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Role of Leadership in Implementing Organizational Change

Essay by   •  May 17, 2013  •  Essay  •  1,380 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,189 Views

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Organizational change refers to a controlled approach applied in an organization to ensure that changes within the organization are successfully implemented in order to obtain lasting benefits. Evidently, organizations within the contemporary business environment are faced with constant and rapid change. This is often caused by globalization and the steady advancement of technology which constantly results to a fast advancing business environment. Phenomena like mobile adaptability and social media have continued to revolutionize business and the ultimate outcome of this has been an ever-growing need for change hence the need for change management (Battilana, et al, 2010). Growth in technology on the other hand has continually rendered to secondary effects of growing the availability and hence the need for accountability of knowledge.

The ease at which information is often accessed has resulted to the fact that organizations can unprecedentedly be scrutinized by both the media and the stakeholders. This has continued to raise increase the risk on failed business ventures while increasing the pressure experienced by on struggling executives (Paton & McCalman, 2000). With so much change being realized within the contemporary business environment, the ability to manage and adapt it is essential as organizations must learn accept and gain comfort with the changes.

The role of leadership in implementing organizational change

Leadership is a crucial determinant of both the success and the failure of any given organization operating within the contemporary business environment. According to Battilana (2010), one of the main challenges that leaders often face is the attempt to take their respective organizations into the future by adapting strategic organizational changes that correspond to predetermined interventions that modify the functions of the organization towards more positive outcomes. Although leaders can adapt proper planning and strategic assessment to ensure organizational success, a more challenging task that they face is the proper implementation of organizational change once the bearing has been identified. Leadership is significant in determining how tactical organizational change can effectively be managed in order to avoid any potential pitfalls.

As explained by Battilana, leaders are responsible in communicating to the rest of organizational personnel the need for change. This is often intended at destabilizing the usual organizational status quo in order to paint a new picture of the intended new state for the people. Leaders ought to make their followers understand why actions and behaviors within the organization need to change. Apparently, resistance to change is bound to emanate from emotional reactions ranging from confusion, anxiety, uncertainty and distress among the organization's members hence the need for communication.

According to Paton and McCalman (2000), skilled leaders employ interpersonal interaction to monitor emotions among organizations members so as to control their thinking and actions. Leaders can emphasize on communicating the strategized organizational change implementation process as a way of explaining to the members why the change is important. This creates an opening for discussion on the nature of change intended thus reducing uncertainty and confusion among the members.

Leadership mobilizes members of the organization to accept change. According to Battilana (2010), leaders mobilize their followers to accept the new change initiatives and adopt them into their every day routines. Basically, diverse personal and professional objectives result to different outlooks on change initiatives depending on the possible consequences the change initiatives are bound to render. Organizational members that are bound to gain something will always rally around the initiative while those that are bound to lose something will always resist it. From Battilana's point of view leaders therefore mobilize organization's members in order to develop their capacity to cooperate and commit their efforts with the new course of action. Leaders often create a coalition which integrates the cooperation of the organization's members with organizational systems and processes that would enhance the effectiveness of that cooperation. While this integration relies on securing the buy-in of favorable organizational processes and systems and the support from various members of the organization, proper communication is important as it fosters individual and group participation at all levels of the organization. As explained by Paton and McCalman (2000), it is the role of effective communicators and emotions'

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