Strategic change management practices at the Malawi enterprise development fund
Strategic Change Management demands that a firm responds to the ever-changing and turbulent external business environment in order to win competitive advantage over its competitors. This entails doing business unusual by introducing various changes in the organization. The aim of this research project was to establish strategic change management practices adopted at the Malawi Enterprise Development Fund (MEDF) and the challenges faced during the implementation of the change. The study employed case study approach and eight top and middle level managers were interviewed using a comprehensive interview guide. Data collected was qualitative in nature hence content analysis was used to analyze it and draw conclusions. The study established that MEDF used both planned and emergent approaches to change management. It was revealed that the organization changed its legal status and mandate by obtaining a license to operate as a non-deposit-taking or cooperative bank and computerized all its operating systems. The organization structure also changed at MEDF by introducing new positions such as that of Deputy Chief Executive Officer/Chief of Operations that never existed before. The study established that continuous effective communication, training of staff and top management support led to successful change at the institution. Stakeholders also rendered tremendous support throughout the entire change process and that change success is rewarded through promotions of concerned staff members. The study further revealed that major challenges encountered in managing change at MEDF include inadequate resources and resistance to change by various stakeholders including national treasury and some staff members. Political interference also emerged as one of the major impediment to smooth implementation of the change management process. The research concluded and recommended that during change management, there needs to be stakeholder involvement to ensure ownership and the change should be unique to the organization by building core competencies so that it wins competitive advantage over its competitors. MEDF should also strive to be a learning organization by continuously equipping its employees with requisite skills through training so that they are able to handle any obstacles as they emerge during the change management process. The study further recommends to MEDF to be aggressive in resource mobilization by submitting proposals to potential funders such as the World Bank in order to bankroll its operations as it embarks on a new path of doing business.