ROLE OF LEADERSHIP IN CHANGE MANAGEMENT PROCESS

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APA JOURNAL

Vol.3, No.3, pp.72-95,

ROLE OF LEADERSHIP IN CHANGE MANAGEMENT PROCESS

 

 

 

SIDRA AJMAL1 M. ZUHAIR FAROOQ 2 NOMAN SAJID3 DR. SAJID AWAN4

 

 

 

Abstract The paper aims to explore the role of leadership in change management process. The research is based on extensive review of literature, in order to find out the leadership factors that facilitate change in an organization. The research reveals that that basic leadership and management practices are associated with the core competencies of an organization to achieve desired outcomes. Many organizations are applying change management practices to achieve organizational success for long time survival. In our study we only focused on Change-A planned activity, Leaders as a change agent, Change as a process, Change management, and Leadership style/leaders for change management.

Key words: Leadership, Change Management, Planned Change

 

Introduction:

Change is an ongoing natural process. For a successful organization, change is meant to be implemented at three different levels, i.e., individual, group and organization. At every level of change, leadership plays different role as it’s the virtual duty of a leader to manage the people and make their efforts to be at their best in favor of change for an organization. Change management is an essential area of concentration for the healthy growth of any business, it is important even for the survival of any organization in today’s business world. Successful change in any organization is impossible without the active participation of management. Every living creature is reluctant to change, whether it’s a planned change or accidental change. Respondents of change are affected by both external factors (outside the organization) and internal factors (inside the organization); study reveals that internal factors are actually the management style and leadership that influence the process of change (Chirimbu, 2011). (Smith, 2005) considered the inherent conundrum of organizational change: that people, the human resources of organizations, are both an essential factor in organizational change and, at times, the biggest obstacles to achieving change. Therefore, it is concluded that important element for a successful change in any organization is “Leadership”. Leaders are known as “Champions of Change”- as it is the top management of any organization who keep the process of change going on and maintaining the operational reliability of the organization (Nadler & Nadler, 1998)

 

Problem Statement:Most of the organizations are forced to construct changes in order to survive for a longer period of time. They are required to respond rapidly to the local, national and global uprising of new technology and competition, if they want to survive. Everyone knows that change is not going to take place at once. In fact, few organizations meet their stated objectives (Anderson, 2011). Change management has highly focused on people, identity and the patterns of human interaction. Lack of leadership concentration on the complexity of change, poorly developed strategy and structures, last but not least attention towards people behavior towards change make the process of change management ineffective. For an effective change management process.

 

Literature review Change is becoming a way of life for organizations, employees and managers alike (Leanna & Barry, 2000). With organizational change occurring at a more rapid pace than ever before (Wanberg & Banas, 2000), the ability to identify.

Change – A Planned Activity According to Ajay (2002), change is an illogical and emotional process. Being a leader of change, one has to focus more on human aspects of change as individuals are the main actors in sphere of intellectual capital. Organizational change is a multifaceted and long term task. A change management is actually a vital plan in designing how the organization is to move from its current state to a desired future state. Organizational change is a planned activity as it serves as a linkage between the different parts of a change process, setup priorities and timelines, assigning responsibilities, establishing mechanisms for review and revision where necessary. For an effective change management process, it is required to be properly planned. Effective planning for change must begin well before changes are to take effect and consultation should be done (Smith, 2006). For successful completition of any change management plan, it needs to be properly planned and fully budgeted. Along with these important constraints, leadership is also a spirit for the manager to capture employee back into work and to produce maximum benefits from change. This concludes that leaders are more affective than managers during the process of change (Bejestani, 2011).

Change as a process Change as a process was being firstly conceptualized by Lewin in 1947. He segmented the change as a process with three phases: (1) unfreezing—it is about readiness to change means it involves getting a point of an understanding that change is necessary and to be prepare for leaving the current state of comfort for the sake of future benefits; (2) moving—At this stage, people have to move forward to adopt a new changed setup. People are most fearful from this stage of change process as they have to leave their current comfort zone; and (3) refreezing—At last, change is accepted as a new norm in an organization and now the change is a part of routine process. Lewin also suggested that although common sense might bend toward increasing powerful forces to persuade change, in many illustrations this might arouse an equal and opposite increase in resisting forces, the net effect being no change and greater tension than before. An awareness of the need for change is the beginning of the whole change process. A complete assessment of the current situation is necessary to begin the process of implementing any kind of change in an organization unfortunately this kind of assessment may take longer time than management have (Armstrong, 2003). Galpin (1996) has proposed the strategic steps leaders necessitated to make use of the efficient change process. These steps were: · Defining the need to change: At the initial step, it is required to identify the need of change after the assessment of current situation. · Developing a vision of the result of change: For an effective change process, it is required to develop some clear vision about the outcomes or consequence of the change in an organization. · Leveraging teams to design, test, and implement changes: To derive the best possible desired outcome, it is necessary to empower teams that can design, test and implement strategies through which change effectiveness can be assured. · Addressing the cultural aspects of the organization that will help and sustain change: The process of change must have to incorporate with the culture of an organization as it will facilitate change to strike up with the future challenges.

 

Leadership Style Important element for a successful change in any organization is “Leadership” – leaders are the role model personalities in any community. There are different styles of leadership explained by theorists, and every style has its own impact on change management. Lowder (2009) have discussed Leadership Model for Change Management, he concludes that Transformational leadership focuses on organizational development where as servant leadership have concern about the development of followers. In today’s dynamic business environment, for developing best follower ship and change management dealing – Transformational Leadership model is best. Change management will be the core competency of the business leaders in twenty-first century. Therefore being visionary change agents, leaders will be required to more skillful and motivational. Discontinuous changes make worst affect on the capabilities of leadership (Nadler, Shaw & Walton, 1995). Leadership style and employees’ trust in top management are highly positively related to behavior involved in implementation of innovations, for controlling individual differences and department affiliation (Michaelis, Stegmaier & Stonntag, 2009). Nadler & Tushman (1990) state that it’s only “Charismatic leader” that has specialized quality to mobilize and sustain activity within an organization through specific personal actions combined with perceived personal characteristics.

i.e., leadership development (ability of top management to get trust of internal customers in them), marketing and sales ability (to make awareness about the consequences of change) and communication skill (gather support for the decision to change (Kaminski, 2000). Lack of any of these skills may have bad impact on the effectiveness of change management process in an organization. According to Ajayi (2002), the change leader needs following capabilities: · Superhuman determination to make the change happen; · Persistence; · Stamina; · A sufficient mandate that stems from personal change; and · First-rate intelligence. With out strong leadership, effective organizational change won’t ever be possible. Managing change in an effective manner requires change leaders that can lead a team which have courage to drive change properly in an existing system. As change is a transformation process, therefore the agents of change (leaders and management) must have to drive a supportive response for change from the stakeholders (Kotter, 2007). Absence of clear understanding of change accomplishment methods and the incapability to adjust one’s management style or organizational functions are quoted as hurdles to success (Bossidy & Charan, 2002; Gilley, 2005). The literature reveals that basic leadership and management practices are associated with the core competencies of an organization to achieve desired outcomes (Goonan & Stoltz, 2004). Leadership is an important essence for change management process as by definition, change requires new system creation and then institutionalizing the new innovative approaches. Primarily the transformational leadership is considered as leadership style having capabilities to increment change fully in an organization (Eisenbach, Watson & Pillai, 1999). Visionary transformers are required to bring quality-led strategic change (Nwankwo & Richardson, 1996). In today’s modern era of technological advancement, every organization is struggling to get an edge over its competitor and to do so organizations are required to be more adaptive towards change. To meet up with the challenges of twentieth century, organizations are required to be converted into learning organizations at first stage, in order to become world class organization. For transformation of a traditional organization into a learning organization, the fundamental required essence is leadership. That can clarify the vision and mission of the organization, assist the employees to complete their targets and help them to get settled in new innovative and learning environment (Singh, 2011).

 

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