Managing Organizational Change in the UAE: A Study of Select Organizations
Abdulla Al Ali, Abdulla Ahmed
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As a systematic approach that deals with people and resources by utilizing certain factors, change management is not a new concept in organizations. Change management is viewed as a process that involves coordination, control, and adaptation within an organization, a process that emphasizes the role of change leadership, organizational culture, and certain practices in the organization. However, change management is not without its challenges, such as the problem of acceptance that can influence the change plan and process. The awareness of change management challenges suggests a need for better understanding of the specific roles and nature of relationships that exist between factors that influence change management in order for the process to be more successful. Thus, this research aims to identify and critically evaluate factors that influence organizational change management in governmental enterprises in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The empirical inquiry revealed that change leadership, organizational culture, and human resource (HR) practices have relationships that impact on change management. The literature review also led to the development of the research model, which comprises five hypotheses that informed the survey questions. A sample population of eight public interest sector or economic and commercial sector organizations was examined in order to determine the nature of the relationships that exist between organizational culture, change leadership, and HR practices in the UAE. Surveys designed by using the 5-point Likert scale were completed by 210 officials from these organizations. The data were analyzed by using confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling and are discussed within the context of the literature review to ascertain the acceptance or rejection of the hypotheses. The findings revealed that change leadership and adhocracy organizational culture positively influence change management in the UAE. Although clan and adhocracy organizational culture exists in the organizations examined, the outcome of using the Cronbach alpha coefficient shows that the relationship between hierarchical organizational culture and change management is only positive in a partial manner. The key results indicate that there is a positive relationship between change leadership and change management, and that a positive between change leadership and change management exists when HR practices mediates. The implication of this, is that it is important that organizations utilize HR practices in the best possible way to ensure that the relationship between change management in an effective and result-driven manner. It was also discovered that the hypothesis that states that a positive relationship between hierarchical culture and change management exists is partially supported, whereas relationships with clan culture is rejected. The implication of this result is that the change leadership ought to be mindful of the organizational culture to cultivate the forms or types of organizational culture to encourage for the purpose of change management. Organizations in the UAE are better positioned to effectively transition through any change process with adhocracy culture. The results further reveal that there is a positive relationship between organizational culture dimensions i.e. clan, adhocracy and hierarchical, and change management in the UAE. Positive relationship between organizational culture dimensions and change leadership was also identified, but HR practices mediating the relationship between clan organizational culture and change management was rejected. despite the varied influence of HR practices on clan, adhocracy and hierarchical culture, positive relationships between culture dimensions and change leadership and change management. Therefore, the key results established through these research findings strongly indicate the change leadership, adhocracy culture, and HR practices important are crucial to change management in UAE organizations. It is however important to understand the relationships between these constructs, in order to utilize them well for successful change management. process or frustrate the intended change. Although clan and hierarchical organizational cultures may have similar influence on change management in other countries, this research indicates that adhocracy organizational culture strongly influences change management in the UAE.