Change management in practice

Organizational Dynamics and Change assignment-2010

Interflora case is one of the best examples which say that changes for an organization cannot be made successful by the time the stakeholders and employees are not happy with that. Now as we know from the case that no one was happy with the changes Doug and Dave were trying to implement because they underestimated the shop owners' power and importance in the process. And when the question was asked about the change to Interflora people (employees and stakeholders) they said they are not at all happy to adopt it because the changes Doug and Dave were trying to apply causing problem to stakeholders and employees in financial term and their way of working. However, same changes were done when new management came into picture but they did it by keeping shop owners' interest and the existing family culture of the organization in mind. This shows that no change can happen or can be effective if the employees and stakeholders of the organization will not find it worth or other way is the people who are going to change their working format must involved in that change process.

"Resistance to change may be active or passive, overt or covert, individual or Organized, aggressive or timid and on occasions totally justified."

(Change Management in Practice: Why Does Change Fail? , Jonathan Palmer)

"The professional literature suggests that up to 75 percent of change efforts end in failure." (Why Change Fails or Succeeds)

Actually most of the changes fail at the implementation stage and the same happened to the Interflora case as Doug and Dave have analyzed and designed the change them self only and didn't discussed it with the florists which eventually lead all the florists go angry about the changes. One major reason of change failure was that they were forcing the changes on their employees by ditching Family Value way of doing the business and adopting Modern Cooperative way of doing it. And they were doing these changes without considering the fact that these changes were creating financial problem to their florists.

"If your employee communication strategy to communicate change focuses on stakeholder communication plans, an intranet site, CEO forums and Staff Information Bulletins via email stop right there. Your efforts are focused on information, not communication and the likelihood of engaging employees in change is remote"

(Change management and employee communication strategies, 11 Jun 2009 | Marcia Xenitelis)

Higher management can make aware their employees or can take their views about the changes going on in the organization. The information is important, employees need to know what is happening, when, why, who, what and by whom because employees are the one at the end who are going to face the change afterwards. So they are eligible to get aware of the activities and take part in that process of change going on. Now if we relate this point to Interflora case we would be able to understand this fact that exactly opposite was going in the case. All the change decisions were created and applied to the florists without prompting them and then they were ordered to follows those decisions strictly by using the words must, you will do this, will need, and must be in their Membership Prospectus (The plan of our future success) and the same was mentioned by Catharine Vickers that "the points mentioned were not proposals they were final actions". Some of the decisions were how to dress the front of the shop, change the shop according to the corporate look, consistent opening and closing time with better service to the customers.

An organization which fails to make changes effective often undertake major change efforts without even understanding the full range of implications to it and that is moving forward end up wasting the efforts. Furthermore Doug & Dave didn't try to understand the company completely and tried to transform it in an ivory-tower-like-approach. Although at the end the actual change taking place was actually similar to the one they thought of but it was just different from the way it was carried out which was due to the fact that the new management had the buy-in of the interflora employees / franchisees and did it from a bottom up perspective.

Strategic Management - Personal Learning Journal (Sven Olaf Potstada 0512546J, August 25, 2005), SO Potstada -

Actually idea of Doug and Dave was to change Interflora more into business rather then family values. They adopted top-down approach for this which had few flaws and showed that how important is the element of focus in this session really is. Rose Marie Watkins (Owner of Watkins & Watkins Flowers), Bev Wood (Owner of Bev Wood Flowers), Catherine Vickers (Flora) and Mary Romeo (Mary's house of Flowers) were some of the people who stood against Doug and Dave's policy. They did it right so by standing against that decision of Doug and Dave because they were among those florists who are going to get affected from this decision. Interflora was owned by thousands of florists and their words for Interflora were "The future of Interflora is our Florists......... The future for our Florist is Interflora" and Doug and Dave managed to convince 600 employees with their decision out of 2500 employees. Doug and David started creating problems for their florists from their 1st board of meeting when they have ordered the florists to attend the meeting without missing any part of it because if someone misses any part of it he/she would be missing whole of it, they were not even allowed to go toilets during the session. It's now when they have started dominating their decisions on the florists. Actually Doug and David were trying their best to change the working culture of the organization into a company rather then the Family venture and they have started doing the same from this 1st board meeting. Although Doug and David were not thinking wrong as they were trying to change the working environment of the organization by improving it but the way they have tried it was wrong due to which most of the florists among Rose Marie, Bev Wood, Catherine Vickers and Mary Romeo have decided to go against them. Even Mary Romeo mentioned that these decisions are going to increase her financial cost so she might quit. But Rose Marie and Bev Wood took the initiative to go against Doug and David and they have started doing it by mentioning that Doug and David have took their decisions on behalf of 600 employees only whereas there are 2500 employees in the organization. After this another meeting held with Board members regarding the same topic but the members supported Doug and David because they were not wrong. This was happened after a big argument between Doug and Bev wood. This incidence leads Bev to start saying the things publically against Doug and she started asking every member of Interflora about this decision. As there were only 600 members out of 2600 who have been asked about this activity the others went against Doug and Dave. So Bev though that if they can collect views of 250 members against Dough and Dave they can get this changed by calling another general meeting. This was going on because as per Bev and Rose Mary every member of Interflora was important but Dough and David didn't thought other Florist's judgment on the same.

"If you want and need the people in the organization to but into what you are doing, don't decide what to change and how to change it without giving them an opportunity to have their input. What we need are "stakeholders," not those who are just passive observers to what's going on" (Hunt, Jim, Top 7 Strategies for Change in an Organization,

Doug was an army retired man so he was very strict and disciplinary kind of person, due to this fact he was one of those who don't ask about anything he wanted to do he just do it. However organizational culture is very different from this kind of thinking because every one who plays a vital role for the organization will be eager to know what is going on in the company. Stakeholders and employees are equally important for the organization and must be given chance to put in their views on what is going on. Structural interia model says:

"The Routine may involve extensive direct interactions with the environment. A change in such routine environment will involve disrupted modification of ties or linkages between the organization and its environment. A change in routine which do not directly interact with the environment may also have a disruptive effect on the linkage of the organization with external actors through spillover effects. Similarly organizational change can affect the normative relationship between organization and its environment." (Nelson and Winter, 1982, p.125)

Routine means doing same kind of work every day. Every organization wants to work in a routine which means they don't want to be change because changes can be harmful for the organization. Although changes which Doug and David tried to bring were not incorrect but it's just the stakeholders and employees who thought that these changes are not good for the culture of the organization. Now as we know that Dough was not been liked by any of the florists and he was from different background as well (i.e. Army) so Florist thought he might harm the family culture and working environment of the organization.

"Organizational change increases the failure rate of organizations, independent of the effects of the changed characteristics." (Hannan and Freeman, 1984, pg.149)

Interflora was officially formed in 1923 but its name was changed to Interflora in 1953. Interflora is one of the oldest and reputed company in the flower world. Old companies use to prepare their rules & regulation and policies according to their company's convenience so they. They made everything proper and do not prefer to change it because they think it might change their routine work which will not be good for the organizational growth and being an old brand in the market Interflora people felt the same when Doug and Dave tried to change the organization according to corporate organization.

Although Interflora has been changed after Dough and Dave but it was a different management who did that because whole management team got changed after this incidence and the newly appointed board was lead by Jeff. Dave also mentioned he felt like he has failed and he made a mistake. There was just the change of personalities rather than the aim for change. Jeff also mentioned that Doug and Dave's vision was not at all incorrect. Jeff did the same changes but he explained about it that why do we need this change. He said the same that extra efforts required if they want to grow the business and made changes after that.


  • (Change Management in Practice: Why Does Change Fail? , Jonathan Palmer)
  • (Why Change Fails or Succeeds)
  • Strategic Management - Personal Learning Journal (Sven Olaf Potstada 0512546J, August 25, 2005), SO Potstada -
  • TV review: A whiff of floral dissent, NICHOLAS BARBER Sunday, 14 February 1999 Change management and employee communication strategies, 11 Jun 2009 | Marcia Xenitelis
  • Resetting the clock: The dynamics of organizational change, Amburgey, Terry L; Kelly, Dawn; Barnett, William P Administrative Science Quarterly; Mar 1993; 38, 1;
  • Knowledge for Action: A Guide for Overcoming Barriers to Organizational Change, Mott, Vivian Wilson; Watkins, Karen E Human Resource Development Quarterly; Summer 1995; 6, 2

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