New technological advances have changed the way organizations are preparing for the future. Management must focus on the human implications resulting from the implementation of new technology and be prepared for resistance and human implications resulting from technological changes. The way management prepares for the change can create a smooth transition or failure. Many theories and models for change have been created to help this transition.
Choosing the right model or theory for your work place depends on the type of organization. Although you do not know how the workforce will react to the change, it is important to implement a strategy that will help foster the change. Many factors needed to be weighed to implement a successful change strategy. Management needs to look at the organizational culture, the challenges of implementing the change and the tactics they will use to overcome resistance of the change.
There are many different models and theories involving change management. The first model is appreciative inquiry. “Appreciative inquiry is a form of action research that attempts to create new theories, ideas and images that aid in the developmental change of a system (Bushe, Gervase, 2001). ” Appreciative inquiry is a collection of people’s positive experiences and tries to find ways to emulate them. A disadvantage to appreciative inquiry is that there is no set way of collecting data. “.
The basic process of appreciative inquiry is to begin with a grounded observation of the “best of what is”, then through vision and logic collaboratively articulate “what might be”, ensuring the consent of those in the system to “what should be” and collectively experimenting with “what can be (Cooperrider & Srivastya, 1990)”. An advantage to appreciative inquiry is that organizations can build from previous positive experiences. This method also promotes group cohesiveness and bonding over shared experiences.
The open-systems theory is a model that seeks to omprehend the interdependencies between the organization and its environment. “To conceptualize an organization as an open system is to emphasize the importance of its environment, upon which the maintenance, survival, and growth of an open system depend. A systems approach to organizations begins with the postulate that they are open systems which, of necessity, engage in various modes of exchange with their environment (Katz and Kahn, 1966)”.
The open-systems method developed by Bertalanffy in 1956, uses action plans and problem solving techniques. Considering the task elements involved for groups, collective efficiency perceptions of groups may influence their effectiveness (Gibson, 1999). Leaders in an organizational change will face many different kinds of resistance. These changes arise from perceived threats and changing of their normal work routine. According to Lewins force field analysis, “ an issue is held in balance by the interaction of two opposing sets of forces, those seeking the change and those attempting to maintain the status quo; the resisting forces” (Lewin, Kurt).
The change model by Beckhard, states, “employee involvement is essential in understanding the connection between employee empowerment and organizational success”. The three components of overcoming resistance in this method are dissatisfaction with the current situation, vision of the future, and achievable steps to reaching this vision. The catastrophe theory looks at change in a mathematical formula. The catastrophe theory states that once an organization is out of its stable or preferred state there is no continuous way back.
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