Sample Papers

Change Management and Resistance Essay

Introduction

Traditionally, resistance has been perceived as an unfavorable and destabilizing problem that must be resolved in anyway possible so as to achieve successful organizational change. Burke (2017) points out that managers often consider resistance negatively, and employees who resist change are usually viewed as disobedient and obstacles the organization must overcome. Several scholars and theorists have forwarded alternative views regarding resistance. The gist of this school of thought is that resistance should be handled more objectively and represented as being a useful feedback tool that plays an important and constructive role in the whole change process.

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It is important to note that there are no clear-cut solutions which managers can employ to manage employee resistance to change. This is basically due to the fact that the context of each change process and causes of resistance are unique to each organization. There are certain common mistakes made by change agents and managers when attempting to lessen or remove resistance to change in their organizations (Dent and Goldberg, 1999) as cited by Choi (2011).

In organizations you find change resistance especially when you touch personal and important things:

  • The power structures are threatened
  • People’s personal needs are threatened. Good guesses for the specific needs are autonomy, recognition, safety, rest, or connection.
  • There is more work coming. Learning, by the way, is really hard work, which is too often forgotten.

Misconceptions on Organizational Change

There numerous mistakes pertaining change that managers often make. First, managers often make the mistake of assuming that it is their role to foster change and that of employees to always resist it. Therefore more often than not the strategies adopted to manage resistance are for managers to implement change and not for the supposed resistor (“employee”) to change This assumption is flawed moreover may trigger additional resistance. According to Clement (2014), employees in the lower levels in organizations are often eager to make changes but encounter resistance from senior managers due to the skewed assumption above. Second is the tendency of managers to react to the symptoms of resistance rather than the underlying causes. This usually results in the change agent prescribing the wrong preventive actions to manage the assumed resistance. Normally when the planned change in an organization is not going on as planned due to employee resistance, managers often look to make changes in employees while the real need may be to change the system. At times the resistance may actually be as a result of the way the change effort is being implemented. It is not surprising therefore to find some managers implementing strategies that deal with employee resistance while the underlying causes of resistance may be that the internal structure, processes, and resources of the organization are not in tandem with the change effort being undertaken.

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The third is the practice of managers attempting to replicate strategies that were successfully used to manage resistance elsewhere while not taking cognizance of the context of change. As it was mentioned earlier, the circumstances of each change process and causes of employee resistance are unique to each organization. Sometimes a strategy for managing resistance that was successful in one organization fails in another due to the different holding variables. For example, organizations have unique organizational cultures which consist of different employee’s values, beliefs, rituals, routines, and power systems (Pearce & Robinson, 1997). Finally, most change agents and managers usually consider resistance as something negative and inappropriate which should be overcome at all costs (Choi, 2011). Due to this, many managers do not take time to understand and appreciate the nature of resistance and as a result, fail to benefit from its positive aspects like the feedback loop it offers which is vital in monitoring the change. As it wa$ mentioned earlier, genuine employee resistance can at times prevent management from undertaking change efforts which may end up unsuccessful.

No matter how successfully or administratively perfect a proposed change may be, individuals in an organization implement or break the change due to representing a form of influence. Even though organizational change generally can be initiated by managers or imposed by specific changes in policy and procedures or arose through external pressures; organizational change is management’s attempt to have organization members to think, behave and perform differently (Carter et al., 2013). However, people differ with regard to their perception towards change; some of them may consider a change with a lower tolerance (Clement, 2014). That is, some organizational members embrace change initiatives readily and move it while others fight the change to the death with denying its necessity (Burke, 2017).

In organizations, resistance to change which concerns thought of the implications about change appears to be an attitude or behavior indicating a willingness to support or make the desired change (Mullins, 2005; Schermerhorn, Hunt & Osborn, 2005). In fact, resistance to change is a resistance to the loss of something that is valuable or loss of the known by moving to the unknown. Sometimes, people resist the imposition of change that is accepted as a universal truth (Burke, 2008). Nonetheless, resistance can be passive resignation or deliberate sabotage (Choi, 2011).

Benefits of Change Resistance

Various authors including Choi (2011) have opined that resistance is not always negative or an obstruction to change. They point out that in certain instances, resistance may play a positive and useful role in organizational change. They further argue that resistance may force management to rethink and re-evaluate a proposed change initiative. Weisbord (2011) identifies employee resistance as valuable passion, which can be channeled more constructively. Fugate et al (2012), contend that at times the organization may be changing the wrong thing or doing it wrong. Employee resistance can, therefore, act as a gateway or filter which can help organizations select from all possible changes the one that is most appropriate to the current situation. According to Thomas and Hardy (2012), resistance to change acts as a useful source of information which can assist change managers in developing successful change processes. Resistance often serves as a constructive purpose and is frequently an appropriate response to a situation especially when it is a symptom to deeper problems (Clement, 2012).

Ijas and Vitalis (2011) assert that resistance is a very effective, very powerful and very useful survival mechanism. He argues that the idea that anyone who questions the need for change has an attitude problem, is simply wrong and not only because it discounts past achievements, but also because it makes us vulnerable to indiscriminate and ill-advised change. Ijas and Vitalis (2011) postulate that there are many managers who believe that change processes that occur with only minimal resistance must have been a good change idea that was well managed by the organization. She points out that this understanding is an immature perspective which leaves employee resistance in the negative side of the change process.

Berube (2012) states that employee resistance to change can actually help prevent bad ideas from being implemented. This expected resistance causes us to deploy a strategy for obtaining the type of buy-in that will get our good ideas implemented. Thus, we should appreciate when employees push back against our initiatives, as this forces us to:

  • Justify why change is necessary
  • Slow down, prioritize, strategize and create supporting plans
  • Involve employees, listen and gather feedback

Justification and Re-evaluation

Many employees resist change because they don’t know why they are being asked to change (Burnes and Jackson, 2011). Resistance to change forces management to justify to the workforce why change is required. Leaders must ensure that their ideas creating the change will actually enhance the organization. Assuming the organization has a vision of where they are going, does this change align with and help achieve the vision of the organization? When changes occur, there is fear of the unknown. Employees will immediately wonder if their needs will still be met (Choi, 2011). Some of the typical fears include job loss, loss of power or influence, loss of prestige, reduced overtime, increased hours or more productivity (Brown and Osbourne, 2012). When we implement major change the justification must be translated to employees in the context of “what’s in it for me” (WIIFM) (Cawsey et al., 2011). We must make this translation because this is what they will be listening for. But, while leaders think that they can define the pros and cons at a personal level, they cannot. Only the individual employee can tell you the pros and cons of how a change will affect them. Resistance forces leaders to find out how the change will impact people. This can only be accomplished by communicating directly with employees early and often.

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Management have time to prioritize, strategize and create supporting plans


Resistance to change forces management to slow down and take the time needed to create comprehensive plans. Project managers know that their project’s success and failure are separated by risk. A detailed risk plan must be created to mitigate project risks (Burke, 2017). This plan includes items like resources, funding, timelines, and coordination. Project risks associated with the people side of change must also be considered. Risks must be analyzed and change-management plans created (Cawsey, 2011). 

  • Risk analysis
    The people side of change can be seen as a risk to our project objectives. When evaluating the risk to a project a manager must look at the size and scope of the change as well as the specific characteristics of the organization related to change (Brown and Osbourne, 2012). How big is the change? Does it change one group or everyone? Is everyone affected the same way or is the change different for each individual group? Is the organization saturated with many changes all happening at the same time? Are resources even available to make this change happen? Does the organization have a history of failed changes often referred to as “flavor of the month” syndrome? These are imperative questions to address resistance to change.
  • Communication plans
    Justifying the what, why, and WIIFM is usually accomplished through the communications plan. Burke (2017) states that the plan should be crafted to address the needs of all affected groups throughout all aspects of the project. Bad communication and its associated negative effect are magnified during events causing major change. When resistance to change forces an organization to create plans and communicate with our employees, it reinforces the benefits of good communication. These lessons learned can be carried over and applied to how managers communicate daily with staff (Choi, 2011).
  • Coaching plans for sponsors and managers
    One of the worst assumptions that change managers can make is to assume that sponsors and managers know exactly what is expected of them during a transformation. Choi (2011) states that coaching plans should be developed to assist these key roles in executing the activities necessary to be successful. We ask sponsors to lead from the front, build coalitions of people to guide the initiative and communicate key messages. Managers should work directly with the people who are changing and provide two-way communication, manage resistance, lead by example, connect the project to the people, and coach people through change, as well as make the change themselves (Brown and Osbourne, 2012).
  • Reinforcement plans
    As an organization encounters resistance and employees are taken out of their comfort zone. Management must have a plan in place to reinforce those new behaviors or they will revert to the old behaviors. From the “Plan-Do-Check-Act” model, this is a “check.” Management must check that the new behaviors are in plans and coordinate this “check” function with incentives and rewards (Burke, 2017). These can range from a simple pat on the back to celebratory dinners, to bonuses, to promotions (Burke, 2017). Creating reinforcement plans for major change often forces organizations to evaluate the effectiveness of their current reward and recognition programs to ensure that the correct behaviors are being reinforced (Choi, 2011).

Employee Feedback is valuable

While many leaders may have some great ideas, they may not always be the best solution. When we get different points of view we come up with a better solution. Getting employees involved early in the process fosters better solutions. The ideas become “ours” or “the team’s”not “management’s” (Fugate et al., 2012). This generates ownership and ownership minimizes resistance. One of the greatest benefits of involving our employees in designing solutions is that it further enhances their skills and abilities in continuous improvement. This makes them more valuable employees.

We all need to listen more. When we attempt to jointly develop solutions, our employees will tell us what is working and what isn’t. Listening provides us with feedback on whether the implemented changes are generating the results and associated return we expected. Resistance generates communication content. Listening for symptoms of resistance will allow us to check if we are trying to implement a good idea or a bad idea.

Summary


Resistance to change is a normal human response. Employees immediately seek to translate the change into a personal context—which can be magnified by fear of the unknown. When organizations have to address the WIIFM question with the workforce, it forces leaders to justify the reason for the change. Addressing the reasons for change and involving the workforce in crafting solutions creates the best ideas and helps prevent bad ideas from being implemented.

References

Berube, D.  (2012).  Resistance to change is a good thing.  Learning to Change.  Retrieved July    14, 2014, from HTTP:// www.lce.com/Resistance_to_Change_is_a_Good_Thing_492-item.html

Brown, K. and Osborne, S.P., 2012. Managing change and innovation in public service organizations. Routledge.

Burke, W.W., 2017. Organization change: Theory and practice. Sage Publications.

Burnes, B. and Jackson, P., 2011. Success and failure in organizational change: An exploration of the role of values. Journal of Change Management, 11(2), pp.133-162.

Carter, M.Z., Armenakis, A.A., Feild, H.S. and Mossholder, K.W., 2013. Transformational leadership, relationship quality, and employee performance during continuous incremental organizational change. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 34(7), pp.942-958.

Cawsey, T.F., Deszca, G. and Ingols, C., 2011. Organizational change: An action-oriented toolkit (Vol. 2). Sage.

Choi, M., 2011. Employees’ attitudes toward organizational change: A literature review. Human Resource Management, 50(4), pp.479-500.

Clement, J., 2014. Managing mandated educational change. School Leadership & Management, 34(1), pp.39-51.

Fugate, M., Prussia, G.E. and Kinicki, A.J., 2012. Managing employee withdrawal during organizational change: The role of threat appraisal. Journal of Management, 38(3), pp.890-914.

How does a Marketing Information System help with work?

Introduction

A marketing information system (MIS) is intended to bring together disparate items of data into a coherent body of information. An MIS is, as will shortly be seen, more than raw data or information suitable for the purposes of decision making. An MIS also provides methods for interpreting the information the MIS provides. Moreover, as Kotler’s(2003) definition says, an MIS is more than a system of data collection or a set of information technologies:

“A marketing information system is a continuing and interacting structure of people, equipment and procedures to gather, sort, analyze, evaluate, and distribute pertinent, timely and accurate information for use by marketing decision makers to improve their marketing planning, implementation, and control”.

With an increasingly competitive and expanding market, the amount of information needed daily by an organization is profound. Thus they have to establish a Marketing Information system. There are several advantages of Marketing Information Systems that can improve most if not all organizations and industries.

Benefits of a Marketing Information System (MIS)

If you are a marketing manager or business owner, finding effective ways to market your business is vital. Marketing information becomes even more important if you are part of a crowded market with many competitors, or you have a product that isn’t well known (Laudon and Laudon, 2016). If you don’t have good information, such as the data found in sales reports, you may end up wasting a lot of time and money on ineffective marketing activities. An investment in an MIS system is an effective way to help you organize and prepare your marketing campaigns. One of the key benefits of an MIS system is the insight it can provide about what your customers want and their perceptions of your products. Through your MIS, you’ll be able to make better decisions about consumer behavior and choices or product development.

One aspect of the IT impact on the organization is the use of new organizational structures which leads to the reduction of the number of administrative levels, and expand the scope of supervision and control, supervision in this way is based on staff confidence and less direct contact between supervisors and subordinates and relies on e-mail and software in achieving coordination between the individuals who perform common tasks, and increase managers delegation of decision-making responsibilities to lower levels, making the organization more responsive to its customers and its competitors (Densemore and Himes, 2016).

Organized Data collection is one of the benefits of an MIS. Lots of data can be collected from the market. But the main word here is “Organized”. Organizing data is very important else the data is meaningless. Thus MIS helps you to organize your database thereby improving productivity. Marketing information systems offer a broad perspective in marketing and management in an organization. With a proper MIS in place, the complete organization can be tracked which can be used to analyze independent processes. This helps in establishing a broader perspective which helps us know which steps can be taken to facilitate improvement (Laudon and Laudon, 2016). Storage of Important Data is a crucial element of MIS. An example can be seen in the pharmaceutical industry. Several times in pharmaceuticals, when one drug is being produced they may need data from another drug which was produced years back. Similarly, in Media, photographs are stored in archives. This storage of important data plays a crucial role in the execution and thus proves again that MIS is not important only for information but also for execution (Kotler, 2003).

An important benefit of Marketing Information Systems sees the avoidance of a potential crisis. The best way to analyze a products market performance is to see its past performance. Densemore and Himes (2015) state that top websites like Google and Facebook thrive on MIS. These websites run extensive marketing campaigns for which it is imperative to utilize a thorough marketing information base. Similarly, MIS helps an organization keep track of margins and profits. With an amazing information system established, management can know where how its organization is moving and probably avert a crisis long before it has taken place.

Co-ordination is a major benefit of Marketing Information Systems. Consumer durables and FMCG companies have a huge number of processes which needs to be coordinated. These companies depend completely on MIS for the proper running of the organization. There are dedicated people for marketing information systems in such organizations (Kotler, 2003). This is mainly because of the speed required to access information and implement it. Analysis and Planning is another advantage that helps an organization achieve its objectives. MIS is critical for planning. You cannot do planning without information. For planning, the first thing which is needed is the organization’s capabilities, then the business environment and finally competitor analysis. In a proper MIS, all these are present by default and are continuously updated. Thus MIS is very important for planning and analysis. A Marketing Information System also offers management more control that is well informed.  Just like MIS can help in a crisis, in normal times it provides control as you have information of the various processes going on and what is happening across the company (Laudon and Laudon, 2016). Thus it provides you with a sense of control.

Lever Brothers Example (Densmore and Himes, 2015)

Lever Brothers have a system that produces 2500 different pages of daily reports, 3000 pages of weekly reports, and 40,000 pages of monthly reports. Thus, managers have daily tabulations for the sales of their brands by geographic districts. Data are also provided as to whether the sales quota is being achieved, and how close to this the salesman is coming. It is possible to compare brands by zones, by districts, and by regions.” Every month there are reports on more than 3000 important customers and, best of all, they are available during the first week of the new month. These reports show a variety of information such as how well a particular account is doing vis-li-vis its performance in a prior year. This example was originally taken from Berenson (1969). It brings to light the complex nature of marketing within large corporations and why Marketing Information systems are imperative for their success in capturing and utilizing customer data.

Relation to the Marketing Plan

The marketing plan is the basic working document by which the marketing department conducts its activities. Obviously, every facet of this plan requires information so that appropriate decisions can be made (Kotler, 2003). The output of the marketing information system hence provides the input to the marketing plan for these marketing decisions. Therefore, the relationship of the information system to the marketing plan is two-fold: Cl) the marketing plan uses the output of the information system, and (2) provides control criteria for the marketing information system (Laudon and Laudon, 2016).

Conclusion

Marketing information systems are intended to support management decision making. Management has five distinct functions and each requires support from an MIS. These are planning, organizing, coordinating, decisions and controlling. Information systems have to be designed to meet the way in which managers tend to work. Research suggests that a manager continually addresses a large variety of tasks and is able to spend relatively brief periods on each of these. Given the nature of the work, managers tend to rely upon information that is timely and verbal (because this can be assimilated quickly), even if this is likely to be less accurate then more formal and complex information systems.

Managers play at least three separate roles: interpersonal, informational and decisional. MIS, in electronic form or otherwise, can support these roles in varying degrees. MIS has less to contribute in the case of a manager’s informational role than for the other two. Three levels of decision making can be distinguished from one another: strategic, control (or tactical) and operational. Again, MIS has to support each level. Strategic decisions are characteristically one-off situations. Strategic decisions have implications for changing the structure of an organization and therefore the MIS must provide information which is precise and accurate. Control decisions deal with broad policy issues and operational decisions concern the management of the organization’s marketing mix.

A marketing information system has four components: the internal reporting system, the marketing research systems, the marketing intelligence system and marketing models. Internal reports include orders received, inventory records and sales invoices. Marketing research takes the form of purposeful studies either ad hoc or continuous. By contrast, marketing intelligence is less specific in its purposes, is chiefly carried out in an informal manner and by managers themselves rather than by professional marketing researchers.

References

Berenson, C., 1969. Marketing information systems. The Journal of Marketing, pp.16-23.

Densmore, M.L. and Himes, S.H., 2015. A Synthesizing Conceptualization of Communication in a Marketing/Physical Distribution Setting. In Marketing Horizons: A 1980’s Perspective (pp. 179-183). Springer, Cham.

Laudon, K.C. and Laudon, J.P., 2016. Management information system. Pearson Education India.

Kotler, P., 2003. Marketing de A a Z: 80 conceitos que todo profissional precisa saber. Gulf Professional Publishing.

Social Mobility Essay

Basically social mobility refers to the likelihood that a child will grow up into adulthood and attain a higher level of economic and social wellbeing than his/her family of origin. The fact of social mobility is closely tied to facts about social inequality and facts about social class. In a highly egalitarian society there would be little need for social mobility. And in a society with a fairly persistent class structure there is also relatively little social mobility — because there is some set of mechanisms that limit entry and exit into the various classes. In the simplest terms, a social class is a sub-population within a society in which parents and their adult children tend to share similar occupations and economic circumstances of life. It is possible for a society to have substantial inequalities but also a substantial degree of social mobility. But there are good sociological reasons to suspect that this is a fairly unstable situation; groups with a significant degree of wealth and power are also likely to be in a position to arrange social institutions in such a way that privilege is transmitted across generations.

Social mobility is usually defined as: ‘…the movement or opportunities for movement between different social classes or occupational groups.’ (Aldridge, 2003) An ‘open’ or ‘fluid’ society is one where individuals are able to move freely, as a result of factors such as aptitude, intelligence, ability and effort, up the social scale, regardless of their social position in childhood (Heath and Payne, 1999). As such, the extent to which social mobility is possible is often used as one proxy measure of societal fairness. As Nun et al (2007) put it: The concept of social mobility 15 ‘The level of intergenerational mobility in society is seen by many as a measure of the extent of equality of economic opportunity or life chances. It captures the extent to which a person’s circumstances during childhood are reflected in their success in later life, or, on the flip-side, the extent to which individuals can make it by virtue of their own talents, motivation and luck.’ The importance of the concept of social mobility as a measure of social fairness has increased, being seen as a measure of equality of opportunity in a world where outcomes are not equal. Social mobility, therefore, is closely associated with related concepts such as inequality, social exclusion and inclusion, class and social stratification where mobility refers to movement between different and unequal social groups, or classes and between exclusion and inclusion. As Miller (2005) argues, chances for social mobility are one aspect of the concept of equality of opportunity, which itself is, in turn, one of the four foundational principles of social justice, alongside equal citizenship rights, a guaranteed set of minimum social rights and fair distribution of additional social rights that are outside of citizenship and the absolute social minimum.

Kronlid (2016) states that the realities of socio-economic inequalities in South Africa extend well beyond mere differences in income distribution. Inequalities in terms of real or perceived access to (quality) education, opportunities and (basic) services, physical separation from or proximity to areas with more economic activities and opportunities, a high unemployment rate and underemployment, apartheid legacies (which continue to have an impact on variances in access to resources or advantages between races), as well as interracial inequalities, are just some of the factors that form part of a complex socio-economic environment, where both unequal outcomes and unequal opportunities are evident. Socio-economic inequalities, and the inability to address the gaps between rich and poor in South Africa, work to the detriment of achieving social cohesion, encouraging democratic values and guarding the reconciliation processes. As social relations among South Africans are further strained in the tough political and economic environment of 2016, understanding the experiences of South Africans in accessing the resources they need to pursue their goals becomes increasingly relevant to addressing inequalities in both outcomes and opportunities (David et al., 2016).

Kronlid (2016) states that the challenge in comparing social mobility in Africa to elsewhere is that we really just don’t know much about social mobility in Africa. From the scarce data, however, there do seem to be a few patterns across the continent. People attain new income and opportunities mostly by moving from one type of work to another: from agriculture to household enterprises to the wage sector. And very few individuals do this. Transitions may occur early in the career, as a result of studies or migration, but they are rare. For example, recent data from Uganda show that 73 percent of youth working in agriculture in 2005 had the same type of employment five years later.

As in other parts of the world, being educated is important for social mobility. However, the importance of education varies, as the quality of education varies a lot across countries. In many countries, the poor quality of secondary and higher education, along with the scarcity of formal wage jobs, create high levels of unemployment among “educated” youth, fostering frustration and disillusion. Those without family support have to start working in the informal, self-employed sector or in agriculture, and it is hard for them to move out of those sectors later. Youth whose families can afford it often spend a long time after their studies looking for a good job. In urban Tanzania, the average duration in unemployment before attaining a wage job is 5.5 years. So getting quality education and having wealthy parents are critical for accessing good jobs.

In Africa, migrating to the city is quite often a prerequisite for upward mobility. Although there are variations between countries, formal wage jobs are mostly concentrated in urban areas, such that moving to the city makes a big difference. We have good evidence on this from Tanzania. Compared with young people who stayed in their villages, those who moved to regional towns saw their income increase twice as fast between 1991 and 2010, and those who moved to cities had their income rise four times as fast.

Finally, women have a harder time accessing good jobs than men do. Not only are they generally less educated, but also they have specific challenges to overcome, like early marriage, pregnancies or child care; social barriers to geographical mobility; and pay discrimination. In Liberia in 2007, 41 percent of young women reported family responsibilities as a reason for inactivity, compared to 31 percent of young men. Women are typically working in sectors with lower productivity. Over all, women were shown to earn 48 to 78 percent less than men in West African capitals in the early 2000s.

Many African economies have grown quickly, and education has expanded dramatically. But growth has been mostly driven by extractive industries rather than labor-intensive sectors like agriculture or manufacturing, and educational systems are performing poorly. As a result, social mobility seems to have remained low, and the weight of the social background still determines most of individual trajectories.

References

DAVID, A., GUILBERT, N., HINO, H., LEIBBRANDT, M., POTGIETER, E. and SHIFA, M., 2016. Papiers de Recherche| Research Papers.

Aldridge, S., 2003. The facts about social mobility. New Economy10(4), pp.189-193.

Heath, A. and Payne, C., 1999. Twentieth century trend in social mobility in Britain. Centre for Research into Elections and Social Trends, Working Paper70.

Nunn, A., Johnson, S., Monro, S., Bickerstaffe, T. and Kelsey, S., 2007. Factors influencing social mobility.

Kronlid, D., 2016. Mobility as capability. In Gendered mobilities(pp. 29-48). Routledge.