Leadership and Change Management Research

Topics: Change management, Leadership, Management Pages: 19 (6578 words) Published: January 26, 2009

Leading and Change Management Research

MBA 520 University of Phoenix

Leadership and Change Management Research
The purpose of this analysis is to gain knowledge about key concepts reviewed in the MBA 520 coursework coupled with recognizing application of these concepts in several industries. This paper has three purposes: (1) identify an issue in the simulation that the companies also face, (2) how the company responded to the issue, and (3) outcomes of the company’s response to the situation.

Change is the only dependable constant in life as well as in business. Especially in a free market economy, change is inevitable. This being the case, the manner in which change is administered or managed can play a detrimental part in the success or failure of an organization. Change management is defining and implementing procedures and/or technologies to deal with changes in the business environment and to profit from changing opportunities (TechTarget, 2007-08).” The organization's leadership must identify the challenges associated with implementing the changes and facilitate a smooth transition. The following paragraphs examine some of the challenges faced by major organizations and detail their responses.

Several key concepts are identified in the following organizations as multiple variations of change were implemented. Often change is met with resistance due to lack of prior analysis, poor planning, human nature not wanting disruption, lack of communication, or a combination of all the above. Many theories about the best practice to initiate change exist however, none are foolproof; but with an analysis, a plan, commitment and a transformational leader in the organization, change can be implemented much more smoothly. Resistance to Change

Resistance to change is an early warning sign of organizational decline (Kreitner and Kinicki, 2004). Many of the companies described below had employees and even leadership team members putting up walls, similar to that of both Intersect and CrysTel, which makes the process of implementing an organizational change even more difficult. Resistance to change is an emotional/behavior response to real or imagined threats to an established work routine (Kreitner and Kinicki, 2004). Resistance to change is caused by fear of the unknown, lack of trust, loss of job security, potential of failure, pressure from coworkers, cultural conflict, personality conflicts, poor timing and no rewards (Kreitner and Kinicki, 2004). To overcome resistance to change thorough analysis and planning prior to implementing the change is a priority. Additionally, communication with all parties involved makes everyone less “on edge” and more susceptible to a positive change within the organization. Hershey Foods Corporation (Hershey) consolidated software around the holiday of Halloween resulting in increased stress coupled with revenue loss. Hershey did not properly plan for the change nor did they have any strategies in place to overcome lack of resistance. Hershey learned from the experience that prior analysis and strategic planning may decrease resistance of new projects and products. Analyzing, planning, and communication will be included in any future changes in Hershey’s future. Kmart being one of the nation’s oldest retailers is feeling the need for change as competition increases. Kmart is seeking measurable methods to reevaluate and rebuild products, services, and pricing. While Kmart has made a drastic change in merging with Sears, it may be a little too late for Kmart to recapture the market share as proven in the declining 2008 net profit of 44.6%. Stevens Hospital identified several areas of needed to change to meet the needs of the community and to increase the hospital’s profitability. Stevens Hospital spent the upfront planning and analysis, unlike Hershey, to prioritize...
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