British Airways – Change Management Strategy – organizational Case Study Example

British Airways – Change Management Strategy – organizational Case Study Example


British Airways, which is one of the major global Airlines, has undertaken some of crucial changes in their existing operational framework. In order to implement such changes, the organization has to face a number of different issues related with resistance against this change. In this context, there are a number of different theories and concepts related with the concepts related with change management. The aim of the report is to evaluate the implementation or resistance of such change management under the lights of various literary sources.      

Theoretical grounding of the subject

There are a number of different literatures which are shading some crucial and effective lights over concepts of change management. Explaining the concept of Change management, Gustin (2007) has elaborated that change management is a process that has been adopted by business organizations in order to make some of crucial and effective alterations within existing organizational structure of the organization. In the views of management, change management is a board array of different activities and practices undertaken by the management for the purpose of achieving some specific objectives. Kneer, (2009) has also defined change management process of bringing about a change in the management of an organization after proper planning. 
Explaining the change process, Randall (2004) has explained that the process of inducing change includes three important aspects namely communication, discussion, and involvement. As per the change concept, in order to induct a change process within the organization proper communication, discussion over different issues and involvement of all the related parties is quite necessary. 
Herold, Fedor, Caldwell and Liu (2008) have indicated the role of leadership within the process of change management. In the views of authors, there are two different approaches of leadership which is quite related with change management within an organization. These approaches are situational contingency approach and transformational approach. The authors have identified that induction of the change can produce some contingent as well as critical issues in front of the management. Effective leadership is quite required in order to mitigate different challenges and issues related with change. 

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Orridge (2009) has also explained that for the purpose of undertaking some effective changes within its organization, it is quite essential for the management to have a strong leadership position. It is due to the reason that for an effective and successful change, there is a need of effective communication, coordination, and motivation which can only be provided by an effective leader. 
In addition to this change readiness is also one of the major factors that affect the change management process and its viability. Caldwell et al (2008) has implied that change readiness can be defined as the intentions of the stakeholders of the organization towards the induction of organizational change. Positive intention or high change readiness makes it quite easy for the management to induce any change within the organization. In addition to this, Walinga (2008) has confined the concept of change readiness in two specific phenomena, i.e. generation of awareness regarding the need of change within the organization and support of top level management to enhance the perceived competencies of the individuals towards the change. These two factors can create readiness towards the change within an organization. 
The resistance of the change is an utmost factor and issue which is required to be dealt by the management while inducting any change. This factor is shown by Waddell, and Sohal (1998). In the views of the authors, resistance can be defined as unwillingness of an individual towards the adoption of a particular change. The concept reviewed further by Harich (2010). The author has illustrated that resistance is the measure of problem faced by the management in implementing a change. In addition to this, the author has stated that changes impose an individual to break his Status Quo and step out from his comfort zone. This critical situation can be resulted into resistance showed by the business organization. 
The role of stakeholders in the change management process is thoroughly defined by Cameron, and Green (2009) in the views of the author, proper coordination and communication between different stakeholders is quite important for the successful implementation of a change. As the change management is an integrated phenomenon, the success and failure of a change can cast a direct impact over interests of different stakeholders of the organization. 
In the case of British Airways, the decision of the company towards inducing changes in its compensation, recruitment, leadership policies and its existing organizational structure, there are three different stakeholders namely BA management team, BA cabin crew and the British public can be identified. These different parties share different interest and issues driven through the proposed change. 
In the views of Daft, Murphy and Willmott (2010) different organizational variables such as organizational ethics, culture and its structure can be proved influencing in the context of induction of any change within the organization. The author has stated further that these all the variables are some important constitutes of organizational behavior. The change induced within an organization is positively related with organizational behavior. In this way, the organization should also consider such important organizational variables before implementing any change within the organization. 

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Critical examination of the theories 

There are a number of different concepts related with change management and its related aspect. In concern to this British Airways has undertaken change in its compensation and recruitment policies. In order to compensate losses from recent recession the organization has adopted the policy of downsizing and pay freezing. This problem has led to some critical problem and consequences like strikes of Cabin crew to the company. For the purpose of implementing this change, the company was failed to address the resistance of its employees towards the proposed change. Although, the prime objectives behind this job cutting was to reduce the overall operating Cost, yet the way adopted by the company for  achieving this objective was not right at all. Different theories of change management indicates, wining the confidence of employees for the change is the utmost required tasks for the management, which is needed to be accomplished by the management in unfreezing stage of change (Q&A: What’s the BA dispute about 2011). 
The resistance showed by workers and employees of the organization was the prime difficulty or setback of this change induced by the organization. In addition to this, the organization has started to change the structure of its top level management and develop a new monitoring authority within the organization. This has put addition work pressure over employee, which has spoiled the working environment and working efficiency of them (Miller and Rollnick 2002). 
In the case of British Airways, the company has undertaken the top-down approach for implementing change. There are some positive and negative aspects of this approach. For instance, top-down approach allows the management to generate confidence in lower levels of the organization hierarchy about viability of change. Induction of change within the top level management can alter the strategic orientation of the company that can affect the sustainability of the organization. Owing to this reason, the failure of a change at top level can be proved quite critical for the long term existence of the company in existing competitive business environment (Droese 2003).          

Analysis of findings 

The findings of different literatures are showing that proper management of change can be implied by the management by adopting a specific and dedicated change management strategy. In this context, Lewin’s change management strategy is advised to British Airways for the purpose of inducing some crucial change. Different literatures are demonstrating that adoption of a systematic and structural approach provides a comprehensive scope for the successful application of a change. As per this strategy, the organization is required to consider three different phases for implementing change. These phases are:


In this stage the management of the organization is required to make some preliminary preparation for the change. In this stage, the organization needs to carry out a need analysis in order to reveal its requirements so that the objectives of change can be set. Proper communication and dissemination of such objectives are also desirable in this stage (Jung 2011).


In this stage the desired change is to be induced. For this purpose, the organization is required to make full usage of its available resources. The organization should pay more attention over inducing changes at ground level. For this concern, some dedicated teams for inducing change should be formulated (Sims 2002). 


As per different theories, it is quite essential for British Airways to evaluate the implications of applied change. Refreezing stage is considered for the purpose of making positive changes permanent within the organization (Jung 2011). 
In this way, these are some crucial findings of literatures that can be linked with the situation of case of British Airways. This linkage can be employed by the management of the organization for the purpose of minimizing the intra organizational resistance against the change.   

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Conclusion and recommendation 


On the basis of the discussion made within the report, it can be concluded that effective change management strategy undertaken by the management of a business organization makes him enable to minimize resistance shown by employees and other stakeholders of the organization against the proposed change. In context to this, in order to minimize the resistance towards application of some crucial strategic change within the British Airways, application of Lewin’s three step change management strategy can be proved quire effective for the management of the organization.   


For the purpose of handle some issues related with application of change within the organization, some crucial recommendations can be given to the management of the organization:

  • There is a need of having an in-depth and thorough research over proposed changes and their potential outcomes. 
  • The organization should have intensive knowledge about all of its available resources, so that it can be able to utilize such resources in the most efficient manner. 
  • The management must know about its core requirements for which, there are need of inducing changes. For this, the management can undertake a proper and effective need analysis so that appropriate objectives and strategies for the proposed change can be implied (Blokdijk 2008). 

Future implications

There are some important measures for British Airways in order to undertake such types of changes within existing structure of the organization in future. The organization is required to make its information technological structure advanced and updated which can be able to provide timely and the most relevant information related with changes in external business environment. This information prepares a platform for the application of some effective changes. In addition to this, the organization should also work upon enhancing its analytical and forecasting skills so that futures issues can be identified in advanced and proper planning can be taken into account (Woog 2009).  


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Cameron, E. and Green, M. 2009. Making Sense of Change Management: A Complete Guide to the Models, Tools and Techniques of Organizational Change. 2nd  Ed. Kogan Page Publishers.
Daft, R.L. and Murphy, J. and Willmott, H. 2010. OrganisationTheory and Design. 10th ed. Cengage Learning EMEA.
Droese, A. 2003. Change Management. GRIN Verlag. 
Gusti, J.F. 2007. Safety Management: A Guide for Facility Managers. 2nd Ed.  The Fairmont Press, Inc. 
Harich, J. 2010. Change resistance as the crux of the environmental sustainability problem. System Dynamics Review 26 (1). Pp 35-72. 
Herold, D.M., Fedor, D.M., Caldwell, S. and Liu, Y.  2008. The Effects of Transformational and Change Leadership on Employees’ Commitment to a Change: A Multilevel Study. Journal of Applied Psychology 93 (2). Pp 346-357. 
Jung, C. 2011. The Importance of Change Management in Organisations: A strategic analysis of the Daimler-Chrysler merger. GRIN Verlag. 
Kneer, C. 2009. Change Management: Enhance the ability to survive. GRIN Verlag. 
Miller, W.R. and Rollnick, S.P. 2002. Motivational Interviewing, Second Edition: Preparing People for Change. 2nd Ed.  Guilford Press. 
Orridge, M. 2009. Change Leadership: Developing a Change-Adept Organization. Gower Publishing, Ltd.
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Waddell, D. and Sohal, A.S. 1998. Resistance: a constructive tool for change management. Management Decision 36 (8). Pp 543–548. 
Walinga, J. 2008. Toward a Theory of Change Readiness: The Roles of Appraisal, Focus, and Perceived Control. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science. Pp 1-33. 
Woog, M. 2009. Change Management according to a CRM implementation. GRIN Verlag.