MANAGING AND LEADING CHANGE
(A CASE STUDY OF ASHLAAND INC)
The current study focus on managing and leading the change that takes place in an organisation. In this particular study, the concept of change management and its management are mainly presented in context of the case study of Ashland. Ashland Inc is considered as one of the leading American Fortune 500 companies that operates its business activities in more than 100 countries. The company was found in the year of 1924 and mainly concerned with the manufacturing and chemical distribution. The company is generally specialized in providing chemicals, motor oil, plastics and others products (Ashland.com, 2015).
Broome (2009) opined that change management is supposed to be the one of the effective and distinctive approaches that helps in dealing with changes from the both perspective individuals and an organisation. It has been observed that change in an organisation is required in order to meet the changing demand of the market. On the other hand, Cameron and Green (2010) argued that there is a systematic process in dealing the change occurred in the organisation. As per having the detailed understanding about the case study of Ashland Inc, it has been found that company went under the changes in various times between the time of 1924 and 2007. There are so many changes occurred during this period. It has been figured out that between the year of 1998 and 2003; the company has gone through the change of resource structure and also engaged its business in marketing and refining joint venture.
On the other hand, it has been also figured out that the first change in management of Ashland Inc has taken place in the year of 2004 when the Dright King wanted to facilitate a conversation with the top management of the chemical sector leadership team. CEO of the company has asked a question regarding the performance of the company in five years. On the other hand, there are so many implementations have been done in order to bring the company to the distinctive height, SAP implementation was supposed to be more considerable.
It has been observed that there are so many plan and system implemented by Ashland in order to manage the change into the different business operation. The CEO of the company in the initial stage has implemented SAP system in order to manage the change and increase the performance. On the other hand, the case study of the company also provides a comprehensive note about the performance of the business and company due the passing time. Forsyth (2012) opined that change in management has ultimate impact on the performance of the company and profitability of the business. From the case study, it has been pointed out that in the year of 2003, the senior management of the company recognized that change in management is must in order to meet the change needs and demands of the customers in market. On the other hand, the company has also implemented Enterprise Resource Planning System in its distribution unit for increasing the human capital of the company. It has been pointed out that implementation of resource planning system did not work properly due to poor managing and leading of change.
Green (2011) opined that in order to manage and lead the change in the business organisation, the business form needs to set effective objectives. Ashland has also formulated different types of objectives in order to handle and overcome the issues. The company has formed objectives based on “Retro Fit System” that tells about the fact of change management methodology. The company has also built training and development curriculum for the employees of the company. On the other hand, the company has also focused on the knowledge and thinking development of major stakeholders of the company like managers, supervisors, practitioners, intact project team and others. Apart from that, from the case study, it has been pointed out that the company has also adopted approaches like Organisational Wide Reword System, Incentive Scheme, Change Leadership Tool, Working Collaboratively with HR and Internal and External Communication.
It has been noted out that in the year of 2004, Ashland has been recognized for the two sectors. Chemical and transportation construction are the supposed to be the two major sectors in which the company has taken specific place. The foundation of transformation of the company has generally been take place through the chemical company. Apart from that, in the year of 2011, the company has also set its goal on the people management and development of chemical companies across the world. As per understanding detailed case study about the company, there are so many recommendation for the company that help in managing and leading the change and resolving the issues. On the other hand, it has been also figured out that there are so many changes occurred due to the passage of the time in business activities of the company. However, there are so many theory and model that provide a comprehensive and detailed knowledge about how the change can be managed effectively.
In the initial stages, the management of Ashland Inc is remanded to understand the current state of the company in the target market. The process of the understanding of the current state of the company generally involves identifying the problems and issues faced by the company and try to find out the way to resolve the problem. On the other hand, as the company wanted to develop its chemical company across the world. The company needs to establish the brand image in the market. Heller (2013) opined that creating value and corporate image in the target market does not build in just over a night. The company needs to adopt some change in the promotional activities and providing services. The company should have to provide extensive training and development program in order to increase the level of competencies of employees. Apart from that, the company should also use social media marketing strategy for the brand and services awareness.
Pugh and Mayle (2012) opined that business organisation generally adopts changes in its management and business activities in order to gain the market opportunity and to meet the market demands and requirements. It has been pointed out that Ashland Inc needs to adopt change management programme in order to response faster to their target customers in the market. On the other hand, in the development of business across the world, change in management is needed. It has been pointed out that market trend along with attitudes and behaviors of customers are supposed to be different in global business market. The company needs to adopt management changes for assessing the overall impact of change. From the case study, it has been pointed out that Ashland in the year of 2011 wanted to develop its chemical business across the world. The company needs to adopt change management programme in order to manage of the cost of change and increase the return on investment (ROI). On the other hand, adoption of change in management also will help Ashland to leadership development, team development and individual performance development (Martin and Dowling, 2009).
3. Theoretical models and approaches to managing, leading and implementing changes in an organisation:
Unfreeze: Graetz and Smith (2010) opined that unfreeze is supposed to be the initial stage of change. It has been figured out that many people resist the change at workplace. Ashland Inc needs to ensure the employees are ready to adopt the change. The process of unfreeze is all about to create the awareness of change required and how change in management help company to assess the business effectively.
Change: Graetz and Smith (2010) stated that change is considered to be the major process of the change management. It must be ensure that change is real and will be implemented that has been intended. During the process of real change, Ashland needs to think about the education, communication support and time of the employees. These are very critical for the successful change in management. This process is also called “Transitioning”.
Refreeze: Greener and Hughes (2009) pointed out that refreeze is called final stage of change management. It is all about to reinforce the implemented change in the business activities. The company needs to think about the change that has been made will be for long time and permanent. However, Hansen (2011) argued that refreeze stage is supposed to be out of dated as continuous changes occurred in market.
3.1 Approach taken by Ashland between year of 2003 and 2008 and measure the effectiveness of change management
From the case study, it has been observed that Ashland has adopted different types of approaches between the time of 2003 and 2008 in order to develop its business operation across the world. The company has implemented SAP system that included an element of change management in its deployment. On the other hand, the company has also adopted Enterprise Resource Planning System in order to utilize the available resources of the company in order to achieve the goal and objectives of the company properly.
Hearn and Ninan (2012) opined that one of the main goal and target of implementing change in management is use resource of an organisation effectively. Apart from that, it has been observed that the company has also focused on the employee motivation and development of skills during the process of change. The company has provided Total Rewards System, Incentive System and Extensive Training Program for the employee motivation and managing the change within the company. Adding to this, the company has also developed interpersonal mode of communication in order to share value and information about the required change (Laws, 2010).
|Key area of concern||Objectives||Activities||Responsible person||Time frame|
|Understanding the scope of change||To understand the benefits and important of change in Ashland Inc||Identifying the stakeholders, cost and benefits of implemented change within the company.||Senior management of the company||1 week|
|Creating the vision||To create awareness of the employee that change is required||Engaging the leadership and communicating effectively compelling to the change||Middle managers and leader of the company||1 week|
|Driving commitment||To intend that change will be take place under any circumstance||Engaging workforce in the planning and organizing of change and validating the benefits of the change.||Managers of the company||1 week|
|Establishing change infrastructure||To introduce new tools and technology to implement change||The company should have to use new tools, technology and training system in order to motivate the employee to accept the change.||Senior managers of the company||2 weeks|
|Sustaining the change||To make the change permanently within the company||The company needs to ensure the change will be permanently.||Senior managers of the company||4 weeks|
From the above discussion and understanding the case study, it has been figured out that Ashland Inc has gone through the various changes in its management in order to increase the its business profitability and meeting the needs and demand of the customers in market. It has been also observed that the company has faced different types of issues and challenges in managing and leading the change. The implementation of Lewin’s Change Model will be the effective tools for the company in managing and leading the process of change in the management of Ashland. Apart from that, it has been also noted that implementation of resource planning system of the company proved to be little effective for the development of distribution unit.
Hearn and Ninan (2011) opined that there are so many models and theories leading and managing the change management in an organisation. It has been figured out that different companies in global market adopt different types of methodologies in managing and leading the change. Hansen (2011) commented that one of the most effective models of change management is the Lewin’s Change Management Model. The concept of unfreeze, change and refreeze are comprehensively stated in the model. These elements are supposed to be very effective in dealing with the process of change. Laws (2012) opined that Mckinsey 7-S Model is also supposed to be very effective in dealing with process of change in the organisation. It has been figured out that shared values, strategy, structure, system, style, staffs and skills are the required element in the process of change.
On the other hand, Martin and Dowling (2009) suggested that Kotter’s 8 Steps Change Model is also considered to be more helpful and comprehensive in the process of change. It has been figured out that most of the companies adopt Lewin’s change management model as it is based on the understanding the current state of the organisation and evaluating the problems and then providing better solution for change. Apart from that, one of the major themes of the model is to create the awareness of the change among the employees that it is very important for the growth of both business and individuals.
The current article named “Change at Work Place-Don’t Move That Cheese” deals with the concept of change management and what are the positive and negative of change management on the business performance. It has been pointed out that change in life is supposed to be inevitable. Pugh and Mayle (2012) opined that there are so many benefits and importance of doing change at workplace. On the other hand, Forsyth (2012) figured out that there are so many issues and challenges faced by the management during the process of transition. It has been observed that employees in the company generally resist to change due to many reasons. It is believed that employees do not accept the change due to affect of performance. Cameron and Green (2010) argued that employees believed that change in management has direct impact on the performance of work. They also fear change because it pushes them into the unknown. They actually do not know that what will happen after the implementation of change management in the company.
On the other hand, Green (2011) suggested that fear of change is supposed to be natural and employees must be understand it. They should try to control on it and also try to make a good attempt to turn it into the positive energy. By doing so, it may be possible that they will discover a creative way to do something effectively. Apart from that, this article also paid much attention on the negative and positive of the change management at workplace. It has been figured out that employee are pretty much demotivated after the process of change. The management of the business firm should have to motivated employees at workplace and provide them good and healthy working environment in order to increase the performance. On the other hand, this article also presents an innovative idea that fear of change does not always have to lead to negative energy. It has been figured out that sometime company has already come to know about the fear of change and they like to turn into the positive energy through making the employees aware the change in required for individual and business growth.
Heller (2013) opined that there are so many methods and ways to implement the change in the management of the business. It has been observed that one of major stage of implementing change is to identify the needs and benefits of the change. On the other hand, the company needs to have clear understanding about the problems and issues faced by the management during the implementation of change. Forsyth (2012) pointed out that creating the awareness about the transition is also supposed to be one of the best ways to implement the change. Adding to this, role of leadership is immense in the process of change. It has been noticed that employees are generally not ready to accept the change. The leader of the business organisation should have to communicate effectively with the employees and make them understand that change is essential for employee growth and business growth. Apart from that, management of the business firms also needs to provide extensive training and development program for the employees in order to increase the skills and competency.
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Ashland.com, (2015). Ashland Inc | Specialty Chemical Company. [online] Available at: http://www.ashland.com/ [Accessed 17 Dec. 2015].