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Change Management

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Change Management ­MGMT625
VU
LESSON # 13
THEORIES OF CHANGE IN ORGANISATIONS
4. Evolutionary Theory of Change
First thing we know is that it is also the concept of evolution which is also equated with change.
Darwin, the famous biological scientist is known as the leading protagonist of this theory. The term
organic evolution means how a living organism grows and shrinks over time. We are also familiar
with the debate between mechanistic versus organic organization. Therefore the question is; are
organization like living organism follow principles of natural evolution? The metaphor is borrowed
from biology, and as in biological evolution change proceeds through a continuous cycle of
variation, selection and retention. In context of organization these terms have the following
meanings:
Variation refers to the creations of novel forms of organisations are often viewed to emerge by
blind or random chance. Variation may be strategic or structural or operational in nature for e.g.
Innovation in organisational functional areas. Implied here is the relationship of organization and its
environment changes over a period of time. Changes in strategy and structural activities
characterise this relationship or in other words, organizations continue to define and redefine its
relationship with environment. Therefore external change leads to change in strategy which
eventually culminates in change of structure. For example, growth (opportunity) in industry (part of
environment) will result in the growth objective (increase in sales) of organization, will lead to in
manpower (HR) and hence will lead to change in management form/practices. Imperative might be
the transformation of autocratic style to participative style of decision making. In other words a
single organization cannot grow indefinitely and still maintain its original form. Variation is bound
to be there and this variation depends on adaptive capacity varies (of technology, capital, trained
personnel, etc)
Selection of organisation occurs principally through the competition of scarce resources and the
environment selects entities that best fit the resource base of an environmental niche. Some
organisms or variants perform better as changes occur in environment while other die or become
extinct.
Retention involves forces (including inertia and persistence) that perpetuate and maintain certain
organisational forms. Retention serves to counteract the self-reinforcing loop between selection and
variation.
The same concept is known as evolutionary thinking. Now change managers, CEOs and consultants
want to make organization as an evolutionary organization. The evolutionary thinking is described
to entail the following features:
1.
All events are time bound
2.
No such thing/phenomenon is absolute
3.
Focus on historical particular for explaining causation
4.
Study of context is important
5.
The theory also accounts for diversity of the organic world.
6.
Account for variations in organizational strategy and its structure
Therefore evolution explains change as a recurrent, cumulative, and probabilistic progression of
variation, selection and retention of organisation entities (forms and practices). Organization
mutates; mutation in biological terms means change in genetic character which means
transformation in genetic codification. Change in genetic character is a matter of random variation
(chance). In context of organizational innovation in different functional areas of organization
(managers in various departments) in a random manner discover efficient and effective ways of
management. The discovery of such changes could relate to two broader categories; systemic
change and operational change. Systemic change addresses the issue of effectiveness while
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Change Management ­MGMT625
VU
operational level change is concerned with efficiency improvement. Typically organizations have
growth as strategic objectives; and the relationship between control and growth is more pronounced
according to most of the management consultants. This is considered to be inversely related with
each other. For higher level growth organization control has to be relaxed and decentralized.
Another way to look at an evolving organization is to study entrepreneurship especially how do
smaller organizations transform themselves into a large organization? Organizations cannot grow
with single or constant management style or organization structure and hence variation in
organization and organization structure is bound to occur.
The same thinking is related with what is known as concurrent engineering. By going for
management audit one tends to evaluate forms and practices which are needed and those which are
considered redundant and futile, in production or manufacturing process.
There are two theoretical approaches further within the evolutionary school which differ in terms of
how traits are inherited, the rate of change and unit of analysis. One is Darwinian approach which
believes that organization traits are inherited through inter-generational processes. Darwinian
theorists believe in continuous and gradual process of evolution. While there are scholars who
follow Lamarckian line, and argue that traits are acquired within a generation through learning and
imitation. Most analysts believe that Lamarckian view is more applicable and appropriate than strict
Darwinism in context of organisation and management, especially on the acquisition of traits. This
is more in line with learning capability of an organization.
Unit of Change
Evolution theories operate on multiple entities, that is on intra-organisational, organisational,
population, communities as against OLC and teleological theories which operate within single
entity. Evolutionary forces are defined in terms of the impact they have on populations and have no
meaning at the level of the individual entity.
Mode of Change
Evolutionary theories incorporate a prescribed mode of change, which is of continuously evolving
character. Evolutionary theories rely on the statistical accumulation of small individual events to
gradually change the nature of the larger population.
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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