Organizational Readiness for Change

Question

In any organization, change is most successful if its initiative is organic, originating with those primarily effected by the change. In any case, for change to be effective and sustainable, the organization must be ready to accept and implement the change. In this assignment, you will analyze organizational readiness for change.
In this assignment.
You are required to use APA style to ensure successful completion of the assignment:
You are also required to use four scholarly research sources related to this topic, and at least two in-text citations from each source be included.
Directions:
Write a paper of 650 words that addresses the methods leaders use to determine if an organization needs and is ready to accept change. Include the following in your paper:
In this paper do an analysis of the factors used to determine if change is needed in a given organization.
And discussion of how to determine if an organization is structurally ready to support change leading to a culture of continuous learning, improvement, and adaptation.

Answer

            In most cases, attempts to introduce new policies, programs, and structural procedures in an organization often fail because the leaders involved do not introduce measures aimed at fostering effectiveness in terms of an organization’s readiness for change. The fundamental purpose of a change readiness assessment is to critically scrutinize and evaluate the level of preparedness in terms of conditions and resources available at various stages in an organization for the proposed change to be successfully implemented.(Weiner, Lewis & Linnan, 2008). Moreover, it follows that the greater the complexity and magnitude of the proposed change, the more the need to understand whether the organization is in fact ready to embrace it and when it is appropriate to introduce the intervention (Weiner, Amick & Lee, 2008). This is the basis upon which organizational readiness for change is developed.  It addresses the extent to which all stakeholders of an organization are psychologically and behaviorally prepared to embrace and implement the change (Weiner, Amick & Lee, 2008).

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 According to Weiner, Lewis and Linnan (2008), when the level of willingness in an organization is high, allthe key players are more inclined to initiate and indulge actively in the change process, put more effort and display more acquiescentbehavior which ultimately results in the successful implementation of the projected change. This essay will highlight the various methods employed by leaders to assess an organization’s need and readiness for change. It will also present an analysis of the factors used to determine if change is needed in an organization. Finally, it will address the markers that are used to determine whether an organization is structurally prepared to support change and foster a culture of learning and adaptation.

In the healthcare setting, organizational readiness has been perceived as the most important issue though research has been impeded by the lack of a reliable and valid measure of the concept. However, several tools, such as Organizational Readiness to Change Assessment (ORCA) and Organizational Readiness to Implement Change (ORIC), have been developed in an attempt to measure the preparedness of an agency in implementing evidence-based practices in a clinical environment ( Helfrich et al., 2009).The former instrument is not highly recommended for use mainly because it is not theory-based and it has exhibited limited validity and reliability in cases where it has been applied together with several other instruments. Contrary to this, ORIC is a theory-based measure that has been developed by drawing inferences from Weiner’s theory of organizational readiness for change (Weiner, 2009). This tool assesses the strength of the evidence relating to the proposed change, the capacity to facilitate the proposed changethe quality of the organizational context to support that change. This is one method that leaders can lean on to assess the level of preparedness for change since it is both a transitoryand vigorous measure that has been proved to yield unprecedented success as far as implementation of practice is involved (Weiner, 2009). Furthermore, this tool was subjected to intense evaluation based on its reliability, structural and construct validity and adequacy, for which it exhibited tremendous success across the various studies.

In line with this tool, leaders can also assess the following three areas before embarking on change implementation.  To begin with, the degree of change awareness should be assessed. This provides leaders with meaningful insight as to contextual factors are critical before redefining the organization.Practices such as planning and scouring for opportunities are among those which help to gauge the level of awareness among key players. Secondly, change agility should be considered to give a clearer picture on the company’s ability to implement the proposed changes. Even so, Weiner (2009) asserts that a great idea will amount to nothing if leaders can muster the commitment to see it through. Finally, the mechanisms for change should be taken into consideration.Here, the instruments that will be adopted should support the organizational goals and should possess the ability to adjust into the existing systems.  Moreover, they should be accountable for the results produced and should have reward systems that help to reinforce the much-needed change (Weiner, 2009; Shea et al., 2014). The underlying question here that every leader ought to ponder on is: are the systems flexible to acclimatize and sustain the change implementation process?

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There are a plethora of internal and external factors thatinfluence change in an organization. The latter includes aspects such as organizational mission, culture and the style of leadership involved. These factors have the ability to influence the decisions and attitudes of members. More so, changes in leadership styles and culture have a great impact on the change in an organization. On the other hand, external factors such as technological advancements, economy, resources, competition among others, also have a significant impact on the change that can occur in an organization since most of them are beyond control.  For instance, if the economy is slow, a company may be forced to freeze salaries and even lay off some of its employees in order to stay afloat.

To ensure continuous improvement and adaptation, it is imperative that managers assess the structures that are in play. Even so, incremental initiatives should be directed towards achieving the objective of the organization to ascertain that it is ready to support upcoming changes. All in all, this should coincide with the goal of achieving effectiveness and pressing for a culture that promotes positive change and improvement. Good systems will always advocate for this aspects and this is what all leaders should look for as far as readiness for change goes(Weiner, 2009). In a healthcare setting, the structures that support change commitment and efficacy are used as a direct measure of the organization’s readiness to implement change and thus, should be adopted (Shea et al., 2014).

References

Helfrich, C. D., Li, Y. F., Sharp, N. D., & Sales, A. E. (2009). Organizational readiness to change assessment (ORCA): development of an instrument based on the Promoting Action on Research in Health Services (PARIHS) framework. Implementation Science4(1), 38.

Shea, C. M., Jacobs, S. R., Esserman, D. A., Bruce, K., & Weiner, B. J. (2014). Organizational readiness for implementing change: a psychometric assessment of a new measure. Implementation Science9(1), 7.

Weiner, B. J. (2009). A theory of organizational readiness for change. Implementation science4(1), 67.

Weiner, B. J., Amick, H., & Lee, S. Y. D. (2008). Conceptualization and measurement of organizational readiness for change: A review of the literature in health services research and other fields. Medical Care Research and Review65(4), 379-436.

Weiner, B. J., Lewis, M. A., & Linnan, L. A. (2008). Using organization theory to understand the determinants of effective implementation of worksite health promotion programs. Health education research24(2), 292-305.

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