Organisational Change and Change Management

Term Paper, 2011

16 Pages, Grade: 2,0

Thomas Lippke (Author)


Table of contents

1. Introduction
1.1 Interrogation and ambition of this essay
1.2 Explanation of structure and content of this essay

2. Theoretical background
2.1 Organisations and organisational culture
2.2 Change and development
2.3 Personal traits and needs of employees

3. Leader’s contribution to promote change
3.1 Managerial styles
3.2 Change Management and methods of change processes
3.3 What leaders do and how they do it

4. Pros and cons
4.1 Advantages and disadvantages of leader’s impact on change
4.2 The difference between “bottom-up” and “top-down”

5. Summary
5.1 Own opinion about the possibilities of leaders

6. List of literature

1. Introduction

1.1 Interrogation and ambition of this essay

Today the environment of organisations like companies, corporations under public law or any other society or association is in motion. The environmental factors are changing and afford more and more attention. Greatest booster of this process is known as “globalisation”. Globalisation has become the keyword in describing the challenges a company has to take nowadays. In detail this means, that the world market is sticking together. Everything is connected a little bit more every day. There are no separated markets that are split off of being involved in a worldwide competition anymore. So any enterprises, even small business, have competitors all around the world and need to focus on that. This is the development about the competition on one hand. On the other hand there are also different situations than before concerning customers, shareholders, stakeholders, employees, public and ecology. Every group has different interests and issues. Customers are getting more individual and they have higher expectations about product quality and variety while companies are trying to standardize and slim down their production. Investors are watching financial operating numbers. Their primary concerns are hard facts like liquidity, profitability or productivity. The factors public and ecology often cohere and affect organisations when ecological concerns take a back seat to industrial ones, for example. Employees first of all want to get an attractive salary. But they also need personal development inside of the organisation. The human needs are one of the main factors of success. If job satisfaction and motivation can be generated the company can benefit from full potential of leaders, workers and employees. To face this change process and successful combine all these factors an organisation also has to change. This organisational change has to take place on all levels of an organisation from top-management to leaders, to employees and even the physical structure. Driving change within an organisation is a difficult task because people and also their attitudes have to be moved and changed, too. In this context this work wants to show what organisational change means in detail and how it can be realised using scientific perceptions about organisations, leadership and human resources.

1.2 Explanation of structure and content of this essay

This introduction chapter is followed by elucidations about the theoretical backgrounds of organisations. Main topics in this part are the change, the development and the culture of organisations. To make this second chapter complete a closer look at the employee as an individual is attached. Part three focuses on leaders in organisations and how they can promote and realise “the change”. Question to be answered is how different managerial styles have effect on employees and organisation’s benefit. Further we are having a look at a modern and all-integrating change concept called Change Management and other methods of change processes. Last topic focuses on the work of an organisation-leader itself. In chapter four I am going to discuss pros and cons of leaders taking influence on change processes. After that my discussion goes over to find out the differences between “bottom-up” or “top-down”-methods in designing an organisation. As the completing part of my work a summary will figure out my own opinion about the influence of leaders and how it has been influenced during the writing on this essay.

2. Theoretical background

2.1 Organisations and organisational culture

First of all the term organisation needs to be explained. An organisation can be understood in several ways. First one is the organisation meant as the result or the sum of several activities which lead to a specific target. This is the organisation of a birthday party, for example. Second way to understand organisations is the institutional way. From this view an organisation is a physical structure like a supermarket or a school. This is the place where organisational activities of the individual members are bundled to reach the organisation’s goals. This opens another level of differentiating organisations. Institutional organisations can be distinguished into non-profit and profit- oriented organisations as well as private ones and organisations under public law. Furthermore organisations can be differentiated into primary and secondary groups.

The primary group consists of groups like family, friends etc. which are called “peer groups”.

Within these peer groups an individual person adopts a specific behaviour, values, rules and norms. In secondary group all institutional organisations are pooled. There are some aspects that need to be fulfilled to make an institutional organisation exist. If they are not fulfilled or one is missing the organisation does not exist in the scientific defined way. These organisations still can be part of one of the other groups. Those aspects are the target-oriented bundling of resources within a specific hierarchy lead by a management instance to reach specific goals. Organisations in the upcoming text are always meant as institutional organisations of private owners or under public law. Second important term to illustrate organisational change is the culture of an organisation. The culture of an organisation consists of assumptions and values shared by members. It is a cognitive framework combining all demographic, religious, political, ecologic and traditional values. When it comes to tradition, both can be concerned, the tradition of organisation itself or the tradition of the country with its conventions and rites. Organisational culture is a sum of every cultural influence brought in by members of the organisation and the influence which the organisation is trying to have on the employees to use their potential in an economic way. Cultures within organisations can be differentiated into hierarchy cultures, market cultures, clan cultures or adhocracy cultures, which differ in the level of bureaucracy, for example. The culture the management of an organisation wants to build and to hold alive can be installed and controlled by several instruments. These instruments can be visual, verbal or ritual as well as spoken or non-spoken. For example, signs and logos are visible while mottos and maxims are verbal. Promotion of employees can be rituals or a ceremony. The opposite of mottos as a spoken-out part of culture are rumours, opinions and other things that employees do not speak out loud or only talk about in specific circles. These circles can be separated from the main culture and create a subculture within the organisation. This part is showing the basic elements of an organisation: the members and the culture. Next part shows the basics of changing and developing these elements.[1] [2] [3] [4]

2.2 Change and development

At first we need to define the difference between “change” and “development”. Change is a continuous process the organisation is exposed to because of moving and changing environmental factors. This force is unable to be influenced so the organisation has to deal with them and align its strategies and activities to new conditions and challenges. Social psychologist Kurt Lewin describes in his “Force Field Analysis Model” the forces concerning an organisation as the driving forces from the inside and the restraining forces from the outside. Both are raised on a higher level each time a change happens. The process of developing however is driven by the organisation itself. It contains all processes and efforts to improve the organisation. This can be improvements in production, rationality or rate of return. These examples show how improving often concentrates on “hard” facts. But also “soft” facts can be improved and have a huge impact on the organisation’s benefit and image. Those soft facts mainly concern the employees and members of the organisation. What these facts are about is going to be explained in the next chapter. Whether changing or developing, the organisation has to incorporate these processes into the strategic, tactical and operative planning and coordinating. This can happen in more or less structured ways. One extreme may be ad hoc-moments of changing while the other one is the integrated Change Management- concept which is part of chapter three. How an organisation changes or develops can be shown in three process steps. According to Lewin these steps are: unfreezing, changing and refreezing. First step means that old and deadlocked ways of thinking and behaving have to be broken up to make step two possible. When the change process is complete, step three consolidates the new status. These three steps have to loop over and over again. That means that an organisation can never reach a state of perfection because everything starts from zero when one loop is done. Approaches to organisational change are distinguished into the action research approach recommended by Lewin, the appreciative inquiry approach and the parallel learning structure approach. They describe how change can be approached in different ways, for example, the combination of action and research-orientation, the positive psychology- orientation or the learning-orientation. In this context “learning” means that the whole organisation is seen as an individual person and learns and behaves like one.[5] Change processes within organisations can be differentiated like the following.


[1] Fineman, S., Gabriel, Y. and Sims, D.: 1993

[2] Schüppel, J.: 2008

[3] Greenberg, J.: 1996

[4] Punnet, B.: 2004

[5] McShane, S. and Von Glinow, M.: 2008

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Organisational Change and Change Management
University of Applied Sciences Riedlingen
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organisational, change, management
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Thomas Lippke (Author), 2011, Organisational Change and Change Management, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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