The various levels of organizational change programs may be classified into individual level changes, group level changes and organisational level changes.
Individual Level Change Programs
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 level will not have significant implications for the organisation. But this is not correct because individual level changes will have impact on the group which in turn will influence the whole organisation. 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.
Group Level Change Programs
Management must consider group factors while implementing any change, because most of the organisational changes have their major effects at the group level. The groups in the organisation 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 organisation, influence and status systems and communication patterns.
The groups, particularly the informal groups have a lot of influence on the individual members on the group. As such by effectively implementing change at the group level, resistance at the individual level can be frequently overcome.
Organization Level Change Programs
The organisational level change involves major programs 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 organisation level changes are:
- Strategic Change: Strategic change is the change in the very basic objectives or missions of the organisation. A single objective may have to be changed to multiple objectives. For example, a lot of Indian companies are being modified to accommodate various aspect of global culture brought in by the multinational or transnational corporations.
- Structural Change: Organisational structure is the pattern of relationships among various positions and among various position holders. Structural change involves changing the internal structure of the organisation. This change may be in the whole set of relationships, work assignment and authority structure. Change in organisation 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 organisational 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 organisation 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.