Strategic Management: Formulation and Implementation

Managing Strategic Change - Summary

Change is inevitable in organizations. It refers to any alteration in the status quo. The use of forcefield analysis is helpful in understanding the driving forces and restraining forces that account for the status quo. Forces for change can be external or internal.

Three clusters of forces create motion that triggers change: (1) first is the relationships between organizations and their environments; (2) the second is organic, "growth" through the life cycle; (3) the third is political, the constant struggle for power.

Major changes usually involve adjustments to one or more of the following types of change: technology changes, newproduct changes, structural changes, cultural/people changes.

Organizational development is a change effort that is planned, focused on an entire organization or a large subsystem, managed from the top, aimed at enhancing organizational health and effectiveness. Organizational development entails three steps unfreezing, the actual change, and refreezing. Popular OD techniques include team building, survey feedback, intergroup skills, and process consultation.

A strategy has not been implemented until the target behavior has changed. Strategic change can be viewed as a continuum running from no variation in strategy to a complete change in an organization's mission. For analytic purposes, it useful to divide strategic change into the five discrete stages: continuation strategy, routine strategy change, limited strategy change, radical strategy change, organizational redirection.

One of the most significant influence in which the implementation of the change processes are managed is the degree of urgency required. When the impact of urgency on change is considered, we are left with three principal types of change: crisis change, reactive change, and anticipatory change.

Managers have a variety of tactics available for implementing change. These will depend in part on the level and preference for the use of power, and whether this power can or should be exerted directly or indirectly

Corporate crises are disasters precipitated by people, organizational structures, economics, and/or technology that cause extensive damage to human life and natural and social environments. The list of corporate disasters is virtually unending. It includes executives kidnapping; hijackings, both in the air and at sea; hostile takeovers; and such acts of terrorism as the bombing of factories and warehouses. However, while the situation is grave, it is far from hopeless for management, researchers, and consultants who are prepared to confront the problem directly.

Implementation demands change in an organization. A new strategy may lead to structural changes. Therefore, change can be traumatic and should be addressed strategically.