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The differences between the resistance of several categories of employees were observed, depending on age, education and satisfaction with personal monthly income. In addition, the most important causes of resistance to change within the sample were determined, such as: lack of involvement of employees in the process of planning change, conviction of employees about non-existence of adequate rewards for the accomplishment of change and high levels of stress at work.
The findings indicate that the level of change resistance in public sector is within moderate limits, which means that this issue needs further attention in planning and management of organizational change, but, on the other hand, the situation can not be characterized as highly risky for the process of change implementation.
The paper also provides a brief theoretical overview of the most important findings in the field of organizational changes in the public sector. Keywords: organizational change, public sector, motivation, resistance to change 1. In these circumstances, the ability to adapt to change in the external, as well as initiating and implementing the necessary changes in the internal environment, are essential for the growth and development of organizations, both in private and public sector.
In Serbia, as in many other countries that were faced with the transition process, which began in the late twentieth century, it was necessary to perform a number of different organizational and other changes in the public sector. Public sector reform was one of the key preconditions for successful transition.
There was a need to make public enterprises to some extent independent, to abolish monopolies and to improve public sector by rational organization of operations and changes in management style. Some of the planned changes are implemented more or less successfully, while others represent a plan for the future. To make the change possible, there has to exist an adequate level of knowledge and skills of managers leading the change.
The literature discusses the various factors that influence the outcome of organizational change. Kotter dealt with the reasons why organizational change fail and identified eight of these various factors.
Other authors have identified factors which lead to the success of organizational changes in public sector Fernandez, Rainey, , such as, inter alia, the construction of the internal support to 2 8th International Scientific Conference on Economic and Social Development and 4th Eastern European ESD Conference: Building Resilient Economy, Zagreb, Croatia change and overcoming the resistance of employees.
Therefore, it is of great importance to understand the opinions and views of employees regarding organizational change in order develop the necessary tools to motivate employees to change, so that their resistance can be reduced to the lowest possible level.
There is a huge consensus that a key factor in determining the success of any organizational change involves employees acceptance of it Oreg and Berson In addition, the focus was put on a wide set of variables that proved to be important for understanding resistance to change, such as: age of respondent, level of education, position in the organization, personal monthly income and satisfaction with personal monthly income.
The potential impacts of change on people working in organizations are significant: on the positive side, change can provide a wealth of opportunities for growth and development; but, on the negative side, there can be substantial costs to having to negotiate new relationships, skills and patterns of activity Cartwright, Cooper, ; Kotter, In order for changes to be successful and to lead to positive results, it is necessary to properly manage the process of their implementation by agents of change.
Agent of change is the individual or group responsible for managing the changes actions. They may or may not be managers, the current employees in the organization, new employees or external consultants Robbins, Judge, There are different models of change management, all of which consist of certain interrelated activities that may be called phases or steps.
Different authors recommend different steps in change management, which actually represent a kind of instructions or recommendations for managers who lead this process. According to Kotter, , mentioned activities can be classified into ten groups: Change initiaion - This is the phase where the management of the organization has to recognize the need for change, as well as their causes, to overcome inertia, make the decision to initiate change, choose an agent of change, define its tasks and to establish a productive relationship with him.
Diagnosis of the state of the organization and the causes of change - This is a group of activities in the process of change through which a state of organization and the reasons why change is necessary are determined. This group of activities is performed by the diagnostic model and includes data collection and analysis in order to determine the causes of changes.
Creating a vision and making a plan for new organization — The phase includes activities of planning the desired state of organization to which the change should lead.
This module also includes the creation of a vision of the new organization, as well as its expansion throughout the organization. Motivation for change - Management to motivates employees to accept and implement change and raises the energy needed to successfully implement changes. Change implementation - The sixth stage involves the implementation of a change in the strict sense. During this phase, managers perform changes in several cycles.
They plan and implement initial success and support and accelerate the implementation of change. Management of power structures and political processes — One group of activities must be commited to shaping the power structure in the organization which will, if not favor, then at least enable changes.
Management of personal transition — This group of activities is commited to work with people. During the implementation of change, management has to manage emotions and give support to personal transition of members of the organization. They have to provide training and counseling, and the largest possible participation of employees in changes.
Most importantly, management has to reveal and overcome resistance to change. Stabilization of change through their involvement in the organizational culture — During this phase, the implemented changes are being frozen, which means they are being included in the organizational climate and therefore becoming legitimate way of organizing and functioning of enterprise. Monitoring and control of organizational change — The last stage in managing organizational change is to monitor, measure and control the effects of changes.
It is possible to single out two general objectives of organizational change. Second, it seeks to change the behavior of employees. Robbins, Judge, As each organizational change requires a change in employee behavior, it is of great importance to ensure acceptance of change by employees, motivate them to actively participate in the change implementation, and reduce the change resistance, as much as possible. They must be confident that the change will have a positive impact on themselves and their organization.
Only then, the people will accept the changes and commit to its implementation. Managers who act as agents of change are largely responsible for the motivation of employees. They must apply the appropriate techniques and strategies of motivation, but above all, they must be personally motivated and willing to change in order to transfer their enthusiasm to the employees.
Creating dissatisfaction with the current situation - Dissatisfaction with the current situation can be caused by various reasons, such as: informing about the real situation and prospects of the company; setting high standards of performance or disconfirmation of existing behavior and the development of a sense of guilt.
Development of positive expectations of change - Positive expectations of change can be created by the development of psychological security and expectations of gains from the change. It is necessary to create and present a vision of the new organization and to develop positive expectations of the new organization. Therefore, it is extremely important to apply the following techniques to motivate employees, such as: communication with employees, exposing objective information, teamwork, planning and control.
It is precisely resistance that can be a sign of something significant and unusual happening in a company, and if it is a case of radical, transformational moves which bring bigger changes, strong and often dramatic reactions should be expected.
When faced with changes for the first time, a common human reaction is fear. The reason for this is the fact that the change involves abandoning the status quo and the way in which the work was previously performed, and the acceptance of the unknown. Even when the change is positive, there is always a some sense of uncertainty.
Hence, change agents are often faced with the problem that concerns not only low motivation, but also the active or passive resistance of employees to change. In order for managers to successfully overcome the resistance, it is necessary to understand the cause of this resistance, as well as to develop the proper tactics by means of which this problem is solved. The following four may be pointed out as the most important causes of change resistance Kotter, Schlesinger, : 1.
Parochial self-interest — People think that they will lose something of value as a result of the change. In these cases, people focus on their own best interests and not on those of total organization. Such situations often occur when trust is lacking between the person initiating the change and the employees. Different assesments — Another common reason people resist organizational change is that they assess the situation differently from their managers or those initiating the change and see more costs than benefits resulting from change, not only for themselves but for their company as well.
Low tolerance for change — People also resist change because they fear they will not be able to develop new skills and behavior that will be required of them. All human beings are limited in their ability to change, with some people much more limited than others. After the managers come to the knowledge of the cause of resistance, they must choose the right strategy for solving this problem.
The strategy depends on many different factors, and each strategy has its positive and negative effects. Therefore, it is important to carefully consider the situation in which the organization is based, to collect the necessary information, to determine the causes of resistance and to assess whether employees have the power to resist change. In addition, the cost-benefit analysis must be conducted, in order to draw a conclusion whether it is profitable to apply a particular strategy.
The following table shows the most commonly used methods or strategies for solving the problem of resistance to change. Source: Kotter, P. Research in showed similar results Stojanovic -Aleksic, Therefore, the largest number of respondents opposes changes due to insufficient amount of information which is, in a sense, favorable for leaders of domestic 6 8th International Scientific Conference on Economic and Social Development and 4th Eastern European ESD Conference: Building Resilient Economy, Zagreb, Croatia companies as this kind of resistance can be easily overcome by better informing employees about all important aspects of changes.
After all, informing represents one of the most significant strategies for overcoming resistance to changes, which was discussed in the paper. Budget sub-sector — which involves bureaucratic regulation of state authorities, whose activity takes place in a special system of rules and with direct political control by political parties and relevant ministries.
Non-profit and non-governmental organizations and institutions sub-sector — which includes a wide range of services, oriented to the promotion of democratization, the realization of the rights of various marginalized political, social, religious and other groups in the community, as well as education and training groups for inclusion in the socio-political system of a country. It is important to note that there is a fundamental difference between the needs of the organization of public services and public administration.
The public services are established exclusively to meet the needs of the whole community, but also every citizen, individually, within the following industries: farming, scientific, educational, health, social and other.
Public administration aims at the implementation of the legal provisions and bylaws adopted by the Parliament or the Government of the Republic of Serbia.
Their function is prevention, counseling, and control, as well as the application of legally prescribed penal provisions against entities that do not comply with the statutory provisions. The frequently asked question is whether it is possible to achieve efficiency in the process of organizational change in public organizations, on the same level as it is the case in private sector. Designed to hold organizations accountable for a broad range of objectives, there are many rules and procedures that lead to rigid bureaucratic structures that can inhibit effective organizational change in public sector.
Such elements as civil service systems, inflexible reward systems, specialized and invariant job designs, highly formalized processes and procedures, and strict reporting requirements yield centralized, bureaucratic hierarchies and the highly political nature of public arena frequently lead to assumption that organizational changes are difficult to implement successfully in the public sector.
Robertson, Seneviratne, However, nowadays public organizations are increasingly switching to market-motivated way of doing business, which includes a focus on users. Consequently, they must carry out a series of changes in the organizational structure, such as downsizing, establishing new sectors, changes in the delegation of authority and coordination, and more.
Transition countries, such as Serbia, are particularly interesting area for conducting these kind of research because the 7 8th International Scientific Conference on Economic and Social Development and 4th Eastern European ESD Conference: Building Resilient Economy, Zagreb, Croatia public sector in these countries is often the subject of criticism. The main characteristic of the public sector in Serbia is low efficiency and a high level of expenses, compared to the quality and scope of services that the sector provides.
The Government of the Republic of Serbia, attaches a special importance, within the economic reforms, to the measures directed towards public companies at all levels of government.
Specific austerity measures are defined by the Program of measures for public sector reform Program of Measures for Public Sector Reform, Ministry of Finance, Republic of Serbia, : 1.
Introduction of rules in the operation of public companies - the dominant direct impact on the work of state bodies of public enterprises, reduction of direct and indirect subsidies from the budget of the Republic, stricter control over the issuance of guarantees. Improving the control of the number of employees and wage bill in the public sector - the establishment of the Public Registry of employees in the public sector, the transition to a centralized calculation of personal income of employees, determining the optimal number of employees, reduction of other additional and related costs to minimum.
The World Bank uses Governance Indicators to evaluate how well certain states manages public sector. Based on all six indicators, Serbia is far below average compared to other countries in the region. Hence, it is necessary to implement a series of organizational changes in the public sector in Serbia, some of which are listed above. Providing support and motivation of employees in public organizations and overcoming the resistance are some of the biggest challenges for managers.
Therefore, this study puts the focus on the opinion of employees in public sector on specific organizational changes that were implemented in their organizations. This provides a basis for measurement of the degree of change resistance and its impact on the success of the change implementation process.
Research has been conducted in a number of public organizations on the territory of Kragujevac, as one of the largest cities in Serbia. In accordance with the defined subject, and according to the research objectives, the paper starts from the certain hypothesis, which will be tested.
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