Literature Review of Organizational Change, 2000 to 2008

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There has been a considerable body of literature dedicated to assisting organisational leaders in their endeavours to implement change (Holt, Self, Thal & Lo 2002). Many authors concur that the prime task of leaders is to bring about change and that leadership and change management are indeed inextricably linked (Burnes 2003, Stoker 2006, Maurer 2008). Robinson and Harvey (2008) maintain that the acceleration of globalisation has resulted in a tumultuous state of change as organisations struggle to adapt to new models of leadership. Consequently, few would dispute that with such increasing globalisation, deregulation, rapid pace of technology and shifting social and demographic trends that leading organisational change is one of the most critical elements in the success of an organisation (Graetz 2000).

With such a dynamic and unpredictable operating environment change leaders require a wide range of skills to successfully implement change management programs in different situations, contexts and circumstances. The purpose of this assignment is to conduct a literature review of organisational change literature for the period 2000 to 2008 to determine what skills an individual change leader would require to effect change management programs in different contexts and to develop new ways of approaching organisational change. The literature will establish that irrespective of the change management process adopted, effective change leaders are able to influence employee behaviour and organisational commitment through a charismatic leadership approach, comprising of visioning, interpersonal and communication skills. The literature also suggests that although the human element is critical to the success of organisational change, technical dimensions including operational knowledge; strong analytical and diagnostic skills and excellent business strategy skills are also important features. This paper will address a number of issues including organisational change processes; charismatic influence strategies encompassing interpersonal skills, communication and emotional expressivity; dealing with resistance to change and technical dimensions of change.

Organisational change
Ragsdell (2000) maintains that the intention of any organisational change is to move the organisation from its current state to a more desirable state. Beugelsdijk, Slangen and van Herpen (2001) point out that organisation change can be achieved through either incremental change or radical change, or through a process of interaction between these two types of change known as the punctuated equilibrium model of organisational change (Tushman & Romanelli in Beugelsdijk et al. 2001). Studies over the past six decades suggest that organisations systematically apply multi-phase processes as leaders attempt to implement organisational change (Holt et al. 2003). Significant research has been performed in this field since Lewin’s (1947) model of unfreezing, moving and refreezing.

A more contemporary model as espoused by Judson (in Holt et al. 2003) suggested a five-phase process consisting of analysing and planning for the change; communicating the change; gaining acceptance of new behaviours; changing from the status quo to a desired state; and consolidating and institutionalising the new state. Kotter (in Holt et al. 2003) introduced an eight phase model which built upon Judson’s work by adding stages that require the establishment of a sense of urgency; the creation of a vision of the desired end result; and the planning for and creation of short-term wins. Brightman and Moran (2001) later rationalised this earlier work to develop a change management cycle encompassing the phases of understanding the current situation; determining the desired state and developing a change plan; enlisting others and developing a critical mass; and tracking and stabilising results.

Influence for change

The common theme permeating through all of...
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