The paper critically analyzes the profound need for effective leadership in the change management process as a certainty towards successful implementation. Also, the incorporation of work motivation strategies through payment and rewards system is fundamental to act as incentives to the change process in an organization. The capacity to effectively communicate the change processes enables the employees to own and be part of the change process. In turn, it minimizes resistance towards the change as the employees cannot rebel against themselves. The paper delves into the woes experienced by Dunbar Micro-Engines Company that strived to adopt changes proposed by Gunther Baumler, a German ‘change consultant,’ to transform the competitiveness of the company. The insights provided by Gunther to the company are critical to overturning the high turnover rates that the organization had experienced a massive surge from 1998 to 2013. Thus, the paper examines the behavior of the employees across different departments, the culture of the company, data gathering to inform the change process, application of the Maslow pyramid of needs, as well as, crucial solutions to avert the potential failure of the company.
The functionalities of the Dunbar Micro-Engines company show a profound need to adopt overhaul changes on the company to enhance its competitiveness. This follows the fact that the company utilizes a traditional management style characterized by a hierarchical framework of power and responsibility, leading to massive missed opportunities utilization. Amid the failure in leadership, the company has been marred by profound turnover rates among the employees culminating in the loss of contracts to overseas competitors providing similar products. This is so not because of the lower costs offered by the competitors but a result of less time and fewer faults that products developed by Dunbar. Thus, it prompted the need to re-engineer the company to transform its competitiveness in the future.
The introduction of the change process proved to be disastrous to the point of threatening the career and reputation of Gunther as a failure in the change consultant. This is despite the conclusions he drew from the employees’ reactions on March 21 when he held a staff meeting to present profound and stretching changes that the company was bound to adopt through the “Total Quality Revision Programme.” The introduction of a massive re-education package was paramount to enhance the capacity of the employees across gender in the company. Both male and female employees showed an enormous need to improve their education, an essential aspect impacting on productivity, competence, and commitment to quality innovations.
The proposal to redefine the entire organization’s culture proved to be problematic with different departments demanding an increase in stipends, bonuses, and dividends for their work in the company. For instance, the proposal for quality revision process caused vast anger among the R&D department employees as they felt that they were primarily misunderstood, causing considerable outrage. Changes in the R&D department prompted the production department to demand additional packages and extension of such privileges to other departments. The Sales and Marketing team required additional rewards, an extension of allowance by 33%, addition of 2 days extra to annual leave, and expansion of the bonuses scheme. At this point, the Finance/HR representative was awash with numerous changes and financial demands, leading to potential constraints on the company. Thus, it proved to be shocking for such changes to be introduced with scanty returns on the company. Hence, the changes were outrageous and unrealistic to implement, presenting the enormous problems to the changing culture.
The leadership serves as an integral feature of the successful incorporation and implementation of change. The quality and capacity of leadership efficiency in relation to change impacts to high competitiveness and integration of the proposals into the functionalities of the company. Leaders of an organization should be the champions of change to ascertain successful processes. The recommendations made by Gunther proved to be mostly scanty and collide across departments for lack of proper measures being taken to balance the employee’s needs across the departments. The approach used to set the course of the change process shows inadequate preparation for the leadership to align their views towards improving the competitiveness of the company. Different departments seemed to agitate and pursue changes that of interest to their respective departments, instead of changes vital to advance the interests of the company.
The prevalence of the expectancy effect served as a crippling block to the changes proposed by Gunther. The reactions and behavior of different departments adopted the expectancy effect as the guiding approach to making proposals of the changes to be adopted (Allen, 2015, 13). The incorrect belief that one department is bound to benefit more led to other departments to perceive the changes as beneficial to a particular department. This prompted other departments to champion the expansion of their needs as a necessary part of the change process to benefit equally as those found to have successfully been favored by the proposed changes (Klein et al., 2012, 572). Thus, it leads to conflict with each department perceiving the other as benefiting more at the expense of the company.
The behavior across different departments in the organization resulted in a state of the halo effect. The halo effect – being the guiding feature of the adoption of the changes (Gräf and Unkelbach, 2016, 290). That is, the proposal of rewards, bonuses, and stipends introduced to the R&D department was deemed necessary to the Sales and Marketing or Production department. The arising conflict led to confrontations that Gunther found challenging to maneuver and address appropriately. The incapacity to balance gender and education realms of different departments as essential features to inform changes undermined the application of the primacy effect – leading to the utilization of original proposals (Sullivan, 2019, 432). Thus, it made the change process difficult characterized by confrontational aspects that undermine the respective department’s functionality, productivity, as well as, quality and innovation capacity.
The application of the Hofstede Cultural Dimensions chart in the Dunbar Micro-Engines Company shows critical differences between the culture of the employees across departments. For instance, indulgence is highly misconstrued in the company prompting confrontational tendencies whereby each department wants to be accorded higher priority in the changes adopted by the company. The Hofstede cultural dimensions show a prevalence of low or high impact on the company (Beugelsdijk and Welzel, 2018, 1469). The power distance dimension in the Dunbar Micro-Engines company prevails with the need of one section of employees supporting the existence of the traditional hierarchical system while the rest desire a new system based on equal opportunities (Guo et al., 2018, 1798). Gunther’s capacity to balance power distance is fundamental to create a hybrid system of leadership and employee relation. This is vital to enhance communication and culture in the organization.
Most departments want new changes to advance their plight in the company but on an individual basis. That is the plight of the respective department to be better than the rest. For example, the Sales and Marketing department feels that additional rewards for working in teams have been denied until now. The need for advanced compensation and extra bonuses is sequential to the work and performance in the company compared to other departments (Yoo, 2014, 171). Avoiding uncertainty is essential for the continuity of business functionalities in the company. The Dunbar Micro-Engines company change processes present an opportunity to provide certainty in the future competitiveness of the company.
|Comfortable with Uncertainty|
|Uncomfortable with Uncertainty|
|COLLECTIVISM – INDIVIDUALISM|
|UNCERTAINTY – AVOIDANCE|
|MASCULINITY – FEMININITY|
|Figure 1. Hofstede Cultural Dimensions Chart.|
Finally, in the masculinity-femininity dimension of shaping culture in the organization, the task-orientation and person-orientation of operations are essential. The task-orientation comprises of diverse tasks for different groups. The culture of the organization stipulates the need for competitiveness and the high productivity of each department (Lo et al., 2017, 3). The personal-orientation shows the subdivision of tasks within the department across different genders. The male-female approach is key to the delegation of roles and assuring of quality, equity, and equality among the employees. Thus, indulgence and long-term influences are critical to the changes adopted by the company.
The assessment of the significance of change processes in the operations of Dunbar Micro-Engines company is key to its future competitiveness. The data gathering process is vital to illustrate the importance of changes adopted by the company and the impacts they create in its competitiveness. The changes proposed by Gunther are critical to the future operations of the company. The application of observation as the data gathering process is essential to acquire information vital to assess the impact the change process induces on the company (Boyko, 2013, 642). The observation attains critical knowledge of the functionality and conduct of the change process. Gunther proposals are affected by the Hawthorn effect, which stipulates the tendency of people performing better when they are aware of being observed. Also, the potential of susceptible observer bias, high costs, and time consumption undermine the efficiency of the observation of the data gathering approach to determine the value of changes proposed (Gueyffier and Cucherat, 2019, 181). Thus, indirect observation may be essential to eliminate the forms of bias to attain critical information on the change processes adopted by Gunther.
The change process illustrates a high lack of evidence to show that Gunther met with any member of the staff. Observation cannot be the only data gathering technique to be used. He didn’t have any group interviews. Thus, escalated lack of connection and capacity of the Dunbar Micro-Engines Company to own and be part of the change process. This culminates in confrontational tendencies as each department compete to outshine the other. Therefore, Surveys and Focus Groups – as a representative of people in various departments are vital to involve people in the change process (Nyumba et al., 2018, 20). Hence, they can feel the appreciation of being involved in decision making and adopting changes that originated from the employees across different departments (Flynn et al., 2018, 2).
Figure 2. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Pyramid.
The application of the Maslow Hierarchy of needs and rewards differs based on where the employee is on the pyramid. The address to the physiological, safety, love/belonging, esteem, and self-actualization needs of the employees is a vital part of Gunther’s proposals (Taormina and Gao, 2013, 155). The capacity to address the needs of the employees across the departments should be based on the level of seniority. The hierarchy of needs shows the areas of emphasis and how to direct the employees towards accepting the proposed changes (Aruma and Hanachor, 2017, 15). Hence, it enables the company to address the employee needs as aligned to the organizational strategic objectives.
The critical solutions facing the change process in Dunbar Micro-Engines company can be addressed using the Adams Equity Theory. The theory provides powerful approaches to the motivation of the employees through the assurance of fairness and equality (Sun, 2016, 1). The differences in the rewards, bonuses, compensation, and benefits offered to employees across different departments should be addressed to eliminate inequalities. This should follow a uniform strategy of compensation packages across the departments in the organization. The focus is to ensure all departments have fair compensation packages allowing the employees to feel appreciated and valued in the company.
Also, the consideration of work schedules, skills, expertise, and experience should be used to inform the variation in compensation packages. The reward system that recognizes input and output in the organization impacts competitiveness and quality of innovation (Arvanitis and Hantzi, 2016, 1257). Thus, product generation us assured of attaining competitiveness in the market.
The advancement of communication channels in the company is a vital part of the change process. The incorporation of a top-down communication strategy is critical to establish a communication line for the managers to engage with the workers and vis-à-vis (Dobre, 2013, 2). This is critical to the elimination of ‘my way or your way’ communication approach. The incorporation of employee opinions and views enhances decision making based on views that are employee-originated. In turn, the change process is bound to experience minimal, or zero resistance as the employees cannot oppose what they originally initiate (Rukman et al., 2018, 211). The capacity to incorporate diverse views creates an opportunity to reach a consensus vital to make Gunther’s work much more accessible through the elimination of confrontational tendencies. Hence, cooperation and collaboration of departments across the organization, as well as, employees are ascertained, leading to the competitiveness of the organization.