BA has also faced a share of challenges during the
change process. The main challenges of the process came after 2000 when the
company decided to replace about 5000 existing employees with new ones who are
more skilled. This move made the employees react negatively with the matter
being made worse when the company decided to outsource as a way of reducing the
operational costs. The employees instead of working with the management to sort
out the issue decided to go on a strike which greatly affected the operations
of the company. The challenges that BA was facing was the
key reason why it decided to have a change in its operations. In other words,
external pressure and in particular market changes forced BA to come up with a
new strategy which would ensure that it competed effectively in the freight
industry despite the changing market forces.
There have been challenges and successes in the
process of BA making changes in its operations to ensure that its competitive
advantage is enhanced. The process of change that BA has adapted is termed to
be participative in that it sought to ensure the views of the concerned
stakeholders were addressed. There are two main models which can be used to
ensure effective organizational change namely; People, Service and Profits
(PSP) model and People, Power, Politics and Practicalities (4Ps) model. These
models are very essential in that they ensure the change being sought after
concurs with the strategic objectives of the organization (Kreitner, 2009).
After the initial set of changes, BA was privatized and within no time it began
making profits. The profits were because of improved customer services and
improved work relation between the employees and the management.
British Airways popularly known as BA, is one of the
worlds renown companies in the freight industry. Just like any other form of
business, BA experience tremendous challenges during its growth forcing its
management to find ways and means which will ensure the company grows despite
the challenges. One of the major challenges that BA faced was loss of market
due to political conflicts in countries where it operated. Other factors that
affected the performance of the freight industry include passenger safety and
especially after the September 11, 2001 attack of a passenger plane by
terrorist. This means that passengers feared for their safety and therefore
opted for other means of transport such as rail, making the freight industry
experience some drastic drops in their revenues (British Airways, n.d). The
change process in BA began in the early 1980s when the then management decided
to restructure the company with an aim of making it more profitable by
privatization. This was done by reducing the number of employees and by
appointing a new leadership that would ensure the change process was undertaken
effectively (Yeoman, Sparrow and McGunnigle, 2000).
BA used Lewin’s model of change by integrating the
three stages of unfreezing, changing and refreezing in ensuring that the
relevant stakeholders in the commercial organization are sensitized on
pertinent current issues in the organization, as well as the need for the
organizational change process (Hannagan, 2002). Similarly, BA used the 7 model
of change process by ensuring that all parties in the organization work in
harmony. These models show that the change management process requires the
manager to utilize the organizational structures, networks and procedures in
the establishment of new and resourceful values, norms, behaviors and attitudes
(Yeoman, Sparrow and McGunnigle, 2000).
With the increasing competition in the world of
business, firms must find means and ways of enhancing their competitive
advantage. This includes changing the way the organization engages in business,
policy making, implementation and human resource management. The challenge that
firms have always experienced is how to manage that transition (Mullins, 2004).
The challenge lies because; the employees will only implement the policies and
directives initiated by the management.
According to Hannagan (2002), change management will therefore involve
enlightening employees on accepting new modes of operations that will ensure
the firm enhances its competitive advantage.