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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1977

Mats G. Lindquist

Organizational change is an activity that is only partially analysable within current systems theories since they are based on static models of systems. The change process…

Abstract

Organizational change is an activity that is only partially analysable within current systems theories since they are based on static models of systems. The change process therefore is often organized on an ad hoc basis with less efficient control compared to the operation of the regular system. This paper offers some guidelines for the design of change programmes, ie the plan of action for the implementation of a change. In particular the concept of ‘Design/Contribution Graphs’ is presented as a tool for planning the implementation programme.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Article
Publication date: 9 December 2020

The purpose of this study is to develop a meta-model for organisational change based on a literature review across organisational theories, specific theories about…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to develop a meta-model for organisational change based on a literature review across organisational theories, specific theories about organisational change and systems theories related to theories of organisational change.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is based on an extensive literature review for the period 1972–2012 which covers organisational theories, systems theories relating to organisational change theories, and specific theories of organisational change. It used the Social Sciences Citation Index using as search items change, transformation, organization[al] model, theory, systems, and combinations of these terms. The research is based on an extensive literature review for the period 1972–2012 which covers organisational theories, systems theories relating to organisational change theories, and specific theories of organisational change. It used the Social Sciences Citation Index using as search items change, transformation, organization[al] model, theory, systems, and combinations of these terms.

Findings

The meta-model is constructed as a complex systems model including the four discourses and their process elements. As each discourse provides specific and different insights into how organisational change occurs, we can widen our field of view on change by switching between different discourses. This also allows a holistic rather than the reductionist methods of other approaches.

Practical implications

The meta-model makes it possible to look at organisational change from a variety of angles. Structural, cultural, behavioral and strategic change can be looked at from four different dimensions. It allows for insights from the different discourses to be drawn upon, as each of which have their merits but also their own limitations. By going beyond the normative discourse, it provides for a model of organisational change that better reflects the complexity of change in real life settings and captures the complexity of the research literature.

Originality/value

The paper seeks to demonstrate that a systems model of change is better able to capture the complex nature of change than are linear models. Synthesizing this literature has been undertaken previously but this has usually been done with linear models of change which have produced limited results.

Details

Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7282

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 18 August 2006

Manuel London and Valerie I. Sessa

Students of organizations are beginning to recognize the importance of continuous learning in organizations, but to date the concept is not well understood, particularly…

Abstract

Students of organizations are beginning to recognize the importance of continuous learning in organizations, but to date the concept is not well understood, particularly in terms of how the learning of individuals is related to the learning that takes place in groups, which is related to the learning that occurs in organizations (and all other combinations). To further our understanding, we offer the idea of continuous learning in organizations from a living system's perspective. We view individuals, groups, and organizations as living systems nested in a hierarchy. We propose that living systems can learn in three ways: they can adapt, they can generate, and they can transform. Learning triggers from the environment spark learning, and this relationship is moderated by the system's readiness to learn. Readiness to learn is a function of the permeability of the system's boundaries, the system's stage of development, and the system's meta-systems perspective. Additional research questions are presented to explore learning flow between levels and to determine how the match between one system's pressure for change and another system's readiness to learn affects the emergence of adaptive, generative, and transformative learning. In addition, research questions are offered as a means to test these ideas and build grounded theory. Finally, using this model, the chapter presents three case studies and suggests diagnostic questions to analyze and facilitate continuous learning from a multi-level perspective.

Details

Multi-Level Issues in Social Systems
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-432-4

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Book part
Publication date: 17 July 2011

Guido Maes and Geert Van Hootegem

The literature on change is characterized by an opposite, dichotomist view on the subject. Many authors describe only one or some of these characteristics and attribute a…

Abstract

The literature on change is characterized by an opposite, dichotomist view on the subject. Many authors describe only one or some of these characteristics and attribute a normative value to it. When discussing one of these attributes they will make a deviating classification in the way in which change arises. Although types and attributes of change are largely studied in the change literature, there is no general agreement on the attributes that can best describe the different types of change. The purpose of this chapter is to try to consolidate the vast literature on the types and attributes of change in order to find a more homogeneous set of attributes.

From an extensive literature research on change articles and books from 1970 onward, eight dimensions of change attributes were found that are able to describe the characteristics of a change in a dynamic way.

In order to overcome the dichotomist view, organizational change is approached not as a process changing a system but as a system by itself. Although the borders between the change system and the system to be changed are not always easy to perceive, this view seems to create a richer picture on change. A systems approach allows to define the attributes of change in a holistic way that captures the always paradoxical state change is in.

Details

Research in Organizational Change and Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-022-3

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Article
Publication date: 11 November 2019

Guido Maes and Geert Van Hootegem

The purpose of this paper is to develop a meta-model of organizational change that allows to look at change from different angles. This meta-model starts from the idea…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a meta-model of organizational change that allows to look at change from different angles. This meta-model starts from the idea that there are different discourses about organizational change, each having their own merits but also their own limitations. Bringing these discourses together into an integrated systems model allows the authors to capture the essence of organizational change a lot better.

Design/methodology/approach

This model is designed based on a literature review of organizational theories, systems theories related to theories of organizational change and specific theories about organizational change.

Findings

The literature review resulted in a systems model of organizational change that is better able to grasp the complexity of change than linear models.

Originality/value

This model goes beyond the usual change models from the normative discourse and provides a multidimensional view on organizational change.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 32 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1980

David Ray, John Gattorna and Mike Allen

Preface The functions of business divide into several areas and the general focus of this book is on one of the most important although least understood of…

Abstract

Preface The functions of business divide into several areas and the general focus of this book is on one of the most important although least understood of these—DISTRIBUTION. The particular focus is on reviewing current practice in distribution costing and on attempting to push the frontiers back a little by suggesting some new approaches to overcome previously defined shortcomings.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Materials Management, vol. 10 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0269-8218

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Article
Publication date: 8 April 2019

V. Dao Truong, Stephen Graham Saunders and X. Dam Dong

Social marketing has gained widespread recognition as a means of motivating behaviour change in individuals for societal good. Many opinions have been shared regarding its…

Abstract

Purpose

Social marketing has gained widespread recognition as a means of motivating behaviour change in individuals for societal good. Many opinions have been shared regarding its potential to affect society or systems-wide change, leading to the macro-or systems social marketing (SSM) concepts and ideas. This paper aims to critically appraise the SSM literature, identify key features and highlight gaps for future research.

Design/methodology/approach

A search was conducted of peer-reviewed SSM articles published from 2000 to March 2018 inclusive. A number of online databases were mined, including but not limited to Google, Google Scholar, Scopus, PubMed, Cochrane and Medline. Key social marketing outlets (Social Marketing Quarterly and Journal of Social Marketing) were browsed manually. In total, 28 SSM articles were identified.

Findings

SSM adopts a dynamic systems thinking approach; it is an orientation, not a theory or model; it is multi-method; and it recognises that intervention can occur on multiple levels. Yet, greater attention should be given to the complexities of the systems context and the power structures and relations that exist between stakeholders. Significant issues also include stakeholder voice and participation, the use and reporting of theories and models, the measurement of long-term intervention outcomes and the undesirable impacts of SSM.

Originality/value

This paper identifies issues that need to be addressed if social marketing is to become a more system-oriented means to positively influence societal change. Implications for theoretical and practical development of the social marketing field are provided.

Details

Journal of Social Marketing, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6763

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 4 June 2018

John Molineux

The purpose of this paper is to provide a commentary and recommendations on systemic approaches to designing and implementing change in organisations.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a commentary and recommendations on systemic approaches to designing and implementing change in organisations.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is a viewpoint on successful change management techniques using action research based on experience in the use of systemic thinking and systems practices.

Findings

The use of a systems approach to change using relevant systems practices enables more successful change outcomes.

Practical implications

Change management practitioners should utilise systemic approaches to enable more successful change implementation.

Originality/value

The paper provides valuable advice for practitioners and researchers in change management through the author’s unique experience in systemic change processes.

Details

Journal of Work-Applied Management, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2205-2062

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 October 2015

Sandra Waddock, Greta M. Meszoely, Steve Waddell and Domenico Dentoni

The purpose of this paper is to extend and elaborate the notion of successful organizational change to incorporate the concept of large system change (LSC), by developing…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to extend and elaborate the notion of successful organizational change to incorporate the concept of large system change (LSC), by developing a framework that brings together complexity and wicked problems theories to understand how individual organizations and change agents can better influence LSC.

Design/methodology/approach

This conceptual paper integrates wicked problems and complexity theories to understand and cope with large system initiatives from the perspective of change agents in organizations, and uses the case of the electricity system as an illustrative example for these concepts.

Findings

The paper provides implications for LSC and action steps for change agents in organizations, arguing that by understanding change initiatives through the lenses of complexity and wicked problems, change agents are likely to be more effective.

Research limitations/implications

The integration of complexity science and wicked problems underpins the development of a comprehensive framework for creating effective LSC solutions, however, these ideas still need to be grounded in practice and empirical research.

Practical implications

Using these ideas, change agents in organizations can enhance their influence and use the power of system dynamics to support positive action for sustainable change. This paper provides a foundation to help think through the cross-sectoral, inter-organizational, and change dynamics involved in LSC efforts needed to bring about a more sustainable, secure, and equitable world for all.

Social implications

The world greatly needs system change; however, there is limited theory on effective LSC. This paper hopes to contribute to understanding the ways in which the difficulties of such change can be harnessed to move in positive directions with minimal disruption and greatest effectiveness.

Originality/value

Theories of change management that position the organization in the context of a broader system and define its role in creating change do not yet articulate the nature of the problems at hand in relation to the large systems where they are embedded. This paper builds upon wicked problems and complexity theories to shed light on the role of change agents and organizations in effective transformational change.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 28 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1996

Martin Fojt

It is all too easy in the hectic world of business to get too involved with the day‐to‐day managing of processes and events. When this happens it is difficult to see the…

Abstract

It is all too easy in the hectic world of business to get too involved with the day‐to‐day managing of processes and events. When this happens it is difficult to see the wood for the trees and the automatic pilot syndrome takes over. This does not suggest that you do not know what you are doing ‐ on the contrary you are probably as switched on to whatever activity you are managing as anyone could be. What you could be missing, however, is the explanation as to why you are doing it. If this sounds familiar to you, what might be needed is a detached period from your work. By this I mean stay on the high ground for a while so you can get an overview of what you are doing and, more importantly, why you are doing it. How many managers, I wonder, get the opportunity to question what they are doing? If you allow yourself to slip into complacency then you and your organization will soon lose competitive advantage.

Details

Logistics Information Management, vol. 9 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-6053

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