Academic journal article Organization Development Journal

Organization Self-Assessment to Determine the Readiness and Risk for a Planned Change

Academic journal article Organization Development Journal

Organization Self-Assessment to Determine the Readiness and Risk for a Planned Change

Article excerpt

Abstract

The rapid pace of change in today's competitive environment creates pressure within the organization to implement change initiatives in order to meet the demands of its stakeholders. A plethora of organizational change initiatives and strategies have been attempted to meet these pressures but their success rate in achieving their objectives has been less than satisfactory. Studies have shown that approximately 70% of organizational change initiatives fail. One of the main causes for these failures is the lack of a thorough diagnostic investigation in an organization's readiness and risk for a planned change. A thorough diagnostic investigation includes both an external and internal analysis using some form of an assessment to determine the need to change as well as its readiness and risk in making the planned change. Organizations have a tendency not to conduct a thorough internal analysis and have a propensity to initiate quick-fix solutions when implementing a change initiative.

This article reports on an integrated approach to conduct an organizational assessment with a purpose to assess an organization's readiness and risk for a planned change. The organizational assessment utilizes a multi-dimensional approach and incorporates an organizational analysis to assess its supportive organizational climate and cultural analysis to assess the strength of its organizational culture. The assessment method utilizes a mixed methodology using a combination of qualitative and quantitative techniques to determine the organization's readiness to change. A risk analysis is determined by the difference between the level and type of planned change initiative and the organization's readiness to change. The level of risk to change provides an insight on the organization's alignment to their strategic, climate, and cultural designs. The significance in providing such insight provides organizational leaders, researchers, consultants, and academia information prior to implementing the change as to its level of readiness and risks if the organization decides to implement the change initiative for different levels of planned changes. The results of this study are intended to provide guidance to this researcher and others who may develop similar initiatives in the future. This article summarizes aspects of a more comprehensive work concerned with the conditions and attributes of successful organizational change.

Introduction

The rapid pace of change in today's competitive environment creates pressure within organizations that must be confronted by its leadership. Global competition, technological advances, more demanding customers, push for improved organizational effectiveness, efficiencies and financial performance, new legal requirements such as Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, changing demographics, and meeting stakeholder demands have increased an organization's need to assess its readiness to make changes, how capable is it implement those changes, and is the organization committed to make whatever changes are necessary for it to succeed. Organizations continually make structural process and product adjustments in response to shifts in the social and political environment, the availability of funding and resources, the broad trends in technology, and the wishes of key stakeholders. Although these changes have become common, the management and implementation of organizational changes remains extremely difficult (Holt, 2002). A competitive global market environment coupled with the rapid pace of the technological revolution is placing increased demands on modern organizations. Management's challenge is to determine not only its readiness to change but to what extent it should change based on the external need to do so in order to compete as well as its internal capability and commitment to successful implement change initiatives. Lastly, management needs to assess the risk of implementing planned changes based on the types and level of change complexity and its readiness to implement that change based upon organizational fitness and commitment. …

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