Good Example Of Change Management: Mergers Research Proposal
Change Management: Mergers
When two companies come together to form a joint venture, there is a transition that occurs. Change is inevitable, however, to minimize this impact change management needs to occur to ensure a smooth and successful implementation in order to achieve lasting benefits. There are many variables that must be accounted for when managing this change, especially during a joint venture – is one business bigger than the others and does this affect social dynamics, will this transition affect prior managerial roles and responsibilities, will the change affect individual’s career progression. Each factor is unique to a workplace and change may disrupt these for the better or worse. Exploring how change management is applied in a real setting will allow me to understand why businesses need change and how this change affects employees. How can organization effectively manage and cope with the change process brought about mergers? This question finds wide applicability in the current organizational sector that is characterized by a lot of dynamism. An organization merger is a perfect exemplification of a change process that the involved organizations must navigate through carefully so that by the end of this period, the synergies of the two merging organization will be harmonized, and business will run as usual. This essay will utilize literature from various articles and books to identify the critical components of an effective change management to plan. A total of three different points will be raised. To put things into perspective, concepts will also be drawn from the vocational placement experience where a comprehensive change management plan oversaw a very successful merger.
The first’s point to be raised is effective communication. Communication is an extremely vital aspect that should feature in the change process. Many mergers tend to focus on business and financial systems integration that are of course operationally essential since they create the foundation for success. Unfortunately, little attention is given to the human factors and in many cases, communication is restricted to only those that are deemed to be worthy of knowing (Lewis, 2011). By the time the merger happens, in terms of business and financial systems, many employees are emotionally disengaged from the organization, and some have even left. This clearly calls for an official communication strategy that cascades down the human resources level during the pre-merger phase. The more the communication is delayed about the impending merge, the more difficult it will be for the two companies merging to regain their footing (Lewis, 2011). First of all, employees need to be told of the impending mergers. The employees are the most important assets of an organization. Many employees tend to resist change and an impending merger is often treated very suspiciously especially when the employees do not have enough details about what this particular change entails (Clegg, Kornberger and Pitsis, 2011). Many may think that the merger will result in the laying of some of them. These are fears and suspicions that should be effectively mitigated by the management of the two organizations. The process of proactive change management should involve comprehensive communication with all the parties involved (Lewis, 2011). The firms should assure their employees of sustained employment and fully explain that the particular change aspire to bring about.
The next aspect that will be explored relates to cultural adjustment. In the case of a merger, there is no doubt that the organizations involved in the mergers have relatively differing cultures. If the merger is to be successful, action must be taken to facilitate the compatibility of the merging firm’s cultures. Having different cultures can obviously act as an impendent to the change process that is the merger. The compatibility of the cultures can initially be done through a preliminary cultural assessment. If the merger is approached without due consideration of the distinctive culture of the merging firms, chaos is likely to erupt and even when the organizations merge; the new organization may actually fail to take off (Woodman & Pasmore, 2009). Therefore, one of the key elements of successful change management during a merger is a well-designed plan for the enhancement of cultural compatibility (Deetz, Tracy & Simpson, 2000). One plan would be for the involved firms to indulge in each other’s cultures and then work towards attaining a similar culture so that one the change takes plea, everything will be smooth.
Leadership and Training
The final aspect that will be looked at is leadership and training. Successful change management is inadvertently not possible without proper leadership (Kavanagh & Ashkanasy, 2006). In fact, the management is supposed to lead by example and in the case of a merger, the role of leadership in successful change management becomes accentuated. In regard to training, firm stakeholders need to be adequately prepared for change by being trained on the new ways of conducting things after the change has been effected (Dunford, 1992). Training works hand in hand with effective communication to reduce resistance to change. In addition, training facilitates a smooth change over whereby things kick right off after the change process is complete. In terms of mergers, the involved firms may choose to train their employees together or each may partake to train its staff and stakeholders separately.
All organizations undergo some form of change in the course of their lifetime. Change is indeed the key to the survival of an organization. A merger is an example of one the changes that many organizations go through. For the goals and objectives of organization change to be achieved, it is imperative that an effective change management plan be utilized. Some of the key elements of an effective change management for a merger, as shown above, include timely and effective communication, well-designed plan for facilitating cultural compatibility and integration and finally y leadership and training.
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