As Neuberger (1995) defined that the dilemma in strategic management is the leadership conflicts between the incompatible goals made by managers and the employees on the other hand. Besides, Aram (1976) in his research had identified that the conflicts in the relationship between the individual and its surrounding organization, which is a core dilemma of management. Therefore, the reason caused to the dilemmas in the change process of Qantas might come from the misunderstanding and conflicts in the executive manager’s decision and their employees.
According to Recklies (2001), one of the dilemmas in the change management was the lack of support from change agents during the change process. It means there are a lot of Qantas’s employees consider the changes will be the threat to their current works and positions. Therefore, a lot of employees would be disagreeing or ignoring the Qantas’s proposed change process. In addition, the lack of good listening skills from managers is also caused to the dilemma in change process.
In the change process, the maintenance of good communication channels between executive team and employees are very important. It will help the top managers express and impart more effective their decision to all employees. They need to provide the information about the process which helps employees to grab and understand the situation that confronts them and what they need to improve to deal with these changes (Phillips ; Rollins, 1997).
Lastly, the over-reliance of Qantas’ employees and its managers to the new structure and systems during the change process is also another dilemma. It would somehow ignore the roles and responsibilities of employees in terms of decision-making and participation (Recklies, 2001). Under the strong impact of external and internal pressures, a new Board of management of Qantas were established in 2008 with Alan Joyce became the CEO of Qantas and Jetstar (Qantas, 2009).
The priority purpose of this change aimed to adopt a new change strategy to cope with current outside pressures. Besides, the change will be driven the company into the new ways to increase its performance to against other Australian and foreign airlines. In his book, Waddell et al. (2007) have introduced that to cope with the rapid changes of the market and other factors, Qantas top managers have use the strategic interventions strategy to manage and maintain the relationship with the external stakeholders and reduce the outward pressures.
The changes in the organisation will take Qantas to a higher level of dominance the market share. Along with the new change process, the new executive board have to design a new organizational culture which suited to new changes. In case of Qantas, they have made human resource interventions to connect and communicate effectively with employees (Alam, 2007 cited in Waddell et al. , 2007, p. 459). This strategy will be used to institutionalise the new organisation model and speed up the performance of whole company.
Besides, it will be emphasized and highlighted the contribution of employees to the whole success of the company. The keys in this strategy were the development of effective work teams, having extensive training programs and a employee’s share ownership. Apparently, Qantas’ change process follows Kotter’s model (Kotter, 2007). According to Doyle (2001), the competitive pressures of external and internal factors in today business environment have led to the emergence of less hierarchical and more flexible organisations (Doyle, 2001).
It means that the relationship between leadership and management in the change process have to be addressed clearly and selectively. In the organizational hierarchy, change leaders are always executives or senior managers who creating the vision, making the decisions or planning the strategy. In addition, they have to express and deliver these visions and strategies accurately to the employees and make them trusted. Besides, employee’s empowerment will also make the change process more effective.
In contrast, change managers are usually middle level managers and functional specialists who carry forward and build support for change within business units and key functions (“Leadership & Management,” 2009). Those two roles are different but they are complimentary for successful change as it demands a process that is driven by leadership and supported by management (Kotter, 2007). In case of Qantas, the leadership in an organisation was applying 8 general steps of John Kotter model in order to make the planned change working effectively in the current dynamic environment.
There are 8 steps in Kotter change model (kotterinternational, 2011). In reaction to the profitability downturn in the aviation industry, Qantas has restructured its business operations into other small stand-alone business segments in order to recovery the profits as well as the position of Qantas in the market. According to Alam (2007, cited in Waddell et al. , 2007, p. 459) Qantas executive teams have used the techno-structural interventions strategy which include the outsourcing, competitive tendering and downsizing.
In this strategy, Qantas restructured its business with new classifications to match its new corporate objective. Besides, it was also introduced the 8 business segments into three kinds of business. They are flying businesses, flying services and associated businesses (Alam, 2007 cited in Waddell et al. , 2007, p. 459) The new structure of Qantas is supported by a corporate centre that involved all shared service divisions. It will maintain and provide an integrated and centralised information technology, human resources, financial services and other support functions to each of the business segments.
In addition, the new structure of Qantas also has managed the profit sources for all business sectors as well as the investment centre for all Qantas investment. According to Qantas’s CEO, Geoff Dixon (Qantas, 2003), a focus on accountability, collaboration and leadership is crucial for the success of restructuring. In the Qantas annual full year 2003-04, the financial results showed the increase in profit after tax of 88. 8% with earning. It is the result to prove the successful of Qantas new restructuring program.