Staff resistance and concerns

‘Excite’ is a landscaping / manufacturing firm that designs and constructs urban landscapes. Excite pride themselves on being a ‘one-stop shop for all urban landscaping needs’. Of the different services, the most revenue is raised by the department which designs, constructs and maintains irrigation components (including fountains). Another department provides chemical analysis of soils and water, researching and matching the in-planted floriculture to the different urban natural and human environments. Another department manage a nursery, propagating most of the floriculture seedlings used in their projects. Each of the products and services are also offered commercially from a shop front premises. Excite have an efficient IT system that keeps all the projects ‘packaged and trackable’. Their staff are reliable and skilled and some have been there for many years. However, it is of concern to some in management that Excite lacks a competitive flare and vision in their designs. This was recently high-lighted when a Council contract to beautify some parkland and include a skate park for children came under heavy criticism from the public. Rate-payers deemed the design to be boring and out of sync with the young, vital and sport-focused suburb. Excite had to spend considerable time and funds redesigning and re-doing whole sections of the park. Further to that, the more traditional types of lawns and gardens that Excite specialise in, are becoming too costly for many of their larger urban clients. The increasing shortage (and cost) of water means that clients are having to re-think the affordability of their landscaping options. This is a problem for Excite given that they depend significantly on the irrigation component of their company for their revenue. Recently, another similar organisation has begun to make inroads into the landscaping market. Their efficient, futuristic outlook in terms of design and their new-age ‘minimalwater-dependent’ projects are attracting attention from institutions such as schools and businesses in the industrial zones who all want quality, affordable landscaping options. Rumours amongst the loyal hard-working staff suggest that Excite is having to reconsider their structure and product offering in order to maintain their competitiveness and market share. Some believe the irrigation department should be outsourced given increasing consumer concerns over water cost/usage. Others see the rather conservative design team as being a problem and in need of new ideas. Such rumours are unsettling for employees several of whom are already considering their options and levels of job security. Management are sensing a deepening loss of trust and increasing uncertainty amongst the staff. They know they need to do something – and soon.
QUES1) Identify problems in this company functioning. What are the drivers for change in this case. which 2 perspectives of change should be considered by management to more accurately implement the change. Explain how your selected ‘perspectives’ will aid the development of a change implementation strategy. Link recommendations with kotter’s change management model. HINT: 2 perspectives of change are contingency and psychological.
QUES2) Explore staff resistance and concerns in the Case; examine why this is happening and how management can consider dealing with the levels of resistance to encourage staff to engage with them in the changes necessary to move forward.

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