The Role of Change Communication in the Change Management Process within Bayer

Seminararbeit, 2004

30 Seiten, Note: 1,3


Table of contents

Table of figures

1 Introduction

2 Basics
2.1 Change Management
2.2 Change Communication

3 Models for Change
3.1 Lewin’s Change Model
3.2 Change Process Models
3.3 Combined Change Process Models

4 Change Communication in the Transformation of Bayer
4.1 The Company
4.2 The change process
4.3 Corporate Communication at Bayer

5 Change Communication Process
5.1 The logo, giving the change process an identity
5.2 Phases in the change process

6 Evaluation of the Change Communication Process & Conclusion
6.1 The Strategic Employee Communication Model
6.2 Conclusion



Table of figures

Figure 1: Forms of Change

Figure 2: Reasons for change processes

Figure 3: Shareholders, affected by change processes

Figure 4: Elements of Change Communication (own illustration, based on

Figure 5: The Change Porcess by Lewin

Figure 6: The combined change process

Figure 7: Bayer structure before the reorganisation

Figure 8: Bayer structure after the reorganisation

Figure 9: Organisation chart Bayer Chemicals

Figure 10: Involved Communication Channels/Forms

Figure 11: Communication Channels/Media within Bayer

Figure 12: The Change Logo

Figure 13: Poster Campaign

Figure 14: Strategic employee communication model

1 Introduction

The globalisation of our economies and the evolvement of new technologies affect businesses all over the world. The changes companies have to face are of growing speed and affect companies in an ever increasing intensity.

To survive in today’s turbulent environments, where change has become a constant process, it is crucial to use manpower, processes and information technologies with a maximum efficiency, in order to stay successful (Doppler 2001, 18).

As the relevance of time is increasing, it is a crucial success factor to respond to those ever changing conditions in the environment with maximum possible speed. This need for an optimised realignment of resources, change management lead to the fast growing relevance of change management for today’s businesses.

Especially as success rates of change management processes were much higher, than those of the former business processes reengineering, which was usually handled in a less professional, short-sighted and theoretical way.

Over the last years, the high importance of communication in change processes has been realised and more and more studies and scientists are addressing this topic. Change Communication as a tool of the management uses communication to coordinate and manage processes within the organisation. It involves steering, communication and controlling functions to transfer and guide the employees during the change process from the old into the new structures.

This assignment will address the main aspects of change management and subsequently analyse the change communication within the change process which took place within the Bayer Corporation in 2001/2002.

2 Basics

2.1 Change Management

Change management involves all measures that are used for an efficient implementation of new strategies, structures, systems and behaviour in order to adapt companies to changed environments (Liebermann 1997, 7).

It evolved, as the business process engineering did not generate the desired results, as it was mainly focussing on the state to be and not on the transformation-process itself (Al-Ani 2000, 13). The transformation process is the main focus of change management.

2.1.1 Reasons and Forms of Change

There are two main types of change that can be identified, planned and unplanned forms. Where the planned forms of change are expected and the organisation can prepare and react to them, unplanned change impacts the whole company which is then unprepared to react to those changes.

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 1 : Forms of Change (Osterhold 2002, 11), (Du-Mont 1999, 28)

There are different causes that encourage change processes and those causes vary from business to business. A recent study in 111 companies in Germany, Austria and Switzerland identified the following reasons that are mainly internal reasons.

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Figure 2 : Reasons for change processes (ILOI-Institute 1999, 3)

2.1.2 Target Groups of Change Management

As change management is used to modify existing structures it affects many shareholders of a company. Analysing and ranking the degree of which the different groups are affected by the change processes helps to address these groups within the change processes in an adequate way (Anderson 2001). This minimises errors that significantly affect the success of the overall process. The shareholder groups, and the degree of which they are affected in most of the change processes that took place within the Bayer Corporation is illustrated in the following figure.

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Figure 3 : Shareholders, affected by change processes (own figure)

2.2 Change Communication

There are several models available that discuss and analyse communication processes. Those theories cover all areas, from the simple theory of a message and how it is transmitted over to different aspects and elements of communication and interpersonal relations. Describing those theories that are the base of change communication would exceed the scope of this work.

Therefore change communication will be defined as all measures of communication and information exchange that are used to enable change management. As it is described in the following image, change communication is made up of the three following areas: information, leadership and motivation. It illustrates how those three elements help to contribute to the success of the change management (Brenner 2002). Only the combination of those three factors can guarantee a successful contribution of the change communication to change management.

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 4 : Elements of Change Communication (own illustration, based on (Brenner 2002))

2.2.1 Corporate Communications

Corporate Communication is defined as a process that collects information from the business environment, develops messages from the information and transmits them to get specific economic results. It uses multiple messages and media, verbal and nonverbal (Hornton 2004). Over the last years, companies realised the relevance of a coordinated communication approach and designed departments that are purely responsible for communication on operational and strategic levels. Therefore corporate communication is the framework within which change communication will take place.

Corporate communications can be regarded as the glue for the organisation that keeps all processes running and supports the management with the implementation and execution of aims and tasks. As change management has to deal with different target groups, it is critical for corporate communication, as every shareholder group needs to get certain information in a different degree and requires different media and communication (Heller 1998, 16). Corporate communications is usually divided into external and internal communication. Where the internal communications address all internal resources, external communication is responsible for all outward facing actions.

3 Models for Change

Over the time and with a growing relevance of change management for the business environment, several researchers conducted studies about change processes and designed best practice solutions or models for implementing change.

3.1 Lewin’s Change Model

One of the first models in this area has been the model of Lewin. It has been published in 1951 and can be regarded as the basis model which was used to develop all succeeding models. It is based on the assumption that every change is conducted by changing to main forces in an organisation.

On one hand the force that is trying to keep up the status-quo and on the other hand the pressure which is pushing change. Those forces are in a quasi stationary-equilibrium and by increasing or decreasing those forces on both sides, change can be implemented (Harigopal 2001, 45).

Lewin’s change process is split up into three consecutive phases, unfreeze, move and freeze (Hayes 2002, 51).

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 5 : The Change Porcess by Lewin (Harigopal 2001, 45)

3.2 Change Process Models

Over the years several change management models have been developed, based on the Lewin model. All the models have a different focus and a different background, but all provide information about essential success factors in change management processes.

Kanter, Stein and Jicks (Myers 1994) say that a successful change process can only be influenced effectively by the provision of information and communication in all stages and can only succede if it is regarded and controlled as a holistic process. He concludes, that change management can never be completely controlled and that it is a mixture of art and science.


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The Role of Change Communication in the Change Management Process within Bayer
University of Bradford  (Management Center)
ISBN (eBook)
1356 KB
Role, Change, Communication, Change, Management, Process, Bayer
Arbeit zitieren
Michael Rockel (Autor:in), 2004, The Role of Change Communication in the Change Management Process within Bayer, München, GRIN Verlag,


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