Business Management - External pressures for change
External pressures for change
Technology changes the way tasks and processes are carried out in
organisations and therefore impact on the employees. IMAGE.
Externally, pressures for change arise from competitors in the
marketplace, the technological environment, the government, the
international sector, the society as a whole and the general economic
environment. Competitors may have introduced new products or services, or
undertaken extensive advertising campaigns and therefore the organisation
must respond or risk losing market share and customer loyalty.
Technological advances are occurring at an exponential rate and a
significant cause for concern to organisations because of their associated
costs. However, organisations cannot afford to ignore the changes as their
competitors or new players may enter the marketplace and take some of their
market share. Technology also changes the way tasks and processes are
carried out in organisations and therefore impact on the employees. This in
turn, forces management to make further changes to job practices and
designs, and specifically to job descriptions and job specifications. This
is equally true for service enterprises as it is for manufacturing
Governments may influence organisations by changes to legislation. IMAGE.
The government pressures organisations to modify or change their
operations by introducing legislation, changing their foreign policies and
altering their political platform and agendas. A change in government may
cause considerable change for businesses with significant changes taking
place, e.g. changes to taxation laws. The government may also influence the
state of employee or industrial relations, e.g. the introduction of
enterprise bargaining and force organisations to change the relationship
that exists between management, employees and unions. The international or
overseas sector may also force organisations to change. The rapid rate of
globalisation of business coupled with associated technological changes
cannot be ignored by organisations. The society as a whole may also result
in changes being made to the way organisations operate. The questions of
social responsibility, environment and quality of life are areas that can
be overlooked by organisations as their operations directly and indirectly
impact on our communities. Changes to the workforce in terms of
composition, age and qualifications may also force changes to the way
organisations employ staff and the type of staff that are able to employ.
Finally, organisations need to change depending upon the state of the
general economic environment as evidenced by interest rates, the value of
the dollar and other currencies and the stage in the economic cycle that
the country is in at that time. Changes may also be necessary if the
organisation is moving to the next level in its internal growth and
These pressures may be seen as driving forces pushing the organisation to
change or restraining forces holding the organisation back and resisting
the change. Usually there are numerous forces acting on the organisation at
any one time and the management of the organisation must assess each in
turn and carry out some sort of analysis of the continuing impact of these
forces on the organisation. An example of a process or strategy that could
be used is a SWOT analysis in which the relative Strengths, Weaknesses,
Opportunities and Threats of each pressure are evaluated and balanced
against each other.
Managers who are responsible for implementing the change process are
called change agents or facilitators. IMAGE.
Many organisations also outsource this function to external specialists.
The change agents are seen as the catalysts of the change process and
depending upon the management style adopted by the manager, the task may
also be delegated to an employee or team of employees on the shop floor.
Previous | Next