Recent Organisational Changes in the Virgin Group Essay

These assignments discuss the organizational alterations that the Virgin Group has been during the last few old ages, and how they are accommodating to the alterations in the operating environment. This will be in the context of the employees ‘ perceptual experience of the alterations, and how the Virgin Group can take down their opposition to alter. This is a natural feeling from employees, when faced with uncertainness, and this needs to be managed. The assignment focuses on the Virgin Group air hose operation, Virgin Atlantic.Virgin Atlantic Airways was founded in 1984, and it is the UK ‘s 2nd largest bearer.

The company is based at Gatwick, Heathrow and Manchester airdrome ; Virgin Atlantic operates long haul services to over 30 finishs globally. The administration has been recognised through awards from top concern, consumer and trade ( ).

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1 Meaning of Change direction

Change direction is non a distant subject with stiff and clearly defined boundaries. Rather, the theory and pattern of alteration direction draws on a figure of societal scientific discipline subjects and traditions. Three schools of thought signifier the cardinal board on which alteration direction theory stands. This includes:The Individual perspective school: This school is split into Behaviourist and Gestalt-Field theory. The Gestalt-Field theoreticians believed that behavior is non merely a merchandise of external stimulations ; instead it arises from how the single utilizations grounds to construe the stimulation. The behaviorists, on the other manus seek to accomplish organizational alteration entirely by modifying the external stimulation moving upon the person.The Group Dynamics school: This originated from the work of Kurt Lewin. Harmonizing to Lewin ( 1974 ) people in administrations work in groups, and single behavior must be seen, modified or alteration in the visible radiation of groups ‘ prevailing patterns and norms.

HENCE the focal point of alteration must be at the group degree and should concentrate on influencing and altering the group ‘s norms, functions and values ( Cummings and Huse, 1989 ).The Open Systems school: The school is concerned with understanding administrations in their wholly. It attempts to take a holistic instead than a particularistic position. This is reflected in its attack to organizational alteration.

Change direction can be defined as a systematic attack to covering with alteration, both from the position of an organisation and on the single degree. A slightly equivocal term, alteration direction has at least three different facets, including: adapting to alter, commanding alteration, and set uping alteration. A proactive attack to covering with alteration is at the nucleus of all three facets. For an organisation, alteration direction means specifying and implementing processs and/or engineerings to cover with alterations in the concern environment and to gain from altering chances.Daft ( 2000 ) states that alteration is a necessary immorality and all administration undergo alteration at one clip or another if non continuously. Organisations normally change in response to political, economical, societal, technological and legal forces. There are four different types of alteration that an administration can set about, they are technological alteration, new merchandise based alteration, structural alteration, and cultural alteration.

Harmonizing to Bass ( 1985 ) successful version to alter is as important within an administration as it is in the natural universe. Just like workss and animate beings, administrations and the persons in them necessarily encounter altering conditions that they are powerless to command. The more efficaciously you deal with alteration, the more likely you are to boom. Adaptation might affect set uping a structured methodological analysis for reacting to alterations in the concern environment ( such as a fluctuation in the economic system, or a menace from a rival ) or set uping get bying mechanisms for reacting to alterations in the workplace ( such as new policies, or engineerings ).


Many writers ( Lawrence, 1954 ; Maurer, 1996 ; Strebel, 1994 ; Waddell and Sohal, 1998, among others ) emphasis that the grounds for the failure of many change enterprises can be found in opposition to alter. Resistance to alter introduces costs and holds into the alteration procedure ( Ansoff ‘s, 1990 ) that are hard to expect ( Lorenzo, 2000 ) but must be taken into consideration. Resistance has besides been considered as a beginning of information, being utile in larning how to develop a more successful alteration procedure ( Beer and Eisenstat, 1996 ; Goldstein, 1988 ; Lawrence, 1954 ; Piderit, 2000 ; Waddell and Sohal, 1998 ). Undoubtedly, opposition to alter is a cardinal subject in alteration direction and should be earnestly considered to assist the administration to accomplish the advantages of the transmutation.

To pull off opposition alteration efficaciously, the undermentioned methods could be used:Communication and Education: This is by far one of the most effectual execution tactics that can be used by an administration. Communication is used when solid information is required to guarantee that employees buy into the procedure and instruction should ever be used when the alteration pertains to the debut of a new engineering or merchandise or service ( Bunker and Alban, 1992 ).Engagement: This will assist with the smooth passage from the pre alteration stage to the station alteration stage and if employees were encouraged to take part in the alteration induction stage so most of the jobs that can happen when the alteration is implemented could be eliminated as the issues and jobs may hold been identified and solved in the induction procedure ( Buller, 1988 ).

Negotiation: This can be used when there is terrible opposition and direction demands to sell the thought to the employees.Top Management: The seeable support of top direction to the alteration procedure can assist cut down and extinguish opposition ( Daft, 1982 ).


One of the largest internal alteration moves by the Virgin Group, was when Sir Richard Branson, became disillusioned by the public listings, duties and corporate bureaucratism of a publicly listed administration, he sought after to taking the administration back to private ownership ( Johnson, G & A ; Scholes J 2004 ). This was from the doctrine that waiving short-run net incomes for long-run enlargement is the manner frontward ( ).

This eventuality attack of the Virgin Group is formed from the concern demands, and the construction ( which will take the form of what is needed to run within the alteration environment ) as this has a considerable way on the overall organizational public presentation ( Burnes, B. 2000 ). The construction of the Virgin Group and its achievements, are contingent the environmental influences. As a consequence by altering the construction, this is an internal driver of alteration in reaction to the external markets ( Mullins, L 2005 ).With the alteration in the listing of the administration, came the decrease in organizational bureaucratism. The demand for bureaucratism and a hierarchal construction in the Virgin Group was reduced greatly ( Johnson, G & A ; Scholes J 2004 ). As a consequence Sir Richard Branson assumed a “ hands-off ” stance, with the directors, promoting them to utilize their enterprise, accomplishments and experiences ( www. ).This alteration to the organizational construction has led to a separation of the employees, through now working in specific groups or parts of the concern. The assortment in locations that the Virgin Group operates, and the broad scope of services and goods they offer has led to divisions in the work force. Therefore they are non a centralized squad ; some divisions could run in an “ insular ” mode, which is easier said than done to alter, without changing the construction ( Burnes, B.

2000 ).Some of the internal thrusts of alteration the Virgin Group faced with, were the several beds of directors, which can decelerate down the direction coverage systems and their reaction to state of affairss they are faced with. With the modern-day environment, this is negative to alter and will decelerate down the internal direction procedure ( Burnes, B. 2000 ).There have been internal issues since the structural alteration, with communicating across the group and this was peculiarly noticeable in the center and lower degrees of employees.

They were non having adequate information on the proposed alterations, go forthing them unable to teach employees on the organizational alterations ( Johnson, G & A ; Scholes J 2004 ).The organizational construction of the Virgin Group is a group de-centralised ; this could promote silo behaviors, from the different concern squads and the different locations in which they operate. There is a natural competiveness between groups, and runing under this construction can promote competitory behavior between them ( Johnson, G & A ; Scholes J 2004 ).

To promote the Virgin administration working as a group, and to cut down silo behavior caused by the structural alteration they started utilizing a individual web reference,, for the whole of the administration clients has entryway to all the Virgin services under a solo portal. These schemes assist in back uping the organizational parenting scheme and better the synergisms already imitative from the organizational stigmatization of the Virgin Group ( ).Virgin Atlantic service is really much client focused with a prominence on value for money, quality, merriment and invention.

The administration is 51 % owned by the Virgin Group and 49 % owned by Singapore Airlines, and employees over 9000 people ( ). This alteration has led to two internal parent administrations, but with Virgin retaining the bulk portion.Changes to administrations are about at an epidemic position, cut downing the administration ‘s control of the external environment. All administrations are faced with ceaseless alteration ; this is in their operational environment and the organizational context.

In the contemporary organizational state of affairs, there is tremendous attending and limelight on the human resource. The drivers from this alteration can be both internal and external to the administration ( Coram, A R & A ; Burnes B 2001 ).The “ human resource ” is non excluded from this alteration procedure, and is a important portion of the organizational context ( Frank F et al 2004 ). Contemporary theoreticians advocate that if administrations want to be effective, in both their current and future operating environment, they must concentrate on the composing and motive of their human resource ( Beardwell, I. et Al. 2004 ).Virgin Atlantic values their employees and trains them to keep the high service degrees and to be able to stay effectual (

com ). As a consequence of the alteration it is critical to pull off the human resource reasonably. When administrations use human resource direction as a tool, it will help them to promote and actuate their employees to accommodate to the proposed alterations. The future chances for all administrations are unpredictable and it is hard to corroborate what is required from the human resource, when an administration is altering ( Bratton, J & A ; Gold J 2003 ).An internal driver of alteration is the HR responses to market forces.

The HR map should blend the current issues of their human resource with the wider fiscal and concern demands, that alteration will coerce upon them ( Bratton, J & A ; Gold J 2003 ).The Virgin Group including Virgin Atlantic focal point on their employees, as they see the value in pull offing the resource. Employees are recruited who fit within the civilization and back up the Virgin ethos.Internal alteration is driven by an administration ‘s scheme ( Bellin, B & A ; Pham C 2007 ).

The scheme is a consciously created program, which will include the methods and actions, to accomplish the coveted consequence. An administration mission statement is usually a non pecuniary realization. This mission is the future way of the administration ( Johnson, G & A ; Scholes J 2004 ). The internal forces for alteration includes doing the organizational construction more effectual, cut downing variegation through streamlining the portfolio and placing new and emerging markets. This alteration has realigned the administration on their mission, concentrating employees to help in the transmutation ( Groucutt, J. et al 2004 ).AVirgin Atlantic is reliant on their stigmatization, this is recognizable when they enter new markets, and this has been an internal driver of alteration ( Groucutt, J. et al 2004 ).

The Virgin trade name name is the most important benefit and plus to the administration. This “ trade name ” of Virgin and Sir Richard Branson was capitalised on, when an adverts for Apple Computers, Sir Richard Branson was connected to Einstein and Ghandi, as a “ maker of the twentieth century ” ( ).The direction of Virgin Atlantic has been really strong, during the alterations over the past five old ages.

This strong leading of the administration will concentrate the employees during periods of alteration. An administration ‘s efficiency and endurance during periods of alteration, is dependent on the ability of their direction and leading squad. ( Bailey, J.

2009 ). Gupta ( 2004 ) concluded that “ the ideal universe of vision, the leading transfers this to the existent universe, doing it go on ” ( Gupta, S 2004 ).The virgin group is a good parent to Virgin Atlantic, with Richard Branson as an effective leader ( Bailey, J 2009 ). This will help in the stabilization of the administration during times of alteration, and cut down employee opposition.

The success of the administration is, in add-on, dependent on distinct communicating and direction of the behaviors that motivate employees ‘ public presentation to be an effectual administration ( Gupta, S 2004 ).Through turn outing freedom of determination devising to the directors with Virgin Atlantic, promote a duty of their actions and ownership of the administration. This provided an organizational civilization that encouraged growing with the directors. When enrolling new direction, possible employees are shortlisted for invention, abilities and competitory nature ( ).In add-on, Virgin Atlantic is capable to get by with the possible downsides of this liberty and decentralization. To forestall the weakness of communicating links and the possible menace of individual concern units trailing their ain schemes, the Virgin Charter sets out a direction system and cyberspace concern scheme that takes additions from the of information engineering, farther widening the Virgin trade name ( www. ).External forces have led the separate concern within the Virgin Group to travel towards the tactically “ five pillar ” kingdom. The nucleus scheme is “ the bosom of Virgin ‘s nucleus scheme to develop the five pillars of the concern imperium: travel, leisure, nomadic phones, amusement retailing and personal finance ” ( ). This during periods of alteration keeps employee ‘s focused on the organizational ends, and unites the administration ( Groucutt, J. et al 2004 ).

The achievements of the Virgin Group are reliant on their “ corporate parenting ” scheme, and the competitory advantage is dependent on the civilization ( Groucutt, J. et al 2004 ). The Virgin Group ‘s scheme is executed through the decentralization of the concerns and the incorporate stigmatization. In the short tally, the scheme looks really strongly constructed, and some observers believe it is near adequate “ unstoppable ” ( Johnson, G & A ; Scholes J 2004 ).On the other manus, in the long term, they need to be a sequence program, to replace the natural wastage of direction, with persons that believe in Virgin Charter. They will necessitate to go on the bequest of the Virgin Groups corporate ethos, through successful executing of the Virgin Charter ( Groucutt, J.

et al 2004 ). Virgin Atlantic must besides carefully see the new markets they plan to come in. One lone miscue can deface or even destruct the Virgin Brand, and this could be black for the group ( Johnson, G & A ; Scholes J 2004 ).Diversifying excessively much could weaken the Virgin trade name, particularly when a service or merchandise does non run into the expected Virgin criterion.

The intelligence on a loss of repute will go faster than the success of a merchandise or service. Therefore the association of a individual Virgin trade name can besides hold a negative consequence on the group ( Kotler, P et al 2005 ).As antecedently discussed, organizational alteration is an bing and inevitable facet of organizational life. The environment environing the administration in the operational and market context is in a uninterrupted state of affairs of alteration, this through the world-wide economic system and the velocity and alteration of engineering. As a consequence, administrations should take action to cut down the impact of forced alteration, through predicting and measuring the possibilities ( Groucutt, J.

et al 2004 ).There are legion external factors, which will hold an consequence on the Virgin Atlantic, and how they manage their operations. The external political environment includes the administrative and legal systems, which govern the administration where they operate. The external operational environment for the Virgin Group will act upon the internal processs and finally the organizational effectivity.

These external political influences can be drivers of alteration, which manage over the administration. For illustration an unfavorable political environment can forestall enlargement into the location ( Klein, L 2008 ).AThe national fiscal tendencies will besides be a driver of alteration, for illustration a down bend on the economic system will impact on an administrations enlargement program. This driver of alteration can cut down the economic stableness of the fundss of the administration ; as a consequence, less investing will be attracted. The state-run legal systems are made up from the policy, Torahs, and ordinances of the host country.A As a consequence the administration must last within this legal model, and scrutinize their systems to guarantee conformity to local ordinances ( Baldry, C et Al, 2007 ).This economic stableness is critical for organizational endurance. This is accomplishable through re-evaluating their present market place, and tactically be after where they want to be.

This is the administrations “ strategic tantrum ”, alining their scheme with the environment, through fiting their nucleus competences and accomplishments, to the needed scheme. This is a simple procedure that some administrations overlook ( Kotler, P et al 2005 ).This uninterrupted organizational alteration has an consequence on the employees ; this can impact the workplace, these alterations can go forth the work force unsettled and can go forth persons unsure of their function, and how this fits in with the administration ‘s scheme. Change is fazing for employees, and in times of economic downswing, they can go fearful of their occupation security ( Hunter, D 2006 ).

The very construction of an administration can add to employees ‘ uncertainness in periods of alteration. The administration hierarchal construction can set off the work force from geting the inside informations of the planned alteration. This is a basic alteration procedure, which is on a regular basis overlooked, to the deterrence of the scheme ( Hesketh, A & A ; Fleetwood S 2006 ).Consequently, the work force is non cognizant of the full extent of the organizational alteration scheme, or their function within it. The construction of the administration is capable of covering up what is truly is happening, often with merely the acme of the direction squad being witting of the full strategic purpose of the administration ( Groucutt, J. et al 2004 ).

The changeless alteration in the Virgin Atlantic can take to unsteadily with some employees. This unsteadily can take to resistance to the alteration. This opposition is non malicious, and is non intended to interrupt, but some employees feel more secure through keeping on to the manner things are, and non altering working forms and behaviors. When the employee relationship is non every bit strong as it should be, so any alteration to the working environment will be met with opposition ( Beardwell, I.

2002 ).The most of import tool that the direction has during periods of organizational alteration is communicating. Through puting up formal and informal communicating channels, the employees can be given the information on the alterations, taking to them understanding the principle and the benefits to the administration. The employee voice is a cardinal human right, for “ free address ”, which should be encouraged in the workplace ( Hunter, D 2006 ).These employee forums can be used as a platform for the Virgin Atlantic to discourse organizational alterations that will impact the employees ‘ working lives. This will give the employees a voice, to openly discourse their concerns.

Prosser ( 2001 ) concluded that ‘the corporate voice of the employees achieves what the lone voice could ne’er make: it humanises and civilises the workplace ‘ ( Prosser, M 2001 ). Therefore, it is critical to give employees a corporate voice.The Virgin Group can besides mensurate the employees ‘ feelings, frights and attitude to the proposed alteration, through employee studies. This is ‘good ‘ human resource direction pattern. This method of gage the employee attitudes is merely of aid to the administration when they are surveyed on a regular footing, to be used as benchmarks of the advancement of the administration in the employee relationship ( Marchington, M et Al, 2001 ).

There are interceding factors when employee ‘s attitudes are surveyed, and this is farther enhanced to profit the administration, when they are used with other signifiers of listening to the employee, for illustration treatment and communicating ( Hesketh, A & A ; Fleetwood, S 2006 ). When concerns are discussed it is imperative to pay attending to the motivational factors, which will keep the employee interaction with the employer ( Parker, S ( 2000 ) cited in Dorenbosch, L et al 2005 ).Not all theoreticians agree that employee attitude studies are the manner frontward in industrial dealingss. When they have the consequences from the studies employers do non hold to react to the decision from them, sometimes it is merely lip service ( Blyton, P & A ; Turnbull, P 2004 ). Union representation in administrations is often viewed as ‘ideal ‘ in employee ‘s voice, and there is support that there is well more to the employees ‘ voice, than any study can uncover ( Dundon, T 2003 ).Virgin Atlantic has successfully managed organizational alteration through altering the construction of the administration.

This is in reaction to the different markets they operate in and the alterations separately to their environment. This has led to an insular civilization ; this can be addressed through communicating across the group.One of the major issues the administration has faced is the employees ‘ resistance to the alterations, sparked by uncertainness of their current and future working environments. Employees as persons enjoy security, and when this becomes unsure, there is a natural reaction to defy the alteration.


0 Decision

The aims of the assignment is the execution of alteration in an administration through apprehension of the theoretical facets of alteration direction and the best manner alteration direction can be efficaciously implemented. It is perfectly clear that the support of senior direction staff demand to be sorted, development of effectual schemes, undertaking staff opposition to alter, and implementing programs for carry throughing each end stated demand to be taken serious during execution procedure to deriving comparative advantage over rivals. Virgin Group, are successful and encourage invention.

They must now guarantee that all employees are committed to organizational scheme, and will through the cognition accept the alteration.