Effective change management in a business environment during a global pandemic
Annila, Emma (2021)
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This qualitative case study aims to investigate how effective change management can be carried out in a changing business environment, using the ongoing global pandemic as an example setting of an unforeseen situation requiring proficient and effective actions. The case study researches the topic from the perspective of information technology industry, and is carried out through semi-structured one-to-one interviews with business leaders and human resource management specialists from a case company. The research questions the case study aims to answer are how have the practices and way of working changed during the ongoing pandemic, and what kind of change management related actions have been carried out, and how effective have they been? The theoretical framework of the case study discusses the key definitions of change management and autonomy supportive leadership, and introduces renowned change management models created by Kurt Lewin and John Kotter. The relation between effective change management and leadership in undeniable – effective change management requires strong leadership and reflects various aspects of it, like communication and taking employee perspective into consideration. All concepts pre-sented in the theoretical framework have prominent resemblance and relation with each other and portray the phases of effective change management and effective change leadership in a similar matter. The interview results portray how change has been experienced in the case company and coherently reflect the key themes introduced in the theoretical framework. The results also indicate that the ongoing change has set in motion a momentum for further change, and the discussion between the interview results and the theoretical framework points out distinct key factors in a successful change process as well as some evident challenges for further reference. Altogether, the case study provides a comprehensive understanding of the key factors required in effective change management, making the managerial implications and insights presented in the study a useful source of information for any organizations facing change in an unforeseen situation.