HRM 11417 Management And Organisational Change

HRM 11417 Management And Organisational Change

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HRM 11417 Management And Organisational Change

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HRM 11417 Management And Organisational Change

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Course Code: HRM11417
University: The University Of Edinburgh is not sponsored or endorsed by this college or university

Country: United Kingdom

Please set out your coursework with header / footer as shown here. Please use:• Left hand justification, it makes reading your response easier.• Ariel font size 11 or 12. 1.5 Line spacing.• Spelling and grammar check prior to submitting ~ if necessary please ask a trusted friend to peer [[edit] review.• APA 6th Edition referencing system throughout [see Moodle guidance].• Edinburgh Napier University front cover sheet, fully completed. Your name should not appear anywhere on your submission.
• Use one file for your submission. That file should contain separate responses for part A and part B of the coursework.o Do not repeat the question.o Aim to use 15% of words allocated.o Explain how you propose to answer the question set,o Provide an initial definition of the concept to be discussed,o Explain that whilst numerous examples of a theory may have been written or areobservable, the response will merely refer to 2 or 3.
o Provide a logical responseo Use paragraphs to break up your response into connected prose.o Each paragraph will be in the region of 5 or 6 sentences.o Use language that will assist to offer a critical assessment.o Provide relevant example(s), from the case study or an organisation.o Respond to the considerations [as relevant to Part A] provided for the coursework.o Provide names of relevant theorists [properly cited].o Stick to the question topic. If you feel it is necessary to go off-topic provide a justification, otherwise you may be penalized for digressing into irrelevant areas.

Change management is one of the challenges that managers have to deal with. In a business environment, internal and external forces exert pressure on the organization forcing it to make adjustments on its internal processes. Effective organizations are dynamic since they address change management every time they face the needs to adjust since the changes faced in one organization cannot be the same as the changes in another organization (Senior & Fleming 2006, p. 43).
The systems approach of change management emphasizes the need for change to be implemented organization-wide, where the interconnectedness of the different variables like tasks, strategy, technology, culture, design and people are organized and planned to address the pressures from the environment. This means that management has to choose a hard or soft systems approach for managing the changes that it faces.
Organizational change management and the differences between hard system and soft systems
Siriram (2011, p. 5) suggests that the hard systems approach of change is based on analyzing the change associated with the organization  to determine the objectives for change and develop the best options for action that are used to develop a criteria for the solution.  The hard systems approach is based suited for situations with well-defined facts and problems that must be accomplished from a technical perspective.
This approach works well for situations that lie on the hard side of the continuum of change where changes have to be implemented the hard way and affect the whole organization. Jackson (2003, p. 16) adds that this system works well in dealing with real-world problems since it has the best approach for tackling such problems. . Examples of hard systems include system analysis, information engineering and operation research where in each of the system, steps are developed to address the changes that need to be realized in the organization. The approach entails the stages if description, developing options and implementing the change.
The description process entails having a summary of the issues the organization is facing in terms of diagrams, charts or words. Here, the objectives of the change process need to be determined and the constraints developed from the themes identified in the diagnostic stage. From here, the performance measures for the objectives are formulated to highlight how the objectives will be achieved.
In the options stage, management has to weigh the available options that exist and narrow them from the general options to specific options that define the best approach that suits the challenges that the organization is facing and evaluating the options against any available measure in the organization. According to Hayes (2010, p. 286). Management needs to determine the strategy to be applied in the organization by determining whether to use an economic strategy, an organization development strategy or a combined strategy for addressing the change.
Management has to ensure that the option taken is compelimng and balanced with the business and organization development direction. Lastly, in the implementation stage, the change can be implemented as a pilot strategy, parallel running project or big bang implementation depending on the nature of changes that exists in the organization. This means that management picks the best strategy for change management through weighing the options that exist to determine the best that meets the needs.
On the other hand, the soft systems approach focusses on the soft end of the continuum where there is a need to redesign the system of the organization at different levels of the organization. This system design is concerned with a mixture of both the “what” and “how “questions as a general approach to organizational change and solving the problems that exist in the organization. In this system, the human activity systems are complex thus can work with a single goal that imposes solutions to them but rather a number of methods have to be used to address the human design issues.
In most cases, this model concentrates on organizational development where employees are empowered to handle the changes that are applied to the organization since it deals with the plurality issues, different beliefs and values that shape politics and power which make the soft systems more appropriate as compared to the hard system (Jackson 2003, p. 16). This model recognizes the role of people as drivers and implementers of change within the subsystems of the organization.
The organization is the whole system while people form part of the subsystem thus change can only be effective if it is applied at the subsystem level and allowed to diffuse into the whole system. This means that a change in one part will inevitably affect the whole organization. From Lewin’s model of change, unfreezing is applied through addressing the resistance to change to acceptance of the changes. For change to be effective under this model, the forces for change must empower the resistance to change. This means that the role of management under this situation is to ensure that resistance is unfreezed by all means.
How these models might work, the advantages and disadvantages of the theories
The hard systems approach works well in systems with clear and well-defined goals where solutions have to be designed to achieve them. This works through an input-output system with connected processes for solving clear linear problems. Through developing a clear purpose and well-defined goals, the method offers the best solution to existing organizational problems since it allows the design of a solution that addresses the specific concerns that the organization is facing. This is because in organizational issues are characterized by multiple and often conflicting perspectives that require clearly defined goals to work on them.
From a systems perspectives, system thinking approaches are social constructs that engage and imprve organizational situations in real world complexity (Reynolds & Howell 2010, p. 7). Since the method allows studying the organization as a whole, strategies are developed to include the macro and micro levels of the organization thus addressing both individual and organizational issues. The outcome of this process is a focus on multiple management decisions through an adaptive and dynamic process.
However, the hard systems approach has been criticized due to its ability to have a single goal that is used as the general solution for the whole organization thus lacking the ability to deal with multiple perceptions of reality (Jackson 2003, p. 17). This is because the human activity system is complex lacking a single goal that can be used as the main solution to the problems. According to the systems approach is designed for problematic behaviour patterns within the organization thus the need to solve system dynamic problems thus without applying the required set of tools to solve problems, the system approach may not work well (Featherston & Doolan 2012 p. 2). The solutions developed may not always be practical thus requiring time to address the issues that affect them before the strategy can be achieved.
Bailey (2008, p. 3) argues that the soft systems approach has been effective when used in analyzing information flow requirements that can be decomposed into subsystems and understanding the organization to identify the areas that need improvement and weak areas that need to be addressed. Thus the role of a soft system practitioner is to develop a set of information flow requirements by deriving the required information categories to support system thinking. The solutions produced are based on the problem that is seen as a whole where solutions produced are based on the fit situations where analysts develop strategies that fit the organization and its needs. This means that the strategy works on the internal needs of the organization like employee empowerment to increase organizational efficiency.
However, the hard system method has been criticized since it lacks ways on how a new system can be built to address organizational challenges. This is because the strategy relies on people for effecting the solutions to the existing problems in the organization which can be challenging in some situations since people are affected by power dynamics within the organization which can shift in any direction (Bodhanya, S. & Proches, 2014, p. 1133). This means that the organization will require different types of professionals to address the problems of the organization.
Thus the method can be time-consuming and expensive to the organization due to the resources needed to invest in the human resource system. Therefore, the hard systems approach offers the best option for change management since it applies the objective reality of the systems by developing well-defined change problems that need to be solved. This means that a scientific approach to problem-solving is used to develop a change management strategy for the organization. Scientific problem solving offers the best option since it allows picking a decision that reflects the needs of the organization.
The factors that should be taken into account when considering hard systems approaches to change
The first factor to be considered in the hard system approach for change is the nature of the problem that the approach seeks to address. The problem needs to be analyzed in a “what” form by determining the opportunity or the issues that need to be addressed by analyzing the input-output system of the organization to determine the opportunities that can be created or the chances that will be there to solve the problem (Arnold & Wade 2015, p. 673). This means that opportunities must be viewed from the nature of the problem to determine ways that can be used to improve it. Management needs to understand the nature of the problem and the organizational areas that the problem affects. This assists in the way situational analysis will be done and how the organizational change will be affected.
Analysis of the situation is also important when designing the hard systems response to change. In most cases, changes are not effective because there is a lack of proper analysis of the need for change that will inform the strategies that will be used for change. The difference between the soft system and the hard systems change is that the hard systems change focuses on what needs to be achieved.
For the systems approach to work well managers need to move away from the reductionist models and go beyond the application of models or algorithms to develop the ability to grasp the sense of situations that exist in the organization  (Dominici 2012, p. 2). The situational analysis allows management to understand the factors for change and those that resist change. Methods like the force field analysis are good in the situational analysis where scores are g9ven for each issue and the difference determined to understand where there are higher forces for change.
Objectives and constraints of the existing problem also need to be identified by being identified by defining what needs to be achieved and constraints that may affect the ability of the organization to achieve the new state. This means that the hard systems approach should encompass the needs of all the stakeholders in the organization or different disciplines to determine the needs and requirements of each stakeholder. By applying the systems thinking, managers need to develop a philosophical approach that ensures that methods and tools used are in line with the systems philosophy of the organization (Mononen 2017, p. 4535).
This simplifies analysis and understanding of external factors and constraints that may affect the organization. Route objectives have to be developed to explore different ways that enable generating of many ideas then converging them to a realistic number that highlights the best possibilities that the organization will achieve.
The measures for performance is another factor that should be taken into account when designing the hard system approach to change. Performance measures are defined by the indicators that will be used in the organization to measure the progress of the change. The change process needs to be defined by setting objectives that will determine the level of achievement that has been achieved. Performance measures entail any indicator that highlights how the organization will assess the effectiveness of the change process.
According to Cabrera (2006, p. 98) system thinking competencies need to be developed for the organization to succeed in using this approach.  Unlike the soft systems, the hard systems have objectives that need to be met thus they can be expressed in the form of indicators that will be used to measure how management has achieved in the change process. This means that the change activities have to be aligned with the set objectives of the change process that are determined after situational analysis.
Lastly, there is a need to evaluate every existing option to determine the best that meets the change process in the organization. Organization change options need to be evaluated to determine the best one that meets the current situation in the organization (Stowell & Welch 2012, P. 33). Changes are caused by different factors which define the options for change that can be adopted. The available option determines the change management approaches that the organization will use in meeting its objectives. Each of the options should be assessed using methods like SWOT analysis and cost-benefit analysis to come up with the solution that best meets the organizational change process.
The hard systems approach to change management is used to develop ideal solutions for managing change in organizations. In most cases, organizations have challenges managing change due to the different outcomes of change that are not determined during the development of the change strategy.
This means that the hard systems approach offers a streamlined process that develops a change management process through situational analysis of organizational needs to develop a strategy that meets the needs of the organization. The hard systems approach is preferred because the solution to the change problem are developed through a scientific approach that analyses the available options to develop the best solution for the organization. Therefore, the best way to manage change is to apply the systems approach to develop the best strategy that meets the needs of the organization.
Arnold, R. D. & Wade, J. P., 2015. A Definition of Systems Thinking: A Systems Approac. s.l., s.n., pp. 669-678.
Bailey, I., 2008. Using Soft Systems with MODAF, s.l.: Model Futures, White Paper.
Bodhanya, S. & Proches, CNG, 2014. Managing Learning and Change: Factors Influencing the Effectiveness of Soft Systems Methodology. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 5(20), pp. 1125-1135.
Cabrera, D., 2006. Systems thinking: Four universal patterns of thinking. Ithaca: Cornell University.
Dominici, G., 2012. Why Does Systems Thinking M. Business System Reviews, 1(1).
Featherston, C. R. & Doolan, M., 2012. A Critical Review of the Criticism of Sytems Dynamics. s.l., s.n., pp. 1-13.
Hayes, J., 2010. The theory and Practice of Change Management. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Jackson, M., 2003. Systems thinking: Creative holism for managers. Chichester: Wiley.
Mononen, L., 2017. ). Systems thinking and its contribution to understanding future Designer thinking. Design Journal, Vol. 20(5) pp. S4529-S4538
Reynolds, M. & Holwell, S., 2010. Systems Approaches to Managing Change: A Practical Guide. London: Springer.
Senior, B. & Fleming, J., 2006. Organizational Change. 3rd ed: Prentice Hall.
Siriram, R., 2011. A Soft and Hard Systems Approach to Business Process Management. Systems Research and Behavioural Science, 29(1).
Stowell, F. & Welch, C., 2012. The manager’s guide to systems practice: Making sense of complex problems. London: John Wiley & Sons.

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