The simulation on change management focuses on how change brought about as a result of strategic initiatives within a company affect work design and organizational culture. The specific company, Synergetic Solutions Inc. , is a computer trading company which currently employees approximately 300 employees, realizes an annual revenue of six million dollars, and is distributed across five east coast locations.
Like many, this organization is being driven to change due to a mixture of external and internal drivers. Specifically, the company finds itself competing in a market where its products and services have become stagnate. Since Synergetic is in the technology market, the company must expect external drivers such as industry competition, standards and benchmarks, and new technology capabilities to introduce the requirement for change on a periodic basis.
Internal drivers of change are also prevalent in Synergetic’s organizational environment. Specifically, the corporate executive officer has recently mandated strategic direction changes which will introduce internal drivers for change to this organization. CEO, Harold Redd, decided to focus the company on networking solutions and raise revenues of this venture to 80% of the organizations’ total sales within nine months.
Implementation of change in the organization will require the leader to weigh resistance to change at both the individual and organizational levels. Because change invariably threatens the status quo, it inherently implies political activity. (Robbins, 2001). The leader of change implementation for the organization must consider the following 17 key elements, identified by the Massachusetts based Symmetrix consulting firm (Robbins, 2001), in weighing their ability to successfully implement a change strategy.
There are many kinds of resistance that the leader of change in an organization will be experience. Ken Hultman explains that individuals will resist change when a change in habit is imposed, personal sense of security is threatened, one’s income could be lowered, the change is ambiguous and contains a high level of uncertainty, or they become guilty of selectively processing the information presented and do not understand the potential benefits that the changes could bring.
Six tactics presented by Robbins to overcome resistance to change include: education and communication, participation, facilitation and support, negotiation, manipulation and co-optation, and coercion. Educating and communicating with employees to provide them the logic driving the changes can often reduce resistance to change. Individuals find it difficult to resist a change decision in which they have participated, therefore participation is encouraged.
Though time consuming, facilitation by providing counseling, new skills training, and even short paid leave of absence is one way that change agents can reduce resistance to change. Negotiating, or exchanging something of value, is a strategy that can lessen the resistance to change. Manipulation by distorting facts, creating false rumors, or threats is more often present than desired, but carries the chance of backfiring if the targets become aware that they are being tricked or used. Another tactic is that of coercion, which is the application of direct threats.