Paper I Organizational change is inevitable but how change is implemented depends upon the organizational culture and the change managers. Change managers are also called the change agents. The change process also depends to a large extent on the individuals’ response to change…
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This suggests that barriers to change could occur from different sources. Managers are the change agents that shape the conditions for change (Saka, 2003). However, they too have to deal with the external environment which includes the organizational culture, the employees, and the top management. In addition, their skill and knowledge to cope with the change process is also critical for the success of the change management process. Despite the importance given to managing change, the change management process at most organizations is a difficult task. Thus, this paper evaluates the change dilemmas and decisions during mergers and the factors that influence change. It also evaluates the role of motivation in implementing change. Change has always been associated with resistance. Resistance can occur when the purpose of change has not been communicated in an appropriate manner. Lack of effective communication can lead to resistance because it disturbs the equilibrium of the workforce that is used to set patterns (Hoang, 2007). Additionally, the change agent may lack the skills, competencies and the ability to manage the change process. They may also fail to recognize that adjustment to a new environment takes time (Kee & Newcomer, 2008). This would make them push the employees toward change which can lead to frustration. Apart from resistance, employees may demonstrate a demoralized attitude and indifference to work. Gollan (2006) clarifies that management of people is more important than the combined effect of strategy, product quality, service, technology or even investments in research and development. If the staff is not taken into confidence they feel demoralized and they could give vent to their emotions of distrust, shock and anger. According to Schramm (2007) the change management program should be initiated much before the change process so that the transition and change is smooth. AT&T appears to have adopted the right change management strategy as they linked their HR strategy to the strategic goals of the organization. AT&T merged two its business units in 1992 and the outcome was the new Global Business Communications Systems (GBCS). When AT&T merged two business units they faced dilemmas as they encountered several problems in the change process. Human resource effort is necessary to recast policies and programs into tools for linking the new business principles to daily life. The organization recognized that reorganization of the HR function was essential to support the strategic linkage. The change manager at AT&T was asked to examine every aspect of people dimension which emphasized the need to engage the workforce and create an environment that would support their people as the only sustainable, competitive advantage (Plevel, Lane, Nellis & Schuler, 1993). This conforms to Alimo-Metcalfe and Alban-Metcalfe (2005) who contend that transformational leaders must be able to articulate a strong vision and purpose to the followers. Transformational leaders must take on teaching role whenever necessary and this is precisely what the leadership at AT&T organized. The supervisors were asked to work as partners of the employees. The change management process was initiated much in advance. The employees were taken into confidence and the purpose of change was adequately communicated. To counter the apprehensions of the employees, AT&T initiated extensive communication at the beginning of their change process (Christen, 2005). An
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