Organizational Change and Leadership
Emil F. Schellack
MidAmerica Nazarene University
Graduate Studies in Management
December 15, 2012
Leadership and organizational culture are widely believed to be linked in the process of change. Leadership to effect such change is required if success is to be achieved. The discussion in this mid-term paper will first focus on why an organization changes, resistance to change, and diagnosis for change. Next, the paper will examine various aspects of leadership that will drive organizational change. The discussion for leading change will include vigilant leadership, influencing change, changing culture, and ethical leadership. Change within an organization is difficult at any level, and it requires innovative leaders to guide an organization through the entire change process.
Organizational Change and Leadership
Organizations need to be flexible, adaptive, and innovative in meeting the changing and challenging demands of today’s global environment. “Changing organizations is as messy as it is exhilarating, as frustrating as it satisfying, as muddling through and creative process as it is a rational one.” (Palmer, Dunford, Akin, 2009, p.1) Organizations experiences changes for various reasons. These could be the result of financial changes, external forces, innovation, and culture. Organizational pressures for change include growth, integration, identity, power, and political pressures. Regardless of the change needed, it is a leader’s job to guide their organization through this change. In today’s world, leadership is playing an increasingly important role in our society and organizations. Leadership is an interpersonal influence that is directed towards the achievement of facilitating change and achieving goals. To be an effective leader, leaders must be vigilant, understand resistance to change, and how culture affects change. Just because an individual has authority or is a leadership role; it does not necessarily mean that they are a leader. Managers and supervisors that learn to motivate those under them to achieve change and accomplish company goals without using that authority are the true leaders. Leadership innovation is the act or function of a person who guides, directs, and can influence others with new ideas or methods in order to facilitate change. This paper will now explore why organizations change, diagnosing change, resistance to change, leading change through vigilant leadership, cultural change, and innovation leadership through ethics and values. Organizational Change
Wikipedia defines change management as, “A structured approach to shifting transitioning individuals, teams, and organizations from a current state to a desired future state. It is an organizational process aimed at helping employees to accept and embrace changes in their current business environment.” When mission, operational, or technological changes are needed, the change management process begins. Pressure from stakeholders can also force change. “In competitive economies, firm survival depends on satisfying shareholders. Failure to do this will lead them either to move their capital to other companies or to use their influence to replace senior management. Therefore, managers conduct change in order to produce better organizational performance to improve better company share prices.” (Palmer, Dunford, Akin, 2009, p.73). In addition to satisfying stakeholders, organizational pressures for change include growth, integration and collaboration, identity, power, and political pressures. Leaders and managers must have a very clear understanding of what specific pressures their organizations are confronted with in order develop a successful plan for within their organization. Change managers must understand how to properly and accurately assess their organizations readiness for change. Improperly diagnosing change can cause...
References: Palmer, Dunford, Akin. (2009). Managing organizational change: A multiple perspectives approach. (2nd ed., Vol. 1). McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Change management. (2012, November 03). Wikipedia, Retrieved December 10, 2012, from
Kotter, J. (1995) Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail” Harvard Business Review
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