Organisation theory has developed through major epochs of classical, human relations and contingency approaches, all of which have contributed to the accumulation of knowledge about implementing change. The legacy of these approaches has been to regard organisational change as something of an aberration or a departure from the more usual static position of organisations. Hence, for example, Lewin’ s (1951) depiction of stability before and after a change intervention which, interestingly, assumes change to be endogenous. More recently focus has switched to examining fundamental aspects of change, developing ways of theorising about change and matters relating to its management. These developments in theory recognise the limitations of contingency approaches and the need to see it as a continuing phenomenon within an organisation’s particular circumstances (Dawson,1994; Dunphy and Stace, 1990. One significant point recognised by recent studies is that static models are being displaced by dynamic models, reflecting the discontinuous nature of organisational change (Pettigrew, 1985; Fombrun, 1992; Greenwood and Hinings, 1988). Change cannot be relied upon to occur at a steady state, rather there are periods of incremental change sandwiched between more violent periods of change which have contributed to the illusion of stability once assumed to be the case. Moreover, the language and imagery of organisation theory in the past projected static or at least steady-state models. Strategies for dealing with uncertainty (Thompson, 1967) and the need for at least some bureaucratic uniformity in an organisation’s procedures also provides imagery more reflective of static rather than dynamic organisations. Pettigrew (1992) argues for a processual approach to the study of management and eschews a static view in favour of one which pivots on temporal issues of action and sequences... [continues]
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