Virgin Blue"s Change Management Report Essay Example

  • Category:
  • Document type:
  • Level:
  • Page:
  • Words:


Virgin Blue change Management Report

Virgin Blue change Management Report


Change is inevitable in the business world. The situation that Virgin Blue is undergoing has been witnessed in many organizations that want to keep pace with the dynamics of the business world. The culture and the work ethics of the business have to adapt to the new level of doing business (Chong, 2011). Conformity to old traditions delays the achievement of the objective of the business or the mission for its existence. New uniform for staff of Virgin Blue holding presents a new look that may be more appreciated than what was there before. In its bid to effect these changes, Virgin Blue is targeting to attract more corporate travelers than before. The introduction of business class product and new airport lounges provides a spring board of realizing the means of penetrating a new business segment. The airline has adopted new ways of marketing its products in an effort to reach out to more travelers. Virgin Blue looks forward to doubling its share in the market. A business cannot change its fortune in the market if it does not change the way its daily operations. The cabin crew and staff have been fitted with new uniform. The airline in partnership with SkyWest has introduced a turboprop aircraft that would be used on the regional routes (Chong, 2011). A Coolangatta airport is in the process of being launched in the near future. The business class is set to be initiated in domestic fleet. More two lounges are being contemplated. The case of Virgin Blue provides precedent on the need for organizational change within the business world. Every business has to create a climate for change and prepare its members for any changes that are anticipated.

Nature and need for change in organizations

Symbols of change are crucial since they signal change at the degree of mundane reality for the members of the organization. There are many examples of changes in organizations like Companies’ change logos, closure executives’ provide dining facilities, withdrawing from old stocks market that is expensive, changes in terminology and languages used in a firm, changes to informal forms of address, or senior executive clothing, or destroying old equipment which is associated with the business past. In all respect, change is inevitable. At one point or another, a business organization will be forced to change the way of doing its business. Organizational changes when organizations change their strategies aimed at success, or remove or add a practice or a section (Dooley & Van de Ven, 1999, p.306). Organizations undergo changes during various stages of their development. Some of key changes that are witnessed in organization include reduction of hierarchical structure. Normally hierarchies are cumbersome and can hardly respond to market demands that are ever changing.

There are aspects that act as pressure for reduction of cycle time and continuous innovation that ensures steady supply of new products in new and existing markets. The existence of these hierarchies that are regard calls for the need of organizational change in order to adopt an organizational strategy that would realize quick adaptation to market demand. In many circumstances hierarchies are being taken over by cross unit organizational groupings which have efficient, fewer layers and lead to decision making that is decentralized. Change implementation within the organization aims at increasing the speed of decision making in order to attain efficiency. Traditional structures of organization that embraced bureaucratic hierarchies hinder quick implementation of responsive strategies that are needed to contain pressures from other business competitors within the market. Increased competition in the market compels organizations to adjust the way they are doing business in order to catch up the rest and eventually attain competitive advantage (Velicer, Prochaska, & Redding, 1998, p. The new trends in the market that have seen deregulation being embraced, have resulted into increased completion. Globalization and free market policy has opened the local market to international competition. The world is changing at rapid pace that does not allow any business to entertain rigidity, but to embrace change whole heartedly.

Advancement in technology has increased efficiency of doing business through provision of fast means of communication. The organization has to respond by incorporating some of these changes into its daily routine. The nature of change in organizations could come in the forth of change in the structure of the organization. It could be also in terms of working ethics or the general culture of the business firm (Perlow, 1999, p.67). Regardless of the nature of the change, organizations have to embrace change in whichever form it may come. Without change, it would be hard for the particular organization to attain is mission of existence. An organization has to meet its objective as well as play a role in the lives of the local communities of people around it. Changes come to affect blurred boundaries within organizations. Many organizations are becoming more laterally structured. Boundaries commence to disintegrate as various departments of the firm work in synchronization with each other. Boundaries between job categories and departments loosen and encourage need for knowledge and task sharing.

Globalization or international business has encouraged virtual organization that does not require brick and mortar offices to be build. Technology advancement has encouraged used of advancement methods of communication in convening of meetings even at the international level. Need to reduce boundaries substantially have led to organizational change that cannot be avoided. A business enterprise has to time and again evaluate its performance and decide whether it is on the correct path or not (Dooley & Van de Ven, 1999, p.306). Breaking barriers of communication that characterized traditional organizations propel organizations to make adjustment from time to time with the need of value creation and realizing competitive advantage. Globalization has come with many challenges that compel business enterprises to change the way of doing business in order to remain relevant and adjust to the changing needs of the customers.

An important area that leads to organizational change is changing needs and preferences of the customers. In the business world, the customer is the queen. A company cannot continue to produce a good that has already been rejected by the customers. Organizations are there to serve the needs of their customers. If a company cannot meet the expectations of its customers, it is bound to lose its market share and important customers. This trend can lead business enterprises being rendered irrelevant (Lawson & Prince, 1995). In the long run, business enterprises survive on the creative ideas that they implement just in the nick of time, and thus attaining a competitive advantage that is important for the survival of a business in a competitive world. In order to accommodate new ideas and embrace quick decision making, organizations have to embrace change. Without change, many organizations would be rendered irrelevant (Velicer, Prochaska, & Redding, 1998). The lean enterprise principles gave a chance to many to be responsive in a rapid manner to changes in the market place. Businesses have to reduce their lead time as thy increase efficiency of the chain management. The changing needs of customers have lead to customization of business process. Customer needs keep on changing as other companies react to the social and demographic dynamics. It is the changing needs of the customers that push organizations to adjust quickly in order to attract the right clientele.

The lean enterprise model that calls for organizations to be agile, customer focused, and competitive, creates the need for organizational change. The need for customized services and addressing the various niches that exist in the market propel business enterprises to implement change strategies within the organization (Burke, 1999, p.56). Lean enterprise is the best way of attaining the efficiency that is required in addressing the needs of the customers that are sometimes very unpredictable. Despite the study of consumer behavior and market intelligence, firms can be caught unawares following a technological application that gives other organizations a competitive advantage.

Change in organizations has also been necessitated by information and communication technology breakthroughs. Internet and mobile technologies have changed the way business is being conducted. Internet provides a means through which work can be set aside from time to time (Round & Kusy, 1995). An organization has to adopt a new technology or a new practice that will enable it to compete favorably in the wider market. As businesses respond to these changes in the way of doing business, and increased dynamism in customers needs, the role of change is emphasized. Just as witnessed in Virgin Blue change initiative; there is the need to define value from the perspective of the consumer or customer. Non-value added activities have to be eliminated from the operations of the business. The need to reduce inefficiencies and waste in support functions compel organization to initiate change (Kling & Zmuidzinas, 1994, p. 28-9). Change is very important in making the business enterprise or organization realign is operations in line with the set objectives and goals. Appropriate strategies have to be used in coming up with the desired program to attain value creation. The change in the organization apart from being structural, it is also behavioral as members of the organization struggle to live to the new expectations of the business. There is no way change can be implemented within the organization without involving or realize change in the behavior of the members of the organization.

Teams are increasingly being used as building blocks within the organization. The shift towards organizational structure that is team-based is occasioned by the essence of making decisions that are rapid, reduction of inefficiencies, and improvement of work processes. There is also need of developing a new perspective of management. Rules and orders conformity is no longer the way of the new management perspective (Shinn, 2001). The emphasis is put on commitment to organizational goals and mission. The blurred boundaries have largely affected organizational roles, and hence leading to change in operations. As employees get more authority of decision making, managers are reduced to mere coaches or supporters, as opposed to commanders. There is need for organizations to plan for continuous change that will them to adapt to the changing environment. Changes can be small and large, gradual or drastic. The business environment is not static and therefore necessitating change of organization behavior and structure to cope with the new times (Simon, 2005). Changing workplace is occasioned by various issues mentioned above and is propelled by technologies that support information accessibility and mobility. There is need for the business organization to be prepared within strategies that can be used in the implementation of change.

Change strategies that can be considered by

Every organization has to be adequately prepared for change. The process of preparing for change is known as unfreezing. It is important for the management to be prepared for resistance of change within the organization. This is the difficult part of the process of change. Unfreezing is the creation of motivation to change. Motivation will propel the implementation of change within the organization (Rothwell, Sullivan & McLean, 1995, p.51). A lot of literatures explain the correlation between organizational culture and strategy, the problems that come with strategic inertia in organizations and the role of managers in to contain the cultural context in organization in order to attain strategic change and an organization that that is adaptive in sustaining the change for success that is long term.

There is a strong correlation between managerial behavior, organizational culture, and strategy. There are aspects of culture, strategy, and work ethics that need to be changed before an organization can successfully implement change. Without adequate preparation and full information to the members of the organization, change management within an organization can be met with indescribable resistance (Carter, 2004, p.56). All efforts done in preparation are to avoid development of resistance to change through the unfreezing process that requires organization members to be adequately motivated. Most of the organization’s change initiatives consist of improvement to the existing functions in order to attain value and efficiency.

The strategies that are used in the management of change are meant to change the organization to be dynamic and revolutionary. Change is continuous and important for organizational change. Change focuses on structure, technology, people and operations or task. Change management has to commence with designing ways of dealing with resistance to change. The change management process commences with the unfreezing. The unfreezing process looks at forces of resistance within the organization. Any premature authoritarian or unilateral increase in the forces propelling change will be met with resistance that is equal or lead to increase in the opposing forces (Shaw, 1997, p.235). Change has to be propelled with an adequate level of motivation among the members of the organization. Induction of motivation within the organization is normally necessary if it is missing. Without motivation, change cannot be introduced in the organization. Change does not only involve learning but also unlearning something that is already in existed. The personality and social relationships have to be transformed to take up the new dimension that will necessitate change.

The organizational culture can be a barrier to successful organizational change. Different strategies are used in the unfreezing of organizational systems. Managers have to confirm of disconfirm present attitudes and behaviors. The people in the organization can either leave old ways that do not add value to the desired new level of business of operation. An organization cannot continue operating in its old ways and expect to attain a new level of efficiency. The second strategy involves creating guilt, anxiety or discomfort with an aim of motivating change the champions or agents of change in the organization have to show that the old ways of doing things is uncomfortable or laborious (Kirsh, 2000, p.29). If members of the organization are still in the conform zone of old ways of operation, they will vehemently resist change. If the old ways of functioning are made to be uncomfortable, the members will be forced to adapt to the new level that is being proposed.

Comfort zones within the organization encourage members to hold onto them. Some level of discomfort within the organization will make people desire change. The following step involves occasioning psychological safety through reduction of barriers to change or elimination of threat as a result of past failure. The members of the organization have to be fully informed of the success of the change process to ensure that they make active contribution to the change process (Kirsh, 2000, p. 19). Virgin Blue introduction of new uniform was in agreement or consultation of all the members of the organization as well as other stakeholders. Without full information to the employees and other stakeholders, the change process can be sabotaged from within the organization. Full knowledge of the change process gives the members of the organization a chance to contribute positively to the change process.

The second phase of change implementation involves adjustment of the equilibrium. This phase involves development of new beliefs, attitudes, behavior, and values which are founded on new information. After the investigation of the forces of resistance, their consequent understanding and minimization, the change can now be implemented (deKler, 2007). Forces of resistance are greatly reduced whereas driving forces are enhanced. This process adjusts the equilibrium position to the desired position. Change can be implemented through several approaches that include Rational-empirical, normative-re-educative, or power-coercive.

Power-coercive entails a process of imposing legitimate authority. Feedback might be refused and no alternation to any place may happen due to resistance. This kind of approach uses force to implement change. Normative-re-educative process assumes that employees are individuals who are rational, but highlights the presence of socio-cultural norms in organizations. The process challenges existing beliefs, norms, values, and attitudes and engages in re-educating employees into the new, desired technique of operation (Johnson, 1992, p.32). Rational-empirical process is whereby change is viewed as a process entailing rational persuasion in which benefits of change are explained logically to the members of the organization. These three approaches are used in different settings of organizations. They can work for some situations and fail to deliver in others. The practice applied by organization involves establishment of some sense of urgency. The change should appear to be crucial and expediently needed.

The members have to understand the need for quick implementation of the change. There is the need to form a powerful leading coalition that spearheads the change implementation process. The rest of the members are empowered to act on the new vision that is desired. Creating and planning for short term wins encourages the members of the organization to focus on the change process (Ranter, 1990). The vision has to be created and communicated to the members of the organization. In case where one change implementation approach has failed another approach. The other step is institutionalizing of the new approaches. The next phase of change implementation is the unfreezing process. This is where everything is made routine and incorporated in the daily operations. The final stage of refreezing integration the new functions into the daily schedule of the organization. New regulation, rewards schemes and rules can be used to maximize the desired behavior of employees or staff and reinforce the change process. Team building has to be encouraged in the process of change management.


Change management is very common topic in today’s business world. Every organization wants to implement new ways of doing business. As illustrated by the initiative taken by Virgin Blue management, every organization wants to adjust to new ways of doing business in order to meet the changing needs of customers. There are many things that result into an organization implementing change. Realizing the desired results of change implementation is not an easy process. Various strategies are employed by organization management in trying to implement change. The change process can be met with resistance if the members of the organization are not fully prepared it. Educating members of the organization on the need of change encourages acceptance of new approaches. The change process is generally not an easy ride.


Chong, J. 2011, Virgin Blue Unveils more Changes, The Sydney Morning Herald, 23 February, First Edition, Viewed 31 January 2012 from <>

Kirsh, D., 2000, A few thoughts on cognitive overload, Intellectia, 1 (30); 28-51.

Dooley, K. J. & Van de Ven, A. H.,1999, Explaining Complex Organizational Dynamics. Organization Science, 10 (3); 358-372.

Johnson, G., 1992, Managing Strategic Change—Strategy, Culture and Action. Long Range Planning 25 (1); 28-36.

Carter, L.L., 2004, Best practices in leadership development and organizational change, Jossey Bass, Melbourne.

Shaw, P., 1997, Intervening in the Shadow Systems of Organizations: Consulting from a Complexity Perspective. Journal of Organizational Change Management
10(3): 235-250.

Kirsh, D., 2000, A Few Thoughts on Cognitive Overload, Intellectia, 1(30): 19-51.

Ranter, R.M., 1990, The New Workforce Meets the Changing Workplace, “In The Nature of Work: Sociological Perspectives. K.Erikson and S.P. Vallas (Eds). New Haven and London: Yale University Press.

Kling, R. & Zmuidzinas,
M., 1994, Technology, Ideology, and Social Transformation: The Case of Computerization and Work Organization, Revue Internationale de Sociologie, 2 (3): 28-56.

Perlow, L., 1999, The Time Famine: Toward a Sociology of Work Time,
Administrative Science Quarterly, 44: 57-81.

Burke, W. W., 1999, Diagnostic Models for organizational development, in Diagnosis for or. Change. Gilford Publications.

Lawson, E. and Prince, C.,1995 The Psychology of change Management, MacKinsey Quarterly.

Shinn, G., 2001, Intentional change by Design, Quality Progress, 34 (5); 46-51.

Simon, R., 2005, Levers organizational design, Hard Business school Press, Sidney.

Velicer, Prochaska, & Redding, 1998, Application of trans-theoretical model of behavior change, Homeostasis, Heostasis, 38, 216-233.

Rothwell, W., Sullivan, R., & McLean, G., 1995, «Models for Change and Steps in Action Research», in Practicing OD: A Guide for Consultants, Pfeiffer, San Diego, pp. 51-69.

Round, R. & Kusy, M., 1995, Needs assessment-the first step, Tappi Journal, 78 (6); 255

deKler, M., 2007, Healing emotional trauma in organizations: An O.D. Framework and case study. Organizational Development Journal, 25(2), 49-56.