Levels and Types of Organizational Change

Change is not an easy factor to go through. Taking in to account that it does not matter if it is a change of rules, space or simple habits. The concept of change involves many other functions. Where the resistance to it, sometimes is hard to adapt or maybe just simple depending the management and organization between one and more individuals, which makes part of an organization structure and affect a whole organization.

Organizational change in inevitable just like anything in life, in addition to this the evolution of the world markets and cultures. Makes the change something that requires constant attention and preparation. In order to be successful in any market, an organization has to be able to transform an evaluate different kind of statements that show the importance of organizational change in the develop of a company.

Change is understood as doing things differently in order to cope up with emerging changes in the organisation environment. Change in any part of the organisation may affect the whole organisation. Change could be proactive or reactive. A proactive change has necessarily to be planned to attempt to prepare for anticipated future challenges. Generally it is initiated by management. A reactive Change may be an automatic response to a change taking place in the environment.

Levels of Organizational Change

The various levels of organizational changes are;

1. Individual Level Change

Individual level changes may take place due to changes in job assignment, transfer of an employee to a different location or the changes in the maturity level of a person which occurs over a passage of time. The general opinion is that change at the individual will not have the significant implications for the organization. But this is not correct because individual level changes will have impact on the group which in turn will influence the whole organization. Therefore, a manager should never treat the employees in isolation but he must understand that the individual level change will have repercussions beyond the individual.

2. Group Level Change

Management must consider group factors while implementing any change, because most of the organizational changes have their major effects at the group level. The groups in the organization can be formal groups or informal groups. Formal groups can always resist change for example; the trade unions can very strongly resist the changes proposed by the management. Informal groups can pose a major barrier to change because of the inherent strength they contain. Changes at the group level can affect the work flows, job design, social organization, influence and status systems and communication patterns.

The groups, particularly the informal groups have a lot of influence on the individual members of the group. As such by effective implementing change at the group level, resistance at the individual level can be frequently overcome.

3. Organizational Level Change

The organizational change involves major programmes which affect both the individuals and the groups. Decisions regarding such changes are made by the senior management. These changes occur over long periods of time and require considerable planning for implementation. A few different types of organization level changes are:

  • Strategic change. Strategic change is the change in the very basic objectives or mission of the organization. A simple objective may have to be changed to multiple objectives. For example, a lot of Indian companies are being modified to accommodate various aspects of global culture brought in by the multinational or transnational corporations.
  • Structural change. Organizational structure is the pattern of relationships among various positions and among various position holders. Structural change involves changing the internal structure of the organization. This change may be in the whole set of relationships, work assignments and authority structure. Change in organization structure is required because old relationships and interactions no longer remain valid and useful in the changed circumstances.
  • Process oriented change. These changes relate to the recent technological developments, information processing and automation. This will involve replacing or retraining personnel, heavy capital equipment investment and operational changes. All this will affect the organizational culture and as a result the behavior pattern of the individuals.
  • People oriented change. People oriented changes are directed towards performance improvement, group cohesion, dedication, and loyalty to the organizations as well as developing a sense of self-actualization among members. This can be made possible by closer interaction with employees and by special behavioral training and modification sessions.

To conclude, we can say that changes at any level affect the other levels. The strength of the effect will depend on the level or source of change.

Types of Organizational Change

Different types of changes require different types of strategies to be implemented for effective functionality. The three types of change that occur most frequently in organisations are

  1. Developmental Change: Developmental Change occurs when a company makes an improvement to their current business. If a company decided to improve their processes, methods or performance standards that should be considered as developmental change. Companies are continually processing developmental changes to some degree in order to stay competitive. This type of change should cause little stress to current employees as long as the rationale for the new process is clearly conveyed and the employees are educated to new techniques. When major change such as decision to close a division, streamline the business and organisation downsizing, make developmental changes unacceptable to the employees. The employees could see that the company attempted different strategies before determining that closing the division is the only option.
  2. Transitional Change: Transitional Change is more intrusive than developmental change as it replaces existing processes or procedures with something that is completely new to the company. The period when an old process is being dismantled and the new process is being implemented is called transitional phase. A corporate reorganization, merger, acquisition, creating new products or services and new technologies are examples of Transitional Change. It may not require a significant shift in culture or behavior but it is more challenging to implementing than a developmental change. The future of the organisation is unknown when the transformation begins which can add a level of discomfort to the employees. The outcome of transitional Change is unknown so employees Amy feel that their job is unstable and their own personal insecurities may increase. Education and orientation at every stage of new process implementation should be commenced in order to employees’ insecurity. This will make the employees feel comfortable. They will feel engaged and actively involved in change. As the employees’ level of engagement in new process increase, their resistance to change may decrease. Management should be a cognizant of the impact and stress these changes will have on their employees. The company should continue to inform the employees of their status offer support in helping them deal with the personal adjustments they will be forced to make.
  3. Transformational Change: Transformational Change occurs after the transition period. Transformational change may evolve both developmental and transitional change. It is common for transitional and transformational change to occur in tandem. When companies are faced with the emergence of radically different technologies, significant changes in supply and demand, unexpected competition, lack of revenue or other major shifts in how they do business, developmental or transitional change may not offer the company the solution they need to stay competitive. Instead of methodically implementing new processes, the company may be forced to drastically transform itself.

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