a large chain store or a United States manufacturing firm may have competition from other global organizations. No matter the size or span of a business, competition will lead to change. Most organizations today face a dynamic changing environment. These companies have two choices; change and grow or stay the same and fail. Organizations that learn to change and adapt to these changes ultimately survive. Merger and acquisitions are often a result of change. One company could not or did not adapt to the changes in the environment and became vulnerable; or they made aggressive changes and became more desirable as an asset than a competitor.
This is how I find myself in my current job. In 2001 I was employed by a small Bio-tech company that developed and sold an innovative piece of medical equipment. This company was growing faster than anticipated and the market for this product exceeded expectations. It was a very exciting time. In the medical device industry there is always talk of acquisitions and no organization is immune to the rumors. As the talk of our small company being bought by one of the big Bio-tech companies in our industry grew, so did the uncertainty. The effects of mergers and acquisitions on employee morale can be significant, (Richards, 2013) and my company and fellow employees were no exception.
There was an announcement made, and we were acquired by another much larger company. Change is often difficult and how this was going to impact our jobs was the biggest concern for most. Who would still have a job and how was that job going to change based on our new environment were the questions being asked. The key to this successful merger of two separate sales teams was communication. The communication was critical to eliminate fear and explain decisions. The leadership worked diligently to provide us with as much information regarding the upcoming steps and who would be handling each one. They shared as much of the strategy as they could legally and handled every question effectively and honestly.
When two organizations come together in a situation as this, there are many changes to deal with. Each member of our team was given the choice to apply for a position within the new company or take a severance package. Some felt safer with the severance and left, but many of us interviewed for our positions with the new company. We met in a central location and were interviewed by three teams; sales, human resources and, marketing.
Not knowing if and how many of us would ever work together again was an additional stress. Waiting for the call, to see if I had a job was stressful, but so was meeting and joining a new group. As in any organization change there were concerns, conflicts and, perceived losses. Fear of change can impact productivity negatively and resulted in some to seek other opportunities. Fortunately for me though, things have worked out well.
Stress and fear of job changes can cause competition within an organization. Senior leadership was doing their best to stay alert to signs of negative competition and keeping both groups informed of the changes and what impact this would have on each individual’s job. Competition is good but if it creates stress and conflict it can be detrimental to an organization.
The vector study. (2012). Retrieved from http://vectorstudy.com/management-topics/organizational-change
Richards, L. (2012). The effects of mergers and acquisitions on employee morale. Small Business, (), . Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/effects-merger-acquisition-employee-morale-3196.html