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Managing Organizational Change

In this last chapter I begin by looking at a case concerning the problems of implementing organizational change, one of the key issues facing managers in the for-profit and not-for profit sectors.  Change management  becomes especially difficult when trying to implement strategic initiatives and innovations across national cultures or when trying to merge two different organizational cultures.  The case highlights a number of these problems that can be understood more effectively if you have some useful theory to hand.  In the text I have introduced, hopefully, two such useful theories of change, one by a colleague of mine at the University of Glasgow, Robbie Paton's ISM model, and a model of strategic change I developed with Phil Beaumont,  a colleague at the University of Glasgow.

Most change management situtations involve changing or changes in organizational cultures, which I have treated as a specialist topic.  This notion of culture is quite slippery (see the interview with Joanne Martin below), raising issues of ethics and question marks over managers' abilities to shape deep-rooted concepts such as values; nevertheless, organizational cultures do change and one of the more useful attempts to understand it and shape it is by Goffee and Jones.

I have ended the chapter with some general 'principles' of effective change management, culled from the work of a number of writers, inclduing those already mentioned and also people such as Andrew Pettigrew, Gareth Morgan and Andy Van de Ven.

Listen to the Gurus.

Two gurus on culture change and on managing change are Tom Peters and Rosabeth Moss Kanter.  Listen to Handy discuss their work.

Listen to Additional Issues

Listen to the video interviews by leading academics Mary Jo Hatch and Joanne Martin on the excellent CKM website .  In these interviews they discuss the relevance of useful theory to change management and culture management.

Additional Reading

Two of the best authors writing in this field are Gareth Morgan and Andy Van de Ven .  Have a look at their websites for some interesting material and references to their work.

For healthcare professionals in the UK, a very interesting article on changing culture in healthcare reform is by Professor Aidan Halligan, published in the British Journal of Healthcare Management in 2007.

Ideas on Customising the Material

Three sites from the UK health service environment that contain lots of good material on change management are:

The National Institute for Health Service Research,

The NHS Employers Managing Change toolkit, and

The NHS Institute for Improvement and Innovation

A good one on transforming local government is located in the UK Cabinet Office's Chief Information Office


The Changing Minds website has links to a number of culture change models, including the one by Goffee and Jones.

Also look at Joanne Martin's website and articles on organizational culture, which will give you a more in-depth, critical perspective.