The paper “ Managing Change by Managing Risk” is an earnest example of the literature review on management. The change process is a choice, but not so are risks. Notably, when an organization chooses to change, it also chooses (sometimes unknowingly) to undertake the management of risks that occur in the change process (Bernstein 1996, p. 383). As many organizational leaders would agree, the change process is often volatile and unpredictable, hence necessitating an organization to have the skills needed to keep the volatility under control while making the change process clearer. As indicated by Kutzavitch (2010, p.
3), change-related risks depend on the complexity of the change; the perception that the organization (and individuals therein) have regarding their contribution to the change outcome; and the willingness or preparedness of individuals and the organization to change. A complex change process is likely to present more risks to the organization, while a detached attitude by employees or the management may also present additional risks to the organization (Vidal & Marle 2008, p. 1108). The attitude that employees or other stakeholders show towards the proposed change is largely influenced by their perceptions regarding potential gains or losses.
In cases where the workforce is not ready for change either because they are unwilling or not fully prepared, the risks are even more pronounced. For change to be successful therefore, it becomes imperative for the managerial and/or leadership functions in organizations to identify ways through which they can manage risks effectively. DeLoach (2004, p. 29) for example observes that amidst changing circumstances in organizations, leaders must simultaneously be in a position to confidently assure investors, directors, and other stakeholders’ about their capacity to handle risks.
Similar sentiments are expressed by Kennedy (2008, n. pag. ) who observe that much as audit firms may be contracted to determine the risks that a firm faces both internally and externally, it remains the management’ s prerogative to keep pace with emerging enterprise risk management practices and utilize them to manage change in their respective organizations. Following DeLoach’ s (2004, p. 29) argument, it is therefore arguable that an organization’ s capabilities in handling change can be gauged by how well it manages risks.
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