Social Psychology

In terms of direct cost “people tend to block actions that result in higher direct costs or lower benefits than the existing situation” (University of Phoenix. (Ed.

), 2005, p. 479). No one wants to be affected in a negative way by a change in company policy or structure.

People will resist if they feel that the results of change will leave them worse off than their current situation. “Some people resist change as a political strategy to ‘prove’ that the decision is wrong or that the person encouraging change is incompetent” (University of Phoenix. (Ed.

), 2005, p. 479). This defines another restraining force known as saving face, which has resulted in acts of deliberate sabotage to impede the change process. Negatively affected workers may stop at nothing to prove a change process is not in the best interests of an organization.Fear of the unknown, when “people resist change because they are worried that they cannot adopt…new behaviors.

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.., increases the risk of personal loss” (University of Phoenix. (Ed.), 2005, p. 479). Restraining forces exist hand-in-hand with the breaking of routines.

Employees fear not knowing what to expect. “Employees need to abandon the behavioral routines that are no longer appropriate” (University of Phoenix. (Ed.), 2005, p.

479).When the change agent abruptly removes an employee from a comfortable routine without adequate preparation, the employee may fight to return to that routine. This effect can be magnified in teams. The last restraining force that may be encountered is incongruent team dynamics, which occurs when “teams develop and enforce conformity to a set of norms that guide behavior” (University of Phoenix.

(Ed.), 2005, p. 480). In essence, the team is running the organization, or may have created an informal culture that is directing the formal structure.There are many ways to manage these forces and some strategies are more effective than others.

Six specific strategies for managing restraining forces are: “communication, training, employee involvement, stress management, negotiation, and coercion” (University of Phoenix. (Ed.), 2005, p. 481-482). Communication is a must when trying to manage restraining forces. “It reduces the restraining forces by keeping employees informed about what to expect from the change effort” (University of Phoenix.

(Ed.), 2005, p. 481). Successful communication breaks down barriers between leadership and employees.Through communication, leadership can inform employees of what the changes may bring, minimizing apprehension while helping to form new productive routines.

Training can be an important management strategy for forming new routines and easing fears brought on by the transitional period. “Employee involvement can be an effective way to reduce the restraining forces because it creates a psychological ownership of the decision” (University of Phoenix. (Ed.), 2005, p. 483). Employees that are involved in the decision-making process may be more inclined to adapt to changes since they may feel valued enough to have had input into the change process. Their fears eased, the employees may feel like part of the team.

Change in an organization can be extremely stressful on its employees. By providing employees the means to manage stress, leaders in an organization can manage certain restraining forces. “Stress management minimizes resistance by removing some of the direct costs and fear of the unknown associated with the change process” (University of Phoenix. (Ed.), 2005, p.

484). “People have vested interests and apply their power to ensure that the emerging conditions are consistent with their personal values and needs” (University of Phoenix. (Ed.), 2005, p.

484). Negotiation must be used when dealing with employees that may perceive changes to affect them negatively.Finally, coercion is the most drastic of all the strategies. Sometimes the only way to bring about change in an organization is to threaten, or literally remove the people who are not going to fit into the culture that the new changes will bring about. All six strategies may be used to effectively manage restraining forces in an organization; however, some strategies should only be used when warranted. “Communication, training, employee involvement, and stress management try to reduce the restraining forces and should be attempted first.

Negotiation and coercion are necessary for people who will clearly lose something from the change and when the speed of change is critical (University of Phoenix. (Ed.), 2005, p. 481).

Leadership Styles Can Influence the Change Management Process. McShane-Von Glinow defines leadership “as the process of influencing people and providing an environment for them to achieve team or organizational objectives” (University of Phoenix. (Ed.

), 2005, p. 416). The COO’s leadership style can be an asset or a detriment to the change management process depending on the type of team being managed. The environment a team operates in can also be affected by the style of leadership used.Fred Fiedler developed a contingency model that stated, “According to this model, leader effectiveness depends on whether the person’s natural leadership style is appropriately matched to the situation” (University of Phoenix. (Ed.), 2005, p. 427).

Fiedler’s model states that the best leadership style depends on the level of power and influence a manager has over a situation. The following items can affect the situation: leader-member relations, task structure, and positional power. When an organization is undergoing change a manager must “Make as many people as possible feel as though they are leading the change, rather than having it imposed on them. Give them responsibility for making some of the implementation a success” (Your Route to the Top: Implementing Changes From Above, 2005).There are four leadership styles a COO may use to help manage change within an organization: directive, supportive, participative and achievement-orientated. Directive leadership sets clear goals, provides the means to reach goals, and sets clear standards to measure employee performance.

Directive leadership is balanced when handing out rewards and punitive actions to employee, although, training and experience can replace this type of leadership. Supportive leadership is used to make the work environment enjoyable and is effective during times of change. This style helps employees cope with stressful situations.

Cohesive teams can replace supportive leadership by meeting the same need for support. Participative leadership requires a manager capable of encouraging employees to become involved in decisions that affect their work environs. Participative leadership helps the employee feel that he or she is valued and integral to the process of change. The achievement-oriented style encourages employees to reach predefined goals set by the manager.Achievement-orientation applies goal setting theory and positive expectations.

Goal setting is used to motivate employees and clearly define the employees’ roles by creating performance objectives. The intended outcome of this theory is to give employees a clear understanding of their roles in the new process so employees’ energies can be focused on improving work performance.Lessons Learned The simulation has helped to clarify the transitive nature of change in an organic organization and the extent to which an act of change can affect the whole organization. In the simulation, Lewin’s Force Field Analysis theory of change seems most obvious when reviewing the charge for change placed on the COO by the CEO (University of Phoenix. (Ed.), 2005, p 677). The CEO directed the COO to implement change in the organization, marking the start of the change process described in Lewin’s three classic steps through change: unfreeze, movement, refreeze.

The COO received a mission statement from the CEO to unfreeze the organization for change, move through the change within nine months, and reach a goal, at which point in the change cycle the COO can solidify the new organizational structure. In the simulation, the actual change process applied by the COO appears to follow a whole systems approach, which “is based on the notion that any change…has a cascading effect throughout an organization” (University of Phoenix. (Ed.), 2005, p. 679).

The Synergetic Solutions Inc. COO and his leadership staff have shed light on the difficulties and potential rewards of moving from a procedural, mechanistic organization into an organic, self adjusting, ever evolving organization. In concordance with a whole systems perspective on change, the COO and his managerial staff dialogued on the issues and selected a direction for the organization, which exemplifies the procedures in the strategic choice model (University of Phoenix. (Ed.), 2005, p. 660).Avenues to achieve the new target structure and the stages of the transformation process; deciding on the change management approach, either mechanistic or wholes systems, to use in order to affect the change; understanding the internal and external factors promoting the change process; weighing of the internal and external factors influencing the change; diagnosing and managing organizational resistance to change; selecting an effective leadership style to move the organization through change; were weighed from the perspective of the organization’s current environment and decisions were implemented to move the organization to its new structural goal.

The final product of the change process that Synergetic Solutions Inc underwent appears to be an organization-based on Fiedler’s contingency model of design. The contingency model says that organizations “tend to be more effective when they are structured to fit the demands of the situation” (University of Phoenix. (Ed.), 2005, p.

651). The majority of the change procedures discussed and implemented by the COO and his managers appear to be consistent with an organic, whole systems change model, intended to foster an organic organizational structure composed of “flexible networks of multitalented individuals who perform a variety of tasks” (University of Phoenix. (Ed.), 2005, p. 654).ReferencesArena, M. J.

(2003). Exploring the new sciences through whole scale (TM) change. Organization Development Journal, 21(1), Retrieved March 19, 2005, from ProQuest database. Boog, B. W., Keuhne, L., & Tromp C.

(2003). Action research and emancipation. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 13(6), 419-420. Retrieved March 19, 2005, from EBSCOHost database.

 Manning, M. R., & Binzagr, G. F. (1996). Methods, values, and assumptions underlying large group interventions intended to change whole systems. International Journal of Organizational Analysis, 4(3), Retrieved March 19, 2005, from ProQuest database.

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