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Strategic International Business Management

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Strategic International Business Management
Table of Contents
  1. Factors for consideration by management team
  2. Change Management Process
  3. People management issues
  4. Tuckman’s Model of Team Development
  5. Recommendations
  6. Organizational factors to consider for change capability
  7. Reference List

Factors for consideration by management team

Implementing change within organisations is inevitable; management should consider many factors before starting the process of change. SAR Health Services (SARHS) is planning to implement change that will encompass closing down production site A and consolidate at site B. The company’s goal is to promote environmental management by recycling and waste reduction as well as promoting fuel-efficient initiatives. The change will also involve salespersons working from home. These planned transformations will likely receive resistance from some workers, especially those who will be required to travel for long distances (Korbi, 2015). For the salespersons, the change will cut their transport costs as they will be working from home. The management team at the SARHS should deliberate aspects that will promote the successful implementation of the change. For example, organisational change affects everybody involved in the company. It is often a big project that requires active and robust executive support (Rizescu & Tileag, 2016, p. 142). Therefore, SARHS should fully invest in leadership that will provide support to the workforce.

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The company should consider employing the expertise of both internal executive and external consultants who will take ownership of the change project. Robust and devoted leadership will ensure change is implemented effectively by meeting the needs of the workforce and providing it with incentives (Suddaby & Foster, 2017). SARHS should also ensure there is a clear vision that defines why the change is needed and outlines the desired outcome. The organisation is planning to increase environmental awareness; therefore, it should have a clear vision for the future needs to be created and made accessible to everyone. It will allow the business to work in the same direction towards the same objective. A clear vision should be effectively communicated, and every employee’s efforts should be towards the same goal. The management team should notify every aspect of the change to the employees and offer incentives to reduce resistance. For example, some workers are concerned about the transportation costs 100 miles from their current workplace; the company should consider offering them travel incentives to minimise their concerns and resistance to the change.

Change management is a function of workforce management that demands constant communication and dialogue. The process of changing a firm’s structure or closing one site and moving to another is likely to experience increased resistance from part of the workforce. SARHS is already facing some potential cases of resistance from employees who feel they incur additional costs regarding transport. Others feel that the firm is undertaking many changes as it has already gone through two reorganisations within the last three years. The proposed transformation will only be a success if it receives the support of the workforce. Therefore, the management team should ensure persistent, open, and honest communication regarding the need for the change to maintain business sustainability. The team must make sure every employee feels wanted, and their input is valuable in the change process. Effective communication will also promote employee engagement and participation. Executive support is fundamental in the successful implementation of organisational change; employee engagement and participation are equally decisive (Appelbaum et al., 2017, p. 213; Al-Haddad & Kotnour, 2015). The structural change affects everybody in an organization, and all employee should undertake active roles in the process. Therefore, much efforts need to be directed towards ensuring the workforce is personally invested in the planned transformation.

SARHS is planning a large-scale change project that will involve shutting down one production site and redesigning the other location. Redesigning of site B will include the development of an open plan office and reduction of the number of office production staff by between 5 to 8 %. This change will require a high level of accountability by regularly measuring current progress against the vision created for the future. The process should also involve evaluating the current performance of the business to ensure that the efforts of all the staff promote positive outcomes. The management team should make sure that accountability remains a priority until the successful completion of the project. Change management is a complex process that requires the combined efforts of the organisation’s top leaders and the entire workforce (Anyieni, 2016, p. 2). The fundamental factors that facilitate the success of a change project can also lead to failure if inadequately managed. It involves many activities undertaken by all the employees, who should be offered incentives to ensure they fully support the process.

Change Management Process

(Change Management Process, n.d.)
(Change Management Process, n.d.)

People management issues

Effective people management can be challenging for many companies when implementing organisational change. SARHS is planning to implement a complex shift that may be hindered by a lack of capabilities and intellectual aptitudes by part of the workforce. The management team will have to implement training and education programs to equip employees with the necessary competencies to promote change. Leaders, along with top managers of the firm, need to identify and employ strategies that will encourage commitment, emotional engagement, and influence. SARHS’s management team should consider talent management, effective strategy execution, teamwork, and drive work across organisational boundaries. The company should anticipate and prepare for the stages of organisational change and transition. Executive managers should understand the context, strategy, and vision of the change. The proposed transformation will create new challenges, including resistance that can be one of the most significant. Empowering employees will motivate the workers to use their talents and capabilities (Siddiqui, 2017, p. 670; Stouten et al., 2018, p. 753). Hence, SARHS will have to deal with many people management issues that should be addressed for the firm to implement the change successfully.

Change management is a complex process that presents managers with many challenges with the toughest relating to managing people or the workforce. Conflicts may likely arise, and it will be the responsibility of managers to resolve them. Employees may disagree regarding the best process or practices for implementing change. Conflicts are inevitable within organisations, and it is the role of managers to resolve them; they should gather the facts before addressing the issue. People’s problems within a company involve tough personnel issues that can hinder employees’ performance (Pollack, 2015, p. 36). The most effective way to approach change should entail thinking about the issue, being direct, and respecting all the people involved by listening to everyone’s view. Managers employ common strategies to resolve conflicts: ignoring the existence of the conflict, notifying employees that they need to solve the problem amongst themselves, and stepping in and executing a resolution. For the case of SARHS, the best way to address the conflict between employees is by resolution, especially for disputes that are time-sensitive and continuing. Managers should focus on figuring out the source of the argument before deciding what should be done.

SARHS is likely to encounter problem employees, who include employees that meet business expectations but create problems within the business. Examples of problem employees include employees who lack initiative, know-it-alls, and whiners or complainers (Beijer & Gruen, 2016, p. 39). The managers should always own part of the problem even when dealing with such workers. For example, managers have to tell employees who lack initiative what to do every time they are assigned a task. Dealing with this people issue is time and energy consuming and should be addressed immediately since such employees can influence the rest of the team. SARHS managers should illustrate strong leadership skills and recognize as well as compliment a worker’s initiative. They should allow workers to make mistakes, which is considered a significant empowerment initiative. Know-it-all workers are highly analytical and driven for solutions. The issue with this group of employees is that they are not empathetic and not self-aware. They consider all workers to be inferior; the problem with them is that they are highly experienced and competent, meaning that the company is unwilling to lose them. Know-it-all can create unhealthy work environments affecting the performance of other employees. Managers should talk to them regarding their behaviour and how there are isolating others.

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Organisational change often faces resistance from a group of employees; for example, at SARHS, some employees have already raised concerns with the proposed change. Some argue that the company has just got over the last change, whereas others feel that they will incur additional costs in traveling that is equivalent to a wage cut. Overcoming this resistance will promote effective change implementation (Cornescu & Adam 2016). The management team at SARHS should engage employees opposed to the change by communicating early and offering incentives. For example, for the issue of increased transportation costs, SARHS should consider offering travel allowances. The team should also notify why the change is needed; as Communication will give the workforce a better understanding of why the change is vital for the business making it easier for them to be on board (Grama & Todericiu, 2016, p. 50). SARHS can also address resistance by effectively engaging employees through listening to their opinions regarding the proposed transformation and using their views during decision making. The management team should provide feedback to solutions offered by employees. SARHS should implement change in several aspects: prepare, take action, and support change.

A framework that the management team can utilize is Bruce Tuckman’s Model of Team Development. It follows the four basic stages of forming, storming, norming, and performing. This model highlights the fact that new teams cannot be expected to perform well initially and must undergo recognizable stages of change. Forming occurs when new project teams are just formed, with some level of anxiety as members seek to familiarize themselves and require strong leadership to guide projects and responsibilities. Storming is a stage when team members push against boundaries, and conflicts may form as employees are resistant to change or authority. Team objectives may be questioned and there is possibility that established processes are not supported. Norming is the stage when team differences are smoothed out, authority is established, and there is familiarity with colleagues’ and team’s strength. This allows for better resilience, communication, and adaptability to change. The final stage is performing when the work process is highly efficient, and team’s objectives are achieved with the appropriate structures and processes in place to support high performance (Black et al., 2019).

Tuckman’s Model of Team Development

Tuckman’s Model of Team Development

Recommendations

In today’s dynamic business environment, change is inevitable and represents the only constant professionals are sure will happen. Changes within organisations can either be firm-wide or team-based and are inspired by many factors, such as technology, environmental changes, and finances. Change management strategies are essential in the entire process. SARHS is currently planning an organization-wide transformation focused on reducing its adverse impacts on the environment. The proposed change will involve closing down site A and relocating all operations to site B that is 100 miles away; the company is planning to complete the transition within a 6-month duration. Within the same period, site B will be redesigned, including the development of an open-plan office to reduce energy costs and cut the number of office and production staff between 5 to 8%. This transformation will be multi-faceted and will alter many functions and operations of the business. It will also include additional responsibilities to some employees and thus is likely to generate resistance (Jain, 2016, p. 39). SARHS should employ strong leadership to help in the management of social systems and monitoring of staff behaviour and emotions during change implementation.

The firm should focus on the creation of suitable and reliable structures, vision, and goal setting that define the entire process of managing change. Emphasis should be put on staff participation through increased efforts of the management to facilitate effective transformation (Makina & Keng’ara, 2018). Staff participation will improve the attitudes of the workforce towards the proposed change and give assurance of a high level of comprehension of the transformation process with regards to the rationale and policies for change (Hussain et al., 2018, p. 124). SARHS should implement a high level of effective communication to convey messages efficiently to ensure participants understand and access the selected process of change. The management team should communicate factual messages as well as update all workers regarding latest developments to nurture positive attitudes. Successful implementation of change will depend on how constant the management team provides feedbacks coupled with appraisals of staff’s efforts and commitments. SARHS should give increased attention to personal feelings to understand areas that require new management styles. Consequently, nurturing positive attitudes of the workers will promote behaviour modification to facilitate realisation of change management goals. Hence, these recommendations outline activities and programs SARHS should follow to ensure a successful transformation management process.

Environmental management which this project encompasses is an essential part of corporate social responsibility (CSR). CSR is a business model or approach that helps a firm to be socially accountable to itself, the public, and stakeholders. CSR has become a prominent aspect in firm management and operations in recent years as both an element of self-regulation as well as engaging in community-oriented objectives. Environmental CSR is the most prominent and expected from large firms by changing business processes from supply chains to manufacturing or service to reduce damaging effects to the environment. CSR has numerous benefits such as minimizing risks, reducing costs through efficiency measures, improving reputation, and potential revenue growth as consumers prefer environmentally responsible companies. Outputs of the firm as well as objective function value improve, but profit maximization decreases (Nie, Wang, & Meng, 2019). Green CSR is the core of SARHS change management for this project and it can utilize various means discussed in the case study and further to optimise its environmental impact.

Organisations continue to change to respond to significant shifts in the business environments and internal efforts to maximise profits and improve quality and efficiency. These changes can be effectively realised through the adoption of technologies and risk-based methods. Innovations can aid the entire process of transition but will require creating highly experienced teams to manage risks posed by technology adoption. SARHS should focus on offering training to equip workers with the necessary expertise to work with current technologies. For example, the firm plans to implement a transport initiative to provide company drivers with training in fuel-efficient driving. It is recommendable for the firm to consider the leasing of fuel-efficient automobiles, such as cars using renewable energy (electric vehicles). The goal of the projected transformation is to decrease the firm’s carbon footprint by a third by 2022; the use of electric automobiles will cut carbon emissions by a significant number. SARHS can also include other green initiatives in addition to recycling and waste reduction and transport initiatives to promote fuel-efficient driving. For example, it should take part in community-based programs, such as tree-planting and water harvesting.

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Organizational factors to consider for change capability

SARHS is facing a complex change that presents many challenges if inadequately implemented. Building the capacity to manage change requires more than a basic understanding. SARHS proposed transformation includes many activities, such as cost reduction, process redesign, and relocation; these processes may be difficult for the firm to capture the full value from its change activities. SARHS should consider several factors that will facilitate building organisational agility. For example, the company should secure adequate and effective sponsorship. Many studies indicate that visible executive sponsorships are the most effective overall contributors to success. Building change capacity by SARHS will require the right level of support that will entail actively engaging the efforts of stakeholders. It will involve the provision of resources, budget, authority, credibility, and ensuring employees’ commitment to their efforts towards the proposed change. Increased efforts in building change agility will necessitate connecting organisational transformation competence to the planned and monetary success of the firm (Arimavičiūtė & Raišienė, 2015). SARHS should establish robust and distinct connection building transformation supervision capacities and the executives’ aptitude to create fiscal revenues in times of change. Hence, building change capacity for SARHS will demand high sponsorship characterised by increased efforts and commitment of involved stakeholders.

SARHS should treat change management capabilities build as a project and a change. Building change capability should be treated as a structured and intentional program that starts by comprehending current progress, creating a vision of planned outcomes, designing a solution, and applying change management. Outlining the future state of the firm can also help build change capacity as it provides the direction, as well as a method of assessing overall progress. This approach will create stability when workers accept change and start implementing it. SARHS’s proposed change is complex as it involves many activities; therefore, the management team should accurately budget for resources needed to manage change. Capacity-building should take place at different levels: individual change capacity and project transformation aptitude. SARHS should also consider the most effective method to employ in building change capability. Using a multi-faceted approach throughout the capability build will incorporate different activities. SARHS should integrate training programs, creating an alteration management branch, and hardwiring activities to ensure the change build focuses on different areas. As a result, the company will build a transformation capability that matches management demands.

SARHS should also consider resilience that relates to building internal capabilities since it increases employees’ ability and self-confidence to generate, anticipate, and respond to change more efficiently. SARHS should build change capacity in such a way that it will motivate the workforce to create the required behaviour shift that will facilitate realisation of goals and promote successful implementation and sustenance of change. Studies illustrate that building change capability maximises the contribution of the workforce for the benefit of the organisation as well as individuals within the firm in a planned and managed approach (Hodges, 2017, p. 5). The two core elements that SARHS should consider when building capability include learning and development and managing people’s performance. Learning and development pertain to acquiring and applying the desired behavioural skills, attitudes, and knowledge to facilitate achievement of organisational vision and objectives (Winkler & Fyffe, 2016, p.3). Managing people’s performance focuses on aligning strategies and HR policies and practices with support and strategic business objectives. SARHS can leap many benefits by ensuring it employs these techniques to build change capabilities before starting implementation.

Effectively building change capabilities for SARHS should start by identifying ability gaps across the organisation. Identifying and addressing capacity gaps entails diagnosing the deficiencies, outlining development needs, designing as well as delivering interventions, and sustaining and monitoring the application of learning. To identify the gaps, SARHS should collet data using interviews, assessment tools, focus groups, and surveys. These data collection techniques will help assess the strengths and development needs of each employee involved in undertaking specific interventions (Hodges, 2017, p. 6). In this regard, the best way is to start with top leaders to establish role models for the change. The method implemented should support the business needs of SARHS, by focusing on specific roles of the employees as well as the positions that will be affected by the change. After successful identification of change capabilities, SARHS should apply a capability matrix to assess employees’ strengths and areas that require development.

Resilience is one of the most critical capabilities organisations need to cope with change. SARHS can build resilience to help workers involved to respond and deal with change more efficiently. Studies illustrate that resilience can help employees maintain higher performance levels after the shift (Hodges, 2017, p. 5). It also improves their sense of wellbeing and empowers them to cope with fluctuating work-related emotions (Benson-Armer et al., 2015). Since SARHS will undergo an organisational change characterised by sophisticated practices, the firm should invest much in building resilience among the employees. Consequently, it will help them understand and make sense of change faster to comprehend its impacts on the entire team (Jalagat, 2016). The company’s focus should be supporting the entire workforce to become optimistic, self-assured, open to ideas, focused, structured, and proactive. The features of resilient employees enable them to manage with transformation supervision stressors of change in a more dynamic, adaptive, and constructive approach. The process of resilience training is long, but it boosts individual and organisational confidence during the transition (Benson-Armer et al., 2015). Leaders of the company can promote resilience by building organisational capacity to anticipate, prepare, cope, and survive the change.

Reference List

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Anyieni, A. (2016). Organisational change: A critical review of the literature. The International Journal of Professional Management, 11(2), 1-6. Web.

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Arimavičiūtė, M., & Raišienė, A. G. (2015). Model for management of strategic changes and its application in municipalities of Lithuania. Journal of International Studies, 8(3), 79-90.

Appelbaum, S. H., Cameron, A., Ensink, F., Hazarika, J., Attir, R., Ezzedine, R., & Shekhar, V., (2017). Factors that impact the success of an organizational change: A case study analysis. Industrial and Commercial Training, 49(5), 213-230. Web.

Beijer, S., & Gruen, J. (2016). Employee engagement during an organisational change. Stockholm Business School. Web.

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Black, S., Gardner, D. G., Pierce, J. L., & Steers, R. (2019). Organizational behavior. OpenStax. Web.

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Cornescu, V., & Adam, R. (2016). Organizational change—managing employees’ resistance. In Challenges, Performances and Tendencies in Organisation Management.

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Hussain, S. T., Lei, S., Akram, T., Haider, M. J., Hussain, S. H., & Ali, M. (2018). Kurt Lewin’s change model: A critical review of the role of leadership and employee involvement in organizational change. Journal of Innovation & Knowledge, 3(3),123-127. Web.

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Makina, I., & Keng’ara, R. (2018). Managing strategic change of an organization’s performance: A case study of Nzoia Sugar Company, Kenya. Universal Journal of Management 6(6): 198-212. Web.

Nie, P., Wang, C., & Meng, Y. (2019). An analysis of environmental corporate social responsibility. Managerial and Decision Economics, 40(4), 384-393. doi:10.1002/mde.3009

Pollack, J. (2015). Understanding the divide between the theory and practice of organisational change. Organisational Project Management, 2(1), 35-52. Web.

Rizescu, A., & Tileag, C. (2016). Factors influencing continuous organisational change. Journal of Defense Resources Management, 7(2),139-144. Web.

Siddiqui, S. T. (2017). A critical review of change management strategies and models. International Journal of Advanced Research (IJAR), 5(4), 670-676. Web.

Stouten, J., Rousseau, D. M., & De Cremer, D. (2018). Successful organizational change: Integrating the management practice and scholarly literatures. Academy of Management Annals, 12(2), 752-788. Web.

Suddaby, R., & Foster, W. M. (2017). History and organizational change. Journal of Management, 43(1), 19–38. Web.

Winkler, M. K., & Fyffe, S. D. (2016). Strategies for cultivating an organizational learning culture. Washington, DC: Urban Institute, 1-16.

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