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Crystel Leadership And Change Management -Uophoenix

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Leadership and Change Management

Organizational leaders discuss change. They follow up with plans for process improvements in customer service, manufacturing, or supply chain management. From subordinates, management looks for enthusiasm, acceptance, and commitment (Strebel, 1996). However, the workers may be less than enthused. "Communication breaks down, implementation plans miss their mark, and results fall short" (Strebel, 1996, ¶1). This kind of reaction from the employees happens so often that research needs to be performed in order to discover the underlying problem. After all, "leading practitioners of radical corporate reengineering report that success rates (of change) in Fortune 1,000 companies are well below 50%" (Strebel, 1996, ¶1).

The following sections will discuss some of the key concepts that may hinder, help, or influence change management techniques: handling resistance to change, forces of change, leadership styles, and goal setting. After comparing and contrasting companies that have managed change, as well as companies with effective leadership and goal setting skills, a synopsis of each company will follow.

Key Concepts

People are creatures of habit, and persuading individuals to try new processes is difficult. Because of this human characteristic, most employees are not eager for changes in the workplace. Managers need to learn how to handle resistance to change for success. Decreased employee loyalty, achieving corporate goals, and misuse of funds and resources are all outcomes of resistance to change (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2004).

Individuals have a predisposition toward change. This predisposition is learned from childhood. Patient, flexible, and understanding parents will teach children positive compensation. Parents who are unreasonable, unyielding, and forceful will teach children to be distrustful and suspicious of change. Other reasons employee resist change are

1. Surprise and fear of the unknown,

2. Climate of trust,

3. Fear of failure,

4. Loss of status or job-security

5. Peer pressure,

6. Disruption of cultural traditions or group relationships,

7. Personality conflicts,

8. Lack of tact or poor timing, and

9. No reinforcing reward systems (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2004).

To overcome resistance to change, strategies have been developed. A contingency approach to change allows for many forms and situational factors. The organization must be ready for change to be effective. Managers should not assume employees are resisting change, because the assumption does not allow identifying the obstacles. Middle-level managers need to be involved in the change process in order to succeed. Managers need to acquire certain skills and competencies to lead a change successfully (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2004).

Understanding the feedback process is an important skill for managers. A feedback program provides employees with quantifiable and truthful information on performance. Feedback serves two functions. Instructional feedback explains roles or teaches new behaviors. Motivational feedback functions as a reward or assures a reward (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2004).

Managers need skills in providing feedback relating to the goal-setting process. Goal setting provides direction, increases effort, and promotes determination. By providing accurate, detailed feedback, managers can shape employee's behavior. Improper feedback can also produce resistance. Therefore, leaders need good feedback skills for goal achievement (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2004).

True leaders possess a clear vision of the future, insist on regular and honest communication, accentuate goals, and hold people accountable while providing direction and motivation. To be a good leader, managers need to make expectations clear so the team can meet high standards. Making everyone feel involved is also important in business. This means using teamwork fundamentals. Managers who are respectful, flexible, and provide clear visions, along with having faith in their employees' abilities, are victorious leaders. True leaders recognize the value of sharing their vision, communicating regularly, constructing accountability, delegating, and praising employees by conveying their appreciation (Pelligrini, 2007).

Leadership style is the manner and approach of providing direction, implementing plans, and motivating people. The four styles of leadership include autocratic, democratic, laissez-faire, and participative. With the autocratic style, the leader makes decisions without consulting others. This type of leadership style causes the most dissatisfaction. The democratic style involves employees in the decision-making, while the leader retains the final authority. Employees usually appreciate this style. If wide ranges of opinions are voiced, problems can occur in finding an equitable solution. The laissez-faire style allows employees to make their own decisions and makes them responsible for the outcome. This style works best when employees are capable and motivated (Changing Minds, 2007).

A participative leader, rather than taking autocratic decisions, seeks to involve other people in the process, possibly including subordinates, peers, superiors, and other stakeholders. Most participative activity is within the immediate team. This style is similar to the democratic style, but the level of participation depends on the type of decisions. Decisions on how to implement goals may be highly participative, while decisions during subordinate performance evaluations are more likely to be performed by the manager (Changing Minds, 2007).

Goal-oriented managers tend to lead in the right direction. As a motivational impact, assigning goals focuses on what is relevant or important. Goals result in action and increase persistence. To encourage employees to develop strategies and an action plan, goals are essential. Three general steps are established in goal setting (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2004).

A leader must first set the goals. Many sources can be used in this step such as time and motion studies, past performance reviews, jointly between manager and employees, or benchmarking. Using SMART, an acronym that stands for specific, measurable, attainable, results-oriented, and timely will assist leaders in developing goals (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2004). The second step is to promote goal commitment. Goals that are reasonable, obtainable, and fair will motivate employees. Techniques

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