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Changing the nature of organizational change

Changing the nature of organizational change Although organizational change management has become a permanent practice, failure thrives at a rate of 50 per cent to 75 per cent and has done so for nearly 40 years. Executives and consultants continue to plow the same path of “change,” sowing the same seeds, yet somehow expecting a different crop to grow; it is not for a lack of good intention or sincere effort to improve the organization. This paper is meant to challenge and inspire researchers, consultants and particularly organizational leaders and members toward liberating themselves from fixed ways of thinking to reimagine change as natural and ongoing rather than episodic – essential in an era of constant flux.Design/methodology/approachA critical analysis of wide-ranging literature related to the genesis of the organization, organization theory, culture, metaphor and change revealed four unfavorable conditions, making attempts at sustainable change nearly impossible.FindingsAn organization’s unconscious and habitual thought-action patterns considerably contribute to creating four unfavorable conditions for change. Understanding this context is essential before initiating change efforts. Reorienting change from an analytical to a relational paradigm and disrupting linear, prescriptive thinking makes way for emergent, cooperative and inclusive efforts to induce sustainable, transformational change.Originality/valueThis research sheds a different light on what makes sustainable organizational change elusive and offers strategic human resource managers a new perspective on the nature of change. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Strategic HR Review Emerald Publishing

Changing the nature of organizational change

Strategic HR Review , Volume 18 (4): 6 – Aug 21, 2019

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1475-4398
DOI
10.1108/shr-05-2019-0036
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Although organizational change management has become a permanent practice, failure thrives at a rate of 50 per cent to 75 per cent and has done so for nearly 40 years. Executives and consultants continue to plow the same path of “change,” sowing the same seeds, yet somehow expecting a different crop to grow; it is not for a lack of good intention or sincere effort to improve the organization. This paper is meant to challenge and inspire researchers, consultants and particularly organizational leaders and members toward liberating themselves from fixed ways of thinking to reimagine change as natural and ongoing rather than episodic – essential in an era of constant flux.Design/methodology/approachA critical analysis of wide-ranging literature related to the genesis of the organization, organization theory, culture, metaphor and change revealed four unfavorable conditions, making attempts at sustainable change nearly impossible.FindingsAn organization’s unconscious and habitual thought-action patterns considerably contribute to creating four unfavorable conditions for change. Understanding this context is essential before initiating change efforts. Reorienting change from an analytical to a relational paradigm and disrupting linear, prescriptive thinking makes way for emergent, cooperative and inclusive efforts to induce sustainable, transformational change.Originality/valueThis research sheds a different light on what makes sustainable organizational change elusive and offers strategic human resource managers a new perspective on the nature of change.

Journal

Strategic HR ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 21, 2019

Keywords: Change management; Human resource management; Culture; Employee engagement; Transformation; Corporate change

References