The paper "Change Agent Helps in Organization Diagnosis, Managing Change" is a great example of business coursework. A change agent is a person in an organization responsible for changing existing patterns to obtain more effective organization performance. The changing economic conditions in the internal and external environments of various companies and organizations have necessitated a change in their daily performance. Organizations are subject to a range of unpredictable environmental pressures characterized by deregulation, privatization of public sector organizations, technological innovation, increased global competition, political and economic shifts and social change (Harvey and Brown, 2005; Beckhard and Pritchard, 1992; Wheatley, 1994; Kanter, Stein and Jick, 1992).
Generally, organizational change may be defined as a “ planned or unplanned response” to external forces (Jick, 1996, p. 1). Change helps in increasing productivity, continual survival, cope with a competitive environment, increase employee morale among other benefits. Change in organizations can be development change, transition change or transformational change. Changes in organizations can be either planned or unplanned change. The high need and complications involved in change have made it necessary to have a change agent(s) to implement them.
This involves the use of Organization Development specialists (OD- specialists) or the use of people in managerial or leadership position as change agents. OD specialists may be members of the organization (internal practitioners) or come from outside the organization, (external practitioners). Regardless of the type of change agents, they are supposed to guide and lead the change process in respective organizations, Brown & Harvey (2006). They assist organizations with the diagnosis, planning and implementation of change interventions. They work in consultation with various stakeholders in the organization to realize the necessary change. ROLE OF CHANGE AGENTS A change agent plays a big role in the realization of the changes in the organizations.
They play the following roles: Helps in studying and establishing the need for change Change agent helps the organization in studying both the internal and external environment to analyses if there is need for change. They help in gathering and monitoring information on changing technology, changing customer needs, changing government regulations, competitors’ tactics, and economic changes domestically and worldwide and the internal change needs within the organization. These are mainly Porter’ s 5 forces.
The change agent responsible for the change should thoroughly gather and analyze information before starting the change process. After studying the environment and diagnosing, the change agents can establish the need for change. There may be a need for implementation of either or a combination of the three types of changes advocated by Linda Ackerman (1986) that is developmental, transitional or transformational change. They are responsible for communicating the need for change and when other members of the organization. The agents are also supposed to provide clarity of vision and direction.
Agents are responsible in the formulation of the vision statement, by so doing; provide clear direction for the change effort. Clear vision mobilizes appropriate behavior, James O’ Toole (1999). Change agent helps in organization diagnosis Brown and Harvey (2006) define diagnosis as a systematic approach to understanding and describing the present state of the organization. It helps in understanding how the organization is currently functioning. A change agent in collaboration with the organization members is responsible for this process. Diagnosis help in coming up with problems in the current situations and the necessary interventions.
The agent uses the various data collection forms like interviews, surveys, focus groups, observations and unobtrusive methods, such as document analysis, Waddell, Cummings and Worley (2007). Data collected will be very resourceful in guiding the change leader in subsequent implementation process stages. Diagnosis is very important in the realization of effective change since it not only come up with the existing problems in the organization but also an inside on necessary change, Palmer, Dunford & Akin. (2006).
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