Implementation of the Change Initiative in Change Management Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :


One of the harsh realities in organizational management is the need for changes from time to time that are intended to improve performance but which invariably involve requiring employees to modify their day-to-day activities in ways that may be highly disruptive to routine. Given the inevitability of organizational change, it is therefore vitally important for human resource managers to facilitate the process to minimize disruptions and enhance the buy-in rate from stakeholders. Fortunately, there are some proven methods that human resource managers can use to help ease the adverse impacts that are caused by organizational changes, and these issues form the focus of the research that follows below. In this regard, this paper provides a review of the relevant literature concerning the implementation of change initiatives in change management, followed by a summary of the research and important findings concerning these issues in the paper’s conclusion.

Review and Discussion

Although it is widely recognized that periodic organizational change is inevitable, many companies continue to fail to achieve optimal outcomes due to poor change management methods (Morrison, 2014). In fact, almost three-quarters of all organizational change initiatives result in suboptimal outcomes (Morrison, 2014). In addition, it is also widely acknowledged that organizations that can successfully and efficiently manage their change initiatives can develop and sustain a competitive advantage (Morrison, 2014). Therefore, by focusing resources on developing improved change management processes, organizations can realize the full benefits of their change initiatives.

The relevant literature, though, is replete with examples of the numerous problems that can arise when changes are implemented in any type of organization. Indeed, it is reasonable to suggest that most people hate changes in their day-to-day routine and will aggressively resist such changes unless the rationale in support of their need is made clear and the “what’s in it for them” aspects are effectively communicated. These constraints to change are even more pronounced in larger organizations and it is little wonder that so many change initiatives fail to achieve their intended outcomes. Indeed, even when efforts are made to ensure that these steps are taken, change can be a particularly challenging enterprise, especially when they are organization wide. Despite the challenges that are involved, however, the importance of effective change management processes underscores the corresponding need for the expanded role of human resource (HR) practitioners.

Human resource practitioners have a fundamental responsibility to play an important role as a change agent in this area. For example, according to Long, Khairuzzaman and Amin (2013, p. 2019), “Human resource professionals as change agents have the responsibility to ease the effective changes in the organization and to protect employees against the side effects of the inevitable changes.” This overarching responsibility, though, requires an organizational culture that embraces continuous innovation and improvement. For instance, as one authority points out, “The core function of a modern HR department is to take a lead role in establishing competitive advantage through the building and sustenance of a positive organizational culture. This has been described as the most difficult of all the strategic changes an organization can attempt” (Key concept overview week 7, 2016, p. 3).

Notwithstanding the profound challenges that are involved in effecting organizational change, HR practitioners are well situated to facilitate the process when they transcend their traditional personnel-related responsibilities by serving as a member of the leadership team that is driving the change initiative (Long et al., 2013). This point is also made by Srimannarayana (2013) who notes that the traditional role played by HR practitioners has changed in significant and important ways in recent years to include a role as a professional change agent. Consequently, in order to fulfill this expanded role, HR practitioners must acquire an expanded skill set that includes the specific competencies needed to facilitate organizational change (Srimannarayana, 2013).

In their capacity as change agents, HR practitioners can therefore make substantive contributions to the change process which is increasingly regarded as an essential role that is needed to attain and sustain a competitive advantage in an increasingly globalized marketplace. This need has become even more important in recent years as companies of all sizes and types have…

Sources Used in Document:


Baer, LL and Hill, DA (2015, April-June). ‘Change Agent Leadership.’ Planning for Higher Education, Vol. 43, No. 3, pp. 1-4.

‘Key concept overview week 7’ (2016). University of Liverpool Management School.

Lesaux, NK and Sky, MH (2014, October). ‘Learning to Be a Change Agent.’ The Learning Professional, Vol. 35, No. 5, pp. 40-45.

Liopis, G (2016, March 2). ‘Every Leader Must be a Change Agent or Face Extinction.’ Forbes. Online available:

Long, CS, Khairuzzaman, W and Amin, SM (2013). ‘The role of change agent as mediator in the relationship between HR competencies and organizational performance.’ The International Journal of Human Resource Management, Vol. 24, No. 10, pp. 2019–2033.

Naude, M, Dickie, C and Butler, B (2012, Winter). ‘Global Economic Crisis: Employee Responses and Practical Implications for Organizations.’ Organization Development Journal, Vol. 30, No. 4, pp. 8-24.

Shin, S (2013, Winter). ‘Understanding Organizational Change into Entrepreneurship: A Theoretical Frameworks and Integration.’ Management Review: An International Journal. Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 29-32.

Srimannarayana, M (2013, October). ‘Human Resource Competencies as Perceived by Executives.’ Indian Journal of Industrial Relations, Vol. 49, No. 2, pp. 298-301.

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