Nyamweya is a Kenyan scholar who has done many years of research on a diversity of topics
CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION 1.1Introduction
This chapter presents an overview of the study and its objectives. It is organized as follows; it begins by presenting the study’s background, rational of the study, research questions and objectives, statement of the problem, an overview of HACO Company, research scope and limitations, and finally the study organization.
1.2 Background of the study
Changes occurring in organizations and the strategies of its management have been among the widely researched aspects in recent perspectives. This should not be a big issue considering that each company has to undergo some sort of change in one way or another. Moreover, is inevitable for organizations that need to stay competitive and generate positive returns. In today’s dynamic world, transition in workplaces is not only a necessary aspect, but also critical since change is perceived as an adaptive response by the system, acting in itself or through subsystems with particular functions, in maintaining itself in balance with a changing environment (Beeson and Chris Davis, 2000,178). In majority of these cases, transitions affects employee motivation, and thus it is critical to evaluate the extent of this changes influences employee motivation.
When organizations and businesses are having a rough time, changes are necessary in resolving those challenges. It may not be easy to choose appropriate route or strategy in change management. If the management leader chooses a wrong strategy or route, it may significantly hurt that organization or business. The management leaders may not be able to discern if the strategy used in change is good or bad or if the workers are going through a transitional stage. It may be long before they determine that the new system is not working. Many leaders make a mistake of initiating change without having a compressive plan in place. It is critical for the management leaders to be adept at change processes and develop a systematic plan for implementation of organizational change and then enforcing it (Marquis and Tilcsik, 2013).
Processes in management of transitions ought to include such aspects as creative marketing to facilitate communication between the audiences and a social understanding concerning the style of leadership and group dynamic. Change management in organizational context is expected to align the expectation and communication, manage people’s training aspects, and integrate teams. It also derives sense from performance metrics that include operational efficiency, financial results, communication effectiveness, leadership commitment, and the need for change in designing proper strategies (Kotler, 2009, p45). These aspects are essential in resolving problems in change projects or evading change failures in this entity.
In achieving meaningful change organizations, the management has to design effective management process, and facilitating them for the meaningful change. The management board is therefore, one of the key factors that can help in facilitating this change. There have been effective communication, employee engagement, adequate resources, strong champions, and defining of roles for each stakeholder (Kotler, 2009). The management of this organization will have to employ the strategy of “working on the system “where the change will be initiated from a place of relative objectivity. This strategy is more objective compared to others since it can easily be adapted to change that is sought to be changed. This system is also similar with other systems such as the “consultant” where outside consultants are sought to provide strategic directions. Another approach used in change processes are involvement of workers (Alter, 2002). The management leaders should involve its workforce in decision-making processes concerning its operations, and other issues related to this company. This should be followed by a culture of respect among its employees where they will feel appreciated, and valued in the company. Again, this company, through its human resource department should ensure that their workforces are satisfied accordingly. Finally, there is also the approach of communication and education where the change processes, and aspects are to be communicated among employees. Similar to “working on the system”, this strategy can also be used to make employees adapt to the expected changes and trends (Alter, 2002).
It is apparent that effective transition, as well as the management of evolving trends necessitates effective managers and leaders who will continue to motivate leaders. These leaders must not only have the required skills and competencies, but also the capability and sensitivity in handling current change processes and emerging trends. In essence, the management and leadership of an organization influence the direction, culture and the general image of a company. If the management and leaders are ineffective, then these aspects will not be achieved. The managers must have the ability to manage individuals making up a team so as to enforce the standards and objectives of the company. The management is the authority by which an organization’s vision is implemented. In addition, the management also structures the plan of the organization. Managers are mandated to plan for the operations taking place at the organization. In this perspective, the managers have to choose the desired results, priorities and design an approach on how the goals will be realized (Beeson and Chris Davis, 2000, p.456).
In most cases, organizational management is mandated with recognizing and managing the perceptions and behavior of groups, as well as individuals during transition processes. Additionally, the management is responsible in getting these people to undertake their jobs in an effective manner, and encouraging them to be creative and innovative. The individual perceptions and behavior are brought to the management’s attention so that they recognize various issues; choose means of correcting them, and changing their behavior so that individual performance and consequently organizations objectives are achieved (Cummings, and Worley, 2014, p55).
Particular aspects of change initiatives may also have a significant role to play in the commitment-change relationship. To begin with, attitudinal reactions to change can be considered to be focused, in part, by uncertainty feelings, losing control, or fear of failure which is stimulated by change events. Thus, the extensiveness or magnitude of a specific change provides a setting within which favorableness and fairness are assessed in shaping the responses of the employee to change. It does this by affecting the degree of such feelings. To add on that, a given organizational change may be conceived as having a different impact at different levels of the organization, such as work group, individual, and organizational levels. A research by different scholars suggest that changes affecting an individual’s job needs or their immediate work group, that is, changes having proximal bearing should be more outstanding in influencing the commitment-change relationship than the changes which have their effects at the highest levels in an organization (Hayes, 2010 p44).
Commitment to change is a mindset which binds individuals to a course of action that is deemed necessary for a successful execution of a change initiative, and argued that this mindset can reflect a desire to deliver support for the change grounded on a conviction in its intrinsic benefits, a recognition that there are costs which are related with failure to make available support for the transformation, and a sense of responsibility to provide support for the change (Connelly, and Kurt, 2013, p88).This study is determined to find out the impact of organizational transition on organizational commitment, using the case of HACO Company.
1.3 Rationale of the Study
Employee commitment has been believed to be associated strongly with success factors of the organization such as performance, productivity, and higher job satisfaction, receptivity to change, organizational citizenship behavior, and willingness to share knowledge, absenteeism and lower turnover. Several studies have concentrated on the reactions of the employees which are closely associated with the change itself. These include reactions such as willingness to change, openness for change, pessimism toward change or confrontation to change. A few other researchers are focused on broader outcomes of the workplace, such as absentees and organizational change. However, few studies have opted to investigate the support individuals have for a single initiative of changes a function of both organizational commitment and commitment to change. Beer, and Nohria (2000) argues that if there is knowledge about how an initiative for change is managed then the outcomes can have an impression on the organizational commitment of employees since they cause employees to re-consider their individual association with the organization. In this light, knowing that organizational change might indicate alterations in the rapport between the organization and the employee, it is paramount for the management to have a clear understanding about how initiatives of change may make the commitment of the employee either strong or weak. Furthermore, it should be noted that commitment is one among the important factors which are involved in the support of the employees for change initiatives (Marquis, and Tilcsik, 2013, p.23) This study focuses on establishing how a change or transition in the organization can affect the commitment an employee has to their organization.
1.4 Statement of the Problem
Transitions affect both individuals and organizations. Most organizations and individuals have to undergo some sort of transitions in their lifetime. In other words, transitions are inevitable for both individuals and organizations. Organizations are mandated to cope with changes as part of their survival mechanisms. Transitions provide critical opportunities for career and personal development. Nonetheless, transitions involve hazardous phase which can go wrong. In most cases, the lifeline cases indicates how changes that occur in workplaces affects personal life and vice versa. Interestingly, many employers have tried to ignore the personal life of their staff and anticipate them to perform as much as the same irrespective of the life they lead in work places. However, it is important to note that it is not possible to separate life from work in the event of major changes either in workplaces or in their individual life (Homji, 2010). Whenever pressures increase on workers, it is required to respect or recognize “life-work boundary”. It is the intention of this study to explore the Impact of Organizational transition on employee commitment.
1.5 An Overview of HACO Company
HACO Company is a multinational organization with a presence in Nigeria and other African countries which deals in various categories of items including personal care, stationery, and homecare among others. The company which has a current pool of workers numbering more than 650 was established in 1974. The current turnover is US$ 23 million. The company is a subsidiary of HAGEMEYER NV, which is one of the leading multinationals in Netherlands. Haco industries are co-owned by Tiger Brands, which is a South African based company. HACO Tiger brand’s focus on exacting quality and technical competency has enabled it to forge a long term partnership and relationship with popular brands including Societe Bic, which manufacturers ball point pens, lighters, shaving instruments among others. Other organizations that have partnered with Haco Tiger brands include but not limited to Alberto Culver/Pro-Line International. Being one of the pioneers in promotion and sale of mechandize in African region, Haco’s products and services has been extended to other Comesa markets including Ethiopia, Burundi, Malawi, Zambia and Rwanda. Haco’s key mission is to add value to day to day lives of its consumers. Alongside its passion for excellence, the company values people and treats them with dignity (HACO Industries, 2010).
1.6 Research Question:
This proposal will address the following research question in our questionnaire in order to assess the extent to which organizational transition affects employees’ commitment in the selected organization- The Haco Ltd Company.
- How does transition in the MNC affects upon employee commitment?
1.7 Research Objectives
This Research seeks:
- To establish how transition in an MNC impacts upon employee commitment
- To find out the factors that contribute to acceptance or resistance to employee commitment at HACO
1.8 Research Scope and Limitations
The research provides some limitation related to the scope of the study and the results of the field work. Finding the management leaders and even employees of the HACO Company to discuss the impact of transition on the company and employees was not easy. The topic is very sensitive and provides the companies competitive advantage. Also the implementation of the interview was difficult. It was thereby difficult to convince the sampled organizations to allow their employees to be engaged in the study due to commitment issues. The time aspect was another big challenge. The research was to be completed within two weeks. The development and completion of the research as well as the difficulties with the finding and selection of the interview took a lot of time. The language barrier was another challenging issue. Some employees and customers were not fluent in English and needed more time to understand and answer the questions.
1.9 Research Organization
The research will be organized as follows
Chapter one will consist of introduction containing the background of the study, statement of the problem, research questions and objectives, rationale of the study, research scope and limitations, and organization of the study. Chapter two is about literature review, Chapter three is on research design and methodology, and chapter four is on data analysis. Finally, chapter five will present a conclusion and recommendation of the research findings.
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
Under this chapter, a wide range of thorough, relevant and extensive literatures will be relied on to fully examine the impact of transition and organizational changes on employee commitment. The chapter will conclude by presenting a summary of the reviews.
2.2 Literature Review
The idea of organizational commitment in MNCs has captured the consideration of organizational scholars for many decades. Employee organizational commitment is usually regarded as the psychological attachment of employees to their workplaces (Alas et al., 2014, pg. 42). Chen and Lovvorn (2012, p. 56) describe organizational commitment as “the comparative strength of a worker’s identification and contribution in a certain organization (Rusu 2013, p. 181). Previous studies have identified organizational commitment as a pre-requisite to the effective implementation of the organizational transition. Researchers have explored the theory, backgrounds, and results of organizational commitment widely. Organizational commitment has been established to effect organizational outcomes such as motivation, job satisfaction attendance, performance, and job turnover. When an organization spreads its global actions, it will hire more domestic nationals in every of its host nation locations. Change managers of large MNCs depend on the employees’ commitment when implementing organizational change. However, organizational commitment may reduce in reaction to the transition (Alas et al., 2014, pg. 44). The commitment of the foreign employees toward the organization will affect the success of global operations. The challenge of the MNC becomes how to promote the commitment of the foreign employees to the organization. This research addresses how transitions in large MNC’s effect employee commitment. The research will establish how transitions at Haco Ltd affect the commitment of its staff at the production department. Haco Ltd is located in Lagos, Nigeria. The company operates in the manufacturing and Industry / Industrial services sector and business activities. The research will also explore the magnitudes of employee commitment at the department in addressing key questions of this research.
Increased globalization seems to challenge the appropriateness of current structures, strategies, and processes of most Multinational Corporations. Thus, political and economic risks in global business settings have led many organizations to make changes that will ensure their survival. Global MNCs hardly have standardized, common business processes across all areas. Typically, local and regional variations exist in different aspects. The organizational transition across these regions will have profound impacts on organizational responsibilities and roles. These will basically affect the roles being outsourced (for instance, the finance department), but will also render a ripple impact on the roles within other parts of the organization (Marquis, and Tilcsik, 2013, p.23).
According to Chen and Lovvorn (2012, p. 59), working for a foreign MNC does not suggest host country nationals will agree with or embrace the popular culture, icons or political events/government policies linked with MNCs’ home countries. Home country political events or policies may not resonate well with Host Country Nations. If host country residents strongly disagree with their Multinational’s home country political events or government policies, such political event or government policy may stir or provoke emotions such as animosity or hostility toward the MNC’s home nation. Such negative feelings might influence the employees’ appraisal of the organization for which they work. This then raises the query of whether it is possible that home country nations harbor a deleterious feeling toward the MNC’s host country without a similar outlook of the employing Multinational. Similarly to the effect of animosity on consumer behavior. Chen and Lovvorn (2012, p. 57) argue that negative sentiment influences organizational conduct independently of judgments of the MNC for which host country residents work. Yet, if a negative feeling is sufficiently strong, it will influence the home country national employees.’
According to Hayes (2010, pg. 16), organizational transition marks workplace innovation necessary to a company because of its labor, social, economic market impact. In most cases, organizational changes related to MNCs underpin their economic growth relevance. Cummings and Worley (2014, pg. 27) studies gives an example of an MNC in India that values commitment amongst its employees. The company values its employees’ commitment because it is typically assumedthis would minimize withdrawal behavior, such as turnover, lateness, and absenteeism (Dunn, Dastoor & Sims 2012, pg. 45).
Jehanzeb, Rasheed and Rasheed (2013, pg. 79) posit that employees with a great sense of employee commitment show the least likelihood of engaging in withdrawal behavior and show more willingness to admit change. Therefore, in most cases, changes in companies can render potentially serious consequences to the commitment of individuals within the company. Some workers who are averse to changes in their firms are likely to be less committed to their organization, and they have a high propensity to route their commitment in other directions. Therefore, it is important for MNCs to know how to develop the right level and type of employee commitment in order to ensure that the better workers are retained (Cummings & Worley 2014, pg. 49).
Benn, Dunphy and Griffiths (2014, pg. 39)maintain that training and change communication are important pre-requisites to forming healthy attitudes towards the transition process. Personal and organizational valence and the need for change can be improved through effective and proper communication of the change process. Organizational change initiatives usually fail because of poorly managed communication that normally culminates in resistance to change, rumors, and exaggeration of the negative attributes of the change. By communicating the transition and its related outcomes, managers in MNCs can enhance organizationaland personal valence for the change.
Research by Benn, Dunphy and Griffiths (2014, pg. 47) shows that attitudes towards organizational transitions are related to the affective and normative commitment of employees. According to Jehanzeb, Rasheed and Rasheed (2013, pg. 80),the affective commitment by workers towards change is an individual and psychological level variable, which primarily hinges on the fulfillment of individual needs. The perceived benefits accumulating to an individual as a result of a transition in a large MNC could comprise aspects associated with personal development and growth and would therefore have a direct effect on the employee’s emotional attachment to the organization. This kind of commitment has been considered as the primary attribute of organizational commitment because of its strong and regular correlations with a number of individual and organizational level outcomes. Hayes (2010, pg. 26) recommends that large organizations should focus on improving, and maintaining, levels of psychological level variable that primarily hinges on the fulfillment of individual needs during times of transition.
The failure of organizational transitional initiatives can generally be linked to negative employee attitudes towards the transition. Unless adequately managed, organizational change initiatives culminate in feelings of uncertainty and fear leading to rising stress, minimized levels of trust between management and employees, and dwindling organizational commitment levels 9Jehanzeb, Rasheed & Rasheed (2013, pg. 79). Several scholars have identified commitment to organizations as an important pre-requisite to the successful implementation of the organizational transition.
Benn, Dunphy and Griffiths (2014, pg. 39) examined the relationship between employee commitment and charismatic leadership and in a large Indian MNC with a sample of 148 employees from Northern and Eastern India. The scholars identified that the two main antecedents (job satisfaction and charismatic leadership) exert a strong impact on employee commitment of the workers of the Indian organization in the research sample. This finding shows that individuals tend to be more satisfied if their leader shows charismatic behavior that makes them to be more committed to their company. Given that it was recognized that leader’s sensitivity to member’s requirements is connected to employee commitment, then managers ought to be clear about the values and goals of the organization in order to align them with the workers’ needs (Benn, Dunphy & Griffiths 2014, pg. 41). This will assist to minimize the high rates of turnover being experienced by most MNCs in today’s Industrial World.
MNC strategy will regulate the effect of governmental policies on the organizational commitment of host country national employees. MNCs having higher levels of integration (i.e., an international strategy) will experience greater impacts from government policies towards the commitment of the home country MNCs employees whereas less integrated organizations will experience less impact from MNC’s home country government policies on the organizational commitment of their employees.
Schmidt (2014) set out to explore the existing “Relationship between Ethical Leadership, Organizational Behavior and Prototypicality in a Dutch Fire Service”. In this study, the author establishes that ethical leadership of battalion chiefs is positively related to the self-reported of 60 crew commanders. This showcases the necessity of ethical leadership in organizational success, particularly in the event of change and transitional processes. This effect is better explained by the existence of a particular prototype. However, the author finds no statistical evidence on the relation between three components of ethical leadership. These include discipline and rewards, role modeling and communication on values and ethics. Consequently, a question arises whether leaders influence their subordinates in regard to the professional values and norms in the workplaces. Nonetheless, the culture set by a leader determines the values and norms to be inculcated in a particular firm (Kotter, 2011, p.1)
According to Kotter (2011), the most common symptoms of career crisis including scapegoating, absence, poor performance, dismissal, resignations, and discipline happen in the course of transition. However, since crises of transition mostly happen several months after major life events, individuals and their leaders may not identity connections between recent problems and changes at their workplaces. Changes and or transitions may emanate from personal life events and may either be bad or good. They may also result from organizational transitions or changes such as re-organization, introduction of a new boss, new job, job alignment.
Nonetheless, there is a tendency for employee performance to deteriorate in the event of major changes either in their lifetime and workplaces. Dismissing an employee who is undergoing a transition crisis in most cases wastes an important staff who could have recovered within few weeks if necessary measures were put in place. This will, as well destroy the trust of other staff members. Essentially, employees at the recovery stage of transition ( (either personal or work related) have a potential of being at their most constructive and creative. Additionally, the employees will be at their most accurate perceptions of the present day reality when compared to the “stable staff”, those who may be still in crisis or those living under their older values (Rusu, 2013, p89).
The most critical issues happen when senior management teams in are transition, either in the event of corporate changes or new appointments. At this phase, every individual manager is considered to be going through a personal transition, of course with both opportunities and risks that are similar with those of staff. In the event that the whole team is in transition, there is potential of severe conflicts, with associated risks such as some employee or management leaders being scapegoated, demotated or demoralized in their works. Consequently, strategic judgment errors have a potential of affecting the morally of the general organization. This aspect was better illustrated in UK parliament after a landslide May 1997 election. The landslide election generated one of the most significant organizational changes in the government of UK in the whole of that decade. The massive change in UK parliament saw a number of successions of crises which followed each other from 1997 to 1998. This also led to a number of MPs to turn the resultant crises into opportunities for both the collective recovery as well as personal achievement. Another major crisis moment for the government of UK happened in 2000 which was a major transition period that followed the trauma caused by the Balkans war and changes of devolution in 1999 (Snowdon, 2010, p.67).
Plenty (1999, pg 76) reported how Shell Corporation realized the significance of transition management and designed effective strategies to management the same. Currently, Shell utilizes transition management policies and training in its global businesses. Shell emphasizes on the variation between changes in an organization and the transitions which impact on individual workers and the management leaders. Plenty explains that the Shell management is always sensitive to personal transitions when employees are relocated or reassigned to other work stations or countries. Furthermore, management leaders and staff are trained accordingly and encouraged to harbor career planning skills, career continuity for moments of concurrent organizational change and transitions.
In light of this, Bridges (1995) advises employers to increase their awareness level among their managers and staff on transition or changes that occur within their firms. This will make it easy for individuals to be alert to their lives alongside changes that may not always be anticipated by employers. Moreover, managers will as well as be more alert to a diversity of vulnerability of staff in the course of organizational changes (if they as well harbor personal changes) and to become aware of this. The transition cycle offers a valuable addition to staff and organization planning tasks. It enables managers to be alert to a potential moment of crisis for groups or individuals in providing added support to surviving staff after redundancies in reducing the effects of survivor syndrome.
We live in a dynamic world with increasingly demanding customers. Further, technology is changing many aspects of work. Employees are increasingly required to make quick decisions and act faster in meeting the increased customer demands. In respect to this, the management leaders are required to have change management skills, which can help them succeed in change processes. Irrespective of the kind of job or organization, one is in, he or she has to learn on change management. These are among the reasons the company is focused at incorporating various change processes in order to leverage its processes and general performance.
2.3 The essence of Communication in Change Processes
When organizations and businesses are having a rough time, changes are necessary in resolving those challenges. It may not be easy to choose appropriate route or strategy in change management. If the management leader chooses a wrong strategy or route, it may significantly hurt that organization or business. The management leaders may not be able to discern if the strategy used in change is good or bad or if the workers are going through a transitional stage. It may be long before they determine that the new system is not working. Many leaders make a mistake of initiating change without having a compressive communication plan in place. It is critical for the management leaders at to be adept at change processes and develop a systematic communication plan for implementation of organizational change and then enforcing it.
Training requirements are among the issues that may emerge during the change implementation processes. This is because all employees have to be adequately trained for the culture of the company to be adequately changed. Training entire workforce in the organization may be quite expensive, and may result into reduced productivity. This can be looked into slightly moving backward in order to be able to move forward. Communication and awareness programs are therefore, necessary in enabling employees to be ready for the change processes (Burton, and Obel, 2004, p89).
Further, feedback from customers and employees is necessary in driving the change processes. They may provide necessary ideas that can improve the services and products in order to comply with the new trends. Owing to this, the company has to seek more input from colleagues, subordinates, colleagues, supervisors, and customers in fostering the change of organizational culture that is built in service. The customer and employee feedbacks should be highly encouraged with focus groups, hotlines and surveys. These aspects are critical in triggering customer-oriented change in the culture after sharing and using their information (Burton, and Obel, 2004).
Bianco and Schermerhorn (2006, pg 90) expresses that every manager or leader has to deal with issues related to changes in their respective workplaces. This better explains the reason why these leaders are required to comprehend the effect of change on the organization and also on the workers. On their part, workers are expected to be loyal and committed even during the change processes. In addition, they are expected to accomplish their tasks and duties without lessening their daily performances. This implies that employees have to perform their jobs well without having to change in terms of quantity, quality or speed. Even those who perceive that they can continue being motivated in carrying on their jobs could still find themselves overwhelmed and loose interest in the need for refreshment or pause. Such workers would need to take some break prior to being regain its capability in facing uncertain future.
According to McLagan (2002, P115), there are three forms of changes, that is, transactional, transformational and transitional. Transitional changes require minor interventions such as altering the insensitive system or training, implementing software and so on. Transitional changes on the other hand are more complex in need basic changes in responsibilities/roles and power systems and so on. Example of this system includes opening a new plant in a different location where there is availability of expertise or planning. Finally, transformational changes would necessitate a redesigning of the general organization, particularly the fundamental norms and beliefs in an effort of adapting to increased global demand. The author continues to elaborate that irrespective of the kind of change an entity is going through, it affects workers either negatively or positively. However, the kind of impact it poses to employees is determined on whether the same staff are well informed concerning the particular change or not. The author continues to write that improved comprehension among staff and the management assists in reducing uncertainty which are commonly associated with change.
However, since change processes do not involve or concern all people in the same level, it becomes critical to select target groups and attempt to identity communication channels. This is in regard to whether it is trying to get employees to understand change, get involved on it or accept it. Additionally, identification of where employee stand in regard to change assists managers in coming up with particular messages by understanding weather their staff are against change or for it.
According to Rogan (2010, pg 229) once everyone is involved in the transition processes, communication is a necessary aspect which should be adapted in every step. For instance, during the course of early phases of transition, it becomes important to explain the significance of change and the implementation process. The process should endeavor to ensure that all people understand their efforts and the benefits of this change to individual employees as well as the entire organization.
2.4 Communication Tools
Communication is a process that involves each person specifically assigning and engaging in the act of transmitting specific information. In this context, two or more persons create a level of understanding, which is shared among both parties. Experts of communication argue that there is a gigantic repertoire of particular skills that are involved in a successful communication. This section analyses three communication tools that a company can use in communicating with its employees to come out with expected outcome in effectively managing change processes.
For the process of communication to be complete, various skills are required. These include processing skills, which are interpersonal and intrapersonal; ability to listen and evaluate appropriately, what is being passed across, basic analytical and observation skills especially in productive communication levels. Last and finally yet importantly, communication means questioning whatever is being said in order to understand and listen well (Rogin, 2010, pg56).
2.4.1 Visual Communication
In a work context, visual communication is among the common means to share ideas and information on the business. These are also effective in providing information to the people at work, and hence, outline particular points, which need to be emphasized for the change processes and business wellbeing. Some examples of this type of communication include electronic communication, specially designed signs, presentations and even documents. It is of great significance that leaders and other employees have the capability of both comprehending and implementing visual communication processes at the workplace.
2.4.2 Written communication
This type of communication is equally important especially when it comes to the workplace change processes. This type of communication involves typing or writing out information, figures, facts and other types of necessary information so as to express ideas to workers in a company. Some examples of this type of communication include evaluations, reports, instant messages, emails, electronic and physical memos and other types of documents, which are similar in nature. Mostly in the work place, this type is flexible as it could either be informal or formal depending on the information being passed across (Hogan, 2012, p89). In this regard, necessary documents could be designed and given to each employee to inform them about the company decisions and processes.
2.4.3 Verbal and non-verbal Communication
Verbal communication is the core element especially when it comes to the overall success of the business. Verbal means specific languages, certain sounds, and normal spoken words can be used. In the world today, there exists a large assortment of individuals who make up the standard workforce. Different employees have different ages, come from different cultures, and even a variety of races. It therefore is imperative that a company strives to create an elementary foundation for this type of communication so that every person in the company understands the others within that business. In this context, the leader may decide to use verbal or non-verbal means of communication to relay the intended communication to employees (Rogin, 2010, p77).
2.4.4 Non-Verbal Communication
For effective communication at the workplace, it is paramount to understand the implication of non-verbal communication. When this occurs, it means that a physical mode of communication is being used for sharing ideas and meanings among other things. The physical activities might include the way the body is moved, the displayed tone when it comes to an individual’s tone, and touching. At the workplace, it may not be appropriate to touch another individual, but it is possible to ensure the stance of the body and the voice tone are held appropriately so that information, thoughts and ideas are shared successfully with the targeted audience. The right choice of communication tools is necessary in enhancing the change processes. This is because all stakeholders have to be involved accordingly in each stage of the change processes. Without the input of employees, implementing change processes may be an uphill task.
Training requirements are other issues that may emerge during the change implementation processes. This is because all employees have to be adequately trained for the culture of the company to be adequately changed. Training entire workforce in the organization may be quite expensive, and may result into reduced productivity. This can be looked into slightly moving backward in order to be able to move forward.
2.5 Company metaphors
Morgan (2006, p98) explains that there are various company metaphors which can assist in comprehending the dynamics of organizations and what could or could not work when it come to transitions. According to this author, there exist four metaphors in organizational dynamics. They include: Political and Organizational System, Organization as a machine, Organization as a transformation and flux and organization as organism.
As an observer in this case study, I have identified HACO LTD as falling among the category of Organism. This is because the term organism appears to be the best metaphor during transition management. Organizations ought to be treated as organisms since in practical sense, there is no best way in designing or managing an organization during the change processes. This way of describing an organization reduces a burden that would not allow ideals to flow. The flow of ideas between various parts of the system and its immediate environment, groups, and or individuals is the essence of organizational success. In this form of organizations, changes are mostly established as a response to its immediate environment. Consequently, there is need for groups and individuals in the specific organizations to be emotionally and psychologically alert on the necessity and impact of change so as to effectively adapt it. Psychological support alongside participation are among the necessary approach for success (Green, 2004, 15). Green continues to point out that taking pulse of a company and monitoring its environment is needed during change in order to create an environment where individuals are still active even in the course of change. Employees can have great ideas particularly if they are involved accordingly. Further, their potential in generating helpful ideas can be reinforced when the management leaders discuss the possibilities for improvement alongside the benefits associated with the change initiatives.
2.6 Company culture
Changes are always seen in different perspectives, owing to the fact that individuals have different histories and personalities. Similar to how individual personalities influence their response to changes so do organization cultures. Employees from various organizations perceive changes differently. Organizational culture refers to how people in that organization behave and the meanings behind their reactions. It includes the organization’s visions, values, working language, norms, beliefs, symbols, systems, and habits (Benn et al, 2014, 74). It is a pattern of people’s collective behavior and assumptions installed to new members of the organization as a means of thinking, perception and attitude. The culture of an organization influences the interaction of people among themselves, management, clients and company stakeholders According to Benn et al the organization culture is a representation of an organization’s collective beliefs, values and principles which organization members are expected to adhere to, while in that context. It is a product of such factors as market, product, history, strategy, technology, management style, type of employees, national cultures and so on (p114)
Quinn and Cameron (1999) explain that there are four major types of organization culture available to an organization. These include Market Oriented, Clan, Adhocracy and Hierarchy. The following are explanations, advantages and disadvantages for each of these types of organization cultures
a) Clan oriented culture: This resembles a family culture with emphasis on nurturing, mentoring and working collaboratively. Among the benefits of these cultures is that, they are the most collaborative and the least competitive among the four models. Further, employee engagement, employer commitment, and mentoring promote loyalty and empowerment, which drives productivity, leading to high performance.
By their structure, clan cultures exist in organizations, and work contexts that are less structured, with few policies, and rules. While the focus is encouraging, a decision making process that is flexible and unified vision, it may open a leeway for employees to work outside the scope of their responsibilities. There are cases where employees take advantage of the flexible regulations, and avoid activities, which they do not prefer. It makes it easy for the workers and departments to get off track if there is no active direction by the leaders (Edgar, 1999, pg 5).
b) Adhocracy culture is entrepreneurial, and dynamic with an emphasis on innovation, risk taking and “doing things first”. This culture enables an organization to perform its operations in a flexible manner. Since, its focus is on doing things fast, it can assist a particular firm to identify and act on new opportunities in a faster manner to gain a competitive advantage (Edgar, 1999, pg.9). However, a business operating under this type of culture may not adhere to formal procedures, which may lead to confusion among employees on how to handle various issues in the company. Lack of consistency could be frustrating to workers who are looking at established boundaries, performance standards and rules for the proper conduct.
c) Market oriented culture: This is a result oriented, with an emphasis on achievement, competition, and having the job done. Organizations with this type of culture are considered to above others in terms of competition concerning marketplace responsiveness. This is also beneficial to companies, as they will be able to make products that meet customer needs in a manner that is timely (Quinn and Cameron pg,1999). However, this culture comes with significant costs. This is because they have to regularly conduct market research in order to acquire insights to respond appropriately. There is also the issue of investing in technologies, as well as staff training on various market processes.
d) Hierarchy oriented cultures: These are controlled and structured with a focus on stability, efficiency and doing things the right way. The hierarchy culture will lead to stability and incremental change within an organization (Quinn and Cameron 1999).
Even good teams may find it challenging if the principal members existing in that team or the external context is altered. In addressing change, many leaders identify developmental areas to address and the main strengths on which to build in steering such a change. These points are then summarized with clear timescales and targets in ensuring that effective action is taken in a timely manner (Gómez et al 2008, 34).
The leader ensures that he has the necessary knowledge through training and attending seminars on how to handle change processes. The key strategies in which the leader employs when affecting change is to encourage and motivate different behaviors that are geared towards the specific change. The leader has to check the capability and attitude of each leader of every team, as well as conduct performance evaluations. In addition, he also designs the right systems and processes that influence how people work collaboratively. The leader supports the members accordingly in changing their attitudes and behaviors towards the change processes (Dunn et al, 2012, pg.45).
According to Daft (2000), the content and nature of an organization’s culture has an impact on it and the management style. This culture is responsible for shaping the behaviour and attitudes of the members in that particular organization as well as the components of management and organization. The culture prevalent in an organization can assist the leaders to design effective strategies that can improve its performance even in the course of transition (290). How employees are renumerated for instance, is determined by the culture of an organization. If a particular organization has a history of paying people lowly, then the management may find it hard to change the pay systems and pay employees reasonably to motivate them.
In order to ensure that a company achieves success during transition, it is important to involve workers in decision-making processes concerning its operations and other issues related to this institution. This should be enhanced by the culture of respect among employees where they will feel appreciated and valued in the company. Again, companies, through their human resource department should ensure that their workforces are satisfied accordingly. This is an excellent way of raising performance, as employees feel motivated when involved in decision-making processes including change and transition. It is acknowledged that poorly paid workers are less productive and this in turn will hinder a company from realizing its objectives. On the other hand, well-paid employees are committed and motivated to do their work and therefore, raise the performance of that particular organization. The culture of retaining the workforce is also helpful in assisting the company to excel since it creates efficiency and effectiveness (Borman, and Schmitt, 2009, p.32). Motivation and involvement of employees is a key element to improved performance. Borman, and Schmitt (2009) says that ‘for employees to perform well in an organization, they ought to feel that they are part of the organization’ (45).
2.7 Barriers to change
2.7.1 Lack of a Common Goal
In sports, team members have one definite aim, to win over their opponents, whether by runs, goals, or touchdowns. However, the team’s aim in business contexts may not be so obvious. Lack of clear objectives and goals ultimately hinders the performance of a team since members take a contradictory and conflicting approach. In avoiding this problem, the leader sets targets in collaboration with the members. In this manner, team members understand what they are doing, and the general objectives to be met. On the other hand, the leader also sets clear objectives and responsibilities for each of its team member, thus ensuring that they work on the same script and towards the same direction (Hackman et al (2008, pg 77).
According to Hackman et al (2008, p57), the effectiveness of any change process is enhanced by open and clear communication. All members of the team should be at par with one another with respect to timelines, responsibilities and targets. This harmony can only be achieved through effective communication (234). Hackman et al (2008, pg 77), postulates that, regular effective communication is supported by the existence of organizational protocols that determine specific methods and communication means in particular contexts. These may include group discussions, face-to-face meetings, and emails and so on.
One area where the leader under evaluation need to consider is that he should embrace technology for enhanced governance and performance. In other words, he should incorporate technology in his management styles. Business leaders today have either embraced or still figuring out on how to embrace the use of technology in this dynamic business environment. This is because; the digital media can be effectively used in evaluating the level of market awareness, and uncovering new insights in business categories. Further, organizations have found out that consumer conversations can be analyzed through online means at both category and product level (Rindfleisch et al, 2012, 182). This technology can also assist the leader in assessing client’s responses concerning their services.
In the most immediate area for growth as a company is a focus on customers/clients. There is no doubt that creating a positive relationship with them has a potential of improving the company’s fortune. In this perspective, the company has to seek more input from partners, subordinates, colleagues, supervisors, and customers in fostering the change of organizational culture that is built in service. At this company, customer feedbacks should be highly encouraged with focus groups, hotlines and customer surveys. These aspects are critical in triggering customer-oriented change in the culture after sharing and using their information. According to Smith and Higgins, (2010, pg.116) relationship marketing which is critical for a business organizations includes the development, maintenance and growth of a cost effective, long term relationship with individual clients and other stakeholders of the company.
In a multicultural organization, leaders must support inclusion and diversity and strive to develop individuals within their teams. Further, they have to be transparent enough in promotions and assignments. This transparency will consequently encourage employees to be committed and loyal to the company and the leaders. On the contrary, lack of transparency will create a negative attitude and lower the morale of these employees. The articulation by Khademian, and Feldman is quite significant in this field considering the impact of leadership on organizational development and performance. In other words, the leader determines the success or failure of an entity and he is the one to set the culture of an entity (Dunn et al, 2012).
Additionally, such a leader is able to develop leadership, talent development among the employees, human resource management, and company development. Other qualities include effective management of lip standards, and skills development among employees such as the scorecard, reward and recognition programs. The leader also understands performance management systems, performance enhancement systems, competency based recruitment, as well as employee development issues. Further, an inclusive leader for international firm is able to influence a standard of performance culture. He or she is able to employ a combination of change management, capability development skills and organizational development in applying informed practice confounded from research in managing and implementing change. In addition, this personnel understands how to embed culture and values within the firm as continuous process. The leadership is also concerned on staff involvement programs that are aimed at improving productivity, and performance. Such projects include team building, quality management and other programs of staff involvement in workplace improvement debates.
The leader must ensure that the organizational culture is that of collaboration. Furthermore, this culture emphasized on teamwork as a strategy of achieving more and not particularly on individual effort. In essence, that teamwork and collaboration in necessary for high performance. In a multicultural work environment, it is important for leaders to harbor all the necessary qualities create an inclusive organization. Consequently, such leaders are able to achieve better results, and lead to satisfied employees. Such leaders have the responsibility of developing and exhibiting all the traits of inclusive leadership. In essence, being inclusive is about sharing responsibility, as well as sharing the rewards (Sashkin and Sashkin, 2010, p65)
In a multicultural environment, leaders must have the capabilities of nurturing the spirit of teamwork and collaboration. This may not be easy in such an environment with diverse workforce. Effective leadership is indispensable to organizations that desire to optimize current growth opportunities and overcome market challenges. As noted by Sashkin and Sashkin (2010, p65), organizations that survive the turbulence of the corporate world are those that have capable leaders at their helm. Scholars note that leadership that matters is determined by the ability to make a difference on the followers who in turn influence the output of the company. These are leaders who are visionary and know how to guide and mobilize their followers towards a common goal. The management leaders must embrace this approach in transition processes by encouraging their followers to walk along the company vision and values. This type of management style has helped the two entities improve the competitive advantage in this rapidly changing world. A transformational leader must communicate the vision to followers and the two companies seem to understand this aspect. The essence of communicating the vision is to ensure that key stakeholders understand what they need to achieve (Davies and Kourdi, 2010, p98).
This chapter has basically discussed the change phenomena, its impact on employee motivation and various strategies that can be used to manage transitions. The chapter has as well addressed the issue of resistance and acceptance to change, factors that influence either acceptance or resistance and the various mechanisms that facilitate success in change processes. From this review, it is apparent that change and its management are complex processes which could have an immense impact on employees and should therefore be handled consciously.
CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY 3.1 Introduction
This chapter will demonstrate the methodological approach and tools adopted by the researcher to meet the objectives stated in the first chapter of the study. It contains the philosophical position, research approach and strategy adopted in the current study. It also deals with the instruments chosen in collection of data as well as an illustration of the actual processes undertaken to collect data. Following this, the section describes the data analysis processes in relation to the chosen research methods. This chapter will also handle issues pertaining to research ethics and data validity and reliability to authenticate the study.
3.2 Research Design
Given that this research has already decided a research question, the study has two options as regards to the research design. The research design selected in this research relies upon the objectives and aims of this study. This research will employ both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. Table 1.2 below shows the difference between qualitative and quantitative research approach. The descriptive research design used in this study will describe the information that currently exists about the Impact of organizational transition on commitment level of employees of different companies. The study will also uncover new meaning and facts. In this case, descriptive research will assist to observe, describe, and document aspects of different situations of commitment levels as they occur. This will entail data collection, which will provide a description or accounts of situations, individuals, and groups at Haco ltd. An important instrument that will be used in the descriptive study will be observation.
This research will also use the survey research design. Survey research design is a very valuable instrument for assessing trends and opinions. Under the survey methodology, face-to-will provide an accurate picture of the trends at the company. The method will allow the research to be selective about to whom to ask questions and you can describe anything, which they do not comprehend. This will also enable making judgments on the responses and answers. A research survey will be undertaken among Production department Staff members of Haco Ltd, a multinational company in my country. This study will apply Rusu’s theory to tackle its question. According to Rusu (2013, p. 184), numerous MNCs are compelled to grapple with the benefits and costs linked with change in the countries they operate on a constant basis. Concerns with the political, social, and economic elements of the business setting have often been an issue for multinationals.
3.3 Research philosophy
Research work is undertaken to increase the human knowledge on a given problem or issue (Bryman and Bell, 2011). The researcher thus requires knowledge to guide the research process. These processes and such knowledge collectively constitute the research philosophy. Research philosophy is significant as it acts as the guideline on issues to do with assumptions, strategy and design adopted in the research study. In other words, research philosophy demonstrates the arguments of the researcher, which are in part based on personal view of the world, the surrounding phenomena as well as activities. Research philosophy is guided by three pillars including positivism, interpretivist and realism (Bryman and Bell, 2011, p115).
Positivists assert that reality is stable and can be observed and researched without necessarily interfering with issues under study (Kumar, 2005). This position is derived from that of natural sciences, which is characterized by the process of testing of existing theory through the measurement of social realities. Further, this position presumes that the social world exists externally and objectively and that it can be explained through a cause and effect relationship. It focuses on facts and observations that can be measured empirically using quantitative methods Kumar, 2005, p89).
Interpretivism, on the other hand assumes that there are significant differences between natural and social sciences. Unlike in natural sciences, individuals make sense of the social world based on their individual expectations, experience and memories. The meaning of a given phenomena is translated through the researchers own views and perspectives. Since it is not based on facts then differences do occur. This method of study is associated with qualitative methods and approaches to data gathering (Easterby-Smith, Thorpe and Jackson, 2008).
Realism holds that while real structures may exist independently of human consciousness, knowledge is essentially created independently. Because realism approaches research from multiple angles, it can be seen as theory building or inductive in nature (Easterby-Smith, Thorpe and Jackson, 2008). This study will incorporate the intrepretivists approach, since the researcher will study several representative samples of HACO Company ltd in an effort of determining how transitions affect employee commitment.
3.4 Research approach
There are two main approaches to research namely inductive and deductive (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, 2009). The choice between inductive and deductive approaches is dictated by the purpose of the study, which could be predictive, descriptive, analytical or exploratory. In the inductive approach the bottom-top approach is followed, in which the researcher uses particular instances to generalize and is therefore theory making (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, , 2009, pg43). Deductive approach on the other hand assumes a top-down approach since the researcher already has a theory with the purpose of the study being to authenticate or prove the theory (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, 2009). Table 1.2 summarizes the difference between inductive and deductive study.
Conclusions are rested on premises
Conclusions drawn logically from available premises
Arguments are based on rules, laws, and accepted principals.
Mostly identified as a bottom up system
Mostly known as a top down approach
In general terms, induction research is commonly described as moving from the particular to the general. On the other hand, deduction commences with the general and winds up with the specific. Deductive approach employs arguments based on rules, laws, and accepted principles.
The research approach suitable for this kind of study is a case study. The use of case study was considered relevant for this research since it will help in a better comprehension of the particular issue at hand. Further, the use of a case study will help in adding strength to what is already known. In addition, we wanted to present this study through another perspective and especially focusing on the inside of the organizational context (Shaughnessy, and Zechmeister, 2011). In particular, we will be able to study various aspects of recruitment strategies as well as skill gap in manufacturing industries. Through the specific organizations, we will be able to find out the extent of skill gap within the specific companies.
Yin 2001 explains that the use of a case study is effective in facilitating an understanding of an issue or object that appears complex and may extend an experience or add strength through previous studies. Through use of case studies, the research will focus on a detailed analysis in a context form through conditions and their correlations. This qualitative approach will be used in examining real-life contexts, and in this case, organizations, and corporations to enable us understand the various concepts to be analyzed.
The use of this methodology has been backed by social scientists especially in examining the modern day life aspects as well as providing the foundation of extension of methods and application of ideas. According to Lesley, (2012) the use of a case study as a research methodology contains an empirical inquiry investigating specific phenomena within its real life-context.
While employing this approach, the first step will be to create a focus that can be referred by the researcher in the course of the study of a complex issue. The focus of this study will be established through formation of questions concerning a problem or situation under study. In the context of this study, the study objects will be on entities, and a group of people. This object will provide a broad range of possibilities for the variables, as well as add the complexity of the case study. In this study, the researcher will investigate various entities and people within these entities by use of different data collection methods. This is aimed at producing evidence that will lead to a comprehension of the case and help in answering the research objectives.
3.4 Research strategy
This is the general plan of how the researcher intends to go about answering the study’s research questions. In order to achieve consistency between the research’s questions, research methodology and theoretical approaches, the right research strategy must be adopted. A good strategy provides guidelines for the research process. The main strategies that a researcher may consider using include experiment, case study, grounded theory, ethnography, survey and archival research. In the current study, the case study research strategy will be adopted. Simply defined, a case study research strategy involves an empirical investigation of a given phenomenon within its context. This strategy will fit the current research since the researcher has to study the managers, and employees of HACO LTD to establish the impact of transitions on staff commitment. The study will enable the researchers to gain a rich understanding of the research context, as well as processes been investigated. The study will enable the researcher to offer insights that other methods of research may not achieve (Bryman and Bell, 2011, p.89).
3.5 Research Instruments
Research is all about collecting relevant data, evaluating it and coming up with findings and recommendations to analyze the research issue. This means that the researcher should identify the best tools or instruments to collect the data accurately and ensure it are relevant to the study. To collect viable information necessary for a research study, the researcher has to ensure that suitable research instruments are selected. The current study use structured questionnaires and interviews to collect information on the effect of change on employee motivation. The collection of data is considered a great strength as it provides relevant and useful information from multiple sources. The use of different sources thereby allows for corroboration of the same findings or facts and comparison on the same (Sanjeev 2010). The structured questionnaires and interviews were used to ensure that adequate information was collected from employees, and management to assess the impact of transition on the company and employees.
3.6 Sampling Method
In research, a sample is the subset of the study’s target population that the researcher gets to use as a representative of the whole population. Sampling on the other hand involves a procedural identification of a representative proportion of the larger proportion (Clarke, 2005, pg22). This current study will involve carrying out a survey on HACO LTD., a Kenyan based brand that manufacturers various consumer products. The researcher used random sampling technique in distributing questionnaires to employees while using purposeful sampling in conducting interview the management leaders of this entity. These sampling techniques allow for collection of data from the above stakeholders hence increased accuracy of the study findings (Clarke, 2005, pg27). In addition, it saves on time and costs when compared to use of large samples as common with other techniques.
In order to validate these assertions, this study will use stratified random sampling technique to identify staffs from category comprising of Junior Staff to Senior Staff of the productions department of Haco Ltd. The researcher will select 100 employees on random basis and ten managers for the interview session. Each employee will be provided with a survey questionnaire that will be divided into two parts. The first part will obtain the respondents’ personal information while the second will contain the questions, which relate to the subject matter. The questionnaire will contain twenty (20) items, which will be close-ended questions.
The sample of respondents are summarized in table 1.1
Table 1.1 Sample of respondents
As seen from the table, questionnaires were distributed to 100 employees while interview guide were administered to 10 members of the senior management team at the same company. Out of 100 respondents who were given questionnaires to fill, 90 of them filled them successfully while 10 of them failed to do so for various reasons. However, all the ten respondents from the senior management team participated fully in the study where all of them were involved accordingly. The total number of respondents in this study were therefore 100.
3.7 Data collection and Analysis
The data collected in the study will need to be extremely accurate, as inaccurate data collection can influence negatively on the integrity of the study findings. The data collection method chosen in a given study also depends on the type of data utilized, qualitative or quantitative (Johnson, and Onwuegbuzie, 2004). The current study as earlier on mentioned makes use of qualitative and quantitative data. The researcher will also carry out an intensive interview on the selected management leaders in the said organization. The interviews were semi-structured and conducted on a face-face basis with the interviewees between 15 and 30 minutes for a period of 2 weeks.
The data collected in the study was analyzed through content analysis. In this case, the main themes arising from the interviews and documents were analyzed with a keen focus on finding answers to the study research questions. Content analysis also allows for identification of similarities and differences in responses hence increased ability to spot inconsistencies and hence greater accuracy in analysis (Clarke, 2005, pg35). Ideas from the analysis were used to come up with recommendations and conclusion for the study.
3.8 Reliability and validity
Data collected and analyzed in a study should show consistency and should be an exact representation on the situation on the ground. Reliability in a research context refers to the extent to which the study results are consistent over time and are an accurate representation of the entire population (Golafshani, 2003). The stability of the measured data should be consistent over time which means the results should not fluctuate. The results should only have a little variation over time by repeating the measurement. Internal reliability means that the indicators of the measure should be consistent and tend to be related to other indicators of their scores (Bryman and Bell, 2011). In this research study the reliability can have a little variation. If a change would take place in the company the evidence of the employee could change. To ensure reliability in this study, the researcher personally conducted the interviews and analyzed the study data to come up with reliable findings
Validity on the other hand refers the extent to which the research truly measures the research aspects that it was intended to measure (Tharenou, Donohue and Cooper, 2008). The validity aspect was achieved for the present research study by analyzing the interview questions with employees. Validity was also ensured by the researcher contacting the study participants early enough to ensure that they were well prepared. In addition, all questions were formulated with the research objectives in mind as well as the reviewed literature.
3.9 Research Ethics
Research Ethics are important as they assists a researcher to coordinate his/her actions to protect the well-being and interests of research participants in any research undertaken (Kumar, 2005).Request for permission to conduct the research was an ethical consideration is necessary. Letters were sent out to the respective company under study. he commencement of the interview with the management was to take place after the consent letters were returned, duly signed.
During research, confidentiality of information was ensured. Before the interviews and questionnaires are presented, proper consent by the respondents regarding areas of concern were identified. The researcher respected privacy by avoiding hypersensitive information. Honesty was also an issue of concern in the research. Honesty was ensured in performing sampling, during the interview process where inductive approach is used. Practically, the researcher would talk to the respondents about honesty during research to ensure correct responses were given. Dishonesty brings about differences in research outcomes (Bryman and Bell, 2011, p45).
Responsible mentoring was another ethical consideration during the research process (Bryman and Bell, 2011, p47). Practically, during the survey process, the researcher elaborated the questions to the respondents. Additional notes were also read to the respondents to make the questions clear. Equity as an ethical issue was also promoted. Practically, during the inductive and deductive approaches in the study, the researcher would not regard their knowledge as superior to those of the respondents. That is, the interviewer was not to feed answers to the respondents but give them time to engage in the research process.
This chapter described the research methodology and design that allows collecting and analyzing data to answer the research questions. The study method was adapted for this study to enable qualitative and quantitative data collection through questionnaire and interview to establish the impact of transitions on staff and organizational performance. Sampling strategy, research validity, reliability and ethical issues were discussed in relation to chosen research methods. Furthermore, limitations of this research were also considered that helped make suggestions for improvement if the research was to be carried out in the future. In the next section, collected data is analyzed in relations to the questions investigated in this research.
CHAPTER FOUR: FINDINGS AND DATA ANALYSIS 4.1 Introduction
Under this chapter, the data collected from the methodological strategies embraced in chapter 3 are presented and analyzed. Content analysis is employed in investigating the data gathered in an effort to validate the aim and objectives of the research. The study utilizes a set of questions that are based on change/transition management which were directed at employees in Haco Ltd in Kenya. The set of questions were aimed at finding out whether they are true and in identification of future objectives on change management in an organization. The aim for the questions is also to approach workers in ensuring that they are motivated during the change processes.
Most of the respondents were obtained from the internal workers of Haco Company. In focusing on this group of employees, the researcher relied on the assumption that internal workers are more active. Moreover, these workers have a feeling of being involved in changes which happen in the organization or another reason that external workers come and go and that they have not been through changes in the company.
Cross tabulated analysis have not indicated any effect of gender, age of employees on their motivation in the course of changes. This is contrary to David Bill’s theory (2003) which attempted to prove that gender and age influences the worker’s attitude towards transitions. The first question on this study was whether planned change has an impact on the motivation of employees. In answering this question, the workers were asked the direction at which their motivation shifted because of changes that occurred at HACO LTD. Table 1.3 presents the responses on the impact of transition on workers motivation.
a) Very Positive - 8
b) Positive - 22
c) No change caused by Motivation -8
d) Negative - 41
e) Very Negative -11
Figure 1.1 Responses on the Impact of Transition on Worker’s Motivation
From this table, it is clear that more than half of the respondents (52) who represent 57% of the sample pointed out that change in their workplace had affected their motivation negatively. On the other hand, 22 representing 24% of the respondents stated that change had affected them positively. Apparently, 30 respondents representing 33% of the respondents contented that transition in their respective firm had affected them positively. Only 8 respondents representing 9% of the sample noted that there was no change derived from change initiatives or transitions in their workplace. This was a clear affirmation that change or transitions had some sort of effect, whether negative or positive on worker’s motivation. However, this effect seems to be more aligned on the negative side than on the positive side.
Impact of Change on Employee Commitment
Although there are various responses towards this specific study question, the finding at least gives an answer to the research question. This answer is that transition does have an impact on employee motivation. Moreover, this effect is negative, positive or even neutral. In better comprehending the factors which motivate employees and those that does not, the researcher asked both employees and managers several questions which focused on the required factors, as well as enhancing motivation during transition. The answers given are indicated in figure 1.2 which highlights the significance of various factors for employees in becoming being and staying motivated. Among the factors identified included job security, salary, manager-employee relations, good working environment, training and development, last deadline, self motivation and a sense of control at the workplace. These factors were considered to be playing a critical role in employee motivation.
Table 1.2 Critical Factors Determining Employee Motivation during Change
Training and Development
Sense of control
A closer look at this data portrays that both sociological, industrial organization and managerial approaches are essential in keeping employees motivated. Apparently, majority of employees who constituted more than 80 percent of the sampled respondents contented that provision of training and developing before and during the change processes, providing attractive salaries, establishing good working conditions, job security, positive employer-manager relations, and involvement were key to keeping employees motivated during the process. On the other hand, more than half of the respondents were also positive that employees sense of control and self motivation also played a role in keeping employees motivated.
The researcher was also interested in finding out how past changes within HACO have been handled from the perspective of workers. In answering this question, workers were required to rank their feelings towards past changes. Responses are as indicated in figure 1.5 below
a) Very Positive -35
b) Positive - 28
c) Neutral -3
d) Negative - 15
e) Very Negative -9
Figure 1.2: Responses on Workers Feelings on Past Changes
A review on the impact of past changes for employees is important in determining the best practices that can be used by the management leaders in enhancing employee morale, as well as what need to be avoided. The feeling of employees towards previous changes was also measured using an open ended question whereby the respondents were required to express their feelings in their own words alongside in stipulating future change management. Interestingly, majority of the workers as noted in figure 1.5 considered previous changes in HACO as positive. The response differed with those given earlier where workers had anticipated the impact of transition to be negative. This may owe to the fact that the changes had facilitated the growth and development of the company, thus creating more opportunities including promotion and salary increase. In addition, since workers had to be trained and developed accordingly, their knowledge and expertise also grew considerably, thus giving them undue career advantage. Those who noted previous changes as having caused negative impact based their logic on a tight schedules, need for new way of doing things, and pressure on staff. They as well as stated that as a result of change, the behavior and relation of the management towards employees changed. Some employees were required to work more irrespective of inadequate resources. This extra work resulted into fatigue where pausing was prohibited as the best means of moving forward. In their opinion, change processes could have been in place so as to avoid technical errors which have hampered smooth transition. Furthermore, during the course of change, the firm did not have the necessary system and skills in better comprehending the impact of change on system usage and company processes. The sentiments were well echoed by all the management leaders who took part in the study.
The researcher also focused at finding out the feeling of employees towards new change. Responses are provided in table 1. 6
Figure 1.3: Employees responses concerning their feelings towards new change
a) Very Positive-5
b) Positive -7
c) Curious - 46
d) Neutral 4
e) Negative 15
f) Very Negative 13
Figure 1.3: Responses on the Feelings of Workers towards new change
Despite workers pointing out that in previous changes, employees wellbeing and emotional aspects had not been considered as they had wished, majority are curious that the anticipated changes will bring in “new things” and change the face of the company on a positive note. In this case, curiosity is positive since workers are eager in their personal development. They are therefore eager to be part of a system that will bring positive changes not only to the company but also to their personal development. These feelings were concurred by the management leaders who in the interview scripts state that previous changes have brought many lessons to both employees and the management leaders. Nonetheless, 28 of the respondents had a negative perception towards change. Heightened interest among workers during the change processes ensures that employees have a capability of self motivation when the right environment is provided in a firm which involves its employees, embraces diversity, and creating sound management-employee relations. This finding concurs with a study done by Sari (2004) which noted that employees may not always resist change. However, they resist the way that change is handled.
Another issue focused by the researcher was finding out whether employees at HACO are either accepting change or resisting it. The author was also interested in establishing the main reason why workers were embracing change at the particular company. Findings are as shown in figure 1.8
a)Management Effort -
c) Company Structure-
d) Company Culture-
Figure 1.4 Responses on Reasons for Embracing Change
Basically, the study established that majority of workers are accepting change while only a minority are resisting it. From figure 1.7 above, the management effort played a great role in motivating employees towards accepting change. This was subsequently followed by personal interest. The finding was concurred by 9 of the ten management leaders who took part in the study. One manager identified as manager D opinionated that the secret used by the company in motivating workers during the change process is to involve them accordingly and also listening and caring for their concern. This way, they are able to gain their support during the change processes alongside ensuring success during the whole process.
4.2 Discussion of the Findings
Findings from this study reveals that in its initial stages, transition or change is mostly viewed negatively by employees. This concurs with a study undertaken by Bovey & Hede, (2001, p78) which established that resistance among employees was one of the leading causes of failure for change initiatives. This may owe to the fact that workers are not ready to start doing things in new ways and develop fear that they may not be able to cope with the new changes. A number of studies also portray that agents of change which emphasize on employee reactions including acceptance and resistance during organizational transition is of utmost significance to the effectiveness of the initiative.
The reaction of employees towards change depends on a number of factors as established by this study. It is justifiable to expect workers to react since the transition processes involves going from the comfort zone to unknown. Furthermore, whenever employees react, it is critical to differentiate between the symptoms of the reactions and the causes behind such reactions Bovey & Hede, 2001b). The current study has identified three main factors which have been found to influence the reaction of employees: communication, employee cognition and emotions and employee involvement in decision making processes. Evidence indicates that these factors can be used in explaining the reaction of employees more than other issues during organizational transitional processes. Despite these factors having a close relation and being interwoven in various ways, every factor contains important information and has an individual contribution.
According to Ertuk, (2008) many change efforts do not succeed because change agents ignore the significance of the individual-cognitive –impact nature of change. This aspect is further reinforced by Pessoa (2008) who noted that cognition and emotions. These seemingly separate but interrelated aspects of cognition and emotions influences the reactions of employees to organizational change and they include irrational thoughts, emotional intelligence, employee attitudes and defense mechanisms.
However, it was also interesting to note that despite many employees viewing change negatively, there were a number of them who viewed change on a positive note. As postulated by Vakola et al 2004, (p.89) individuals with high level of EI could perceive change positively because they experience more career success, are more effective in team performance, have lesser or no feelings of job insecurity and are more adaptive to stressful events. Stated differently, individuals with high emotional intelligence skills are able to cope with change expectations that those with low emotional intelligence. This mandated the management leaders to change the attitude of employees and assist them accordingly in improving their emotional intelligence skills. This factor is further reiterated by Bovey & Hede (2001a) who points out that individuals have a tendency of having automatic thoughts which incorporates what has been considered as “crooked thinking” irrational or faulty. During the course of transition, there is a tendency for employees to interpret the happenings including the perception of others towards them from their own perspective.
As a matter of determining the best practices that can be used to improve employee’s commitment and the mistakes to avoid, an evaluation on how past changes affected employees is vital. In the present study, workers considered previous changes as having elicited positive results. This is despite the fact that majority of them had initially perceived changed negatively. Nonetheless, the attitude of workers seemed to have shifted towards the positive side because past changes had created more job opportunities and career growth for many employees.
This aspect has been affirmed by Dobrea & Găman, (2011, P67) who explains that change can only be effective if employees attitude change. Moreover, this attitude can change if these employees see positive things not only on their respective firm but also in their individual lives. Consequently, the leadership plays a key role in the process of organizational change and explains the change from one level to another (Radu & Năstase, 2011, p125). For instance, the leaders determines the strategies to keep employees motivated and committed including paying them good salaries, training and developing them to adapt the changes, creating a good work environment, establishing a sound employee-manager relations and involving them in the decision making processes. Leaders who incorporate these aspects are effective while those who do not will make the change processes to be difficult to implement. This aspect is reinforced by Beer, and Nohria (2000) who established that employees do not always repel change, but how it is handled. Consequently, workers concerns have to be taken into consideration and communication handled effectively for the change to become successful.
The current study establishes that there is insufficient information flow in HACO particularly during change initiatives and new programs. In accordance to the findings, majority of workers are not well informed concerning practical implications of the planned change (both positive and negative). In addition, there is no adequate clarification of the defined individual and team roles in the course of transition. This may better explain why majority of respondents perceived change negatively. Radu & Năstase (2011, p125) explains that communication is another essential aspect which depending on how it is handled, can lead to either success or failure of the change processes. He writes that there are three types of employees a) those supporting change b) those that do not support it and c) those that are indifferent to it. In respect to this, effective communication channels are critical in helping workers comprehend the benefits of change and how to adapt towards it. Communication and information sharing ought to be two way traffic in ensuring that employees are engaged in the whole process and utilizing expertise in change. The authors note that when workers get engaged in the process and see the outcome, they get a feeling of momentum which subsequently helps them to get committed in their respective firms.
4.3 Chapter Summary
In this increasingly complex and fast changing world, change and approaches used in managing such changes are critical in meeting the needs of all stakeholders of the specific organization. In this respect, change initiators are expected to constantly strive to create change processes that are acceptable as a matter of enhancing employee participation and facilitate their total involvement. This is important in creating an environment that would be of benefit to change initiatives alongside creating healthy working relationships with all involved parties. The findings have vividly revealed that employee understands concerning change and change management practices and processes differ to different levels. Therefore, it becomes critical to establish relationship which will offer a strong basis in management of any crisis in transitional processes and enable an organization to be ready for any potential resistance scenes.
CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION 5.1 Introduction
This case study was interested in establishing the impact of change and change management practices with specific reference to HACO LTD, a multinational company which has its presence in Nigeria. This research was conducted based on the premise that there is a possibility of making sound judgments concerning change and its management within the private and public sector organizations. The subsequent part discusses the author’s conclusion on the basis of the study findings.
Table 1.3 The sample of respondents
As seen from the table, questionnaires were distributed to 100 employees while interview guide were administered to 10 members of the senior management team at the same company. Out of 100 respondents who were given questionnaires to fill, 90 of them filled them successfully while 10 of them failed to do so for various reasons. However, all the ten respondents from the senior management team participated fully in the study where all of them were involved accordingly. The total number of respondents in this study were therefore 100.
There is a great deal of interest in understanding how attitudes are created in organizational contexts. Nonetheless, there has been little knowledge concerning how different affects of organizational change influences specific level of attitudes of those affected by change including different levels of commitment. In the event that the various types of commitments represents compacts of mutual aspirations and expectations between employees and their workplace contexts, disruptions and changes in that particular environment should cause a reevaluation of those pacts. As transitions become a severity for many firms, it becomes critical to improve our comprehension of reactions to such changes. Organizations obviously hope that employees will adapt to changes without significant disruptions. Interestingly, this study has supported other study findings that which articulate that notions of resistance to change, cynism, burnout, negative effect on employee commitment, reduced morally and increased turnover are far more prevalent in organizations with poor approach to change (Janicijevic, 2012, p35).
The study findings from this research give a suggestion that an evaluation of change at different levels could provide a better mechanism in explaining the variation of responses among individuals during change. Additionally, despite the fact that compliance with change initiatives may not be odd, could be a long term merits of change can only happen when employees are involved in their implementation and support the changes accordingly. In addition, employees are expected to enhance and or maintain their alignment with the organizational values and objectives. Considering the consistent and ever increasing interest in organizational transition, and the reaction of individuals to it, it has become increasingly important for researchers and practitioners to create a framework of study the impact of organizational transition on employees (Piderity, 2000, p.34).
In the context of this discussion, the author of this study maintains that if change initiatives are to be effectively implemented in organizations, the following conditions have to be made.
a) Employees should be accordingly involved in the whole process
b) The changes where employees are involved ought to be closely related to their own work contexts
c) Change initiators have to effectively communication and share information with all those involved as a matter of empowering them with sufficient background to enable them embrace change
d) Furthermore, only workers who are directly involved and those with the know-how plus the right attitude concerning change initiatives ought to be allowed in decision making processes concerning the change. The management leaders should work hard in ensuring that employees with negative attitude are assisted and educated on the benefits of the anticipated changes to the company to individuals.
e) Last but not least, employees must be encouraged accordingly so as to participate in the change initiatives
What is more, it is important to perceive change initiatives as a long range behavioral science strategy in developing and understanding people in an organization as matter of improving effectiveness. The basic focus of change initiatives including technological, design and task changes involve changing people. For instance, majority of change efforts within HACO group have been directed at altering the behavior and attitudes of employees through problem solving and decision making. Nonetheless, the communication channels used by Haco management have been found to be wanting. In accordance to Hayes (2010, pg 68) the change initiative approaches would include providing corporate training programs, and management development with a focus on survey feedback, sensitive training, team building, process consultation, employee involvement, and intergroup development.
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