Your role as the customer service manager at SWC evolved from the changes that separated customer service functions from the sales functions and the subsequent creation of the new customer service department. As the customer service manager, you are working in a matrix support structure with other business units. Some departments are pleased with the changes; they feel that communication and teamwork will improve. However, given the sudden nature of change and its various effects (employees being laid off, demoted, and responsibilities shifting), some areas are not happy. There are strong signs of change resistance that could negatively impact the expected benefits of the new structure. Furthermore, as the organization expands internationally, resistance will also be evident.
The CEO has asked for your advice regarding how she could have handled the changes at SWC to create the new department and organizational structure while minimizing the negative effects. It is believed that the lessons learned from this change process will help the organization with future international expansion.
Using the Library, Internet, or any other available resources, research the topic of change management and change management plans. Prepare a document of 1,500-1,750 words for the CEO that provides a change management plan for SWC that could have guided organizational movement to the new structure and will be used as a framework for future change. Your plan should include the following.
The benefits and potential problems associated with moving to a centralized customer service organization
Discuss the pros and cons of using a matrix structure for your position.
A change management strategy that can be used for future organizational changes.
Your strategy should be based on the change management models that you research and adapted for the change scenario at SWC.
The change management plan should address the resistance and other challenges that must be met in a major organizational change.
Organizational change, with a large number of variables changing at one time and human systems resistance makes the whole process chaotic and difficult to handle. However there are success patterns for change too which can be seen with actual organizations. We should examine two things before designing a change management plan. First, we need to thoroughly understand how the organization works, i.e. what leads to what. Second we must understand what change is needed. The problem n hand with SWC is whether a separate customer service department should be created and whether the organizational structure should be centralized. We know that there are three different types of organizational structures and each one has some positives and some negatives. The current structure at SWC is matrix which poses some problems given its dual line of authority that is balanced by top managers. This is because Matrix team structure superimposes the product structure laterally over the functional structure. It leads to lot of ambiguity related to role and authority. Other disadvantages of matrix structure are (Johnson, n.d):
• Internal Complexity: In matrix structure employees may get different directions from different supervisors in different departments leading to communication problems. It can give rise to employee dissatisfaction and reduced morale translating into high employee turnover.
• Difficult to maintain: The matrix organization is difficult to maintain as there are two managements due to which overhead cost increases.
• Internal Conflict: Since employees are shared across the organization it can lead to competition between managers. The race within the organization to get best employees can cause internal conflict and create unhealthy working environment.
There are advantages too associated with matrix structure like (Johnson, n.d):
Efficient Information Exchange: Several departments work closely with each other to solve organizational problems. For example in matrix structure different departments like production, marketing and finance can work together to create long-term strategic plan for the organization.
Increased Motivation: To make a decision managers take input from team members. This facilitates democratic leadership style. Employees feel satisfied and motivated with their voice in decisions.
A successful change management plan would encompass both; what organizational variables are key to successful change and how these variables should be linked to achieve change goals.
The basic goal to move towards centralized customer service organization is to define ...
The solution discusses organizational behavior of a customer service manager.