What is change management? Why is it important in e-commerce environment?

Subject E-Commerce
NU Year Set: 6.(c) Marks: 4 Year: 2017

Change management is the discipline that guides how we prepare, equip and support individuals to successfully adopt change in order to drive organizational success and outcomes.

Change management is a systematic approach to dealing with the transition or transformation of an organization's goals, processes or technologies.

Kalakota, (1999) states “the creation and implementation of an e-business project is inextricably linked to the management of change” (Kalakota, et al, 1999; p 60). This requires systematic attention to learning processes, organisational culture, technology infrastructure, people and systems thinking. Hesterbrink (1999) further emphasises the importance of alignment of those dimensions with respect to ERP and e-Business implementations. e-Business change is defined here as an organisational initiative to design an e-business project “to achieve significant (breakthrough) improvements in performance (eg quality, responsiveness, cost, flexibility, satisfaction, shareholder value, and other critical e-business measures) through changes in relationships between management, information, technology, organisational structure, and people” (Guha, et al, 1997: p 121). Planning and managing such systems requires an integrated multi-dimensional approach across the e-business and the development of new business process models (Kumar and Crook, 1999; Scheer and Habermann, 2000).

Therefore, in any examination of outcomes, consideration should be given to (a) the environmental conditions for change and (b) the ability of the organization to manage change in those conditions. Outcomes of e-business change can be measured at various levels of the broad complex phenomenon of any e-ERP project. Previous studies by Guha et al (1997) indicate successful e-business projects should tend to have facilitators over many dimensions but also failure is most likely to occur where too little consideration has been given to key factors such as cultural readiness or change management.

Increasingly, organizations are realizing that importance must be given to improving quality of work-life issues. If effectively managed, employees should ultimately be more productive in their work tasks and better able to serve customers, suppliers, and business partners. The key constructs that can be probed here are: gaps between effectiveness expectations (goals) and actual performance improvements, eg employee work satisfaction, efficient resourcing, and customer interaction (Venkatraman and Henderson, 1998).

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