MANAGEMENT PRACTICES TO IMPROVE ADOPTION AND EMPLOYEE WELL-BEING DURING ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGES IN THE AEC INDUSTRY
Maali, Omar Maali
University of Kansas
Civil, Environmental & Architectural Engineering
Copyright held by the author.
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The business world is in a continuous state of change. Changes create opportunities for businesses to enhance their processes and create challenges to survive in the market. For organizations to survive and remain competitive in the fast-changing business world, they need to be adept at adopting changes. That also applies to the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry. The AEC industry is pushed to adopt new changes due to a range of competitive dynamics, including strains in the supply chain, the need to adjust to new delivery methods, increased demands for workforce development programs, the need to increase productivity, safety, and quality, and a variety of further market pressures including pandemics and recessions. However, change adoption is a challenging and complicated task for any organization to do. Moreover, it often ends with failure; It is argued that more than half of change efforts fail to meet their intended goals and outcomes. This high failure rate is due to multiple hindrances and barriers that the AEC industry faces, including the lack of a clear and structured change management process, employee resistance to change, and scarcity of time and resources needed to implement the change, to name a few. Throughout the literature, previous studies have investigated management practices that could overcome adoption barriers; many management practices were proposed to overcome adoption barriers. However, organizations have been using inconsistent mixtures of practices across the AEC industry that have created a variation in the achieved adoption outcomes between organizations adopting the exact change. This study aims to identify and analyze a set of change management practices that adopting organizations in the industry can learn, use, and develop to achieve desired goals and outcomes of any type of change. To achieve this goal, the study had to have a data that represent the AEC industry and covers a wide variety of changes that the industry is adopting, identify a set of most common and most effective change management practices, and analyze the effectiveness of that set in overcoming significant change adoption barriers; high failer rate, employee resistance, and lack of proper time and training rresourcesRespectivelyy, the study first identified a set of practices that are most prominent in the literature of organizational behavior and AEC. Second, the study collected 633 change adoption cases from all different types of firms in the industry (architecture, engineering, contractor, and owner organizations) for a wide variety of change types (technology, management, and business changes). Third, the study analyzed the importance of using the set of practices to overcome the high failure rate of change adoptions, reduce employee resistance to change by increasing employee well-being during the change process, and successfully implement the change under a shorter timeline. The study has analyzed the data using simple and advanced statistical methods, including descriptive, univariate, bivariate, regression, and content analyses. The study results emphasized the importance of using all six identified change management practices to overcome change adoption barriers and achieve the best possible outcomes of the change. Furthermore, the result identified the essential practices of the six that should be emphasized not only to avoid main change adoption barriers but also to achieve the highest levels of desired adoption outcomes. This study contributes an industry-wide view of change management practices and different levels of change adoption success, employee well-being, and adoption timeline using a broad spectrum of change types. The study can assist practitioners in the AEC industry to better manage, strategize, and allocate resources to avoid change adoption failure and achieve all its desired goals and benefits. Additionally, it can assist in supporting the adoption process under specific time restrictions.
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