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Change Management

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Change Management ­MGMT625
VU
LESSON #7
THEORIES OF CHANGE IN ORGANISATIONS
Before discussing theories of change let us first discuss one such term used frequent in management
literature. The term is theoretical pluralism. Pluralism is widely popular term in the western society
which means to satisfy differing interests and needs of cross section of society. Here it means pluralism
also exist in the case of simultaneous acceptance of differing and multiple explanations of reality. This
has been realised by Koontz who referred to this situation as management theory jungle. There is
problem of too much conflicting, overlapping, alternative and varying theories of a single phenomenon
in management literature related to motivation, leadership, decision-making, objective-setting (MBO)
etc. This lead to the fragmentation and compartmentalisation of perspectives resulting in the persistence
of the problem of theoretical divide; whether it is an isolated line of research or nullify each other or
support or reinforce each other. There fore we have to understanding different explanations theories
stated below.
These theories explained below are narrated by Van de Ven & Poole in his article published in the
Academy of Management Review tried to give a comprehensive picture of various theories on
organization change ­ ranging from child development to evolutionary biology, incorporating various
concepts, as organisation life is a complex phenomenon with interplay and juxtaposition of multiple
contrasting forces. He categorised various theories into a set of four theories which are:
1. Life cycle theories
2. Teleological theories
3. Dialectical theories
4. Evolutionary theories
This is a significant framework gives a parsimonious and prudent explanation of organization change.
The framework serves a normative function and provides useful standards to evaluate the form,
completeness and tightness of specific developmental theories. The framework supports inductive
research by identifying characteristics of the four motors and the conditions under which they operate
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