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A Comparison of Change Management Theories

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A Comparison of Change Management Theories

Change management is a diverse process. It takes time, energy, planning, and determination to encourage a culture to change how it exists and functions. This paper will give examples of what drives change in an organization, and what leadership requirements are necessary to facilitate change within the change management theories. Lewin requires leaders "to minimize barriers to change and increase the odds of a successful change effort" (Levasseur, 2004, p. 72). His theory also requires the acceptance of the change, and continues through the movements of "freezing" and "unfreezing" of the process until the change in complete. The speed of the changes is tied to the vision of the leadership motivating the changes.

Part of completing this information paper was completing a simulation regarding synergetic systems corporation. The internal drivers for change in the simulation were cost management, team productivity, and absenteeism. The external drivers for change in the simulation were competitive corporations for network architects and solution designers, outsourcing costs for non-critical tasks, and technical advances within the competitive field. Goldberg (1992) explains that change requires all parties involved to come to some form of agreement, whether it is mutual or pressured (p. 41).

The factors that a leader in the simulation needs to weigh in order to implement a change strategy successfully include: team management, levels of responsibility and centrality of the team, operational efficiencies and production standards, technologies and tools, project accountability and effectiveness, and research capabilities. These factors are important because they give the leader flexibility in decisions and ability to improve the corporation over time.

The leader should be ready for resistance, ranging from: mistrust, which is when the culture does not have faith in change; fear of failure, which comes from lack of confidence in change; loss of status or job security due to the change of culture; predisposition toward change due to a belief that the change will have an expected result; fear of the unknown and peer pressure. Balcomb (2003) describes resistance as a challenge to leaders, comparing it like an obstacle that a leader must overcome (p. 277). The strategies that a leader should employ to counter these resistances include: Education, participation, and mutual negotiation. These methods are more focused on information gathering, and are less political in nature. Other methods include coercion and manipulation. These can be explicit and implicit and are much more political in nature.

Leadership styles can influence the effectiveness of the change management process. Depending on the methods used to motivate, it

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