Coping With Change; Change Management Models And Philosophies

1219 words - 5 pages


Change is the only constant in life. And therefore it should be understood as part of a continuing work in progress that calls for a much broader canvas that seeks out competing voices, and works with the resulting ambiguities, contradictions and tensions of messy reality (Graetz, F. & Smith, A., 2010). In this submission I try to show that organizational change is majorly based on the environment surrounding it much more than the desire of the members or change agents working in that organization. This view diverts from that of Lippitt, (1958) who suggests that implementing planned organizational changes successfully depends on premeditated interventions intended to modify the functioning of an organization. It also diverts from the traditional approaches to organizational change that generally follow a linear, rational model in which the focus is on controllability under the stewardship of a strong leader or ‘guiding coalition (Collis, 1998). In this discussion therefore, comparison made between the different philosophies of change and I try to show that successful change implantation largely depends on an organizations appreciation of what goes on around it rather than what they have planned as a strategic direction.

Environmental factor for change

Organizations operate in a turbulent environment that forces them to change even against their will to do so. Every organization has a fair prediction of its future that is why they all spend time and resources to put in place strategic plans. More often they get challenged not to follow these plans because they fail to appreciate that change is a natural phenomenon which is intimately entwined with continuity and that change-continuity continuum is what defines organizations and their ability both to exploit and explore (Graetz, F. & Smith, A., 2010). This is in agreement with Collins (1998), who disagrees with the traditional approaches whose assumption is that organizational change involves a series of predictable, reducible steps that can be planned and managed. Change implementation within an organization can thus be conceptualized as an exercise in social influence, defined as the alteration of an attitude or behavior by one actor in response to another actor’s actions (Marsden & Friedkin, 1993). In this case the other actors would include customer, suppliers, political, economic, social and technological environment. And therefore the extent to which an actor’s network contacts are connected to one another, has important implications for generating novel ideas and exercising social influence (Battilana & Casciaro, 2012).

In as much as change agents may need to overcome resistance from other members of their organization and encourage them to adopt new practices (Kanter, 1983;Van de Ven, 1986) many organizational changes may be compelled by the environment where the organization operates. The unwillingness of the organization to change will render it obsolete.

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