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Workplace Change - Introduction and Implementation of the Human Resource Information System (hris) Towards a More Effective Data Management

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Workplace Change: Introduction and Implementation of the Human Resource Information System (HRIS) towards a more effective data management

Most organizations in the past have been designed for stability rather than change. Structures were created to ensure that regular, routine work got done consistently and minimum disruptions occur (Rubinstein, 2011). In our world today, the only thing constant is change. Changes always occur as technology and skills are changing and in every change that occurs there are different approaches required. Major changes or a period of sustained changes requires the creation of specific arrangements and training to help people cope with the effects.

Many academics and researchers have been debating on the importance of changes in the workplace for more than 20 years and yet they never had a concrete answer. However, there is a consensus that the most important aspect of the workplace change is flexibility in the deployment of employees. Employers today are always experimenting with a wide range of innovative work forms (Appelbaum and Batt 1994).

In order to manage change, especially in the workplace, organizations need to find out what particular set of changes they need. They must collect people's ideas or fears. They also must assess their organization's readiness and isolating the possible options, which people can most easily identify. Chief executives are important players in managing changes in the workplace; they must display congruent behaviours and review the organisation's objectives to ensure there is learning or training component (Financial Adviser, 2008).

No matter how enthusiastic employees may be about the aims, the process of workplace change is inevitably uncomfortable. As delays will occur that may create frustrations and frustrations will grow as the change becomes implemented. Some earlier optimism might fade and give way to disappointments for some employees. After this, effort has to be put in sorting out problems, that with hindsight, employees will now realize that these problems should have been foreseen all along. The most important issue is confusion brings discontinuity. Before the change, employees always use to get things done but after the change, some become useless or disjointed. Therefore, it is really very important to prepare and help the employees through this process by providing information about where the change is heading so they will have a clear sense of direction.

There should be a clear understanding of the organisation's key purpose for the change and how the change will advance their knowledge and skills. Also, there should be an indicator of their progress so that employees will know what's happening and why the change is happening and how this change fits into their current process. In doing these things, employees become committed to the change because they know what they are committing themselves to.

This essay examines the impact of the introduction of a major computer technology change in my previous workplace in Dubai, UAE. By using the SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunities, and threats) analysis and the five models under which workplace changes might occur that was developed by John Storey (1992, Developments in the management of human resources: an analytical review Oxford, Blackwell Publishing), I will be describing how the change was introduced, how the individuals in the workforce reacted, how any subsequent reactions could have been reduced and what type of model or models they used to implement the change.

Storey's Five Ideal Types

To better understand the concept of workplace change, it is necessary to analyze how these changes may occur based on the five models of change developed by John Storey in 1992.

The first type is the Top-down/systemic model which asserts that major restructuring programs involve considerable interplay between the company's component parts (Storey, 1992). In this approach, the process change begins with one or a few members of the upper management. The plans or goals are then communicated to and implemented by lower levels in the organizational structure based on hierarchical order (Barney and Griffin, 1992). Through this approach, the rules of project planning are followed, the contrasts of "before" and "after" phase are identified, action plans can be constructed and logically adjusted and timetables can be established and progress measured against milestones. On the other hand, this model has its disadvantages as well. First, there would be lack of participation among members of the organization especially those at the lower level of hierarchy. Second, there are instances where local managers have the tendency to ignore the changes because of the thought that these changes did not originate from them. Same is true with employees who would feel little sense of ownership and involvement (Storey, 1992).

This model works best with companies who would like to make major changes in their organization such as implementation of new technologies, shift to a more advanced systems or company restructuring.

The second type is the Piecemeal model which utilizes different forms of open communication among members of the firm. There would also be instances wherein "quality circles" are started suggestion schemes are relaunched and performance appraisals are introduced (Storey, 1992). The main advantage of this model is it fosters flexibility to creating changes while its disadvantage is it can form inconsistencies in the enforcement of the plans. There are also instances where managers may not heed to the suggestions of all employees and would only choose to listen to a few favorable ones.

This model is commonly used by firms who aspire to improve certain processes such as pay schemes.

The third type is Bargaining for Change. This model is reminiscent of the "old-style" concession bargaining where concessions on working practices are secured from different groups in exchange for compensatory payments (Storey, 1992).

This model involves a process of negotiations between employers and the representatives of a unit of employees aimed at reaching agreements that regulate working conditions. Collective agreements usually set out wage scales, working hours, training, health and safety, overtime, grievance mechanisms and rights to participate in workplace or company affairs (Windmuller, 1987). The strength of this model lies on the fact that management and employees are able to meet to an agreeable term resulting to stronger enforcement of the change process. However, there are also certain weaknesses to this type of approach. For one, it can lead to misunderstanding between members of the



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