Management of Change in th e public sector
Globalization, the wide use of communication and information technologies, and the coming of the knowledge society, among other factors, are rapidly changing the World’s order. This has created new challenges to nation-states as people’s expectations from government have increased. Personnel systems are becoming less adaptive to these new challenges. Indeed, traditional practices In public governments have a new role in society and are taking on new responsibilities but generally without the necessary tools to manage them effectively.
Public managers are expected to improve the performance of their organizations focusing on efficiency, effectiveness, and propriety which were not the priorities 50 years ago. Therefore, to be able to respond to a changing environment the public sector has to transform its structures, processes, procedures, and above all, its culture. In this new order, the management of change has been identified as a critical variable for the success or failure of a reform policy. Managing change aims at ensuring that the necessary conditions for the success of a reform initiative are met.
A reform policy may fail to achieve change, may generate unintended results or face assistance from organizations and/or individuals whose interests are affected. For that reason, policy-makers and politicians need to pay special
Need essay sample on "Management of Change in th e public sector"? We will write a custom essay sample specifically for you for only $ 13.90/page
In particular this paper aims at: 1) identifying the critical variables for analyzing the management of change in the public sector; 2) infraction those variables; and, 3) drawing lessons from those experiences defining better practices for managing change in the public sector. The definition of Change management According to Thompson J (1967), The first and most obvious definition of “change management” is that the term refers to the task of managing change. The obvious is not necessarily unambiguous.
Managing change is itself a term that has at least two meanings according. One meaning of “managing change” refers to the making of changes in a planned and managed or systematic fashion. The aim is to more effectively implement new ethos and systems in an ongoing organization. The changes to be managed lie within and are controlled by the organization. Both external and internal events may also necessitate change in the organization. Hence, the second meaning of managing change, namely, the response to changes over which the organization exercises little or no control (e. . , legislation, social and political upheaval, the actions of competitors, shifting economic tides and currents, and so on). Researchers and practitioners alike typically distinguish between a knee-Jerk or reactive response and n anticipative or proactive response. Finally, change management refers to an area of professional practice and the related knowledge that has grown up within and around this subject, mainly as a result of the experience of the private sector. The are many models for change management . I. E. Cuisines schools offer instruction in its theory and practice and consulting firms offer a variety of services to facilitate change Change has been in existence for long even before the birth of Christ but most of the changes were that of level of authority and it was not managed accordingly to satisfy everyone. The traditional system adopted during the time need to changes with the period as the demand of the modern society changes dramatically . The concept of change started to receive much attention as people change.
The Change Management as a discipline began to emerge in the sass driven by leading consulting firms working with Fortune 50 companies. Early adopters, such as GE, Ford, and AT&T, were very large corporations that could derive significant savings through more efficiently implementing new programs and were accustomed to cutting edge thought leadership roles. This work resulted in early Change Management models such as Gee’s Change Acceleration Process (CAP) and John Cotter’s Eight Step Process for Leading Change.
At this time, Change Management offerings were mostly available through consulting services, with a limited number of books and textbooks available. During the sass, industries undergoing significant and rapid change in areas such as information technology and human resources began highlighting the benefits of Change Management programs on a broader scale. The experiences, consequences, and costs of implementing change without a structured approach has helped employees and organizations embrace Change Management tools.
Though use of Change Management was still limited primarily to large corporations in the habit of regularly utilizing professional consulting firms, Change Management was receiving more and more visibility and credibility. The sass’s marked widespread acceptance of Change Management as a business competency for leading change. This shift increased the credibility of Change Management in the business world and with project teams. The public sector cannot be left lacking in the change process as they operate in a dynamic world. The public sector managers continue to be expected to cope with substantial organizational change.
At the same time, for all the emphasis on reform and change of the public sector little attention has been paid to how this is managed at the level of the organization. Gray and Jenkins (1995: 77) argue that market based theories of public sector reform pay scant regard to the internal processes of organizations, ‘or simplify these away in the rhetoric of public choice’. Factors that prompted Necessity for Change In the public sector there are two major factors that necessity change in the organization ,the external factors that can be controlled to a lesser extent by managers and internal factors acting through changes in the sector .
They are represented by the decision-making process, communication, interpersonal relations, leadership management style . Len addition to the factors mentioned ,there are a numbers of factors which by nature of their content generate change . All these factors can be grouped into four main groups, policy makers, and economic socio – cultural and technological factors. With the business environment experiencing so much change, organizations must then learn to become comfortable with change as well. Therefore, the ability to manage and adapt to organizational change is an essential ability required in the workplace today.
Yet, major and rapid organizational change is profoundly difficult because the structure, culture, and routines of periods, which are resistant to radical change even as the current environment of the organization changes rapidly . Due to the growth of technology, modern organizational change is largely motivated by exterior innovations rather than internal moves. When these developments occur, the organizations that adapt quickest create a competitive advantage for themselves, while the companies that refuse to change get left behind.
This can result in drastic profit and/or market share losses. Organizational change directly affects all departments from the entry level employee to senior management. The entire company must learn how to handle changes to the organization The Approach to Change Management in the Public Sector Regardless of the many types of organizational change, the critical aspect is a company’s ability to win the buy-in of their organization’s employees on the change. The public sector approach to change differ silently to that of the private sector ,but how to deal with it they are similarities .
The following change process steps are followed by both the public sector and the private sector : 1. Becoming aware of hang: Studies have suggested that the best ways to prevent resistance is to tackle it at the earliest stage by studying the possible areas where most of the resistance is very likely to occur . According to Daft, 2010. This can be achieved through strategic survey of the key places where the changes s likely to take place. Once aware the key areas that have impact of the changes on the personnel and the loss of benefits .
This is a stage where the dialogue are open with the concerned personnel to enable the understanding. 2. Recognizing the need for change: Public sector manger must ensure and communicate the need for change Research indicates that the implementation of planned change generally requires that leaders verify and persuade other members of the organization and important stakeholder that it is necessary. According to Cotter 1995. The process of convincing individual of the need to change begin with drafting the vision statement in the public sector .
Research has proven that it easier to convince people of the need for change when managers craft a vision that offers the hope for the future 3. Identifying problems This is a need for change for assessing and communicating the current position of n organization or a particular change option in terms of its internal Strengths and Weakness and the external Opportunities and Threats it faces. 4. Overcoming resistance to change and overcoming resistance Theoretical analyses of the process of change and management of resistance are largely united on the acknowledgement of the factors behind resistance as the first step towards change.
According to these theories, nearly all organizations and businesses have structural difficulties related to the attitudes and practices of both the employees and the management. The public sector managers need in order to successful deal with hang management ,firstly deal with resistance to change a human being in nature are afraid of change ,whether god or bad . Once the factors below a dealt with it is easy to implement change management: Failing to understand the context of change. Laity of institutions is a key determinant of development impact and that, despite this finding, many World Bank interventions do not adequately address institutional concerns, suggesting that there is a ‘mismatch between the requirements of successful institutional reform and traditional ways of going about the aid business’ (World Bank, 2002). All change efforts, thus, eventually run into constraints embedded in the management systems or culture of the organization and fail to reach their potential (Sense, 1996).
The context in which organizations are embedded shape the conditions for their change and development (DIANA, 2005). Once the public official thus not understand the reason for change rassistance will be huge and this need to be clarified in the public sector by the authority necessity change. Failing to fully understand different factors that support or impede change Such as power differentials and incentive systems, can result in developing hang intervention which inadvertently undermines ownership of change process by creating Vicious cycle of disembowelment’ and Vicious circle of denomination’ (Theistic & Coordinated, 2005).
Recent thinking on development emphasis the complex and unpredictable – emergent – nature of change. Consideration of the emergent nature of change highlights the need for organizations to understand and be able to work within complex systems, to nurture flexibility, adaptability and innovation. Increasing people’s ability to understand the consequences of their actions, and to adapt and change the way they work is consider as an ‘essential requirement for enabling organizations to respond to the new and often unpredictable challenges that face them in a complex aid environment’ (Britton, 2005).
Participations is very important in the public sector and it can reduce resistance to change Moreover, changing organizations also means changing the way people in those organizations work. Hence, deep organizational change requires a change in people. ‘Redrawing the lines and boxes in your organizational chart without addressing the way people within the organization interact may be like rearranging he deck chairs on the Titanic’ (sense, 1996). Therefore, change initiatives must be planned paying attention to the impact they will have on each individual.
Failure to make a compelling case for change To succeed, institutional reform efforts must be supported by public officials. However, officials may resist new systems if they challenge existing incentive Failing to create a sense of urgency and win over hearts and minds will reduce impact of change programmer Cotter, (1998). Moreover, a critical mass at each level of the organization must be convinced of the need to change. Argils (1998) argues that the demise of many odder change efforts is inherent in their design.
He points out that change programmer often put out mixed messages. For example, a programmer theoretically designed to empower the staff is often based on top management’s vision and strategy, leaving the staff little scope for creating some part of the programmer they might identify with and commit to. Success of organizational change depends equally on the soundness of the change approach as on the implementation, respect for different points of view and the degree of support from influential organization members. Failure to create a vision to help direct the change effort
Clear vision directing the change is essential for change effort to succeed. Whenever you cannot describe the vision driving a change initiative in five minutes or less and get a reaction that signifies both understanding and interest, you are in for trouble’ (Cotter, 1998). Moreover, the acceptance of the change in public sector organizations is likely to be increased when the change is tied to a noble mission which points out how the change would help the organization improve the welfare of its clients, contribute to society, and boost employee Job satisfaction (Insisting & Corporal, 1998).
However, regardless of the level of acceptance, change initiatives will lose credibility if managers do not ‘live the change vision’ or if they are talking, but not walking (Cotter, 1998). Failure to recognize obstacles to change In the public sector organizations, there is a tendency to continually apply old remedies to new problems and situations, while failing to address the ‘perennial problems frequently alluded to by organizational members such as ineffective communication and risk aversion’ (McHugh & Bennett (1999).
Cotter (1998) likewise argues that employees, even though they embrace the new vision, feel compromised by obstacles in their paths that management knows about, but doesn’t remove. Uncertainty about the process of change contributes to its failure Argils, (1998). One of the reasons for this is managers’ unwillingness to face and air potentially difficult and discordant views. Moreover, every change initiative will have winners and losers, the prospect of which may create a high degree of resentment, which in turn reduces motivation for change (Amiable, 1998).
Prospect of Hence, Marsh (2001) claims that ‘only people who instigate change enjoy it; others have to suffer it’. Insisting & Corporal (1998) suggest not enough attention is paid to the stifling effect of bureaucracy. In spite of their commitment to the mission, people in public sector organizations get impatient with procedures that are counterproductive to the rules. Likewise, Henry et al (2002) suggest that finding a balance between freedom and structure will enable a creative climate and, thus, facilitate the intended change process.
Failure to persevere and maintain focus on change Some staff can feel anxiety during the early stages of a change effort while the leaders are still enthusiastic about change and, without focusing on operational deeds the leaders risk ‘performance dip’ (Insisting and Corporal, 1998). However, most people do get excited about change initiatives in the beginning, and everybody loves endings, especially happy endings (Canter, 1999). It is the hard work in between’ that demands the attention during the change (ibid. . Change is messy and Canter warns that everything looks like failure in the ‘miserable middle’ of change, with people inclined to give up. Hence, failure to plan for ‘performance dips’ and maintain commitment through the change effort is likely to result in failure. Neglecting the Hyannis of personal and organizational transition . These dynamics of transition, according to Bridges & Michelle (2000), determine the outcome of any change effort and neglecting them can cause changes to fall short.
They also suggest that change initiatives fail to address the leader’s need to coach others through the transition process. People must go through three separate processes, all of them upsetting: (1) saying goodbye (to the old ways that they possibly liked or were familiar with), (2) shifting into neutral, and (3) moving forward. There is a natural tendency to hang back and see how others handle the new beginning. Moreover, Cotter (1995) suggests that employees’ resilience needs to be fostered by providing safe environments for risk taking, rewarding large and small successes, and celebrating victories.
To minimize this mentioned phenomenon of resistance to change the manager must initiate a set of activities such as preparation time management through discussion with those involved in this change through effective participation, debate on issues of change, interpersonal influence or exerting pressure 5. Planning for Change The public manager must develop a course of action or strategy for implementing change. Convincing the official of the public sector of the need for change is not enough to bring about actual change.
The vision must be transformed into a course of action with goals and a plan for achieving it, offering direction and proposing measures to overcome obstacles. According to Cotter 95th aspects of course of action that appears crucial for organization change in the public sector include on sound casual thinking about the linkage between the initiative to be implemented and the desired outcomes. 6. Considering an approach to change. There are different approaches in the public sector to change management, the manager must first and foremost consider which approach to use .
The Consultants or the workshops and memorandum . Once the approach chosen the public Manger must ensure implementation . Most public sector relies on consultants for change 7. Implementing the programmer for change Change management process in the sector involves a systematic succession accompanied by a permanent feedback. Implementation of change management involves definition of factors that generate change, recognition, understanding the need for change, diagnose the problems involving change and identify methods by which to make the change and determining how to implement change .
The public manager must know very well the situation involving change process 8. Follow up and evaluation As a multi-disciplinary practice that has evolved as a result of scholarly research, organizational change management should begin with a systematic diagnosis of the current situation in order to determine both the need for change and the capability to change. The objectives, content, and process of change should all be specified as part of a Change Management plan.
The Public sector development control mechanisms to achieve the objectives . . E the performance appraisal system Change management processes should include creative marketing to enable communication between changing audiences, as well as deep social understanding about leadership’s styles and group dynamics. As a visible track on transformation projects, Organizational Change Management aligns groups’ expectations, communicates, integrates teams and manages people training.
It makes use of performance metrics, such as financial results, operational efficiency, leadership commitment, communication effectiveness, and the perceived need for hang to design appropriate strategies, in order to avoid change failures or resolve troubled change projects. Successful change management is more likely to occur if the following are included: According to the UNDO (2005) 1 .
Benefits management and realization to define measurable stakeholder aims, create a business case for their achievement (which should be continuously updated), and monitor assumptions, risks, dependencies, costs, return on investment, dish-benefits and cultural issues affecting the progress of the associated work 2. Effective communication that informs various stakeholders of the reasons for the change why? ), the benefits of successful implementation (what is in it for us, and you) as well as the details of the change (when? Here? Who is involved? How much will it cost? Etc. ) 3. Devise an effective education, training and/or skills upgrading scheme for the organization 4. Counter resistance from the employees of companies and align them to overall strategic direction of the organization 5. Provide personal counseling (if required) to alleviate any change-related fears 6. Monitoring of the implementation and fine-tuning as required ; Mission changes Strategic changes Operational changes (including Structural changes)
Changing the attitudes and behaviors of personnel ; Personality Wide Changes Managing Change in the public Sector -Methods and Tools Experience of managing change in the public sector derived mostly from the private sector . Successful change management strategies attempt to improve planning processes so that results will be defined that are acceptable to stakeholders, are achievable and sustainable . Public managers can follow one of the two methods, in managing change I. E. Managing the environmental of change and the Executing of the change process. . Managing the environment of changes has two main areas: ) Creating the momentum for change, including making organizational structure, jobs functions b) Analysis of the change context including diagnosing issues of who wins, who losses, social, cultural, legal technological and policy issues and operational research problems. 2. Executing the change process a) Facilitation of change in the public sector Process consultation this is the engaging of individuals to facilitate change processes.
A process consultant enables “learning by doing” and thereby facilitates organizational learning in contrast to the normal practice in consulting, the reduction of “deliverables”. Learning, including making mistakes, nurtures the stakeholders’ sense of ownership in the changes and the change process. Process consultants seek to build trusting relationships with their clients, constituencies for change and consensus on the direction of change. They start with whatever problem the organization is addressing at the time in order to gain experience and build trust.
They identify, endorse and promote leadership in the various stakeholder organizations that will “own” as well as lead the change process. Such ownership is essential for sustainability. Change that is locally owned is sustainable; change that has been prescribed by outsiders usually isn’t. Process consultants allow the change process to move at its own pace on the basis of the stakeholders’ readiness for change rather than arbitrary plans and schedules. Nevertheless, process consultants can structure the change process by focusing on decision-making.
This entails sequencing activities so as to logically lead to decisions; ensuring open processes to maximize the flow of new ideas and engender commitment from stakeholders, and empowerment of leaders to exercise their powers. (UNDO, 2003) Strategic and team building exercise, as options for change emerge, there is a need to build consensus so that decisions can be taken and the change process can move forward. Consensus building activities build constituencies for change to ensure momentum for change is not dissipated in in-fighting among stakeholders about details.
These activities can also overcome resistance to change and entail opportunities to discuss or ascertain real v/s apparent agendas. The public sector every year they conduct strategic and team building exercise to align the employees with the mandate of the organizations and policy changes. UNDO, 2003) Leadership and training, is the key component of successful change. Leaders are in a performance through strategic thought, building partnerships and facilitating changes in organizational culture.
Public agencies also need political champions who provide long-term support on the public policy agenda and guide reform. Stakeholders Participations and group brainstorm innovation, This is a well-known technique for generating new options for decision-making and implementation. In the context of wide (diverse) stakeholder participation, brainstorming can surface ideas for discussion across the spectrum of opinion on various issues and possible (creative) solutions. UNDO, 2003) b) Communication about change including public meetings, various other forms of two-way communications, and information dissemination, internal memos, e- government, TV, survey report, websites and performance measuring methods and forum group discussion,Circular and workshop etc. Conclusion From the above information it is very clear that change in the public sector is driven by the needs and wants of the society for better services in all areas. To deal and void resistance to change in the public sector, Public sector Manger must learn to communicate at all stages to have buy in .
Communication also helps to dispel uncertainties and mitigate the potential threat it poses to those that see themselves as likely to be impacted by the change. Public sector officials are key players in ensuring that change happen, despite all the process and opinion provided. Buy-in of the process by the official is the way to achieve the objectives of change. The dynamic of today changing environment does not distinguish between the public and private sector as citizen expect the same level of service from both .