Organizational Change at Usa Today

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Organizational Change at
USA Today
Universidade Nova de Lisboa

Table of Content

Introduction…………………………………………………………………………….3

The Choice of Models and Methodology…….………………………...………………3

Organizational Change at USA Today…………………………………….……………4

Conclusion……………………………….……………………………………………..8

Appendix………………………………….……………………………………………9

List of References……………….…………………………………………………….10

Introduction
With increasing competition emerging from the results of technology and globalization, companies cannot longer rely on their traditional strengths without encountering changes of work practices. Often, small and continuous changes are not enough and situations inevitably call for radical changes of paradigms. Facilitating these changes is one of the greatest challenges managers face nowadays, as they are always connected to resistance, uncertainty and an undefined timeframe. Addressing certain challenges, several scholars have investigated models and procedures that should help managers to unravel the critical situations of organizational change. This paper will relate three different scientific models to one of the greatest organizational changes of the 1990’s namely the diversification and restructuring of USA Today from a traditional newspaper to a thorough news corporation including internet news and TV broadcasting.

The Choice of Models and Methodology
Organizational change can be described as the process of a company that is going through a transformation. This change occurs when business strategies or major sections of an organization are fundamentally altered. This paper will investigate how organizational change was implemented at the American Newspaper USA Today. Three different theoretical approaches will be applied to the case, namely Kotter’s “Eight steps of organizational change”, Porras’ and Robertson’s “Two-axis that define change” and Lewin’s “Freeze Model”. These models were chosen as they perfectly apply to the measures that were taken in the fundamental restructuring of the news corporation in the 1990’s. After a retrospective critical investigation this paper will draw a conclusion about the successful adoption of new business practices.

Organizational Change at USA Today
USA Today is a division of the Gannet Corporation, a national newspaper which was founded in 1982. In the first decade in business USA Today lost more than half a billion dollars but could then establish itself as the most important source of news for business travelers. Subsequently, revenues rose as the attractiveness for national advertisers was increasing. In 1992 the newspaper became the most widely read newspaper in the United States and turned out to be very profitable.

However, the 1990s would become a very difficult time for the mature market of newspapers. The readership strongly declined not only among young subscribers, but also among long-term customers as they increasingly looked to television and Internet media sources for daily news. On the other hand costs for newsprints were rising steadily. Overall, the future was not very bright for the traditional print media business. The president and publisher of USA Today, Tom Curley realized that the newspaper would have to expand further from the mature printing market in order to maintain its profits. Certain changes would require fundamental innovations; the firm would need to find solutions to extent its established news-gathering and editing capabilities to completely new forms of media.

The fundamental organizational changes that Tom Curley would need to implement throughout the entire agency do not only facilitate positive outcomes, these changes are inevitably linked to resistance, layoffs and uncertainty. In order to control and structure processes of change more precisely, John P. Kotter, who teaches leadership at Harvard Business...
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