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Question

Write a 3+ page, double-spaced essay: Implementing Change

• Based on what you have learned about change management, pick a problem within your current company, past company, or some other company and devise a plan for change.
• Look at the company’s mission statement. What could they do to achieve their goals?
• What type of change is needed? (Example: Cost, Process, Culture.)
• What steps would you take to implement that change?
• How can you avoid resistance to change?
• Write in APA format with complete paragraphs (4-8 sentences each).
• Include an introduction, body, and conclusion.
• Cite consistently throughout your work in APA format.
• Paraphrase rather than directly quote citations.
• Write in the third person. Include a title and reference page.

Answer

Implementing Change

Change management is the controlled identification and implementation of the required changes in a business or organization. Organizational change is a core requirement in today’s fast-paced business environment, where it plays a fundamental role of enabling business operators to keep up with evolving market demands and to stay competitive (Ye, Marinova & Singh, 2007). It is often carried out using various change models aimed at defining the need for change, identifying a strategy, scheduling activities and generally coordinating and spearheading the transformational steps the organization needs to undertake. The need for change in an organization may arise due to a directive from management, a chance at the improvement of a product or from a problem that interferes with the organization’s day-to-day operations (Hall & Hord, 2006). This essay seeks to explore change implementation at Wal-Mart Stores Inc., an American multinational corporation that operates retail stores. The paper identifies the problems the company is currently encountering in order to come up with a plan to implement the necessary change. The cultural approach is the best perspective for Walmart to adopt in devising a plan for change.

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            Wal-Mart Stores Inc., whose operational name is Walmart, is an American multinational corporation that operates in the retail sector, running a chain of discount department stores, grocery stores, and hypermarkets. Headquartered in Arkansas, the company was started in 1952 by Sam Walton whose dream was to sell more for less. It is the world’s largest company by revenue and private-sector jobs created worldwide. Despite achieving this fete, the company has been facing various problems that present a challenge to its operations, key among them the looming crisis in its grocery stores across America. Many cases where customers have been presented with poor quality items and a narrow range of products at Walmart’s grocery stores have threatened to dent the company’s image. This has seen its profit margins decrease, such that the company is facing a threat of being overtaken by some of its competitors such as Publix and Kroger.

            Walmart’s mission statement reads in part “Saving people money so that they can live better”. This mission aptly describes the company’s objective of offering lower prices than its competitors in order to help customers save money. In terms of the ‘live better’ aspect of the mission statement, qualms have arisen over the company’s commitment and to better living standards. Over the years, multiple complaints have risen over poor wages and discrimination of women in the workplace, for example, in Wal-Mart Stores Inc. vs Dukes. Concerns have also emerged in relation to the production of cheap, large-scale products, a case in point being the current grocery stores crisis.

In order to live up to its mission statement and actually save customers’ money while simultaneously bettering their lives and earning higher profits, Walmart needs to focus more on value and customer satisfaction. It should continue keeping its prices as low as it profitably can without compromising the high quality and value of goods and services. Moreover, wages and remunerations need to be accorded fairly with regard to work output and agreed contracts while employment needs to be on a merit basis such that cases of gender discriminative do not occur.

 The type of change necessary in Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is a cultural change, specifically involving changes in policy. A policy change refers to significant alterations in organizational attitudes, principles, and points of view. The company needs to adopt a “quality overpricing” policy to ensure that its products are not only as good as those of leading brands but even better. Several steps need to be followed so as to ensure an orderly and concise change implementation process. Walmart should engage the services of seasoned management professionals in order to come up with action, communication, training, and business systems in addition to resistance plans (Tenkasi & Chesmore, 2003). The first step should involve sensitizing the staff and all direct and indirect employees on the reason for the change and how the proposed policy change will affect their work and the roles they need to carry out throughout the change implementation process so as to ensure a smooth transition from the old policy to the new one.

            Secondly, Walmart needs to draw out an action plan with a list of crucial stores that may stock substandard products and services, such as the grocery section, and identify recommendations on how to introduce better-quality alternatives. The third step should include coming up with a training strategy that is aimed at inculcating the culture of value into all employees so that they can be able to understand the quality standards expected of each of the products the company provides.

Fourthly, business systems need to be put in place to identify and report substandard items. In this regard, some of the efforts needed include developing hardware that tests products for defects and also a reporting system, facilitated through social media or an email corresponding platform, where customers can post their complaints if they are dissatisfied with any of Walmart’s products or services. Throughout the change implementation process, robust communication needs to be maintained so that all members of staff can know what is going on at any given time and also, for the customers to be conversant with the ongoing changes (Jones, Jimmieson & Griffiths, 2005). Lastly, the company needs to develop a mechanism for handling resistance to this policy change. This challenge is particularly likely to be manifested among higher-level managers who may be unhappy about the resulting higher spending in comparison to the previous fiscal year.

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In conclusion, change is an inevitable part of day-to-day business operations. To remain competitive, organizations should come up with effective strategies for managing and executing change especially when problems arise. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. needs to undertake culture change through action, communication, training, business systems, and resistance plans to address the current problem of the declining quality of its products. This move will ensure that the multinational corporation is able to retain its leadership position in the retail industry, regains its lost markets, ensures sustainability and, most importantly, keep its end of the bargain in regard to its mission of saving customers’ money while simultaneously bettering their lives and maintaining profitability.

References

Hall, G. E., & Hord, S. M. (2006). Implementing change: Patterns, principles, and potholes. Charleston, SC: Allyn and Bacon.

Jones, R. A., Jimmieson, N. L., & Griffiths, A. (2005). The impact of organizational culture and reshaping capabilities on change implementation success: The mediating role of readiness for change. Journal of Management Studies42(2), 361-386.

Tenkasi, R. V., & Chesmore, M. C. (2003). Social networks and planned organizational change the impact of strong network ties on effective change implementation and use. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science39(3), 281-300.

Ye, J., Marinova, D., & Singh, J. (2007). Strategic change implementation and performance loss in the front lines. Journal of Marketing71(4), 156-171.

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