Change is an important aspect of an organization. Without change, it would be impossible for many institutions to develop. Change is vital since it influences critical decision making and appropriate steps a company may take for development purposes. It, therefore, means that it is an unavoidable issue which every organization or manager of a company should embrace to realize growth. Attitude usually influences change in an organization. Attitude may vary in nature, and it ranges from the top management to the workers. In most agencies, change is triggered by the managers; then the employees are the ones to implement it at different segments of the organization. Change takes place through deliberate innovations that are geared towards improving in a specific area of a company or an organization.
Many companies will always work to embrace change, but this is not realized in certain circumstances. There are certain factors that always impede change from taking place. These factors are of different magnitudes. For instance, a section of workers in a company may be a hindrance to change. This paper will discuss how barriers to change influences leadership decision-making in a company. Then it will also assess the different approaches leaders can employ to trigger and influence change to take place in an organization. The main point of focus will be on the Mark and Spencer Company.
There are different barriers to change that hinder key decision-making in companies and organizations. Leaders of organizations have the responsibility of making key decisions that affect the running of an organization. Here, they employ their knowledge and skills so that they influence the better running of an organization. Decision-making involves a situation where leaders come up with several options that are related to change. It is that process where leaders commit themselves to real action so as to ensure a smooth running and development of an organization. In this process, they choose the best alternative from the options. This chosen alternative is usually looked at in terms of what change it will bring to the organization. As the process of decision making takes place to effect change, certain factors always work against this. As earlier stated, the barriers vary in nature; they include:
It is believed that is an important factor when it comes to change and the process of decision making. Attitude is related to the mind and how an individual perceives things. Attitude may either be positive or negative depending on the circumstances. In an organization, an employee or a leaders attitude influences the way decisions are made and whether change will take place or not. For instance, negative or a contemptuous attitude may act a big hindrance or barrier to leadership decision-making. An employee with a negative attitude will not take in key changes from the manager of an organization. Means that he or she is opposed to the idea that is channeled for implementation. “Attitude towards work is expressed through satisfaction-dissatisfaction on one continuum. Time, materialism, individualism, and the ability of an individual or a group to accept change. These factors affect the individual’s motivational level, inter-group relations, and the outcome of the work that leads to organization effectiveness” (Kondalkar, 2013, p. 381) at a place work, individuals who seem dissatisfied with work or have an underlying issue with the manager, always show a negative attitude towards decisions. These employees’ attitude affects their perception on how things are carried out in an organization.
The motivation of an employee may be triggered in two ways. There is intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. Workers in an organization may feel fully satisfied and are happy with the work they are doing, and all the conditions of work are favorable according to how they perceive them. If the working environment is friendly and the employee satisfied, then there is intrinsic motivation. In a situation where the management of an organization has provided favorable working conditions and an enabling environment where decisions are not just imposed on the workers, this may also to a greater extent motivate the employees. An employee’s motivation determines how he or works and whether he is ready to support the decisions of change within the organization. If an employee is not motivated, then he or she unlikely to promote change and critical choices that are given to a company.
The setting of goals in an organization is something that goes hand in hand with decision-making. When setting purposes, it is crucial that they are aligned with the predetermined changes and decisions that ought to be taken. Wrong decisions in an organization might be arrived at if the objectives of a particular project or business were set incorrectly. This may be a big barrier for change to take place.
Decision-making is a challenging task. This is a real headache for managers because sometimes they may end up using wrong approaches and in the end, come up with false decisions. Field force analysis is a technique that was devised to help managers in proper decision-making processes. This is a technique that is mainly employed by the Mark and Spencer Company. Therefore, it is a pedagogy that can be applied by managers in their organizations so that they can come up with practical decisions that will ensure success.
Force field analysis as a technique in decision-making can so be useful in determining a balance between those factors that can facilitate change and those which oppose change. In analyzing these opposing factors, a manager can look at those factors that are barriers to change. He will also look at the elements that are likely to facilitate the change process. A good manager should use this knowledge and be able to work more on the factors that can enhance change. Since organizations will always work towards success, managers cannot focus much on the weakness or the conditions that are likely to cause friction so that decisions are not well implemented. Therefore, focusing on the strengths will enable the leadership of an organization to predict the future success of an organization. This will mean that managers can give more energy to it if it is a right decision. The tool has some steps that can be followed by a manager so as he can implement change.
The first thing that managers need to do is describe the plan that they have thought of. Here, they have to know why they wish that particular change to be effected and how is it going to improve the organization. Decision-makers need to ask themselves the reason why they are coming up with such a decision. There are different reasons why decisions are made. One of them is to improve on the existing one that may not be working well. Secondly, a determination can be made to change the systems of working; that is if there is a total failure in a particular segment of an organization.
In decision-making, one needs to identify the forces of change. For instance, look at those factors that are likely to cause a change to take place and at the same time analyze those that need to be avoided for they can be impediments to the key decisions. Specific factors such as if an employee has a negative attitude is supposed to be weakened in organization. The cynical perception can be a significant hindrance to change. Therefore, this needs to be discouraged. On the other hand, if employees in an organization are overly motivated and have their driving force to work above average, then it would be essential to strengthen this since it can facilitate change to take place smoothly.
Managers or decision-makers need to look at the factors that may not bring about positive change in the organization. These may be attitudes that have since been existing in the company. Such attitude might have negatively contributed to the stagnation of or the company realizing great losses. In this process, there is need to check on the possible ways of minimizing this factors. Need to analyze the external and internal factors and their effects.
After assessing each force of change, it is possible to try and see what influence it will have as far as making the decision is concerned. One may give a list of these forces then on each, can assign some percentage of influence on the process of decision-making and change.
At this stage, the decision-maker can choose whether to go ahead and adopt a specific decision or to drop it. In most cases, managers will go for the choice of selecting the decision. This will call for them to implement those factors that are necessary to facilitate the change process. Implementation process involves informing the staff about the new changes, engage them in the process so that they may not develop fear as change is imposed upon them. The manager needs to inform them about the benefits of the new decision.
Force field as a tool that helps much in decision-making is very necessary for meeting organizational objectives. This technique is key because it helps in identifying the specific aims or goals of an organization. These objectives are the ones that provide direction on what changes are going to take place. The force field analysis also helps the decision-makers in the organization to determine the factors that necessitate the change to take place. Here, managers look at these positive forces in the light of the benefit the company is going to get by implementing certain decisions.
In looking at the change process in an organization, the field force analysis helps the decision-makers to understand that change is a process that involves several oppositional forces. There are those factors which support the change process to take place, and there are those who oppose the decisions that have been set. Therefore, in understanding the idea of factors that affect the change process, decision-makers can adopt a particular strategy that may be effective to bring about a positive change. “A force field analysis provides a structure for understanding individual behaviors during times of change and can suggest ways to improve the chance of successful change through an awareness of the forces that may be at work.” (Houser, 2010, p. 112)
Different approaches can be used by decision-makers and managers of organizations to bring about change. These methods vary in magnitude. For instance, it is vital for an organization’s leadership to establish an appropriate organizational culture. An excellent corporate culture influences the way decisions are made in accompany. This is because there is a developed form of beliefs and set attitudes that exist within the organization. Here, both the management of the organization and the employees tend to share a common goal and vision. This fixes a specific behavior in the organization, which is characteristic of unity and commonness in the way thing are done.
For success to be realized in the process of decision-making, organizational culture is necessary. In the Mark and Spencer Company, the perception that exists there was established by its founders. Culture influences attitudes and beliefs of workers. It creates a shared vision among the members of an organization.
Secondly, good leadership in an organization is also a good factor that influences the better decision-making process. For instance, a manager who consults others before making a decision can create a good environment where positive change can take place efficiently. Here, when the manager has come up with a particular decision, he/she sees the necessity to seek opinions from other people before such decisions are implemented. This will ensure that the change process does not backfire.
Another management skill that ensures success in an organization is by the leaders being democratic. Employing a democratic approach to leadership enables a majority of members of that organization to take part in making decisions that affect them. Here, they are part of the change process in an organization. This also is a good strategy that ensures minimal opposition to decisions made and changes.
Leadership approaches are very useful in delivering organizational change. For instance, if a leader uses a lousy leadership approach, change may not take place as anticipated. Leadership approaches by the leaders should be all-inclusive whereby all the members of an organization are given a chance to take part in running the organization. Several leadership approaches are so effective and can prove successful when employed by the leaders. For example, the Mark and Spencer Company one time employed bad leadership skills that almost ruined the company. But when they realized that fault, and rectified, the company picked and is now doing exceptionally well. “Mark and Spencer was eventually brought to a halt by the dictatorial leadership style that was not able to accept disagreement. Whilst Sir Richard Greenbury had overseen some of Marks and Spencer’s greatest success his well-documented domineering style meant he ultimately could not accept advice or see the need for change…” (Thomas, 2006, p. 15) This proves that leadership approaches can ruin organizational change or improve it. A democratic leadership approach allows all members to contribute to the change process of the organization. Any member of the organization can give an idea of where an adjustment is required. When this happens, all the other members will also be allowed to look into that suggestion. In the long run, change becomes participatory. Here, no one in the organization will feel left out in the process, thus change receiving the full support of all the members.
Leaders of organizations have a more significant task of managing their organizations and at the same time influencing change. Leaders, therefore, need an extra intelligence in management. For them to efficiently do this, they need first of all to understand themselves and secondly understand the other members of the organization. Understanding creates a good rapport between the leadership and the employees. This results in a cordial working relationship.
The leadership skills should be geared towards getting positive results from the desired change. The leaders should be able to foresee beyond the setting of goals and look at the benefits that will come with a triggered change. Leaders and other employees should also carry out situational analysis of the decisions put in place to ensure that the implementation is heading in the right direction.
This paper looked at change and decision making in organizations. The main areas of concern were the barriers that hinder change from taking place. Such barriers that were discussed included aspects of attitude, lack of proper motivation and others. The paper also assessed leadership skills in light of how they can help to counter the problems of change in organizations. It was seen that good leadership skills and strategies could be good recipes for change to take place. Therefore, for organizations to develop, decisions must be made correctly by the leaders and other members of an organization.
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