Managing Organizational Change Essay

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In this dynamic business environment, change is inevitable. Changes can be planned, or unintentional: depending on the driving forces behind. The major forces for change can be derived from the nature of the workforce, technology, economic shocks, competition, social trends, and world politics (Robbins & Judge, 2011). In this post the author will explain the Kotter’s eight –step approaches to managing organizational change and discuss how his company handles the planned changes in term of organization reconstruction.

When changes are inevitable, the leaders usually design some adequate steps to make the change go smooth, effective and permanently. Kurt Lewin argued that successful change in organizations should follow three steps: unfreezing the status quo, movement to a desired end state, and refreezing the new change to make it permanent (Robbins & Judge, 2011, cited in Lewin, 1951). John Kotter further expanded the Lewin’s model to include an eight-step plan for implementing change. The eight stages are: 1) establishing a sense of urgency 2) creating a guiding coalition 3) developing a vision and strategy 4) communicating the change vision 5) empowering broad-based action 6) generating short-term wins 7) consolidating gains and producing more change and 8) institutionalizing new approaches in the culture (Kotter, 1996). Kotter asserted that many changes failed because some steps were ignored, such as missing the creation of a sense of urgency, vision, or coalition. Using Kotter approaches, let’s analyze a recent change happened in Science Application International Corporation (SAIC), the company the author is working for.

SAIC provides scientific, engineering, systems integration and technical services and solutions primarily to the U.S. government, with specific emphasis on all branches of the U.S. military, the Department of Defense (DoD), the intelligence community, and the Department of Homeland Security (DoHS). Recent economic recession and federal budget cut has significantly impacted SAIC’s core business and affected its revenue and growth. Its stock price fell 25% since last September because the shareholders were disappointed with the operation and worried about the future revenue growth and earning. The SAIC management realized that the market has changed; the company’s strategy and focus have to change accordingly. The leadership established a sense of urgency by creating a compelling reason for why changes are needed (stage 1). In July 2009, the board of directors hired a new CEO, Walt Havenstein, to carry out the change process. In the summer of 2010, Hevenstein (the change agent), made a strategy-based change in the corporate leadership structure and personnel (Stage 2). The new strategies had been formulated: to provide mission-oriented solutions for national security, energy, health and other major enterprises serving critical infrastructure needs. The company planned to shift its customer based structure to market...

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