1.“Change is the only constant” Evaluate the different types of change that have occurred in Sony? In Sony various types of changes occurred such as structural change, technological change, change in the number of employees, the environmental change outside Sony and so on. The financial losses and the existence of new goods like plasma televisions, Samsung’s LCD and Apple’s category killer- iPod informs Sony that it is in the wrong location in the market and needs to compete simultaneously with other competitors. Structural change and work division.
Structure is obviously necessary for any organization and the purpose of structure is the division of activities and responsibilities. In addition it provides the application of process of management and creates a framework of laws and orders through which the performances of the organization can be arranged. So one of the major changes that happened in Sony was the structural change; Stringer the Chief Executor officer of Sony shaped the business in to five major sections like Digital imaging, DVD recorders, Electronics, Portable audio and last one Television. Concentrating on these five sections and following the new structure speeded up the decision making process, decreased redundancy in Sony and provided it the ability to compete in the entire market. Up to that time each section had its own human resources, sales functions, planning, finance, and functioned with sizeable flexibility, so it was not that effective and efficient. So when the proper decisions are made in this regard, it was for the benefit of the organization such as saving time and money and moving toward productivity and profitability.
According to Devos and Willem (2006) demographic plays an important role inside and outside the organization, the customers should be targeted according to their age, education, gender, skill level, immigration, etc. since the technology is improved and people’s preferences and likes specially adults’ preferences are changed, so age is to be considered important while producing goods and services but Sony didn’t noticed that before the changes done by MR Stringer. Additionally, diverse workforce which is another part of the demographic and can bring many positive changes is a vital issue for improvement and creativity of the Sony Company. And if Sony manages diversity effectively and gives value to the workers contribution and ideas in firm’s progression, definitely production of goods and services will increase to a higher level, Which in this case Sony was able to give opportunity to such workers.
Change in Sony’s Corporate Culture
In addition, the traditional way of engineering Sony’s products made it too complicated to use and customers didn’t like this. Sines a long time people in most part of the word are living in a technological era and they want things to be easier, simpler and quicker. Apple’s IPod is a good example of a technological electronic that the majority of people like this. Furthermore, television which was one of the Sony’s main products changed from cathode ray tube television to LCD television and rears-projection TVs were also produced by Sony.
Before restructuring of Sony, it was not moving with the time and people’s wants. Therefore the changes which were supposed to occur inside Sony didn’t occur and this resulted not existing in the right situation of the electronic market. But with the coming of Stringer; new CEO of Sony company the two major changes technological and structural changes completely streamlined Sony and made it more powerful in terms of producing new and creative products such as television, games, cameras, DVD’s, sound recorders and so on.
Cost-cutting and changes in number of employees
Cost-cutting is clearly an important issue in organizations and mostly makes easier the work processes in the work environment and reduces some responsibilities like it has happened in case of Sony such as closing eleven plants and layoff ten thousand employees. The money which was paid to these employees could be spent on new ideas and innovative products which this has occurred in Sony and resulted new types of televisions, cameras and other electronically devices.
2.Analyze the internal and external forces that have created the need for change in Sony. How is it realized by firms when they should change?
Basically there are some needs that forces the organizations to change and these forces come from inside and outside the organization which is called external and internal forces. The professionals working in firms should determine when to implement an organizational change in a firm like Sony. In the following paragraphs it is clearly mentioned the forces for change in Sony.
According to Devos and Willem (2006) the majority of the problems happens in the human resource departments and to the workers relate to the way and perception of workers of how they are treated in the work environment. Similarly, in Sony Employee’s unmet needs and job dissatisfaction was a pressure that created forces for change. Sony was responsible to respond to these forces by reducing the dilemmas happened within the firm regarding employees. Furthermore, in this firm if employee’s suggestion and participation such as new ideas, techniques or anything creative are rewarded it can very optimistic to reach the long-term goals of Sony.
Managerial behavior and decision
According to Mullins (2008) one of the needs that can create change is the managers’ behavior and their improper decisions. The conflictions happen between the managers and subordinates are signs that require changes. The inappropriate behavior and less interpersonal skill of leaders and managers in Sony caused it to move toward crises and decreased the employees and customers interests for goods and services. So when the employees especially the front line employees such as customer service do not behave properly with the consumers, then it is a big loss for the company such as losing customers. It is customers that give value to the company so when consumers are not satisfied the company will collapse. This caused Sony to change and it improved the communication skill among employees.
Financial loss was a big concern for Sony and the forces for this change were highly considerable such as falling down of the share from $150 to $25. However, Sony was one of the top manufacturer of electronic devices especially television, video player and cameras. But convenient responses to the overall forces including financial forces relocated Sony on a better position.
The way companies do business is changed by the appearance of global economy and competitions among them, all over the world organizations are facing with new competitors and suppliers conditions. Firms must seek the way of how to survive in the worldwide partnership and worldwide structuring because of the tough competitions and this is called market change which is an external factor that can create change for Sony as well. To think deeply; in fact it was the competitions which enlightened Sony that it is in a wrong market situation.
Social and political pressures
Moreover, however the prediction of change in political forces is difficult for organizations. Big firms and companies hire consultants and lobbyists to help them inform and respond to political and social changes. What has happened in Sony was the lack of intelligent and perfect consultants or lobbyists which should have updated Sony that it was moving toward a wrong direction.
Demographic is one of the forces that can bring organizational change and it is one of the most important factors that should be recognized by firms while providing goods and services. How demographic brought change to Sony? To consider age as an issue in demographic we can have a proper answer for this question. For instance in this era of technology people aged between 10 to 50 mostly prefer things to be more technological; the logic behind this is that things should be more simpler, quicker and nicer to be used. Therefore, people didn’t prefer Sony’s product before happening of the change in this Company because of its being less technological such as Sony Television’s complicated menu and options, its old shape and heavy weight. So demographic is one of the force create a change in Sony.
Devos and Willem (2006) illustrates that Technology is a fundamental means to improve productivity and market competitiveness for both manufacturing and services organizations. Technological products and improvements are provided according to people’s wants and necessities. In addition technology makes things easier and simpler to use. Comparing to this, Sony’s products were too complicated to use specially Sony television with its complicated menu. People are adapted to use technology to save their time, be comfort and get rid of complexity. So development and use of information technology is one of the biggest forces for change. In Sony there were many redundancies in products. But after the changes that have occurred in this firm, new products with new design launched in the market attracted more and more customers
3.You have been appointed by Sony as a consultant on change management. Advise Sony on how they could implement the change by using the various theories of change you have learnt.
Jick’s Change theory
According to Peyor et al (2008) Jick’s model or theory of change it is one of the theories that involves ten steps and is an ongoing process which initiate or evaluate change that is already happening or can happen in an organization. As a consultant I suggest this theory in Sony. In Sony there were changes but not efficient and effective enough to satisfy the needs; such as consumer’s needs and employee needs. According to the first step of this theory; Sony must analyze the organizational need for change, however there were needs in Sony but it was not analyzed in a proper way which this relates to the second step of this theory and that is creating a shared vision and a common direction which means allowing employees to have opinion about their jobs and responsibilities which is an essential part of the change process. The third step of this model is to separate from the past which means the change which is newly created must differ from the changes already exist and by the following a sense of urgency should be created for the employees to be more encouraged and have willingness toward their tasks and dependability.
Then the fifth step of this theory is support a strong leader role; it illustrates that a good leadership in an organization can make the change constant which this was not implemented in Sony before the arrival of its new CEO Mr. Stringer that’s why between 2000 to 2003 the value of share in this company dropped from $150 to $25, in my opinion it was the consequence of a weak leadership. By the following, the sixth and seventh step of Jick’s theory is to line up the political sponsorship and craft an implementation plan, this is much helpful part of the change process in this or any other theory because if the change is not implemented then it is not useful to have any idea about change. Develop enabling the structures is the eighth step of this theory that should be implemented in Sony to make successful other steps. The ninth step of this model is about communication and honesty which is an indispensable matter and in organizations lack of communication definitely results failure as it happened in Sony before. The final step is to reinforce and institutionalize the change and this is to train and educate the employees in Sony about the change and change should be practiced as a habit until employees are enabled to perform it as a normal and easy task.
Lewin’s change model
To implement Lewin’s change model in Sony we can also have a good consequence in Sony’s development and productivity to maximize its profit. According to Devos and Willem (2006) a three stage model of planned change developed by Lewin explains how to commence, manage and stabilize change. These three steps are unfreezing, changing and refreezing. The assumption that lie beneath this model are 1) the change process consist of something new as well as discontinuing some behavior and organizational practices 2) There won’t be any change except there is enthusiasm to change and can be one of the difficult parts of the change method 3) People are the key focus of organizational changes. Any kind of changes whether in terms of structure, group procedure, reward organism or job system require individuals to alter 4) Resistance to change can be discovered even if the targets of change are highly enviable 5) effectual change requires innovative types of manners and organizational practices. Unfreezing part is used to generate the incentive to change, thus in Sony individuals should be encouraged to replace or forget their old behavior and organizational practices, in other words workers should be dissatisfied from what they have done before.
The second stage which is change involves providing employees in Sony with new ideas, new information, new behavioral model or new ways of looking at things and to learn new concepts. During the refreezing stage change should be stabilized in Sony and workers are supposed to be able to perform new things as a habit or in a normal way. Comparing two mentioned model both can be effective in terms of Sony, but Jick’s model of change which is already divided in to ten steps and is very detailed and clear that can be implemented quickly and properly, because each step can be a sub-plan for Sony and there is no need to categorize this model in to other parts. As a result Jick’s theory of change suits best for Sony. 4. Evaluate the likely sources of resistance that could occur in Sony and how you would deal with it as a manager. As far as different types of changes occurred in Sony such as structural, technological, cultural and so on, therefore there are many sources of resistance that could occur in Sony and they are as following: Surprise and fear of the unknown
With the coming of new structural changes in Sony, ten thousand employees were fired from their jobs and some other employees responsibilities were increased as a result. In addition employees were not familiar with the new work process and tasks therefore they feared to adopt to change and they think they may lose their jobs. Furthermore immediate changes to a job can cause an employee to doubts his capability, consequently self-doubt grind down to self-confidence and affects personal development, so it is one of the sources to resist change in Sony.
Lack of poor timing
Since Sony is a big company with thousands of employees and in order to implement changes in its work environment, it is needed to train employees spending sufficient time until they could get adapted to changes in the way they want or need. May changes were introduced in an incentive manner and at an awkward time, then it could be one of the sources for resistance that could occur in Sony.
Non-reinforcing Reward System
In a firm individual resist change when they are provided reward, for instance, an employee is not likely to hold change which is viewed as necessitated him work long and accept too many responsibilities. But in contrast if his salary is increased beside its responsibilities, then he is
willing to accept change. So this could be one of the sources of resistance to change in Sony.
Mistrust in the work environment
Change process in Sony should be made an open, honest and participative thing by the managers for the employees. The atmosphere between managers and subordinates should be very friendly. If employees trust management then they are more willing to perform extra efforts. Thus mistrust is one of the sources of resistance that could occur in Sony.
Loss of Freedom
If the change is observed as likely to demonstrate inconvenient and make situations more difficult, reduces freedom of action or increase more control there will be resistance for change and in case of Sony this could be one of the sources of resistance.
Investment in resources
Change often requires large and different types of resources such as physical resources, financial resources, natural resources, etc. for instance according to the Sony case-study, it was needed around $1.8 billion to restructure Sony, So as a result, investment in resources is one of the sources of resistance that could occur in Sony.
Strategies for overcoming resistance to change in Sony
According to Devos and Willem (2006) there are six strategies for how to overcome resistance to change in Sony and these strategies can be effective and efficient, therefore implementing of these strategies are very important in order to avoid the mentioned sources of resistance to change inside Sony and they are as follow.
Education and communication
First it is very important to educate employees in Sony about the changes; for instance they should be informed about the occurrence and types of changes. The advantage of this step is that once employees agreed and persuaded they will help with the implementation of the change.
Participation and involvement
Secondly, in Sony participation and involvement of employees in the change process should be considered seriously, because their relevant information and creative opinions about the change can help Sony to perform better.
Facilitation and support
Employees in Sony should be supported and their problems regarding the change should be facilitated such as; they shouldn’t lose their freedom, it should be behaved properly with them and they should be rewarded for their brilliant ideas and working hard.
Negotiation and agreement
Negotiation and agreement with employees inside Sony is vitally a good way of convincing them regarding their resistance to change and this is counted the fourth strategy.
Fifth strategy is manipulation and co-optation which is relatively fast and economical solution to resistance problems in Sony. So, in Sony or any other firms to overcome resistance to change quickly is very beneficial for the existence of the company.
Explicit and implicit coercion
Finally, implicit coercion and explicit is another strategy where speed is essential and change initiators inside Sony can have considerable power and can overcome any kind of resistance. But it can be risky as well such as if workers in Sony get annoyed by the initiators, then there will be more dilemmas in implementing changes.
Bouckenooghe, D. Buelens, M. Cools, E. Debussche, F. Devos, G. Mestdagh, S. Van den Broek, H. Vanderhyden, K. Warmoes, V. and Willem, A. (2006) Organizational Behavior, pp 632-648, 3rd Edition, McGraw-Hill Education, Berkshire. Mullins, L. J (2008) Essential of organizational behavior, 2nd Edition, Pearson Education limited, Harlow. Pryor, M. Tanija, S. Hympherys, J. Anderson, D. and Singliton L (2008). Challenges Facing Change Management Theories. Dehli Business Review, Vol. 9, No. 1.