Understanding Change

15188 words 61 pages

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
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For the first time we begin to see people as resources to be developed rather than as simply costs on a balance sheet. This perspective emerged from the human relations approach, which focused on personal and group development. However, unlike the two previous perspectives, it argues that maximum efficiency and effectiveness cannot be achieved by dealing with tasks, procedures, and customers’ or clients’ needs without looking at the quality of management, leadership, communication, culture, motivation, and values. Because the Organizational Development (OD) perspective on change emerged out of human resource theory, it became a synthesis of structural functionalism and behavioural research. The two main contributions of this approach are the focus on social characteristics and its methodology dedicated to a humanistic approach to change and development. OD is also associated with the idea of planned change and the need to clearly diagnose clients’ needs before making an intervention. These provide major advantages in thinking about change but they are also partial and limited to conceptualizing change as a matter of consensus, as does each perspective mentioned so far. The final perspective—Creativity and Volition: a Critical Theory of Change— reflects the challenges and assumptions of Critical Theory. It cannot be regarded as a unified perspective, as the others can, because it does not seek to


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