Implementing Change and the Concord Bookshop Tale of Woe
Linda B. Conner, RN, BSN
August 30, 2014
The Concord Bookshop was a small town literary jewel. The atmosphere was loved by both the employees and the customers. It was held in high regard in the literary community and had survived many of the changes other small town shops had been destroyed by when larger chain stores became popular. As with any organization change must occur as the customers and environment evolve. In order for the Concord Bookshop to stay competitive with large name chains and ever popular internet based stores the board president Morgan “Kim” Smith announced a significant change. This change affected the store’s organizational structure, the employees, the customers and the town of Concord.
Concord Bookshop: Tales of Woe
The Concord Bookshop’s Board President Morgan “Kim” Smith announced a change in the managerial structure of the store. The owners of the Concord Bookshop determined they wanted to make a change and announced that change. There are several steps that should take place when a change is going to occur in any organization. The Concord Bookshop owner driven change did not result in a positive outcome. What steps did the owners take to implement their desired change? Why did the employees feel undervalued and resist the change? The potential for a more positive outcome with similar changes could have been possible if the principles of a change theory were included in the Concord Bookshop’s restructuring.
Change is necessary in all organizations. External factors such as an increase in internet shopping, large chain stores and discount centers make change a requirement. The Concord Bookshops recognized the need for change and they responded to the external forces, this strategic responsiveness typically leads to strategic renewal (Spector, 2010). In the case of the Concord Bookshop the owners through their board director, Mr. Smith announced a new General Manager would be hired. This was done through a surprise meeting that did not allow for the employees to participate in the decision making process. In the ever changing world of retail it makes sense that the owners of the Concord Bookshop wanted to make changes to stay competitive with other larger companies. However, to positively initiate change research must be done internally as well as externally. It appears that the owners and their board of directors did the external research, but did not take the time to learn about their employees’ strengths and the current systems positive forces. Analyzing the current structure and function of the organization should be the first step. During this analysis the organization leaders will find out what motivates their employees.
The second part of the change process would be finding out what you want to change and how you are going to make that change. In the case of the Concord Bookshop this step was done before step one. The owners and board of directors decided that to be more competitive they would hire a general manager. We are not privy to the information that helped them make that decision. However, we do know that they did not discuss it pre-decision with their employees. So we can assume that at least parts of step one did not take place as there is no mention of the leaders taking inventory of their staff’s strengths and motivations. If they had gathered the information on their staff’s motivating forces they would have known that the staff did feel pride of ownership regarding the store and that they would support the need for financial security for the store through growth and change. Had there been discussion and support of the staff then Lewin’s “unfreezing” would have been initiated. In order for a change to take place the employees’ behavior needs to change long term.
Many times change is met by resistance and to a...
References: Spector, B. (2010). Implementing organizational change:Theory into practice (2nd ed.). Retrieved from The University of Phoenix eBook Collection database.
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