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MGT435 Organizational Change

Published : 01-Sep,2021  |  Views : 10


Think of an organization you have worked for or one with which you are very familiar. Diagnose the need for change and present a plan to transform the organization, utilizing Kotter 8-Step Approach.



Change management is a process of renewing the structure, direction and capabilities of organization to serve the transforming needs and requirements to its internal and external customers. There are so many authors, who defined the change as a feature that is always available in organization’s life. In today’s competitive business environment, each and every organization make changes and these changes take them towards success or failure. It depends on how the company interprets the change and implements the change plan in the organization. Sometimes, some large organizations need changes in their processes and systems to get success in this competitive era.

The organization, which is taken into consideration here, is a telecommunication service provider, i.e. AT & T. It includes the change plan of AT & T for implementation of change according to the needs of organization. In this, the report diagnoses the needs for changes in the organization. After examining the scope for change, it implements the Kotter’s 8 step model to adopt the changes at AT & T organization. This model will help the organization in implementing change effectively and successfully.

Company Overview 

AT & T is a holding organization that is engaged in providing telecommunications and Information Technology entertainment services. The organization operates its business in different segments, like; Entertainment Group, Business Solutions and Consumer Mobility. AT & T is American Corporation that fulfills the household needs worldwide, like; satellite, phone, television and telecommunication networking services. With the growth in the economy, the population is shifting from dial-up connection to internet services. Originally, the company was established in 1882 as Southern Bell Telephone Company, which is subsidiary of Bell Telephone Company. Later, it was named as AT & T Corporation (AT&T Inc., 2017).

In the beginning, AT & T operated its business having monopoly in the market and struggled for acceptance from US market. At that time, it was a business that developed several inventions over the decades, such as; transistor and communication or networking by using satellites and many more things. This company came by purchasing firms, such as; Western Union Telegraph Company, Western Electric. These organizations have also launched first demonstrations of TV. AT & T has not only started the business by introducing the use of telephones, but also television and internet services and many more things to the electronics segment. The company is making various changes in its working environment (AT&T Inc., 2017).

Here, the organization is adopting Kotter’s 8 step models to diagnose the need of change in the organization and how it can implement the changes in the perspective organization.


Before creating a change plan for organization and implementing the changes in the organization, there is a need to diagnose the scope and needs for change. Here, organization can adopt Kotter’s 8 step approach to find the needs of change in the business, because the organization came across different types of mergers and acquisitions to offer different product and service range to consumers (Aiken & Keller, 2009). It has offered its potential consumers with one shop for cable services, internet, networking and telephone services.

Kotter’s 8-step Approach 

For the leaders and managers of an organization, the change management is an important and strategic task. There are so many studies, which have shown that there are so many change plans, which have failed in their change project. So, there is need of an effective diagnosis and implementation of a significant model, like; Kotter’s 8 step approach. In the year 1996, John Kotter has introduced a change model that includes 8 different steps (Appelbaum, Habashy, Malo, & Shafiq, 2012). He has developed these steps by conducting researches on more than 100 organizations, which were implementing the process of change.

In today’s business world, most of the organizations look at the change as a significant competitive advantage. It is not easy to implement the change without placing an appropriate plan. After looking at the changes at AT&T Company, it can be understood that the managers at AT&T have had many situations, where there is a need of planned organizational change. So, the organization preferred to adopt John Kotter’s 8 step model.

Kotter’s model is made of total 8 steps, which are mentioned below;

  1. Increase urgency
  2. Building a strong guiding team
  3. Develop a strategy and vision
  4. Communicate the vision for change
  5. Eliminating the barriers and empowering the actions of employees
  6. Create short-term wins
  7. Associating the gains and generating more changes
  8. Make the change stick and present new change methods and approaches in organizational culture

For an organization, it is very important to have an effective planning and approach to bring the changes. For this purpose, AT&T is adopting Kotter’s 8 step of change for implementing the changes. In order to implement the changes successfully, AT&T should develop a change plan for the managers to take the business ahead with new processes and systems (Bridges & Bridges, 2017).

Increase urgency 

Creating a sense of urgency is very important in gaining the cooperation that is essential to drive the change efforts. To begin with the change efforts, the organization should create a sense of urgency for understanding that what requires the changes and how it can influence everyday functions and responsibilities in the organization. Most of the companies try to avoid this step, which lead them to become failed in implementation of change. So, it is very important to understand the need of urgency for creating changes in the organization (Burke, 2017). The large organization, like; AT&T is trying to overcome different challenges in the process of developing the business and they are continuing to overcome the challenges because competitors are coming with different products, like; Google Fiber Network. So, there is need for changes at the organization to compete with the competitors.

At AT&T, business has the urgency to implement some new, innovative and competitive offers to the consumers and overcome the issue of competition. The top management of the company will interact and communicate the issues with the managers and leaders and then they will plan that what the organization can offer for improving its position in the industry (Chappell, et al, 2016). In the year 1998, the organization has come into a merger with TCI Organization, i.e. one of the largest cable organizations and it offered them power to provide more products and services in comparison to their potential competitors.

Building a strong guiding team

After analyzing the urgency, the second step is to build a strong guiding coalition by gathering a team with the sufficient capacity to lead the change efforts and motivate the employees to perform the tasks as a team. Only a single person can work towards making the vision and mission of change. So, there is a need of forming a right group of employees to build coalition in leading the changes efforts for the company to get success. The team will include the top-level managers and other key people of the organization (Cameron & Green, 2015). AT&T is implementing this step by engaging the Vice Presidents, Team leaders and Managers to look at that what steps can be taken to apply this organized plan for the telecommunication business. At AT&T, the top management will conduct meeting with different departments and their staff to look at the customer’s responses and complaints. The organization will encourage the employees to read the reviews on their products and services and evaluate what they can do to implement the changes for the consumers and how they can sustain the growth and success of their business.

Develop a strategy and vision 

Creating a clear vision can serve different purposes of an organization. First, it can simplify the complex decisions in organization. Second, it can motivate the employees to do the tasks in a right way and third one is it supports to coordinate the actions of different people. In this case, AT&T is a company that has formed its vision to offer its consumers an idea about who they are and how they are choosing to perform the business. With the articulation of a vision, the organization needs to create strategies to achieve that vision. The vision of AT&T is all about IT solutions, connection, innovation and doing better than all other wireless, telecommunication and television entertainment organizations (Elliott Powell, 2015).

Under this change plan, the vision of company is “to make the innovative and different systems, which work together and establish itself as fastest and most reliable network providers in the world. This vision of company has cultivated to reflect the direction that AT&T desires to take its business in right direction by dealing with all the obstacles, which will come in its way. By looking at this vision, the organization will adopt effective strategies, so it can reach to its desired place. They only want to offer best quality services and to its potential customers.

Communicate the vision for change 

To get the understanding about the direction is very difficult task, especially in the complex organizations and it involves very much inconsistency. The organization needs to use every possible vehicle, so that the organization can ensure that employees understand their change vision and strategy. After creating the vision and related strategies, the company should communicate the message of vision among its managers and employees. Thus, the communication is a major factor in the success of business. At AT&T, the managers and leaders need to communicate its change vision and strategies to employees and other associates (Goetsch & Davis, 2014). The organization can establish effective communication through meetings, seminars and virtual forums to offer awareness to each person about the vision of AT&T.

Eliminating the barriers and empowering the actions of employees 

Furthermore, Kotter stated that it is very important to overcome different change barriers by changing processes and systems, which weaken the vision and encourage non-traditional and risky ideas and actions of employees. It is important for AT&T to understand the issues that during the change process, there will be many barriers and it is essential to deal with them to empower the employees to apply its vision (Hayes, 2014). For this, AT&T is using communication strategy to involve employees and other top-level managers and motivating them to work for this vision. The actions of employees can be empowered by adopting incentive plans and motivational meetings. The organization can develop some long term and short term goals, which will definitely give the organization more than its vision (Kang, Cecelia & Yang, 2011).

Create short-term wins 

For long term change efforts, creating short term wins are necessary. According to Kotter, running the change efforts without consideration to short term performance is very dangerous. In these short term wins, the organization can evaluate the people and eliminate the managers, leaders and employees, who are not interested and willing to implement the changes (Kumar & Singhal, 2012). AT&T is meeting several milestones by changing the workforce or teams, which implement their own business views. It is also trying to acquire some other businesses, like; Media One SBC, Direct TV, TCI etc.

Associating the gains and generating more changes 

In the Kotter’s 8 step approach, it is the most critical stage of change when the organization has attained an early success. After attaining the short term wins, it is significant for AT&T to evaluate and monitor the systems and processes and search for new and innovative opportunities to continue the process of change (Matos Marques Simoes & Esposito, 2014). The organization can recruit and promote the employees, who can successfully implement the vision. In the year 1995, AT&T declared that company is restructuring in three companies. It enabled the company to branch off into some other sectors. The organization has achieved a considerable growth and success by this restructuring.

Make the change stick and present new change methods and approaches in organizational culture 

In this approach, the last step is to make the permanent changes in the processes. It is very important to incorporate the new ideas and approaches in the corporate culture. This can be completed by enhancing the performance by productivity and customer related behaviors (Small, et. al, 2016). These new approaches must grow deep roots in the culture. Culture is made with the norms and values. For AT&T, it is very important to keep an eye on the process and evaluate everything to remove the old way of working. For example, AT&T has created the cellular phone that is an effective way of communication by using electrical amplifiers (Vora, 2013). The organization had created the ability of calling for long distance from one country to another country for comparatively smaller price.


Thus, it is hereby concluded that each and every step of Kotter’s 8 Step approach offers the company ability to divide its goals that can enable them achieving their overall objective. Change management is an important process for growing the business in today’s competitive era. AT&T is influenced by its competitors and their inventions. So, the organization is implementing the Kotter’s approach. It is assisting the organization in diagnosing the needs for change and implementing the change in process. It is advantageous for AT&T to implement this approach, as it includes every aspect of organization, which needs changes.


Aiken, C., Keller, S. (2009). The irrational side of change management. McKinsey Quarterly. Pp.100-109. Retrieved from <>.

Appelbaum, S. H., Habashy, S., Malo, J. L., & Shafiq, H. (2012). Back to the future: revisiting Kotter's 1996 change model. Journal of Management Development, 31(8), 764-782.

AT&T Inc. (2017). Company Description. Retrieved from

Bridges, W., & Bridges, S. (2017). Managing transitions: Making the most of change. Da Capo Press.

Burke, W. W. (2017). Organization change: Theory and practice. Sage Publications.

Chappell, S., Pescud, M., Waterworth, P., Shilton, T., Roche, D., Ledger, M. & Rosenberg, M. (2016). Exploring the process of implementing healthy workplace initiatives: mapping to Kotter's leading change model. Journal of occupational and environmental medicine, 58(10), e341-e348.

Cameron, E., & Green, M. (2015). Making sense of change management: A complete guide to the models, tools and techniques of organizational change. Kogan Page Publishers.

Elliott Powell, M. (2015). Are You Leading Your Team?. Leadership Excellence Essentials, 32(3), 12-13.

Goetsch, D. L., & Davis, S. B. (2014). Quality management for organizational excellence. Upper Saddle River, NJ: pearson.

Hayes, J. (2014). The theory and practice of change management. Palgrave Macmillan.

Kang, Cecelia & Yang, J.L. (2011). "How AT&T fumbled its $39 billion bid to acquire T-Mobile". The Washington Post.

Kumar, P. & Singhal, M. (2012). Reducing change management complexity: aligning change recipient sensemaking to change agent sensegiving. International Journal of Learning and Change.

Matos Marques Simoes, P., & Esposito, M. (2014). Improving change management: How communication nature influences resistance to change. Journal of Management Development, 33(4), 324-341.

Small, A., Gist, D., Souza, D., Dalton, J., Magny-Normilus, C., & David, D. (2016). Using Kotter's Change Model for Implementing Bedside Handoff: A Quality Improvement Project. Journal of nursing care quality, 31(4), 304-309.

Vora, K. M. (2013). Business excellence through sustainable change management. The TQM Journal, 25(6), 625-640.

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