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Yet, they do exist and can once again be said that the eight stage process has its roots in the theories enounced by John M. Ivancevich, Robert Konopaske and Michael T. Matteson. Throughout the book for instance, the three authors discuss organizational behavior aspects such as communications or conflict, which could easily interfere with the change process. To take one step forward however, the editing team also argues that conflict -- which, from the standpoint of Kotter, can be generated by various internal matters such as lack of adequate communications, the inconsistencies in the working environment and so on -- "may have either positive or negative consequences for the organization, depending upon how much exists and how it is managed" (Ivancevich, Konopaske and Matteson, 2008). Conflict could be good for change through its ability to promote diverse and even opposed opinions, to stimulate the mind, to create competition in the workplace and to create a more dynamic and open environment.
Based on the eight errors identified as sources of change strategy failure, Kotter moves on to pinpointing the eight solutions, organized under the generic name of the eight stage process for successful change strategy implementation. They are as follows:
Stage #1: Creating a sense of urgency, in the meaning of reducing the sense of complacency
The sense of urgency basically refers to the necessity of presenting the change in a means that it seems absolutely necessary for the future survival of the entity. Additionally, it is required that the change endeavor be forwarded as pressing and pivotal, creating as such the sense that without the change, the company might encounter difficulties. Such an approach would motivate people to renounce the feelings of complacency and to become more involved and loyal to the change process.
Stage #2: Creating the guiding coalition and the environment in which people flourish, learn form each other and develop both professionally as well as personally
This stage is pivotal not only in implementing change, as Ivancevich, Konopaske and Matteson point out, but in the overall approach to employees. It is necessary to create an environment which cherishes the value of the staff members, and in which the managerial team offers a model of behavior. The role of the guiding team is that of offering an example of how change should be embraced and how it should be implemented. Additionally, another important role of the team is that of promoting change in a means that the employees understand the benefits the change would have directly upon them, such as better technical support and reduced workloads.
Stage #3: Developing a vision and an organizational strategy
The vision of an entity is one of the most important components of organizational behavior and it represents a recurrent motif in both Kotter and well as Ivancevich, Konopaske and Matteson's books. The scope of the vision is that of establishing a goal towards which the company and its employees strive; the vision of creating a better workplace, a better world or a more prosperous community. And in most cases, if this vision is enforced by a palpable and applicable strategy, people are likely to intensify their efforts to reach the visionary goals.
Stage #4: Communicating the vision to the personnel members
This stage is the continuation of the vision development, and it is constructed on the beliefs that once people become familiar with the vision of somehow improving the world, they will be more committed to the change strategy.
Stage #5: Empowering the employees
Empowering the organizational staff members is a recurrent dimension of human resource management and organizational behavior. More recently, it has been also recognized for its role to support the implementation of change processes. Employee empowerment is a strong incentive by proving the trust the company has in its staff members. The general outcome is that of increased loyalty on the part of the employee to the overall company, but also to its objectives.
Stage #6: Creating and celebrating short-term victories
Less common within the specialized literature than any concepts, the celebration of small victories is beneficial primarily to the morale of the staff members. It is part of the motivation strategy, with the ultimate aim of further consolidating the loyalty of the employees and their commitment to delivering on the implemented change strategy. Additionally, the celebration of small victories gives people a sense of finality and proves them that their efforts are far form being in vain, but that they concretize in observable and measurable effects.
Stage #7: Consolidating the gains and capitalizing on them to introduce more changes
As the people become more satisfied with their efforts and recognize their finality, it is useful for the managerial team to further introduce new changes. At this stage, the new change is expected to be met with lower levels of employee reticence.
Stage #8: Altering the organizational culture to include change as an ongoing business model
Finally, the last stage in the successful implementation of change is that of creating and enforcing an organizational culture focused on continuous development and improvement through change. It is important to forward beliefs according to which change is not a temporary strategy, but that it in fact represents a way of doing business, a way of maintaining and improving the personal and professional benefits.
In the changing contemporaneous environment, economic agents find that continuous improvement and adaptation to the emerging needs of the various shareholder categories are the sole ways of maintaining their competitiveness. The specialized literature has been presenting such information for decades, but organizational leaders found the change strategies rather costly and inefficient on the short-term. Yet, as the more and more dynamic environment proved, change is not an option, it is a necessity.
Two noteworthy representatives of the books dedicated to aspects of organizational behavior and change are John M. Ivancevich, Robert Konopaske and Michael T. Matteson's Organizational Behavior and Management and John P. Kotter's Leading Change. Despite the usage of several cases, Organizational Behavior and Management remains a theoretic work, combining thoughts from economics with those from psychology, to lead to a superior understanding of the management of people. Leading Change is a more practical book, a guide it could be said, to the implementation of change. The novelty introduced by Kotter relays in the eight stage model for successful change implementation, constructed on the initially identified eight mistakes.
All in all, it is safe to say that Ivancevich, Konopaske and Matteson's book on Organizational Behavior and Change is a greater look at the field of organizational behavior, including various aspects of the field, such as the implementation and management of change. Kotter's Leading Change deals with a narrower dimension of organizational behavior, particularly the behavior that should occur in the relationship between managerial team and organizational staff members as a change process is being developed and enforced.
Ivancevich, J.M., Konopaske, R., Matteson, M.T., 2007, Organizational Behavior and Management,…[continue]
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