Business Organization

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COMPORTAMENTO ORGANIZACIONAL
PERCEPTION OF CHANGE MANAGEMENT IN NIGERIAN
UNIVERSITIES
PERCEPÇÃO DA GESTÃO DA MUDANÇA EM UNIVERSIDADES NIGERIANAS
Hassan Banjo Ally
Olabisi Onabanjo University – Nigeria
Data de submissão: 05 jul. 2015. Data de aprovação:
Obasan Kehinde Agbolade
Olabisi Onabanjo University – Nigeria
28 mar. 2016. Sistema de avaliação: Double blind review.
Universidade FUMEC / FACE. Prof. Dr. Henrique Cordeiro
Martins. Prof. Dr. Cid Gonçalves Filho. Prof. Dr. Luiz Claudio
Abass Hassanat Adunni
Vieira de Oliveira
Olabisi Onabanjo University – Nigeria
ABSTRACT
Organizational management are concerned with the effect of both radical and sudden
changes can have on individual relationship with the organization and the organization as a whole. In line with this, the study attempt to assess employees’ perception of
change management in Nigerian universities by investigating the relationship between
change management and employee commitment on one hand, success and failure
of change initiatives and employees’ readiness and resistance to change initiatives on
the other hand respectively. 180 questionnaires were administered to employees of
three universities in south west region of Nigeria. Data obtained was analysed using
descriptive statistics while hypotheses were tested using correlation and regression
analysis. The result of the findings revealed a strong and direct relationship between
change management and employee commitment, success and failure of change programmes has a positive and significant relationship with employee readiness and
resistance to change respectively in Nigerian universities. This paper therefore makes
useful recommendations to universities and other organisations among which include
although, employee might resist change, organization should try their best to properly
manage the resistance as it can be beneficial to the employees and the educational
organizations at large.
KEYWORDS
Perceptions. Change Management. Change Initiative. Resistance. Employee Commitment.
PERCEPTION OF CHANGE MANAGEMENT IN NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES
RESUMO
Os gestores estão preocupados com os efeitos das mudanças radicais e repentinas nas empresas, que podem ter relações com cada indivíduo ou com
toda a organização. Em consonância, o objetivo deste estudo é avaliar a percepção da gestão da mudança em universidades nigerianas, investigando a
relação entre a gestão da mudança e o comprometimento dos funcionários,
por um lado, e o sucesso e fracasso das iniciativas dos empregados, além das
resistências à mudança, por outro lado. Foram aplicados 180 questionários
aos empregados de três universidades na região sudoeste da Nigéria. Os
dados obtidos foram analisados por meio de estatística descritiva, enquanto
hipóteses foram testadas usando correlação e análise de regressão. Os resultados das conclusões revelaram uma relação forte e direta entre a gestão da
mudança e comprometimento dos funcionários. O sucesso e fracasso de programas de mudança tem uma relação positiva e significativa com a prontidão
do empregado e resistência à mudança, respectivamente, em universidades
nigerianas. Neste trabalho, foram feitas recomendações úteis para universidades e outras organizações entre as quais incluem que a organização deve tentar o seu melhor para gerir adequadamente a resistência, uma vez que pode
ser benéfico para os funcionários e as organizações educacionais em geral.
PALAVRAS-CHAVE
Percepções. Gestão da Mudança. Iniciativa da Mudança. Resistência. Comprometimento dos Funcionários.
INTRODUCTION
The changing nature of technology and
economy pose great pressures on organizations to change their structural and functional characteristics. In parallel with global
developments especially in the last quarter
of the last century, changes concerning content and presentation of organizations programs, technologies, structural process and
the roles of management and employees
come forward. In fact, organizations need
to create more effective programmes and
procedures in response to organizational
68
needs, generate knowledge, skills, and attitudes and develop organizational strategies
in order to ensure development of the individual and sustainability of social life. This
is important in getting individuals ready for
change by considering the needs from outside or within the organizational system
(GÖKÇE, 2005; ROSENBLATT, 2004).
According to Leavitt (1964), internal
forces which exists within the organization that encourage organizational change
include technology (plant, machinery and
tools etc.), primary task (the major field of
R. Adm. FACES Journal Belo Horizonte v. 15 n. 2 p. 66-80 abr./jun. 2016. ISSN 1984-6975 (online). ISSN 1517-8900 (Impressa)
HASSAN BANJO ALLY, OBASAN KEHINDE AGBOLADE, ABASS HASSANAT ADUNNI
business), people (human resources constituting the organization) and administrative
structures (formalized lines of communication, formation of working procedures,
managerial hierarchies, reward systems and
disciplinary procedures). Hence, it can be
stated that internal forces for change come
from both human resources and managerial behaviour or decisions. Also major
external forces outside the organizations
include law and regulations of the government, society’s standards and values, changing technology, demographic characteristics, administrative processes and needs of
organization members (DAWSON, 2003;
KREITNER; KINICKI, 2010). These external and internal factors are all related to
speed, direction and outcomes of change in
organizations (DAWSON, 2003).
University education has undergone tremendous expansion in recent times due to
rapid increase in the demand for and enrolment in university education perceived as
crucial in sustaining individual growth and
relevant to the development of high level
manpower in relevant fields for socio-economic, scientific and technological development of any nation.
External pressures posed by the volatile environment surrounding educational
organizations necessitate the need for the
organization to change overtime. However,
educational organizations need to be flexible in order to adapt to various strategies
adopted in managing change. Educational
change practices actually include different
approaches to curriculum, management
structures, educational programmes, students and teachers having different backgrounds. In essence, it is necessary to contribute continuous improvement practices
with the changing circumstance to achieve
organization effectiveness. Indeed, it is essential to maintain stability of schools and
give room for effective education (ROSENBLATT, 2004).
Employees together form the building
blocks of a successful organization. When
individuals can shape their work in such
a way that it is perceived as meaningful
and enjoyable, they tend to perform better (BAKKER; BAL, 2010; HALBESLEBEN;
WHEELER, 2008) and show innovative and
charismatic behaviour (HAKANEN; PERHONIEMI; TOPPINEN-TANNER, 2008).
This may be especially important during organizational change, when employees need
to adapt psychologically and behaviourally
to the change, which may influence adaptation of other employees (GREENHALGH
et al., 2004).
When an organization is experiencing organizational change, such as: re-structuring,
downsizing, or merging, it causes employees
the feelings of anxiety, stress, and insecurity,
and thus impact on employees’ productivity, satisfaction, and commitment toward the
organization (ASHFORD et al., 1989). Employees can develop different attitudes and
behaviours as a result of different individual’s
life experiences, socio-demographic characteristics, knowledge and skills, attitudes,
values, and behavioural pattern. Finally, organizations need willingness and behavioural
support from employees in order to build a
truly adaptive organization.
Therefore, organizational change is considered as both a challenge and a threat.
However, it triggers positive response
when considered as challenge and triggers
negative response when considered otherwise. Change as a threat has impact on
employee’s perception of job insecurity,
anxiety and depression, which may in turn
R. Adm. FACES Journal Belo Horizonte v. 15 n. 2 p. 66-80 abr./jun. 2016. ISSN 1984-6975 (online). ISSN 1517-8900 (Impressa)
69
PERCEPTION OF CHANGE MANAGEMENT IN NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES
influence employee resistance to change
program (CONNER, 1993), and in case of
challenge, change has impact on motivation, loyalty, job commitment and job satisfaction may automatically speed up the rate
of employees acceptance and readiness to
change program (REICHERS; WANOUS;
AUSTIN, 1997). So organizations need to
develop sense of challenge in their employees to get positive response to change
and to avoid dissatisfaction and depression
among the employees.
As stated by Biljana (2004) “organizations
value commitment among their employees
because it is assumed that committed employees engage in “extra-role” behaviours,
such as creativeness or innovativeness”.
Since low job performances, absenteeism
and lack of creativity are costly to organizations. Organizational commitment is assumed to be a desirable quality of their employees. Conversely, radical organizational
changes have affected employees’ commitment, mostly negatively. Meanwhile, it is vital
for management to build and manage employees’ commitment, especially during and
after radical organizational changes since
employees’ commitment is recognized as a
valuable and intangible asset which can produce very tangible results.
In recent times, researchers suggested
that both the ability to accept change as
well as the tendency to resist change lies
within the individuals who are experiencing the change (JUDGE et al., 1999; OREG,
2003). Also Lau and Woodman (1995) revealed that each individual determines
through his/her perceptual skills whether
change is a threat or a challenge. Therefore
change management agents and academic
researchers are concerned with issues of
managing change process so that employee
70
can actively accept and be involved in the
change programs. In view of this, this study
attempts to assess employee’s perception
of organization change management, relating change management to employee’s
readiness to change, resistance to change,
its impact on employees ‘commitment and
overall employee performance.
Literature Review
Globalization, developments in information and communication technology,
economic crises and demographic changes
dramatically force human beings to change
(RAGSDELL, 2000). Change is quite inevitable due to tremendous unforeseen internal and external environmental pressures.
It compares the organization before and
after the situation in order to stop one
thing and starts new one. It is, in fact, an
adaptation to the environment of new
ideas or behaviours that can be defined
by many ways like transformation of an
organization between two points in time
(BARNETT; CARROLL, 1995), planned or
unplanned transformation in the structure,
technology and/or people of an organization (GREENBERG; BARON, 2002). Thus,
organization needs to understand the situation created by change in which employees may have positive or negative attitudes
and behaviours.
Change management is an organizational process aimed at empowering employees to accept and embrace changes in
their current environment. According to
the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM (2007), change management
is a structured approach to transitioning
individuals, teams, and organizations from
a current state to a desired future state,
to fulfil or implement a vision and strate-
R. Adm. FACES Journal Belo Horizonte v. 15 n. 2 p. 66-80 abr./jun. 2016. ISSN 1984-6975 (online). ISSN 1517-8900 (Impressa)
HASSAN BANJO ALLY, OBASAN KEHINDE AGBOLADE, ABASS HASSANAT ADUNNI
gy. As a systematic process, it is the formal
process for organizational change, including a systematic approach and application
of knowledge. Change management means
defining and adopting corporate strategies,
structures, procedures, and technologies
to deal with change stemming from internal and external conditions. Lisa and Brian
(1997) contend that it involve a set of activities that helps people transition from their
present way of working to the desired way
of working (LCMT), and as a competitive
tactic, it is the continuous process of aligning an organization with its market place
and doing so more responsively and effectively than competitors.
As open system, successful organizations monitor their environment and take
appropriate steps to maintain a compatible fit with new external conditions. This
adaptability requires continual change because environmental changes do not end.
McShane & Vonglinow (2000) identified
three prominent forces responsible for
change in the external environment. They
include computer technology, global and
local competition, and demography.
Computer technology seems to be the
main reason why organizations are experiencing dramatic and rapid environmental
changes. More specifically, the systems of
networks that connect computers throughout the planet have rapidly reduced time
and dissolve distances. Employees for example use intranets systems to directly access
job related information, bypassing supervisors who serve as conduits. Basically, computer technology forces corporate leaders
to rethink how their organizations are configured, as well as what competencies and
expectations employees must have in these
emerging organization (GULLEY, 1998).
Secondly, increasing global and local
Competition constitutes powerful forces
for organizational change (BETIS; HITT,
1995). Technology has also played a significant role in increasing global and local competition. Global and domestic competition
often leads to corporate restructuring; in
order to increase competitiveness, organization reduces layers of management, sell
entire divisions of employees and reduce
payroll through downsizing (MCSHANE
et al., 2000). Lastly, demographic forces
constitute prominent forces for external
change. While firms adjust to global competition, they are also adapting to changes in the workforce. Employees are more
educated and consequently expect more
involvements and interesting work. These
changes have put pressure on organizational leaders to alter practices, develop more
compatible structures and reward and discover new ways to lead.
During change, some employees may
also have trouble disengaging from the old
organization, as they feel a sense of loss
with having to “let go” of the old and highly-valued structures, methods and rules
(AMIOT et al., 2006; NADLER, 1987). This
is especially so if people have been socialized to appreciate the values, norms and
organizational history, and if beliefs and
values are shared throughout the organization. Inevitably, there are positive aspects
of the organizational culture that are lost
with any change. The change process may
bring about a loss of organizational history
through, for example, relocation from an
old building or a change in service values.
Employees may perceive these changes as a
loss to the organization’s status or prestige
(AMIOT et al., 2006; ELSBACH; KRAMER,
1996). To date, little research has examined
R. Adm. FACES Journal Belo Horizonte v. 15 n. 2 p. 66-80 abr./jun. 2016. ISSN 1984-6975 (online). ISSN 1517-8900 (Impressa)
71
PERCEPTION OF CHANGE MANAGEMENT IN NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES
employees’ concerns about retaining positive aspects of an organization’s culture
during change. However, all these responses to change are directly related, which
in some cases have impact on employees’
commitment and readiness for change.
Interestingly, an organization in today’s
competitive world cannot perform at its
peak unless its employees are committed
to the organizational objectives and work
as an effective team members. One of the
challenges facing modern organization involves maintaining employee commitment
in current business environment. Meyer and Allen (1991) described employee
commitment to be of three categories:
Affective commitment which refers to employees’ emotional attachment to, identification with and involvement in the organization. Employees with strong affective
commitment continue to remain with the
organization because they want to. Typically, continuance commitment refers to an
awareness of the cost associated with leaving the organization among which include
threat of wasting time and effort spent acquiring non transferrable skills, loosing attractive benefits, giving up seniority based
privileges or having to uproot family and
disrupt personal relationship. Continuance
commitments usually develop as a function
of lack of alternative opportunities and
employees remain because they need to.
Normative commitment reflects a feeling of obligation to continue employment.
Employee with high level of this commitment has the feeling that he ought to continue with the organization. Normative
commitment occurs when organization
provides the employee with rewards in advance or incurs significant costs in providing employment. Employees’ commitment
72
constitutes a valuable and intangible asset
which can produce very tangible results
such as higher productivity and lower employee turnover when managed properly.
It is however important for management
to build and manage employees’ commitment, particularly after radical or sudden
organizational changes. Donald, Steven and
David (2006) revealed that commitment
to change and the organization are not
impacted the same way by organizational
channel and individual reactions to change
are based on a complex calculus reflecting different aspects of the change and its
consequence. Furthermore, highest level of commitment developed when there
was considerable amount of change going
on at the work level. On the other hand,
commitment to change tended low when
change was generally unfavourable for the
work group members irrespective of the
extent of change at the work units. Organizational justice literatures point to both
change process and outcome as influencing organizational members’ reactions to
organizational events. Based on such findings, Donald et al. (2006), concluded that
how fairly a change is carried out and how
favourably its outcomes are should represent two dimensions that are important in
shaping individual sense of commitment to
the change itself and to any re -examination of organizational commitment.
Even though change is introduced and
implemented for positive reasons such as
to adapt to changing environmental conditions and remain competitive, employees
often respond negatively toward change
and resist change efforts. This negative
reaction is mostly because change brings
with it increased pressure, stress and uncertainty for employees (ARMENAKIS;
R. Adm. FACES Journal Belo Horizonte v. 15 n. 2 p. 66-80 abr./jun. 2016. ISSN 1984-6975 (online). ISSN 1517-8900 (Impressa)
HASSAN BANJO ALLY, OBASAN KEHINDE AGBOLADE, ABASS HASSANAT ADUNNI
BEDEIAN, 1999). Resistance to change is
being referred to as employees’ behaviour
that seeks to challenge, or disrupt the prevailing assumptions, discourses, and power relations (FOLGER; SKARLICKI 1999).
Herscovitch (2003) also gave a work-related definition of resistance to change. According to him, employee action or inaction that is intended to avoid a change and/
or interfere with the successful implementation of a change in its current form is a
resistance to change.
Oreg’s (2006) is of the view that resistance to change is a “tri-dimensional (negative) attitude towards change, which includes affective, behavioural, and cognitive
components”. This definition implies that
almost any unfavourable reaction, opposition, or force that prevents or inhibits
change, is resistance. Therefore, such resistance ne …
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