Balogun and Hope Hailey in Henley MBA Material (2012) categorises the major dilemmas faced by a change agent. These categories are used to identify the dilemmas encountered in this change approach and the reasoning behind the eventual choices made.
Should the change be more or less planned?
This change is not in response to a crisis so there is no critical need for it to be implemented without planning. Also, the change involves different national cultures, organisational cultures and sub-cultures (Schein, 2004) that need to be consider and planned in to the implementation and embedding of the change. On the other hand, the longer the planning period in place the more costly the change becomes and the more procrastination that can set in. Also, resistance to the change is given more opportunity to develop.
The Author’s recommended approach is to have a greater degree of planning associated with the change. This is because the target of the change is not simply output but also involves the attitudes and beliefs of the resources involved. The output is very dependent on the organisation’s human capital and given the awareness, capability, and the will (Carnall, 2007) the team should overcome any barriers and effectively implement this change.
Should the change be more or less directed from the top down?
This dilemma focuses on the style to be used in the change implementation. It is important that this change is implemented as it is part of an overall strategy for both organisations. There is a need for positional power to be available to ensure that resistance to the change can be overcome if required. These would imply that a more coercive top down style would be appropriate. However, this style is less likely to achieve buy-in to the change and would not be accepted in some of the cultures involved (see section People Barrier above). In the long term this could impact how effectively the change is embedded. Considering the organisational cultures/sub-cultures (Schein, 2004) and stakeholders involved a mixture of styles would appear to be more appropriate.
In the recommended approach, the Author has selected a combination of styles to be included in the change leadership. The reasoning is explained using the Rock’s (2008) SCARF model. The model provides five domains that can impact the effectiveness of change, Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness and Fairness.
The involvement of the recipients of the change in the change leadership will help alleviate perceived threats to Status.
The communication in relation to roles and responsibilities will provide more Certainty for the recipients.
The collaborative and inclusive leadership roles will ensure more Autonomy and Relatedness in the shared implementation.
Finally, communicating the vision and the need for the change will provide more understanding and build the sense of Fairness required for a successful change.
Alleviating the perceived threats under each...