Role of leadership in managing change at Total Kenya Limited
Change has been with us since the beginning of time, and in today's fast-paced, highly competitive world, change is inevitable. Organizations must respond to change to remain competitive and customer-focused. The biggest issue for implementation of change is getting people to accept and implement the required changes. To do this they need to understand why the change is needed, how it will be implemented, what progress is being made, and, later, whether it actually worked. Leadership is needed to revitalize an organization and facilitate adaptation to a changing environment. Major change in an organization is usually guided by the top management team, though any member of the organization can initiate change or contribute to its success. Additionally, efforts to implement change in an organization are more likely to be successful if the leaders understand the sequential phases in the change process, different types of change and the importance of using appropriate models for understanding organizational problems as well as the reasons why people accept or resist change. This case study seeks to identify the leadership roles played by top management in the acquisition process of assets of Chevron Kenya Limited by Total Kenya Limited. Additionally, it also seeks to identify challenges that leaders were faced with while managing change. Primary data was collected using an interview guide, and the respondents were the top management team of Total Kenya. Data was analyzed by use of content analysis to arrive at analytical conclusions as the data collected was qualitative in nature. Findings from the study showed that top management was highly involved in managing the intended change. To facilitate the change process, a transition team headed by the managing director was formed. Members of the transition team were appointed from major functional areas, at departmental and sectional levels and their main duty was to ensure that both companies were running optimally, with minimum interruptions to meet customer needs. To manage the transition process, the team drew up a transition plan and key tasks incorporating accomplishment targets were specified along with review dates. Though the integration process was successful according to the respondents, a lot of challenges were encountered but the transition team tried as much as they could to resolve them as soon as they became evident. Frequent communication to employees through staff forums reduced anxiety, fear and confusion, and during this forum, management collected feedback and were able to further address employee concerns. The study recommends to the management of Total Kenya to engage stakeholders in the implementation process. To reduce resistance to change from any stakeholders, participation and communication in the entire change process should be encouraged. Evaluation of the intended courses of action should be closely monitored to ensure timely feedback is obtained for decision making. The research, though completed successfully was not without difficulties. Being a case study where Total Kenya Limited was solely the unit of study, obtaining information was very difficult mainly because the respondents felt that some information was very confidential. This limited the scope of the study, and some respondents clearly pointed out they had not provided full information for confidentiality reasons. Further research could be carried out on the topic but targeting lower levels of management, as any successful change effort must involve all parties in an organization. Additionally, further studies could be carried out to identify ways of handling the challenges identified in managing change in organizations.