Academic journal article Manager

Organizational Change Effectiveness: A Few Significant Indicators for Romanian Companies

Academic journal article Manager

Organizational Change Effectiveness: A Few Significant Indicators for Romanian Companies

Article excerpt

l.Introduction

The never-ending changing of environment highlighted by the economic crisis revealed the importance of organizational ability to pursue change. While change has become a steady reality of organizational life (Bumes, 2004), organizations have their own evaluation criteria for each transformational endeavor. Typically, the success of organizational changes is assessed considering parameters such as improvement in activities or cost reduction.

A few dimensions of organizational change have been of interest for researches and practitioners: organizational context and change initiation, implementation strategies / processes or stakeholders' involvement.

However, while specific pre-planned steps for each change project are necessary, the implementation is prone to the perception of individual benefits and the satisfaction the change actors can get1. Therefore, an organizational change delivers results that are not only useful for organizational performance, but are also appreciated by individuals.

This paper aims to highlight a few organizational indicators that portrait the implementation of changes within Romanian companies. A set of hypotheses were tested during the research, using primary data obtained through a questionnaire-based survey.

The first part of the paper briefly presents some theoretical elements of organizational change. The second part of the paper provides details on the research methodology used. The results are analyzed and interpreted in the last part, followed by final conclusions.

2.Theoretical background

A few terms commonly appear in discussions related to organizational change: stakeholders, objectives, budget, or people. A brief definition of the concept of change has been provided by Gafney (2010) who defines the organizational change as "the move from an ongoing situation to a future desired situation that is intended to increase efficiency and competitiveness"2.

Change has been studied by many scholars and various aspects were revealed. First, aiming for innovative ways of enhancing competitiveness (Whitfield & Landeros, 2006), the change has two main drivers for initiation: the need to overcome a threat or to pursuit an opportunity. Each change is triggered by different level of these drivers.

Scholars pointed out the importance of planning for achieving successful changes. Lippitt (1958) was amongst the first scholars who consider that interventions intended to modify the functioning of an organization should be premeditated. Lewin's Three-Stage Model of Change recommends that change should take place in three stages: unfreezing, change and freezing. Moreover, Le win, Elrod and Tippett (2002) consider planning of change implementation as the most important key success factor. They indicate that specific pre-planned steps are necessary for each change initiative and specific stage.

Scholars like Kotter (1996), Kanter et al. (1992) and Luecke (2003) reflected on the 'emergent approach' of change. In their view, change is a process of learning, developed by organisations in their quest to responds to the internal and external environment. Moreover, Todnem (2005) consider that "change readiness and facilitating for change" of the organizational players is the most proper approach of change.

According to numerous studies, change success depends on the organizational leaders, even though there is a significant difference in the expected roles of leaders and required traits of leaders3. As designers of future, leaders have to be aware of the environmental opportunities and threats and to create proper plans for implementation. A change leader is a strategic designer but also a skilled implementer, familiar with project management, supervising and control techniques, able to overcome resistance and to encourage organizational members to adopt new practices (Van de Ven, 1986). Whatever he does, the change leader is finally accountable for results. …

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