The Concept Of Change Business Essay

Changes happen when are triggered by internal or external stimuli and each aimed at delivering some sort of marked improvement in performance. Changes can be incremental or radical; sometimes the gap between the current and future state is small and other times that gap is large. Changes can impact processes, technologies, systems, tools, structures, job roles or any combination of these factors. Some have little or no structure around them, but they still cause changes in the organization. Others take the form of policy declarations. Others are formal projects (with associated project managers, project codes, project charters and work breakdown structures), while still others are programs made up of numerous projects. Regardless of the reason, type or structure of the change, each ultimately impacts how individual employees do their jobs.

Change management is an approach to shifting/transitioning individuals, teams, and - in general - organizations from a current state to a desired future state. It is an organizational process aimed at helping change stakeholders to accept and embrace changes in their business environment or individuals in their personal lives.[1] While change is about moving to a future state; change management is about supporting individual employees impacted by the change through their own transitions It is only when employees embrace, adopt and use the change that results are achieved.

The reason for such a broad definition of change management is that it's a comprehensive term used to describe change at both the individual and organizational level. Ultimately, the goal of change is to improve the organization by altering how work is done. A somewhat ambiguous term, change management has at least three different aspects, including: adapting to change, controlling change, and effecting change. A proactive approach to dealing with change is at the core of all three aspects. For an organization, change management means defining and implementing procedures and/or technologies to deal with changes in the business environment and to profit from changing opportunities.

Successful adaptation to change is as crucial within an organization as it is in the natural world. Just like plants and animals, organizations and the individuals in them inevitably encounter changing conditions that they are powerless to control. The more effectively you deal with change, the more likely you are to thrive. Adaptation might involve establishing a structured methodology for responding to changes in the business environment (such as a fluctuation in the economy, or a threat from a competitor) or establishing coping mechanisms for responding to changes in the workplace (such as new policies, or technologies).

The objectives of change

Organizations change for a reason, whether that is to be more competitive in the market, improve business processes, cut costs or all the above. Clear and deep perception of the need for change is essential. No matter the size of the organization, no matter the size or nature or type, the goal is to improve the performance in some significant way. Organizational change requires individual change - if individuals do not embrace, adopt or become proficient at the required change, then benefits will not be realized. Therefore, one of the most important aspects is to understand for the organization's staff, managers and subordinates, need for change. Organizational outcomes are tied to the change being realized as a result of individual change; after all, individual employees are the heart and soul of organizations, without them to do the work, the work will not get done. The change may be to fix a problem or to seize an opportunity. This can lead to customers and internal competitive pressures. It may be incremental in nature or may be a radically new operating system. This can affect several workgroups or may affect the entire organization. This can affect the behaviors, processes, tools, technology, organizational structures and job roles. But whatever the nature of change, organizations implemented projects and initiatives to improve performance - to achieve a future state, which is better than the current situation. For a change to be the real return "success" is significantly improved, which has been designed. There are several terms used to describe this, including:

- Benefit realization

- Value creation

- Return on Investment (ROI)

- Results and outcomes

The objective of any change is this: to realize profit and generate value. To operate, the manager must be familiar with the problem situation to another.

The bottom line of change management is this: to ensure benefit realization and value creation by addressing the people side of change and by driving required adoption and usage of change solutions. Change management drives project benefit realization and is necessary whenever a project's results and outcomes depend on individuals adopting and using a solution.

Attitudes and behaviors in the process of change

If you ask employees what they think about change, you will normally find that most people have negative attitudes and perceptions towards change. They have fears of losing their job, their status or their social security, or they are afraid of a higher workload.

  In many cases, first effects of change on employees, leaders, and on performance levels are negative. These effects include fears, stress, frustration and denial of change. Most employees tend to react with resistance to change rather than seeing change as a chance to initiate improvements. They are afraid of losing something, because they have incomplete information on how the change processes will effect their personal situation in terms of tasks, workload, or responsibilities. Managers need to keep in mind those negative side-effects of change initiatives in order to achieve the expected positive results. The success of change projects depends on the organization’s ability to make all their employees participate in the change process in one way or the other.

In order to successfully understand people’s behavior in change process, it is necessary to analyze the phases of this process. Managers need to know in which phase they have to expect what types of situations and problems. Most successful organizations are those that are able to adjust themselves to new conditions quickly. This requires planned learning processes that lead to improved organizational effectiveness. Ideally, employees are able to reflect their own behavior in relation to the organizational context (e.g. processes, products, resources, customers).

 Normally, people perceive change processes in seven typical stages.


 The seven phases of change .[2] can be described as follows:

Shock and Surprise. This can happen ‘by accident’ or planned events people realize that their own patterns of doing things are not suitable for new conditions any more. Thus, their perceived own competence decreases.

Denial and Refusal. People activate values as support for their conviction that change is not necessary. their perceived competency increases again.

Rational Understanding. People realize the need for change. According to this insight, their perceived competence decreases again. People focus on finding short term solutions, thus they only cure symptoms. There is no willingness to change own patterns of behavior.

Emotional Acceptance. This phase, which is also called ‘crisis’ is the most important one. Only if management succeeds to create a willingness for changing values, beliefs, and behaviors, the organization will be able to exploit their real potentials. In the worst case, however, change processes will be stopped or slowed down here.

Exercising and Learning. The new acceptance of change creates a new willingness for learning. People start to try new behaviors and processes. They will experience success and failure during this phase. It is the change managers task to create some early wins (e.g. by starting with easier projects). This will lead to an increase in peoples perceived own competence.

Realization. The new acceptance of change creates a new willingness for learning. People start to try new behaviors and processes. They will experience success and failure during this phase. It is the change managers task to create some early wins (e.g. by starting with easier projects). This will lead to an increase in peoples perceived own competence.

Integration. People totally integrate their newly acquired patterns of thinking and acting. The new behaviors become routine.


Only if change managers understand these phases of change, and only if they act accordingly, they will be able to successfully manage change processes without destroying people’s motivation and commitment.


.[2] The seven phases of change is adapted from:

Colin Carnall: Managing Change in Organizations.  and

Claudia Kostka & Annette Moench: Change Mangement – Sieben Methoden für die Gestaltung von Veränderungsprozessen.