Change Management in Telecommunications Sector Omantel in Sultanate of Oman

Feelings attitudes and perceptions of employees towards change

Feelings can be described as the sense of touch or understanding towards a particular thing (Paulsen et al. 2005). Employee’s feeling during organizational change influences the success of the organizational change. Managers must consider several factors that could influence or change an employee’s feeling towards an organizational change (Elsbach & Kramer 1996, p, 400). The factors can be categorized into six dimensions.

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  1. The feeling of loss of control or job routine by the employees.
  2. The uncertainty surrounding the change process during organizational change.
  3. Power change during management change.
  4. Change in work schedules during organizational change.
  5. Speculative or complete loss of authority by the employee during organizational change.
  6. Misinformation and misunderstandings about the organizational change.

The six dimensions stated above influences the employee’s feelings towards organizational change. The uncertainty during organizational change influences a resistance towards change. When the employee has ill feelings about the organizational change, he or she will develop an attitude towards the organizational change. Although, managers execute the plan at different time, rumours of the change will circulate prior to the organizational change. For example, the news of the arrival of a team of analyst to verify a particular organization can be resisted by the employees. Word of mouth will be used to convey the resistance message to the entire staff.

Employee’s attitude towards organizational change

Each employee is saddled with the responsibility of implementing the organizational change. Thus, an employee’s attitude can limit the process of change (Armenakis, Harris & Mossholder 1993, p, 690). The communication gap in the organization can hinder the process of change (Armenakis, Harris & Mossholder 1993, p, 693). Employee’s exclusion from decision-making during organization change will cause resistance and it is influenced by the employee’s dislike for the change. The successful implementation of an organizational change is determined by the entire staff (Armstrong-Stassen, 1997, 1998, 2005).

The employee’s uncertainty in the new plan may affect his or her compliance with the change (Ashford 1988, p, 34). Effective communication will reduce the negative thoughts on the management change and thus, influence a positive attitude (Elsbach & Kramer 1996, p, 405).

Employee’s perception towards organizational change

The need for change is inevitable, and the processes for an organizational change can be counterproductive (Oreg 2006). The employee is reluctant to leave his or her old job description for a new assignment (Paulsen et al. 2005). Sometimes, the resistance could be fear of losing his or her relevance in the organization (Nelson, Cooper & Jackson 1995). Some employees perceive a loss in their inheritance should the change succeed (Martin, Jones & Callan 2005). Nadler (1987) suggested the importance of equipping each employee with the required training prior to an organizational change. Employees who communicate with the executives are likely to accept the change without resistance (Nord & Jermier 1994). Employees without attachment to the management may resist any change in the organization (Goodman & Truss 2004).

The level of influence in the decision-making process influences the employee’s perception of the organizational change (Goltz & Hietapelto 2002, p, 20). When the management gathers employee’s opinions prior to the organizational change, the chances of resistance from the employees are slim. Consequently, the level of education of the employee influences his or her perception towards the organizational change. The impact of employee’s inclusion in the decision-making of an organization influences the smooth transition during the change process.

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Employee’s feelings towards change

The emotions of an employee towards change can be positive or negative depending on the level of responsibility attached to the employee (Olson & Tetrick 1988). The employee’s profile influences his or her feelings towards the organizational change (Piderit 2000). The belief of a better job description may influence his or desire towards the change. Nadler (1987) suggested that management change can be achieved when the feelings, perceptions and attitudes of the employees are captured in the processes of change. The feelings of the employees towards change affect their performance, thus, employee’s inclusion in decision-making during the management of change will provide a positive response (Fulk & Mani 1986).

Consequences of employee inclusion in decision-making on change projects

Employee’s involvement in the decision-making of change projects can be accessed by the success or failure of the organizational change. The consequence of an employee’s involvement can be determined by the success of the organizational change (Ashford 1988, p, 30). When the employees provide support to the change management, the change project will be successful. Employee’s involvement will influence their perceptions towards the change process; their attitudes will influence the process of change in the organization. The staff strength will be utilized to improve and cushion the effects of the change.

Organizational change comes with its challenges; the process is not an easy one. The plan must be achievable, and the challenges can be reduced when the employees are included in the decision-making process (Ashford 1988, p, 30). The consequences of employee’s inclusion in decision-making of change projects can be measured under the following categories. Each concept will measure the consequences of employee’s inclusion in an organizational change.

  1. Expectation levels: Employee’s inclusion in the decision-making process during change projects increases the level of expectation without resistance of the individual. Each employee will be prepared to provide efficient services without the feeling of burden.
  2. Commitment: The management may not require strict rules to enforce an organizational change. Each employee will be committed to his or her job description thereby, increasing the level of commitment to the organization.
  3. Level of communication: The level of cohesion between the staff and management will be strengthened when the employees are included in the decision-making process during change management. The level of communication is directly proportional to the success of the organizational change.
  4. Positive attitude: Employees inclusion in the decision-making process during organizational change will create a positive attitude towards the organizational change. A positive attitude will improve the communication level in the organization.

How can the employees’ feelings, attitudes, and perceptions be useful in managing change in the organization?

Employees are the change agents in an organization (Oreg 2006). Organizational change will start with the employees and its structure. The organizational change may be transformative, minor, or major, which requires the collective effort of the employees in the organization (Oreg 2006). The employee’s feelings, attitude, and perceptions can assist the management in reorganizing the change process during organizational change.

Managers can measure the success of the organizational change with the level of employee’s commitment to the change. Thus, an employee’s feelings, perceptions and attitude influence his or her commitment towards the organizational change. A positive attitude will produce a positive influence towards the change strategy and plan. Managers must bridge the gap between employees during organizational change; this will provide a positive union between management and its policy.

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Management of change works better when the employees are part of the decision-making process (Oreg 2006). Employees are agents of change and can influence the successful implementation of an organizational change. Managers find it interesting when employees provide support during organizational change (Oreg 2006).

Employee’s emotion controls their productivity. The sense of security influences their efficiency in the organization. A positive attitude, perception, and feelings influence the implementation of organizational change (Ashford 1988, p, 27).

References

Armenakis, A, Harris,G, & Mossholder, W 1993, ‘Creating readiness for organizational change’, Human Relations, vol. 46, p. 681-703.

Armstrong-Stassen, M 1997, ‘The reactions of older female civil service employees to organizational downsizing’, Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, USA, Chicago.

Armstrong-Stassen, M 1998, ‘The effect of gender and organizational level on how survivors appraise and cope with organizational downsizing’, Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 125-142.

Armstrong-Stassen, M 2005, ‘Coping with downsizing: a comparison of executive-level and middle managers’, International Journal of Stress Management, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 117-141.

Ashford, J 1988, ‘Individual strategies for coping with stress during organizational transitions’, The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, vol. 24, pp. 19-36.

Elsbach, D & Kramer, M 1996, ‘Members’ responses to organizational identity threats: encountering and countering the business week rankings’, Administrative Science Quarterly, vol. 41, p. 442-476.

Fulk, J & Mani, S 1986, ‘Distortion of communication in hierarchical relationships’ in M L McLaughlin (ed), Communication Yearbook, Sage Publications, Beverly Hills, p. 483-510.

Goltz, M & Hietapelto, A 2002, ‘Using the operant and strategic contingencies models of power to understand resistance to change’, Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, vol. 22. no. 3, pp. 3-22.

Goodman, J & Truss, C 2004, ‘The medium and the message: communicating effectively during a major change initiative’, Journal of Change Management, vol. 4. no. 3, pp. 217-228.

Martin, A, Jones, E, & Callan, J 2005, ‘The role of psychological climate in facilitating employee adjustment during organizational change’, European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, vol. 14. no. 3, 263-289.

Nadler, A 1987, ‘The effective management of organizational change’, in Handbook of Organizational Behavior, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.

Nelson, A, Cooper, L, & Jackson, R 1995, ‘Uncertainty amidst change: the impact of privatization on employee job satisfaction and well-being’, Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, vol. 68, p. 57-71.

Nord, R, & Jermier, M. 1994, Overcoming resistance to resistance: insights from a study of the shadows, Public Administration Quarterly, Blackwell, Canada vol. 17. no. 3, pp 396.

Olson, A & Tetrick, E 1988, Organizational restructuring: the impact on role perceptions, work relationships, and satisfaction, Group & Organization Studies, Routledge, London, vol. 13. no. 3, pp. 374-388.

Oreg, S 2006, ‘Personality, context, and resistance to organizational change’, European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, vol. 15. no. 1, pp. 73-101.

Paulsen, N, Callan, J, Grice, T, Rooney, D, Gallois, C, Jones, E, Bordia, P. & Jimmesion, N. 2005, ‘Job uncertainty and personal control during downsizing: a comparison of survivors and victims’, Human Relations, vol. 58 no.4, pp. 463-496.

Piderit, K 2000, ‘Rethinking resistance and recognizing ambivalence: a multidimensional view of attitudes toward an organizational change’, Academy of Management Review, vol. 25. no. 4, pp 783-794.

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