Managing Institutional & Economic Change Essay.
Many factors, internal and external to organizations, impact the need for change. Since 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic was first recognized on a large scale, many organizations have undergone major changes, thereby impacting employees, departments, organizations, and society as a whole. Select an organization in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, of your choice, and explain how COVID-19 has impacted that organization. Then, explain how COVID-19, which is an external factor, has not only impacted your organization but has also impacted Saudi Vision 2030.
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Managing Institutional And Economic Change
Managing institutional and economic change
Institutions and economies are constantly faced with the need to adapt to change due to external and internal factors. And while effective change management evolves these entities into more efficiency and productivity, a poor response to change paralysis and even grounds them. This paper focuses on the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic (Covid-19) on both the Umm Al-Qura University (UQU) in Saudi Arabia and the country’s vision 2030.
Cawsey, Deszca, and Ingols (2020) define organizational change as the purposeful and strategic adjustment of an organization’s components to increase overall effectiveness. They present these components as an organization’s mission, vision, strategy, goals, processes or systems, and people (Cawsey et al., p.2). The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic has forced institutions to re-evaluate their operations concerning all these components. At the Umm Al-Qura University (UQU) in Saudi Arabia, social and learning aspects have greatly been affected by the government’s health measures (Alghamdi, 2021, p. 1). One such measure was the suspension of all in-person learning at all learning institutions. Like other universities, UQU had to shift to offering its programs through online platforms to keep the learning going.
The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic was an external and unexpected occurrence. Since this was a health crisis, quickly far-reaching decisions had to be made nationally and internationally. The abrupt change left the students at the UQU sad, confused, anxious, and uncertain about their future (Alghamdi, 2021, p. 2). The disruption created by the migration of all learning to an online environment also brought unforeseen challenges. Not every student had access to the internet, and a laptop, and not every educational program can be taught via that mode of delivery (Alghamdi, 2021, p. 2). But despite these challenges, the university was able to adapt to the alternative mode of learning, enabling learners to continue with their education at home. After all, students felt that online learning was different from their usual learning environment before the pandemic (Alghamdi, 2021, p. 12). This positive response is a testimony to the university’s ability to respond positively and manage change.
The covid-19 pandemic has affected Saudi Arabia’s educational institutions and the country’s economic prospects. According to Agboola, Bekun, and Balsalobre-Lorente (2021), the pandemic has drastically reduced business and economic engagements within the country and the dropping of oil demand at the international market. The precautionary curfews and lockdowns enforced during the first months of the pandemic led to low business transactions. The banning of international and local flights further compromised the nation’s economic projections, dropping the earnings from the travel-based non-oil sector from 6.3 percent to a low of 2.9 percent (Agboola et al., 2021, p. 2). The overall effect of the pandemic towards the economic vision as stipulated in the vision 2030 strategic plan has been negative.
According to Agboola et al. (2021), petroleum, air transportation, and foreign domestic investment (FDI) form the main economic drivers for Saudi Arabia. All these factors are tied to social globalization and have therefore been hard hit in the present pandemic. If the economic vision of 2030 will be realized, the government must be proactive to attract more foreign and domestic investment to recover the accrued losses (Agboola et al., 2021, p.10). But for a country whose non-oil economy heavily relies on internal and domestic air transport, such measures can only be effective if the pandemic is contained across the globe. The government has developed various stimulus packages to cushion the private sector from adverse economic effects in the interim. These include a SAR 6 billion loan facility for qualifying SMEs and a SAR 32 billion set aside for the private sector (Agboola et al., 2021, p.3). But the success of such stimulus plans depends on the recovery of the international oil market.
Internal and external changes bring pressure on both institutions and economies. The only way to effectively respond to these changes is to adapt by managing the organizational change. Failure to do so leads to a collapse of the institutions under the weight of the disruptions from the change.
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