Change is an inevitable part of life as nothing remains the same throughout. Organizations too undergo changes that are aimed at improving the operations of the organization. This change may be influenced by technological advancements, expansion and growth, creativity and innovation as well as the urge to change the way things are done in an organization. However, the success of organizational depends on how the management implements the organizational change process. This is to mean that change can create a disaster in an organization or otherwise bring about success such that organizational goals are achieved.
Many scholars have done research in organizational change with the aim of establishing the relationship between crisis and change. This relationship can be portrayed in two ways. On one hand, the presence of crisis is seen as a driving force to organizational change. This means that change in organizations can be triggered by a looming crisis that is affecting organizational processes. A failure in an organization should influence the management to identify the causes so that the right strategies are implemented to counter the failure (Wilkinson & Mellahi 2005). This means that the organization learns form its failures and implements necessary changes. On the other hand, organizational change is seen as a way of creating a crisis/disaster. This happens mostly when the management of an organization does not follow the necessary steps in the implementation of organizational change. In other words, a crisis can be created through the implementation of organizational change. Moreover, organizational culture can create a disaster through implementing processes that are not in harmony with each other (Pauchant &Mitroff 1988).
Organizational change can be triggered by a crisis that is threatening the survival of the organization in the current market. Examples of crises include declining sales, management issues, financial instability and competition form rivals. It is upon the management of any organization to formulate and implement strategies that will counter the effects of these crises. Organizational culture is at the center stage of any organizational change process. That is, any change in an organization affects the organizational culture since it has to be redesigned to accommodate the change.
A real life case scenario is one in which a service provider company such as a hotel is facing reduced customer turnovers. In such a case, the management of the hotel has to restructure the organizational culture such that it is customer-oriented. Additionally, the sales and marketing department has to be empowered through the adoption of new marketing strategies that will attract more customers. Such strategies may include lowering the prices of the products and services offered, redesigning the products and services to be more appealing to customers, and offering of bonuses and discounts to customers. Furthermore, the management has to motivate the workers so as to improve their productivity. Motivation may be through offering health packages, increasing salaries, provision of holiday and leave packages as well as promotion of team work.
From the above example, it is clear that the presence of a crisis in an organization triggers certain changes in the organizational culture. It is also evident that the responsibility of implementing change falls in the hands of the management.
On the converse, change in an organization can create a crisis that can make things worse both internally and externally. This in most cases will be brought about a number of things that include top-down management implementation system; lack of including all employees in the change process; training staff about an anticipated change and expecting immediate change; and lack of linking the past with the present. It is therefore recommended that change in an organization should be all inclusive whereby the top management ensures that the change process is implemented systematically without leaving out any stakeholders.
Effects of Pluralism and Organizational Becoming On the Relationship between Change and Crisis
According to Kilduff & Dougherty (2000), development and pluralism can interact with change to bring about a disaster or create new opportunities. Through their study of classics, these two authors argue that change and pluralism can act as threats or as opportunities that can lead to creativity and innovation. The use of diverse goals and perceptions and team work in organizations has been seen as a way of creating a conflict in the organizational structure. Conflict comes in when for example employees are split in groups that compete against each other. Therefore, it is recommended that employees be organized in one group that embraces equality so as to avoid conflict. This shows that pluralism can create a threat in an organization.
On the other hand, pluralism can bring about opportunities through creation of an organizational culture that promotes diversity. This will in turn encourage creativity and innovation since employees from different cultural backgrounds will share different ideas aimed at achieving organizational success. This means that pluralism can be used to turn a crisis into a window of new opportunities that brings about positive change.
Through organizational becoming, change is seen a way of creating new opportunities where organizations undergo changes so as to become what they are. Relying on Tsoukas & Chia (2002), organizational becoming is the process through which organizations become what they are by undergoing changes in their lifetime. It is therefore right to say that organizational change creates organizations. That change is inevitable in organizations as it brings about success. Moreover, Tsoukas & Chia (2002), argue that different parts of organizations have to undergo change so as to avoid conflict. Therefore, change is seen as a way of creating harmony in an organization.