In recent times, companies have been closing their offices all over the world. Management structure and policies of the companies are generally cited as shutdown reasons. This has led to many businesses doubting the long-acknowledged processes and policies on management. One of the policies questioned is the effectiveness of organisation development in change management. Pundits argue that organisation development is no longer relevant as the majority of companies have benefitted from this opportunity and hence it no longer has a competitive advantage. They also argue that events beyond the control of the companies such as increased taxation or rising of minimum wages by the state have eroded its effectiveness. Nevertheless, as long as it could be utilised effectively and application is guaranteed, organisation development still has a big role to play in change management.
Organisation Development and Change Management
Organisation development refers to the practices applied by companies to improve the performance of their employees by elevating their efficiencies through such techniques as team building, conflict management, and empowerment. The objectives of organisation development include increasing credibility among the employees and management. This practice could possibly ensure that employees have a safe and convenient working environment, which allows the company to maximise stuff's potential by exploiting their talents and skills. It involves theories such as Lewin's plan method, action research method, and positive method (Haberberg 2008). Change management, on the other hand, is a practice of ensuring that a company or business positively develops from a current state to a future improved one. Change management does not only involve focusing on the business side of a change, but also includes concern for people engaged in the project. The activities applied to the change management embrace determination of the potential changes, their scope, coverage, and people responsible for their implementation. Application of organisation development and change management are interrelated and are mutually important.
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Organisational development is relevant to change management as the external factors affecting the businesses are usually similar. For a business to succeed above other companies and reach new heights it has to focus on its internal policies. The economies are turbulent, business environments are uncertain; thus, businesses cannot rely on external factors alone to grow. For instance, the rise of oil and electricity prices increases the production costs of manufacturing companies. In this case, the companies engaged could suffer. A company that aims to benefit from change management may face unexpected consequences. For instance, if a business has to reduce employees' remuneration or lay off staff, this decision may drop credibility in the operation environment. This situation could do the company harm preventing it from achieving its objectives (Matheson & Giroux 2011). The business could fail to achieve its objectives as the demoralised employees may reduce their productivity due to the lowered commitment to their jobs. Besides, they could offer poor services (e.g. being rude to the customers or ignoring them) and scare away their clients. Nevertheless, if a company implements features of organisational development, the employees may not reduce their productivity. One of the possible solutions of organisational development is Lewin's change model that allows gradual change implementation so that employees know exactly what is going on and could reach an agreement with the management (Guilmette 2007). An agreement like that can include terms specifying any possible circumstances and ways of their solution. For instance, it could stipulate that salary cutting is temporary and the company will compensate the money when the production costs fall. Employees engaged in this agreement will work with zeal and maintain if not increase their productivity. Therefore, the company employing organisation change will demonstrate better performance as compared with other businesses that will have to cut their productions. This company will reach its target growth level due to the use of organisation change rising above the common depressing economic conditions (Chiesa 2001).
Organisational development is still relevant in change management as it leads to the minimisation of both production and running costs. Cost reduction is essential in change management as high running costs can derail any developments made in other sectors reducing the progress of the companies (Matheson & Giroux 2011). Organisational change leads to cost reduction in a number of ways. Firstly, through such techniques as conflict management and team building, the employees trust each other and can, therefore, work together with ease. When the employees work together, they share resources used in the company such as stationery and machinery. Thus, they reduce the costs of the company, as it will use less money to buy new machinery, replace and repair the few existing ones used and cut electricity and oil that the machines use to run (Haberberg 2008).
The company will also experience reduced running costs in the organisational development techniques and methods and involve informing employees about the situation of the business. It is significant for the employees to be in touch with the situation, have the feeling of managing or owning the business. Through informing the employees of the mission and vision of the company, they will develop patriotism towards the organisation. Consequently, they will utilise the resources of the company sparingly. Proper utilisation of resources will enable the company to save a lot of money and hence reduce the costs associated with restocking and replenishing wasted stock. The proper use of resources will in future enable the company to achieve change management.
Organisation development also leads to change management through the reduction in the costs of business. Some aspects of organisation development such as team building and motivational speaking lead to the development of ethical behaviour among employees. This, in turn, reduces pilferage of goods manufactured by the company. This will prevent many losses from being incurred by the company and will, therefore, lead to lower costs and achievement of the desired change management by the company. Discussed features could also sufficiently assist in pilferage reduction, as employees work in the atmosphere of credibility and could complain if poorly remunerated. Their feedback leads to their proper reward and result into the reduction of pilferage. Therefore, the company can achieve its desired change management (Haberberg 2008). Organisational development is relevant to change management, because to achieve desired goals and enable a company to reach its objectives the company needs to edge out competition. Thus, the company needs to use some organisation change techniques such as team building. Team building increases the staff's morale (Guilmette 2007). A motivated employee has improved performance, as they have a willingness to work and hence increase their productivity. For instance, some companies record 10% increase in productivity after implementing team-building approaches in resorts. The increased production helps the company to edge out competition as they have more to offer as compared with their competitors. In case of a gap in supply, they can easily fill it and hence endear themselves to the customers (Nocera 2013).
Team building also improves the quality of service offered by the employees (Chiesa 2001). Through team building activities such as cooperative recreational activities, employees are able to learn more about the company. Hence in case, a customer is dissatisfied with a product or a service, the employee will be aware of other goods or services offered by the company that can satisfy the client's need of the employee. This could be possible due to the thorough knowledge of the company and its scope. This situation is beneficial both for the clients and company, as good proper service allows staff to attract more customers and edges out the competition. Uninformed employees, in their turn, lose potential clients and do not help their company be competitive on the market. The quality of service could also be raised through team building, as cooperation increases ethical features of the staff. Thus, they may offer services with courtesy and pleasantness, attracting the clients (Guy & Hanneberry 2002). A smile on the employee's face can assist in making a first-time purchaser a standing customer as people usually appreciate friendly atmosphere. Through team building the staff can offer quality services attracting customers to the company away from the competitors and create customer loyalty. Product quality and customer loyalty lead to repeated purchases. Thus, company sustains profits and can easily wade off competition (Poore 2003). From the above points, it is clear that the aspects of organisation development and specifically team building can facilitate change management by enabling the company to rise above and edge out competition.
Traditional organisational development remains relevant to change management. To be successful, internal factors such as team building, conflict management, and employee empowerment are necessary as they lead to increased creativity and innovation in an organisation (Murthy 2007). In an organisation where there is team-building utilised, employees attain confidence. This encourages positive ideas towards the progress of the organisation. It, in turn, helps counter the external factors trying to weigh down the company (Howells 2005). Team building ensures that the employees are well-informed, eliminating the need for close supervision; this would be an economic strategy to cut down operations arising due to misunderstanding.
Empowering employees through training in seminars and workshops is important, as the employees will be more equipped with operational skills in running the organisation. It will increase their capacity to devise more cost effective and efficient ways of carrying out the production. It will also boost their confidence, as they will be more knowledgeable and updated. Measures to ensure advantageous working environment such as conflict management increases creativity and innovation in an organisation on the part of the employees. The stuff will be able to co-exist despite their differences and in cases of conflict, they will be able to reach an agreement amicably. It saves more time and energy directed towards devising better ways of production other than conflict resolution (Rainbird 2000).
Traditional organisational development is important to change management particularly in the current turbulent environment in which businesses operate within the organisational control and face external factors such as legal, political, ecological, demographic, and economic environment (Howells 2005). The legal environment includes the regulations the organisation has to comply with round the clock while conducting its businesses. The government at times may specify working hours that may be limiting to the business. Through team building, employee empowerment, and conflict management, the level of customer satisfaction will be high thus more sales will be performed even when the working hours are limited.
In the economic environment the government levies taxes on business activities lowering their profit margin. Most of the taxes are imposed without consulting the businesses, thus, the organisation will have very little to do about them other than comply. The organisation has to streamline its internal operations, team building, conflict management, and employee empowerment to register higher profits so that the taxes become less significant to the organisations' expenses (Argyris 1999). Political factors such as insecurity are a crucial factor in business operations. Conflict resolution, employee empowerment and team management are necessary to develop credibility and a sense of owning the organisations among the employees. The stuff will be more vigilant when attending customers and will always look out to ensure the organisations property is safe.
Team building and employee empowerment are of much benefit to a company because they could raise the company's profits. Thus, in cases of natural disasters such as landslides, fires, and other ecological factors where the company is affected it will be able to stabilise in a short time as the funds will be catered for the coverage of the losses (Wolf, Hanson, Moir, Friedman & Savage 2011). Also with the spirit of teambuilding, the employees will be able to work closely even during the moments of disaster. In prospect, it could ensure the welfare of the organisation. It could be clearly seen that the traditional organisational methods are critical in change management in an organisation in a turbulent business environment (Guy 2002). This will ensure an organisations security from ecological risks.
Traditional organisational management is important to set advantageous relationships between the staff and management. It, in turn, increases confidence and credibility among the employees and stakeholders, thus, many productive ideas may be devised. In addition, there will be fewer chances of demonstrations and strikes from the employees, which would cost the company lots of miscellaneous expenses. Friendly relations between the employees and their superiors serve as a motivating factor to the staff (Rainbird 2000). Employees raise issues concerning how the organisation runs, and when the management considers them, they feel as part of the company. This is advantageous as the production quality of the organisation is increased placing it in a better position to beat threats from the external environment. Quality products are able to sustain competition and fetch high prices transferring into higher profits for the organisation. This organisation is able to remunerate its workers nicely (Howells 2005).
It is also clear that through team building and empowerment there will be mutual respect for the management and the workers. Employees are generally motivated by respect and attention shown to them. It has been widely acknowledged that a motivated employee is more productive than the one who is treated as an object of production (Argyris 1999). From the above observation, it can be concluded that traditional organisational development in change management should be upheld as it creates the friendly relationship between the employees and their superiors.
From the above discussion, it could be seen that organisation development is still relevant in management change as it is the main method used in effective management. It leads to the delivery of efficient services, edging out the competition, achieving of economies of scale, offsetting costs in production, and running costs that affects the majority of companies. The above factors enable a company transition to the higher level of economical welfare. Organisation development resembles methodology of change management. The researchers arguing against this fact are not entirely right as the external working conditions affecting the companies in the same industry financially are similar. Thus, internal policy and organisational development as its subject could not be overestimated. The proposed learning or modern development is a subset of the traditional organisation development. Therefore, it could be strongly recommended for the companies to implement change management and the techniques of organisation management, such as team building, employee performance evaluation, proper remuneration of employees, open door policies, motivational speakers, etc.
The above policies will place businesses to the desired levels, as motivated employees will offer more and increase their productivity. They will offer better services and devise ideas that will innovatively transform the businesses. Increasing the product quality through diversification and by facing challenges and conflicts, they will waste less time in production and delivery of services. All the above factors will result in customers' loyalty to their companies and products, leading to companies excelling and accessing the highest profits. The main advantage of organisational development is that it has been tried, tested, and proved a working mechanism that will work for a long time with possible adjustments to adapt to changing times.
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