Change management is one of the central topics of organizational management. However, as to the context of change management, there are controversial opinions concerning whether the core of management remains the same in nature (Crockford, 1986). Some argue that despite the different contents and forms of change, the nature of change remains the same. Those who have this opinion insist that change itself is not the real problem but the resistance of change is the real one. According to this opinion, there is only one core work for managing change, i.e., to make people accept the necessity of making changes within an organization (Jarillo, 1993). In this sense, the work to urge people to accept the change is always the same in different contexts. Or put it another way, when managing change, all organizations are confronted with the same problem of making people believe the benefits of the change. However, to most people, making change is a flexible process and differs significantly according to the different types of change and the different contexts involved. In this essay, the author intends to discuss how the change management is a flexible process which is determined by the different conditions of organizations with particular cultural features and organizational structures. Here, some of the major elements to influence the flexibility of change management will be discussed and analyzed.
2. Factors determining the flexibility of change management
Two main factors are significant in determining the flexibility of change management. The first is the different contexts involved in the change management; whereas the other is the different forms of change implementations according to the different situations of the organization.
2.1 The different contexts of change and change management
One of the major arguments of the changing nature of change management comes from the so-called change context, which refers to the cultural or management environment of an organization during the process of its change management (Ellis, 2005). According to this argument, the contexts of change differ significantly according to the diversified backgrounds. As a result, the assumption that the approaches in managing change are transferable in different organizations or in different settings is risky (Schultz, 1994). This implies that for different organizations, the experience of managing change also varies significantly from that of another organization. Here, the core concept in understanding this difference is the context of change, which can be further divided into a number of settings.
2.1.1 The difference in time allocated to implemented to change In the first place, for different organizations, the time allocated for change differs significantly. This often implies that degree of the urgency to manage change is different according to the specific management conditions of organizations (Watkins, 2003). For example, for a business which faces immediate business decline may be in a more urgent situation to implement change than a company which is performing well in the market. As a result, for the latter, the management of change is a matter of the future. The time allocated for the latter is much longer than that of the former.
2.1.2 The different scopes of change
Secondly, the change management context also includes the scope of change, which differs significantly in different organizations. That is to say, how much change will be implemented in an organization depends on the management conditions of the organization involved (Alvesson, & Olof-Berg, 1992). Take technological change for example, in order to win the market competition, business organizations have to constantly implement technological innovations so as to maintain technique advantages in the targeted market (Marshak, 2005). However, it does not mean that the innovation will be implemented in all scales. In fact, as to the technology still...