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Strategic Change in the contemporary business world

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Review

In the contemporary business world only thing that seems to be constant is change and the nature of the competition is such that companies need to leverage on the way they manage change to gain a competitive advantage. Moreover, the types of changes the companies experience vary in nature as well, for instance, as industries consolidate, there are increasing number of mergers and acquisitions, the pressures on organisation to compete in a more global arena are leading to different competitive pressures and more strategic alliances (Papers4you.com, 2006). Furthermore, rapid technological changes are forcing organisations to embrace new technologies and change the way they work and interface with suppliers and customers (Balogun and Hailey, 2004). However, the phenomenon is not new and has seen a series of management fads like cultural change programmes, total quality management, business process re-engineering etc. Unfortunately most of the change programs launched within the organisations are below par, evident in the figure of around 70% failure (Balogun and Hailey, 2004). Hence, strategic change is becoming a highly sought after managerial competence.

 

Moreover, the change management process is highly complicated and there is no fixed norm that could be followed. However, like most other areas in management experts have proposed models for organisational change vis--vis Lewin’s model of change, the planning model, the action research model and the integrative planning model (Harigopal, 2006). These models cover various aspects of the change management process enabling planned change; however, one facet of the process that has emerged in recent times of increasing globalisation is that of organisational culture (Papers4you.com, 2006).

 

The role of cultural awareness has become rather significant, be it international mergers, acquisitions or just internal business process changes. There has been a barrage of literature detailing the ways of diagnosing cultural changes and assessing cultural risk in managing change and aligning strategy and culture with the intended change. Along with managing cultural diversity during change processes, it has become a standard practice for organisations to publish its core values defining its organisational culture along with its mission statements on their websites and financial statements.

Be it the construction industry or an Aerospace organisation strategic change is attracting an increased attention from the management. Especially the extent of involvement of the people and stakeholders in the process of strategic has been under a constant debate. There are organisations like the Brazilian Semco, where people decide their own targets and managers their own salaries, which has redefined strategic change and involvement of people (Crainer, 1999). The bottom line is that strategic management has many facets and is developing into an area which will receive a lot of management attention.

 

References

 

Balogun, J and Hailey. (2004). ‘Exploring Strategic change’. Prentice Hall, London.

 

Crainer, S. (1999). ‘75 Greatest Management Decisions Ever Made’. Amacom, NY.

 

Harigopal, K. (2006). ‘Managing organisational change’. 2nd Ed. Response Books, New Delhi.

 

Papers For You (2006) "P/B/361. Strategic change in theory and practice", Available from http://www.coursework4you.co.uk/sprtbus47.htm [22/06/2006]

 

Papers For You (2006) "P/B/489. Strategic change at British Aerospace: theory and case study", Available from http://www.coursework4you.co.uk/sprtbus47.htm [21/06/2006]

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