Change Management in Target Corporation

Managing Change Final

Change is an ongoing process that is inevitable; organizations no longer have an option to avoid change, and therefore they have to change in order to survive and avoid being obsolete. It is quite a challenging thing for an organization to change, let alone a single individual. This places huge and increased pressure on the management of an organization to discern and manage the important details of change. Therefore, managers of organization have to understand how to manage change. There are several aspects to consider in managing change. These include questions such as, how do organizations detect when they ought to change, and the cues the company should look for, and etc. All organizations face several different forces for change that range from the internal, emanating from within the organization, to the external, which emanate outside the organization. Cognizance of these forces can assist managers to decide when they ought to ponder executing an organizational change. This particular paper will consider the internal and external forces for change in Target Corporation and how such changes should be managed (UNITAR, 2010).

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Primary Internal and External Forces Generating Change in Target

Internal forces for change are forces which come from within the organization. These particular forces might be understated and non-obvious, such as low motivation and morale; they may also be noticeable in outward signals, such as conflict within the organization or low productivity. It is imperative to note that internal forces for change emanate from the decisions and behaviors of managers as well as from human resource issues. On the other hand, external forces for change are instigated from outside the organization. Considering these forces may have international impacts, they might cause a company to consider the essence of the business or industry it is operating in, and the practices through which its products or services are produced. In particular, there are four main external forces for change: market changes, technological advancements, demographic features, and social and political aspects. The following are the primary internal and external forces for change that influence Target Corporation as an organization (UNITAR, 2010).

i. Internal Forces

1. Substitutes and Complements

Target Corporation offers a wide range of products and therefore has several close substitute sellers. A retail store that is more specified is a partial substitute seller for the corporation’s different departments. For instance, Walgreens offers competition in the pharmaceutical area, and Best Buy offers competition in the field of electronics and also groceries. These forces for change cause the company to consider an organizational change, in the sense that its products and services are top notch and it wishes to ensure that the consumers do not opt for close substitutes from other retail companies (Tongue et al., 2012).

2. Fierce Competition

Walmart, the leading company in the retail industry, offers intense competition to Target Corporation in terms of pricing competition and its low operating costs. In the retail industry, the buyers have little to no cost when they want to switch from one rival company to another. It is very easy for consumers in general to shop around to other retail companies for the best price (Tongue et al., 2012). The companies in this industry can easily adjust and alter their prices in a fast manner and more so, these changes in prices can be greatly advertised and therefore easily observable (Tongue et al., 2012).

3. Differentiation

The strategy employed by Target Corporation for differentiating its products is deemed to be one of the internal forces that are prompting change. With regards to this strategy, Target Corporation has for a lengthy period represented itself as an exciting, fashionable, and chic alternative with high-class product offerings. This strategy has the benefit of handing Target some protection from going head-to-head on price rivalry with Wal-Mart. Nonetheless, it is indeterminate whether the company has the capability to instantaneously sustain both an expensive and an inexpensive image. As Target continues to brand its commodities or products, it appears that Target merchandise is more costly, yet simultaneously higher quality than Wal-Mart products (Tongue et al., 2012).

ii. External Forces

1. Technological Advancements

The increase in technological advancements has transformed the retail industry. Retail companies are now able to employ social media networks, connect with consumers, and offer them special discount deals. Considering the fact that multi-channel retailing is constantly evolving, there is increased and heightened pressure on companies to be at par with the changing demands of the consumers and the developments of the competitors; Target Corporation is one of them. For instance, if one corporation in the industry is able to advance its technology, it stands increasing its brand and loyalty from its consumer base. Another aspect is data security. The recent increases in falsified purchases online, and data security breaches, have had an adverse impact on the different players in the industry. In particular, these aspects have the potential to increase the costs incurred by the company while at the same time bringing about a decline in consumer confidence and poor brand loyalty (Tongue et al., 2012).

2. Political and Legal Aspects

Huge retail companies such as Target Corporation that have a wide scope of product offerings could experience aspects such as product recalls, government regulation and enforcement, as well as litigation due to the consumers’ product safety concerns. This in particular encompasses lack of compliance with safety standards of the products being offered, and also aspects such as food as well as drug contamination. This is an aspect that calls for change, as it can bring about significant losses and also deterioration in consumer confidence. Based in the United States and Canada, some of the political as well as legal issues that Target Corporation faces include privacy and information security laws, financial rules and regulations such as consumer credit regulations, increased rates of interest, and also regulations on employment including the minimum wage for the employees (Tongue et al., 2012).

3. Market Changes

The development of a global economy is causing companies in the United States to change the manner in which they conduct their business operations. Corporations are having to build new partnerships and affiliations with their suppliers so as to deliver products of high quality at lower prices. As companies in the retail industry either operate in foreign parts or ship commodities from outside of North America, worldwide events do have an impact on the industry. For instance, global natural disasters, such as tsunamis, can bring about increases in the cost of raw materials, which as a result would have an impact on profit margins. In addition, such an event would adversely impact inventory and product stock outs. The retail industry could also be negatively impacted by financial instability, political instability, and also aspects such as trade restrictions. More so, a global financial crisis or changes in the exchange rates of the foreign currencies can potentially adversely impact the retail industry because it would bring about an increase in business operating costs (Tongue et al., 2012).

Target’s Vision for the Next 5 Years

Target Corporation is the second largest retailer in the United States and one of the biggest ones in the world. The main vision of the corporation for the next five years is to re-claim its status and repute as a retail driving force. The company has an objective of recapturing its merchandising authority. The corporation plans on re-branding itself by getting in touch with advancements in technology and joining the digital era in its business operations. In addition, the company has to recapture its brand away from the data breach that it experienced, and ensure that its status is rebuilt (Malcom, 2014). In addition, according to the annual report of the organization, Target plans on reducing its costs, increasing its profitability level, and attaining greater control over the quality as well as freshness of the products it offers (Target Corporation Website, 2015).

How Should Changes Be Implemented In Target Corporation

There are several ways in which these changes ought to be implemented in Target Corporation. Target made the mistake of letting the digital revolution and advancement of consumer shopping pass it by, as it went on to concentrate on products and commodities in its physical stores and failed to invest in a branded online experience for its consumers. For instance, up until the year 2011, the company’s website was controlled and run by Amazon rather than by the company itself. In the present day retail environment or setting, where consumers who are potential shoppers can purchase practically anything they wish with the click of a button, selecting between numerous companies from which to attain their purchases, the largest strategic difficulty for retail industry is standing out (being unique) from their rival companies. Target Corporation has recognized that in the present it has started failing on standing out (Malcom, 2014). The manner in which the organization can implement these changes is to increase its movement into mobile and online business operations. For instance, the company can improve and enhance the proficiency of the Target mobile app, and also have coupon and discount applications that are incorporated into social media networks such as Facebook.

More so, to be in line with the contemporary level of technology, the employees of Target retail stores will be handed devices such as iPads to keep track of the store inventories, and to be of assistance to the consumers in the retail stores. In addition, the company can employ the benefits of technology such as iPads, rather than the usual product scanners, to encourage consumers to browse online and be able to purchase the products (Hadley, 2014). Another strategy to be employed by the company to implement these changes, is to have partnerships with other corporations in order to succeed at the global level. For instance, some of the enterprises undertaken by the new CEO of Target have been to initiate a formal partnership with the brand company TOMS. This is in order to have an extensive reach on apparel, shoes, and also decor areas. In addition, this is a strategy for the company to increase its level of corporate social responsibility. This is because for every product bought using the TOMS brand, another product will be given as charity to someone who is in need (Hadley, 2014).

How Should These Changes Affecting Target Corporation be managed?

In the present day, as companies make every effort to be prosperous and fruitful in the markets and industries they operate in, it is the extent of effectiveness and productivity of the top management and leadership team in the corporation that normally determines whether or not the business is able to achieve its objectives and changes. The interaction and management of the recipients of change is an important aspect and can be done using different models, processes, and techniques (Jick and Peiperl, 2003).

One of the ways of managing these changes in Target Corporation is beginning at the top level of the company. Taking into consideration that change is an unsettling aspect for all individuals at all levels within an organization, it is imperative for individuals at the top level of the company, such as the CEO and the leaders, to offer support as well as direction for the company. According to Hadley (2014), Target Corporation has just appointed a new Chief Executive who is in the right position to manage the changes mentioned. The main way is for the CEO to motivate, as well as to challenge the rest of the company. The executive team of Target Corporation ought to be aligned and dedicated to the direction of change, gain an understanding of the organizational culture and the changes intended to be introduced. For instance, with the executive team of the company committing to technological changes, this will prompt employees to also embrace and commit to these changes as well (Jones et al., 2004).

Describe how you personally would be involved in the leadership of the implementation and management of these changes

There are a number of ways in which I personally would be involved in the leadership of the implementation and management of the aforementioned changes. One of these ways would be to ensure that as a leader I would develop professionals or managers who are generalists; this would enable them to be functional in all divisions and sectors of the organization. In addition, as a leader of the organization, I would first of all evaluate my own capabilities and competencies. This would be to make sure that I am cognizant and certain of what I capable and not capable of doing. For instance, some of the changes to be instigated at Target Corporation include incorporation of advancements in technology. For instance, I would ensure that the leadership team members are proficient and literate in computer and digital aspects. For instance, the managers have to be proficient on how digital application functions in order to teach the employees how to operate them. An additional aspect is communication concerning implementation of these changes. I would ensure that the intended changes for the organization are properly communicated to the employees, in order to avoid any form of conflict, and to ensure that there is proficiency in the business operations.


In this world, the aspect of change is one that is inevitable. All organizations face several different forces for change that are internal, emanating from within the organization; there are also external forces that emanate from outside the organization. Target is ranked as the second largest retail company in the United States. The company has faced a number of drawbacks in the past number of years. The vision of the company and its main objectives for the next five years are to repossess its position and standing as a powerhouse in the retail industry. To be more specific, the company is keen on being at par with the advancements in the digital era as well as technology. Being in the retail industry, and with shoppers being able to purchase products at the click of a button, Target is keen on ensuring that it does not become obsolete by having mobile applications for shopping (Hadley, 2014). For instance, up until the year 2011, the company’s website was controlled and run by Amazon rather than the company itself. Some of the political as well as legal issues that Target Corporation faces include privacy and information security laws, and financial rules and regulations. These include consumer credit regulations, increased rates of interest, and regulations on employment, such as the minimum wage for employees (Tongue et al., 2012).


Hahn, L., Kwak, L., Palys, J. (2005). Target Corporation. Sage Group. Retrieved 9 July 2015 from:

Jick, T., & Peiperl, M. (2003). Managing Change: Cases and Concepts. Boston: McGraw Hill/Irwin.

Jones, J., Aguirre, D., Calderone, M. (2014). 10 Principles of Change Management: Tools and techniques to help companies transform quickly. Strategy + Business. Retrieved 9 July 2015 from:

Malcom, H. (2014). With new CEO, Target ready to move forward. USA Today. Retrieved 9 July 2015 from:

Tongue, K et al. (2012). Target Corporation: Case Synopsis. Retrieved 9 July 2015 from:

UNITAR. (2010). Managing Organizational Change. USDA. Retrieved 9 July 2015 from:

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