In Organizational Development, change is inevitable in the face of the ever changing global, economic and technological environment. Organizational change is part of a company’s life cycle and affects the whole instead of parts of it. Organizational development practitioners, also referred to as change agents, are internal or external people who provide professional services in planning and leading changes in organizations.
Internal change agents are individuals such as CEO or managers who are a member of the organization and they aware of the existing structure and problems and are assigned with the responsibility of implementing change programs. They have the advantage of existing relationships with clients and colleagues, which facilitate the process of collecting information and applying leverage. But they usually lack the specialized skills to do the job.
External change agents are often consultants or agencies hired as a solution to assess the situation and help the organization implement changes using the specialized skills and knowledge they possess. They are not associated with the client, thus they provide views from a different stand and are not influenced by the power of the management. However, they take more time to familiarize with the organization’s system and win acceptance.
Appendix 1 shows us the differences in the intervention of organization development between an internal and external change agent.
Internal Change Agent
Horst Schulze was the former President of The Ritz Carlton Hotels. He is revered as a legend for setting high operation standards for luxury hotels which are still in place today, and for spearheading the development of Ritz Carlton into a worldwide chain of hotels which most of us have heard of.
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