A critical evaluation of first line managers' perceptions of organisational change at Sanlam
Noemdo, Leon Abraham
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A quantitative research study was conducted in order to obtain insight and knowledge of the perceptions of management with regard to changes taking place within the Financial Services Sector (FSS). The call centre at Sanlam Head Office in Bellville was used as a case study, and focus was primarily with first line managers at the call centre. The motivation for the study stemmed from the researcher’s experience within the FSS coupled with introduction of legislation for financial service providers. The ultimate objective of the study is to provide generic guidelines of how managers should respond to change on various and different levels and to equip managers with tools to apply during change phases and cycles within the organization. The literature review covers areas that releates to how managers responded to change in areas of leadership, culture, structure and legislation. Changes in these four areas were researched from different authors that specialize in organizational development, leadership development, organizational change and legislation. These ideas and perspectives from a range of South African and international writers gave the researcher an opportunity to conceptualize change, in general, and to provide a clearer understanding of generic competencies that are required to deal with it. Some models of how to deal with resistance to change and key success factors in dealing with it, are discussed. The researcher elected to work with managers at the Sanlam call centre, since they experience and are directly exposed to implementation of change at grassroots level. Results of the research confirm that dealing with change is a challenging experience for managers. A participatory management approach will result in less resistance from employees. The investigation also recommends that deciding on a vision with all key role players is not a once-off occurrence, but should be revisited, realigned and adjusted as the need arises within the organization. Furthermore, the results confirm that soft skill training and development such as conflict and diversity management should be implemented during the diversity and the changing face of the workplace. The main objective and recommendation is that managers should relook and revisit their management styles, involve all role players during decision making processes, and value and appreciate employee’s inputs and ideas.
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