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Chapter 16

BUS 2090 Chapter Notes - Chapter 16: Statistical Process Control, Normative Social Influence, Continual Improvement Process

Course Code
BUS 2090
Hassan Wafai

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Chapter 16 Individuals, Groups & Organizations
Organizational Change, Development & Innovation
The Concept of Organizational Change
Why Orgs Must Change
All orgs face 2 basic sources of pressure to change external & internal
Trends in the environment businesses must adapt
Increased competitiveness of the business brought on by a more global economy, deregulation and
advanced technology
Low productivity, conflict, strikes, sabotage and high absenteeism & turnover are some factors that signal
that change is needed
Employee opinion can force change
Dynamic environments must generally show more change than static to be effective
What Orgs Can Change
Goals & Strategies
Expansion, new product intros, and pursuit of new markets for example
Can be major or minor such as moving from a rigid assembly line to flexible manufacturing
Job Design
Can redesign individual groups of jobs to offer more or less variety, autonomy, identity, significance, and
Can be modified from a functional to a product from or vice versa
Formalization & centralization can be modified, as can tallness, spans of control and networking with other
Structural changes also include modifications in rules, policies & procedures
The basic process by which work is accomplished can be changed
An org. culture has strong influence on the attitudes and behaviours of org. members
Cultural change is so critical that the main reason reported for the failure of org. change programs is the
failure to change the org. culture
The membership of an org can be changed by (1) changing the actual content of the membership through a
revised hiring process (2) change in terms of the skills and attitudes by various training & development
The Change Process
Change involves a sequence of organizational events or a psychological process that occurs over time
Kurt Lewin suggested process involves 3 basic stages
Step 1: Unfreezing
Unfreezing: The recognition that some current state of affairs is unsatisfactory
Might involve the realization that the present structure, task design or technology is ineffective or that
member skills or attitudes are inappropriate
Crisis is especially likely to stimulate unfreezing (e.g. dramatic drop in sales, big lawsuit etc.)
Step 2: Change
Occurs when some program or plan is implemented to move the org. or its members into a more
satisfactory state
Can be major or minor efforts
Step 3: Refreezing
Refreezing: The condition that exists when newly developed behaviours, attitudes or structures become an
enduring part of the org.
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Effectiveness of the change can be examined
The Learning Organization
Organizational Learning: The process through which an org acquires develops & transfers knowledge
throughout the org.
2 Primary methods of org. learning (1) learning through knowledge acquisition & (2) learning through
knowledge development
Learning Organization: An org. that has systems and processes fork creating, acquiring & transferring
knowledge to modify and change its behaviour and insights
Some organizations are better at learning than others
4 Key dimensions that are critical for a learning organization…
A. Vision/Support: Leaders must communicate a clear vision of the org’s strategy & goals in which learning is
a critical part & key to organizational success
B. Culture: Has a culture that supports learning
C. Learning systems/Dynamics: Employees challenged to think, solve problems & make decisions and act
according to a systems approach by considering patterns of interdependencies ad “earning by doing
D. Knowledge Management/Infrastructure: Have systems and structures to acquire, code, store & distribute
important info and knowledge that's available to those who need it, when they need it
Issues in the Change Process
Diagnosis: The systematic collection of info relevant to impending org change
Initial diagnosis can show that a problem exists = unfreezing
Once unfreezing occurs, further diagnosis can clarify the problem and suggest just what changes should be
Relatively routine diagnosis might be handled through existing channels
Change Alerts: Experts in the application of behavioural science knowledge to organizational diagnosis and
For more complex, non-routine problems
Some large orgs have in-house change agent and some seek outside consultants
People are creatures of habit and may resist unfreezing & change
At unfreezing, defense mechanism might be activated
Causes of Resistance
Politics & Self-Interest: People might feel that they’ll personally lose status, power or even their jobs when
change occurs
Low Individual Tolerance for change
Lack of trust
Different Assessments of the Situation: The targets of change might sincerely feel that the situation doesn't
warrant the proposed change an that the advocates of change have misread the situation
Strong Emotions: Sometimes change makes people feel helpless and resistant
Resistant org. culture
Two major themes underlie these reasons for resistance (1) change is unnecessary b/c there is only a small gap
between the org’s current identity & the ideal identity and (2) change is unobtainable b/c the gap between the
current ideal identities is too large
Dealing W/ Resistance
Low tolerance for change is mainly an individual matter and it can often be overcome w/ supportive,
patient supervision
If politics and self-interest are at the root of resistance, it might be possible to co-opt the reluctant by giving
them a special, desirable role in the change process or by negotiating special incentives for change
If misunderstanding, lack of trust, or different assessments are provoking resistance, good communication
can help
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