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Organizational Culture Review - Book Report/Review Example

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It is an unfortunate fact that despite all the researches, books and resources devoted to making successful change possible, a majority of change efforts fail. In a research study conducted by leading companies including Arthur and McKinsey, it was discovered that several firms had engaged in Total Quality Management programs, but were surprised to discover that an enormous number of them failed to implement the TQM program successfully and failed miserably in their attempts to produce the target results (Hiatt & Creasey, 2003)…
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Organizational Culture Book Review
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Download file to see previous pages There is a high degree of risk involved in change management strategies and the fact that majority of these efforts fail, translates into huge losses for the company initiating it. It is observed, according to Peter, that companies exhaust almost all of their energy and resources towards the end of sustained change effort and are then left with minimum options (Senge, 1999). However, according to Peter, this does not undermine the importance of change efforts and that they represent a challenge that the company must come to terms with, either immediately or sometime in the foreseeable future; although the sooner companies face it, the better (Senge, 1999). John Kotter, who is a lecturer at Harvard Business School, has gone at length to research on both successful and failed change efforts. From his research and findings, he summarizes that one of the most important lessons to be learnt from the successful change initiatives is that the development of change goes through a series of stages that require the devotion of significant time by companies initiating them (Kotter, 1996). In an attempt for fast results, managers often tend to become short-sighted and tend to jump between steps, missing important ones in their course (Kotter, 1996). This of course, tends to expedite the change process but never leads to successful long term results (Kotter, 1996). Furthermore, according to John, making a serious mistake in any of the stages can have a disastrous impact on the entire change process and can slow down the pace of change as well as destroy any milestones already achieved with hard work. He explained the eight phases of the change process which are as follows (Kotter, 1996): 1. Establishing a sense of Urgency The change process is initiated only after individuals in the organization notice the need for change; that is, they notice a process that can be improved and changed or a better way of executing an existing process is discovered. Hence, the problem with the current setup needs to be identified first. The need for change develops a sense of urgency amongst employees who quickly spread the word around in an attempt to minimize the risk to the company from continuing existing inefficient/faulty processes. The problem, as noted by Kotter, is that more than 50% of the companies fail to acknowledge the urgency for change and hence, fail in the very first step (Kotter, 1996). However, most successful companies do acknowledge their shortcomings by discussing their weaknesses and threats candidly with employees rather than hiding them. At this stage, external/third party view and help is useful. In case of the U.S Department of Corrections, this could involve, for example, a change in prisoner detention facilities which was identified by one of the personnel. 2) Creating a leadership group Change often starts with one or two individuals noticing the need for change, but it often does spread out to include a large number of people who favor change. The size of the leadership group should ideally be between 3-5 people and these people are the key drivers and motivators of change ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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