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Change Management

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Change Management ­MGMT625
VU
LESSON #21
FOOTNOTES TO ORGANISATIONAL CHANGE
The leading management scholar James March's study dealt with the leading attribute of
organizational change. Following are the excerpts and selection from his famous article footnotes to
organizational change published in one of the leading management research journal, Administrative
Sciences Quarterly in 1981.
He suggested five footnotes on organization change as they emphasize the relation between change
and adaptive behavior which highlights the prosaic nature of change.
Foot Note 1
Organizations are continually changing, routinely, easily and responsively, but change within them
cannot be controlled arbitrarily. Organizations rarely do exactly what they are told to do.
Foot note 2
Changes in organizations depend on a few stable processes. Theories of change emphasize either
the stability of the processes or the changes they produce, but serious understandings of
organizations require attentions to both.
Foot note 3
Different theories of change are in fact different ways to depict different theories of action. Most
changes in organization reflect simple responses to demographic, economic, social and political
forces. What we identify as political, economic societal and technological (PEST) analyses are
connected with different parts of environment?
Footnote 4
Although org. response to environmental events is broadly adaptive and mostly routine-based, the
response takes place in a confusing world. As a result prosaic (characterless) processes sometimes
have surprising outcomes.
Footnote 5
Adaptation to changing environment involves and interplays of rationality and foolishness.
Organization foolishness is not maintained as conscious strategy, but embedded in such
organisational anomalies as slack, managerial incentives, symbolic action, ambiguity and loose
coupling.
Stable Processes of Change
One view is that change fails not because organizations are rigid and inflexible but they are
impressively imaginative. According to Aldrich in most organization failure occur early in life
when organizations are small and flexible, not later. There is considerable level of stability in
organization and organisations are remarkably adaptive as enduring institutions, respond to volatile
environments easily, though not optimally
We are inclined to look for most dramatic explanations for change, is our common mistake. Most
changes in organizations result neither from organization processes or forces, nor from uncommon
imagination but from relatively stable, routine processes that relate organization to their
environments. Many of the most stable procedures in an organisation are procedures for responding
to economic, social and political contexts. The routine processes of organisational adaptation are
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Change Management ­MGMT625
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little complex, and a theory of change must take into account how these processes can produce
unusual patterns of action. Therefore theory of organization change should not be different from a
theory of ordinary action.
Therefore research on organization as routine adaptive systems emphasize six (06) basic
perspectives for interpreting organization action which are as under:
1. Rule following
2. Problem solving
3. Learning
4. Conflict
5. Contagion
6. Regeneration
1. Rule Following
Application of standard operating procedures (SOPs), duties, obligation, roles, rules, and criteria
evolve through competition and survival, and those followed by organizations that survive, grow
and multiply come to dominate the pool of procedures
2. Problem Solving
Action can be seen as problem solving. The underlying process involves choosing among
alternatives by using some decision rule that compares alternatives in terms of their expected
consequences. It is the rational actor model which prevails in organizations. Managers make
rational choice under certain conditions of risk and cost-benefit analyses.
3. Learning
Action can be seen as stemming from past learning. The underlying process is one in which an
organization is conditioned through trial and error to repeat behaviour that has been successful in
the past, and to avoid that has been unsuccessful. Learning is what can be identified as experiential
in nature.
4. Conflict
Action can be seen as resulting from conflicting among individuals or groups representing diverse
interests. The underlying process is one of confrontation, bargaining and coalition, in which
outcomes depend on the initial preferences of actors weighted by their power. Edgar Schein talked
of negotiated order to exist in context of organization. Changes result from shifts in the
mobilization or in the resources managers' control. This change is again a negotiated one by
different members of organization who want to adjust policies as per their understanding view and
influence in organization. This model is the one based on politics. Members of organization interact
in a political manners and change results in a politically negotiated settlement amongst them.
Another view relates to the pecking order in organization ­ explains the existence of hierarchical or
top down order in organizations.
5. Contagion
Action can be seen as spreading from one organization to another. The underlying processes is one
in which variations in contact among organizations and in the attractiveness of the behaviour or
beliefs being imitated affect the rate and pattern of spread.
6. Regeneration
Action can be seen as resulting from the intentions and competencies of organization actors.
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Change Management ­MGMT625
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Turnover in organization introduces new members with different attitudes, abilities and goals. This
resembles organization life cycle approach and is quite like birth, growth, maturity and decline.
An organization uses rules, problem-solving, learning, conflict, contagion, and regeneration to cope
with its environment and actively adapt to it. The processes are conservative that is they tend to
maintain stable relations, sustain existing rules, and reduce differences among organizations. The
above six processes are neither esoteric (mysterious), complicated nor mutually exclusive.
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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