American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world. The business of the companies is to provide mobile telephone services and fixed telephone services in the United States (Securities and Exchange Commission, 2009). AT&T's telecommunication services extend worldwide. Thus, they dominate a significant portion of the United States' telecommunications and mass media industries.
AT&T employs over 200 thousand employees worldwide. The Companies registered a deteriorating US$ 160.546 billion in revenue for 2017 while maintaining an ascending trend with a total net income of US$ 29.450 billion (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, 2017). AT&T is the parent Company to up to 18 subsidiary companies that operate under the Communications and intercommunication divisions of the establishment.
The existence of the companies traces from the incorporation of Bell Telephone Company in 1880 that gradually evolved to the current establishment. After rebranding to American Telephone and Telegraph in 1885, the company's subsidiaries divested from it 1982, including Southwestern Bell Company (SBC) which is the forerunner of today's AT&T. SBC acquired its primary company in 2005, retaining the name for the new entity with subsidiaries (Kleinfield, 1982).
Human Resource Policy at AT &T
The current human resource policy at AT&T is based on the Companies' Human Rights Policy. From this formal policy, the Companies demonstrate their respect for the freedom of expression of its users in a general provision (AT&T, 2010). On the other hand, the Companies have not enshrined an elaborate policy that applies to its employees and the overall workforce. The Human Rights in Communications policy only outlines superficial procedures to its policy regarding its human resource.
In the policy, the Companies only express their recognition of the employees' freedom of expression as regards joining labor unions. The policy also denounces any intentions to impose compulsory or child labor (AT&T, 2010). However, the Companies do not affirm its position regarding participation and freedom of expression among the labor force as it does with its users outright. However, this could be different in the day-to-day operations and management of the companies. With a workforce of over 200 thousand employees and 18 subsidiaries, it would suffice to infer that AT&T adopts Kotter's theory of change management when undergoing any transitional processes.
The Products and services attributed to AT&T are limited to satellite television, mobile phone and broadband services, home security, and network security services besides other products and functions common to the telecommunications industry. Due to globalization and advancement in technology, it is prudent for the company to extend its mobile services to mobile banking services that involve mobile phone financial transactions.
The justification for Proposed Change
It would be suitable for the AT&T Companies to consider the establishment of mobile banking services to remain relevant to the telecommunications market. Further, its relevance and competitiveness in the market rely on its ability to keep up with technological advancement. Hence, technological progress is one of the most suitable changes that the Company may adopt to maintain its market share. Such a large-scale change would as well compliment the Kotter's theory in which such changes take a top-down point of view (Mulholland, 2017). Kotter's approach would make it easier to implement the change as such a transition would require the inspiration of a sense of urgency for the difference in addition to maintaining the momentum once the same is applied.
The proposed change would strengthen the Companies' resilience amidst other businesses in the telecommunications industry. The prevailing climate in the telecommunications industry is competitive, taking to account the Companies' dropping revenue in 2017 (AT&T, 2017). Thus, the introduction of unique technological advancement to expand the scope of the Companies' products and services would keep them at par with competitors and maintain the proportion of their market share worldwide.
The proposed change shall grant the employees and operators liberty to participate in the by deploying their skills and knowledge in the proposed transition. Although Kotter's theory does not encourage participation, the proposed change shall facilitate involvement of the users, operators, and employees if the company adopts McKinsey's approach to initially establish the feasibility of the proposed amendment by evaluating the company's systems, shared values, strategies, structures and skills; that would make participation inevitable (Mulholland, 2017). Such an evaluation would help AT&T to reconsider its policies on freedom of expression while including participation as the basis of its standards-of-labor policies; which is not the case presently.
Readiness for Change
A strategic mechanism of averting potential resistance to the proposed changes at AT&T would be an evaluation of the Companies for preparedness for change. This would involve conducting diagnostic analysis that consists of the accumulation of information for establishment of imminent factors that may facilitate or fetter the implementation of the proposed change to the companies. The most appropriate diagnostic tools for the evaluation would, therefore, depend on the change management model adopted for the transition process (Hamilton, McLaren, & Mulhall, 2007). Thus, it would be prudent to adapt communication strategies that would facilitate implementation of the proposed change. The strategies include sharing with the employees the proposed changes, popularizing the plan with the Companies' management, and actively involving the employees by receiving contribution and feedback from them.
Regarding sharing the proposed plan, it would be effective to impart the new sense of mission among the employees, operators and any other potentially affected parties. This would inspire focus and commitment that would limit their mindset to common goals incidental to the proposed changes. This strategy would be effective if it is implemented before the change is introduced into the system. This would be appropriate if the AT&T Companies adopt McKensey's change management theory as it would help the Companies find their bearing before proposing the changes.
Another strategy involves bottom-top popularization of the proposed changes with the management of the companies. Considering the size of AT&T, expansion of the management scale would facilitate the realization of the proposed technological changes. This implies the establishment of another subsidiary company that would run independently, with its missions and objectives that enable the achievement of the changes. Such a large scale and significant change would require a radical reorganization of AT&T with strong and independent leaders; hence the proposed additional subsidiary company.
Finally, the participation of operators and employees in the transition would be vital to the success of the changes and aversion of resistance. Active participation would involve collecting opinions and contributions of the potentially affected parties. Involvement in the process would ensure that the shift has real meaning to them and strengthen employee engagement. This would also avert low morale to ensure that the transition is smooth as the employees themselves would own it.
Upon creating awareness among employees, popularizing change with the Companies' management, and facilitating participation, AT&T shall be in the most suitable position to establish the readiness of its system to the proposed changes. To this end, the companies would be in a place to make informed decisions regarding the feasibility of the proposed changes.
Defend why you believe the diagnostic tools selected are the best choice for diagnosing the change in the organization. Use separate paragraphs for each of the two chosen tools.
AT & T Readiness for Change
Findings and Discussion of Diagnostic Analysis
The orientation of the potentially affected members of the workforce with the proposed changes could not establish an accurate diagnosis of AT&T's readiness for change. Due to the immense employee demography, it would be impossible to share the new sense of mission with all employees at the Company. This diagnostic tool would only be useful if the Companies adopted the McKinsey's model of change management. However, it would be expensive to analyze all the staff, skills, style, shared values, systems and the structure of the mother company and all the subsidiaries to popularizing the proposed change. Besides being ineffective, this would be time consuming and expensive.
Another challenging diagnostic tool for evaluation would be participation. This is incidental to communication and orientation of the new mission to the affected parties. The technical nature of the proposed change makes leaves so little for contribution by employees and operators. AT&T manifests Kotter's theory of change. The model operates on a top-down point of view that may be popular in capitalistic systems where the back and forth element of participation between the management and the workforce is difficult. Participation would therefore only suffice to a few skilled employees in the area of the proposed changes.
On the other hand, the popularization of the idea with the management (bottom-up) would be successful. This would be complemented by the fact that the mother company would easily fund and establish an additional subsidiary for the realization of the large-scale proposed change. Generation of an independent entity to take up the technical challenges would expand the management scale of the mobile banking project. The subsidiary company would, therefore, focus on the realization of the changes rather than being affected by concerns related to the mother company.
AT&T is ready for the proposed change to offer mobile phone banking services. Being industrial and large scale in nature, the proposed change is compatible with Kotter's theory of change management that inherently accrues to the organization. The kind of the change management theory eliminates the need for participation as it involves the bottom-up imposition of change. Failure to engage the potentially affected employees and operators in the change may not be detrimental to the process when it comes to resistance to change. The sense of urgency for progress in technology to beat the current competitive market climate would eliminate such barriers as the active participation of the employees as it would slow down the process. Thus, it would only be enough for the mother company to fund incorporation of a subsidiary company as a strong coalition that would drive the realization of the proposed change.
AT&T. (2010). AT&T Business. Retrieved from Human Rights in Communication Policy: http://about.att.com/content/dam/csr/FAQpdfs/Human_Rights_Communications_Policy.pdf
AT&T. (2017). AT&T Inc. Financial Data. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Bordia, P., Hobman, E., Jones, E., Gallois, C., & Callan, V. J. (2004). Uncertainty During Organizational Change: Types, Consequences, and Management Strategies. Journal of Business and Psychology, 18(4), 507-532. Retrieved from www.jstor.org/stable/25092877
Goksoy, A. (2015). Organizational Change Management Strategies in Modern Business. IGI Global.
Hamilton, S., McLaren, S., & Mulhall, A. (2007, July 14). Assessing organizational readiness for chang...
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