Understanding Change

Topics: Systems theory, Organization, Sociology Pages: 47 (15178 words) Published: November 29, 2012

Understanding change
Perspectives on change The ethics of organizational change Planned change and its critics Strategic change Building and developing competitive advantage 3 39 73 11 1 147


Perspectives on change
1.1 Introduction 1.2 Perspectives on change 1.2.1 Modernity, progress, and change 1.2.2 Pathways to change 1.3 Structural-functional change: changing structures and functions 1.3.1 An organization is a complex whole 1.3.2 Structural theory 1.4 Multiple constituencies: change by negotiation 1.4.1 Stakeholder interests 1.5 Organizational Development: the humanistic approach to change 1.5.1 Intervention strategies at the individual level 1.5.2 Intervention strategies at the group level 1.5.3 Intervention strategies at the organizational level 1.6 Creativity and Volition: a Critical Theory of Change 1.6.1 Conflict, flux, and change 1.6.2 People are active agents 1.6.3 The critique of the spectator view of knowledge 1.7 Summary Study questions Exercises Further reading References

4 6 6 7 8 13 16 18 20 22 24 24 25 28 28 29 30 33 35 35 36 36



1.1 Introduction
This chapter lays the framework for this book by arguing that organizational change is developed within models and frameworks that inform our understanding of the subject. In this chapter we will learn that knowledge and practice of organizational change are influenced by assumptions derived from the models or perspectives we use. For example, if we regard change as a matter of systemic structural arrangements we can make in an organization, then we can see how the analogy of organism or biological system helps to inform our judgements. Because perspectives offer ways of seeing, they will inevitably organize our perception in line with the dominant analogy used. However, analogies are only partial knowledge claims. Four perspectives on change are cited in this chapter: why four perspectives in particular? The answer to that question is straightforward but you need to understand at this point that a perspective is an overarching approach that contains a variety of theories that have become associated with it. You will see why these are the dominant perspectives once you have read the remainder of this section. First, the structural-functional perspective is the oldest approach to organizational design and therefore change. Like each perspective, it contains a variety of theories that attempted to resolve some of its difficulties as it developed. These theories include the hard systems, systems dynamics, cybernetics, soft systems, criticalsystems heuristics, and postmodern systems thinking (Jackson, 2003). The structuralfunctional perspective encourages us to think about structural arrangements and functional interrelationships within organizations. The development of the opensystems model in the 1950s assisted our understanding further by focusing on how inputs to an organization are transformed into outputs. This is useful for thinking about how we might change tasks and relationships in a production process. The value of the structural-functional perspective lies in its ability to change the arrangement of tasks and procedures in relation to the customer or client specification. The advantage of the perspective lies in its ability to look at an organization as a control mechanism: that is, to understand the important structural components and to articulate the functional interrelationships between the parts. Inevitably, structural redesign will therefore influence the functions that each part produces for the whole. But the perspective has disadvantages also. Because it is a model for controlling operations, it is therefore mechanistic. It tends to ignore how motivations, behaviours, attitudes, and values contribute to effective performance. The multiple constituencies perspective emerged from dissatisfaction with the structural-functional perspective. Although it was initially associated with the...

References: Argyris, C. (1970), Intervention Theory and Method, Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley. Barnard, C.I. (1938), The Functions of the Executive, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Beckhard, R. (1969), Organization Development: Strategies and Models, Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley. Berger, P. and Luckmann, T. (1966), The Social Construction of Reality, New York: Anchor Books.
Blau, P and Scott, W.R. (1962), Formal Organizations: .M. A Comparative Approach, San Francisco, CA: Chandler Publishing. Boje, D.M., Rosile, G.A., Durant, R.A., and Luhman, J.T. (2004), ‘Enron Spectacles: A Critical Dramaturgical Analysis’, Organization Studies, 25(5), 751–774. Burnes, B. (1996), ‘No such thing as a “one best way” to manage organizational change’, Management Decision, 34(10), 1 1–18. Burnes, B. (2007), Managing Change, London: Pitman. Burns, T. and Stalker, G.M. (1961) The Management of Innovation, London: Tavistock Publications. Casey, C. (2002), Critical Analysis of Organizations— theory, practice, revitalization, London: Sage. Chin, R. and Benne, K.D. (1976), ‘General Strategies for Effecting Change in Human Systems’, in Bennis, W.G., Benne, K.D., and Chin, R. The Planning of Change (Fourth edition), Fort Worth, TX: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 22–47. Chomsky, N. (1972), Language and mind, New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. Connolly, T., Conlon, E.J., and Deutsch, S.J. (1980), ‘Organizational effectiveness: a multiple constituency approach’, Academy of Management Review, 5, 21 1–217 . Cyert, R.M. and March, J.G. (1963), A Behavioural Theory of the Firm, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Davis, S. and Lawrence, P.R. (1977), Matrix, Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley. Dawson, P. (1994), Organizational Change: A Processual Approach, London: Paul Chapman. Dawson, P. and Palmer, G. (1995), Quality Management, Melbourne: Longman. Derrida, J. (1978), Writing and Difference, London: Routledge. Fayol, H. (1916), General and Industrial Management, trans. Constance Storrs, London: Pitman, 1949. Follett, M.P. (1926), ‘The Giving of Orders’, in Metcalf, H.C. (ed), Scientific Foundations of Business Administration, Baltimore, MD: Williams and Williams. Foucault, M. (1977), Discipline and Punishment, London: Tavistock. Foucault, M. (1980), Power/Knowledge, Brighton: Harvester. French, W.L. and Bell, C.H. (1978), Organization Development: Behavioral Science Interventions for Organization Improvement, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. —— (1995), Organization Development: Behavioral Science Interventions for Organization Improvement (Fifth edition), Englewood Cliffs, NJ: PrenticeHall. Galbraith, J. (1973), Designing Complex Organizations, Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley. Inns, D. (1996), ‘Organization Development as a Journey’, in Oswick, C. and Grant, D. (eds) Organization Development, Metaphorical Explorations, London: Pitman, 20–32. Jackson. M.C. (2003), Systems Thinking: Creative Holism for Managers, Chichester: John Wiley & Sons. Katz, D. and Kahn, R.L. (1966), The Social Psychology of Organizations, Chichester: John Wiley & Sons. Keeley, M. (1983), ‘Values in Organizational Theory and Management Education’, Academy of Management Review, 8(3), 376–386. Kübler-Ross, E. (1973), On Death and Dying, London: Routledge. Lawrence, E.R. and Lorsch, J.W. (1969), Developing Organizations: diagnosis and action, Reading, MA: Harvard University Press. Lewin, K. (1951), Field Theory in Social Science, New York: Harper and Row. Luthans, F. and Kreitner, R. (1985), Organizational Behavior Modification and beyond: An Operant and Social Learning Approach, Glenview, IL: Scott Foresman & Co. Lyotard, J.F. (1984), The Postmodern Condition: a report on knowledge, Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. McGregor, D.M. (1957), The Human Side of Enterprise, New York: McGraw-Hill. Marshak, R.J. (1993), ‘Managing the metaphors of change’, Organisational Dynamics, 22(1) 44–56. Maslow, A.H. (1943), ‘A Theory of Human Motivation’, Psychological Review 50, 370–396. Mitroff, I.I. (1983), Stakeholders of the organizational mind, San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Pettigrew, A. (1985), The Awakening Giant, Continuity and Change in ICI, Oxford: Blackwell. Pettigrew, A. and Whipp, R. (1993), ‘Understanding the environment’, in Mabey, C. and Mayon-White, B. (eds), Managing Change (Second edition), London: The Open University/Paul Chapman. Pfeffer, J. (1981), Power in Organizations, Boston, MA: Pitman. Revans, R. (1982), The Origins and Growth of Action Learning, Bromley: Chartwell Bratt. Schein, E.H. (1995), ‘Process consultation, action research and clinical inquiry: are they the same?’ Journal of Managerial Psychology, 10(6), 14–19. –––– (1997), ‘The concept of “client” from a process consultation perspective, a guide for change agents’, Journal of Organizational Change Management, 10(3), 202–235.
Schein, E.H. and Bennis, W.G. (1965), Personal and Organizational Change Through Group Methods: The Laboratory Approach, New York: Wiley. Selznick, P. (1948), ‘Foundations of the Theory of Organization’, American Sociological Review 13: 25–35. Shafritz, J.M. and Ott, J.S. (1991), Classics of Organization Theory (Third edition), Pacific Grove, CA: Brookes/ Cole. Thompson, J.D. (1967), Organizations in Action, New York: McGraw-Hill. Tichy, N.M. (1983), Managing Strategic Change: Technical, Political and Cultural Dynamics, New York: John Wiley & Sons. Tichy, N.M., Hornstein, H., and Nisberg, J. (1976), ‘Participative organization diagnosis and intervention strategies: developing emergent pragmatic theories of change’, Academy of Management Review, April, 109–221. von Bertalanffy, L. (1956), ‘General system theory’, in General Systems: Yearbook of the Society for the Advancement of General System Research, 1, 1–10. Wiener, N. (1948), Cybernetics, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Wittgenstein, L. (1953), Philosophical Investigations, Oxford: Blackwell.
Take your learning further: Online Resource Centre http://www.oxfordtextbooks.co.uk/orc/grieves/ Visit the Online Resource Centre that accompanies this book to enrich your understanding of this chapter. Explore case study updates and answers to questions, test yourself using an interactive flashcard glossary, and keep up to date with the latest developments in the area.
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Change Management Essay
  • Essay on Managing Organizational Change, Outline of chapter 7
  • Behavioral Change WIthin an Organization Essay
  • Five Minds of a Manager" Essay
  • Understanding Dunstan Essay
  • Understanding Labyrinthine Essay
  • Understanding by Design Framework Plan Essay
  • Essay about Understanding Nourishes Belonging. a Lack of Understanding Prevents It.

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free