Managing Change Fatigue1.0 Introduction According to Tung (2001, p. 41), it is not the strongest organisations that survive that one which is able to adapt to change. However, Beaudan (2006, p. 2) notes that “three out of five change efforts are only a partial success, and two out of five end up in failure”. Indeed, there is the general recognition that initiating and sustain change is not an easy process. One factor that is associated with resistance to change is the term ‘what is in for me’ (Kotter and Schlesinger, 2008; Levasseur, 2001).
Since leadership is associated with change (Lucey, 2008, p. 12), the question that emerges is how the change that has been initiated be sustained so as to be successful instead of a failure? Beaudan (2006, p. 2) acknowledges the fact that change is likely to bring fatigue in the stage that he refers to us as ‘stall warming’. In his work “making change last: how to get beyond change fatigue”, he postulates that leadership has a critical role in sustaining change by combating fatigue associated with it. The aim of this discourse is to critically analyse the level of support offered for Beaudan’s argument in the literatures on leadership and change, assessing the evidence that leaders as individuals can have a major impact on the change process.
The main argument of this paper is on creating effective followership and reducing psychological resistance to change during change implementation process since the major contentions advanced by Beaudan (2006) revolves around resistance to change. 2.0 Nexus between Leadership and ChangeBefore indulging deep on the evidence that leader as individuals can have a major impact on the change process, it is integral to build a literature on how the two are connected before examining impact of the leaders.
Lucey (2008, p. 12) contrast a manager and a leaders so as to create a vivid picture of what is a leader. She notes that leaders are those people are able to initiate change and create a surrounding where change is the order of the day. On the other hand she views managers as those who are for stability and implementers of change. Kotter (1995, p. 60) sees a manager as one who in charge of controlling, problem solving and producing the short term results as per the expectations of stakeholders.
On the other has and, he conceptualises a leader as one who establishes direction by outlining vision for the future. Moreover, this individual is able to set the strategies for attaining the vision. In a nutshell, he sees leadership as ‘aligning people, communicating the direction to all whose co-operation is needed’. Pindur, Rogers and Kim (1995, p. 65) observes that the growth of leadership in managing people is grounded on the human relations theoretical basis.
The styles and attributes of a leader differ from one to another. This is tied to power that a leader wields in the organisation. A leader can be said to be autocratic/ dictator, participative/ democratic or delegative/ free reign (Bolden, etal. 2003). The optimal in all the above is a leader who is able to combine all of the above styles in different scenarios. There are those who are transformational in nature, visionary and motivational in nature among others.