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Resistance to change

change is the only constant, but most of the change management efforts fail. Indeed,
change is difficult, some say, change is not a problem, the primary reason for change
failure is resistance to change while the secondary reason is the inability of leaders to
deal with resistance. What are the true problems of the change, or what’re the real
roadblocks to step into changes?

1. Change is the Problem if for its Own Sake

Change is clearly not just one thing. There is a positive change, negative change,
and change as a response to changing external conditions and changes that are
initiated because of external factors. There is disruptive change and incremental
change. Change you want and change that is forced upon you. Some change is
inevitable and another change is purely elective. One of the noble purposes of change
is to pursue simplicity , how to well align business processes with organizational
goals; how to improve clarity in communication, performance., etc. follow "keep it
simple" principle, do it elegantly. And all leaders need to become change agents
themselves, walk the talk

 There are two types of change: proactive and reactive. Proactive implies
anticipation of changes: external and/or internal, that will affect the company.
Reactive is adaptive to change that has already occurred or is underway. The common
denominator to effecting outcomes is communication, which by definition is a
two-way street.
 There are good changes and bad changes: There is good and bad change depending
on the outcome of the change process and final benefit of the person who is directly
affected by that change. Change itself may be detrimental to ones well being. We also
need to recognize that there are various approaches to change such as planned change,
unplanned change, imposed change, negotiated change, and participative change. It is,
therefore, safe to conclusively say that some forms of change may be difficult to be
 There are three change factors: Organizational Change, Technological Change,
and Behavioral Change: Sometimes change is the problem, sometimes lack of
change is the problem, sometimes the lack of clarity to discern the difference is the
problem. Sometimes the problem is with the ability to plan and manage elective
incremental change. Sometimes the problem is the inability to perceive a change in
the environment and adapt when conditions require it.

2. People Do Not Resist to Change, but Resist Being Changed

As say’s going, " people don't resist change, they resist being changed." Prevention
of "R" is what most people call "good leadership."

 Two types of resistances are expected: Personal and Structural, and both need to be
addressed effectively and efficiently. Change is inevitable, and the only differences
are the reasons and goals behind the change and its scope and depth/breadth (Why the
change, what you need to accomplish, what does it consist of and what does it impact).
Overall, good anticipation in planning is key for a smoother execution, while regular
updates and plan adjustments will enhance your chances of success.
 The five personalities are: Pathfinder (2.5% of population); Listener (13.5%);
Organizer (34%); Follower (34%); Diehard (16%). (Lowest resistance =
Pathfinders...highest resistance from the diehards.). People look for “What's In It
For Me". Given this, change management needs to craft and most importantly deliver
these messages at both the individual and group level, and most importantly reinforce
these statements through consistent action. Resistance to change isn't necessarily the
problem either since it’s a natural human response to the loss or fear of uncertainty, or
to the hideous management of change.
 The person labeled a resistor may even share the same purpose as the
sponsors: It is wise to look for a "positive intent" behind a "resistor," actions or
opinion before making assumptions it's just resistance to change. If someone is
"resisting" change, what's that about? Are they perhaps interested in "certainty,"
"stability," "think things are on the right path" or is it something else? It's a good idea
to get clarity on what the "resistance" is all about and look closer to the reality of
what's going on. Or they may just try to alert sponsors to poorly thought-out elements
of their plan - or has better ideas. At a minimum, they need to be heard and
understood - which removes some of the perceived resistance. Better yet, engage
people in the design of change solutions so that issues can be surfaced and addressed
 Resistance to change is not a problem - it's a balancing mechanism: And it's also
one of the change's biggest opportunities. If you can tap into, better understand and
work with the energy of resistance you can also accelerate purposeful change.
Resistance is a balancing mechanism that says something isn't aligned or set right. if
approached/managed well, will point to where important learning is needed to come
up with goals/strategies/actions that will actually work and, by virtue of engaging that
part of the system productively, generate the buy-in needed to make something
positive happen. The most important factor is multi-dimensional representation on
your scenario team - management-dancers-finance etc. Most businesses need creative
people, who can think outside the box, and key stakeholders in parts of the process as
well - in order to get an external viewpoint. There is understandably tension
sometimes between the creative and the administrative, but we continue to work
through these. My view: effective leadership - whether artistic or administrative-
involves creativity.

3. Leadership, Communication & Engagement are Key

Change is driven by a combination of the pull of the leadership and the push of the
self-managed teams, the effective communication and deep engagement around

 Leadership is the key: Effective, inclusive, sharing and trusting leadership is

combined with effective situational / personnel management and planning. The
top-down, externally driven attempt at creating significant change might be
catastrophic for the businesses/situations. In other words, if the people of the business
are 'connected', 'included', part of the identification and development of remedies and
take-up of opportunities as they present and as part of operational and strategic
planning, tell the story of the organization, past and present, through diverse eyes.
This helps to acknowledge and give credence to everything that is good and should be
preserved as well as to get a good handle on what it is you're changing.
 Communication around change is essential: Change fails because generally it is not
well communicated (especially the rational and the end game), that's a no-brainer, the
process for implementation is not well thought out, lack to identify 'barriers' before
they block the implementation and not gathering enough 'change-agents' to support
the change. Also, the problem lies in simplistically equating resistance to change with
a failure to communicate enough. Should leaders make time to listen to the real fears
and concerns, it could provide them with an opportunity to (1) show the parties
concerned how the business case for change makes provision for their fears and
concerns - hence use productive influence to deal with resistance and obtain respect
and buy-in in the process. It could also serve as an opportunity (2) to give recognition
to those people that have "identified holes in the hull of the ship" that could cause the
ship to sink on the change journey. Successful strategy and change implementation
can only benefit from an organizational culture where people are encouraged to
provide their inputs towards successful change as well as potential risks and
mitigation strategies.
 Engaging around change is a far deeper, more difficult process: It
includes listening and understanding the realities that people face (the multiple
'realities' that represent their 'truth') as much as it does to conveying information. It
talks about connecting with people at an emotional as well as a rational level and
working out the best way to meet multiple needs within a change process. Change
enablement through appropriate engagement is an important element of dealing with
complex change. It may take more time but as you learn - sometimes you need to go
slower, to go faster. True engagement usually accelerates change in the medium term.
If it doesn't, the reality is that it certainly informs the discretion about the change.
After the deep engagement, if people still believe that the proposed change is not right
for them, better pay attention to the wisdom in their views. Remember, they're a lot
closer to the Customer interface and the real world of the business than most of the
executives who launch change initiatives.

4. Neither Change nor Resistance to Change (RoC) is Problem

Indeed, the sentiments expressed on change management make sense. However, if
managing well, neither change nor resistance to change is a problem. Change should
be viewed and embraced as a solution and an opportunity and not a problem. The
resistance to change is a natural occurrence that needs to be addressed in a very well
thought out change management plan.

 Change should be viewed as an "opportunity:" It's the opportunity to either to

solve a business problem or improve productivity or cut costs or improve a
product/service. To achieve desired change, an organization must create an
environment that enables effective collaboration, share and promote ideas, and
provide necessary incentives for employees. Change itself is an acceptable concept in
organizations and acknowledged by people, so change isn't a problem itself, the
content & Context of a change may cause a problem. Change can be classified into
long term transformation, mid-term organization's collective change habit or
short-term sprint to reach certain performance goal, for mid or long term change,
vision is critical, the future can be reachable, also inclusive, every participant see
him/herself in part of picture; for short term change, communication is important to
create sense of urgency, Make change cascade, set up right milestone, well align
change goals and business processes accordingly.
 Within resistance lies deep wisdom (amongst other elements) and great
energy: The resistance issue is the failures story of selling the ideas of change to
people, not being committed to the requirement of change and the new paradigm that
address that. Usually, compare change with a trip plan, destination change, path
change, speed change, alignment of all (family) members all are part of the change
plan, failure to convey, arrangement and commitment are called reasons for
resistance. "Education" is often a missing key ingredient to overcoming the RC
factor. Managers can communicate all they want about the coming changes and need
for change but if you don't teach people why it is necessary and how the change will
eventually benefit all they will not internalize the need and will naturally resist.
 Change is part of strategy: Strategic planning process should be cognizant of change
from the beginning and should incorporate some of the core change management
principles into its approach, involving those responsible/needing to support the
initiative in creating this desired future themselves. The right horizontal and linear
slices of the organization/network will offer a microcosm of the system and generate:
(1) best-informed solutions and (2) committed action. More specific steps in
managing change include:
 (1) Ask lots of good questions. Keep it simple, not simpler;
 (2) Accomplish change by identifying the pain points through unique well-developed
 (3) Outline the implementation process with assignments, dates, and deliverable.
 (4) Remove cultural, organizational, and systemic obstacles. (5). Measure
performance, create KPIs and monitor and measure before and after for validity and
value proposition to the organization
 (6) End results: growth, profits, improved culture, better communications, stronger
organizational structure, and streamlined systems.
Thereafter , neither change nor resistance to change is a problem. Instead, leadership,
communication, and engagement are the keys to successful change or lack thereof is
the problem. Everyone accepts that change happens. Some changes we embrace, some
we resist. It is incumbent on management to identify and explain the changes first,
and then what proactive or reactive measures (changes) are being taken to address it.
Change Management is not a standalone subject matter. It is part of the strategy,
which if done properly, includes the change in the process.

Management for All: Resistance to Change

Why do individuals and organizations resist change ? explain instances of

resistance to change in any organization and the effectiveness of management
strategies to overcome the resistance.

Ans : The main reason behind the employee’s resistance is the underlying fear and
anxiety caused by uncertainties of change. In most situations resistance arises out of
individual problems rather than technical problems. Resistance is often because of
attitudinal factors and blind spots, which the functional specialists have as a result of
their concern for and preoccupation with technical aspects of new ideas.

One of the common reasons for resisting change is the feeling of discomfort with the
nature of change itself, which may violate their moral belief systems. Another reason
for resistance may be the method in which change is introduced. This is observed
when authoritarian approach is used and people are not informed. Other reasons for
resistance may be inequity where the employees feel that someone is likely to get
greater benefit than they are likely to get.

1. Lack of knowledge : in situations when people do not have sufficient knowledge

about the cause and effects of change they feel anxious and stressed and consequently
resist to change. Employees also resists change because it threaten their need for
security ,self-esteem, competence, status and social interaction. Irrespective of the
nature of change it has been found that employees make efforts to protect them from
effect of change and the reaction may range from simple complaint and grievances to
passive resistance, sabotage, absenteeism an slowing down of work. Resistance to
change takes place irrespective of the level of employee in the organization- whether
one is white collar or a blue-collar worker.

However, when the change become inevitable, the employees try to offset the facts of
change by desire for now learning / experiences and for the rewards that may come
with change. In that case changes are requested and sought for by employees. Change
reaction effects are seen in feeling of insecurity and the change of working situations
or job. Change can have cascading effect when one person receives promotion; it
leads to promotion of ten other people’s at lower levels. This is indicative of change
reaction effects of a single precipitating event.

2. Selective perception : when changes are introduced employees are more

concerned about how it would affect the entire organization. This is often observed
when mode of payment is changed or reorganization is done. Also individuals assess
the compatibility of the change with their belief and value systems.

3. Fear of Uncertainty : Uncertainty about the effect of change personally and

professionally is another reason for individual resistance. The threat perceived by the
employee may be imaginary, intended or unintended, big or small, direct or indirect. A
number of fears like loss of status, power, income and uncertainty about their ability
to cope with work-demand come in the way of accepting the change.

4. Aversion to Risk : change threatens those who like comfort of familiar. Change
often requires personal transition where in familiar has to be destabilized. It calls for
giving up the status quo, unlearning or unfreezing the person to integrate and absorb
new learning. It is interesting that a number of individuals consider change to bring
new opportunities. Research findings also support the view that positive approach to
change results in opportunities for individuals during the transition period.


Factor built in the organizational system also lead to resistance to change. It has been
observed that organizations are conservative and are therefore slow to change.

1. Inertia of a structure: A number of built-in mechanisms provide stability to

organizations. Every organization has got its own systems, processes, policies, and
procedures, which ought to be followed for uniformity and formalization of the
process. Consequently any change in the structural aspects has cascading effect on
other related systems and processes. This creates a hurdle in introducing
organizational change. In organizations where structural changes are introduced, it
takes long for people to accept and assimilate the structural change.

2. Threat to power dynamics: Structural change with ensuing changes in

decision-making pattern can destabilize power relationships established over a period
of time. Change in decision-making process from centralize decision making process
to participative or democratic decision-making process form centralized
decision-making can threaten managers affected by it.

3. Group pressure : Group norms evolved by an organization over the years become
a bottleneck in bringing about change. It is common observation that a single member
of a group accepts change suggested by management willingly. However, his group
affiliation with a union does not allow him to do so. Therefore, he is likely to resists

4. Blinkered view of change : Any organization consists of four elements namely

task, structure, technology, and people. Focus on any one of the elements of the
organization will bring about corresponding change in other elements as well.
Therefore, change can not have lopsided and limited perspective.

Brief about the organization referring to:

Our organization ECO-CARE & AWARE is a non profit organization providing
training and support service to Developmental Sector. Support services includes
planning and formulation of developmental projects, technical support during
implementation, Monitoring & Evaluation, Training and Capacity Building, Research
& Study, Micro Planning & PRA (Participatory Rural Appraisal).The organization
caters its best services for the judicious use of Natural, Human and Physical

The areas of activities include Environment, Watershed Development, Forestry,

Biodiversity, Sanitation, Minor Irrigation, Biotechnology, Sustainable Agriculture,
Horticulture, Capacity Building, Micro Finance, Training and Awareness.
1. Counseling: counseling has been found to be very effective in reducing individual
resistance. Individual resistance occurs because of anxieties and fears and by letting
people talk through their problems and anxieties can help them come to terms with
change. This techniques is used on one-to-one and also in formal communication
system with the whole team.

2. Force-field analysis : this technique provides an assessment of any change

situation and presents a balance between the driving forces and the resisting forces.
The participants are advised by the change agent to identify these forces. While
identifying the restraining forces the group develops insight about ways of handling
them. In a number of organizations this technique is used effectively to create a shared
change processes for thinking through specific changes.

3. Commitment Charting : in any change there will be people who gain and others
who lose. Therefore, in order to get the commitment of the people who are likely to
loose, it is important to handle them with care, as they will be sensitive to any action.
For a change to succeed it is important to have a critical mass and also to minimize
the pain it causes to the affected. In order to do that a chart is prepared listing the
names of key players and their commitment level to the change. The chart indicates
the status of the people who have commitment at present and whose commitment
needs to be ensured for change to be successful. Also the people who have no
commitment need to be focused for gaining commitment.

In this regard our organization follows the ways as suggested by Watson (1969) to
reduce the resistance. These relate to ownership of change, nature of change and the
process of changing.

Ownership : resistance is likely to be low if the change is perceived as being the need
of and suggested (sense of belongingness ) by those affected by it. And when it has
the top management support.

Nature of Change : Resistance is reduced by joint and agreed diagnosis of the

problems and burdens, conforming to the core values of the group, offering new and
interesting experience to the group, and does not threaten autonomy and security.
Change process : Resistance is reduced by joint and agreed diagnosis of the problem,
consensus on the board design of change, listening to “objections’(and learning from
them), periodical review and feedback, development of high interpersonal trust and
cohesive teams and openness to revision. Various sources of resistance and the coping
mechanisms as followed by our organization are discussed below :

Sources of Resistance Coping Mechanism

1. Perceived peripherality of change : Participation in diagnosis

2. Perception of Imposition : Participation and involvement

3. Indifference of top management : Active support from the top

4. Vested interest : Fait accompli

5. Complacency and inertia : Fait accompli

6. Fear of large scale disturbance : Phasing of Change

7. Fear of inadequate resources : Support the resources

8. Fear of obsolescence : Development of skill

9. Fear of loss of Power : Role of redefinition and reorientation

10. Fear of overload : Role clarity and definition

1. Perceived peripherality of change : If the executives perceive that the change

being introduced in the organization is not critical for them of their unit, they are
likely to resist such a change. Implementation of change can be effective if the change
introduced is seen as critical and useful. This is achieved by involving the concerned
managers in the diagnosis of the issues or problems, so that they can appreciate the
need for change. Their attitude to the innovation introduced will then be positive.

2. Perception of Imposition: Similarly, when the managers in our organization see

the change as being imposed by the head office, they are likely to resist the change.
Such resistance can be reduced by involving them in the introduction of change at
several stages. This can be done through seminars, work groups to evolve the various
parts of the change programme, and task forces to work out details of implementation.
Participation of the managers at various stages of the change increases the
commitment to change.

3. Indifference of top management : The behaviour and attitude of the top

management are critical in the implementation of change. When top management do
not show much enthusiasm or interest in the change, the people at lower level will put
up increased resistance to it. The top management so show their interest in our
organization by frequently getting information and feedback on the progress of the
change, participating in seminars organized to discuss the experiences, meeting new
occupants of new roles created as a part of change, providing positive strokes
(encouragement and appreciation) on the success experiences, and monitoring the
experiment in the significant documents such as the annual report, etc.

4. Vested interest : Change produces some disturbance, and sometimes some

dislocation. When our organization creates new units, which are located in the smaller
towns, people moving to smaller towns from capital cities will face problems and
experience inconvenience. As a result of this they are likely to resist the change. They
may, of course, give different reasons, which may appear logical. However, once they
go and work in the smaller towns, they do enjoy the change and also see its positive

5. Complacency and inertia : as a general rule, change produces discomfort. People

develop complacency while being in one state. The change of state is somewhat
painful. The solution of the problem is to introduce change and help people
experience new conditions. Then the resistance usually goes down.

6. Fear of large scale disturbance: In our organization there may be genuine fear
that proposed changes is to lead with unpredictable consequences. This is particularly
happens when the changes are in sensitive areas, and require skills. As already
discussed phasing of the change programme may reduce resistance arising out of this
dimension. Preventive sanction such experimentation, adjustment, phasing, etc may
be helpful.

7. Fear of inadequate resources: Resistance sometimes increase if the

implementation of change requires additional resources in the form of new skills,
additional manpower, or budget. Provision of such resources support may reduce
resistance. It is examined whether this is genuine need of resources or not. When new
units are created with greater autonomy the support of planning, personnel and
technology may be provided to help the units to succeed in meeting their objectives.
8. Fear of obsolescence: Resistance to change is high if the change requires new
skills and the existing people may feel that because of lack of those skills they may
become obsolete. This may be a real threat. Resistance are partly reduced by
providing right orientation and training for the new skills needed. Eg introduction of
HRD succeeded after the existing functionaries in the personal or organizational
planning departments are given enough training in the new function as to make them
feel confident in carrying out these effectively.

9. Fear of loss of Power : sometimes resistance is high when there is a feeling that as
a result of change some roles will lose power. For example, creation of new planning
roles arises a fear that planning functionaries may not get the operational powers. This
resistance is reduced when the roles are redefined and redesignated so that the
concerned role occupants can perceive that they may have different kinds of power ,
of high order although different in nature. This involved roles helped to realize the

10. Fear of overload : when some people feel that the change will increase their work
load, they are likely to resist change. This happens if they perceive new functions are
being assigned to their roles. So by clearly defining their roles, they are able to
prioritie the functions, and decide which functions can be delegated to their
subordinates, the resistance can be reduced. So we organize seminar on role definition
and clarity, and negotiation for delegation some functions.
Management of Change: The Case of
Change is the only permanent in life. Change can be a lot of things, but no matter how
the benefits are spelled out, it's often a scary proposition. A business cannot simply
rely on past successes to withstand the internal and external forces that may threaten
its profitability. So in order to retain a company's viability, its leadership must
maintain a forward-thinking vision, be vigilant in recognizing the need for change and
have the skill and leadership style to guide the organization through the process of
change (, 1991). Today's successful companies must change daily to keep up with
their customers' changing needs and the competition.
Organizational change can be defined as "Anything that affects people, processes and
chains of accountability is organizational change" (, 2003). Regardless of the size of
an organization or the industry in which an organization resides, preparing for change
is the same.
The need for change is driven by market forces, a need to improve performance
internally, competitive situations, and rapid changes in technology. Managers see a
clear and positive impact to the financial bottom line or a boost in the performance
and morale of employees. But improvements to technology and business processes
also bring about human changes, which, if not managed effectively, can be the demise
of any implementation. Monitoring and managing the human changes that result from
changes to business processes and technology is what change management is all
According to (2005), consistent change management is critical to a new system
implementation's success. Managing the implementation of these major changes is a
must if you are to survive in today's highly competitive environment. Attempting to
implement major changes without a well thought out plan will result in wasted efforts,
lost time, missed sales and lower profits. Major changes within organizations are
required for long-term survival. Getting these changes implemented as smoothly as
possible with a minimum of disruption is a difficult, but manageable task.
"Change management involves the process of effectively restructuring an organization
to make it more responsive to its marketplace. It is the process consists of identifying
destabilizing forces, determining the present situation, selecting the methods for the
implementation of change, developing an effective strategy and applying these
strategies accurately" (, 1997). It is also important to determine the external and
internal sources of the need to implement changes.
Changes are continually happening in the workplace, and it would be futile for both
supervisors and employees to resist it. Employees in general resist change because
they are comfortable with the status quo (, 2002). Downsizing, buy-outs and mergers
are occurring at dizzying speeds it seems. And "planned" change, the introduction of a
new way of doing things, can arouse resistance.
This paper attempts to analyze external and internal factors that affect to the choice of
7-Eleven to decide on organizational changes. Any company has undergone
challenges in their business operations and 7-Eleven is one of the companies that have
experienced these difficulties. For a company to sustain its competitiveness, it must be
sensitive to the necessary changes in the organization. Usually in implementing
changes, there are a number of persons on the organization that resist to these changes.
However, change is good for the company when properly planned.

Company Background
7-Eleven is an international company operating as a convenience store in eighteen
countries which includes Canada, United States, Mexico and Puerto Rico in the
Americas; Norway, Sweden and Denmark in Europe; Taiwan (Republic of China),
People's Republic of China (China), Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan in East Asia;
the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore in Southeast Asia; and also Turkey
and Australia.

7-Eleven was founded in 1927 in Oak Cliff, Texas, USA in which started using the
name 7-Eleven in 1946. In 1964, 7-Eleven enter the business of franchising when the
company purchased a chain store named "Speedee-Mart."
It was in 1991, Ito-Yokado a supermarket chain, which operates 7-Eleven stores in
Japan, purchased the majority interest of The Southland Corporation. In 1999, The
Southland Corporation changed its name to 7-Eleven, Inc.
Initially, these stores were open from 7 am to 11 pm, which was unprecedented at the
time, hence the name; however, most 7-Eleven stores are now open twenty-four hours
per day, seven days per week.
In November 2005, 7-Eleven has turned to a publicly traded Japanese conglomerate
when Seven and I Holdings Co. has completed its purchased of the company.

7-Eleven's vision is to be recognized as a leader in providing time-conscious
consumers with a full-range of products and services that meet their ever-changing
daily needs.

Mission Statement
7-Eleven's mission is to offer time-conscious customers a full range of products and
services that meet their ever-changing daily needs through quality, speed, selection
and value in a safe, friendly and pleasant environment.
Core Values
7-Eleven is a customer-preferred convenience store which value customer
expectations through quality, speed, selection and value safe and pleasant
environment. The company treats employees with dignity and respect the company
also recognizes franchisees and suppliers as business partners. In addition, the
company strives to be a good corporate citizen.
External Analysis
There are factors that can stimulate changes. One of these sources is external to the
organization. This includes society, political or legal environment and technological

These changes are affected by the beliefs, values, attitudes, opinions, and lifestyles
shift in society. In the case of 7-Eleven, with the increasing changes in consumers'
preferences, changes in the management of the human resources is significantly
important especially with the nature of the business of 7-Eleven to have the quality
service to its customers. In business, consumers dictate the success of the company.
The society today is more demanding and is demanding for quality products and
services and the value to their money.
Political/legal environment

Another source of change is the government's policies. 7-Eleven is operating in

different parts of the globe which would probably face these challenges of different
government policies. With these, the company would likely to change how they work
in each country that would be according to the policies of the government in the
country they operate. Political decisions or events in a country will affect the business
climate in such a way that investors will lose money or not make as much money as
they expected when the investment was made.
Political factors that may affect the 7-Eleven may include government laws and
regulations. Restrictions on repatriation of capital, profit, and management fees can
affect the operations of the retail store. In addition, regulation on the price controls for
rooms and other charges in some of its products. Moreover, implementation of high
corporation tax on products can affect the 7-Eleven.

Technological developments
With the rapid change in the technology especially in the communications and
transportation, organizational change would likely to occur. In a global organization,
communication and transportation are of great importance.
With the presence of Internet retailing, 7-Eleven faces extensive competition. The
company must understand that with these competitors, changes would likely to be a
significant development to the company especially with their services. Services can be
delivered effectively to the customers when there would be significant changes in the
human resource management.

Competitive Analysis
7-Eleven is currently having various competitions which include superstores,
hypermarkets, convenience stores and even traditional markets. However, the biggest
competitors of 7-Eleven today are Circle K convenience stores, ParknShop and
Wellcome. Currently, in Hong Kong there are already more than 600 supermarkets
and convenience stores.

ParknShop is associated with three other supermarkets by the name of Great, Taste,
and Gourmet. These high-end supermarkets are after the more affluent clientele. They
are ideal outlets for innovative, quality and priced international food products. These
stores also carry a wide selection of organic products. Great adopts a stylish
international food hall concept and its flagship store offers over 46,000 gourmet

In addition Wellcome also is a competitor of 7-Eleven which is also is owned of Dairy

Farm. Wellcome, will also be opening an upscale supermarket in Hong Kong's central
commercial area catering to the more affluent clientele. It will be Hong Kong's largest
retail outlet for organic and natural products. About 6,000 items or 70 percent of the
items in the store will be organic or natural products. The store will include an organic
sector for baby products. "Health" and "natural" are the key concepts of this store.
ParknShop and Wellcome account for almost 80 percent of the supermarket turnover.
Both supermarkets are able to work closely with real estate developers to open stores
in strategic locations, thus maintaining their significant market share. Because of
their significant market share, they are able to make suppliers offer goods to them at
very competitive prices, so that they are able to set retail prices lower than their
competitors. Consequently, it is difficult for small competitors to survive and new
players to enter into the market.
Moreover, a new development in 2003 is that ParknShop expanded into 24-hour
convenience store operations. The supermarket giant has opened a number of stores
under the name ParknShop Express on a trial scheme and may expand the network
across Hong Kong if the experiment succeeds. Currently, there are about ten
Express stores. ParknShop has intrinsic competitive advantages over its rivals
because it can use the leverage of the group's existing infrastructure to offer products
at low prices. The stores carry the products as other convenience stores such as
cooked food, drinks, newspapers and magazines. In a bid to lure customers, the
1,000 products offered by ParknShop Express are priced at the same level as those
being sold at ParknShop. This is in contrast to other convenience store operators
charging at a premium of up to 15 per cent from those selling at supermarkets.

In the convenience store, Circle K is the competitor of 7-Eleven. Circle K is

continuing to expand.

Internal Analysis

SWOT Analysis
Majority of the goods that 7-Eleven Store are low prices sue to low cost of operations.
Also, 7-Eleven is more convenient to customers. Consumers could avoid the long
checkout lines, crowded parking lots, and traffic. There are many choices of shopping
methods; browsing the aisles, using product search, and choosing from a shopping list
customized from frequently bought products. They could shop 24/7 since the store is
open for 24 hours in 7 days. The store also offers variety of selection from fresh to
processed food and whatever shoppers would need.
Increase in competition is a great threat to 7 Eleven. Also, with the increasing high
levels of educated people, consumers are now more skeptics and are more demanding.
In addition, the traditional markets in which people can purchase fresh fruits and
vegetables are still in its popularity in Hong Kong. Moreover, 7-Eleven has high
employee turnover which is a sign of bad management.

7-Eleven has also some opportunities. With the problem of information dissemination,
an opportunity to acquire new technology for more efficient operations can now be
possible. Also, 7 Eleven has been already known by the people as a store open in 24
hours they have the advantage over it. In addition, the company also got the most
strategic locations of their stores. Moreover, the company can still expand their
business and open some more stores especially in China which got the opportunities
of expansion with its large market.

However, despite the strengths, the store has also its weaknesses. One of which is
inventory inefficiency in which they would experience stock outs. Moreover, with the
presence of superstores, their current marketing strategies have been overshadowed.
In addition, low performance of workers also has negative effect on the efficiency of
the store.

Identification of Problem/Issues

7-Eleven faces an intense competition. With the continuous globalization, it is

important for 7 Eleven to maintain its leadership in the convenience store industry.
Superstores are already emerging which are mostly are also beginning to open 24

From the SWOT analysis, the company faces various problems that are needed to
have a solution. It is recommended to concentrate on some areas. One of the areas that
have a major impact on offering goods and service is the efficiency and effectiveness
of the people doing the work.

One of the major objectives that the company should concentrate is the improvement
of their workers. A strategic human resource development must be implemented
within the company.

Human resource development (HRD) plays a vital function by maximizing employee

expertise to achieve the main objectives of an organization. Human resource
development (HRD) has served the needs of organizations to provide employees with
up-to-date expertise. According to and (1994) Advances in HRD models and
processes have kept pace with the increasingly sophisticated information and
production technologies that continue to diffuse throughout our nation's most vital
industries. During this period of rapid technological development, the HRD function
could be relied upon to support a broad range of business initiatives that required a
competent workforce.

Critical business issues, from new marketing strategies to innovations in production

technology, were based on, among other factors, the performance capabilities of those
expected to use these new work systems. As a factor integral to business success,
employee expertise itself has been expanded through effective programs of employee
development. According to (1994), expertise is defined as the optimal level at which
a person is able and/or expected to perform within a specialized realm of human

However, according to and (1994), today's business environment requires that

HRD not only support the business strategies of organizations, but that it assumes a
pivotal role in the shaping of business strategy. Business success increasingly hinges
on an organization's ability to use employee expertise as a factor in the shaping of
business strategy.

The rationale for using HRD interventions to support business objectives is to

enhance employee expertise through HRD increases the likelihood that business
objectives will be achieved ( and , 1995; , 1994).

Training and other initiatives associated with total quality management have been
critical in transforming marginal manufacturing plants into successful facilities (,
1994). HRD continues to be a primary vehicle for assuring mandated levels of
employee competence and public safety in highly regulated sectors like the nuclear
power industry (, 1994).

and (1995) posit the argument that "Organizations in the new economy have come
to realize that employee expertise is a vital and dynamic living treasure. The desire for
employee expertise is meaningless unless an organization can develop it in ways that
respond to the business needs."

However, some Organizations have rushed to embrace information technology as a

way to improve overall efficiency and reduce costs. Yet, it is not the information
technology itself, but the way information technology is thoroughly integrated into
major business processes, that represent the greatest opportunity for the successful
transformation of outdated business processes (, 1993). However, those who have
successfully used information technology to improve business performance will
quickly point out that these advantages will not materialize without highly competent
people to both implement and utilize these innovative work systems.

The human capacity must exist to use information technology to maximize

performance (., 2003). Employee expertise is critical to an organization's ability to
capitalize on the vast opportunities afforded by information technology. HRD is then
in a strategic position to assure that the required expertise is available and effectively

Organizations in market leadership positions realize sooner or later that human

resources are ultimately the only business resource with the creativity and adaptive
power to sustain and renew an organization's success despite changing market
conditions (, 1993). The development of employee expertise provides a potentially
inexhaustible source of ideas for further innovation and increased productivity
because the most basic output of the highly competent employee knowledge is not
used up in the process of producing it (, 1989). Developing employee expertise at all
levels of the organization and using knowledge as a catalyst for growth and
competitive advantage represents a major frontier in organizational performance that
is only now beginning to be fully appreciated (, , , , and , 1994; , , and , 1995).

Resistance to Change
No matter how much analyzing, planning and employee participation you do, some of
your employees will resist the changes. The majority of human beings naturally resist
change (, 2002). Change takes employees (and some presidents) out of their comfort
zone and places them in an unknown situation. This results in resistance to the needed
According to (2002) resistance comes in two forms; overt and passive. Overt
resistance is the easiest to overcome. It comes from the employees who openly oppose
the changes. Allow these employees to speak their mind and then work with them to
overcome their concerns.
Passive resistance is much tougher to overcome. If you don't know it exists you
cannot overcome it. The most passive resistance comes from employees who have n
opinion when asked about the proposed changes. Everyone has an opinion; be very
careful and watchful of those who do not express it when asked. After passive
resistance is detected take immediate action to eliminate it.

No Change Scenario
If 7-Eleven would not change its human resource management, there would be an
increasing number of staff turnovers because mainly staff are not motivated and are
unsatisfied with their work. In addition, because of lack of expertise of most of its
staff, more problems will prevail.

Change Scenario
When the company would adopt changes on its human resource management, the
staff would likely to be motivated and empower with their proper training and with
their development and expertise with their job.

More than anything, human resource is important to any company. And its
development would likely improve the performance of any company. HRD serves a
broad range of interests and outcomes in organizations. The primary purposes to be
served by HRD can range from programs intended to meet the personal development
needs of individuals such as identifying individual learning styles or personal
financial planning to HRD programs necessary for everyone in the organization such
as programs addressing a new performance appraisal method or role changes
secondary to structural reorganization. HRD is a crucial antecedent to successful
business strategy. In these situations, HRD actively shapes strategy.

Some companies jump into deciding on application of technology however, it is

important first to reorganize the organization as a whole. Changes in the management
of human resources should be the first at hand with the company of 7-Eleven.