The business environment, consumer preferences and needs are subject to continuous change. Therefore, business must adapt these changes in their business and organizational practices in order to remain relevant and competitive in their respective markets. Change can be influenced by social, economic or technological factors (Cameron & Green, 2012). They impact businesses through changing their consumer behaviors. The old management at JATA Limited has remained rigid in their business practices of selling records. As such, they have ignored the significant changes occurring in the music industry. The development of online marketing and selling of music has enabled various music companies to offer services and avail products at the stroke of a key. Meanwhile, the old management at JATA Limited has failed to appreciate the impact of online sales on their traditional core business of selling music records.
The advancements in technology have led to the development of alternative methods within which their consumers can access music through the Internet. The development of online sales enables the clients to purchase music online where they can either listen to it or download to their Internet enabled devices. In the light of this, JATA Limited’s business model of selling music is not only outdated, but it is inherently tedious and involves accumulation if music records which consumers may not need or have space for storage. Furthermore, music records comprise of a pre-recorded tracks which customers may not want. Essentially, the target age group of 10 to 20 year olds may only be interested in a single song, in the record. Therefore, it is easier and more convenient to purchase the defined song of interest online rather than buy the entire record. Additionally, the customers prefer to make online purchases in the comfort of their home if they can avoid the hustle of going out to the street to buy music records.
There is an immediate need for change in JATA Limited’s management in order to preserve the business as a going concern entity. The old management has remained rigid in their practices; hence they ignored significant changes occurring in the music industry and consumer preferences. The fact that the company has not made any profits for more than two years is an indication of the old management’s failure to incorporate critical strategies that should have moved the company to the next level of technological innovation (Cameron & Green, 2012). This could have been achieved through the adoption of technological developments in marketing and selling music online. Furthermore, the changes that the old management made have alienated and demoralized the employees. In addition, they failed to include any personnel that are knowledgeable on issues concerning the online sales and maintained the business practices remain the same as it was since the inception of the company forty years earlier. Meanwhile, the company’s liabilities continue to increase as a consequence of the increasing debt; this in spite of the decision to lease the company’s shops. In light of these, it is evident that the entire old management should be removed to allow the restructurization of the company’s business model and practices.
The primary objective of any business is the maximization of profits; therefore, a change must begin with identifying the ways within which JATA Limited will transform from a loss making entity to a profitable company. Since the old management is averse to any form of change and implemented the policies that demoralized the employees, the first action is the removal of the old management. This is essential in order to create room for a change-oriented management that will facilitate the transformation that the company urgently requires. Any attempt to implement changes in the company’s business processes and practices will be subverted by the old management; therefore, their removal is critical. The removal of the old management should include all the members; therefore, the retention of the two members of the old management team should be revoked in order to facilitate uneventful change process.
Since employees are critical to the change process, they must be included in all the phases of the process. This will foster a sense of inclusion and importance; hence contribute in comprehensive motivation strategies. The old management had implemented significant changes within a period of two weeks without consideration of various workplace and employee dynamics such as the impact of change, job security or employee motivation (Smith & Graetz, 2011). The implementation of change should factor various employee dynamics that are critical to the development of employee motivation and morale in the work place. It will be essential to develop a strategic change process that will assure and motivate the workers in order for the change implementation to be successful. Significantly, change should foster the development through comprehensive training on issues that are critical to change and adoption of a new business model (Smith & Graetz, 2011). This will assure employees that they will remain relevant in the new business model; as such, ensure that they participate and contribute in the implementation of change.
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In order for the company to realize the profits, it must first embrace and adopt critical technological changes that are relevant to the music industry. Since the company’s core business is music sales, the medium within which the music is sold should not be restricted to music records. The company must embrace the sales of music through various mediums that are consumer oriented such as digital medium and sales through the Internet. Since the old management was averse to technological development including online sales, the company must develop an online presence through the introduction of an interactive website and integration with online stores. This will facilitate the development of a comprehensive market that appeals to the target technology-oriented age group.
Consumer choices and preferences must be a priority for the company and can be achieved through offering customers what and when they want it (Smith & Graetz, 2011). This means that the company should develop a marketing and sales strategy to enable the customers to purchase the music they desire at their convenience. Essentially, the new management must ensure that music is readily available for online purchase in the form of single songs, complete albums or a compilation of songs that appeal to the target age group. This is crucial since a customer may only be interested in a single song in an entire album; therefore, the customer should be given a choice to buy the song that they want. This strategy will result in an increase on total sales, hence an increase in the company’s profits.
Organizations and businesses are prone to experience changes in various forms at one point or another. Therefore, the organizations adapt changes with an aim of improving their strategic positions, competitiveness and transformation of their business operations to foster their development and growth. A change is a factor of external and internal drivers that could be presented in various forms such as mergers, acquisitions, reengineering business process, outsourcing or quality restructuring programs. The alignment of organizational operations and structures are critical in reflecting the prevalent business environment (Mattiske, 2011). In light of this, a change must integrate holistic strategies in order to prevent the occurrence of future unanticipated complications.
An external change is influenced by the factors that are beyond the company control such as institutional constraints including statutory provisions, laws and tariffs, globalization, technological innovations and hyper competition and others. They impact the company through their inherent functional characteristics; for instance, globalization leads to the development of new demand and market dynamics that require companies to adjust their business operations and strategies to incorporate the various changes in their environments. Internal change is motivated by factors within the organization such as innovation and changing the organizational culture. Innovations including product, operational, strategic and management ones are among instrumental in motivating the internal change (Smith & Graetz, 2011). Additionally, organizations must adapt to various cultural and organizational developments, which inspire changes within the organization’s structure and functions. These have the objective of optimizing service delivery, development of qualitative products and enhancing competitive advantage in the market.
Technological development is the primary cause of external change for JATA Limited. The company’s business is in the music industry which has changed significantly as a result of technological developments and innovations. JATA Limited has been selling music records for approximately 40 years; however, during this time significant marketing and selling techniques have evolved through technological development. Online marketing and selling is among the technological developments that have forced JATA Limited to embrace the change in its business strategies. These technological developments have made the sales of music records an outdated and obsolete strategy given that the company’s target age group is between 10 and 20 years old. This target age group was essentially born in a technological environment where the acquisition of music has been on digital or online music platforms.
The failure to implement a change in relation to technological developments will render the company obsolete and subsequently out of business. This is because the company’s target market is technology and Internet oriented where all the activities entail online social and business platforms. Therefore, the company must change in order to remain relevant in the market. The old management’s autocratic style, that alienated the employees and was rigid to change, is inherently a cause of internal change. The company’s culture must change for the creation of an inclusive, motivating and cohesive work environment that fosters sharing of ideas, teamwork and reward for performance (Mattiske, 2011). A failure to change will result into a demoralized workforce leading to increased inefficiencies, reduced productivity and overall poor performance. This will impact the company through increased losses that will threaten its future as a business entity.
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The implementation and management of change require adequate preparation, the change process and the outcome of change. Hence the different approaches to change include planned and emergent approach. A planned change incorporates critical planning that has a clear view of the prevalent situation in the organization and the intended state after the implementation change; including the inherent process of realizing the intended state (Mattiske, 2011). Essentially, a planned change is premised on the assumption of uneventful transition from the current to the desired conditions. This process assumes that no significant challenges are presented by external or internal causes of change. This change includes a planning phase that entails the formulation of change implementation strategies, change implementation and the outcome phase. Therefore, this entails planning, implementation and evaluation of the change outcomes.
According to Lewin’s change management model, it entails unfreezing phase where the organization is prepared for the impending change and disintegration of the prevalent status quo. This is followed by the change implementation where people seek the new methods of doing things through adoption of new ways. Finally, the refreezing phase where change is evident, and the new ways of doing things have become effective. Though organizations are influenced by dynamic factors, planned change approach assumes that a single approach to change will be effective in all organization. As such, it fails to account for the employee flexibility and progressive structural adaptations; it ignores the dynamic and complexity of organizational and environmental processes and assumes that change managers have an accurate understanding of each action’s outcome.
Emergent approach to change is premised that various factors will emerge naturally during the implementation of change that had not been foreseen (Mattiske, 2011). Therefore, the change implementation phase integrates emergent strategies aimed at tackling any emergent factors that may arise. This approach to change places an emphasis on the unpredictable and developing aspects. Consequently, it presents a change as a sequence of events that are unveiled through the interaction of various factors in the organization. An emergent approach to change is premised on the preception that a change cannot and should not be perceived as a series of linear occurrences in a defined period; instead it is described through unpredictable and unforeseen events. Consequently, the change processes and management is a crucial aspect of a manager’s duties and responsibilities.
The change management process in JATA Limited is characteristically a planned change. The implementation of a change in the company is premised on plans to transform the company from its old business model of selling music records to technology oriented company through the adoption of online sales. In the view of Lewin’s change management model, the unfreezing phase of JATA Limited’s change process will entail training and preparing the employees for the proposed change; hence breaking down the traditional culture of selling records in the high streets. The change phase will entail the creations of the company’s online sales platforms and development of online awareness of the company’s Internet presence. Meanwhile, the refreezing phase will entail the successful implementation of online sales and the integration of online sales into the company’s business and operational culture.
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Organizations have dynamic change initiatives that may involve various aspects of change occurring concurrently; however, each aspect is categorized as an autonomous aspect of change that has its own outcomes. Managers allocate the resources for each aspect of the change process and since the resources being allocated to the change processes are the same resources that are used in running business operations, it puts a significant strain on the organization (Smith & Graetz, 2011). Regrettably, the strategy of initiating various aspects of the change process at the same time creates room for confusion, chaos and competition for resources. This has the impact of increasing the change implementation costs, slowing the process and diminishing employee commitment and morale.
Meanwhile, the change process is further complicated through setting unrealizable time frames that do not match the available capacity for successful implementation of change. The rate at which change is implemented is dependent on the company’s capacity and readiness, complexity of change, existing workload and available resources. The mitigation of chaos can be realized through the development of less complex change management approach, allocation of incremental resources and readiness (Smith & Graetz, 2011).
The complexity of change can be significantly reduced if issues concerning behavior, communication, motivation and human needs are understood. Therefore, the ability to deal with cultural impacts of change and transformation of organizational culture towards the new system reduces the incidence of chaos (Smith & Graetz, 2011). The change managers may have an in-depth understanding of their organization, products and customers; however, they may lack the ability and skills to address human psychology, culture or change. This might lead to the development of a chaotic change environment leading to a subsequent failure of the process.
The successful change implementation is conditional to the support of various stakeholders in the change process. Significantly, the employees have the capacity to make the change implementation a success or a failure. Therefore, the managers must adapt an inclusive change management strategy that incorporates employee participation in the decision making and implementation. However, the imposition of change on employees through the use of autocratic management style may alienate them (Smith & Graetz, 2011). This has the impact of diminishing their loyalty to the organization and the respective change implementation managers leading to the development of uncontrollable change environment.
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A successful change implementation strategy must include a comprehensive engagement of employees in the change process that will promote acceptance and voluntary participation. The psychological acceptance of the change will have the impact of reducing the incidence of chaos to low levels that are manageable and will increase the chances for success (Mattiske, 2011). The new JATA Limited management must adapt these strategies for the successful change implementation. Therefore, the company should implement a change process that is given adequate time for successful implementation, including the allocation of more resources, motivation of employees and other stakeholders. These initiatives will ensure that the change process is simplified; hence reducing the potential for chaos.
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