CASE STUDY ANALYSIS 1
Case Study Analysis – Waste Management at Greener Telco
This report identifies the main issues that Greener Telco faces as it tries to implement environment-friendly practices in the context of its organisational culture that comprises a workforce that does not value environmental objectives. Moreover, Greener Telco has a management that does not know how to institute the changes that different stakeholders are advocating for.
Possible interventions to resolve the issues identified include identifying managers who have the right attitudes and beliefs to drive the desired change. Once the managers are identified, they would have the choice to work with Kotter’s eight steps model of change or Lewin’s three phase model of change. This report recommends Kotter’s model based on the model’s detailed step-by-step approach to change management.
Problem Identification and Analysis
Greener Telco is faced with expectations from the government and other stakeholders to embrace environmentally-friendly practices. The board of directors expects the company’s executives to encourage employees to adopt environmentally-friendly practices. However, a survey conducted among employees indicates that the employees do not attach much value to environmental objectives, and even more serious is that they do not know how they can reduce, recycle or re-use the waste generated in the company. Arguably, the greatest problem facing Greener Telco relates to introducing changes into an already established routine. In other words, the employees are expected to embrace the reduce-reuse-recycle strategy, yet that is not what they are used to.
Additionally, there is another issue that relates to how the management of Greener Telco will guide, integrate, motivate and supervise the change process. According to Keller and Aiken (2008), both management and employees’ attitudes need changing if a new desired state in an organisation is to be attained. In the case study, for instance, the management cannot advocate for environment-friendly practices if they do not understand or employ such practices (Keller & Aiken, 2008). The management team therefore needs to champion for change, and to do that, the members would first need to buy into the idea that environment-friendly practices are necessary in the organisation (Ajmal, Farooq, Sajid & Awan, 2013). Notably, the management at Greener Telco has a responsibility to initiate change by developing the necessary mindset among employees; offering leadership; having knowledge about the issues and opportunities that may arise during change management; and involving stakeholders (particularly the employees) for purposes of building commitment. Moreover, the management has a facilitating role, which involves working with individual employees, teams and networks. Finally, the management has an implementing role, where the members are required to plan and manage the change process; keep employees focused and motivated; monitor and evaluate the progress of change; and persevere until the desired change effects are attained (Warrick, 2009).
Statement of the Key Problems/ Issues
Based on the foregoing section, the main problems or issues that Greener Telco faces include an unknowledgeable workforce that has no idea about environment-friendly practices and a management team that does not know how to institute the changes that different stakeholders are advocating for.
Evaluation of Alternative Solutions
According to Miller (2002), the executives’ (in this context the management’s) successful behaviours towards change depend on two factors: their adaptability to change on an individual level and their beliefs about change. Any successful change at Greener Telco will, therefore, occur only if the management team is adaptable to the proposed environmental changes and believes that the change is necessary. Therefore, based on the foregoing argument, whoever is charged with enforcing the relevant changes at Greener Telco needs to bring together a team of managers whose adaptability to change is not in doubt. According to Miller (2002), such managers can be identified through their optimism, self-assuredness, innovativeness, collaborative behaviours, proactive nature and sense of purpose. The beliefs that managers have are also essential when choosing the people to lead change initiatives in an organisation. According to Miller (2002), some managers believe that making people understand the logic behind the proposed change will make them more willing participants. Another category of managers holds the belief that powerful communication will inspire change while yet another category believes that people are unwilling, unable and not ready to change. The former group of managers believe that change can only occur if a detailed change plan is designed and followed. Finally, Miller (2002) indicates that some change leaders believe that people are not always ready, able or willing to change, hence making leaders to invest more time and resources in inspiring commitment among the targeted people. At Greener Telco, identifying the change champions in the management will require the leaders to identify the set of attributes and beliefs that are most desirable for pushing the environment-friendliness change initiative and then train the identified people appropriately.
To resolve possible change resistance among employees, the management team that is chosen to act as a change champion can use any of the many change models suggested in literature. The eight-step change model by Kotter (1995) is one such alternative where the management would need to follow the steps shown in figure 1 below.
Figure 1: Kotter’s 8-Steps model of change management
Source: Mourfield (2014)
As indicated in figure one above, the change needs to occur in an ideal climate where a sense of urgency, a powerful coalition, and a vision for change have already been created. Moreover, the organisation needs to be change-enabled through proper communication of the change vision, empowering actions, and the creation of quick wins. For instance, creating the needed knowledge about the “reduce, reuse, recycle” philosophy among employees at Greener Telco would result in a quick win even before the employees start putting that knowledge into action. Finally, the organisation would need to implement and sustain change, and according to Kotter (1995), effective changes are sustainable and embedded in the organisation’s culture.
Another alternative that the management at Greener Telco may consider is founded in Kurt Lewin’s theory of change, which suggests that organisations need to unfreeze, change and then re-freeze if any meaningful change is to be realised (Kritsonis, 2005). Following the Lewin theory would require the management at Greener Telco to challenge the status quo that works against environment-friendly practices. According to Kritsonis (2005), unfreezing can be done by encouraging the desired behaviours and decreasing any forces that may restrain the desired change. For example, Greener Telco can increase incentives for employees who score highly in environmental conservation practices. Moreover, the company can train all its employees in environmental conservation and its role in bigger issues such as global warming and climate change.
The second step in Lewin’s model is where the change takes place. Kristonis (2005) observes that this step involves moving the targeted audience into a new level of understanding. At Greener Telco, such would involve persuading employees about the need for reducing wastage and re-using and recycling the materials they use in the workplace. The second step would also involve encouraging employees to work together and jointly regard environment-friendly practices as the new norm in the organisation. Moreover, employees at Greener Telco can be connected to powerful leaders who strongly support environment-friendly practices because then, they would draw inspiration from them.
The third stage in Lewin’s model is identified as refreezing. Here, the new changes become the norm and in Greener Telco’s context, environment-friendly practices would become the ‘new normal’. According to Kritsonis (2005), refreezing is an important step in change management because it assures those pushing for a different way of doing things that employees will not revert to their old habits. In other words, refreezing assures people that change has become part of the organisation’s culture and that it is sustainable. Robbins (2003) notes that some of the ways that organisations can refreeze include reinforcing and institutionalising the new patterns of behaviour. In Greener Telco’s context, for instance, the management can include good environmental practices in the terms and conditions that every employee needs to observe. Moreover, the organisation can institutionalise the new changes by providing labelled trash cans where employees can dump different assortments of waste depending on whether they can be reused or recycled.
When choosing the model to follow and the strategies to use in managing the desired change, Greener Telco will need to consider several issues as suggested by Kotter and Schlesinger (2008). Such include the possible sources of resistance to change and how managers would deal with such resistance. While some employees may resist change due to self-interest, lack of trust, or low-tolerance for anything than the norm, others may be ill-informed about what the proposed changes stand for. Therefore, it is the management’s responsibility to educate employees about the change, motivate them, facilitate them, and negotiate with them where the need to do so arises (Kotter & Schlesinger, 2008). Of the two options discussed above, following Kotter’s model seems to be the most appropriate strategy since it covers some of the necessary details of creating the right environment for change, implementing change, and making the change part of the organisation norm. While Lewin’s model is similarly good, it lacks the detailed information regarding change management that Kotter’s has.
The implementation phase will follow the eight steps identified by Kotter (2005). However, as noted earlier in this report, attaining management buy-in is also as important as getting the employees to support the change process. As a result, therefore, the management will first be educated about environment-friendly practices and its importance for Greener Telco and only then will the managers with the right attitudes and beliefs about the proposed changes be identified to pioneer environment-friendly practices in the organisation. Overall, the managers will rely on the Kotter model for guidance and staging of the change process.
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