Sample Management Essay Paper on Failed Organizational Change

Failed Organizational Change
1.0 Introduction

Organizations will have to adopt change so as to remain relevant and competitive in the
respective industries where they operate. Burnes (2004) defines an organization as a group of

people who work towards the achievement of common targets in a Corporation that is linked to
the external environment of business. There are three types of business environments which
include the internal environment, the industry or the immediate operating environment, and the
external business environment. Markedly, the outside environment of business comprises of
political, economic, social, technological, ecological, and legal aspects (Burnes, 2017).
Organizational change is either a periodic or a continuous process which allows businesses to
change their strategies, organizational structure, technologies, operational methods, and
corporate culture so as to enhance change in the entire organization (Jelinek, 2009). Managers
will have to evaluate the impact of organizational change on the performance and the
productivity of the business. This paper concentrates on failed organizational change at Kodak
Corporation. Management of organizational change requires managers to plan for and execute
change in organizations in such a way that the change is cost-effective, there is little or no
resistance to change from the employees, and the change can enhance the productivity of the

2.0 Overview of Kodak Corporation

Kodak is an American technology company which has a history of photography but also
produces imaging products. The headquarters for Kodak is in New York specifically at
Rochester although Kodak is incorporated in New Jersey (Science, Art, and Industry | Kodak,
2017). Markedly, Kodak also focuses on breakthrough solutions, disruptive technologies, and
quality enhancements. Besides, Kodak partners with other technology companies to provide
innovative technologies that allow their customers around the globe to expand their businesses
sustainably and to enjoy lives. Digital devices like digital cameras are just some of the products

that Kodak offers to its clients. Science, Art, and Industry | Kodak (2017), notes that Kodak has
been in business since its inception in the USA in 1888
3.0 Identifying and Evaluating a Failed Organizational Change at Kodak
Arguably, every individual dealing with photography, imaging products, and other
aspects of disruptive technologies wanted to be associated with Kodak's brand. Nevertheless,
things changed, and Kodak became bankrupt due to failed organizational change. Leading
executives of Eastman Kodak drew conclusions that led to the downfall of Kodak. The failure at
Kodak was that this Company did not focus on the digital world fast enough and well enough.
Besides, there is evidence that the chief executives saw the problem coming, but they never took
precautionary measures to enable the entity to act when it was supposed to take action and this
ought to be about three decades ago. Towards this end, Eastman Kodak faced the challenge of
technological discontinuities, and it was even seen to be insolvent at some point. No doubt that
Kodak never took decisive action to overcome these problems and as such the management
undertook strategic decisions which made Kodak fail in its organizational change. Pollack
(2015), says that in 1993, Kodak brought in George Fisher who was a technology expert to be
the CEO of the company. Nonetheless, other executives over-relied on George Fisher to execute
organizational changes while they never supported him so as to help Kodak achieve its short-
term and long-term objectives.
Additionally, Kodak was overflowed with complacency as the firm was failing to
maintain its performance even before the digital revolution. For instance, competitors such as
Fuji banked on old technology like the roll-film business and this made them perform better than
Kodak. Typically, even George Fisher the new CEO was unable to bring success into the firm
because other leading executives never devoted their time to handle complacency which was

becoming a significant problem at Kodak. Other bosses ignored the oncoming challenges as a
result of digital revolution even though they had solutions to help the firm enact fruitful
organizational changes. Primarily, the corporate blunder that led to strategic failure by Eastman
Kodak was the opportunities that this company missed in digital photography notwithstanding
the fact that Kodak had invented this technology. Towards this end, the film-based business
model adopted by Kodak was destroyed by digital photography.

4.0 Identifying an Organization Change Management Theory (OCM)
Todnem (2009) notes that organizational change attracts resistance more so from the
employees because of the fear to lose social statutes and also due to the uncertainties associated
with organizational change. For this reason, managers will have to apply different models or
approaches to change to make sure that the organization succeeds in change management
(Kotter, 1995). Lewin's change model is one of the strategies that companies can incorporate to
ensure that they undertake structured and well-planned organizational change. Pollack (2015)
says that Kurt Lewin created this model in the 1950s and it remains a valid and one of the most
efficient change management theories. Noticeably, Lewin's model of change management
involves three main levels which include unfreeze, change, and refreeze. The discussion of these
stages is as follows;
A). Unfreeze- this is the first step of Lewin's change management model, and it allows
companies to prepare for change by managing resistance to change so as to break the status quo
(Orlikowski & Hofman, 1997). The primary objective of this stage is to explain to all
stakeholders the need for change and how this change will lead to increased profits.
B). Change- real transition occurs at this stage. Arguably, organizations may take the time to
execute the much needed time, but the transition stage requires sound leadership and reassurance

from the managers that the change will increase productivity. Burnes (2017), notes that effective
communication is essential for this step to occur smoothly.
C). Refreeze- this is the level where the company begins to regain stability after implementing
change successfully. Pollack (2015), notes that the staff and the organizational processes start to
refreeze now that there is a change in the organization. This step requires cooperation from all
the employees to make sure that the group maintains the benefits of change.
5.0 Application of Lewin’s Model Change Management Theory to Kodak
Lewin's model of change management could help Kodak to overcome the failure
emanating from weak or poor strategic decisions. To this end, Kodak could have unfrozen so as
to allow the entity to prepare for changes that arose because of the digital revolution. The model
could enable Kodak to overcome complacency, to move into digital world fast, and to strengthen
its film-based business model. This step will allow Kodak to prepare its leading executives and
other employees for change. Arguably, the second stage for Lewin's model which is transition or
change will allow Kodak to implement change successfully by moving into digital photography
fast than its competitors even if the organization would plan to maintain its film-based business
model. This idea will even lead to competitive advantage. Besides, the last stage of the model
which is refreezing will makes sure that Kodak can attract cooperation of the employees so as to
maintain and to keep the change of moving into digital photography permanent. However,
refreeze requires robust leadership and consistent evaluation of the external business
environment affecting Kodak. Typically, Kodak will operate efficiently and will continue to be
the market leader in providing photography and imaging products and or services.

6.0 Conclusion

Management of organizational change requires managers to plan for and execute change
in organizations in such a way that the change is cost-effective, there is little or no resistance to
change from the employees, and the change can enhance the productivity of the company. The
organizational change allows businesses to change their strategies, organizational structure,
technologies, operational methods, and corporate culture so as to enhance change in the entire
organization. Lewin's change management model is one of the approaches that companies like
Kodak can apply to rectify the failed organizational change. This model comprises of three
stages which include unfreeze, change, and refreeze. Managers will have to learn to use this
model efficiently so that their respective business becomes profitable after making the change to
be permanent.


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