Organizational Vision, Mission, Strategy and Change Management

Organizational vision & mission, provide a sense of purpose or establish the the reason of existence of an organization. According to Sullivan & Harper 1996, a well-defined organizational vision establishes both long term and short term goals, empower and motivate leaders as well as followers in implementing change and strengthening their adaptive mechanisms for staying ahead in the competitive race.

In the opinion of Goodfellow 1985, change is a universal phenomenon and pervasive in organizations. The need for change management arises from the environmental forces which can be both internal and external in nature. Vision should be realistic and realizable most importantly with the integrated efforts and support from across all the levels of the management as well as the entire team. Visioning is one of the key functions of Transformational Leaders and essentially involves 4 key processes: Creation of Vision, Communicating the Vision, Committing People for working towards the realization of vision through effective and dynamic leadership and lastly involves concretization of vision by taking risks, planning and implementing detailed action plans for translating the vision into a reality.

According to Parsons 1960, should pay attention to 4 key factors for surviving in the competitive environment;

  • change
  • goals
  • coordination
  • organizational culture

For achieving a competitive advantage, leaders should proactively respond to the changes in the strategic environment, create opportunities for both internal (employees) as well as external customers and build a culture of achievement focused on vision and mission of the organization.

For surviving in an uncertain, highly volatile and competitive environment, change becomes inevitable and an indispensable need for the organizations. Powerful environmental forces are continuously forcing both private and public organizations to make alterations in the permanently existing policies, practices and organizational structures (Bolman & Deal, 1991). One such example of the environmental force is Globalization, which has increased the level of competition and demand for talent pool, created a need for diversity management and implementation of standardized practices across the subsidiaries as set up by the central headquarters. Another example of environmental pressure is Information Technology. IT has increasingly revolutionized the organizational style of functioning, facilitated a transition from the centralized functioning to a more decentralized style of functioning. The other forces are demographic changes, economic deregulation, etc. The environmental forces can be classified into external and internal environmental factors.

An assessment of external environmental factors must include an assessment of the competitive trends, changes in customer’s preferences or their habits, market/industry analysis, environmental analysis, socio-political analysis, an analysis of the government policies and technological advancements. For gaining a competitive advantage and being a leader in the industry, organizational strategies should be so developed that it offers ample scope for taking advantage out of the external opportunities and avoid or minimizing the negative outcomes of external threats. External factors are not within the control of an organizations, they can only adapt with changing circumstances through strategic interventions.

For example, recent developments in the field of communication technology, have created newer opportunities for the workforce, changes in the way of working through virtual conferencing, telecommuting and traditional hierarchical organizational structures are being substituted with more flat structures.

Internal environmental factors involve an assessment of the internal strengths and weaknesses of an organization which might include an assessment of the organization’s market strength, core competencies, financial and people related strength, leadership capabilities, etc. Through SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis, an organization can assess its competitiveness and this would influence the strategic practices of an organization.

Strategic Change aims at establishing robust systems and processes for facing the competitive challenges and growing environmental pressures. Robustness involves proactive anticipation of the environmental changes and adapting to it for being competitive in the battle for leadership. For establishing a strong and robust framework, firstly it requires a comprehensive assessment of the environmental forces, effective and accurate articulation of values/beliefs, questioning one’s own values/beliefs, identifying newer alternatives and practising it for achieving enabling outcomes. Secondly, for setting up robust system, apart from definition of strategies, self sufficiency of resources should also exist as the implementation of change involves heavy capital investment. Thirdly, it requires maintaining contact and establishing credibility and commitment.

Fopp proposed 4 different approaches for organizational change management (Zarebska 2002).

  1. From “top to bottom” method involves selection of key representatives/heads for various departments for realizing pilot project goals.

  2. The next approach/method is the centripetal method which involves concentration on the key processes of the organization. This approach involves strengthening relations with the suppliers and customers, strengthening internal connections across different units of the organization.

  3. The method “Bottom to Top” can be applied when an organization attains a very high level of maturity along with the strong commitment from the employees for fulfilling the strategic goals and objectives of the organization.

  4. The next method is “step by step” is a highly methodical approach which involves through assessment of the existing systems, policies and procedures and gradually implementing change in a step by step manner across various areas.

According to Malara (1998), he identified 3 approaches to change management:

  1. The Diagnostic method: This method involves a critical analysis of the existing conditions, specifying the purpose and the objective of the research. Then it involves an extensive research of the present realities, identifying the best possible solutions for overcoming the systemic loopholes and implementation of best possible solutions.

  2. The Prognostic method: This method involves making projections or forecasts about the future trends by using scientific applications.

  3. The third approach is a combination of both the techniques.

To sum it up, Implementation of change in an organization largely depends on the organizational vision, mission, values and strategies. Implementation of strategies in an organization depend on change in both the static (organizational structure) and dynamic (processes). It should be an integrated and an interdependent approach for achieving the pre-defined goals or objectives of the organization involving a collaborative effort from the teams as well as the management and the stakeholders.


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Change Management