Integrative Essay on Leading Change

Integrative Paper on Leading Change

In this paper, I will compare and contrast different theories and/or concepts within our textbook Organizational Behavior and Management with the assertions of John P. Kotter in Leading Change.

In his text, Kotter argues that many efforts to change management fail and that some of the most common errors when going through these transformations are: (1) Allowing too much complacency, (2) Failing to create a sufficiently powerful guiding coalition, (3) Underestimating the power of vision, (4) Under communicating the vision, (5) Permitting obstacles to block the new vision, (6) Failing to create short-term wins, (7) Declaring victory too soon, (8) Neglecting to anchor changes firmly in the corporate culture. Kotter also explained his eight-stage process to manage organizational change. And with these eight stages, I will begin my compare and contrast.

Stage 1: Establishing a Sense of Urgency: (Kotter Chap.1 pp.35-51)

Kotter maintains that in order to establish a sense of urgency in a business, complacency levels among staff members and management has to be significantly low.   He contends that by inducing a strong sense of urgency into the day to day functions of a company that a major transformation will occur thus keeping the organization competitive.   This concept is supported by the textbook in relation to perceptions.   In order to establish or create that sense of urgency within an organization, the perceptions that fuel complacent attitudes must change. In order to be successful with such an organizational transformation, the usual or standard method of operating must be questioned and inspected objectively to ensure that it fits into the new vision strategy. The information provided in the textbook about perceptions supports the idea presented regarding complacency and why it is important to remove that complacency in order to facilitate a transformational change. Perceptions, as defined, are a “cognitive process by which an individual selects, organizes and gives meaning to environmental stimuli.” (Ivancevich p.86)

Stage 2: Creating the Guiding Coalition:

Kotter states that in order for a business to continue to thrive and grow over the years, upper management has to recognize that in modern business success cannot be achieved by one powerful person (the lone ranger boss) and that decisions needed to implement change have to be timely in nature to keep up with the pace of the industry.   He goes on to say that an effective guiding coalition comprises of individuals who hold enough position power to thwart those who would attempt to block progress.   Further that these individuals have to represent various disciplines in business strategies, experience, and nationality.   To ensure that employees at lower tiers in the organizational chart take the changes seriously and would be willing to conform to innovation, credibility amongst team members is essential.   One can’t persuade others to accept and adapt to change if their credibility is sub par.   Kotter stresses the need for leadership as it is the most important aspect of creating an effective guiding coalition.   Without leadership and management skills working in tandem with each other, any progress to initiate changes in business will lack control and will not be a sufficient force in stimulating transformation.   Rounding out the characteristics of an effective guiding coalition is trust and the need to develop a common goal.   If a team is going to be successful in applying change, trust must be established between members.   It is equally important to have common goals with others in the group as it can improve the chance that transformation won’t become stagnant.   There is comparative advice found in the text that indicates that organizations going through transformation need the backing of powerful and influential people as they serve as a spokesperson(s) and role model to help facilitate...

References: 1. “Leading Change” by John P. Kotter 1996
  2. “Organizational Behavior and Management” by John M. Ivancevich, Robert Konopaske, and Michael T. Matteson 2008 International 8th Edition
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