Managing Change at Faslane

Topics: Management, Organizational studies and human resource management, Organization Pages: 6 (1024 words) Published: May 22, 2013

HM Naval base Clyde or better known as Faslane saw a change in management responsibilities with certain aspects of it being handed over to Babcock Navel Services (BNS) in 2002 by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) in a bid to reduce the cost, improve operational effectiveness and service standards.

To ensure a smooth transition it was necessary to adopt a suitable change management strategy with the help of various levers for change by John Howie.


Extensive study and analysis on the case reveals that the type of change that took place at faslane is revolutionary strategic change.

Source: Julia Belogun & Veronica Hope Hailey

As indicated above, the changes at Faslane took place in several fronts simultaneously such as People, organisational structures, systems, etc. The following examples can be extracted from the case study to reinforce my reasoning as given above;

Organisational changes

❖ Structural change
o Trimming down the management layers from seven to four. o Transforming the organization structure from functional to bureaucratic.

❖ Leadership change
o Handing over the management of Faslane to BNS by the MOD o Reducing the entire management team from 250 to 125 and to current level of 12. o Appointing a lesser number of senior managers with change management experience as opposed to a fleet of managers without any know-how.

❖ Strategic and re-engineering change
o Re-designing the approval obtaining mechanism to consume a maximum of six days reducing from 56 days by removing unwanted review points. ❖ Fundamental and incremental change
o Willingness of the MOD to reduce costs and enhance service levels. o Improve and enhance the operational and decision making process

Systems changes

❖ Process oriented change
o Prior to change, people focused on buildings and infrastructure overlooking the service aspect, now the focus has shifted to delivering a quality service from buildings and infrastructure.

Changes involving people

❖ Changes involving people came about by way of changing the attitudes and behaviour of people to achieve efficiency and performance improvement. This was automatically triggered as a result of other changes that took place in the organisation in terms of organisational and system changes.


The change style of John Howie and the role he plays in the process of change tends to take the form of a Transformational leader. John Howie demonstrate most, if not all of the special attributes of a Transformational Leader, which are listed below,

❖ go beyond the day today management problems.

❖ Commit people to action and focus.

❖ Commitment to achieve future goals.

❖ Provides vision to transform the future.

These characteristics are evident from his approach and initiatives throughout his stint of change management in the organization. They include,

❖ Getting the services from personal from BNS who has exposure to change.

❖ Getting people from the organization to volunteer to give change ideas.

❖ Cost reduction by creating awareness among the employees.

❖ Organizational Procedures/processes changes.

❖ Changing the responsibility and accountability structure of the senior management.

❖ Customer service level enhancement through changing the focus.

❖ Liaising with external parties to ensure the smooth functioning of the organization.


It is of vital importance for the success of any change management process to pull the correct levers for change at the correct paradigm of time. As such, when analysing the case, one could observe several types of levers for change were utilized. They are;

❖ Commitment: communication, participation and...
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