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Change Management

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Change Management ­MGMT625
VU
Lesson # 37
IMPLEMENTATION APPROACHES
In overall analysis of implementation process the issue is how to lower resistance and increase support
for the change programme or plan. Key lesson for us is to identify or diagnose the type or nature of
change programme. Implementation method is contingent upon type of change (Dunphy & Stace 1990)
The size and scale of change is contingent upon unilateral or shared techniques of change. Therefore
what is required is to have a match of the two in case the change strategy is effective. This further
means that for smaller changes consultation and consensus methods are considered effective so as to
lower resistance and raise support for the change. By the same token, large scale changes like structural,
job-redesign, policy & process, top down unilateral method is more effective than participative
techniques.
The rationale for structural changes is that participation is too distant for individual interests and
support is unlikely to be generated, and hence participation is considered unnecessary for such type of
changes to be implemented.
The technical-structural or behavioural-social type of change is contingent upon unilateral or shared
technique of change (matching the type with method). Implementation of technical /structural change
requires more directive and less participative method as work force dislike changes such as downsizing
and reorganization
Within the context of implementation of change plan or strategies we come across four different theses
of implementation which are:
1.
Logical Incrementalism of Quinn
2.
Radical or Transformative change
3.
Punctuated Equilibrium Model (Tushman & Romanelli's Model)
4.
OD models
We have already dealt partially with Quinn's model but let us revise, refresh and deal this in the context
of implementation of a change strategy.
1. Incrementalism
The concept is rooted in Lindblom's (1959) concept of muddling through ­ who down plays the
concept of rational and comprehensive change within organizations. He deemphasized planning school
and argued that most organizations are heavily built upon their past actions in determining their future
direction. These past actions serve as the basis of the organization future. Since organizational and
decision maker's resources are limited, the most economic actions are those that are minor variations
from the current state. Hence most change is considered as an extension of organization's history, or a
series of successive limited comparisons to previous actions. (you may apply this concept to evaluate
practices and reforms in public sector organization). Quinn identified this as logical incrementalism.
The concept of logical incrementalism remained a frequently cited concept, especially 1980s. Its
leading proponent Quinn believes' in planned change and orderly transition. He was thoroughly against
radical change in strategy and in organizational directions, systems or central processes. He believes
that effective manager is the one who moves the organization forward in small, logical steps. He thinks
that incremental change increases confidence amongst employees, and reduces organizational
dependence on outsiders to provide momentum for strategic change. Therefore he values evolutionary
rather than a revolutionary change; and an order rather than disorder.
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Change Management ­MGMT625
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Attributes of incremental change:
1. Consensus and collaboration style of leadership and management is required for incremental
change instead of conflict and power oriented approach.
2. Similarly the use of expert authority and persuasiveness of data is considered more effective
rather than of positional authority or emotionality of charismatic leadership.
3. Incrementalism is perhaps is the most suitable for the environment of stability and of
continuity, as this was illustrated during the 1970s and 1980s
4. For Mintzberg, a renowned management strategist, strategy emerges over time through a
continuing process of organizational actions and learning as it seeks to cope with and adapt to
its environment. To him, the complex and dynamic nature of the organization's environment ,
often coupled with the diffusion in the organization of its knowledge base for strategy making,
precludes deliberate control; strategy making must above all takes the form of a process of
learning over time, in which, at the limit, formulation and implementation become
indistinguishable. His paradigm is of emergent strategy comes closer to incrementalist view of
strategy implementation as it erodes the distinction between formulation and implementation
5. Similarly for planning school, incremental change is the method by which change can be
implemented best by top management while for learning school it is the method organization
learns from its interaction with environment
6. Ansoff, another famous strategist says in his book the new corporate strategy, "Firms and other
organizations which are not subjected to strategic shocks do nevertheless go through
discontinuous strategic changes. This occurs through step-by-step accumulation of incremental
changes which over a long period of time, add up to transformation of culture, power structure
and competence." Therefore the effective and planned change management means minimizing
political and cultural resistance in an organization through incremental change.
Therefore what is obvious is that incremental change can also be transformational in nature over a
period of time. Incremental change reduces the resistance within the organization change for strategic
changes, is considered the reason and effectiveness of incremental strategy.
Planned Change Management versus Emergent Change Management
By reviewing more than 30 models of planned change, Bullock and Batten (1985) developed a four-
phase model of planned change that splits the process into exploration, planning, action and integration.
According to Burnes (2004) this is a highly applicable model for most change situations. The model
looks at the processes of change, which describe the methods employed to move an organization from
one state to another, and the phases of change, which describe the stages an organization must go
through to achieve successful change implementation. Although the planned approach to change is long
established and held to be highly effective, it has come under increasing criticism since the early 1980s.
Firstly, it is suggested that the approach's emphasis is on small-scale and incremental change, and it is,
therefore, not applicable to situations that require rapid and transformational change.
Secondly, the planned approach is based on the assumptions that organizations operate under constant
conditions, and that they can move in a pre-planned manner from one stable state to another. These
assumptions are, however, questioned by several authors who argue that the current fast-changing
environment increasingly weakens this theory. Moreover, it is suggested that organizational change is
more an open-ended and continuous process than a set of pre-identified set of discrete and self-
contained events. By attempting to lay down timetables, objectives and methods in advance it is
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suggested that the process of change becomes too dependent on senior managers, who in many
instances do not have a full understanding of the consequences of their actions.
Thirdly, the approach of planned change ignores situations where more directive approaches are
required. This can be a situation of crisis, which requires major and rapid change, and does not allow
scope for widespread consultation or involvement. Finally, the critics argue that the planned approach
to change presumes that all stakeholders in a change project are willing and interested in implementing
it, and that a common agreement can be reached. This presumption clearly ignores organizational
politics and conflict, and assumes these can be easily identified and resolved.
In response to this criticism of the planned approach to organizational change, the emergent approach
has gained ground. Rather than seeing change to be top down driven, the emergent approach tends to
see change driven from the bottom up. The approach suggests change to be so rapid that it is impossible
for senior managers effectively to identify, plan and implement the necessary organizational responses.
Therefore, the responsibility for organizational change has to become increasingly devolved.
By the emergent approach to change emphasizes that change should not be perceived as a series of
linear events within a given period of time, but as a continuous, open-ended process of adaptation to
changing circumstances and conditions. The emergent approach stresses the unpredictable nature of
change, and views it as a process that develops through the relationship of a multitude of variables
within an organization. Apart from only being a method of changing organizational practices and
structures, change is also perceived as a process of learning.
According to the advocates of the emergent approach to change it is the uncertainty of both the external
and internal environment that makes this approach more pertinent than the planned approach. To cope
with the complexity and uncertainty of the environment it is suggested that organizations need to
become open learning systems where strategy development and change emerges from the way a
company as a whole acquires, interprets and processes information about the environment. The
approach stresses a promotion of `extensive and in-depth understanding of strategy, structure, systems,
people, style and culture, and how these can function either as sources of inertia that can block change,
or alternatively, as levers to encourage an effective change process'.
Furthermore, Burnes argues, `successful change is less dependent on detailed plans and projections than
on reaching an understanding of the complexity of the issues concerned and identifying the range of
available options. It can, therefore, be suggested that the emergent approach to change is more
concerned with change readiness and facilitating for change than to provide specific pre-planned steps
for each change project and initiative.
This strategy of disjointed incrementalism may have much to recommend it. It reduces political
obstacles to changes and avoids irresolvable arguments about complex goals and values. The focus is
on patching things up and dealing with obvious problems as they arise. There generally is less
disagreement surrounding the choice of methods for handling disasters. Also, the risk of ruin or great
loss tends to be reduced by making incremental moves instead of far-reaching ones. Incrementalism
allows the organization to learn from its previous actions and still be in a position to remedy them.
Finally, cognitive strain is reduced by dealing with manageable facts of reality, by focusing on
bottlenecks, and by choosing from a short list of well-tried expedients for dealing with them.
Unfortunately, the applicability of this approach to the realm of structural change has not been
considered. It may be reasonable to suggest, however, that incremental and piecemeal strategies might
offer as many political, economic, risk reduction, and cognitive advantages for changing structures as
they do for modifying policies. For example, small structural adjustments that respond to specific and
pressing problems are likely to cause least dissension and conflict. Also, they are more reversible,
cheaper and are less disruptive than extensive changes. They, therefore, are less risky. If small changes
do not work out the organization's survival probably will not be threatened. Finally, small structural
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changes are less taxing to the imaginations and cognitive capacities of the executives. They do not
require lengthy periods of analysis or complex or elaborate master plans.
The strategy of disjointed incrementalism is consistent with the views of those who see organizations as
loosely coupled systems (Aldrich, 1979; Weick, 1969). It is maintained that different subunits of the
organization can change independently without importantly influencing the other subunits. Therefore, it
may be that many elements of structure can be changed locally and that much adaptation to the
environment can be effected independently by organizational subunits.
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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