When ask what change is, the usual response is anything that does not stay the same. Roy Chadband (2008) in lecturers notes suggest that anything away from the usual activity is considered change.
Therefore the researcher understanding of change is, any form of movement that take place in any discipline, whether forward or backward.
The best- known change models are those developed Kurt Lewin (1951), Beckhard (1969). Important contributions to an understanding of the mechanisms for change have been made by Thurley (1979), Quinn (1980), Nadler (1980), Bandura (1986) and Beer, Eisenstat and Spector (1990). However the Kurt Lewin Model (KLM) which speaks of unfreezing, changing and refreezing would be emphasized in this research. Force field analysis is a management technique developed by Kurt Lewin, a pioneer in the field of social sciences, for diagnosing situations. It will be useful when looking at the variables involved in planning and implementing a change program and will undoubtedly be of use in team building projects, when attempting to overcome resistance to change. Lewin assumes that in any situation there are both driving and restraining forces that influence any change that may occur. On one side there is the driving force for change and on the other there are the restraining forces. Equilibrium is attained when the sum of the driving forces equals the sum of the restraining forces, this demonstrates the production level. The production level will be lowered when restraining forces are increased and raised when driving forces are increased. This is demonstrated in Figure 1.
In order to initiate change, Lewin has recommended a three stage model, unfreezing, change and refreezing. Unfreezing speaks of the organization and its people willingness to accept change and let go of the old ways it is like waking up and taking the first step. Change speaks of the transition period it is the journey rather than a single step. It speaks of the entire changing process. Refreezing speaks of the end of the journey, the organization has achieved it goals it is time to go to sleep again.
The author has chosen to document her “change” experiences at Zoom Caribbean Ltd.
1.1 Company’s Background
Zoom Caribbean Ltd. Is a small garment manufacturing company (souvenir T shirts, beach pants) with approx.15 staff members. Zoom has a factory outlet based in Trinidad as well as two retail outlets strategically placed in Tobago at the world renowned Pigeon-Point Heritage Park and the newly opened Gulf City Mall Lowlands.
Zoom Caribbean Ltd. wholesales as well as retails. The factory outlet deals with production and wholesaling while the retail outlets carry a wide range of their products together with products from other suppliers (beach towels, sunblock, carib accessories, beach bags, sunglasses etc).
2.0 Identifying a need for change
The researcher entered the Zoom Caribbean Ltd Family in April of 1997. However, her expectations of Zoom’s technological position came to a sudden halt a mere week into her training. It was clear that Zoom had not kept abreast of technological changes; stock was still taken manually, invoice books were still being used to list items that were sold and manual stock checks were still being done on a monthly basis.
The head office had to send a senior member of staff to check and double check stock levels at the end of each month in order to process orders and to confirm discrepancies in stock levels. With the head office being in Trinidad these processes no doubt were a difficult and expensive tasks.
Zoom’s management was committed to their system and boasted of its reliability and efficiency.
Zoom did not see a reason to change.
However, it was the view, of the researcher, Zoom’s newly appointed Tobago Manager that Zoom market share would soon fall to its competitors who had previously embraced the arms of technology. Theory speaks of...