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Samenvatting Agents and Instruments of change (2e druk, Cawsey)

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Voorbeeld Hoofdstuk (Je toegangsniveau is niet voldoende voor het gebruiken van de volledige samenvatting): 

Chapter 1: Organizational change in today's world


Organizational change: planned alterations of organizational components to improve the effectiveness of the organization.

These components include:

  • Mission and vision

  • Strategy

  • Goals

  • Structure

  • Processes

  • Technology

  • People


Change drivers can be internal and external, managers should adapt to the organization’s environment. Some changes are very tangible and thus easier, others – such as a change in culture – are intangible and more difficult.

The focus of the book is on organizational change as a planned activity designed to improve the organization’s effectiveness.

The book has an active, action-oriented emphasis coupled with a deep understanding of organizations. The twin theme of knowing what to do and how to do it is the main approach in order to fill the knowing-doing gap that the authors believe to exist.


Environmental forces for change

Environmental forces may be a surprise where others are anticipated. We will discuss some environmental trends.


Social, cultural, and demographic environment

Demographic changes influence the social, cultural, and economic environment. The Western world has an ageing population which has financial consequences. When economies are poor, the fertility rate is high and there are many young dependents relying o working adults for sustenance. When fertility rates drop, the ratio of working adults to dependents increases, leading to surplus wealth.

Then all those people age and dependent, seniors become a larger percentage of the population. Other issues are gender, race, diversity, global warming, sustainability, and social responsibility.



Data mining is the transformation of data into information. Technological forces result in shorter product development and life cycles. Technological breakthroughs can result in obsolescence. So change leaders should be aware of trends and be proactive.


Political changes

As organizations become global, they need to clarify their own ethical standards. They need to understand the law and determine what norms of behavior they will work to establish for their organizational members. The politics of globalization have created opportunities and issues. They influence market development and attractiveness, competitiveness, and pressures on boards and executives.


The economy

The lessons from the economic crisis concern risk management and capacity building. To be able to respond quickly, capacity is necessary and thus mechanisms to anticipate.


Influences of worldwide trends on change management

Barkema described new organizational forms and management challenges based on environmental change:


Macro changes and impacts – digitization leading to:

  • Faster information transmission

  • Lower-cost information storage and transmission

  • Integration of states and opening of market

  • Geographic dispersion of the value chain

  • All leading to globalizations of markets


New organizational forms and competitive dynamics:

  • Global small and medium-sized enterprises

  • Global constellations of organizations (networks)

  • Large, focused global firms

All leading to:

  • Spread of autonomous, dislocated teams

  • Digitally enabled structures

  • Intense global rivalry

  • Running faster while seeming to stand still


New management challenges:

  • Greater diversity

  • Greater synchronization requirements

  • Greater time-pacing requirements

  • Faster decision making, learning and innovation

  • More frequent environmental discontinuities

  • Faster industry life cycles

  • Faster newness and obsolescence of knowledge

  • Risk of competency traps where old competencies no longer produce desired effects

  • Greater newness and obsolescence of organizations


Barkema argues that much change today deals with mid-level change (more than incremental but not revolutionary). Middle managers will play increasingly significant roles in making change effective.


Four types of organizational change

Change literature classifies changes into:

  • Episodic or discontinuous change

    1. Organizations have significant inertia

    2. Change is infrequent and discontinuous

    3. Re-engineering programs

  • Continuous change

    1. Emergent and self-organizing

    2. Change is constant, evolving and cumulative

    3. Kaizen programs in Japanese automobile manufacturers


A second dimension of change is:

  • Proactive, planned, and programmatic: managers anticipate events and shift their organizations

  • Reactively in response to external events: shifts in the external world lead to a reaction


Nadler and Tushman combine these two dimensions, offering four types of change:’

  • Tuning: incremental/continuous and anticipatory (need for internal alignment)

    1. Focuses on individual components or subsystems

    2. Middle management role

    3. Implementation is the major task

    4. E.g.: quality improvement initiative from an employee improvement committee

  • Adapting: incremental/continuous and reactive (need for internal alignment)

    1. Focuses on individual components or subsystems

    2. Middle management role

    3. Implementation is the major task

    4. E.g.: modest changes to customer services in response to customer complaints

  • Redirecting/reorienting: discontinuous/radical and anticipatory (need for positioning the whole organization to a new reality)

    1. Focuses on all organizational components

    2. Senior management crates sense of urgency and motivates the change

    3. E.g.: major change in product or service offering in response to opportunities identified

  • Overhauling/re-creating: discontinuous/radical and reactive (need to reevaluate the whole organization, including core values)

    1. Focuses on all organizational components to achieve rapid, systemwide change’

    2. Senior management creates vision and motivates optimism

    3. E.g.: a major realignment of strategy, involving plant closures and changes to product and service offerings, to stem financial losses and return the firm to profitability

The last two are more time-consuming and have a greater impact on individuals.


Plans and intentions

Despite the high failure rate of change, inaction and avoidance are no options. Hamel and Pralahad argue that re-engineering and restructuring are to catch up but that strategy and industry should be reinvented by building competing capacities.


Common managerial difficulties:

  • Managers are action-oriented and assume others behave rationally

  • Managers assume to have power and influence

  • Managers look at the transition period as accost, not an investment

  • Managers cannot estimate the resources and commitment needed

  • Managers are unaware that their behavior sends out conflicting messages

  • Managers find managing human processes threatening because of the potential emotionality and difficulties regarding prediction and quantification

  • Managers lack the capacity to manage complex changes involving people

  • Managers’ critical judgment is impaired due to overconfidence and/or groupthink


Organization change roles

  • Change leader/agent: leads the change. Plays any or all of the initiator, implementer, or facilitator roles. Often the formal change leader but informal change leaders will emerge.

  • Change initiator: identifies need and vision for change and champions change.

  • Change implementer: has responsibility for making certain the change happens. Nurtures support, alleviates resistance.

  • Change facilitator: assists initiators, implementers, and recipients with the change management process. identifies process and content change issues and helps resolve these. Fosters support, alleviates resistance.

  • Change recipient: is affected by the change. Has to change behavior to ensure change is effective.


Becoming a successful change leader

Successful change leaders have a balance between insight and a passion for action. They are sensitive to the external world and can anticipate the external world. They understand organizational systems, themselves, and their influence and image. Personal characteristics:

  • Tolerance for ambiguity

  • Emotional maturity

  • Self-confidence

  • Comfort with power

  • Sense of risk assessment

  • Need for action and results

  • Persistence due to optimism and tenacity

  • Curious

  • Desire to learn

  • Distrust of organizational fads


Also, they embrace the paradoxes of change:

  • Driving change and enabling change

  • Resistance is a problem and an opportunity

  • Focus on outcomes and carful about process

  • Getting on with it and changing direction (modify objectives and respond to environment)

  • Balance patience and impatience


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