Managing Change

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Principles of Management

2003/ 2004

¡§The key theme of this module is change. What did Charles Handy mean when he commented that change could not be managed? If he was right what can a manager do in the face of change? Explain the responsibilities of a manager to their organisation and its employees during periods of change.¡¨

Word Count: 1940
Pages: 10
Contents Page


Front page1
Contents page2

2.1.Turbulent time3
2.2.Definition: change management4
2.3.Sources of change4
2.4.Change theory4

3.Managing change5
3.2.Is change manageable?6
3.3.Responsibilities and actions7
5. Bibliography9


This piece of work should give a brief insight in the field of change management. It should present basic ideas and coherences that seem to be useful in order to understand the nature of organizational change and how it can be coped with successfully. First, I¡¦m going to explain how change affects today¡¦s business world and why organizations need to change. Then I will continue with a definition of ¡¥managing change¡¦, before I am going to outline external and internal sources of change. Next, a theoretical framework for change is going to be presented; subsequently followed by an explanation of various factors that lead to the resistance to change. Then I am going to discuss, if change is manageable or not, before I will finally point out, what a manager is responsible for and what he can do in the change process in order to achieve a positive outcome.


All things must change
To something new, to something strange.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

2.1.Turbulent time

The basic characteristic of today¡¦s business world is its turbulence and - as experts like to point out ¡Vchange is the sole constant. Change (The American Heritage Dictionary, 1976) is the process or condition of changing; alteration or modification; transformation. Change is omnipresent and therefore we are all subject to change in one form or another, going through a process of ongoing adaptation and adjustment. Rapid changes are creating dramatic dislocation in the workplace, affecting people¡¦s skills and how business firms compete amongst themselves for power and resources. These ongoing changes are of increasingly complex and intensive character. In order to survive and to develop, organizations continually have to adapt to the changing environment. The different set of values and opinions, and the conflicts that arise within organizations and their environments seem to be essential in this adaptation process. Consequently, it is essential for managers to identify the multi-dimensional change environment, to understand the different types of change, the forces behind them and how best to manage concurrently these changes through active and participative leadership.

Likewise, in his book ¡§Understanding Organizations¡¨, Charles Handy writes, that ¡§Change is a necessary condition of survival, be we individuals or organisations, and differences are a necessary ingredient in that change, that never ending search for improvement. The challenge for the manager is to harness the energy and thrust of the differences so that the organisation does not disintegrate but develops. Without politics we would never change and without change we would wither and die.¡¨

2.2.Definition: Managing Change (a task oriented approach)

Managing change is itself a term that has at least two meanings.

On the one hand it refers to the implementation of internal changes in a planned and managed or systematic way. The aim is to more effectively implement new methods and systems in an ongoing organization. The changes to be managed lie within the sphere...
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