Principles of supporting change in a business environment
Section 1 – Understand why change happens in a business environment
1. Explain why change happens in a business environment. You should include at least three reasons in your answer.
Reasons for change in a business environment may include:
• A business wants to reduce waste and costs
• A business launches a new product
• A business introduces 24-hour customer support
• A business introduces quality management techniques
- Political factors
• Government (policies, regulations, grants and the government as a client or customer) • International (conflict, political change, pressure groups and trade policies) • Legislation (domestic, European, future legislation, and international legislation) - Economic factors
• Domestic (competitors' behaviour, economic performance of businesses in the UK, trends, tax and interest rates) • International (competitors' behaviour, economy, economic trends, tax, interest rates, exchange rates and trade issues)
Advertising and PR, brands and image, consumer attitudes, consumer buying preferences, demographics, ethical issues, events, media views.
Ability to install new technology (and of competitors to do so), emerging new technologies, funding for technological research, development and implementation, intellectual property rights, technology legislation and the technological life cycle.
Section 2 – Understand the purpose of supporting change in a business environment
1. Identify the main reasons for reviewing working methods, products and / or services in a business environment.
Reasons for reviewing working methods, products or services may include: • identifying anything that is not working
• providing the opportunity to improve
• Reviewing products ensures that they are still fit for purpose • Reviewing services ensures that what is being offered is competitive and what the customer wants
2. When a business is going through change:
a) Describe the different types of support that people may need.
Effective planning The support for people in an organisation can be planned to come before any actual changes are implemented. If people must deal with ill-considered and poorly planned change then the consequences may be severe. When there is an absence of planning there is a greater likelihood of chaos and conflict. One way managers can support staff is to make changes that contribute to the long-term well-being of the organisation and work out the most efficient and effective ways to make those changes. This shows people that they have been considered and every attempt has been made to minimise unnecessary problems.
Participation At times it will not be possible or appropriate for staff to take part in the decisions on the changes that will be made and how they will be implemented. There may be times when people will actively resist change. However there may be occasions when it is possible to involve staff and have their participation in the whole change process. This can certainly help staff as they have some control of the process rather than being passive and having no control.
Clear communications and expectations
One way of supporting people during change is to make sure that they know... What change are going to be made and what the organisation will be like once the changes have been implemented. How the changes will impact on the job of each person. Why the changes are being made.
If this information is not supplied, or only done in part, then people are only aware of a meaningless set of chaotic changes. Not surprisingly in this situation people may resist, or be confused or struggle. In these...
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