Managing change

Managing strategic change

  • External change = Happens outside of the business (e.g. in recent years a political dispute between Europe and the US and Russia over the Ukraine has led to sanctions on trade with Russia)
  • Internal change = Happens within the business (e.g. over time staff may have ideas to change the way things are done)

Change may be =

  • Rapid and unexpected, such as sudden bad weather conditions disrupting supplies - This can be a big issue in industries such as coffee and agriculture products 
  • Long term, such as the shift in economic power towards economies in India and China or ageing populations in the UK and Japan 
  • Incremental - means step by step change - most business will gradually improve their processes over time 
  • Disruptive - This refers to 'game changing' developments in an industry (e.g. the impact of digital cameras on traditional camera makers) 
    • Future disruptive change is expected, for example =
      • The development of new applications that collect, report or respond to information from our own bodies. Apps will track our health and flag when and what action is needed, thereby affecting the health care industry 
      • 3D or additive manufacturing is the process of making three-dimensional solid objects from a digital file of data 
      • The internet of Things - This is technology in which everyday items became fitted with the ability to collect, send and receive information - the idea behind this is to connect any device to the internet and to each other 

Lewins force field analysis 

  • Forces pushing for change (examples) =
    • The need to keep up with the competition 
    • The increasing number of customer complaints 
    • New owners wanting higher returns 
    • A poor performance 
  • The forces resisting change might include =
    • A lack of finance for investment 
    • A reluctance on behalf of existing to change the way they do things 
    • Resistance from certain stakeholders groups that might be worse off following the change
  • For change to actually occur, the balance of these forces must alter =
    • The drivers for change may get stronger (e.g. if the business falls ever further behind its rivals, this clearly makes the need for change stronger)
    • The forces resisting change may be reduced (e.g. employees may begin to see the need to change more clearly and, therefore, become more open to the idea, or the financial position of the business might improve providing the money needed to invest in changing its approach)
  • Pressures for change may be =
    • Internal - For example, managers or other employees may be eager for things to be done differently. They may have experienced new ways of doing things in other organisations or have been involved with different products in other organisations and feel it essential to match this
    • External - This occurs with change in the external environment - for example, political, economic, social, technological changes as well as changes in factors in the competitive environment 

The value of change 

  • Some change can actually bring positive benefits - think of…


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