An evaluation of the strategies used to reduce resistance to change during business reengineering in Samancor Chrome

Holl, Hugo J. (2000-12)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2000.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Samancor Chrome is an integrated ferrochrome producer with an estimated annual ferrochrome capacity of 1.26 million tons, or approximately twenty-five per cent of total Western world capacity in 1997. A decline in commodity pricing and other factors prompted Samancor to initiate a business process reengineering (BPR) programme facilitated by McKinsey and Company in the Chrome Alloys Division in 1997. The process however, met with considerable resistance from the Unions within Samancor Chrome, although several strategies were employed to promote acceptance of the process. The technical report assesses the effect of strategies utilised to lessen resistance to change during the business process reengineering programme initiated in Samancor Chrome. The assessment reviewed strategies given in relevant literature to lessen resistance to business reengineering processes and considered the applicability of such strategies within the context of Samancor Chrome. Research data was obtained through semi-structured interviews with Samancor Chrome senior management. The research showed that Samancor Chrome had formulated a communication and a participation strategy in preparation of the BPR programme. The strategies were the only acceptance strategies suggested by McKinsey and Company in their role as the BPR consultants. The context provided by the literature research showed that the participation strategy and the formulation of the communication strategy were inappropriate within the organisational context of Samancor Chrome. Conclusions regarding the situational validity of the strategies were supported by the failure of the strategies to reduce resistance against the BPR programme. A negotiation strategy was ultimately used as an acceptance strategy during the BPR programme, and contextual analysis showed the strategy to be appropriate although only partially effective as implementation was still delayed. Interpretative analysis of the research data indicated that a change management strategy for future BPR initiatives should rather contain elements of education, communication, retrenchment avoidance measures and consultation or negotiation within a management led, top-down approach. Management should drive the BPR process in an emphatic manner, with the programme execution and implementation being completed within a four to six month short time frame.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Samancor Chroom is 'n ge-integreerde ferrochroom produsent met 'n geskatte kapasiteit van 1.26 miljoen ton per annum, of ongeveer vyf en twintig persent van die totale Westerse wêreld kapasiteit in 1997. 'n Reële verlaging in kommoditeits pryse sowel as ander faktore het daartoe gelei dat Samancor Chroom in 1997 'n besigheids proses herontwerp oefening onder leiding van McKinsey and Company in die Chroom Allooi Divisie geinisieer het. Die proses is egter deur die Unies binne Samancor weerstaan, alhoewel verskeie strategieë gebruik was om aanvaarding van die proses te bewerkstellig. Die tegniese verslag evalueer die effektiwiteit van die strategieë wat toegepas was om weerstand teen verandering tydens die besigheids proses herontwerp (BPH) in Samancor Chroom te verminder. Die evaluasie neem ook strategieë vanuit toepaslike literatuur om weerstand tydens besigheids proses herontwerp programme te verminder in ag, en oorweeg die toepaslikheid van die strategieë in die konteks van Samancor Chroom. Navorsings inligting is ingesamel deur semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude met Samancor senior bestuurs personeel. Die navorsing dui daarop dat Samancor Chroom kommunikasie en deelnemenings strategieë in voorbereiding vir die BPH program ontwikkel het. Die strategieë was ook die enigste strategieë wat deur McKinsey and Company in hul rol as BPH konsultante voorgestel was. Die konteks deur die literatuur studie geskep, het aangedui dat die deelnemings strategie sowel as die formulering van die kommunikasie strategie onvanpas was binne die organisatoriese konteks van Samancor Chroom. Gevolgtrekkings aangaande die situasionele validiteit van die strategieë was ondersteun deur die faling van die strategieë om weerstand teen die BPH program te verminder. 'n Onderhandelings strategie is uiteindelik as 'n aanvaardings strategie tydens die BPH program toegepas, en konteks analise dui die strategie as toepaslik aan alhoewel slegs gedeeltelik suksesvol, aangesien die program implementasie vertraag was. Interpretiewe analise van die navorsings inligting dui aan dat 'n veranderings strategie vir toekomstige BPH initiatiewe elemente van opleiding, kommunikasie, inkorting vermyding maatreëls en konsultasie of onderhandeling binne 'n bestuurs gedrewe program benadering moet bevat. Die program moet sonder vertraging gedryf word, met program voltooing en implementering tussen vier tot ses maande.

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