Category: Management

Impact of Existing Structures and Systems on Change

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Organizational structures and systems refer to how an organization formally organizes itself to accomplish its mission. Accordingly, the existing structures and systems ensure that the companys mission is accomplished successfully through consistent and defined performance levels. One area where structures and systems have proven to be useful is in management of change especially as it happened in the case of the Coca-Cola Company, when it announced the management and organizational changes related to its operations in the United States. The change was implemented through leadership changes in different sections of the company. For instance, the Coca-Cola operating structure was eliminated from the leadership structure, and the Coca-Cola Refreshments (CCR) section was awarded a new leader by the name Paul Mulligan. The most significant purpose of its change in management was to accelerate its growth. Structures and systems are usually set in place to enable change take place as smoothly as possible. This essay explicates the impact of the existing structures and systems on change utilizing the familiar change of management by the Coca-Cola Company in America.

As a rule, change tends to increase uncertainty in an organization. Moreover, it also brings about complexity into the organizational environment. The Coca-Cola Company in the United States used structures and systems to deal with the uncertainty and complexity in the environment by aligning them with organizational vision, strategy, and culture. Wetzel and Buch (2009) assert that the primary point of this act was to critically assess the organizational environment to allow the successful implementation of the change. This step was an appropriate response since it provided insights on what decisions must be made to overcome the current uncertainty and complexity in the environment while paying attention to significant aspects of the organization, especially in terms of the companys future growth. Cawsey, Deszca, and Ingols (2015) state that organizational vision, strategy and culture are imperative in providing guidance for approaching the future growth and expansion objectives for such an international organization.

The existing structures and systems could have been approached and used differently to advance the desired change by framing it in ways that would minimize incongruence with the existing structures and systems. It means that the desired change at the company could have been shaped and prepared in accordance with the existing structures and systems. Wischnevsky and Damanpour (2009) opine that the significance of this approach is to ensure that there is reduced disruption and risk brought about by the change. In the case of a problem, it could easily be managed by breaking up the change into smaller manageable stages.

The existing structures and systems affected the ability of the change leaders at the Coca-Cola Company to bring about the desired change. This understanding enabled them to assess the influence that the change would have on the organization in terms of growth. With this understanding, they are able to work efficiently, paying attention to these structures and systems and bringing about the much-needed change. In the views of Cawsey, Deszca, and Ingols (2015), these structures and systems influenced the ability of the change leaders to bring about change by enabling them to develop the appropriate ways of mitigating any form of resistance to this change within the organization.

The structures involved included organizational hierarchy and the operations structure. Generally, systems include formal procedures such as performance appraisal systems, training and development systems, and decision support systems. These systems and structures influenced the process of change implementation by guiding and controlling the change leader and the decision making authority in this context. In other words, it can be related to how the systems were used in practice as opposed to how they were designed.

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Also, the existing systems and structures influenced the process by directing the steps taken by the change leader regarding the introduction and subsequent implementation of the change. According to Wasim and Imran (2010), a visionary leader is significant for the realization of change in the organizations. The structures and systems in place ensured that the envisioned change was aligned with the future targets of the growth abilities of the organization with the potential changes in its own leadership and the process of operation. In other words, how the reformed systems are formally designed within the organization especially in terms of their functions and how they lead to the attainment of the set goals in the organization.

The overall top leadership of the Coca-Cola Company influenced the functioning of the structures within the organization to bring about the required change. They understood that the operating structures needed to be reformed to boost the growth capabilities of the company in the USA. It has affected the outcomes that ensued as the required change was embraced swiftly and without any form of resistance from employees of the organization.

The incremental strategies nested with the existing systems and structures played the role of providing alternative methods to enforce the change. They also played the role of enhancing the use of the existing strategies and structures. They basically ensured that the right measures were put in place and that resistance levels were significantly reduced hence enabling the change to take charge effectively.

It should be noted that more revolutionized strategies could have provided new methods of implementing change in the organization. As a consequence, they could allow the company to develop an experimental mindset, where it tries new things in the process of enforcing change in the organization. Moreover, they would have added new methods that could be used by Coca-Cola to implement change, allowing the company to take a pluralistic view of change. Unfortunately, it would bring issues related to alignment with the existing systems and structures. Tran and Tian (2013) reiterate that this issue arises due to the inability to become consistent with these structures and systems and thus being unable to produce significant long-term effects.

Therefore, to manage the challenges created by this issue, the company is supposed to be designed in an unconventional way that will include the application of formal and informal networks with the external organizations. Wischnevsky and Damanpour (2009) opine that this is meant to increase the flexibility and adaptability of the organization.

In conclusion, the existing structures and systems at the Coca-Cola Company in the USA played a vital role in the successful change implementation in its management. It is important for change leaders to have a deep understanding of these concepts as well as their functioning in the real-life operations of the company. This knowledge will be essential in aiding them to navigate the process of change from its approval to the successful implementation. It is also imperative that these structures and systems be adaptive to ensure further successful implementation of the change.

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