Behavioral Transformation

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Abstract

The paper focuses on the concept of behavioral transformation in the organization. The concept is clearly defined for the reader. It explains the role behavioral transformation plays in the organization and the overall process. The paper also explores the challenges that the management has experienced in trying to introduce change in their organization and the role of human resource managers in behavioral transformation.

 

Introduction

Behavioral transformation is a necessary process in many organizations (Merry, 2006). Merry defines the concept as the planned and managed process of purposely shaping an organizations behavior. Usually the transformation stems from the organization’s management and leadership but the process may involve experts for its success. Barret on the other hand stresses that for a behavioral transformation to take place the organizations management ought to express very high level of commitment to the overall process. He goes on to classify the process into two levels that is, first and second order transformation. The former involves changing one aspect of a behavior while the former focuses on all aspects of a behavior (Barret ,2006).

Theories and academic work on behavioral transformation

Theories have suggested that for behavioral transformation to take place, the underlying values and systems must also change. The change agent must be aware of the population of the organizations employee and the executive too in order to design a successful transformation. This is important because the process mainly entails learning and discovering as earlier concepts are generated into new ones (Salancik, 2001).

Globalization has played a major role in catalyzing change in much organization. There has been a tremendous demand for organization to transform and stay afloat in whatever they do. Human resource managers have therefore been entitled to the task of ensuring that their organizations are up to date with the current issues (Brudney & Rainey, 2000). Another reason for this demand is the diversity in their clients culture wise. Many organizations these days deal with clients from diverse cultures hence they are being faced with the need to be more accommodative with regard to culture (Hoyte & Greenwood, 2007).

Burke’ s suggestion is that when the behavior system of an organization does not explain reality anymore, and  does not  help in shaping its policy and the operations, then a crisis is bound to develop. The organization usually ceases to function or underperforms prompting the demand for action. However, to successfully conceive new ideas in the organization, there must be widespread acceptance of its elements. The new idea must also compete positively with the old one lest it risks total rejection by the ones involved (Burke, 2005).

The process of transformation in an organization is neither easy nor smooth. It goes through periods of crisis and encounters resistance by the involved staff. Translation of the new paradigm into to operational procedures and concepts is often problematic. Megginson explains that a period of mourning is experienced as old values are left. Resistance is experienced where high level values are introduced arousing fear and emotions (Megginson, 2002).

Ideas also undergo restriction especially when they are viewed to support the management. Usually the ideas should emerge from the periphery and spread to the centre. The members will often collude creating a facade in the organization. Actually the closer the members get to the implementation of the and identification of the process the higher the uncertainty. It leads to the failure of ideas to diffuse and expand in the organization (Trahant, 2006).

Managers in human resource therefore, ought to be armed with qualities to both initiate and manage behavioral transformation in the organization. As Barret asserts, they have an important role to play especially where conflicts arise and acceptance of new values seem impossible. Managers therefore become both the agents of change and the experts in the consensus.  Otherwise mere understanding of the theories only will not be enough to create change in the organization (Barret, 2006).

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