Organizational change is an important part of organizational management and leaders cannot ignore the inevitability of having to manage change within their organizations. In addition, a global study that was conducted with over 2,000 organizations showed that 82 percent had implemented major information system change, which entailed other changes in structure, technology, and people as well (as cited in Robbins & Coulter, 2007). Therefore, it is imperative that managers and organizations understand how to increase their chances of having successful change programs.
The first step in designing a change program is to understand what the problem or issue is that needs to be changed. This is referred to as diagnosis and is very important in making sure that the situation is fully understood so that an appropriate plan can be developed that will achieve the desired outcomes. In addition, diagnosis helps the organization determine what the scope of the issue is and how to make a change that will result in the desired outcome. There are several ways to receive the needed data to conduct a diagnosis. The organization can conduct attitude surveys, they can use direct observations, interview key individuals within the organization, develop workshops and review documents and records (Gibson et al., 2009).
Unfortunately, many organizations do not take their time with this step which can result in flawed conclusions on the true nature of the problem, not understanding what their desired outcome from the change is, or not identifying the right intervention for the change. Therefore, it is very important to collect the needed information from various sources to determine the nature and scope of the issue or problem that requires change.
After the problem has been diagnosed then interventions are determined to focus the change process. Gibson et al. (2009) describe interventions as a specific action taken to focus the change process on a desired outcome. Therefore, any change that an organization implements is an intervention since its goal is to have an effect on a specific outcome. In addition, Gibson et al. (2009) suggests that all interventions can be classified in to either structural change, behavioral change, or technology change. Structural change refers to interventions that redesign jobs, the flow of work, or the structure of the organization. Behavioral change is the technique that is used when organizations want to modify employee skills, attitudes, or learning. The third intervention of technology is used when there is a change in computers, IT infrastructure, or automation of work. However, depending on the scope of the initial problem and the depth of the change that is needed, interventions could be used from all three of the Gibson et al. (2009) categories.
Thus, the need to make sure that the original issue is fully diagnosed before developing interventions. For...