Friday, 16 April 2021

Leadership & Change

Executive Summary

In this study, the change management process adapted by the Manufacturing industry amid the COVID19 pandemic has been investigated and certain recommendations based on my prior experience the report has been proposed. The current pandemic has affected both the organizations and their employees subjecting them to develop strategies to cope up with the challenging environment. The Lewin’s and the ADKAR models have been adapted and presented in this article alongside some recommendations that have been suggested after the identification of certain shortcomings. Lewin’s model proposes a three steps process for organizational change i.e. unfreezing, change and refreeze, each with its own sets of strategies, challenges, and shortcomings for which few recommendations also have been suggested to overcome these challenges.


According to Cahill (2020), change especially in the business world is inevitable and the employees and their leaders must be flexible and rapid in adapting to the new predicament.  In this report, the change process in the Manufacturing industry is identified and evaluated. As Marconi (2016) said, the manufacturing industry holds crucial importance in the economy of a country. During the COVID19 pandemic, the manufacturing industry suffered a lot and had to make various changes in its system to survive. This report will cover and analyze all the changes and modifications the manufacturing industry had to adapt to survive through the pandemic. This report will also highlight the role of the various soft skills and qualities and determine the organization’s efficiency in adapting these changes and in the light of this evaluation will also suggest some recommendations to the organization.    

Change process in the manufacturing industry

The change process is the procedure followed by the organization to bring some changes in its policies, rules, technology, or leadership to increase the efficiency and productivity of the company[A1] [A2] . According to Sadeghi (2011), there is a direct relationship between the company’s success and its alignment with the fundamental change strategies of the organization i.e. structure, goals, culture, technology and, human resources. During the COVID19 pandemic, the UAE government had to put restrictions especially for reducing the public interaction at workplaces, educational institutions etc. As per the statement of Gereffi (2020), during the pandemic, the demand for medical supplies had skyrocketed and there was a huge burden on the manufacturing industry to cope up with the rising demands in the challenging environments like increasing production alongside reducing the workforce, the shortage of raw materials, supply chain management issues, etc. To tackle this issue I divided the staff into shift schedules which were quite challenging to adapt and also employed digital platforms for meetings etc. for which I also provided training to bridge the skill or knowledge gaps of the employees.  Manufacturing industries also had to focus on supply chain management and network risk management issues to become more resilient and agile towards disruption[A3] .

Change Process Models

Resistance towards change is natural and when it comes to organizational change management it becomes challenging because of the resistance towards these changes by the employees. The change management models help us to predict the possible hurdles and challenges during the implementation of changes (Rothwell et al., 2016). There are various change management models such as the ADKAR model, McKinsey 7s model, Lewin’s Model etc. but Lewin’s Model of the change process is going to be discussed here.

Lewin’s Model

It is an uncomplicated model of change management designed by Kurt Lewin in the 1940s (Burnes, 2020). It consists of three main steps i.e. Unfreezing, Change, and refreeze, as shown in Figure 1 below.

Figure 1: Lewin's Model of Change Management Process, (Self-made)


The initial challenging phase of the change management process where the employees are being transitioned from the previous habits towards the latest changes in policies, rules, etc. According to Wang (2020), workplaces are one of the hotspots of the spread of COVID19, and manufacturing companies were subjected to reduce their workforce and change their working hours, response to the government's restrictions. They also increased production sites closer to the areas of demand so to tackle supply chain management issues (Golan, 2020). To overcome the resistance of the employees towards the changes in work schedules they informed their employees about the importance of these changes and made them aware of the mutual benefits.


According to Averch (2018), Resistance to change is as inexorable as time. [A4] Human interaction and effective communication are the key forces in speeding up change and overcoming resistance (Rajan, and Ganesan, 2017). During this phase, the employees begin accepting the new predicaments and habituating with the new environments but due to the over intensiveness of the workload and other changes made amid the COVID19 pandemic the employees might not be able to sustain these changes thus getting exhausted and altogether rejecting it.


This is the phase where the new adaptations become habits and work schedules become routines. Since the modifications adopted amid the current pandemic are too unnatural there is a lot of disparity in the performance of the employees in comparison to the pre-COVID times (Dirani, 2020). Likewise, in my organization, there has been an increase in employees’ absentees and a significant reduction in workers output due to the intensity of the workload.

ADKAR model

ADKAR is a people-centred model. Since the success of the organizational change depends more on the employee's ability and, willingness towards implementation of the change rather than the change itself, this model gives us the five-step effective approach towards successful yet effective change management, as shown in Figure 2 (Karambelkar, 2017). It can be divided into two major zones i.e. enablement zone and the engagement zone, as explained below.

Figure 2: ADKAR Change Management Process, (SELF-Made)

Awareness and desire

These are the initial phases of the enablement zone where employees are being informed, motivated towards the adaptation of the latest changes. (Wilson, 2018) The manufacturing industry though was hit by a huge burden but still, they reacted well towards the new predicaments, developing and implementing the new strategies, designed new work schedules, and made their workers aware of these changes well in time.


A distal part of the enablement zone where the employees are trained and provided with support to be able to adapt to changes more efficiently. During the current pandemic, it was a need of the hour to adopt the digital and online environment and be able to work remotely if necessary (Briciu and Briciu, 2021). My organization was surely aware of these requirements and they did help their employees familiarize themselves with the online world and aided them in bridging up their skill and knowledge gaps.


Ability is the early phase of the engagement zone. After proper guidance and training the organization should schedule practice sessions for the employees so that any issues and problems in the adaptation and implementation of the new changes be assessed, evaluated, and properly guided (Bakari, 2017). My organization understanding these issues did conduct practice sessions and countered their employs' incapability along with polishing their required skills and bridging their knowledge gaps.


It is said that Sustaining the change is as important as adapting the change to achieve the desired outcomes (Willis, 2016). Reinforcement is the last step of the engagement zone when the employees are monitored for their efficiency and performance after adapting to the new circumstances. My organization achieved this through encouragement, recognition and, offering incentives to boost the change process otherwise the latest predicaments would surely exhaust the employees and they might reject the new policies.


A slower yet informed and properly guided change is more effective than a sudden imposition of change that often faces resistance, as proposed by Lewin’s model of change management (Galli, 2019). Recognizing these issues the company had to make certain modifications to the model to make the process more effective, sustainable, and efficient.

·         Awareness of the employees' benefits in the implementation of changes is highly important (Zafar, 2014).  It is better for the organization to properly inform their employees about the changes and addressing their employee’s interests in adapting the new solutions and modifications as opposed to the unfreezing phase of Lewin’s model where the employees are not properly informed and guided about the changes.

·         Since sustaining the change is as important as adapting the change to achieve the desired outcomes (Hayes, 2018) any change without proper knowledge and awareness of the desired interest will be a burden and the employees will become fed up with the new predicament thereby altogether rejecting it. To prevent this a company should properly aware their employees of the possible outcomes and their interests in the implementation of the changes alongside also addressing the employee's concerns and issues in adapting to the new solutions and circumstances.

·         Adaptation to the changing environments could be quite challenging if not properly guided and, assessed about the shortcomings in the proper implementation of the changes especially when involving certain skills (Stouten, 2018). I suggest that the company should properly monitor their employees, conduct practice sessions and properly guide to bridge their gaps in efficiency and performance.


In this study, the effect of the current pandemic on the manufacturing sector, and their reaction to the new predicaments has been investigated. The suggested recommendations are based on my prior experience in the manufacturing industry and literature research regarding Lewin's model of change. It is a short but lesser efficient three-step process i.e. unfreezing, change, and refreezing. Out of all these three phases the unfreezing is the most critical yet challenging phase where the leadership or the company can be subjected to a big resistance from the employees towards the implementation of the changes because of the lack of proper guidance, awareness, and knowledge. On the other hand, ADKAR presents a proper comprehensive model of change management, comprising of five steps i.e., reinforcement, adapt, knowledge, desire and, awareness. This model proposes that the employees should be made aware of the changes and their interests along with conducting training and encourage them for the sustainable and efficient change process.


Almurisi, S.H., Al Khalidi, D., AL-Japairai, K.A., Mahmood, S., Chilakamarry, C.R., Kadiyala, C.B.N. and Mohananaidu, K., 2020. Impact of COVID 19 Pandemic Crisis on the Health System and Pharmaceutical Industry.

Averch, T.D., 2018. Resistance to change. Resistance is futile. Change is inevitable. So why is it so challenging?. The Canadian journal of urology25(1), pp.9148-9148.

Bakari, H., Hunjra, A.I. and Niazi, G.S.K., 2017. How does authentic leadership influence plan organizational change? The role of employees' perceptions: Integration of theory of planned behaviour and Lewin's three-step model. Journal of Change Management17(2), pp.155-187.

Briciu, V.A. and Briciu, A., 2021. Social Media and Organizational Communication. In Encyclopedia of Organizational Knowledge, Administration, and Technology (pp. 2609-2624). IGI Global.

Burnes, B., 2020. The origins of Lewin’s three-step model of change. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science56(1), pp.32-59.

Cahill, N., 2020. Change is inevitable…. Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research81(4), pp.169-169.

Dirani, K.M., Abadi, M., Alizadeh, A., Barhate, B., Garza, R.C., Gunasekara, N., Ibrahim, G. and Majzun, Z., 2020. Leadership competencies and the essential role of human resource development in times of crisis: a response to Covid-19 pandemic. Human Resource Development International23(4), pp.380-394.

Galli, B.J., 2019. Comparison of Change Management Models: Similarities, Differences, and Which Is Most Effective?. In R&D Management in the Knowledge Era (pp. 605-624). Springer, Cham.

Gereffi, G., 2020. What does the COVID-19 pandemic teach us about global value chains? The case of medical supplies. Journal of International Business Policy3(3), pp.287-301.

Golan, M.S., Jernegan, L.H. and Linkov, I., 2020. Trends and applications of resilience analytics in supply chain modelling: systematic literature review in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Environment Systems and Decisions40, pp.222-243.

Hayes, J., 2018. The theory and practice of change management. Palgrave.

Karambelkar, M. and Bhattacharya, S., 2017. Onboarding is a change: applying change management model ADKAR to onboarding. Human resource management international digest.

Marconi, N., de Borja Reis, C.F. and de Ara├║jo, E.C., 2016. Manufacturing and economic development: The actuality of Kaldor's first and second laws. Structural Change and Economic Dynamics37, pp.75-89.

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Rajan, R. and Ganesan, R., 2017. A critical analysis of John P. Kotter's change management framework. Asian Journal of Research in Business Economics and Management7(7), pp.181-203.

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Sadeghi, D., 2011. Alignment of organizational change strategies and its relationship with increasing organizations’ performance. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences20, pp.1099-1107.

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Wilson, T.C., 2018. A Case Study of Exploration into the Transformational Leadership Styles of Global Senior Leaders in the Medical Device Industry in the Context of Organizational Change (Doctoral dissertation, Indiana Institute of Technology).

Zafar, F. and Naveed, K., 2014. Organizational change and dealing with employees’ resistance. International Journal of Management Excellence2(3), pp.237-246.

To evaluate the impact of innovation strategy on the organisational structure of the UAE Interior Ministry (General Directive of Civil Defence Al Furjirah)


Persistent innovation in defence infrastructure is crucial for any country to guarantee its sovereignty. The Ministry of Interior is a defence institution of the government, responsible for managing and securing the civilians' identification data, emergency management, public security, conducting elections and, immigration-related matters (Ministry of Interior, 2021). [A1] [A2] According to Bertacchini et al. (2018), the organizational structure of government institutions is hierarchical where the top-level management and ministers control the administration and the employees are almost powerless. The United Arab Emirates being pro-futuristic has devised a plan to upgrade its security infrastructure as per the modern standards, in line with their vision 2021. These innovations include integration of smart application systems into defence infrastructure and unification of the country-wide security framework to improve coordination and hence improve civilian security.

1.1 Research Objectives

Objectives of the Research proposed are mentioned below:

  • To determine the problems and areas of improvement in the organizational structure of the UAE Interior Ministry.
  • To estimate the innovation strategy’s impact on the organisational configuration of the UAE Interior Ministry.
  • To determine the key important areas of the organisational structure of the UAE Interior Ministry.
  • To find ways to mitigate the negative effects of innovation on the organisational structure of the UAE Interior Ministry.

1.2 Research Questions 

What is the impact of innovation strategy on the organisational configuration of the UAE Interior Ministry?

2. Research Area

This research will explore the organizational configuration of the UAE Interior Ministry, innovation strategy and its possible impacts on the organisational configuration of the UAE Interior Ministry (General Directive of Civil Defence Al Furjirah) along with finding the problems and improvement potential in different areas of UAE Ministry of Interior organizational structure.





3. Literature Review

Continuous innovation in civil defence is crucial for any country, due to rapid radical advancements in this sector across the world. The first research on strategy-structure relation was carried out by Alfred Chandler analyzing up to 100 big US organizations and concluded that the innovation or change in strategy leads to significant alterations in organizational structure (Awino, 2015). He also found that larger organizations tend to have more mechanistic and formal structure slowing down the innovation. According to Pihl-Thingvad and Klausen, (2016), innovations in public organizations are mainly focused on performance improvements. UAE government as part of its innovation strategy wants to integrate Artificial Intelligence into its civil defence systems to improve its performance. As per Cascio and Montealegre (2016), such disruptive technological innovations like Smart Police stations where complainants can file complaints without any human interaction etc., are required to have parallel alterations in the organizational structure such as recruitment of IT professionals and conducting training etc. An empirical study analysing the affects of innovation strategy on the Dubai Police’ organisational performance have also found a significant positive influence on  its organisational performance along with significant changes in organizational structure (Alosani, Yusoff and Al-Dhaafri, 2019).

4. Key Theories

4.1. Structural theories of innovation

4.1.1. The dual-core theory 

According to Daft (1978), this theory of innovation divides the innovation into two types i.e. administrative core and technical core. Change in technical core refers to the innovation in products or services whereas the change in administrative core refers to innovation in organisational structure, leadership etc.

4.1.2. Innovation Radicalness Theory

This theory introduces a concept of the extent of innovation from the existing technological or structural configurations and proposes two types of innovation i.e. incremental and radical innovation.  (Azar and Ciabuschi, 2017). Incremental innovation is a routine innovation in the products or services of the organization whereas radical innovation is a non-routine innovation that might revolutionise the whole organizational structure

Another theory that might help in our research is Ambidextrous Theory, as stated by Hafkesbrink (2016), this theory focuses on the ability of an organization to adopt an innovation or change.

5. Underlying Trends of innovation in Civil defence

5.1. Innovation in Technology in terms of AI

Technologically there could be a diverse range of potential innovations in civil defence such as in artificial intelligence, automobiles, weapons, aerospace, electronics, textiles etc (Tiutiunyk et al., 2019). Nowadays there is a growing trend of incorporation of Artificial Intelligence (AI), especially in civil defence or military. Artificial Intelligence is a man-made consciousness capable of executing various tasks itself. There are two types of AI systems i.e. narrow and general AI system, while the former one being restricted to its code is mostly employed in civil defence technologies for various applications such as command and control, intelligence, surveillance, cyber operation, etc.

5.2. Innovation in Organisational Configuration

Innovation in organisational structure can be a change in its rules, technology, human resources, policies and authority etc (Jong et al., 2015). This innovation flourishes under a formal and centralized organisational structure due to better coordination among employees. Most technological innovations such as AI integration to civil defence requires alterations in the organizational structure like recruitment of IT professionals etc.

5.3. Innovation in Leadership 

The ability of leadership to promote a culture of innovation is called leadership innovation (Purwadita et al., 2018). Types of leadership are; open and closed leadership. Open leadership promotes the creative environment allowing the employees to invent and develop new ideas while closed leadership restricts the employees to a set of rules and guidelines. For disruptive innovations such as technological integration in civil defence, requires open leadership; however, the ambidextrous theory presents a balanced leadership approach that could switch between the open and close leadership techniques, depending upon the circumstances (Sun and Henderson, 2017). This type of leadership is called transformational leadership. [A3] [A4] 

5.4. Management Innovation in Civil defence

Management is a process of administrating and controlling organizational resources to reach their goals efficiently (Sahin et al., 2015). According to Birkinshaw and Mol (2006) cited in Koster, Vos and Schroeder (2017), the process of management innovation consists of four different stages: status-quo dissatisfaction, external source inspiration, external and internal validation, and invention. Organisational performance is primarily based on its management system. Since innovations in public organizations such as civil defence are focused on performance improvements, technological innovation in civil defence such as smart police station will significantly improve its performance.


Sustainable innovation in civil defence is highly crucial for any nation in this volatile and disruptively innovating global environment. For this reason, transformational leadership and better management is essential for optimum growth in the civil defence of UAE and might revolutionise the whole organisational performance.









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Awino, Z.B., 2015. Organizational structure and performance of large manufacturing firms in Kenya: An empirical investigation. Journal of Business and Economics6(11), pp.1883-1891.

Azar, G. and Ciabuschi, F., 2017. Organizational innovation, technological innovation, and export performance: The effects of innovation radicalness and extensiveness. International Business Review26(2), pp.324-336.

Cascio, W.F. and Montealegre, R., 2016. How technology is changing work and organizations. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior3, pp.349-375.

Daft, R.L., 1978. A dual-core model of organizational innovation. Academy of management journal21(2), pp.193-210.

De Jong, M., Marston, N. and Roth, E., 2015. The eight essentials of innovation. McKinsey Quarterly2, pp.1-12.

Hafkesbrink, J. and Schroll, M., 2016. Ambidextrous organisational and individual competencies in oi: the dawn of A new research agenda. In Open Innovation: A Multifaceted Perspective: Part II (pp. 517-570).

Kalay, F. and Gary, L.Y.N.N., 2015. The impact of strategic innovation management practices on firm innovation performance. Research Journal of Business and Management2(3), pp.412-429.

Koster, M., Vos, B. and Schroeder, R., 2017. Management innovation driving sustainable supply management: Process studies in exemplar MNEs. BRQ Business Research Quarterly20(4), pp.240-257.

Ministry of Interior, 2021. Ministry Of Interior - The Official Portal Of The UAE Government. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 15 January 2021].

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