Change Management

Topics: Change management Pages: 9 (2274 words) Published: February 25, 2013

CHAPTER 1- Patterns of change and their implications for change management

Theories Relating to Patterns of Change:
1.Gradualist Paradigm
oPosits that an organization changes and develops through a continuous process of incremental adjustment (ideal) •Accumulate over time to ensure that the organization is always aligns with its external environment

2.Punctuated Equilibrium
oMost organizations experience change as a discontinuous process often referred to as a pattern of punctuated equilibrium oInvolves long periods of low intensity incremental changes punctuated by shots bursts of high intensity discontinuous change oDominant pattern of change because a number of factors act to limit the degree of change that occurs in the periods of low intensity change (Looks like the above graph but steps under the arrow)

IMPORTANT- Factors That Can Limit Change (inertia)
1.A Fear of Change
oThey prefer the status quo to an uncertain future
oThey anticipate that the cost of changing might outweigh the benefits 2.Persistent ‘deep structures’ (strategy)
oAre fundamental choices that determine an organizations pattern of activity oFootball Analogy- the rules of the game represent deep structures (taken for granted and difficult to change) oAct as forces for inertia that work to maintain the status quo oForces for inertia are strongest when a group, department or organization is part of a network of tightly coupled mutual dependencies 3.Pressure to deliver short term results

oDirects managers attention towards improving internal alignment in order to increase efficiency oDiverts their attention away from external alignment
** All three factors combine to inhibit change and promote strategic drift ** ** The organization does not change fast enough or in the ways that will ensure that it remains aligned with its external environment**

The Trigger for Discontinuous Change
oEventually this misalignment with the external environment reaches a point where major change (radical transformation) is precipitated oCan managers break out of this pattern of punctuated equilibrium and avoid the need to react quickly to radically transform their business?- Yes, but only by making their organizations continuously adaptive over the longer term

Continuously adaptive organizations experience the kind of continuous change described by the gradualist paradigm: oRequired organizations to engage in repeated patterns of:
-Improvisation that leads to a continuous modification of existing work practices -Learning and new insights which facilitate changes in the way the organization responds to problems and opportunities -Translation that involved the editing and imitation of ideas as they travel through the organization. oEvidence suggests that most organizations, if they survive long enough, will experience change as a pattern of punctuated equilibrium. There are 3 exceptions: -Small minority of “learning organizations” that do manage to continuously adapt through ongoing processes of improvisation and learning -Companies operating in niche markets or in slow moving sectors where they have not yet encountered the kind of environmental change that requires them to transform their deep structures -Organizations that are able to continue functioning without transforming themselves because they have sufficient fat to absorb that inefficiencies associated with misalignment.

Strategic Drift
oFirms cannot ignore changes in their external environment forever- eventually they have to adapt if they are to survive oSome firms are slower than others to recognize the need for change or slower than others to take action. Their response is reactive rather than proactive.

Lead times and Time Pressures
oIt is more difficult to manage change when the need for change is urgent: -There is less time for planning
-It is more difficult to involve people in the process
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