Paper type: Review Pages: 4 (759 words)
According to Lemann (1980), many people enter the organization; however, few end up doing better in terms of promotion to high-level positions as well as informal power and status. Whether recognized or not organizations have in place career systems which tend to encourage and reward certain activities and skills more generously than others. In some cases, the careers and skills up for rewards were consciously selected as part of the organizational strategy in other times not. Whatever the form it might take, on thing is clear, that all organizations have a career system which rewards certain activities and abilities more highly that others.
This means that those who rise to positions of influence and therefore benefit from the career system likely have certain critical set of skills and have involved themselves in a set of activities particularly those favored by the system. The reality is what could occur if the old system fails to produce the needed competencies to cope with changing circumstances of the environment and change is needed.
In that instance those promoted and rewarded by the existing career system for their specialized skills and competencies to turn their back on the system from which they have benefited. They are not likely to change the rules to affect the discredit the source of their benefit. There could be the likelihood that those in the rank and file would resist the attempt by those at the top to change the rules.
Change in organizational processes have always been affected by the power institutionalization coupled with behavior of interest groups in and around organizations Pfeffer (1992). Power embedded in formal organizational structures, the processes and the existing organizational arrangements have always been changing very rapidly over the decade or there about. A lot of organizations and institutions have had to look for new forms of organizational structures and different models of people management because of pressures of global competition and deregulation. This have led to many organizations and institutions becoming more flatter, leaner, and less functionally oriented. Many levels of management are being eliminated and staff numbers are being reduced. Different issues are being raised relative to the information access, resource control as well as the role of formal authority. Such critical organizational processes as responsibilities, power, and accountability are being assigned to executives in charge. In development are new forms of employment relations with changing roles of labor unions and works councils. These organizational changes are being engineered by institutional and political systems According to Pfeffer (1992), the existing balance of power changes particularly when organizations are fundamentally changed. Several factors within and without the organization usually hinder the attempt to maintain the needed balance of the process of change (Kanter, 1993). Power is utilized by Chief Executive Officers, top managers, change managers, consultants, work councils, employees, and other interest groups in the process of organizational change. Groups have the main objective of managing and influencing the change process by making use of power and influence tactics available to them. To Hardy & Clegg (1996), all available actions taken by these groups to challenge or influence these organizational change processes other than management are perceived as resistance to change as these actions are seen to fall outside the legitimate activities of the change program in traditional management. Power, organizational change, and resistance are closely related concepts. In change processes, various actors try to influence each other. Consequently, since the concept of power involves power over another person, the use of power can easily lead to resistance (Clegg, 1994). However, not all influence attempts result in resistance. In change processes power and influence can equally well lead to compliance or even a commitment to the change efforts (Falbe & Yukl, 1992). In organizational change, part of the power dynamics is observable for the groups involved, and the influence attempts can be displayed directly and consciously by the agents. However, power dynamics can also be more difficult to observe and sometimes they are even unconscious. Management can exclude certain issues from decision making during the change process thereby constraining full and equal participation (Bachrach & Baratz, 1962). In a process of symbol construction or management of meaning, power can be used to create legitimacy for outcomes, decisions, values, and demands (Pettigrew, 1977). Power dynamics are invisible and almost unconscious when peoples perceptions, cognitions, and preferences are shaped in such a way that they identify with the change objectives and unknowingly unconsciously accept the new organizational structures and systems while their own objectives are less realized than those of other groups (Lukes, 19794).
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