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Managing organizational change

The world market is experiencing changes that are forcing businesses to embrace organizational change to remain relevant in their respective fields. Companies are adopting various methods to ensure they accommodate the inevitable changes. Among the measures corporations are employing include laying some of the employees, downscaling the salaries and making reviews of the services and products they deal in. all these measures are aimed at ensuring the businesses have enough resources to make it through the rough financial waters.

            The case of General Motors can be used as an example of organizational change. The vehicle manufacturing company has gone through financial turbulence in the recent past. It has seen its market being infiltrated by new competition. The increased competition and higher costs of conducting business has made it necessary for the company to introduce new management structure and make changes to the price of its products. Traditionally, GM has used an integrated system of marketing and sales. It has now decided to drop this system and instead make use of experts in every role. In the new model, the company will be using aptly qualified employees in areas where there expertise is needed more. The final result of this will be improvement in the quality of cars, which will in turn lead to improved car prices and therefore better sales. The new approach will mean there will be more focus in marketing whereby an increased number of vehicles will be sold. The company has already started doing this with specific focus on North America. For GM to achieve their goals with the organizational change, they have to undergo the following three crucial stages namely:

1.      Unfreezing

2.      Incorporating new behaviors

3.      Refreezing

1.      Unfreezing

Unfreezing in this case means departing from the old ways of doing things. Since GM has become used to their old ways of marketing, they will have to deviate from them and adopt the new ones that will help them achieve their goals more effectively. The departure from the old system of doing things would not be welcome by everyone. There will be resistance from outside the company as well as within the organization. People are not comfortable with changes that involve doing things in a different way. They would like to remain in the circumstances and environment they are familiar with and whose future they can predict.

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2.      Incorporating new behaviors

Any opposition to the anticipated change should be avoided. Therefore, everyone taking part in bringing about the change should adopt the new concept for the benefit of the customers. The increase in the prices of the cars that GM produces should be justified. Thus, the vehicles should be redesigned in a way that will have increased vale to the customers. Cawsey, Deszca & Ingols (2012) believes that consumers should feel they are paying more for vehicles that indeed have improved value. Besides hiring experts in various roles in the company, the current employees of GM will have to be retrained to acquire new skills to make them more competent in line with the new changes. Once they have acquired new skills they will be able to comprehend the change and their role in it. The sole purpose of placing an expert in charge of particular roles was to place the responsibility with the executive and ensure the vehicles produced are of the best quality (Cawsey, Deszca, & Ingols 2012, p.99).

3.      Refreezing

Refreezing is the last stage in the process of bringing change to the company. In this stage, the change will be reinforced and its effects gauged. By reinforcing the change, GM will be concerned with ensuring the requirements of the training are well defined. The people at the helm of various tasks will be rewarded well if they accomplish the set goals. This will act as motivation to them so that they can work even better and focus on the objectives of the company. The employees should be made aware that the future of the company depends on the quality of their work. They should be encouraged to improve on production in their various roles by conducting performance appraisals and awarding them according to their achievements (Connor, Lake, & Stackman, 2003, p.86).

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            The organizational changes at GM may take the employees and customers through a transitional curve involving the following stages.

1.      Denial

2.      Resistance

3.      Exploration

4.      Commitment

The GM employees will be in denial of the new ways of doing things that they will have to live with. New changes will mean there will be some staff members who will have to vacate their positions to make room for the new experts coming in to head various tasks. Customers will on the other hand be in denial of the change in prices of the vehicles. The denial will lead to resistance as the employees targeted in the shakeup fight to retain their jobs. Customers will try to get the price increased reversed. Since this resistance will have little or no effect on the plans GM has, those against the change will enter into the exploration stage. During this stage, they will try to comprehend the reasoning behind the changes. Cawsey, Deszca, & Ingols (2012) believes that at this stage, any issues that remain murky, either with management policies or the price adjustments should be explained clearly. GM can achieve this by emphasizing on the need for improved production that will lead into better sales. The price increase can only be justified by providing vehicles of better quality to match the price. If the management of GM executes this well, the resistant forces will be appeased and the contentment stage will set in. the members of staff will renew their commitment in the operations of the company while the customers will be assured of better and unique products.

            The influence of global and internal environments on the need for change

            Among the factors that necessitated the change in GM was the disorganization of operations within the company. People who were not well qualified to execute them effectively were performing some tasks. The result of this was that the final products were of low quality. Poor quality products would not attract the best prices in the market. The marketing strategy adopted by the company was not effective either. It was time to accommodate new approaches to ensure GM products retained their relevance in the market. On the global scene, new trends were emerging in the market. Whenever there are changes in the universal market, then it is time for use new strategies that will ensure it retains its competitive edge. The new strategy should make the company withstand the effects of the fresh market dynamics. The recent recession in the world economy affected all businesses. This recession played a role in influencing the changes at GM. The company was required to be profitable despite the circumstances it was operating in, to be able to keep the effects of the recession at bay. This could only be achieved by adjusting the prices of the vehicles. To ensure the customers remained loyal to GM products despite the price adjustments, the quality of the vehicles had to be improved to justify the price increase.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Connor, P. E., Lake, L. K., & Stackman, R. W. (2003).Managing organizational change. Westport,  Praeger.

Cawsey, T. F., Deszca, G., & Ingols, C. (2012).Organizational change: An action-oriented toolkit. Los Angeles, Sage.