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Change Management

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Change Management ­MGMT625
VU
LESSON # 29
STRATEGIC CHANGE
The concept of change and strategic change can be interpreted and understood from different
perspective. Here I will discuss the concept will be discussed from an organizational transformation
perspective. One such perspective is given by Andrew M Pettigrew, one of the leading management
scholars, who proposed that change should not be considered only in terms of the processes, but should
also be considered from the historical, cultural, and political features of the organization. His model
reveals a continuous interaction between the context of change, process of change and content of
change. He defines context as why and when of change, and is constituent of outer context and inner
context. The outer context refers to prevailing economic circumstances whereas inner context is
concerned with internal influences such as resources capabilities, structure, culture, and politics.
Content is defined as what of change, and is concerned with areas of transformation. While "process' is
described as how of change. This refers to actions and interactions of the various stakeholders as they
negotiate proposal for change. The model is useful for understanding complexities of organizational
change even for smaller and ordinary level of change.
Pettigrew & Whipp's Typology
In his article, "Context and action in the organizational transformation", Pettigrew gave the partial
review on the literature for leadership, and then tried to develop the linkage between leadership and
organizational transformation. According to Pettigrew and Whipp the essential dimensions of strategic
change are context, content and process of change. Let us deal with them in details one by one:
1. Context on X-axis (Why of change)
There are some authors like for instance Berg, Kervasdoue & Kimberly who consider change as an
ahistorical, aprocessual and acontextual in character. This is also because of the methodological
problems associated with social sciences in general and the organization and management studies in
particular. Very few studies reveal that change process is studied substantially from the temporal and
contextual perspective. For example you might have observed that management principles we study are
most of the time are sweeping generalisations devoid of context in which they are evolved. This is also
important to see whether change project is studied as a single event or as a set of discrete episodes
separated from immediate and more distant antecedents. Such episodic views give only a snapshot view
and fail to provide data on the mechanisms and processes through which changes are created. He
suggested contextual analysis for observing the transformational change meaningfully. See the
figure below for this.
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Change Management ­MGMT625
VU
The figure above reveals that strategic change or major organizational transformation would involve
questions about the content, context and process of change, and interaction amongst these broader
categories of change. The starting point for this analysis of strategic change is the notion that
formulating the content of any new strategy inevitably entails managing its context and process. Outer
context refers to the social, political, economic, business and competitive environment in which the
firm operates. Inner context refers to the structure, corporate culture and political context within the
firm through which ideas for change have to proceed. Thus the firm may be seeking to change
technology, manpower, products, geographical positioning, or indeed corporate culture. The process of
change refers to the actions, reactions and interactions from the various interested parties as they seek to
move the firm from its present to its future state.
According to Pettigrew the frame of reference used to guide this research on strategic change is a
continuation and development of the author's (consultant's) previous work on organizations as political
and cultural systems. While Andrews, King and Cleland believe that here is no pretence to see strategic
change as a rational analytical process of analysing environments, resources , and gaps, revealing and
assessing strategic alternatives, and choosing and implementing carefully analysed and well thought
through outcomes. Rather in the manner of Bower and Mintzberg the transformation of the firm is seen
as an iterative, multilevel process, with outcomes emerging not merely as a product of rational or
boundedly rational debates, but also shaped by the interest and commitment of individuals and groups,
the forces of bureaucratic momentum, gross changes in the environment, and the manipulation of the
structural context around decisions.
Pye and Pettigrew revealed important aspects of inner and outer context in another article titled,
"Studying Board Context, Process and Dynamics: Some Challenges for the Future". For them important
aspects of the outer context include: the extent of regulation in the industry in which an organization is
located; its ownership structure and investor relationships with the board; the presence of other
influential stakeholders e.g. lobby groups outside the organization; and the potential for mergers and
acquisitions activity.
While the nature of the industry and business, besides other important elements of the inner context
include the: commercial requirement of the organization to develop new core competencies or strategic
direction; level of perceived trust in the board, as viewed by insiders and outsiders; life cycle of the
company and of the board and its culture/ stage of board development.
The inner context can further be classified into two variables: tangibles and intangibles. The tangibles
are structure and resources of organization while organization culture and organization politics.
Intangibles govern tangibles. In the words of technology it is the software (organization culture and
politics) which governs hardware (structure & resources)
2. Content on Y - axis (What of change)
The content of strategic change is dependent upon managing its context and process. The process skills
at the most general level involve the legitimation of the content of strategy in the evolving inner and
outer context of the firm. The content of change refers to the particular areas of transformation under
examination. Thus the firm may be seeking to change technology, manpower, products, geographical
positioning or indeed corporate culture. The process of change refers to the actions, reactions, and
interactions from the various interested parties as they seek to move from its present state to future
state. This may include change in the following aspects of organization:
- Assessment and choice of products and market
- Objectives and assumptions
- Fixation of targets and evaluation criteria
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Change Management ­MGMT625
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3. Process on Z-axis (How of change)
Two points are essential to understand the process aspect of change. The first is that structures, cultures
and strategies are not just being treated as neutral, functional constructs connectable to some system
need such efficiency and adaptability; those constructs are viewed as as capable of serving to protect
the interests of dominant group. Second the biases existing in structures and cultures can protect
dominant groups by reducing the chances of challenge, and features of inner and outer context can be
mobilized by dominant or aspiring groups to legitimate the existing order, or indeed to help create a
new order. These points are as pertinent to understanding processes of strategic change as they are to
achieving practical outcomes in strategic change.
The political and cultural view of processes gives a central place to the processes and mechanisms
through which strategic changes are legitimated or delegitimated. The content of strategic change is
thus ultimately a product of legitimation process shaped by political/cultural considerations, though
often expressed in rational/ analytical terms. This recognition that transformation in the firm may
involve a challenge for the dominant ideology, cultures, systems of meaning and power relationships in
the organization makes it clear why and how the processes of sensing, justifying, creating, and
stabilizing major change can be so tortuous and long.
We can also talk of various formal and informal on-going organizational processes like communication,
decision making, objective setting and controlling etc. The process in organization in turn depends upon
the followings:
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Change managers
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Models of change
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Formulation/ implementation process
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Pattern through time
The three are interdependent with each other ­ for instance context and process define the content of
change. The structures, cultures and strategies are not treated as neutral and functional constructs high
on efficiency and adaptability. In overall analysis the strategic change should not be considered as a
rational analytical process of analysing environments and resource allocations etc.
References
Pettigrew Andrew M., Context and Transformation of the Firm, Journal of Management Studies Vol.24
No.6 November (1987)
Pye, Annie and Andrew Pettigrew, Studying Board Context, Process and Dynamics: Some Challenges
for the Future, British Journal of Management, Vol. 16, S27­S38, 2005
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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