Chapter 16 Notes

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Published on 1 Jun 2011
Management (MGH)
Chapter 16 Organizational Change, Development, and Innovation Notes
The Concept of Organizational Change
Why Organizations Must Change
all organizations face two basic sources of pressure to change—external sources and internal sources
organizations are open systems that take inputs from the environment, transform some of thee inputs, and send them back into
the environment as outputs—organizations work hard to stabilize their inputs and outputs
when threat is perceived, organizations “unfreeze”, scan the environment for solutions, and use a threat as a motivator for change
other times, organizations seem paralyzed by threat, behave rigidly, and exhibit extreme inertia
change almost always entails some investments of resources, be it money or management time; also, it almost always requires
some modification of routines and processes—if either of these prerequisites is missing, inertia will occur
What Organizations Can Change
in theory, organizations can change just about any aspect of their operations
since change is a broad concept, it is useful to identify several specific domains in which modifications can occur
factors that can be changed include these: goals and strategies; technology; job design; structure; process; culture; and people
two important points should be made about the various areas in which organizations can introduce change—(1) a change in one
area very often calls for changes in others; and (2) changes in goals, strategies, technology, structure, process, job design, and
culture almost always require that organizations give serious attention to people changes
The Change Process
there are 3 basic stages of the change process—unfreezing, changing, and refreezing
unfreezing the recognition that some current state of affairs is unsatisfactory; this might involve the realization that the
present structure, task design, or technology is ineffective, or that member skills or attitudes are inappropriate
change the implementation of a program or plan to move the organization or its members to a more satisfactory state
refreezing condition that exists when newly developed behaviours, attitudes, or structures become an enduring part of the firm
The Learning Organization
organizational learning process through which a firm acquires, develops, and transfers knowledge throughout the organization
there are 2 primary methods—(1) firms learn through knowledge acquisition, which involves the acquisition, distribution, and
interpretation of knowledge that already exists but which is external to the firm; and (2) firms also learn through knowledge
development, which involves development of new knowledge that occurs in a firm primarily through dialogue and experience
organizational learning occurs when organizational members interact and share experiences and knowledge, and through the
distribution of new knowledge and information throughout the organization
learning organization an organization that has systems and processes for creating, acquiring, and transferring knowledge to
modify and change its behaviour to reflect new knowledge and insights
there are 4 key dimensions for a learning organization: vision/support (communicating a clear vision of strategy and goals, in
which learning is a critical part and key to organizational success), culture (culture that supports learning, knowledge,
information sharing, risk taking, and experimentation), learning systems/dynamics (employees are challenged to think, solve
problems, make decisions, and act according to systems approach by considering patterns of interdependencies and by “learning
by doing”), and knowledge management/infrastructure (established systems to acquire, code, store, and distribute important
information and knowledge so that it is available to those who need it, when they need it)
learning organizations are better able to change and transform because of greater ability for acquiring and transferring knowledge
Issues in the Change Process
diagnosis the systematic collection of information relevant to impending organizational change
initial diagnosis can provide information that contributes to unfreezing by showing that a problem exists
once unfreezing occurs, further diagnosis can clarify the problem and suggest just what changes should be implemented
relatively routine diagnosis might be handled through existing channels, while for more complex, non-routine problems, there is
considerable merit in seeking out the diagnostic skills of a change agent
change agents experts in the application of behavioural science knowledge to organizational diagnosis and change
resistance overt or covert failure by organizational members to support a change effort
several common reasons for resistance include: politics and self-interest; low individual tolerance for change; lack of trust;
different assessments of the situation; strong emotions; and a resistant organizational culture
underlying these various reasons for resistance are two major themes: (1) change is unnecessary because there is only a small
gap between the organization’s current identity and its ideal identity; and (2) change is unobtainable (and threatening) because
the gap between the current and ideal identities is too large
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Document Summary

Chapter 16 organizational change, development, and innovation notes. Diffusing innovative ideas diffusion  the process by which innovations move through an organization the following factors are critical determinants of the rate of diffusion of a wide variety of innovations: relative advantage. Diffusion is more likely when the new idea is perceived as truly better than the one it replaces: compatibility. It is easier when innovation is compatible with values, beliefs, needs, and practices of potential new adopters: complexity. Complex innovations that are fairly difficult to comprehend and use are less likely to diffuse: trialability. If an innovation can be given a limited trial run, its chances of diffusion will be improved: observability. Learning objectives checklist: all organizations must change because of forces in the external and internal environments. Although more environmental change usually requires more organizational change, organizations can exhibit too much change as well as too little.