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Can Planned Change Be Implemented In A Rapidly Changing Business Environment? Using The Planned Change Model

3978 words - 16 pages

INTRODUCTIONOrganisational development (OD) is a planned organisation-wide effort by top management to increase organisational effectiveness and health, through making planned interventions in its usual processes (Beckhard, 1969). This enables the organisation to improve and better attain their objectives (French et al., 1999).This essay will discuss and critique planned change models and their effectiveness in a rapidly changing environment. As change is an ever emergent, messy and unpredictable element in the environment (Dawson, 2003), it produces ambiguity (McKendall, 1993) and uncertainty. It may therefore be difficult to predict and make planned changes to an organisation, with the external environment itself rapidly changing. In fact, uncertainty in the business environment has become so great (Drucker, 1995), the case for planned change is easily undermined (Wilson, 1992). The planned change models will thus be analysed here to judge their achievability for planned change in an ever-changing environment.PLANNED CHANGE MODELSBecause the business environment changes rapidly, change management is a process that needs to be built into every organisation's structure (Drucker, 1995). Managers need to review the organisation's products, processes, procedures and policies every few years (Drucker, 1995) to keep up with change in the external environment. However, it must be remembered that change programmes of any sort are long-term efforts (French et al., 1999) that need to be sustained over time. Considering this, countless unexpected environmental changes can take place which can affect the planned changes and throw them off-track, especially when the change programmes are stretched over such long periods of time that make them vulnerable to external elements. These changes may be in the form of a new innovation in information technology, or new knowledge coming from microbiology and genetics in the pharmaceutical industry (Drucker, 1995).At the same time, since OD and change involves applied behavioural science discipline (French & Bell, 1990), changes in the environment can also cause shifts in the behaviours and mindsets of organisational members involved in the change process. The difference in behaviours and mindsets may bring about disagreements in the midst of the change process, and cause the entire planned change process to be compromised. This goes to show that planned change is difficult to achieve as the environment continuously changes with new knowledge that affects the mindsets and ideals of the people in it.OD is also a collaborative effort between organisational members and the OD practitioners involved (Waddell et al., 2004), so relationships are important in an OD programme. A common frame of reference should therefore be established (Waddell et al., 2004) and maintained for the change programme to be successful. Failure to do so "... may lead to faulty diagnosis or to a communications gap" (Waddell et al., 2004, p.33),...

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