Managing in todays business environment requires a concerted effort from all stakeholders. Employee involvement in a change process is crucial for a successful navigation through a dynamic business environment. Since leadership is a group activity, it is critical to shift from individual-level identity to group identity in order to succeed (Kavanagh & Ashkanasy, 2006). Leaders who seek the contribution of their employees in the day-to-day running of the organization are more likely to achieve superior results than the ones that ignore the input of subordinates in managing change. For instance, when employees are involved in the management of change, chances of conflicts are minimized. Involvement entails designing effective communication channels through which the views of subordinates are sought during the process of change implementation. Besides, it enables employees to get the sense of the reasons as to why the organization needs to revise its processes and procedures and also enables leaders get a broader perspective of issues from the expert views of the subordinates (Kavanagh & Ashkanasy, 2006; Hayes, 2006). As a result, better decisions are likely to be made. However, a fast-changing environment necessitates radical decisions which a majority of employees may fail to support. Partly, such situation results from challenges leaders face while modifying established behaviors, norms and practices(Hayes, 2006).For this reason, employee involvement may hamper the process of adaptation to change.
Another essential ingredient for organizations to succeed in a fast- changing environment is the ability of the leaders to understand the differences between leadership and management. Whereas leadership is the process of motivating employees to adapt to change, management involves planning, organizing and controlling change activities (Kavanagh & Ashkanasy, 2006). Both functions complement each other in finding optimum circumstances under which the process of change is executed. Striking a balance between the two concepts is critical for leaders since it helps to cultivate favorable attitudes and perceptions towards the change process. For instance, a motivated workforce is likely to develop a positive attitude towards change. This is because they tend to associate the change efforts with positive outcomes. At the same time, planning, organizing and controlling the change efforts provides the employees with a general picture of the aspirations, goals, and objectives of the organization. These functions also outline the roles and responsibilities of each employee in steering the organization towards its desired destination. Here, resources may be allocated to build the capacities for employees so as to align their skills with the demands of the business environment (Ilic & Maric, 2012). With updated skills, employees are likely to innovate and come up with better solutions to business problems. On the flipside, some employees may leave the organization due to the discomfort change often brings. Such happenings can make organizations lose skilled employees.
Hayes, J. (2006). The theory and practice of change management. Asian Business & Management, 5(1), 153-155.
Ilic, G., & Maric, V. A. (2012). Management in the internet environment. Management Information Systems,, 7(4), 026-033.
Kavanagh, M. H., & Ashkanasy, N. M. (2006). The Impact of Leadership and Change Management Strategy on Organizational Culture and Individual Acceptance of Change during a Merger. British Journal of Management, 17(S1), S81-S103. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8551.2006.00480.x
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