Unit IV Article Critique

Article critique is an important aspect in any academic and information gathering undertaking.  The concept involves the analysis of information presented in a given literature material while supporting or criticizing some aspects contained therein. As a student in organizational management and leadership, it is significant to carry out article critic on two key topics including; Creating Vision and Strategic Direction and Leading Change. One article for each of the topics will be analyzed. Managing organizational change by Michael Durant and Vision and change: The relationship between vision statements and strategic change in organizations byWilliam Howard will be involved.

Change is one of challenging aspects of management today. Individuals and organizations strive to remain relevant in their areas of operation. However, operation environments including internal and external aspects keep on changing from time to time. This implies that strategies applied should be adjusted to ensure that an individual or an organization meet the upcoming requirements, failure to which they may become redundant and irrelevant. Managing organizational change by Michael Durant is an immensely applicable article when it comes to the process of leading change in an organization (Durant, 2008).

According to Michael Durant both professionals and organizations are up to task to ensure that they are within the existing situations and circumstances. Competition has mounted in every aspect and hence it is appropriate to change strategies and approaches in management and marketing process, to achieve competitive edge at a market place. Better services to customers, effective and efficient operation and value addition are key aspects through which the required change is achieved. Durant states that it is not possible to have sustainable markets as competitive strategies changes from time to time. This is the key challenging aspects which keep organizational leaders into their toes to embrace change.

Michael Durant calls upon organizational leaders to start the process of change by creating vision within the organization which will assist to embrace change when required. Vision will assist stakeholders to redirect their energy, skills and knowledge towards achievement of goals and objectives. Customer feedbacks and changing needs should be used as a guide on which direction the required should take place.

Michael provides three stages through which a leader can install a sense of change in an organization. He states that introducing change is a chaotic undertaking, which require a leader to follow due process to succeed. The three key stages in this case according to him include unfreezing, change and freezing. Unfreezing is the first stage in the process of change. It involves the analysis of the past and trying to unlearn the existing behavior while accepting that there is the need to embrace change (Durant, 2008).

Unfreezing takes place where an organization and individuals feel a sense of discomfort with existing state in their organization. It is at this point when problems are outlines and solutions provided. Eventually, organizational leaders lead others towards the required change. Freezing is a change stabilizing stage where the embraced change is put into practice while the challenges therein are stabilized (Durant, 2008).

The article under the critic is suitable to the topic discussed. It provides very critical points on why we need to embrace change as individuals and in an organization. Reasons outlined about the need for change including changing environment in both the internal and external aspect, customers’ feedback and changing competitive strategies are reasonable. The three stages of change a discussed effectively ad precisely such that it is easy to read and understand the concept presented. However, the article falls short of information by not providing some information about challenges likely to face the change process particularly concerning change resistance. Despite this I find the article fairly good and relevant for this study and the topic discussed.

Vision and change: The relationship between vision statements and strategic change in organizations is an essential article as far as the topic in discussion is concerned. Strategic leadership is the concept where a leader looks into the future and develops approaches which can assist the organization to realize its dreams. The vision is at the apex of an organization as it is from the vision that we draw the mission and strategies which are implemented for the achievement of the purpose of the organization. It is from the vision that an organization can be judged on whether it is heading to the right direction or not. According to William Howard a vision can be used as a clear definition of an organization. Vision statement is no longer a concept in private, profit oriented organizations but has been embraced in public and government owned and controlled organization. It is from the vision that organizational themes concerning the future, innovation, motivation a well as its purpose is realized (Price, 2001). The top leadership of an organization has the task to ensure that the vision statement is implemented effectively.

During and after the foundation of an organization, it is essential to have a vision which guides the direction in which an organization takes. Predetermining what the organization wants to achieve and means through it can be realized is one of key responsibilities of organizational leadership. Vision statement is one of key aspect through, which the concept can be embraced. Creating Vision for an organization should take place after the involvement of various stakeholders so that the organization will have a common course to undertake in a united environment. It is from the vision statement that an organization leadership develops strategic direction for the organization. Strategies developed by an organization should in this case be in line with the vision statement. The topic on Creating Vision and Strategic Direction is highly essential when it comes to organizational leadership and management.

Strategic change is an essential concept discussed in the article. According to William Howard, vision gives the direction in which the organization should follow; however the environment surrounding an organization keeps on changing. This implies that one strategy cannot be applied throughout the entire life of an organization (Price, 2001). Leaders should change strategies applied such that they remain relevant to existing environment and in consistent to the vision statement. An effective leadership in this case needs to be flexible and ready to embrace change at the right time and manner. This is a significant aspect when it comes to the competitive position of an organization today. William states that the management should be ready to support the strategic change while assisting other stakeholders to accept and implement it. Motivation can assist in this case, to redirect people’s energy and commitment towards the intended change.

The concept of vision development and strategic direction has been fairly covered in the article. The article provides information on the description of what a vision imply to an organization and its importance. The need for a strong and relevant vision has been emphasized and hence informs leaders to take all the necessary steps to ensure effective formulation of the vision. The link between the vision, the mission and strategic management has been presented effectively therein. However, the articles failure to provide key factors as far as strategic change and application is concerned. This is particularly as a result of the fact that it fails to provide an outline of elements of an effective strategy.