Recent Organisational Changes in the Virgin Group
These assignments discuss the organisational changes that the Virgin Group has been during the last few years, and how they are adapting to the changes in the operating environment. This will be in the context of the employees’ perception of the changes, and how the Virgin Group can lower their resistance to change. This is a natural feeling from employees, when faced with uncertainty, and this needs to be managed. The assignment focuses on the Virgin Group airline operation, Virgin Atlantic. Virgin Atlantic Airways was founded in 1984, and it is the UK’s second largest carrier. The company is based at Gatwick, Heathrow and Manchester airport; Virgin Atlantic operates long haul services to over thirty destinations globally. The organisation has been recognised through awards from top business, consumer and trade (www.virgin.com). 2.0
Meaning of Change management
Change management is not a distant discipline with rigid and clearly defined boundaries. Rather, the theory and practice of change management draws on a number of social science disciplines and traditions. Three schools of thought form the central plank on which change management theory stands. This includes: The Individual perspective school: This school is split into Behaviourist and Gestalt-Field theory. The Gestalt-Field theorists believed that behaviour is not just a product of external stimuli; rather it arises from how the individual uses reasons to interpret the stimuli. The behaviourists, on the other hand seek to achieve organisational change solely by modifying the external stimuli acting upon the individual. The Group Dynamics school: This originated from the work of Kurt Lewin. According to Lewin (1974) people in organisations work in groups, and individual behaviour must be seen, modified or change in the light of groups’ prevailing practices and norms. HENCE the focus of change must be at the group level and should concentrate on influencing and changing the group’s norms, roles and values (Cummings and Huse, 1989). The Open Systems school: The school is concerned with understanding organisations in their entirely. It attempts to take a holistic rather than a particularistic perspective. This is reflected in its approach to organisational change. Change management can be defined as a systematic approach to dealing with change, both from the perspective of an organization and on the individual level. A somewhat ambiguous term, change management has at least three different aspects, including: adapting to change, controlling change, and effecting change. A proactive approach to dealing with change is at the core of all three aspects. For an organization, change management means defining and implementing procedures and/or technologies to deal with changes in the business environment and to profit from changing opportunities. Daft (2000) states that change is a necessary evil and all organisation undergo change at one time or another if not continuously. Organisations usually change in response to political, economical, social, technological and legal forces. There are four different types of change that an organisation can undertake, they are technological change, new product based change, structural change, and cultural change. According to Bass (1985) successful adaptation to change is as crucial within an organisation as it is in the natural world. Just like plants and animals, organisations and the individuals in them inevitably encounter changing conditions that they are powerless to control. The more effectively you deal with change, the more likely you are to thrive. Adaptation might involve establishing a structured methodology for responding to changes in the business environment (such as a fluctuation in the economy, or a threat from a competitor) or establishing coping mechanisms for responding to changes in the workplace (such as new policies, or technologies)....
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