In any organizational transformation change recipientsmake sense of what they hear, see and experience.
Important precursors likecognitions, emotions and intentions which become part of their decisionprocess. Change messages are typically transmitted by local and global changeagents as well as well as those individuals who are not in the formal leaderroles. It is important to ensure that the transmitted messages encourage changerecipients to embrace organizational change and modify their on job behaviors.
Research by Ryan and Gross (1943) on the diffusion of hybrid seed corn amongfarmers in two Iowa communities. Hybrid seed corn, which reportedly producedhigher yields per acre, was considered a relative advantage over previouslyused corn seed. This information was presented to the farmers by a seedsalesman (i.e., a change agent) in an attempt to influence them to plant thehybrid seed corn. However, Ryan and Gross reported the rate of adoption wasconsidered slow until the potential adopters were influenced by neighborfarmers (i.e.
, opinion leaders). Thus, the support (or lack thereof) believedto exist among these principles (i.e., change agents and opinion leaders) caninfluence the reaction of change recipients to an organizational change.Employees with little to no less change experience exhibit strong behavioraland emotional reactions, while employees with extensive change experience makeless effort to resist change and show more loyal reactions to change. Researchshows that people will not perform well in change initiatives when they are notconfident about their abilities (Vakola, 2013).
Prior research has demonstratedthat change recipients who receive detailed information, are more willing toaccept changes (Schweiger and DeNisi, 1991). Similarly, honest, effective anddirect communication about the changes has been shown to reduce resistance tochange. Communication is especially important when an employee is trying toidentify the positives and negatives related to the change; lack of effectivecommunication will cause an employee’s cognitive and effective processes to benegatively affected regarding change. Therefore, an individual will be lessready to follow change. Rafferty and Griffin (2006) for example found that whenan organizational change was perceived as being implemented, after careful deliberationand planning, change recipients expressed less uncertainty. Attending totechniques and tools without paying at least attention to the behavior ofemployees can be a path not just to disappointment but also to dysfunction.When employees participate in the design, introduction and use of the newtechnology, they are more likely to alter their behaviors in way that will helpensure effectiveness. An employer also must take the employee behavioralpatterns into consideration along with the company’s changing policies andfunctions.
Behaviors include: how they react to specific organizational tasks,how much do they do, what they do, how much effort they put to their goals, howcommitted they are to achieving desired outcomes. Employees’ acceptance andsupport of change is critical to the success organizational change (Armenakiset al., 1999). Providing an adequateexplanation for the change decision is an effective communication strategy thatenhances perceived fairness and reduces uncertainty. Employees deal with changedifferently; people who thrive on change and they are the people who initiatechange within a team. Employees who are not bothered by change, they areoptimistic.
Employees who resist change and need time to prepare. They aresteady decision makers and do not like to be pushed. Initially,when change is being introduced employees tend to become nervous, fear,disbelief, and uncertainty. The employee’s reactions to organizational changesare mainly driven by observations about as to what will happen to them.
Thechange literature deals with context, content, process, and outcomes at boththe organizational and individual levels (Armenakis et al., 1999), and recentyears have seen a growing interest in the role of change recipients’ reactionsin organizational change processes.Necessity changes a lion into a fox is a well-known Iranianproverb, which stands true when we think of it in an organizational context.Many a time, in organizations one comes across situations where change isinevitable and every individual need to react to that change smartly like a foxusually would do. Three categories can contain a number of approaches tochange, namely: Tools and techniques, transformation, and turnaround. When anorganization practices the turnaround technique the focus is to improvebottom-line performance in the short-term.
When practicing the method of toolsand techniques the focus shifts to processes in order to increase theefficiency internally. In transformation, for enhancement of human capabilitiesthe target shifts to behaviors. If the intervention of change is to gainsustainable and significant performance impact, altering patterns of employeebehavior have to be focused upon (Spector, 2013). All the three categories are at the discretion of a leaderwho seeks strategic renewal. Despite the known fact that leaders may choose toconsider these approaches as separate and independent, most effective effortsof change are achieved when the three categories are combined (Spector,2013).
Myfirst experience with change was in my first job as a publishing specialist atThomson Reuters (TR). My responsibilities as a publishing specialist were toprocess a manuscript from attorneys in the United States to a final newsletter.I joined as a trainee (on probation for six months) and as it was my firstexperience in a professional environment, I was always afraid about messingthings up to an extent that they are unfixable and this fear made me toodependent on a team senior. A month passed and team started facing attritionand the number of team members decreased from 13 to six in a span of 4 months.
I was unable to deal with the work load arising due to this attrition andwalked up to my manager to let him know that as a trainee I am not ready totake so much on my plate. In a meeting which lasted an hour because of animpasse point because from a manager’s viewpoint every resource has to beexhausted to an optimal point and I was not doing so. For the next few weeks, Iresisted the effects of a change and as a resulted it had a negative impact inteam performance. I did not realize that it would have a karma effect and 2 months later when my pay was to be revised to14% but was only revived to a mere 8% as employee increments were directlyproportional to team performance. Icould relate to a study where the focus is on change recipients and not on theagents of change.
In other words, how an employee interprets change. The studydefines resistance as multifaceted and complex phenomenon that in the past hasbeen discussed in management studies, and more often than not, scholars ofchange have figured resistance from employee end as an important factor thatimpacts the gains of change implementation (Kulkarni,2016).WhenI think of myself as an agent of change, it reminds me of the time when I wasworking on my brainchild project ‘Cyclops’. Cyclops was code for browsers thatcan be saved as a book mark and take information from the work page called’Jupiter’ and paste this data on the sites that are used for accountverification. The idea behind Cyclops was to automate the process from a manualdata entry to make the search to automating it by pasting information using thecode.
The whole process would save 40% of the investigators time per case. The mainconcern/issue in implementing Cyclops was when I needed employees to volunteerfor time tests, employees needed convincing that it will not take a lot of timefor them to get used to it and once they get used to it they can start using thetimer to note the time. Another concern raised by the volunteering employeeswas that they were not getting any Non Production Time (NPT) for volunteeringand participation would affect their metrics.