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Palmer and Hardy (2000) Thinking about management Implications of organizational debates for practice Chapter 7 Managing change

(is the soft stuff really the hard stuff?) Organizational change is said to be inevitable, e.g. to gain competitive advantage (strategic change), to respond to the hypercompetitive business environment (organizational structures), to enhance performance (culture) etc. Chapter to identify contemporary debates on change: 1. some models 2. impact of change 3. why change? 4. resistance to change 5. why change fails? (peoples) Models Basic Kurt Lewin: unfreeze, change, refreeze Comments: too static view, too linear, too planned, organizations are much more fluid, or even Confucian (cyclical, journey oriented) Scale of change, incremental (sum of small wins) vs sudden transformational. Change accelerator techniques. 4 styles depending on the type of change (Dunphy e.a.): participative evolution dictatorial transformation. 4 types (Nadler e.a.): tuning recreation 4 navigation styles based on scale and nature (Huy): designing ... animating Unplanned, open-ended (free style jazz) change Reframing First order (incremental) change does not affect our fundamental ideas about how the organization should operate Second order change does require a new way of operating Third order change does affect our values and beliefs; this requires deframing and reframing tough job! 4 frames to look at) and perceive) reality: structural, human, power, cultural Multi-frame thinking is strong Reframing is probably not a mechanical process Why change? Period of stability followed by punctuated equilibrium: 1. Life cycle theory (from birth till dead, too linear) 2. Population ecology (survival of the fittest) 3. Dialectical theory (conflict between two parties, opposition) Continuous change New views: 1. Trialectica (attraction to different possibilities) 2. Chaos theory (tiny differences in context occasion large differences in outcome) 3. Neo-institutional theory Resistance

Resistance to change is natural to individuals. But also the way change is handled evokes resistance, rather than the change itself: 6 fatal errors of CEOs cause resistance amongst middle managers; or resistance amongst middle managers is symptom of errors of CEOs. Gap closure vs gap connection: force, speed, rational vs bridging, time and taking emotions into account. Change is a process that is created, produced and maintained by and within communication (common language, code) => training needed in 4 change conversations, and be aware of five breakdowns in communication

Different change processes require different communication: developmental change vs transformational change; dont mix up! And different value systems (culture) require different communication strategies. Mind the context. Conclusion Academics and practioners differ in how they look at change: past vs future, holistic vs top-management oriented, empirical vs prescriptive etc. Change is full of paradoxes. 70% of the major change processes fail. And the soft people stuff is really the hard stuff.