The leader who seeks to bring about organizational changes should understand the need for change, the change processes, implementing change, and possible reactions. Bass (1985 cited in Shackleton 1995, p. 113) and Burns (1978 cited in Shackleton 1995, p. 113) put forth the concept of transformational leadership. In spite of some variations, there is broad agreement in the concept suggested by Bass and Avolio through their "Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ)" and the "Managerial Practices Survey (MPS)" of Yukl, which includes managerial practices such as clarifying, supporting, inspiring and team building. (Tracey and Timothy, 1998).
Ultimate Office Products realized that changes in the atmosphere such as intensified competition and heightened consumer expectations called for improvements in customer service such as electronic order processing, tracking and servicing. The company instituted the new department of information systems with Richard Kelly its director. Richard observed many unnecessary activities and bottlenecks were slowing down work processes. He installed new computer workstations and software to speed up and control the processes. However as most departmental heads – Richard’s peers resisted change it could not be implemented.
The CEO authorized constituting a number of cross-functional teams under Richard to report to a steering committee composed of departmental heads. The task forces were constituted to identify changes required in work processes. An outside consultant was called in to advise the task forces. The ‘task forces’ met with key customers to understand customer preferences and improve the efficiency of order filling system. They made recommendations to the steering committee often attended by the CEO to emphasize its seriousness. With the cooperation of all departmental heads, the company eliminated many unnecessary processes and within a year, was able to double order processing speed. The ‘change for the better’ brought about a change in peoples’ attitudes too and many of them now volunteer to work on teams that design ways to improve service quality.
B. The leaders’ behaviour
The CEO was able to see the environment driving change: discount merchandisers and office product super-stores altering traditional distribution channels. Manufacturers were challenged with demands for rate cuts and speedier processes for billing and filling orders. This necessitated process automation, which is primarily a change in technology and entailed in the creation of the new department of information. Richard Kelly the director of the new department installed the components for automating processes, the computer workstations and software. However installation of new technology by itself cannot bring about desired changes without making efforts to bring about simultaneous changes in the attitudes, skills and roles of various stakeholders. Richard, was not able to put the equipment to use as some of the key stakeholders, managers from sales, production, accounting, shipping and customer service, who were his peers did