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Importance of Organizational Change Management


Discuss about the Complexity And The Ambiguity Of Change.

The report aims at providing an overview of organizational change management. Change management refers to the process of continuous renewal of the direction, capabilities and structure of the organization for serving the changing needs of the internal and the external customers. In other words, change represents a ubiquitous feature within the life of an organization at both the strategic and the operational level. Thus, there is no doubt in regarding the ability of the organization in identifying the necessary changes that needed implementation for achievement of futuristic goals. The importance of organizational change has led to the need for the requirement for managerial skill. The backdrop of deregulation, increasing globalization, technological innovation and shifting demographic and social trends necessitated an organizational change. The change is considered unpredictable, discontinuous, reactive, ad hoc and often triggered by organizational crisis. Therefore, it is necessary to undertake a successful organizational change management for succeeding and survival in an evolving and highly competitive environment. The purpose of the report lies in evaluating the various models of change viability assessment, evaluation of the potential interventions for change and a critical review of the complexity and the ambiguity of change.

According to Hossan (2015), there have been a few organizational change efforts that achieved success since close to 70 percent of all the initiated change programs reported a failure if change effort. It is noted that the need of valid framework for guiding the management and implementation of the organizational change has been a vital reason for the reduction of success rate of the change initiatives. According to the criticisms put forward by Burnes (2005), stated that the present change management framework represents wide range of confusing and contradictory approaches and theories. There have only been a few cases where the theory and practice been supported by the unchallenged assumptions. According to Edmonstone (2013), there existed fundamental flaws within the change process that has prevented successful change management. Further, there has been a failure of the top down approach of programmatic change in the achievement of the success since the directive approaches of change remains hardly effective in most situations. Conventionally, the theories of organizational change categorized as per the areas of interest that includes organizational culture, transformational leadership, chaos theory or complex systems.

The first type of the theories of organizational change management focuses on the content issues that largely deal with the contemporary organizational change management. Amongst the distinguished theories, the Theory of Burke-Litwin helps in predicting organizational and individual performance. The Vollman model related to the transformation imperative puts forward discussion based on the scale of change process. The second type focuses on the contextual issues and considers the conditions or forces that existed within the external and internal environment of the organization. The external conditions represent factors within business environment that includes technological advances and the changing regulations of the government. The internal conditions on the other hand includes the facets of the organizational structure like the degree of specialization related to work for supporting the existing technology, the degree of the organizational slack and the experiences of the previous changes. Langley (2013) summarized the organizational and industry level changes in the hospitality industry. Kipping and Usdiken (2014) helped in investigating the organizational momentum and inertia in airline industry whereas Haveman et al. (2013) investigated the technological and legislative changes in the loan and savings industry of California. In addition to this, Hunt and Dodge (2000) ensured analysis of the effects of Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) for two Texas banks. The third category helps in examining the process of the organizational change that represents the actions considered during the enactment of the intended change. In this context, the processual theories of the organizational change put forward by Lewin, focuses on various means through which an organization experiences the change process through the various phases. Process based theories of change management consider the change as continuing process. Thus, organizational change takes place in numerous steps and takes considerable time in unfolding and the efforts for bypassing the steps hardly yields a suitable result. Then recent organizational change models are rooted in Lewin’s Three Step Model that focused on the unfreezing, movement and re-freezing stages. Therefore, a successful project projected at up taking the organizational change usually involves unfreezing at the present level, moving towards the newer level and refreezing of the newer level. This change model recognized the need for discarding the older structures, behavior, process and culture before successfully adopting the newer approaches.

Types of Organizational Change Theories

The particular strength of Judson Model represented discussions on the predictable reactions for methods and change in each of the phases along with the mention of different method for overcoming the resistance (Battilana and Casciaro, 2013). Compared to this, Kotter’s Model provides greater importance on the preparation of the employees affected by the changes (Hayes, 2014). The Galpin Model stressed on the significance of understanding the culture of the organizations that finds reflection in the norms and customs, rules and policies and its impact on the progression via the nine phases (McKnight, 2013). The Armenakis Model argues the need for the creation of readiness for the change among the employees to minimize resistance. This model thus incorporates the elements of the social learning theory of Bandura (2014) and Lewin( 2013).

According to Shirey (2013), the literature of change management ensures distinguishing between the kind of changes undertaken. There is also distinction between the emergent and the planned changes, continuous change and the episodic changes, changes of the core and the peripheral systems, operational and strategic changes. However, the two primary paradigms of the organizational theory represent the planned and the emergent approaches to the changes. According to the planned approach, the organizations move from a particular rigid stage to another via series of the stages that are pre-determined. This approach necessitates identifying the different organizational stages that negotiates for moving from the unsatisfactory state to the desired identified state. Lewin Model of Planned Change represents an example of the change model. The emergent approach on the other hand, suggested that change is rapid and so it makes it impossible for the senior managers for effectively identifying, planning and implementing the required organizational responses. Leaving aside series of few linear events, the emergent approach helps in perceiving the change as an open ended and a continuous method of adapting to the changing conditions and the circumstances. Often, the approach lacks diversity of the techniques and coherence. Another criticism of emergent approach states that it consists of dissimilar group of approaches and models that remains united and skeptical towards the change in planned approach in respect to an agreed alternative. However, the validity and general applicability of emergent approach towards organizational change depends on the belief whether all organizations remain operational.

Kanter Ten Commandents for Execution of  Change 

Eight Stage Process of Kotter for  Organizational Transformation

Luecke Seven Step Process

1) Helps in analyzing the organization and the necessity  for it to change

1) Ensures development of vision and strategy

1) Ensures mobilization of  commitment and energy through closer identification of the business problems and their solutions

2) Helps in creating a vision and common direction

2) Consolidation of  gains and ensure more change in production

2) Ensures the development of a shared vision on how to manage and organize  competitiveness

3) Ensures separation from the past

3) Establishment of a sense of urgency

3) Ensures the identification of  leadership

4) Creation of a sense of urgency

4) Ensures creation of  a guiding coalition

4) Institutionalizing success through the formal policies, structures and systems

5) Ensures support for a strong leadership role

5) Leads to the generation of  short-term wins

5) Focuses on the  results and not on the activities

6) Ensures Lining up with the  political sponsorship

6) Ensures broad based  empowerment action

6) Initiates  change at the periphery, then helps in spreading it to the other units without pushing it from top

7) Crafting of an implementation plan

7) Ensures communication of  the change vision

7) Ensures monitoring and adjusting the strategies in response to the problems within the change process

8) Development of enabling structures

8)Ensures anchoring newer approaches into the culture

9)Ensure communication, involves people and helps in portraying honesty

10)Reinforcing and institutionalizing change

Episodic changes however seem to be discontinuous and infrequent and take place when the organizations depart away from the change or the equilibrium due to the misalignment of the environmental encroachment (Palthe, 2014). Discontinuous change represents single time event that occurs  through the incongruent and large initiatives and followed by longer periods of stillness and consolidation. Compared to this, there is continuous evolution of  changes which are cumulative and ongoing in nature. The transformational process of change included renewal processes involving the actors from different organization for leading the organization into a newer state. The experience of change in organizations is an omnipresent feature both at the strategic and operational level.

Organizations help in identifying a futuristic strategy and then going through the process of change management in achieving the strategy. Hence, organizational change cannot differ from the organizational strategy. Then operational and the departmental changes represents a continuous change which ongoing. However, the strategic changes mostly represent the incremental changes concerned with the organizational strategies and the capacity of constantly adapting to demands of the internal and external environments.

Content-Based Theories

The challenges for organizational and management research depends on meeting the practical relevance and scholarly quality. There have been significant changes taking place in the organizational research and management due to criticism based on the fact of being acontextual, ahistorical and aprocessual. According to Pettigrew (2013), the major weakness of such kind in areas of organizational change merely reflects biases that are inherent in the social sciences and the organizational study. In present times, research related to organizational change ensures examining the sequencing and the pace of actions in the process of change. However, change management focuses on the explanation of the effects and dynamics of process, time, discontinuity and the context of the change management process. As per Pettigrew (2013), there existed interconnection between six analytical issues for the further future research in the field of organizational change management. These included multiple levels and the context of analysis, the history, process, time and action, linkage between the organizational performance outcomes and the change process, investigations of the cross cultural and international comparisons, customization, sequencing, receptivity, episodic values and pace versus the process of constant changes and the partnership between the practitioners and scholars in bring about an organizational change.

The poor rate of success of the change management programs, the lack of valid framework along with insufficient empirical research puts forward the need for further research into nature of the conducted change management. The first step in the process involves carrying out exploratory studies for enhancing the knowledge of the organizational change management. This help in the identification of the critical factors of success for managing change. Moreover, for constructing the valid change management framework it is necessary for enabling the measurement of success rate of the initiatives undertaken for change. This necessitates the designing of the new methods for measurements.


To conclude, one can say that the pace of change management has not been greater compared to the constant evolution in the business environment. Therefore, a successful management of change requires a highly required skill. The report tried to attempt in highlighting the need for the pragmatic and new framework for the change management. For construction of suitable framework exploratory studies of the nature of change and its management is considered which would arguably help in identifying the critical success factors of change management.  The report also puts forward suggestions on the methods of measuring the success of change management in organizations for evaluation of the new suggested frameworks.


Battilana, J. and Casciaro, T., 2013. Overcoming resistance to organizational change: Strong ties and affective cooptation. Management Science, 59(4), pp.819-836.

Burnes, B., 2005. Complexity theories and organizational change. International Journal of Management Reviews, 7(2), pp.73-90.

Cameron, E. and Green, M., 2015. Making sense of change management: A complete guide to the models, tools and techniques of organizational change. Kogan Page Publishers.

Carter, M.Z., Armenakis, A.A., Feild, H.S. and Mossholder, K.W., 2013. Transformational leadership, relationship quality, and employee performance during continuous incremental organizational change. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 34(7), pp.942-958.

Edmonstone, J., 2013. Healthcare leadership: learning from evaluation. Leadership in Health Services, 26(2), pp.148-158.

Haveman, H.A, David, R.J., Sine, W.D., 2013. Seizing opportunity in emerging fields: How institutional entrepreneurs legitimated the professional form of management consulting. Organization Science, 24(2), pp.356-377.

Hayes, J., 2014. The theory and practice of change management. Palgrave Macmillan.

Hossan, C., 2015. Applicability of Lewin’s change management theory in Australian local government. International Journal of business and Management, 10(6), p.53.

Hunt, J.G. and Dodge, G.E., 2000. Leadership déjà vu all over again. The Leadership Quarterly, 11(4), pp.435-458.

Kipping, M. and Üsdiken, B., 2014. History in organization and management theory: More than meets the eye. The Academy of Management Annals, 8(1), pp.535-588.

Langley, A.N.N., Smallman, C., Tsoukas, H. and Van de Ven, A.H., 2013. Process studies of change in organization and management: Unveiling temporality, activity, and flow. Academy of Management Journal, 56(1), pp.1-13.

McKnight, L.L., 2013. Transformational leadership in the context of punctuated change. Journal of Leadership, Accountability and Ethics, 10(2), p.103.

Palthe, J., 2014. Regulative, normative, and cognitive elements of organizations: Implications for managing change. Management and organizational studies, 1(2), p.59.

Pettigrew, A., 2013. The Awakening Giant (Routledge Revivals): Continuity and Change in Imperial Chemical Industries. Routledge.

hirey, M.R., 2013. Lewin’s theory of planned change as a strategic resource. Journal of Nursing Administration, 43(2), pp.69-72.

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