Organisational Change Management Volume 1

Frameworks for Organisational Transition

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As no one framework is the "ultimate" in organisational transformation, the sub-frameworks are divided into 6 broad categories:

1 Bureaucratic and scientific approaches to change

Basic metaphor

The organisation as a machine

Diagnostic framework

Task-focused structural analysis (hierarchy, position status, delegation, rules, job description)

Ideal

Efficient, repetitive operations with predictable outcomes

Intervention theory

Expert analysis, task redesign, to ensure efficiency, selection & basic technical training

Role of change agent

Authoritative manager &/or technical expert

2 Human relations and organisational development approaches to change

Basic metaphor

organisations as networks of interpersonal relationships & cohesive groups

Diagnostic framework

A person-focus analysis of the social system

Ideal

A participative, organically-evolving community of endeavour with high morale & job satisfaction

Intervention theory

Facilitation of a process of participation, self-diagnosis & satisfaction, team development, conflict resolution & interpersonal skills training

Role of change agent

Facilitator of the process of redesign of human relations & workplace organisation

3 Socio - technical systems and industrial democracy approaches to change

Basic metaphor

organisation as organic open system

Diagnostic framework

Social-technical system analysis/participant design

Ideal

A representative democratic community composed of semi-autonomous work-groups with ability to learn continuously through participative action research

Intervention theory

Participative action research & workplace redesign around socio-technical principles

Role of change agent

Technical expert, facilitator

Agent

Negotiator

4 TQM and quality approaches to change

Basic metaphor

organisations as continuous process improvement systems

Diagnostic framework

TQC/TQM methods of analysis

Ideal

Focus on continuous improvement in order to reduce variations & enhance product reliability & customer satisfaction

Intervention theory

The use of TQ circles or groups to harness employee knowledge & equip them with the techniques needed to make work improvements. Management-driven from the top

Role of change agent

Expert & teacher of knowledge relating to techniques of quality improvement. Expert empowers others

5 Strategic approach to change

Basic metaphor

organisations as purposive competitors

Diagnostic framework

Strategic analysis of the environment & other key contingent factors

Ideal

A highly efficient organisation, meeting international productivity & profitability benchmarks for the industry, with a committed workforce supporting the organisation's strategic direction

Intervention theory

Environmental scanning, including competitor analysis; strategic redirection & repositioning; design & implementation of integrated organisational change HR programs

Role of change agent

Corporate strategist, technical expert in strategy implementation, integrator of varying strategic action programs

6 Living organism approach to change

Basic metaphor

organisation as a living organism

Diagnostic framework

Self-organising system

Ideal

Highly flexible and adaptive organisation

Intervention theory

Learning organisation and chaos theory

Role of change agent

Creating the organisational environment that allows an organisation to become a learning organisation

(source: Dexter Dunphy et al, 1994; Bill Synnot, 1999 a&b)


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