- Peer Review: “Beginning Organizational Change”
Beginning Organizational Change
- Jan 3, 2019 by Business
While executive leaders must react quickly to current problems and opportunities, they must also look to and prepare for the future. And while only a skilled few will have the ability to be “visionary,” one thing you know that the organization will need to do is to become more agile, flexible, and nimble. In other words, their long-term mandate is to build organizational capacity for change.
In the best-selling book titled The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, Stephen Covey argued that all individuals must invest time and energy in balancing “production” with “production capacity.” Furthermore, Covey boldly states that “every production problem is a production capacity opportunity.”Covey (1989), p. 202. While this insight was directed to individuals and personal effectiveness, it also applies to strategic leaders and collective effectiveness.
One popular approach to making the organization more open to change is to resort to fear-based tactics in order to heighten the sense of urgency and productivity of the entire organization. For example, “burning platforms” is a popular phrase for many change programs—a metaphor for the notion that time is running out and we will all burn up and die if we don’t act immediately to move to or create an entirely new platform or organization.
In the short term, fear works. And in some cases, a fear-based “burning platform” is the most appropriate way to get the organization to quickly understand the need to change and to respond in new ways. By way of a painful recent illustration, Chief Electronics Technician Mike Williams really did have to jump 100 feet off the burning oil rig owned and operated by British Petroleum in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, in order to live—he had to jump or else get consumed by the lethal flames, smoke, or explosions—it was literally a matter of life or death.Pelley (2010).
However, invoking the burning platform metaphor too often or for too long a period of time will lead to unhealthy “burnout” for the change champions, create Dilbert-like cynicism from middle managers, and lead to pathological resistance from frontline workers. In short, organizational change is painful, but if there is too much pain or the pain lasts for too long a period of time, the organization begins to break down.Abrahamson (2000).
Consequently, the new leadership mandate for the 21st century is delivering results in the short term while building change capacity for the long term. Capacity-building change initiatives take time, and short-term productivity sometimes suffers when the organization explores new organizational values, norms, systems, and routines. Capacity building requires trial, experimentation, and learning and these activities are not efficient in the short term. In general, learning is rarely efficient, but it is essential for organizations to be effective.
- Type of Material:
Open (Access) Textbook
- Recommended Uses:
- Excellent for in-class lectures and discussions
- Excellent for outside reading and writing assignments
- A good source of information for self-paced study
- Technical Requirements:
Can also download book as PDF from this site.
Adobe Acrobat v15 Microsoft Office Professional 2016 Java 8 Update 121 Google Chrome v56 Windows 10 Windows Media Player v10
- Identify Major Learning Goals:
- Learn strategies of organizational change
- Apply strategies of organizational change
- Learn how to change a company/department/team culture to achieve the results you desire
- Target Student Population:
Undergraduate or graduate management or business majors
- Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Need general knowledge of organizations
- A current and relevant text
- Well supported with current research
- Is a flexible source that can be used in several ways
- The text will need context for assignments and discussions
- No exercises or reflections are exhibited in the text
- Provides little connection to application
- The format for online reading is a little convoluted as there is not a 'free flow' cadence to scrolling through pages.
- Recommended for download to PDF.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
- Excellent writing style that will appeal to most learning levels
- Concepts are well contained with related concepts
- Great examples are provided
- Within a course with learning objectives already defined, you should be able to measure learning outcomes with good assignments
- Instructor will need to supply the learning objectives
- Instructor will need to provide instructions for assignments
- Instructor will need to help make connections on concepts
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
- Easy flow of discussion to follow.
- Preferred format from the review is PDF download for better ease of use.
- In its simplicity, an accessibility reader will likely read this product well
- The material is written in a way to get complex ideas across to the reader
- Has great notes in the margin that help target the reading
- Is an easy read, but instructor will need to provide more assignments, instructions, context, etc.
- No interactivity, any supplemental material would need to be provided by a facilitator
- Readers that like charts, graphs and visual aids, may struggle more