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Change Management

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Change Management ­MGMT625
VU
LESSON #10
DIALECTICAL THEORIES OF CHANGE
Dialectical theories of change
Perhaps the oldest learning philosophy as Aristotle and Plato used the dialectical philosophy some
2000 years ago. Hegel and Marx, in modern era used this method to describe movements towards
truth and change. This method is considered very powerful method of approaching objectivity and
truth. To Van de Ven , "Dialectical theory rests on the assumption that the organisational entity
exist in a pluralistic world of colliding events, forces, or contradictory values that compete with
each other for domination and control"
Here three things stand significant:
1. Pluralistic world of colliding forces
2. Values that compete, opposing and are contradictory to each other
3. Domination and control is the purpose
In other words "Every phenomenon contains within it a contradiction. This contradiction itself
becomes a phenomenon over a period of time". Opposing and balancing forces are internal to an
organisational entity
Entity may have several conflicting goals or interests groups competing for priority. In a dialectical
process ­ stability and change are explained by reference to the balance of power between opposing
entities. Struggles and accommodations that maintain the status quo between oppositions produces
stability. Change occurs when these opposing values, forces, or events gain sufficient power to
confront and engage the status quo.
The dialectical process is identified here as Thesis - Antithesis - Synthesis (New Thesis). This is
also known as dialectical cycle. The relative power of an anti-thesis may mobilise an organisational
entity to a sufficient degree to challenge the current thesis and set the stage for producing a
synthesis. The synthesis or new thesis is different from both thesis and anti-thesis. However there is
no assurance that dialectical conflicts produce creative synthesis. At time anti-thesis is powerful
enough to replace the thesis. Or many organisation (thesis) persists by maintaining sufficient power
to suppress and control the opposition (or anti-thesis)
Unit of Change
Dialectical theories operate on multiple entities while OLC and teleological operate within a single
entity. The theory requires at least two entities to fill the role of thesis and anti-thesis. For e.g.
individual and its environment or organisation and its environment engaged in dialectic. Here four
forces operate, two within individual and two with in environment.
Mode of Change
Dialectical theory incorporates constructive mode of change (2nd ­ order). Since by its very nature
there is a struggle and confrontation between thesis and anti-thesis which may be resolved by
diverging or breaking away from the current or existing system, hence the type of change is second
order.
Application
Famous scholar Karl Marx applied on history of economics, came forth with the concept dialectical
materialism, and showed how agrarian society owing to its inherent conflicts transformed to a
capitalistic society and visualised that in future will be synthesised to a socialistic society. For
Hegel dialectics means the process of change, logic and a method. But we are more interested in
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Change Management ­MGMT625
VU
knowing its application in context of organisation or corporation.
First question is, how can this be applied to corporate decision making? One such application is
known as Strategic Assumptions Analysis (SAA), and the technique is utilized for effective
planning and generating strategies before a final strategy is opted. For example e.g. in creative
problem solving organization use plan (affirmative) & counter plan (negative proposition - to play
devil's advocate) to look for solutions and counter solutions quite analogous to thesis ­ anti thesis ­
synthesis. The purpose is to deliberate the surfacing of assumptions and counter-assumption
especially under complex, dynamic and ambiguous phenomenon and situation.
Second, this can be used as a tool for group decision-making, particularly to know the reaction of
group members. Organization is generally composed of various groups ­ two common types are
ruling group and being ruled (opposition) just like that of a state system where one is government
and other is opposition party. Similarly there are other formal and informal groups and pressure
groups in organization. So it is important for managers to know how do various groups think of a
given policy matter
Strategic planning
Man lives by his imagination and so is the case with organisation. The success or failure depends
upon a particular set of belief or assumptions about the world, and in the fact how our belief or
assumption is closer to the real world. And planning is nothing but systemic allocation of words
and numbers to such assumptions. There are three components of planning:
1) Concerned with future state of the world and hence to predict about it.
2) Preferred future status underlying value system
3) A choice among two or three behaviour pattern (plans) for the firm's activity (means)
Each of these items involves' management basic assumption about the planning problem it faces.
Therefore we see that management and management science focus on well-structured problem but
the concern of strategic planning/management is to deal with ill-structured problem and issues.
Hence the role planning in organization should be the followings:
1) To expose the assumptions underlying a proposed plan
2) To develop relevant assumptions upon which the planning process can proceed
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Table of Contents:
  1. COURSE ORIENTATION:Course objectives, Reading material, Scope of the subject
  2. BENEFITS AND SIGNIFICANCE OF CHANGE MANAGEMENT:Traditional management domain
  3. KURT LEWIN MODEL: ASSUMPTIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:Change Movement, Refreeze
  4. IMPLICATIONS OF KURT LEWIN MODEL:Sequence of event also matters, A Critical Look
  5. SOME BASIC CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS:Strategic change, Logical incrementalism
  6. TRANSACTIONAL VS. TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP:Micro-changes, Organisation Development
  7. THEORIES OF CHANGE IN ORGANISATIONS
  8. LIFE CYCLE THEORY:Unit of Change, Mode of change, Organisation death
  9. TELEOLOGICAL THEORIES OF CHANGE:Unit of change, Mode of Change, Limitations
  10. DIALECTICAL THEORIES OF CHANGE:Unit of Change, Strategic planning
  11. A DIALECTICAL APPROACH TO ORGANISATIONAL STRATEGY AND PLANNING:
  12. LIMITATION OF DIALECTICS; DA AND DI:Overview of application of dialectics
  13. THEORIES OF CHANGE IN ORGANISATIONS
  14. APPLICATION OF EVOLUTIONARY THEORY:Managerial focus
  15. FURTHER APPLICATION OF EVOLUTIONARY THEORIES:Criticism
  16. GREINER’S MODEL OF ORGANISATIONAL– EVOLUTION AND REVOLUTION
  17. GROWTH RATE OF THE INDUSTRY:CREATIVITY, DIRECTION, DELEGATION
  18. COORDINATION:COLLABORATION, The Crisis
  19. ORGANISATION ECOLOGY:Structural Inertia, Internal Structural Arrangements, External Factors
  20. CLASSIFICATION OF ORGANIZATIONAL SPECIES:Extent of Environmental Selection, Determinants of Vital Rates,
  21. FOOTNOTES TO ORGANISATIONAL CHANGE:Stable Processes of Change, Rule Following, Conflict
  22. SOME COMPLEXITIES OF CHANGE:Superstitious Learning, Solution Driven Problems
  23. ORGANIZATIONAL ADAPTATION:The Entrepreneurial problem, The Administrative Problem
  24. PROSPECTORS:Analyzer, Reactors, Adaptation and Strategic Management
  25. SKELETAL MODEL OF ADAPTATION:Determinants of Adaptive ability, The Process of Adaptation
  26. STRATEGIC CHANGE:Nature of Change, The Importance of Context, Force field Analysis
  27. Management Styles and Roles:Change Agent Roles, Levers for managing strategic Change
  28. SYMBOLIC PROCESSES:Political Processes, COMMUNICATING CHANGE, Change Tactics
  29. STRATEGIC CHANGE:Pettigrew & Whipp’s Typology, Context on X-axis (Why of change)
  30. STRATEGIC CHANGE:Attributes of SOC Model, Implications for Management
  31. STRATEGIC CHANGE:Flow of Information, Recruitment, SOC Process
  32. Determinants of a Successful Change Management:Environmental, Management Orientation, Management Orientation
  33. Higgins 08 S Model – An Adaptation from Waterman’s Seven S model:Strategy, Systems and Processes, Resources
  34. IMPLEMENTATION AND STRATEGIC CHANGE: CONSTRAINING FORCES IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF STRATEGIC CHANGE (CASE STUDY OF XYZ COMPANY)
  35. IMPLEMENTATION AND STRATEGIC CHANGE: CONSTRAINING FORCES IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF STRATEGIC CHANGE (CASE STUDY OF XYZ COMPANY)
  36. WHY IMPLEMENTING STRATEGIC CHANGE IS SO DIFFICULT?:Change Typology, Technical Change
  37. IMPLEMENTATION APPROACHES:Attributes of incremental change,
  38. IMPLEMENTATION: RADICAL OR TRANSFORMATIVE CHANGE
  39. IMPLEMENTATION: RADICAL OR TRANSFORMATIVE CHANGE:Definition of Leadership, Follower Work Facilitation
  40. IMPLEMENTATION: RADICAL OR TRANSFORMATIVE CHANGE:Recognize the challenge
  41. IMPLEMENTATION: RADICAL OR TRANSFORMATIVE CHANGE
  42. IMPLEMENTATION: PUNCTUATED EQUILIBRIUM MODEL:Features of Radical Change, Theory of P-E model
  43. CHANGE IMPLEMENTATION: OD MODELS:The Transactional Factors
  44. CULTURE, VALUES AND ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE:Significance and Role of Values, Values Compete
  45. ORGANIZATIONAL VALUES, CULTURE AND ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE:Issues in Change Management