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Discuss about  the Dynamic change of Management ?

Answer :


Dynamic changes are a characteristic of the contemporary world and this has resulted in making effective as well as efficient organization a very critical aspect of the organizations. Besides this, each organization operates in an environment which is distinct to it and thus a style of leadership or organization which is considered as appropriate in certain instances that may not be appropriate or successful in other instances which may be different. Hence, it becomes vital to conduct an assessment on the manner in which this has an impact on their structure. Therefore, it cannot be said that “there is only one best way to manage” as the best way of managing an organization becomes contingent on both the external as well as the internal situation of the organization. Additionally, the leaders who are effective have awareness of the fact that “there is only one best way to manage” and thus they make adaptations in their style in accordance development levels of the people whom they are managing (Witt, 2009) (Fineman et al., 2005).

Contingency Approach for Managing People

The aspect which has been mentioned above, has placed emphasis on the contingency approach. According to this approach, in order for the organization to achieve success, it is critical for them to adopt a structure which is suitable to the environment wherein the organization operates. Several varied forms exist for the contingency theories. Generally, they are a component of that particular class of behavior theory in accordance to which no best was exists in which a corporation or its organization structure may be organized. External environment has an influence on the organization in various manners. The vital external factors affecting the organization consists of its size along with the labour markets, competitors, costs as well as capital availability, assumptions of the management pertaining to the usage of technology, strategies and also employees and laws and policies laid down by the Government (Smith, 1984).


Most of the development of contingency theories happened in the second half of the 1960s decade. They emerged primarily due to the criticism that was meted out to the classical theories like Taylor’s scientific management and also to “Weber’s Bureaucracy”. These theories turned out to be unsuccessful as they did not consider the fact that contingency factors or the numerous environmental factors impact both the management style as well as the organizational structure.

In 1958, the work of Joan Woodward laid the foundation of the contingency approach. As per him, the companies that had achieved success in various industries were the ones that had distinct types of technologies and such companies also possessed the characteristic of having distinct organizational structures (Thompson, 2003).

Several strategic managers following the classical culture had a tendency of being inflexible. They lacked the qualities which are necessary for a manager to possess for successful management of change. On the contrary, certain other managers had the capacity of dealing with the changes in a methodical as well as rational manner. This turns out to be the most crucial positive aspect regarding the utilization of “contingency thinking approach”. It was observed that majority of the organizations that were able to become successful had hierarchies and structures in the organization which differed from what was being advocated by classical management theorists. Variations occur in the good structures and these are dependent on the situations that exist and thus there is no “one best way” of managing.

The theme behind the different contingency theories primarily is that organizations can be considered as systems that are open and it is required that they are managed in a careful manner so that satisfaction and balance of the internal needs is made possible and it also becomes possible to adapt to circumstances existing the its environment. “No one best way” is thus possible for organizing. The suitable form above all other things is dependent on the kind of environment or task that has to be dealt with by one. Hence, the management has to show concern regarding attaining good alignments and varied environments require organizations which are also varied (Morgan, 2007).

Certain basic sort of contingency comprises organisation’s production technology, its size and also that task environment which is a part of it. The thinking of contingency approaches is totally distinct from the thinking that the old management theorists possessed. The theorists belonging to the old school were under the assumption that they had made the discovery of “one best way”. However, leaders who possess the requisite experience have awareness of the fact that “no one best way” actually exists. Put alternatively, it can be said identical treatment should not be meted out to the employees in every circumstance, situation and condition. Hence, a major suggestion made by contingency thinking is that the number of ways in which managers can make adaptations is dependent on the situations which they face (Burnes, 1996).


Contingency thinking has combined the ideas in relation to the existence of uncertainty in the environment as well as the external factors impacting the work with context specific features pertaining to both leadership and decision making. As indicated by the contingency thinking theory, functions, techniques and practices of management differ with situations. Thus, assistance is provided by it in finding ways that are appropriate for management of organisations. Certain organisations for instance, may be hiring management consultants in order to identify effective ways for handling currently existing circumstances, new markets, new laws and policies, new competitors and political issues.

Managerial activities have impacted the organisational activities in a number of ways. These comprise of being able to motivate the subordinates, being a source of communication and budgeting the resources that are in scarcity. In accordance with the contingency theories, a leadership of single style does not turn out to be effective in all the situations and the style of leadership is in fact contingent on the context which is organisational and situational (Jordhiem, 2013).

Influential Contingency Theories

As per the influential contingency theories there exists “no one best way to manage”. They are as follows -

Burns and Stalker in their findings revealed that high differences exist between organisations that operate in stable environments and the ones that operate in dynamic environments. They were of the view that the firms’ approach to innovation and also change varied and this was in relation to their values as well as mission (Burns & Stalker, 1994),

Lawrence and Lorsch further refined the contingency theory and suggested that varying technological environments and markets need organisations of varying types and different ways can be used for managing the organisation’s functional department because of the variations that take place in their sub-environments. Thus, the organisations that adapts to the environment in the best way possible will be able to survive (Lawrence & Lorsch, 1967).

Fred Fiedler’s model is the most researched along with being one of the earliest. This model is also known by the name “contingency model of leadership effectiveness” (Fiedler, 1964). Fiedler views are that leaders are neither effective nor ineffective. He suggests that there are just leaders performing better in certain situations however, not in every situation. Any person can become a leader by careful selection of situations that are matching with the leadership style that is possessed by him or her. Improvements can be made in the leader’s effectiveness by designing a job which is a fit with the manager. For example, by bringing an increase or decrease in the position power of the leader, altering the task structure or impacting the relations between leader and members, a situation can be altered by the organisation to fit better into the style of the leader (Lorsch, 2010).



It can be concluded that the essence that the contingency theory holds is that best practices are in fact dependent on the situations. “That it all depends” is a typical response that is provided by a contingency theorist. Hence, this theory is also called “it all depends theory”. This might apparently be simple but conducting an assessment in relation to the contingencies on which the decisions depend is a task which is extremely complex. Contingency theorists are the ones who mostly identify as well as measure the conditions in which there is a likelihood of the things taking place. Considering the fact that in order to be able to achieve performance which is of superior quality, the organisations should possess an external fit along with an internal fit and also taking into account that it is not possible to separate the processes of formulation of strategy and implementation of strategy, there is a need for adopting an approach which is integrative and which possesses the ability of incorporating the two schools of thought.  Thus, it can be said that “there is no one best way to manage” and the organisational structure and management style which are the most appropriate are dependent on the organisational context of the concerned organisation. At present it is recognised that the ability of being able to manage the change is a “core organisational competence”.



Burnes, B., 1996. No such thing as … a “one best way” to manage organizational change. Management decision, 34(10), pp.10-18.

Burns, T. & Stalker, M., 1994. The Management of Innovation. 3rd ed. Oxford University Press.

Fiedler, F.E., 1964. A Contingency Model of Leadership Effectiveness. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology , 1, pp.149-90.

Fineman, S., Sims, D. & Gabriel, Y., 2005. Organizing and organizations. London: Sage.

Jordhiem, T., 2013. There Is No Good Way to Manage People (But We Have To Try Anyway). [Online] Available at: [Accessed 17 December 2016].

Lawrence, P.R. & Lorsch, J.W., 1967. Organization and Environment. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Lorsch, J.W., 2010. Press Chapters. Harvard Business Review, 26 January.

Morgan, G., 2007. Images of Organisation. Thousand Oaks: SAGE.

Smith, M.J., 1984. Contingency rules theory, context, and compliance behaviors. Human Communication Research, 10, pp.489-512.

Thompson, J.D., 2003. Organizations in Action: Social Science Bases of Administrative Theory.

Witt, D., 2009. No One “Best” Leadership Style. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 17 December 2016].

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