The patterning of limited structural change

The patterning of limited structural change Purpose – Organizational change theorists tend to focus on substantive changes and frequently ignore or underplay the significance of the features of structural inertia. The effect of this preoccupation has minimized our understanding of frequently occurring patterns of limited structural change. The purpose of this paper is to encourage theorizing and debate about limited structural change. Design/methodology/approach – This paper presents a conceptual explanation of the different patterns of limited structural change that arise in organizations undertaking change. It reviews and comments on how different patterns occur at the organization level as a result of the adjustment of component forces around pattern profiling centers of gravity. Findings – A pervasive finding in change literature is that organizations tend to fall back on more of the same, even when they undergo some major structural change. The paper proposes a framework encapsulating four competencies that synergistically complement each other as a foundation for explaining different patterns of limited structural change. Originality/value – The paper argues for advancing theory accounting for limited structural change, moving away from the dichotomy of change as normal and limited change as atypical. Normative rational change actions and bounded change actions interact and coexist in parallel. A focus on explaining limited change is a starting point for advancing our understanding of this coexistence. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Organizational Change Management Emerald Publishing

The patterning of limited structural change

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0953-4814
DOI
10.1108/09534810710831046
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – Organizational change theorists tend to focus on substantive changes and frequently ignore or underplay the significance of the features of structural inertia. The effect of this preoccupation has minimized our understanding of frequently occurring patterns of limited structural change. The purpose of this paper is to encourage theorizing and debate about limited structural change. Design/methodology/approach – This paper presents a conceptual explanation of the different patterns of limited structural change that arise in organizations undertaking change. It reviews and comments on how different patterns occur at the organization level as a result of the adjustment of component forces around pattern profiling centers of gravity. Findings – A pervasive finding in change literature is that organizations tend to fall back on more of the same, even when they undergo some major structural change. The paper proposes a framework encapsulating four competencies that synergistically complement each other as a foundation for explaining different patterns of limited structural change. Originality/value – The paper argues for advancing theory accounting for limited structural change, moving away from the dichotomy of change as normal and limited change as atypical. Normative rational change actions and bounded change actions interact and coexist in parallel. A focus on explaining limited change is a starting point for advancing our understanding of this coexistence.

Journal

Journal of Organizational Change ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 23, 2007

Keywords: Organizational change; Change management; Organizational restructuring

References

  • Modeling internal organizational change
    Barnett, W.P.; Carroll, G.R.
  • Organization design: the continuing influence of information technology
    Dibrell, C.C.; Miller, T.R.
  • Towards an attention‐based view of the firm
    Ocasio, W.
  • Changing forms of organizing: dualities in using remote collaboration technologies in film production
    Palmer, I.; Dunford, R.; Rura‐Polley, T.; Baker, E.
  • Organization development and transformation
    Porras, J.; Silvers, R.
  • Positioning hierarchy in enterprise system change
    Schwarz, G.M.
  • Institutions and Organizations
    Scott, W.R.

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