Literature Review - Organisational Change

Topics: Change management, Management, Leadership Pages: 10 (2971 words) Published: October 17, 2012
CHANGE is unavoidable in order to remain competitive in today’s fast-paced market environment. Management guru, Tom Peters puts it that ‘change or die’ has been the bottom line for countless firms (Jick & Peiperl, 2011). Change can be large or small, evolutionary or revolutionary, sought after or resisted (Hayes, 2010) and is a general feature of organisational life, both at an operational and strategic level (Todnem, 2005). Burnes (1992) expressed that ‘change management is not a distinct discipline but rather, the theory and practice of change management draws on a number of social science disciplines and traditions’ (Kitchen & Daly, 2002). It is also defined as ‘the process of continually renewing an organization’s direction, structure, and capabilities to serve the ever-changing needs of external and internal customers’ (Moran & Brightman, 2000). A clear definition of change or change management / organisational is still lacking despite numerous definitions by authors (Struckman &Yammarino, 2003).

The purpose of this paper is to explore change leaders’ skills/abilities required in implementing change in various context or change management approach. In doing so, the nature of change encompassing the drivers, critical success factors (CSF), dilemmas of change and types of change is discussed to achieve a better understanding organisational change.

The drive for change follows the cause-effect path set in Figure 1. The transformation needs attention to both the external and internal drivers of change (Anderson & Anderson, 2010). The Burke-Litwin model (Appendix 2) ranks them in terms of importance. The model argues that all of the factors are integrated and interdependent which generally most authors agree to (Kitchen & Daly, 2002). However, there are authors claiming that technology, government and globalisation, competitionand corporate sustainability to be drivers for change (MGT8033, 2012). Based on the infinite arguments, it can be construed that state that the drivers of change are too many too list (Jick & Peiperl, 2011).

Figure 1: The Drivers of Change Model (Anderson & Anderson, 2010)

An organisation’s ability to survive the transformation is greatly influenced by its CSFs. However, contradicting findings of the MIT study (Berger et al., 1989) and Samson’s (1999) fourteen guiding principles (MGT 8033, 2012) is sighted. Researchers also identified communication, employees’ perception of the organisation’s ability to deal with change, planning and analysis and assessment as success factors (Chrusciel & Field, 2006). Soft success factors (innovativeness, creativity and intuition) build on the existing platform of hard success factors (quantity, diligence and productivity) and soft success factors are becoming competitive advantage (Bertoncelj et. al, 2009). Figure 2 lists the necessary conditions for a successful change based on a survey conducted in UK (McGreevy, 2009).

Sound pre-planning
Objectives of the change process aligned with organisational objectives Commitment from the top of the organisation to ensure that resources were available to manage the change effectively Commutations – explaining why the change was necessary

Applied project management
Taking a measured approach to the roll out of the change programme Progress monitoring of results using the balanced scorecard
Figure 2: Conditions for successful change (Source: McGreevy, 2009)

Organisation should also analyse the ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ interventions of change as shown in Appendix 3 to ensure effective change programmes. Five dilemmas of change that have characterised decision about organisational change, viz. adaptive or rational strategy development, cultural or structural change, continuous improvement or radical transformation, empowerment or leadership and command and economic or social goals was identified (Stace & Dunphy, 2001). To handle such dilemmas, the...
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