Problems at Perrier

1 January 2017

Identify the key elements of the resistance to change described in this situation. The key elements of the resistance to change described in the Perrier case are: Lack of communication and the companies inability to inform the employees of what changes affected production at Perrier, the company made excessive changes, the company introduces a series of changes and the people felt the changes were unnecessary, and they were unsure if they would still have the required skills to continue to work for the company.

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Perrier has made quite a fair amount of changes in a short period of time and they will need to be aware that some people may not agree to the change and might not work to their full potential. Most of Perrier’s employees did not think the changes were necessary for the organization to grow. There were some employees who thought Perrier’s conducted unnecessary changes to impact their normal workload. The latter change was considered as the lack of conviction that change is needed.

There was also the Perceived Negative Effect on Interest -this resistance to change will be affected by people’s perceptions of the likely effect of the change on their "interests”, a term that can cover a wide range of factors including their authority, status, rewards(including salary), opportunity to apply expertise, membership of friendship networks, autonomy, and security. The employees at Perrier were concerned with the implication of the change for themselves and how it may affect their own interests, rather than considering effects for the success of the business. 2.

Construct a change management strategy for dealing with this situation. In so doing, identify what approach (es) to managing resistance you recommend and provide a clear justification for your choice. An article by Kotter and Schlesinger provides the classic description on managing the resistance to change(Palmer, 2009). They proposed six methods for managing change resistance for change: education and communication, participation and involvement, facilitation and support, negotiation and agreement, manipulation and cooptation and explicit and implicit coercion. The four of which that could be considered in this case are: education and ommunication, participation and involvement, negotiation and agreement, and explicit and implicit coercion. A) Education and Communication. There seems to be a lack of information or inaccurate information. Instead of discussing directly with the employees that the sales were down, the managers used a form of manipulation by placing the competition’s bottled water in the factory cafeteria. Instead of motivating the employees to increase their production they made the situation worse. This could have been avoided if they would have communicated with their employees.

One of the best ways to overcome resistance to change is to educate people about the change effort beforehand. Communication and education prior to change helps employees see the logic in the change effort. This reduces unfounded and erroneous rumors concerning the effects of change in the organization. B) Participation and Involvement. This strategy is used when resistance is a reaction to a sense of exclusion from the process. It is most effective when the people who initiates change do not have all the information they need to create a change and when others have considerable power to resist.

Perrier should have used their employees to identify the problems at the plant and then listen to their solutions for change. This way the employees would not have felt alienated; it encourages open communication. Another problem consist of the disagreement between the Union and Nestle and their need to work together to solve the problem. When employees are involved in the change effort they are more likely to accept change rather than resist it. This approach is likely to lower resistance and those who merely agree to change. C )Negotiation and Agreement.

This strategy is where someone or some group may lose out in a change and where that individual or group has considerable power to resist. When Perrier’s management put bottles of Badoit Rouge in the factory cafeteria in June, the union knew they were sending them a message. This had been done to emphasize the point to Perrier employees that they were involved in a head-to-head battle for that niche in the market. The union felt that it was a provocation. Using the Negotiation and Agreement strategy would be effective in dealing with the Union.

This can be done by allowing change resistors to refuse the approved elements of change that are threatening, or change resistors can be offered incentives to leave the company(for example, early retirement). This approach is appropriate where those resisting change are in a position of power, like the CGT(the union). D) Explicit and Implicit Coercion. This is a last resort strategy used when the change recipients have little capacity to effectively resist; where survival of the organization is at risk if change does not occur quickly and where speed is essential and to be used only as last resort.

Managers can, without reserve, force employees into accepting change by making clear that resisting changing can lead to losing jobs, firing, transferring or not promoting employees. Working together with CGT, Nestles can negotiate a projected percentage of increased production or they (Nestles)can continue with their plan to cut 15% of Perrier’s workforce.

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