In the modern era, change management strategies are beneficial for the organizations for securing current position and performing better as compared to other competitors present in the marketplace (Homji, 2010). From past few years, organizational changes have drawn the attention people and enterprises which belong to various fields such as management, sociology and psychology areas etc. It is very crucial task for any firm to successfully implement change management plan in the competitive market. In the present report, investigator discussed about different themes including the context of change management, resistance to change and managing change in the workplace from view point of Nokia's merged with Microsoft. Further, report explored variety of models and framework to explore and facilitate and capture reflective learning in an appropriate manner.
Over the years, numerous theories and concepts have been developed, with a view to express concept of change management and employ it at workplace in an effective manner. These schools of thought have provided unique and different view points on the perspective of change management, as they have shed light over it from different angles. One of the highly popular theories of change management has been proposed by Maslow in 1943 (Carr and Hancock, 2006). According to him, the best way to bring change in an organization and manage it in an effective manner is via human resources that concerned enterprise has access to. This theory from many perspectives can be said to be true. For instance, it is a well known fact that, human resources are the most important and vital form of assets which an organization can acquire through different channels and mediums (Reid and Todffel, 2009). Thus it may not be wrong to say that, if they are motivated and dedicated towards work then bringing about and managing a change in company can become a lot simpler task. In this regard, Green and Cameron (2015) states that, by encouraging workforce and keeping them happy and satisfied, management of an organization can easily implement a change at workplace. According to theory of motivation developed by Maslow, there are five types of needs which have to be fulfilled, so that a change can be implemented in the company (Boje, Burnes and Hassard, 2011). An individual moves from the most basic need to a higher level of need. Until the preceding levels of need(s) are not met, concerned person cannot attain the next hierarchy of demand. In this sense, Tanner (2015) believes that, it can is beneficial for companies to use the Maslow's need hierarchy theory in managing change at workplace, primarily because of reason that it considers the human element in an organizational setting with a view to change management (Todnem and Macleod, 2012).
Furthermore, this theory of motivation can be very useful in implementing and managing a change, because through authorities can provide incentives and rewards to those employees who accept the change and mold their working by adapting to change In view of Jerome (2013), by fulfilling the basic, i.e. lowest level of needs, change can be managed effectively and easily at the workplace (Hiatt and Creasey, 2003). Therefore, it can be said that 'Human Relations School' of change management, even today is useful and effective.
Another very popular school of thought largely has been dominated by change management model developed by Lewin and Schein. Kurt Lewin developed a model for managing change which is also known by the 3 Step Change Management models. It consists of three stages for implementing and managing change at workplace – Unfreezing, Change and Refreezing. Schein further advanced the model and provided details for an improved model of change (Daft, 2008). It is also known by the name of 'Cognitive Redefinition'. First stage of the model developed by Lewin and Schein can be according to the title of 'becoming motivated to change (unfreezing)'. In this stage, authorities of Microsoft would have to rely over human resources that they now have access to (Tanner, 2015). Herein, past observations and experiences of employees would have to be considered, as these would provide management with ample amount of information to motivate employees to accept the change. According to Wirth (2004), having access to past experiences as well as knowledge change related to merger of the two firms can be managed easily and effectively. In this stage of the model, authorities of firm would have to break existing status quo prevalent at the workplaces and mold them according to the operations of the company. It essentially means that, Microsoft is required to pay attention towards identifying workforce working in the companies and also determine the ways through which change can be implemented at workplaces (Wirth, 2004). Next stage according to this model is 'moving to a new state'. At this juncture of change management, authorities will have to consider the aspect that once existing status quo have been broken at workplace, a new state will be developed in the company. Herein, employees will be dissatisfied with the firm and would accept the given change easily and effectively. Once discontent among employees is identified, those areas which requires change so that workforce can be satisfied and content with the workplace, required change or development can be implemented easily in the company (Aladwani, 2001).
Last stage of this model is 'refreezing' or making the change(s) permanent. Once the areas require in modifying is determined. Next step that authorities at Microsoft would be required to pay attention towards would be to make the given change an integral and permanent part of organizational functioning. In this context, believes that refreezing is the stage where new behavior becomes habitual, which may include developing a new self-concept & identity and establishing new interpersonal relationships (Christensen and Overdorf, 2000).
Another model of change management was proposed by Peter Senge through his book The Fifth Element in 1990 (Michel, By and Burnes, 2013). According to this model, management at Microsoft should focus on converting the firm into a learning organization. It will be a very effective method as change can be implemented with ease and comfort at workplace and make it a crucial part of organizational working. In today's era, using this model for implementing and managing change at workplace can prove to be quiet effective and useful. This is mainly because of reason that, it would enable the organization to bring about necessary change at workplace effectively (Carr and Gabriel, 2001). By using this model, companies such as Microsoft and Nokia can bring about a change at the workplace and also make it an imminent part of organizational working. This way, process of attaining corporate goals can be made a lot simpler and effective as well. There are five major elements that make a firm a learning organization. One of them is shared vision. Herein, management at both Microsoft and Nokia will have to spend time and determine the objective that the two of them may want to achieve together (Marchington and Wilkinson, 2009). Another component of the model is mental models where sea changes and developments will have to be made in values, cultures, beliefs, etc. of both the companies. Personal mastery would be where the two organizations – Microsoft and Nokia will have to identify areas of their own strengths, along with determining the best way to maintain and strengthen their strong points. Team Learning is the element where both the organizations will have to think and act as one single entity. This will help in development of culture of team working and thus achieve goals and objectives with great ease and comfort. Last discipline in this regard is that of Systems Thinking (Bloisi, Cook and Hunsaker, 2007). Management at the firm will have to identify inter-relationships of different complex functions and situations. This way, the company can easily and effectively implement a change at the workplaces and also make it an integral part of working of the two companies.
Through the above analysis, it can be clearly seen that the three schools of thought in terms of change management are still relevant in the modern world, as they enable companies such as Microsoft and Nokia to easily and effectively implement a change at workplace and make it an integral part of working of the firms. In this sense, it may not be wrong to say that three schools of thoughts still are the 'central planks' of change management theories and concepts (Jerome, 2013).
One of the most common aspects of implementing a change at a workplace is related to resistance that may be shown by employees. It is very common in companies, regardless of industry they might be operating in. On numerous occasions, main reason behind failure of change management systems and tactics has been accorded to resistance to change from employees. Management at Microsoft needs to ensure that they put in place different tactics and measures from which resistance from employees can be dealt with. If proper methods are not used to overcome resistance to change, then there are chances that change may not be implemented in the company (Buchanan and Huczynski, 2010). Over the years, numerous theories and tactics have been developed that may help to implement a change in company with great ease and comfort. Management at Microsoft, in order to gain better and thorough understanding of resistance to change, can consider four different theories and measures (Appelbaum and et. al, 2012).
One such theory towards change management is that of 'Dispositional Resistance'. It is a well known fact that benefit of change and commitment towards change share a positive and effective relationship with one another. Dispositional resistance can be defined as an individual's inclination towards reacting to a change with resistance (Saksvik and Hetland, 2009). It generally is based upon four major dimensions – routine seeking; short-term focus; emotional reaction and cognitive study. According to Michel, By and Burnes (2013), it is important for companies such as Microsoft to pay attention to aspect of dispositional resistance, as it would enable management to determine the best and most effective manner through which resistance towards a change can be dealt with and reduced to great extents possible (Oreg and et. al, 2008). Therefore, it may not be wrong to say that if the company aims at implementing a change at workplace in an effective manner, then its management would have to pay a lot of attention towards the above stated four elements of dispositional resistance. Herein, concepts such as personal value(s) have a crucial role to play, as these are the ones which determine successful and effective implementation of change in the company and also the extent to which it would help in attaining organizational goals and objectives with ease and comfort.
Another such theory of managing resistance to change can be seen in terms of Depth of Intervention (Claire, 2010). Nowadays, it is an important way to overcome resistance to change, as it can be seen through concept that it would help management at Microsoft to develop some or the other strategies or tactics through which resistance from employees for a change can be dealt with easily and effectively. A central concept in such a model could be the depth of individual emotional involvement in the change process. Herein, meaning of depth can be seen through statements such as 'how deep the given intervention for overcoming resistance is' or 'what is the value of tactics to deal with resistance from employees for a change', etc. (Pierson, 2001). These all will enable the company to determine effective approach that may help to overcoming the issue of resistance towards a change. According to, determining a strategy through which resistance towards change can be managed is essential, primarily because of reason that it would provide management of the firm effective capabilities to overcome the resistance with ease and comfort. This method can prove to be very useful and effective for Microsoft, mainly because of reason that it will enable authorities to develop solutions for overcoming the resistance in such a manner which may help in obtaining dedication and commitment of employees towards workplace, regardless of change being implemented in the company (Carnall, 2007).
Cognitive dissonance is another theory though which effective attempts can be made so as to overcome the problem of resistance to change with ease and comfort. Cognitive Dissonance can be defined to be as a form of mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual. By obtaining information about reasons of discomfort by employees, management at Microsoft would gain the ability that may help in effectively resolving the issue of resistance to change (Burns and Vaivio, 2001). This way organizational activities related to change management can be carried out in an effective manner, that may prove to be very useful for the company and also help in implementing and managing the change effectively. According to study by, an individual may become dissonance when there is an internal inconsistency. Therefore, it may not be wrong to say that management at Microsoft would have to conduct a thorough internal analysis of the enterprise, which essentially will provide them thorough information about reasons for employees being in stress and in situation of dissonance (Green and Cameron, 2015). With the help of such kind of information about internal working of the company, management can take steps that may enable them to deal with issue of resistance from employees and make sure that organizational goals and objectives are attained with great ease and comfort. In this context believes that there can be numerous reasons for employees not being satisfied with the enterprise, due to which they may resist to change and may not accept to it. By identifying and understanding reason(s) behind such behavior, there are much better chances for management at Microsoft to overcome the issue of resistance and make the employees accept the change being brought about at the workplace (Bevington and Samson, 2012). In this sense, theory of cognitive dissonance can be very useful and effective, largely because of reason that it would arm authorities at Microsoft with adequate amount of information about ways to overcome the resistance and make it an integral part of firm's working.
Psychological contract can be defined as set of certain rules and regulations as well as expectations that company and employees may have from one another in situation of employment. These are non-stated, but very common aspects of working in an organization. Since they are not given in employment contracts, but largely are expressed or implied sets of conditions that may contribute towards making the workplace environment happy and conducive to organizational goals and objectives (Mittal and et. al, 2012). Sometimes, in view of, lack of proper implementation of the psychological contract is a main reason behind resistance towards change from employees. For the management at Microsoft, it will be crucial to identify whether employees are happy and content with workplace in terms of psychological contract or not. By gaining an understanding of these factors and forces, process of implementing and managing change without having to face any kind of resistance from employees, can be made a lot simpler and effective process (Cameron and Green, 2009). According to study by, if management will have information about factors that essentially motivates and satisfies employees in terms of workplace environment, then there will be much better chances for the organization to manage change in highly effective and efficient manner. In this sense, it may not be wrong to say that company by having thorough knowledge about factors that may be dissuading employees and discouraging them to accept change that management may be looking to bring about in company, can take steps to overcome the given issue with ease and comfort (Saksvik and Hetland, 2009). According to this theory, in such kind of situations, management at Microsoft can take steps such as developing effective communication channels, improving working conditions, etc. so as to overcome the issue of resistance to change by employees in the company.
One of the most crucial yet difficult tasks of introducing a change in an workplace is related to managing it in such a manner that it may seem to be helpful to the organization and also help it to sustain as well as meet its goals and objectives. Acquisition of Nokia by Microsoft came with a large variety of changes to be brought about in both the organizations (Bloisi, Cook and Hunsaker, 2007). In this sense, it becomes a lot more important for management at Microsoft to determine the best approach through which change(s) can be managed in the company with great ease and comfort. As a result of this merger, number of changes and modifications were brought about in the two organizations. One of them was that many employees who were working with Nokia, now have been transferred to Microsoft (Appelbaum and et. al, 2012). This transition on many occasions cannot be very easy, as there are chances that concerned workforce members may oppose against the same and thus resist towards the change. In this sense, management of the company undertook a number of steps that may allow it to manage change in an effective manner and also make it an integral part of working of the two merged organizations.
There are a wide variety of approaches and methods through which change can be managed in an efficient and effective manner in the company (Pierson, 2001). One such model is that of the Lewin's Change Management Model. According to this model, essentially there are three steps which have to be undertaken so as to implement and manage change in an workplace. It was one of the approaches that company used so as to manage change in the firm arising as a result of acquiring Nokia recently. The first step is unfreezing. It states that management must take steps so as to break and finish existing status quo as well as trends prevailing at the workplace (Leban and Stone, 2007). This stage can prove to be very useful to the organization, primarily because of reason that it will enable authorities at Microsoft to take steps that may create a very different environment from that of the employees at Nokia were used to. Through stage of unfreezing, move towards implementing change can be undertaken, which then will allow authorities to manage the change in an effective manner and also ensure that company continues to work in the manner that it was operating in, prior to the acquisition. Herein, various steps can be taken by the organization so as to implement and manage change in the company (Oreg and et. al, 2008).
Constant communication and interaction with relevant authorities of the firm can prove to be very useful in this regard. Management will have to convey main reason(s) behind the change to its employees and make them understand motive of company behind the same (Burns and Vaivio, 2001). With this their loyalty and dedication towards the company as well as the change can be ensured, which will be very helpful in managing it properly and effectively. In this very regard, management at Microsoft can try to challenge existing beliefs, values and attitudes of employees at workplace. This approach can be useful for the company, primarily because of reason that it would enable authorities at the company to prepare firm for the necessary changes being implemented at workplace (Green and Cameron, 2015). Regular meetings can be very helpful in this context, because of reason that it would enable Microsoft to prepare Nokia and its employees for change that may be brought about in the company in relation to acquisition of latter firm by the former organization.
Next step of the model 'change'. Here, once employees at Nokia have been prepared for the change that will be brought about at workplace, second step is to practically implement the same. This stage of the change process states that it is the best time to actually execute the change and make it an integral part of organizational working (Homji, 2010). Once, uncertainty prevailing in the company has been reduced, implementing the change will be useful. It is that stage where people will actually start to embrace the change and accept the new directions provided to them so as to carry out their tasks and duties in an efficient and effective manner. In this sense, management of Microsoft would have to interact with employees and provide them with new instructions, policies or regulations, which they would have to use in their daily functioning at the company. But herein, relevant authorities will be required to interact with employees and make them understand benefits of change for them (Carnall, 2007). This way, the change can be easily and effectively brought about the workplace and company can continue with its operations, along with making attempts to fulfilling organizational goals and objectives easily and comfortably. There are chances that people may not accept the change easily, but then management will have to make persistent efforts, so that change can be implemented in the company. In this regard, it may not be wrong to say that authorities will have to keep on interacting with employees and motivating them to accept the change by making them understand benefits of the same to them (Pierson, 2001). In this sense, it may not be wrong to say that time and communication will have an important role to play in the process of implementing change in company.
Last stage according to this model is that of 'refreezing'. A sense of stability will have to be developed at the workplace, which will allow management to make adequate change an integral part of working of the enterprise (Michel, By and Burnes, 2013). Aspects such as stable organization charts, consistent job descriptions, etc. will be very helpful, as these would enable management of Microsoft to make change a crucial part of working of the enterprise and effectively implement them at the workplace. Herein, employees will have to be made aware of changes that have been brought about in company. Along with this, steps will have to be taken to interact with employees, so that they can be informed of their future, as a result of change that has been implemented in the company. Furthermore, according to this stage of the model, change will have to be incorporated in organizational policies and included in daily functioning of the organization (Daft, 2008).
Change today is one of the most important aspects of working of companies in the modern day environment, because of which it is crucial for firms that they pay attention towards implementing and managing it in an effective manner. During the present assignment, three schools of thought of change management theory were discussed. Further, the report also stated that three schools of thought have a central role to play in managing change effectively so that organizational goals and objectives can be attained easily and effectively. In addition to it, four different theories were also discussed so as to overcome the issue of resistance to change in companies.