Due Tuesday June 30, 2020 @ 11pm eastern time Al-Haddad & Kotnour (2015) describes the change models of Kotter and Lewin. In an essay, compare and contrast these change models or any other early resea

Enablers That Pos itively Impact Implementation of Organizational Change Abstract — This study analyzes the enablers identified by Organization Development (OD) practitioners from interpretivist’s view as being necessary for positive change t o happen in organization. Through semi -structured interviews with six OD practitioners from three organizations that elicit their experiences of change initiatives, nine enablers were found that span across the three dimensions of content, context and proc ess suggested in Armenakis and Bedeian’s [1] Integrated Theoretical Framework for change. The research data also indicates that the interdependence of these three change dimensions increases t he level of change recipients’ commitment towards successful implementation of change, and suggests that the intangible dimensions of context, as compared to the tangible dimensions of content and process, is found to require more attention from OD practit ioners in order for change to be successfully implemented. Keywords — change enabler, organization change, content - context -process framework I. INTRODUCTION Organization development (OD) is a broad field of study that addresses the issue of planned organiza tional change and how the change affects organizations and individuals within those organizations [2, 3]. The fast -pace market changes, advances in net work technology, and rapid growth in diverse workforce, all point to the fact that successfully implementing planned organizational change is a topic that organizations must seriously explore [4]. Although the literature has provided numerous theories, frameworks and models, a failure percentage of pl anned change initiatives has been reported ranging from 50%~70% [5, 6]. Burnes and Cook [7] conclude that both rigor and relevance are critical to the future of OD research, and call for efforts from both academics and practitioners to eliminate the gap betwee n theory and practice: practice is likely to be flawed and sub -optimal without a strong theoretical and methodological rigor, but theory has little impact without practical relevance.

In light of this, the goal of this research was to thus create incorpora tion of theory and practice: learning from OD practitioners’ view, are about the enablers that positively impacted the organizational change in an integrated theoretical framework, Armenakis and Bedeian’s [1] theoretical framework. II. LITERATURE REVIEW Armenakis and Bedeian classify and integrate existing research, theories and models into three factor dimensions and one outcome dimension. The three factor dimensions have been subsequently referre d to as Armenakis and Bedeian’s theoretical framework shaping employees’ reactions to change efforts [8]. The three factor dimensions are content, context and process. The c ontent of change refers to the “what” of change, that is, concerning the type or substance of the change [8, p.609 ]. The context of change “focuses on forces or conditions existing in an organ ization’s externa l environments” [1, p.293 ]. The process of change refers to the phases in implementing change and the stages in understanding change [1, 9]. Armenakis and Bedeian’s conceptualization of a change framework provides a new research direction for organizational change. More importantly, it provides a platform for further research to s tudy factors, variables and enablers on organi zation al change s. Self, Armenakis and Schaninger [10] conducted resear ch through questionnaires to examine how one content variable, two context variables, and one process variable impact organizational change in a Fortune 500 telecommunications company. By testing the hypothesized dependent variables and independent variabl es, Self, Armenakis and Schaninger conclude that organizational change is strongly related to or influenced by impact of the change on employees (content), organizational communication media (process) and employees’ perceived organizational support (contex t), but not leader -member exchange (context). Walker, Armenakis and Bernerth [11] introduce a new term “individual difference ” to the three macro -dimension factors in Armenakis and Bedeian’s t heoretical framework. The term “indi vidual difference” refers to the variety of individuals in each organization, particularly different individual resilience and tolerance for ambiguity. Data was collected from 117 participants through questionnaires. By testing the hypotheses in the propos ed m odel, they conclude a model of “tolerance for ambiguity” (individual difference) to “cynicism” (context) to “change beliefs” (process) to commitment in an organizational. Devos and Buelens’ [8] experimental simulation studies show five factors in the three dimensions, i.e. threatening character of organizational change (content); trust in executive management, trust i n the supervisor, and history of change (context); and participation in the change effort (process). Lily Cheng DOI: 10.5176/2010 -4804_4.1.348 GSTF Journal on Business Review (GBR) Vol.4 No.1, July 2015 ©The Author(s) 2015. This article is published with open access by the GSTF 5 Based on the hypothesis testing in two phases, they conclude that these content, context and process factors have significant effects on the employees’ ope nness to change, and introduced locus of control to the framework. In summary, Armenakis and Bedeian’s integrated theoretical framework provides OD academics a platform to study the factors and enablers on organizational change, and provides practitioners a common ground to understand organizational change. However, the existing research on factors or enablers in the framework, namely Devos & Buelens [8], Armenakis and Bernerth [11], and Self et al. [10], leverages on methods of hypothesis testing, which are from positivist’s and quantitative perspectives. Due to the quantitative nature, their research may be strong in rigor but weak in relevance. As Johnson and Onwuegbuzie [12] have pointed out, quantitative research has some weakness: (i) categories and theories may not reflect local constituencies’ understandings, ( ii) confirmation bias exists because of the focus on hypothesis testing, and (iii) knowledge produced may be too abstract for application. Thus this research aims to study the enablers that positively impact the implementation of organizational change from the OD practitioners. III. METHODOLOGY This research adopts a qualitative method from an inter pretivist’s perspective. A n inductive and phenomenological study , set out to formulate propositions [13] out of conscious, first -person perspectives an, in rich detail, phenomena as they are situated and e d experience [14]. The qualitative method is able to descri be in rich detail, the phenomena as they are situated in local contexts, study dynamic processes, and provide emic viewpoint [12, 15]. The t hree organizations that have participated in the research are multi -national corporations in phar maceutical, chemical and electronics industries. One dyadic pair of a change agent and a change recipient from each of these organization s has participated in the research (6 participants in total). The participants had implemented organizational change (change agents) or had been affected by organizational change (change recipients) prior to the time of research. The y provide this research a holistic view on the enablers that positively impacted organizational change. The ethics committee has been granted ethical approval from the researcher’s university, which supervises the research. Each participant was invited to , and participated in a two -hour one -to-one in -depth semi -structured interview with the researcher. One -to-one in -depth interview is a type of interview that serves as an effective tool to provide an environment for participants to speak openly and frankly [16]. It encourages personal thoughts, provides alternative answers to qu estions, offers the researcher the opportunity to capture non -verbal responses [17], and is one of the common data collecting methods of qualitative studies [15]. A semi -structured interview, which is different from structured interview, is a participatory interview method [18] common in qualitative research [19], and “ combines the flexibility of the unstructured, open -ended interview with the directionality and agenda of the sur vey instrument to produce focus” [20, p.149 ]. The participants were assured of the anonymity of the information and experiences they have shared. The interview was centered on the following key questions: 1. What is your general experience in organizational change interventions? 2. What were your experiences in working with the different types of change, small, middle and large scale? 3. How do you define successful implementation in organizational change? 4. What conditions need to exist t o facilitate a successful implementation of organizational change? 5. What are contributions of each enabling aspect that influences success of organizational change? Which of these enabling aspects is the most important to enhance the success of organizat ional change? 6. To what extent can the change agents have control over these identified enablers? IV. FINDINGS The participants’ verbatim was recorded and transcribed. Open coding technique, a commonly used qualitative data analysis technique to unfold the perceptions, properties and dimensions of concepts, was performed [21]. The coding process met the purpose of qualitative data analysis which is to discover the participants’ experiences and understanding, and extract themes and repeated patterns for the researcher [22]. As a result, nine enablers that positively impact organizational change were identified across content, context and process dimensions. In the content dimension, three enablers were identified, namely, perceived gap, desired state, and consistency of change message. Perceived gap refers to the real ization and acknowledgement of “ either an existing weakness or existing deficiency” . By acknowledgi ng the organization is poorly aligned with the environment or identifying the possibilities of improvement and transformation could create the perception of existing gap and dissatisfaction with the present state, and the sense of urgency for a change, “ev en if the change is painful” . Desired state refers to the identification and articulation of an ideal future state or vision to be achieved. Articulating and picturing an ennobling future could bring change recipients’ passion to envision the exiting futur e possibility. To do s o, the desired state has to be “compelling” , “exciting ” and “possible ”. Another enabler in content dimension is the consistency of change message. This refers to creating a consi stency in implementing change, “ establishing certain thi ngs that won’t change in moments of confusion ”, and maintain the change momentum. GSTF Journal on Business Review (GBR) Vol.4 No.1, July 2015 ©The Author(s) 2015. This article is published with open access by the GSTF 6 In the context dimension, three enablers were identified, namely, trust and credibility, addressing emotional responses, and transformational change agent. Trust and credibi lity refer to the change recipients’ trust in the organization and in the change agents. The analysis on the dyadic pairs shows that trust is a two -way relationship in an organizational change: on one hand, the change recipients need to trust the change age nt’s and the organization’s credibility; on the other hand, the change agent and the organization have to trust, value and respect the change recipients. Addressing emotional responses refers to acknowledging, appreciating, respecting and managing change r ecipients’ negative emotions an d individual feelings, such as “ fear ”, “frustration” and “ pressure ”. As the participants shared, organizational change process creates an “emotion roller -coaster ride” . Transformational change agent refers to a change agent t hat shows intellectual stimulation, inspirational motivation, individualized consideration and idealize d influence. Such change agent “ shows interest to know you ”, “addresses each and everyone’s unique concerns ”, plays the role of “evangelist” , and “gives a vision with challenge” . One interesting finding is that if a change recipient fully agrees with the change, he/she will be transformed and play certain role s of a change agent such as advocating the change initiative among peers. In the process dimension , three enablers were identified, namely, involving and engaging, communicating, and monitoring of change initiativ e. Involving and engaging refer to the practice of encouraging broad -based and genuine participation and engagement in the change process. Su ch practice creates “ empow erment” and sense of ownership among the change recipients. Communicating refers to the practice of open, two -way and effective communication channel. Communicating not only creates “transparency”, but also provides a “feedback ch annel” . Monitoring of change initiative refers to monitoring “measurable targets” , “time frame” , “milestone and updates” . Other than the identified nine enablers, there are other findings in this research: A. Finding #1 Participants’ verbatim suggests there a re possible interdependences between the nine identified change enablers.

For example, one of the participants expressed, I think having that transparency, that honesty as the result of providing all the information to the recipient like myself, built up t rust and helped to ease the anxiety, my anxiety basically of knowing that will happen to the site and what will happen to me. Such verbatim suggests that communication increases trust and reduces the negative emotional responses, and suggests a possible en hancement from enabler communicating to trust and credibility, and from enabler communicating to addressing emotional responses. Table 1 summarizes the all suggested interdependency between enablers by each participant. If enhancement from one enabler to a nother has been identified in the verbatim of a participant, the acronym of the participant will be recorded in the respective cell (CA: Change Agent; CR:

Change Recipient). B. Finding #2 All of the participants strongly believe the transformational change ag ent plays the central role in the change process. As shown in Table 1, this finding resonates with finding #1 that other enablers are depending on transformational chang e agent. However, change agents control over enablers also requires the support and coo peration from change sponsor and change recipients C. Finding #3 The participants shared that organizational change generates a variety of emotions and feelings, including anxiety, apprehension, fear, sadness, uncertainty and perception of betrayal. However, those individual emotions and feeli ngs are “very often overlooked”. TABLE I. IDENTIFIED INTERDEPENDENCE BETWE EN ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE ENABLERS V. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION The findings, based on participants sharing of their understanding and experiences, provide some new insights to the literature. As the findings suggest, identification of a perceived gap provides a sound reason for change. A number of researchers have noted the importance of identifying the Perceived Gap.

Self and Schrae der [23] comment that “ the first challenge organizations face is recognizing the need for change” (p. 167). In addition, Whelan -Berry and Som erville [24] argue that it was the leaders’ responsibility to convince others that the current approach would not achieve the desired obj ective for the organization, and this argument echoes the research participants’ remark that “the acknowledgement of that both by the person implementing the change and the people who are going to be affected by the changes is important”. The identificatio n of a Perceived Gap is consistent with Lewin’s step of Unfreezing and Kotter’s “Establishing a sense of urgency” and “Creati ng a powerful guiding coalition”. By asking the questions “ why do we need to change ” and “what do we need to change” , practitioners involved in the change acknowledge the necessity for change in their answers. GSTF Journal on Business Review (GBR) Vol.4 No.1, July 2015 ©The Author(s) 2015. This article is published with open access by the GSTF 7 The research participants consider the articulation of an ideal and ennobling future state as a crucial enabler in the successful implementation of change initiatives. Articulat ing the desired state and picturing an ennobling future for the change recipients could bring out their passion and help them to envision exciting future possibilities. This desired state could also bring out the purpose and benefits of the change, which would largely ensure the success of change implementation.

Lacking a compelling vision or not being able to articulate and demonstrate that vision to change recipients often results in the disastrous failure of change initiatives. Existing research largely support the significance of having a desired state, or a compelling vision [24, 25]. Winston Churchill [26] cited that “there is nothing wrong with c hange if it is the right d irection” . A vision provides a direction, and as long as it is clear, concise yet comprehensive, compelling and regularly communicated, everyone can find his/her own role in the vision community [27]. Kouzes and Posner [28] define vision as “ an ideal and unique image of the futu re for the common good (p. 153)” and suggest that the source of this vision as well as its ar ticulation and translation is oftentimes a matter of intuition. However, as suggested by researchers such as Whelan -Berry and Somerville [24], merely hav ing a compelling vision and a desired state alone is not enough; both change agents and change recipients are required to accept, or in other words, “buy -in” the vision, and believe that the desired state would benefit both the organization and the individ ual. The consistency of the change message is another key enabler in the Content dimension identified in my research.

The participants believed that the consistency in message would help implement a change by reducing ambiguity and confusion and establishi ng certain things that won’t change. Researches in strategic organization management have already to some extent endorsed the notion of consistency [29]. Scholars in organizational change have observed the role which consistency plays [30] and recognized the idea of balancing the paradox of continuity and change [31]. The research data indicates that building trust and credibility is a crucial antecedent in implementing a successful change. The participants’ sharing that credibility is built on past experiences, supporting Kouzes and Posner’s [32] assertion that credibility is earned over time and does not come naturally with titles or hierarchical positions. In the context of organizatio nal change, an organization’s credibility is based on its degree of success in its past changes, as well as how fairly it reallocates organizational resources during past and ongoing changes [33]. Other than reliable professional knowledge and expertise, and interp ersonal skills and dynamism, a change agent’s credibility is perceived based on his/her role modeling behaviors, honesty in communication, reputation, consistency, or, in another word, on his/her trustworthiness. In line with Harisalo, Huttunen and McInern ey’s [34] argument that trust is a result of human interaction, this research finding also suggests that trust, like respect, is a mutual relationship built among th e change agents, change recipients, and the organization, i.e. a change recipient’s level of trust in a change agent, will depend on the change agent’s level of trust in the change recipient, and vice versa. Zand 's [35] argument provides yet another perspective in understanding the two -way nature of trust: he elaborates that trust to another person contai ns a willingness to increase one’s vulnerability to the other person whose behavior is beyond your control; your benefits and interest are threatened by other person’s potential abusive use of such vulnerability. If a person trusts another, he/she would be willing to share opinions, ideas and resources of his/her own, and listen to and follow the other’s advice, even though this may increase her risks and vulnerabilities during organizational changes when uncertainties are largely involved.

When the individ ual displays trust in the other person when stakes are high, most likely in reciprocity, the other person would appreciate these actions demonstrating trust and would trust this person in return. Conversely, mistrust alienates people from one other by redu cing their willingness to cooperate and collaborate [34]. Organizational change often triggers intense emotions [36], which in some cases can lead to resistance [37]. For example, loss or anticipated loss of control, routines, traditions, status, and relationships can lead to fear , frustration, anxiety, resentment, grief and depression [38]. Some have compared these emotions to the grieving process associated with major traumatic events such as death and dying [39]. Eriksson [40] argues that in environments of rapid and continuous chang e, these emotions can be exacerbated by an emotional residue of fatigue and lethargy left over from past change initiatives. The observation from this research supports the literature that addressing emotional responses is an enabler to positive implementa tion of organizational change. Observation emerging from my research is that the research participants seemed to dwell much more on negative emotional responses than positive emotional responses. For instance, the change recipients repeatedly displayed and recalled frustrations when mentioning difficulties encountered in implementing a change or in experiences of failed change, while the change agents put much emphasis on the challenging task of addressing negative emotional responses. This observation corr oborates Cameron’s [41] argument that negative emotions appear to hold stronger and longer effects than does the positive, and the accumu lation of these negative emotional responses might lead to a dangerous state of emotional trauma when certain thresholds are broken, which might easily destroy the accumulated effects of many positive past events. Given that these findings concur with the cited literature, OD practitioners are advised to be very careful not to evoke any negative emotions while doing the necessary to bring about positive emotions during a change initiative. The research participants unanimously agreed upon the paramount impo rtance of a strong and capable change agent being present to enhance and enable organizational change.

Their description of capable change agent ties in with the four elements of transformational leadership [42, 43]: Intellectual Stimulation, Inspirational Motivation, Individualized Consideration and Idealized Influence. A transformational change agent does not only constantly adapt himself/hersel f, but also exerts great influence on the people around him/her, serving as a catalyst and contributing positive energy to the organizational change. Sims [44] defined a change agent as internal employee or external expert who is appointed to oversee the change process. However, this research finding sketches a quite different portrayal on the figures of c hange agents, showcasing whether a member is change agent is far GSTF Journal on Business Review (GBR) Vol.4 No.1, July 2015 ©The Author(s) 2015. This article is published with open access by the GSTF 8 more dynamic than being appointed to oversee the change process. The researcher would argue that when a change recipient is highly motivated and committed to change, he/she could start to tak e on the role of persuading and influencing others to adapt, becoming transformed to a change agent to some extent. In light of this, the research would introduce a more generalized and dynamic concept for change agent, as being someone with clear understa nding about and great commitment toward, and thus advocating the incoming or ongoing organizational change. The participants of this research also highlighted importance of involving and engaging change recipients from the start to the end throughout the j ourney. Somerville [24] also agree that, being involved in the planning or piloting of change implementation, both change agents’ and cha nge recipients’ understanding of the change initiatives would be deepened, and they would thus be increasingly committed to the organizational change. However, one of the participants pointed out that blindly involving a large scale of change recipients pr ematurely when the change is still unclear could cause panic and misunderstanding. O’Neill and Jabri [45] argued that organizations are formed in talk and maintained in talk, and the existence of an organization is based on netw orks of relationship which are “expressed in language” . Numerous scholars [24, 33, 45-51] as well have acknowledged the pivotal role communication plays in organizational change. The research participants of th is study unanimously and repeatedly emphasized the utmost importance of communicating as the key enabler to successfully implement a change, especially the clarity of communication, and the assurance of two -way communication. FIGURE 1. CROSS -DIMENSIONAL ORGANIZAITONAL CHANGE FRAMEWORK The interdependency among the enablers within the content, context or process dimension, and across the dimensions, as shown in Table 1, also provides new insights on Armenakis and Bedeian’s framew ork. Such finding resonates with existing knowledge on the correlations across content, context and process variables [8, 11]. Other literature also suggests the correlations and interde pendency within dimensions. For example, the level of emotional stress experienced by employees would affect their trust in management [52], and emotions such as cynicism are also found to be negatively correlated with trust in management [53]. Based on the cross -dimension interdependency, the researcher introduces the concept of cross -dimensions in Armenakis and Bedeian’s framework, as shown in Figure 1.

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British Journal of Social Psychology, 2011. 50(2): p. 331 -341. [52] Sackmann, S.A., P.M. Eggenhofer -Rehart, and M. Friesl, Sustain able change: long -term efforts toward developing a learning organization. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 2009. 45(4): p. 521 -549. [53] Erwin, D.G. and A.N. Garman, Resistance to organizational change: linking research and practice. Leadership & Organiza tion Development Journal, 2010. 31(1): p. 39 -56. AUTHOR’S PROFIL Dr. Lily Cheng , An OD practitioner since 1995, is founder and CEO of PACE O.D. Consulting. She received her Ph.D. in Education from Monash University , her Master of Arts in Education & Human Development from George Washington University, and her Bachelor of Arts in Business, University of Tasmania .NHer research interests are in organization development and change, human resource management, strategy an d leadership development. She is also a Certified Master for The Leadership Challenge ®, a Certified Master Coach with the Behavioral Coaching Institute (BCI), Certified Management Consultant, and a Member of the International Coaching Council (ICC). GSTF Journal on Business Review (GBR) Vol.4 No.1, July 2015 ©The Author(s) 2015. This article is published with open access by the GSTF 10