Sessions 11: The Challenges of Change
Chapter 10: Confronting Changing Contexts Notes (Pages 234 – 243)
Types of Change
1. Developmental Change
• This type of change attempts to improve upon what the business is currently doing, rather
than creating something completely new. This may include the improvement of existing
skills, processes, methods, performance standards or conditions. For example, increasing
sales or quality of goods, interpersonal communication training, simple work process
improvements, team development and problem-solving efforts may all be considered
forms of developmental change.
2. Transitional Change
• This type of change actually replaces what already exists with something completely new
and requires the organization to depart from old methods of operating while the new state
is being established
• There are two factors that largely distinguish transitional from transformational change:
o It is possible to determine the final destination or state in detail before the
transitional change is implemented. This permits the change to be managed.
o Transitional change largely impacts employees only at levels of skills and
actions, but not at the more personal levels of mindset, behaviour and culture.
3. Transformational Change
• This type of change is far more challenging to manage compared to the other types of
change for at least two reasons. First, the future state or destination caused by the change
is unknown when the transformation begins. Rather, the final state is determined through
trial and error as new information is gathered.
• Managers and employees must operate in the “unknown” – where future outcomes are
• Second, the future state is so dramatically different from the current operating state that
employees and their culture must change in order to successfully implement this type of
change. New mindsets and behaviours are required to adapt to this transformed state.
Methods of Change: Theory E and Theory O Change
• Theory E
o The central goal of this approach to change is based on the notion of maximizing
o The methods used to achieve this goal are changes to organizational structure and
o The planning for this type of change tends to emanate from the highest levels of the
organization, making it a “top-driven”, programmatic approach to change
o Methods to employ change: performance bonuses, asset sales, personnel reductions,
strategic restructuring of business
• Theory O
o The central goal of Theory O is to develop organizational capabilities. The focus is on
developing an organizational culture that supports learning and high-performance
o Participative rather than top-driven
o Methods to employ c