Oticon Change Management

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How was the resistance to change overcome by Oticon?
Change is generating resistance and that can be attributed to different factors (Buchanan & Huczynski 2004). What is important is how a company can handle and overcome the resistance to change in order to accomplish this difficult process. It has to be mentioned that, at a certain moment in time, different parts of the same organisation can be at different stages of the change. There are five main stages addressed by each individual that goes through a change process:

• Denial
• Anger
• Bargaining
• Depression
• Acceptance
The timeline of the Oticon change did last for 6 years, until positive results reported in 1994. After 2 years of using the usual tools to increase profit, Lars Kolind realised that he had to go for more radical change to bring Oticon to a sustained competitive edge. It took 15 months to prepare all the parties involved to accept the change to work in a “structureless” organization. He also successfully used the Participation tactic (Kotter and Schlesinger 1979) to overcome the potential reluctance in the company. As the company was seen as being composed by responsible adults it made sense to get the support from the staff and be open with them. Other tools like education and continuous communication have also been used - as communication is at the centre of the new approach - so the new direction and the human values have been openly conveyed to get employees buy-in and understand the change process. Facilitation and tactic support to ensure that staff will have the right level of skills, has also been put in place. On the other hand, no negotiation was available – the only way for an employee to reject the change process was resignation.

Critically analyse the leadership style used by Oticon throughout the change process. Leadership means different things to different people and many theories have been developed about leadership. There is a clear difference between a...
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