Q1: As a change manager, to what extent can you identify environmental pressures are propelling your organization toward change? To what extent do you influence whether and how to change?
Environmental pressures are some of the factors that can be used to explain the change. The environment is a significant factor in the change process. This may take place due to reduced demands for sales and products, a reduction in the market share and investment decisions that are does not meet the needs of the organization or those that are not formulated strategically. There are various types of environmental pressures that can propel my organization towards change. One of the pressures results from the desire to undertake fashionable changes in the management to imitate the practices and structures of other organizations within the industry, those often considered as successful or legitimate. An organization may be compelled to keep up with the trends exhibited by other organizations or practices within the industry. Another type of environmental pressure is the one that results from external agencies. For instance, the organization may be forced to comply with new practices and laws put in place by external forces. This is a change forced into the organization through legally instructed requirements in which the organization is compelled to make a similar move as other organizations within the industry. The third environmental pressure we can face is the extensive changes in geographical associations calling for changes in the operations of the organization. For instance, the need for long term geographic rearrangements. Other pressures that can force the organization towards change include the pressure resulting from declining markets, hyper-competition in the business, and the desire to maintain corporate credibility and reputation with the consumers, suppliers, employees, shareholders, government, and the community. It is important to note that a market decline in the sales of certain products and services makes an organization to try to remain relevant. The pressure of finding new and more reliable markets weighs on the organization. And with an increased level of competition in the market, the organization would be obliged to deliver its goods and services in a more efficient, customized, and flexible manner.
As a change manager, I have a significant influence on whether a change should be implemented and how the change would be approached. Change managers have the responsibility of developing and implementing change management plans and strategies to maximize the adoption of employees, and the minimization of employee resistance. As a change manager, I can ensure that the changes required are adopted as quickly as possible and ensure high fundamental use of and proficiency with the changes impacting the organization. Therefore, I would have a more significant influence on the design and implementation of change that would occur within the organization.
Q2: Why do organizations not change in response to environmental pressures?
Organizations may fail to change concerning the pressures resulting from the environment. It is essential to note that organizations are different in their approaches and management and not all organizations respond to the environmental pressure for change. Some organizations may not recognize the pressure as a real threat, may be slow to respond, while others may resist them. The reasons for the failure of organizations to respond to environmental pressure for change can be explained using various aspects such as the balance between forces of stability and forces of change, buffering vs. bridging strategies, organizational learning perspective, and threat rigidity perspective.
Change is considered to result from threat-based performance gaps like the decline in profits or opportunity based like the desire to achieve growth with other competitor companies. External pressure such as a decline in the market will make an organization innovatively adapt and change since the managers learn from the issues they face and try to close the gap between aspirations and performance. From a threat-rigidity perspective, such pressure will block innovative change as the decision-making process, and cognitive ability of the managers becomes limited when they face such problems. Organizations can also be trapped by success, and this may make them fail to respond to the external pressures for change. It should be noted that this may blind organizations with winning strategies blinded by this and fail to change. At the same time, companies can assume that their dominance in the market will continue, thus call for no need for change. Such forces can make organizations become learning disabled such that they fail to respond to change pressures.