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Organizational change capability: a scoping literature review and agenda for future research

Véra-Line Montreuil (Department of Industrial Relations, Université du Québec en Outaouais, Gatineau, Canada)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 28 November 2022




At a time when organizations are faced with increasing transformations, developing a strong change capability has become crucial to deal with the ever-changing environment. While in recent years, the literature on organizational change capability (OCC) has grown, the understanding of this construct remains overly underdeveloped. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to provide an in-depth synthesis of the evidence on OCC.


A scoping literature review was conducted on peer-reviewed articles published over the past two decades.


This review shows that while research largely treats change capacity, change capability and change competency as synonymous, these terms should be interpreted differently since they do not refer to the same organizational phenomenon.

Research limitations/implications

Although this review focus on the past two decades, this article offers an examination of the latest knowledge on OCC and provides a non-exhaustive set of research avenues. This review also proposes a change maturity framework that can help scholars to conduct more informed investigations.

Practical implications

The proposed framework can help practitioners to better understand how an organizational potential for change can transform into a change capability, which in turn can evolve into a change competency.


This review extends prior work by clarifying ambiguities around some constructs in the management field that are fundamental to building sound theories.



The author acknowledges funding support from Quebec Research Fund - Society and Culture and Administrative Sciences Association of Canada.


Montreuil, V.-L. (2022), "Organizational change capability: a scoping literature review and agenda for future research", Management Decision, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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