Managing Change in Organizations-The HR Way

The way the business goes each sub function of business has to move in that way. HR as a function follows the footsteps of business, to know the path of HR and its challenges and perspectives lets see the business path.

Four Key Forces Shaping the Future:

Here are some changes companies are rapidly moving toward in the first few years of the 21st century and possible adjustments to make in work attitudes.

Established institutions must be completely flexible because markets are chaotic and resource needs are unpredictable.

Because established institutions are in a state of constant flux, individuals must be fiercely self-reliant.

The growing information tidal wave presents us all with an infinite array of options, so there is no one way to think about or do anything any more.

As the pace of change accelerates, the only relevant time frame is just in time.

Changes in Business:

Free movement of capital making it easily accessible.

Technology is no longer the presence of a few companies.

Unrestricted flow of information makes it available to all.

Globalisation is creating one all-important quality standard.

The world economy is increasingly become service-oriented.

Where Goes the Future of Work?

Seven key factors shaping the workplace to come. Itís time to think about the approaching millennium and new ways of working. Hereís a checklist of what to watch for:

Reengineering: Companies are continually redesigning work systems to maximize flexibility, efficiency, and effectiveness.

Restructuring: Organization charts are being (or should be) dismantled because more and more of the real work is being done by ad hoc teams.

Technology: Advances in technology are dissolving most of the traditional boundaries (time and place) around work.

Knowledge-Work: There is less and less "low-skill" work for anyone to do in the new economy. More and more basic tasks and responsibilities require the leveraging of information, skill, and knowledge (and sometimes even wisdom).

Diversity: An increasing percentage of the workforce is made up of people all across the demographic map. The wide range of life experiences, perspectives, preferences, values and styles of this diverse workforce is radically rewriting the most basic tenets of doing business.

Globalization: Almost anyone today can buy from foreign suppliers, manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers; sell to foreign companies and foreign consumers; tap into existing markets; open new markets; start foreign ventures; or take over and reinvigorate existing business entities. If youíre not thinking global, you might as well hide under your desk.

The Virtual Workplace: As long as they have a place to plug in, most people can work almost anywhere and anytime. People are more alone than ever at work, yet more connected than anyone could ever have imagined.


What are we telling to the people is the same old adage repeating along the ages. But see along the lines of HR this would mean different. The following paragraphs explain why it is different when you see through the perspective of HR.

Change Management Practices:

Managing internal change, particularly culture change, requires three things:

Management commitment,

Universal approval, and

Appropriate measures and rewards.

Management Commitment:

In order for anything to happen in an enterprise, including change, executives and managers must be consistently committed to making it happen. Only enterprise leaders can ensure that resources necessary to effect the change are available. Consistent commitment means that the change becomes both an enterprise strategy and an enterprise goal that leaders continuously and obviously support. The visibility of leadership support is a primary factor in achieving universal approval for change.

Universal Approval:

Internal change is successful only when the people involved approve of the change. They understand the need for the change. They believe the change is good for the enterprise and good for them. They agree that the change being undertaken is the right change. Peter Senge, in his book The Fifth Discipline, describes the need for universal approval in order to implement systemic change.

"People want change, they donít want to be changed."

Measures and Rewards:

Getting everyone to want change is difficult. It requires a level and degree of communication and cooperation not found in most enterprises. Maintaining universal approval is even more difficult. The best way to get and maintain universal approval is to ensure that the process and results of change are measured appropriately and accurately and communicated enterprise-wide. Good results and changed behavior must be rewarded. At the same time, unchanged behavior and poor results should not be rewarded. Employees will not work toward change if they continue to be rewarded for old practices.

Lets now see HRís most recent ways to tackle change in the new era:

Managers usually focus on three key aspects of employee motivation




This being based upon following observations:

People do not find work objectionable

People want to participate in developing objectives and obtaining goals

People have a great deal of informational knowledge to contribute to the organization

People are creative

People are responsible

People desire opportunities to affect change


Establish a sense of urgency-Identifying and discussing crises, potential crises or major opportunities.

Forming a powerful guiding coalition-Assembling a group with enough power to lead the change effort. Encouraging the group to work together as a team.

Creating a vision-Creating a vision to help guide the change effort

Communicating the vision-Using every vehicle possible to convey the vision to all people

Empowering others to act on the vision-Getting rid of obstacles to change like the structure..

Planning for and creating short term wins-Rewarding employees and recognizing them.

Consolidating improvements

Institutionalizing new approaches

Future of Human Resource Management

If HRM is not to remain more in the realm of rhetoric with wide disparaties between theory and practice, several things need to take place. First, HRM needs to be diffused across industries and the economy. For this to occur the following conditions need to be satisfied:

HRM should be an essential part of management education and training (some would say that it should be the essence). From this, two important consequences are likely to follow. HRM is likely to be integrated into corporate strategies and line managers' functions and decisions. This would reduce the need for HRM specialists, except at the policy level where they will have a greater voice. Business strategies are then likely to be built less around low cost and low wages, but around the real sources of competitive advantage such as flexibility, quality and customer service.

Employment policies which support employment security, without which HRM policies, including training, would have little motivational effect. This does not mean guaranteed employment, but a policy which treats termination as a last, rather than a first, resort. Learning from international experiences and diffusing the information can have a transforming effect, as was the case when American manufacturing was transformed through in-depth studies of Japanese manufacturing in the automobile industry.

Substantial investment in people and the willingness of employers to view the benefits from a long-term perspective - a difficult task in a system which is driven by short-term investor pressure.

HRM requires to overcome one of its weaknesses, namely, to recognize that the choices available to managements are governed not only by internal but also by external considerations. "Ironically ...students of HRM often begin with the weakening of external labour market institutions and the liberalization of management in the firm as necessary pre-conditions for the adoption of HRM .... The more HRM is seen to be the preserve of each individual firm acting in isolation, the least likely it is that HRM practices will grow and flourish in the wider economy."

HR as a Central Business Unit- a new Perspective

Therefore today "far from being marginalised, the human resource management function becomes recognized as a central business concern; its performance and delivery are integrated into line management; the aims shift from merely securing compliance to the more ambitious one of winning commitment. The employee resource, therefore, becomes worth investing in, and training and development thus assume a higher profile. These initiatives are associated with, and maybe are even predicated upon, a tendency to shift from a collective orientation to the management of the workforce to an individualistic one..Accordingly management looks for 'flexibility' and seeks to reward differential performance in a differential way. Communication of managerial objectives and aspirations takes on a whole new importance." In an enterprise with effective HRM polices and practices, the decisions on HRM are also strategic decisions influenced by strategy and structure, and by external factors such as trade unions, the labour market situation and the legal system. In reality most firms do not have such a well thought out sequential HRM model. But we are considering here is also effective HRM, and thus a model where HRM decisions are as strategic as the decisions on the type of business and structure. The attitude that people are a variable cost is, in effective HRM, replaced by the view that people are a resource and that as social capital can be developed and can contribute to competitive advantage. Increasingly, it is accepted that competitive advantage is gained through well-educated and trained, motivated and committed employees at all levels. This recognition is now almost universal, and accounts for the plausible argument that training and development are, or will be, the central pillar of HRM. Thus "The existence of policies and practices designed to realize the latent potential of the workforce at all levels becomes the litmus test of an organization's orientation."

Human Resource Management In Achieving Management Objectives :

HRM has three basic goals which contribute to achieving management objectives.

FIRST GOAL OF HRM: In two senses: integrating HRM into an organization's corporate strategy, and ensuring an HRM view in the decisions and actions of line managers. Integration in the first sense involves selecting the HRM options consistent with (and which promote) the particular corporate strategy. The option is determined by the type of employee behaviour expected (e.g. innovation) needed to further the corporated strategy. For instance, the HRM policies in relation to recruitment, appraisal, compensation, training, etc. differ according to whether the business strategy is one of innovation, quality enhancement or cost reduction. A strategy of innovation may require a pay system less influenced by market rates but which rewards creativity, and the pay rates would even be low so long as there are ways of making up the earnings package. A cost reduction strategy may lead to pay rates being strongly influenced by market levels. Similarly, training and development would receive less emphasis in a cost reduction strategy than in one where the objective is innovation or quality. But such integration is difficult without securing the inclusion of a HRM view in the decisions and practices of line managers. This requires that HRM should not be a centralized function.

SECOND GOAL OF HRM: Is securing commitment through building strong cultures. This involves promoting organizational goals by uniting employees through a shared set of values (quality, service, innovation, etc.) based on a convergence of employee and enterprise interests, which the larger Japanese enterprises have been particularly adept at.

THIRD GOAL OF HRM: Is to achieve flexibility and adaptability to manage change and innovation in response to rapid changes consequent upon globalization. Relevant to HRM policies in this regard are training and multi-skilling, re-organization of work and removal of narrow job classifications. Appropriate HRM policies are designed, for instance, to recruit, develop and retain quality staff, to formulate and implement agreed performance goals and measures, and to build a unified organizational culture.

New HR objectives:

Corporate goals must factor in individual career growth.

Company profits must be linked to personal rewards.

Organisational learning must involve employee training.

Job responsibilities must facilitate personal development.

Business strategies must consider HR issues.

HR as a function will be more integrated, directly with the business strategy derived mostly from vision. On the other hand it will focus on creating the internal environment and jobs which could maximise the life satisfaction of executives. In the end we could conclude that it will an important pillar of business.

From India, Mumbai
Hi Interesting topic! Good work and it is really thought provoking especially in the context of South Africa where organisations are grappling with issues of transformation. Thanks,

If you are knowledgeable about any other fact, resource or experience related to this topic - please add your views using the reply box below. For articles and copyrighted material please only cite the original source link. Each contribution will make this page a resource useful for everyone.

About Us Advertise Contact Us
Privacy Policy Disclaimer Terms Of Service

All rights reserved @ 2021 Cite.Coô

All Material Copyright And Trademarks Posted Held By Respective Owners.
Panel Selection For Threads Are Automated - Members Notified Via CiteMailer Server