Understanding Drivers for Change | My Assignment Tutor

1Understanding and leading changeLecture: 06, LO: 02Managing ChangeBurke Litwen Model1Burke-Litwin: Understanding Drivers forChange There are many reasons that changeoccurs in organisations. Building onthe Burke-Litwin model oforganisational change andperformance, this article will helpyou identify different drivers ofchange and consider theimplications for you as a changemanager.22Burke-Litwin Model The Burke-Litwin model[1] shows the various drivers ofchange and ranks them in terms of importance. Themodel is expressed diagrammatically, with the mostimportant factors featuring at the top. The lower layersbecome gradually less important. The model argues thatall of the factors are integrated (to greater or lesserdegrees). Therefore, a change in one will eventuallyaffect all other factors.3The Model43Burke-Litwin Model Burke-Litwin believe environmental factors to be themost important driver for change. Indeed, most changecan be traced back to external drivers for change.Important elements of organisational success, such asmission and strategy, leadership and organisationalculture, are often impacted by changes that originateoutside the organisation. It is your job to understandthese external changes and identify the implications foryou and your team.5Identifying and Dealingwith Drivers for Change64External Environment This includes such factors as markets, legislation,competition and the economy. All of these will haveconsequences for organisations, and, as a changemanager, it is vital that you continually scan theenvironment for issues that will affect you and yourteam. For example, in the world of accountancy,International Accounting Standards and InternationalFinancial Reporting Standards will have a significantimpact on the way companies manage their accountsand report their results. In the public sector, legislativechanges across health, local government and otherservices have a direct impact on the work organisationsare required to carry out.7Mission and Strategy An organisation’s mission articulates its reason forexisting. It is the foundation upon which all activityshould be built. The strategy then sets out, in broadterms, how the organisation will go about achieving itsmission. Very often, the strategy will be developed inlight of environmental change, and will have asignificant impact on the work you do. As a changemanager, you need to understand change in strategyand be able to communicate the implications to yourstaff.85Leadership This considers the attitudes and behaviour of seniorcolleagues and how these behaviours are perceived bythe organisation as a whole. The way in which change isimplemented and accepted through the organisationwill be largely influenced by the top team. Does yourteam believe that senior colleagues are committed tochange, or is it just another initiative that willdisappear in six month’s time?9Organisation Culture Organisation culture can be described as “the way wedo things around here”. It considers the beliefs,behaviours, values and conventions that prevail in anorganisation. Culture change does not happenovernight. It evolves over time as a result of many otherchanges in the organisation. As a manager, you shouldkeep in mind the desired state for the organisation, interms of how you expect people to behave (and not tobehave), and what your organisation values asimportant. You need to ensure that your behaviour fitswith these expectations at all times, and that you ‘walkthe walk’.106Structure Very often, changes in strategy can lead to changes inthe way the organisation is structured. This can impacton relationships, responsibilities and ways of working.Your job is to assess the impact of the structural changeand ensure your team understands why it is required,and what it means for them.11Work Unit Climate This considers employees’ perception of theirimmediate colleagues and working environment. Ourimmediate working environment is often what shapesour view of the organisation as a whole, and influencesthe extent to which we feel satisfied in our jobs.Changes to the immediate working environment need tobe managed sensitively, as they are likely to invoke arange of emotional and political responses from staff.This is particularly the case where change involvesmoving location, a change in personnel, or a change interms of conditions of service, such as working hours.127Task Requirements andIndividual Skills/Abilities Change at a higher level in the organisation will oftenrequire changes in the work carried out and the skillsavailable in the team. As the change manager you needto assess whether: all the right skills are in place; ifthey can be developed; or, if you need to bring them infrom outside the team.13Individual Needs and Values Changes to team membership can mean a change in theteam dynamic. In a perfect world, we would be able torecruit the exact fit for our teams, in terms of personalstyle, abilities and skills mix. However, in reality it isnot always possible, and it is your job to identify anyrisks in this areas and mitigate them as best you can.148Employee Motivation Considers the significance of individual andorganisational goals. Motivation is key to effectivechange. The real challenge is to maintain motivationthroughout a change project, particularly when changeis often not well-received by those affected.15 Source: [1] Burke & Litwin, ‘A Causal Model ofOrganisation Performance and Change’, Journal ofManagement, Vol 18, No 3 (1992), pp 523–545.https://www.exeter.ac.uk/media/universityofexeter/humanresources/documents/learningdevelopment/understanding_drivers_for_change.pdf16


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