Change is the common issue that must be faced by every today’s organizations
However, usually organizations face the planned change that is defined as change activities that are intentional and goal oriented (Robbins 2001, p.542). Robbins added that there are two different kinds of change from magnitude perspective. The first is the first order change that is defined as linear and continuous. The other type is the second order change that is defined as multidimensional, multilevel, discontinuous, and radical (Robbins 2001, p.543).
Change agent holds significant role in the change and it is defined as persons who act as catalysts and assume the responsibility for managing change activities. Robbins suggested that change agent could be the managers or non-managers, employees of the organization, or outside consultants. However, usually the senior executives will be the change agents.
There are four change options that change agent can manage (Robbins 2001, p.543):
• Changing the organization structure
• Changing the organization technology
• Changing the organization physical setting
• Changing the people within the organization
Major issue that must be considered in the change management is about the resistance. Robbins (2001, p.545) had suggested two different types of resistance to simplify the analysis. In practice, however, they are commonly overlapping:
• Individual resistance that is caused by the habit, security about the future, the economic factors, fear of unknown, and the selective information processing phenomena.
• Organizational resistance that is caused by the structural inertia, the limited focus of change, the group inertia, threat to expertise, threat to establish power relationship, and the threat of established resource allocations.
There are at least four tactics that have been suggested to minimize the resistance to change (Robbins 2001, p.548):
• Education and Communication. Resistance can be reduced through communicating with the employees to help them understanding the logic of a change.
• Participation. Resistance can be reduced through participation. It is difficult for individuals to resist a change decision in which they participate.
• Facilitation and Support. Change agents can offer a range of supportive efforts to reduce resistance.
• Negotiation. This activity is to exchange something of value for a lessening of the resistance.
Furthermore, there are several important things to be considered in change management (Soepomo 2002, p.44):
• Create a steering committee that represents the stakeholders
• All the member team must be always supplied with complete information.
Provide them a continuous training
• A communication process is the most important thing
• Always advocate the truth about the change
• Determine and maintain the stakeholders’ expectation against the change
• Treat the training as an asset not cost.
• To change human behavior usually takes longer time than the estimation
One issue that forces the organization to change is innovation. As mentioned before, to survive in today’s competition, company must make innovation. Robbins (2001, p.558) described the company’s culture:
Innovative organizations usually encourage experimentation. They reward both success and failures. The influence consequently comes to the human resource. The innovative organizations actively promote the training and development of their members in order to encourage the members not to be afraid of making mistakes.