An Itch for Change Challenges of Change Management for MamaBhasha Publications

by: Ajith K. Thomas

Publication Date: January 25, 2013
Length: 4 pages
Product ID#: 1-429-310

Core Disciplines: Leadership/Organizational Behavior

Partner Collection:

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Teaching Note

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This mini-case was based on a true story of organizational change gone awry at a prominent book publishing company in India. The protagonist is the general manager of MamaBhasha Publications’ printing unit, Kiran Varma. After corporate headquarters received complaints from local residents about the printing unit polluting local air and water with its operations in the city of Kottayam, it decides to move the unit to a more remote location, a former swampland in the city’s outskirts. Soon, Varma notices that employees of the unit, who had previously had the lowest rates of attrition and absenteeism in the industry, were calling off and claiming to have an unusual itch. Varma begins to wonder if the company had effectively implemented this organizational change and what he can do to get his unit back on track.This is a prime example for students of resistance to change. It challenges students to think about what is important when leading a change effort.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Understand the concept of change in an organizational context
  • Be aware of what resistance to change is and how it might be manifested in an organizational context
  • Think about the different approaches in which change can be brought about in an organization
  • Create innovative ideas for dealing with resistance to change, especially when it is covert and deferred