Create Capstone Powerpoint Outline

A capstone project or capstone experience involves the identification of an existing problem in a real-world setting and the application of learned skills and methods to develop a solution that addresses the problem directly.
Some projects will be more research-oriented, while others will be oriented towards problem-solving.
Solutions should be interactive, meaning they can be implemented and used.
Present a real-world problem: history, what led to the problem, and ultimately, what you would implement to overcome the problem (to be determined as we move through this course).
Include statistics/graphs/tables indicating their importance toward the problem – when/if applicable
Apply concepts from the textbook – see rubric for additional information

LO 1 Describe and apply the concepts of organizational behavior, leadership styles/behavior, ethics, culture, diversity, and change in organizational environments.
LO 2 Evaluate organizational behavior.
LO 3 Use critical thinking skills.
LO 4 Use leadership skills.
LO 5 Make strategic and ethical decisions.
LO 6 Understand organizational culture and its impact.
LO 7 Prepare a written report.
Working title
Your name
Explain topic and industry/company of your project
Provide background information
How does/did this industry/company fall into its issues/problems
What is your interest in the industry
Are you familiar with this industry/company and if so, how
What issues/problems/concerns do you see which need addressing
Define the problem OR opportunity within the company and its impact
Include company financial data and other relevant information to provide a bigger picture of the issue or opportunity when possible
The company lost $4 million in Q3
the company saw a 20 % decline in subscribers
The company has leftover inventory, etc.
Include figures (charts, graphs, etc.)
Provide information which will develop/address/structure your project. (i.e., Model, Theory, Competition within the industry, etc.)
The evidence at this point will not/may not be as deep/concise/thorough however, be cognizant of multiple aspects of your project. You may find that through the development of your project that one or more of your entries do not apply however other entries fit within your scope of work. This is where your critical thinking skills shines – the advantage of thinking outside your initial parameters/perspective.
Explain in detail the methodology/research model of your project
Case study
Sustainability Assessment
Provide sufficient information, support facts, provide theory
Visuals: graphics depicting compare/contrast, roadmap design, and other images are helpful at this stage
What are you proposing for this company (add training, lay off employees, create a different function, etc.)
Justify your actions and provide a timeline of dates and months of when these actions can be realistically implemented.
What do you believe will be the outcome after your proposed solution is implemented?
Provide projected financial gains (think in terms of new customers, new subscribers, greater sales, etc.)
Include a recap and summary of the key improvements for each action with a focus on the benefits to the company
Explain limitations/issues which may interfere/delay/pose additional ramifications
Begin adding references to your slides.
Literature review articles
Company/Industry research articles
To help your slide presentation, suggested headers are explained below.
Introduction, Methodology, & Problem/Opportunity should provide information which shows your intent and plan of action
Literature review, Discussion, & Conclusion should contain limited amounts of information. Explain your direction, up to this point – again, this will help me picture your project
Begin your Reference Slide/s as soon as possible.
Use APA 7 format.
By the end of the second week, there should be a few entries in the Reference slide
+I have attached the class book to be used as a reference but additional references are welcome please.
I have also included an example of a finished Powerpoint to be used as a model for creating a good outline for this project.
Requirements: adequate outline

Organization ChangeFifth Edition2
To BobbiAnd to the next generation . . .Brian & Emily, Courtney & Darrin, and Donovan & MelissaAnd to the next generation after that . . .William, Thomas, Julien, Adrian, Madeleine, and Maya3
Organization ChangeTheory & PracticeFifth EditionW. Warner BurkeTeachers College, Columbia University4
FOR INFORMATION:SAGE Publications, Inc.2455 Teller RoadThousand Oaks, California 91320E-mail: order@sagepub.comSAGE Publications Ltd.1 Oliver’s Yard55 City RoadLondon EC1Y 1SPUnited KingdomSAGE Publications India Pvt. Ltd.B 1/I 1 Mohan Cooperative Industrial AreaMathura Road, New Delhi 110 044IndiaSAGE Publications Asia-Pacific Pte. Ltd.3 Church Street#10-04 Samsung HubSingapore 049483Copyright © 2018 by SAGE Publications, Inc.All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means,electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrievalsystem, without permission in writing from the publisher.Printed in the United States of AmericaISBN: 978-1-5063-5799-7This book is printed on acid-free paper.Acquisitions Editor: Maggie StanleyeLearning Editor: Katie AnchetaEditorial Assistant: Neda DallalProduction Editor: Libby LarsonCopy Editor: Meg GrangerTypesetter: C&M Digitals (P) Ltd.Proofreader: Eleni-Maria GeorgiouIndexer: Kathy PaparchontisCover Designer: Gail Buschman5
Marketing Manager: Ashlee Blunk6
ContentsPrefaceAcknowledgments1. Sources for Understanding Organization ChangeIntroduction and OverviewA Short Story of Launching Organization Change2. Rethinking Organization ChangeThe Paradox of Planned Organization ChangeMaking the Case for Organization ChangeChanging CorporationsChanging Government AgenciesChanging Higher Education Institutions and Nonprofit OrganizationsSummaryPersonal Declarations and Points of ViewThe Metaphor of ChoiceThe Theories of ChoiceTypes of Organization ChangeLevels of Organization ChangeHow Organization Change OccursThe Content and Process of Organization ChangeOrganizational ModelsThe Organizational Model of ChoiceOrganization Change Should Be Data-Based and MeasuredPlanned Organization Change Requires LeadershipPlanned Organization Change Is ComplexSummaryA Closing Request3. A Brief History of Organization ChangeScientific ManagementThe Hawthorne StudiesIndustrial PsychologySurvey FeedbackSensitivity TrainingSociotechnical SystemsOrganization DevelopmentThe Managerial Grid and Organization DevelopmentCoercion and ConfrontationManagement Consulting7
Summary4. Theoretical Foundations of Organizations and Organization ChangeOpen-System TheoryCharacteristics of Open SystemsOrganization Change Is SystemicToward a Deeper Understanding of Organization ChangeCapra’s Three Criteria for Understanding LifePatternStructureProcessImplications for Organizations and Organization Change5. The Nature of Organization ChangeRevolutionary ChangeEvolutionary ChangeRevolutionary Change: Case ExampleDime Bancorp, Inc.Evolutionary Change: Case ExampleThe Tools for Assessment and RatingsBehavioral PracticesData Summary of the Firm’s PartnersConclusionSummary6. Levels of Organization Change: Individual, Group, and Larger SystemChange in Organizations at the Individual LevelRecruitment, Selection, Replacement, and DisplacementTraining and DevelopmentCoaching and CounselingIndividual Responses to Organization ChangeResistanceIndividuals Coping With ChangeChange in Organizations at the Group LevelTeam BuildingSelf-Directed GroupsIntergroupGroup Responses to Organization ChangeChange in Organizations at the Larger-System LevelOrders of ChangeChange PhasesChange FocusChange Processes8
InterorganizationalSystem Responses to Organization ChangeSummary7. Organization Change: Research and TheoryReviews of Organization Change ResearchRecent Approaches to Research and TheoryThe Shift From “Normal” ScienceThe Organization Change Research Theory of Porras and ColleaguesOrganization ModelsOrganization Change TheoryCurrent Thinking on Organization Change and ResearchSummary8. Conceptual Models for Understanding Organization ChangeContent: What to ChangeProcess: How to Change—A Theoretical FrameworkLife-Cycle TheoryTeleological TheoryDialectical TheoryEvolutionary TheoryProcess: How to Change—Practice FrameworksLewin’s Three StepsLewin’s Three Steps Expanded: ScheinPhases of Planned ChangeOrganization Change as a TransitionMini-Theories Related to Organization ChangeIndividual EmphasisGroup EmphasisThe Larger-System EmphasisSummaryThe Content and Process of Strategic Change in OrganizationsStrategies for Effecting Change in Human SystemsEmpirical-Rational StrategiesNormative-Reeducative StrategiesPower-Coercive StrategiesSummary9. Integrated Models for Understanding Organizations and for Leading and Managing ChangeWhat Is an Organizational Model?Why Use an Organizational Model?Organizational Models and Organization ChangeWeisbord’s Six-Box Model9
The Nadler–Tushman Congruence ModelTichy’s TPC (Technical, Political, Cultural) FrameworkA Comparison of the Three ModelsSummary10. The Burke–Litwin Causal Model of Organization Performance and ChangeBackgroundThe ModelTransformational and Transactional DimensionsSupport for the Model’s ValidityThe Influence of the External EnvironmentThe Transformational FactorsThe Transactional FactorsSummary11. Organizational Culture ChangeExperiencing Organizational CultureThe British Airways Story: A Case of Culture ChangeYou Don’t Change Culture by Trying to Change the CultureA Theoretical Summary of the British Airways StorySummary12. Understanding and Working With Loosely Coupled SystemsThe Case of Change at the A. K. Rice InstituteEnter External Consultant (Yours Truly)Action StepsA Volunteer OrganizationChanging Deep StructureDealing With Resistance and AmbivalenceGroup Relations Versus Organization DevelopmentOrganizational Structure and Loosely Coupled SystemsLoosely Coupled SystemsVoice of CausationVoice of TypologyVoice of Direct EffectsVoice of CompensationVoice of Organizational OutcomesSummary13. Health Care and Government OrganizationsImportant Characteristics of Health Care and Government OrganizationsChanging Health Care OrganizationsChanging Government OrganizationsSummary and Some Conclusions10
14. Transformational LeadershipDoes Leadership Matter?On Defining LeadershipToward Further DefinitionThe Leader–Manager DistinctionAuthority and LeadershipTransformational Leadership According to BassCharacteristics of Executive LeadershipConceptual ComplexityBehavioral ComplexityStrategic Decision MakingVisionary and InspirationalSummaryHoward Gardner’s Leading MindsMcKee—a Master StorytellerSummaryHoward Gardner’s Changing Minds15. Leading Organization ChangePhases of Organization Change and the Leader’s RoleThe Prelaunch PhaseLeader Self-ExaminationThe External EnvironmentEstablishing the Need for ChangeProviding Clarity of Vision and DirectionThe Launch PhaseCommunicating the NeedInitial ActivitiesDealing With ResistancePostlaunch: Further ImplementationMultiple LeverageTaking the HeatConsistencyPerseveranceRepeating the MessageSustaining the ChangeUnanticipated ConsequencesMomentumChoosing SuccessorsLaunching Yet Again New InitiativesSummary11
16. Organization Change: Summary and IntegrationApplying The Tipping Point Principles to Planned Organization ChangePrelaunchThe LaunchPostlaunchSustaining the ChangeChanging the OrganizationSuccessful Processes of Organization ChangePositive Organization ChangeThe Look of ChangeCorporate Culture in the Work of Lawler and Worley17. Organization Change: What We Need to KnowThe Process of Organization ChangeMomentumChaos During TransitionCommunicationOrganization Change LeadershipPersonality and CulturePower and PoliticsThe Change LeaderOrganizational StructureSelf-Directed GroupsCentralization–DecentralizationCellsNetworksFormal and Informal RewardsIncentivesIntrinsic RewardsTraining and DevelopmentTraining in the Service of ChangeAction LearningTeams and Teamwork in OrganizationsOrganizational SizeLarge and Small SimultaneouslySilos and Boundary SpanningSize of Organizational UnitsOrganizational PerformanceLearning Priorities Moving ForwardResistance Isn’t What It Used to BeGetting Leadership Selection and Development Right12
SelectionDevelopmentLearning AgilityTrustSummary StatementConclusionAppendix: Annotated BibliographyReferencesIndexAbout the Author13
PrefaceThe bulk of what was written for the first four editions of this book remains the same in this fifth edition.Fundamentals of organization change are still fundamental. Yet we continue to learn, and now we need toconsider more than we have in the past differences beyond the fundamentals. The success rate of organizationchange remains poor—little more than 30%—thus we must step up our pace for learning. The new chapter(13) for this fifth edition is an attempt to do so by considering in more depth two other organizations andlooking more carefully at differences. These other organizations are in the health care arena and government,organizations that affect our daily lives. These organizations are not the same as corporations, where most oflearning about organization change comes from.The overall purpose of this book remains the same, nevertheless—that is, to report on and interpret currentknowledge of organization change. The knowledge comes from a variety of sources, as noted next. Theinterpretation comes from my understanding as an academic of what the literature seems to be telling us andfrom my experience of well over 45 years as an organization change consultant. Will Rogers is reported tohave said, “All I know is what I read in the newspapers.” All I know is what I have read in the organizationliterature and what I believe I have learned as a consultant to organizations. Both are limited. You, the reader,should therefore be forewarned. While I have made a concerted effort to present material from the literatureas objectively as I could, in the end what I have written is biased, at least in two ways: (a) my selections fromthe literature are just that, selective, and are not as comprehensive as we might prefer, and (b) myinterpretations come from experience. It should be noted, however, that in the meantime I have coedited abook of readings that contains much of the literature that undergirds this text. With this book (Burke, Lake,& Paine, 2009) of some 52 entries, you, the reader, can go to the originals and make your own interpretations.In any case, the book serves as a useful supplement to this fifth edition. Experiences as an organizationconsultant continue to influence my thinking and writing. For example, in the past few years I seem to havebeen drawn more and more to focus on leadership. There are two chapters on leadership: Chapters 14 and 15.Maybe I am coming full circle. My doctoral dissertation many years ago was on leadership. Allow me todescribe briefly a few examples.First, I continue to codirect our MA program in organizational psychology here at Teachers College,Columbia University, for a cohort of 24 U.S. Army officers at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Oncompletion of this graduate degree in one year, most of these officers (captains and a sprinkling of majors) willbe assigned to cadet companies (about 130 students) as the regular army’s officer-in-charge. They evaluatetwice a year the cadets’ military performance and also serve as mentors, coaches, and leaders for these cadets.They have considerable influence on future officers of the U.S. Army. Our faculty, therefore, have indirectinfluence through our classroom teaching. This experience has been significant and rewarding. No doubt Ihave been influenced as well.Second, I have been involved for a few years now with a Midwestern state university as a visiting professor, butalso as a consultant to the provost and dean of one of the university schools. In this work, we have focused on15
the role of the leaders (provost and dean) in initiating and managing change. As it is a state-supporteduniversity, regulations and budgets are somewhat imposed, which in turn creates a “tightness” in how theinstitution operates. Yes, it is a university, after all, which means that it is more a loosely coupled system thana tight one. We therefore emphasize mission, change direction, shared values, and cooperative actions acrossunits to ensure that even though looseness is recognized and informally rewarded, a system consisting ofinterdependent parts is the focus. In working with this organization, I was reminded of ideas from the 1930sexpounded by Mary Parker Follett (as cited in Follett, 1996), an individual way ahead of her time. Her notionof the invisible leader is an excellent case in point. She stated that to maximize organizational effectiveness,both the leader and the followers need to follow the invisible leader—the purpose of the organization. Thatway, leadership is organizationally focused and not so dependent on the persona of the leader. I am using thisidea in discussing the leadership of this university.Third, I have been involved in leadership transitions, trying to help organizations deal as effectively as possiblewith the change from an old to a new president and chief executive officer. This kind of transition provides awonderful opportunity for organization change. We need to know more about matters of leadershiptransitions. Incidentally, quite a number of years ago, Michael Mitchell wrote a brief and useful article for theHarvard Business Review on how to facilitate a transition in leaders.In sum, recent experiences with leader coaching and consulting have no doubt influenced choices andperspectives in this fifth edition. And as before, my attempt has been to combine and to some degree integratetheory and research with application. After setting the stage in Chapters 1 and 2, then providing somebackground and history in Chapter 3, Chapters 4 through 8 are more about theory and research—foundationsof organization change—and the remaining chapters deal more with application and practice.There is one other change in this fifth edition. Toward the end of the appendix, you will find a new entry inthe annotated bibliography. The entry is actually historical—a summary of Ron Chernow’s biography ofAlexander Hamilton. I consider Hamilton to have been one of the most—if not the first—significant changeleaders in American history. He shaped what our government has become. Read it and see if you agree.16
Teaching Resources and Website to Accompany the BookFor the InstructorThe password-protected Instructor Site at gives instructors access to a fullcomplement of resources to support and enhance their courses. The following assets are available on theInstructor Site:A Microsoft® Word® test bank is available, containing multiple-choice, true–false, and essay questionsfor each chapter. The test bank provides you with a diverse range of prewritten options as well as theopportunity for editing any question and/or inserting your own personalized questions to effectivelyassess students’ progress and understanding.Editable, chapter-specific Microsoft® PowerPoint® slides offer you complete flexibility in easily creatinga multimedia presentation for your course. Highlight essential content, features, and artwork from thebook.Sample course syllabi for semester and quarter courses provide suggested models for use when creatingthe syllabi for your courses.EXCLUSIVE! Access is available to certain full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefullyselected for each chapter. Each article supports and expands on the concepts presented in the chapter.This feature also provides questions to focus and guide student interpretation. Combine cutting-edgeacademic journal scholarship with the topics in your course for a robust classroom experience.Carefully selected, web-based video links feature relevant interviews, lectures, personal stories, inquiries,and other content for use in independent or classroom-based explorations of key topics.17
AcknowledgmentsI have many people to thank, and I am very pleased to have this opportunity to do so. First and foremost isBen Schneider, who insisted that I write this book. Throughout, he was incredibly supportive, patient, andpersistent about my staying the course. Then there were my three official reviewers for Sage, beyond Ben, twoof whom had reviewed my previous work (Burke, 1982). Len Goodstein was his true self and a true friend inholding my feet to the fire—that is, calling my attention to the need for (a) more examples, (b) better linkagebetween theory and practice, and (c) better logic as I went from A to C and assumed too much by skipping B.Craig Lundberg gave me feedback in two categories: (a) the “big stuff” and (b) the “little stuff,” as he called it.I paid attention to all, but particularly to the big stuff. All the “stuff” was on target and very helpful. The thirdSage reviewer was David Whetten. As with the others, it was clear that he had given the manuscript a carefulreading. First, he pointed out a major inconsistency in my coverage of theory, which I quickly corrected toalleviate my embarrassment. David and I share a strong interest in and reliance on models. His suggestionsalong these lines were most helpful. Also, his urging me, as Ben did, to talk about future research needs in thefinal chapter caused me to take action.And then there were my friends and colleagues at Teachers College, all of whom amazed me by actuallyreading the entire first draft. I am immensely grateful. First, Roger Myers, now deceased, the consummatepsychologist who knew how to write and was a stickler about the bad habit of making nouns into verbs,helped considerably to improve my writing of this book. Caryn Block reminded me time and again to remindthe reader about points made earlier and how they related to what I was stating. She also urged me to useexamples. I did. Arthur Levine, former president of Teachers College and a change leader in the world ofeducation, brought his experience and knowledge to my manuscript. His critique and questions wereinvaluable. Debra Noumair was my idea person. For example, she suggested that I declare myself in thesecond chapter. My “points of view” section was the result of that suggestion. She also helped me thinkthrough the ordering of things, and she was involved in helping me write Chapter 12. Her creativity wasmuch appreciated. Victoria Marsick shares with me the excitement of ideas from chaos theory and the lifesciences. I followed many of her suggestions for applying these ideas. Lee Knefelkamp, a scholar of the firstorder, is superb at helping one see how seemingly disparate concepts actually intertwine. Her support in myattempt to “bring things together” was most beneficial.Tony Petrella, a friend and colleague of many years who also read the manuscript, is a true organizationchange practitioner. What is unique about Tony is that as a consultant and practitioner, he understands anddeeply appreciates theory. His comment about my ability to “push practice through the lens of theory” wasvery meaningful to me.Finally, and most important for this fifth edition, was our academic program manager, John Handal, whohelped me get this manuscript onto the computer and into readable form. I was fortunate to have his help andskills with technology and his constantly positive can-do attitude. Also helpful in all these matters were ouracademic program secretary, Ambar Urena, and assistant administrator, Lebab Fallin.18
It is appropriate for me to end these acknowledgments with the requisite caveat. Even with all the help Ireceived, I do in the end acknowledge that the final product is solely my responsibility.19
Publisher’s AcknowledgmentsSAGE would like to thank the following reviewers:Michael A. Guerra, Lincoln UniversityBarbara J. Hatcher, George Mason UniversityPeter Charlton, Adler UniversityDavid J. Biemer, Texas State UniversityTheodore J. Kowalski, University of DaytonPeggy L. Hawkins, Creighton UniversityLaurance Geri, The Evergreen State CollegeJames A. Padfield, Truman State UniversityW. Tad Foster, Indiana State UniversityBrenda C. Barnes, Allen College—UnityPoint HealthJovana Markovic, Barry University20
One Sources for Understanding Organization Change21
Introduction and OverviewOrganizations change all the time, each and every day. The change that occurs in organizations is, for themost part, unplanned and gradual. Planned organization change, especially on a large scale affecting the entiresystem, is unusual—not exactly an everyday occurrence. Revolutionary change—a major overhaul of theorganization resulting in a modified or entirely new mission, a change in strategy, leadership, and culture—israre indeed. Most organization change is evolutionary. These two distinctions, planned versus unplanned andrevolutionary versus evolutionary, represent core themes of this book. To be unequivocal here at the outset,the emphasis is more on planned and revolutionary change.The reason for this emphasis is the clear and present need for a greater depth of understanding of organizationchange. The fact that current and future changes in the external environments in which organizations functionare now occurring so rapidly requires that organizational executives constantly monitor and attempt tounderstand the nature of these changes in their respective marketplaces and in the broader worldenvironment. Unlike the situation a few decades ago, the external environment now changes much morerapidly than organizations do. Organizations today are playing catch-up, and certainly they will do so evenmore in the future. Capital markets, for example (see Chapter 2), are definitely changing more rapidly thanthe business organizations that depend on them. Moreover, business organizations in particular do not last aslong as they have in the past. Thus, we need to know much more than ever before about how to understand,lead, manage, and in particular, change organizations. And this gives rise to the purpose of this book.In attempting to understand organizations in greater depth, another distinction is important. Organizationsare created and developed on an assumption of continuity, to continue surviving and to last. The externalenvironment, while continuously “out there,” is not continuous in the same sense that organizations are.Factors and forces in an organization’s external environment are discontinuous, do not fit neatly together in apattern, are not interdependent, homeostatic, linear, or highly predictable. Forces in the external environmentcan cause destruction but can cause creativity as well. This continuous–discontinuous theme also runsthroughout the book and is analogous to the organizational theory literature; this body of books and articlesaddresses mainly continuity and stabilization, not discontinuity and change. Although not exclusively, manysources for help in writing this book had to come from the nontraditional literature.First, as noted, the organizational theory literature is about continuity and stabilization; so one must searchdiligently for theory about organization change. Such literature exists, although not in abundance, and muchof it is cited and relied on in this book. In addition to using theoretical references, I have also relied on modelsof organizations that come from the organization change literature. Models are important because they helplink theory with practice. In fact, models are covered in 4 of the 17 chapters in this book.A second potential source for knowledge and assistance is the trade literature—professional books written byconsultants and experienced practitioners such as Peters and Waterman (1982) with their best seller, In Searchof Excellence, and, later, Collins and Porras (1994) with Built to Last. These writings typically focus onorganization exemplars: This is what to learn from, to model, and to follow. The authors draw conclusions22
from these model organizations and sometimes even derive principles about how organizations should be ledand managed. Peters and Waterman had eight such principles: for example, “stick to your knitting.” Collinsand Porras stressed the power of culture as facilitating continuity and stabilization over time. The problemhere is that by using popular, actual organization cases as the base from which to derive principles, sooner orlater—and today it is sooner rather than later—the organizations studied and showcased no longer illustratethe principles, because things have changed. The model organizations have perhaps fallen on bad times, havebecome acquired, or worse, have filed for bankruptcy. The principles become passé, are no longer (if they everwere) relevant, and are soon forgotten. Sticking to one’s knitting in this day and age may be the opposite ofwhat to do in business. In fact, in a recent article, Peters (2001) “confesses” that a number of the conclusionsin the 1982 book were guesses and opinions rather than rigorously based on data.Another form that trade books take is for the author(s) to distill “wisdom” from many years of experience as aconsultant, a teacher, an executive, or some combination of these roles. The accumulated wisdom is based onlessons learned. Such books by executives include the following: Rudolph Giuliani’s (2002) Leadership, JackWelch’s (2001) Jack: Straight From the Gut, and Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan’s (2002) Execution: TheDiscipline of Getting Things Done.A highly popular book on organization change by a consultant is the one by Peter Block (1981) on flawlessconsulting. This book is based on the author’s many years of both internal and external consulting andprovides a “guide for developing the necessary skills for ‘flawless’ consulting” (from the dust jacket). Theauthor provides “suggestions for further reading”; otherwise, there are no references to any research or theoryabout organization change.Another example of this form of book, distilling wisdom, is John Kotter’s (1996) Leading Change. Kotter, anacademic, a frequent speaker at conferences, and an occasional consultant, draws on his experience inexecutive programs discussing with participants’ cases of organization change, and he wrote many of the caseshimself. From these experiences, he declares that leading change consists of an eight-stage process:1. Establishing a sense of urgency2. Creating the guiding coalition3. Developing a vision and strategy4. Communicating the change vision5. Empowering employees for broad-based action6. Generating short-term wins7. Consolidating gains and producing more change8. Anchoring new approaches in the cultureKotter (1996) provides many examples throughout his coverage of the eight stages. His book has remainedpopular and can still be easily found at your local bookstore. The book’s popularity is due in part to (a)Kotter’s status and reputation in the field, (b) his ability to distill into eight stages a mass of case examples,and (c) the face validity of the eight stages—they sound plausible and relevant.23
This form of trade book, based on author experience and wisdom, can be helpful to the reader butnevertheless is problematic. Following Welch’s ideas for how to bring about organization change, Block’sguide for how to facilitate change as a consultant, and Kotter’s eight stages can be helpful, but remember thatthe wisdom is based on individuals’ experience and knowledge. In Kotter’s book, for example, there are noreferences or bibliography. But it is in the trade book category, after all, and such things are not necessarilyexpected. The absence of independent verification and validation that what these authors recommend actuallyworks under a variety of circumstances, however, leaves me with some concerns and skepticism. Maybe it’sjust my nature. And can any of us achieve what Jack Welch did, even by following his advice? I seriouslydoubt it.A third potential source is “story” books that have a clear and usually simple maxim to teach. These books tella story, perhaps based on a metaphor or in allegorical form. A best seller in this genre is Who Moved MyCheese? (Johnson, 1998). A more recent example is by our friend John Kotter and his colleague HolgerRathgeber (2005), titled Our Iceberg Is Melting. Kotter now has published works in all three of my categories—organizational scholarly literature, trade books, and story books. Iceberg is about a colony of penguins whosehome, a large iceberg, is slowly melting, forcing them to find a new home; in other words, they must deal withchange. The dust jacket notes the following:Their story is one of resistance to change and heroic action, confusion and insight, seeminglyintractable obstacles, and the most clever tactics for dealing with those obstacles. It’s a story that isoccurring in different forms all around us today—but the penguins handle the very real challenges agreat deal better than most of us.The book includes attractive pictures and indeed tells a charming story. Such books are easy and often fun toread. The authors want us to remember the maxim, and a story is a fine way to do it. These books often sellwell. Unfortunately, they tend to oversimplify the theme(s) they are addressing. Regardless of how charmingthe story might be, organization change is far too complex for a simple story to teach us what we ultimatelyneed to know.Some books are not as easy to categorize. They represent a combination of categories. The book by Foster andKaplan (2001), Creative Destruction, summarized in Chapter 2 and in the appendix is both a trade book and aresearch-based one. The premise of this book is that the external environment for corporations, especiallycapital markets, changes more rapidly and is more complex than ever before. Moreover, corporations todayexperience what Foster and Kaplan refer to as “cultural lock-in”; they cannot change themselves rapidlyenough to remain high-performing organizations—assuming they were in the first place. The authors of thisbook amassed an impressive amount of data to support their premise.Another example is the book by Pascale, Milleman, and Gioja (2000), Surfing the Edge of Chaos, cited in thistext and also summarized in the appendix. This is a trade book that incorporates theory. The authors maketheir case for organization change and then assert that understanding the applicability of chaos theory andtheory from life sciences will greatly facilitate successful change. Much of their book is devoted to cases from24
corporations around the world that support their arguments.Yet another example of blending my categories and one that has been highly popular is The Tipping Point, byMalcolm Gladwell (2000). This book fits the trade category but is very effectively grounded in research,particularly from the social and behavioral sciences. In other words, Gladwell did his homework. The TippingPoint is applicable to organization change, as we will see in Chapter 16.The sources for this book have therefore generally come from the type of organization literature that onewould assume—organizational psychology, organization and management theory, and organizational behavior—but not exclusively. The life sciences have much to teach us about change and in fact have become a recenttrend in the organization literature. Even the nontrendy Harvard Business Review published an article byBonabeau and Meyer (2001) on “swarm intelligence.” The behavior of ants, with their flexibility, robustness,and self-organization (as the authors summarize it), can be applied to certain aspects of running a businessand result in significant increases in efficiency. The primary source for this book in this domain is The Web ofLife by Capra (1996).Other sources are literature from chaos theory and from nonlinear complex systems theory. For an annotatedbibliography of these and other primary sources, see the appendix, which now includes Ron Chernow’sbiography of Alexander Hamilton, the true tale of a change leader par excellence.To set the stage for the remainder of this fifth edition, let us consider a short story of launching anorganization change effort.25
A Short Story of Launching Organization ChangeThroughout the academic year, the president of Teachers College, Columbia University holds regularmeetings of her President’s Advisory Group, which is composed of the senior administrators of the collegeand the chairs of the 10 academic departments. As the former chair of the Department of Organization andLeadership, I was one of the attendees. At one of the meetings, the vice president for finance andadministration presented an overview of a plan for refurbishing a significant portion of the physical plant ofthe college—that is, a reconstruction of classrooms, faculty, and staff offices. The reconstruction wouldrequire about two years. The need was obvious. Most of the Teachers College buildings were at least a centuryold. The faculty and staff occupying the affected space would have to move to temporary quarters for up totwo years. About halfway through the VP’s presentation, he was interrupted by one of my department chaircolleagues. The chair stated rather emotionally that the change plan being presented was “very dangerous.”This senior faculty member and department chair then elaborated on the “dangerous” comment by pointingout that not only would people, especially faculty members, be upset but their productivity and morale wouldplummet. Perhaps it goes without saying that this chair’s department would be among those having to moveto temporary offices.In responding, the VP did not disagree about these possible consequences of the change; rather, he focused onthe need to do something about our dated facilities—for example, taking advantage of new technology as wellas creative and flexible use of space for our classrooms and offices. A few minutes later, another departmentchair, knowing something about my background and expertise, asked me to comment on the plan for change.Not daring to give a lecture on organization change to my colleagues, I limited my remarks to two points.First, I stated that for the person in a change leadership role—in this case, our VP—it was important to be asclear as possible about the future and what it would take to get there but in particular not to come across asdefensive, to respond to questions as factually as possible, and to be patient. I added that in my opinion theVP had not been defensive. Second, it was also important for the change leaders to acknowledge that in theshort run there would indeed be frustration, perhaps even anger and resentment. Maybe productivity wouldsuffer for a period of time, but with a focus on the long term and what would be gained as a result, the wholeeffort would be worthwhile. The shorthand version of my point was “short-term pain for long-term gain.”After the meeting, a few attendees thanked me for my comments, but the aggravated department chair leftwithout saying a word to anyone.In the short hour of the VP’s coverage of the plans for change at the college, quite a number of principlesregarding the organization change process were either explicitly addressed, such as vision for the future, or atleast implied, such as changing the external environment. Next are brief statements of these principles, notingwhere they are covered in more depth in the chapters that follow.External environment. As noted in Chapter 2, we typically begin an organization change effort byconsidering what is happening in the organization’s external environment. We need to be aware of theevidence that the external environment is changing more rapidly than ever before, making it tougher26
and tougher for organizations to change themselves rapidly enough to keep up and stay competitive.Institutions of higher education are no exception. Being tuition dependent, Teachers College must staycompetitive by having state-of-the-art facilities and superb faculty. Thus, the reconstruction project is aresponse to this ever-changing, complex environment.Expressing the need. Organizational members must see the need for change to be willing to embrace it.Coupled with this expressed need is a way forward, what will address the need, what might be the goals.Thus, there are two actions required, which can be described as (a) creating a sense of urgency and (b)providing a vision for the future. Chapter 5 provides more depth of coverage.Consequences. Spelled out in Chapter 2 is the paradox of planned change. We plan change in a linearfashion—Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, etc.—but quickly realize that the change itself is nonlinear. There areunintended consequences that we didn’t anticipate. Moreover, the change will be experienced as messy ifnot chaotic. In the case of Teachers College, some of the interim facilities may not be satisfactory andmay lead to even more frustration and anger.Resistance. While not everyone is likely to be resistant to change, some if not many will be, as in the caseof our department chair’s warning us of dangers ahead. There are individual differences regardingresistance, and all resistances are not the same. So we take resistance seriously in this text in Chapter 6,and we revisit it in the final chapter—Chapter 17.Change leader role. Change, certainly planned change, is not likely to occur without leadership. Thechange leader needs to be transparent, nondefensive, and persistent yet patient. Our change leader, theVP, is off to a good start by being clear, not defensive, and patient. But there are tough times ahead.Chapters 14 and 15 are devoted to leadership, with the second focusing specifically on leading change.By implication, our short case is based on the principle of an organization’s being an open system influencedby its environment and context. This kind of thinking is based on open-system theory (Chapter 4). Also, theforthcoming change at Teachers College is more evolutionary than revolutionary and should be managedaccordingly (Chapter 5), and the change is more at the larger system level than at the group or individuallevel, although all levels are involved to some degree (Chapter 6). Other chapters not mentioned here—Chapters 1, 3, 7 through 12, and 16—cover history, theory, research, and practice, all in support of themain principles of organization. And with the addition of Chapter 13, we are addressing two otherorganizations, namely health care and government, that have not been adequately covered. Thus, we havemuch to discuss, all of which is important and exciting, of course. So let us proceed.27
Two Rethinking Organization ChangeMost efforts by executives, managers, and administrators to significantly change the organizations they leaddo not work. By “change significantly,” I mean to turn the organization in another direction, to fundamentallymodify the “way we do things,” to overhaul the structure—the design of the organization for decision makingand accountability—and to provide organizational members with a whole new vision for the future. And inthe ever-increasing world of mergers and acquisitions, 75% fail at this (Burke & Biggart, 1997; “How MergersGo Wrong,” 2000). To survive, especially for the long term, organizations must change and adapt to theirenvironments, but typical changes consist of fine-tuning: installing a new system for sales management;initiating a program to improve the quality of products or services; or changing the structure to improvedecision making without first changing organizational strategy, which is, after all, the basis for decisionmaking.Examples of significant and successful organization change will be presented in this book. These examples,however, are exceptional. Most organization change is not significant or successful. Organizationalimprovements do occur, even frequently, and do work, but large-scale, fundamental organization change thatworks is rare. Why is this the case?There are many reasons. First and foremost, deep organization change, especially attempting to change theculture of an organization, is very difficult. Second, it is often hard to make a case for change, particularlywhen the organization appears to be doing well. Nothing is broken, so what’s to fix? A paradox oforganization change is that the peak of success is the time to worry and to plan for and bring about significantchange.Third, our knowledge for how to plan and implement organization change is limited. The primary purpose ofthis book is an attempt to rectify this limitation, at least to some extent. Let’s begin with a fundamental issue.Accepted knowledge of organization change is that we plan the change according to steps or phases. Step 1 is,perhaps, to inform organizational members about the need for change. Step 2 might be to implement aninitial project that gradually expands to a larger program of change, and so on. But the actual change itselfdoes not occur according to steps. It’s another paradox.28
The Paradox of Planned Organization ChangeIn an Associated Press release on June 1, 2001, the Federal Communications Commission head at the time,Michael Powell, referring to the shift to digital technology, was quoted as saying that “it will be messy and itwill be confusing, and we will get a lot of it wrong and we’ll have to start over. But that’s the creative process,that’s the evolutionary process” (Srinivasan, 2001, p. 6A). Revolutionary process might have been moreaccurate; in any case, Mr. Powell described the change process very realistically. I thought at the time, Thisman knows what he is talking about.As stated previously, when planning organization change, the process is usually linear—that is, Step 1 orPhase 1, then Step 2, 3, and so on. And although an attempt is made in the implementation of change tofollow these steps or phases, what actually occurs is anything but linear. The implementation process is messy:Things don’t proceed exactly as planned; people do things their own way, not always according to the plan;some people resist or even sabotage the process; and some people who would be predicted to support or resistthe plan actually behave in just the opposite way. In short, unanticipated consequences occur. Leaders ofchange often say something like, “For every step forward we take, we seem to fall back two steps; somethingalways needs fixing to get us back on track.”Provided the change goals are clear and change leaders are willing to stay the course, over time, the processmay end up being somewhat linear, or at least a pattern may emerge. But linearity is not what anyoneexperiences during the implementation process itself, in the thick of things, which may feel chaotic, withpeople in the organization constantly asking the question, “Who’s in charge here?” Figure 2.1 is a simple wayof trying to depict this nonlinear process yet show at the same time the possibility of an emergent pattern. Butno pattern will emerge unless there is a clear change goal or goals. The end in mind (although in organizationchange there are milestones that are reached but probably no end state) is what “pulls” or establishes a pattern.Consider the figure further: We launched the change effort with some new initiative, for example, a differentway of evaluating and rewarding performance from, say, results only as the index of performance to a“balanced scorecard” (Kaplan & Norton, 1996). In planning for the change, we were counting on a number ofkey executives to support it, and we assumed that certain others would be resistant. Once the initiative waslaunched, to our surprise, we found that some of the executives whom we were counting on for supportactually resisted the change and some who we believed would be resistant turned out to be advocates. Thus,we faced a need to regroup, in a sense, and work hard on those now resisting who we had assumed would besupportive and at the same time rally around those now advocating the change who we thought were going toresist. In other words, we needed to “loop back.” This occurrence, while unanticipated, did not necessarilyrepresent a huge block or barrier to the change effort overall, and therefore the loop is not very large, butnevertheless, a loop back was required to fix the problem.Note that the second loop is larger. It may have been necessary to install a new computer software program tofacilitate the change to a different way of tracking and recording performance at the individual, work unit,business unit, and overall organizational levels. But what we found, let’s say, was that the software package did29
not work satisfactorily. So we had to loop back and fix the software problem. It was a significant problem tofix, and therefore the loop is larger. And so it goes. The managing change process as depicted in the figure isone of dealing with unanticipated consequences that occur when we intervene in the organization’s normalway of doing things with a new way. Let us be clear: We must plan change yet understand that things neverturn out quite as we planned. It’s a paradox.How organization change occurs, with particular emphasis on planned organization change, is the primarytheme of this book. The assumption that organizations need to change is embedded in what has been statedso far. I will now expound on this assumption by making the case for organization change. Then I will declaremyself by explaining my points of view about organization change. These points of view provide an overviewof the book, or “coming attractions.” More than what is to come, these points of view also reveal my biasesabout what is important, if not critical, in organization change. So here at the outset of our journey, I amdeclaring myself. Even with these biases on display, I hope you will continue the journey with me.Figure 2.1 Depiction of the Nonlinear Nature of Organization Change30
Making the Case for Organization Change31
Changing CorporationsMy primary source for this section is the volume by two McKinsey consultants, Foster and Kaplan (2001),Creative Destruction, referred to in Chapter 1. In contrast to popular business books such as In Search ofExcellence (Peters & Waterman, 1982) and Built to Last (Collins & Porras, 1994), Foster and Kaplan, withtheir data from more than 1,000 corporations in 15 industries over a 36-year period, argue that we now areclearly in the “age of discontinuity,” as Drucker (1969) earlier predicted.Consider the following points made by Foster and Kaplan (2001). The first Forbes top 100 companies list wasformed in 1917. Forbes published its original list again in 1987. In 1987, 61 of the original 100 no longerexisted. And of the remaining 39 companies, only 18 remained in the top 100: companies such as DuPont,General Electric (GE), Kodak, General Motors, Ford, and Procter & Gamble. These 18 companies survivedbut, according to Foster and Kaplan, did not perform. Long-term earnings returns by these companies fortheir investors from 1917 to 1987 were not exactly outstanding: 20% less than for the overall market. Today,only GE performs above the average.Next, Foster and Kaplan (2001) refer to the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500. Comparing the 500 in 1957 withthose in 1998, only 74 remained on the list, with a mere 12 of those 74 outperforming the S&P index itself.Moreover, “if today’s S&P 500 were made up of only those companies that were on the list when it wasformed in 1957, the overall performance of the S&P 500 would have been about 20% less per year than itactually has been” (p. 8). As the authors then ask, how can it be that so many companies do not survive andthose that do survive, with few exceptions, perform below average?Part of the answer rests with the pace-of-change phenomenon that Foster and Kaplan (2001) address in theiropening lines. In 1917, the pace of change was indeed much slower than it is today. During that time andcontinuing on into the 1920s and 1930s, even with the climatic changes of the Great Depression, the turnoverrate of companies in the S&P rankings averaged 1.5% a year. A new company making the list then couldexpect to remain for about 65 years. As Drucker (1969) pointed out, in those days change was not a majorconcern. Continuity was the goal and the way of operating. Vertical integration was the name of the game—that is, owning as much of the production chain as possible, from raw materials to distribution to thecustomer. But in 1998, “the turnover rate in the S&P 500 was close to 10%, implying an average lifetime onthe list of ten years, not sixty-five!” (Foster & Kaplan, 2001, p. 11). Times have changed, and we are living inthe age of discontinuity for corporations, not continuity.The larger answer to Foster and Kaplan’s (2001) question about corporate survival and performance can befound in a corporation’s external environment. Although any organization’s external environment consists ofmany factors—customers, the general economy, changing demographics, and changing governmentregulations, to name a few—one of the most powerful factors or forces for businesses, especially those that arepublicly owned, is the capital market. Capital markets are informal aggregations, not highly organized andstructured as are corporations. Capital markets consist of buyers, sellers, and others who interact for thepurpose of economic exchange. These businesspeople are loan officers in banks, investment bankers,32
stockbrokers, stock analysts, venture capitalists (those who often help start companies), and anyone else whohas money to invest. Although not acting in concert, these people decide whether your business, yourcompany, and your vision for the future of your organization is worthy of investment. Is your company worththe risk of loaning you $1 million, of buying 1,000 shares of your stock, or investing money to help you withyour desire to acquire another business? So this informal aggregation of buyers and sellers forms a powerfulforce in the organization’s environment, determining in part the long-term survival and success of a company.This world is largely a business-to-business arena, and a business can live or die due to the vagaries of themarketplace. The point Foster and Kaplan make is that capital markets change far more rapidly than docorporations; are based on an assumption of discontinuity, not continuity; weed out poor performers; rewardcreativity and innovation; and encourage new business entries into the marketplace.Before going too far with the concept of the power of capital markets to determine the fate of corporations,we should pause for a moment and make the most critical point of all, lest we overlook a fundamental one. Inthe end, it is the consumer, the customer out there in the organization’s external environment, who determinesthe fate of any business. Will anyone, after all, actually buy our products and services?By the time my son, Brian, was about 11 years old, he had amassed a huge collection of baseball cards. WhenI asked him why he had so many, he quickly told me that his collection was an investment. These cards, heinformed me, would be worth far more money in a few years than what he’d paid for them. Ah, I thought, hereis a teachable moment! So I patiently explained that his investment would pay off if and only if someone in afew years was willing to buy those cards from him. Brian’s reaction to my explanation was something like,“Dad, I don’t think you really understand.” Obviously, he had a huge psychological investment in those cards.So it is the consumer to whom the capital markets folks pay attention. Will anyone out there buy this stuff,pay for these services, and keep on doing so for the foreseeable future?The primary point made by Foster and Kaplan (2001), then, is that capital markets outpace corporations, therate of change is considerably different, and the basic assumptions of the two for long-term survival areopposites: discontinuity for the capital markets and continuity for corporations. For corporate survival andsuccess, Foster and Kaplan argue that companies must abandon the assumption of continuity; corporationsmust understand and mitigate, as they call it,“cultural lock-in,” the inability to change the corporate culture even in the face of clear marketthreats—[this] explains why corporations find it difficult to respond to the messages of themarketplace. Cultural lock-in results from the gradual stiffening of the invisible architecture of thecorporation and the ossification of its decision-making abilities, control systems, and mental models.It dampens a company’s ability to innovate or to shed operations with a less-exciting future.Moreover, it signals the corporation’s inexorable decline into inferior performance. (p. 16)33
Changing Government AgenciesGovernment agencies are also having to deal with changes in their external environments. Take, for example,the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The external environment for NASA is just ascomplex as a corporation’s, if not more so. Every day, NASA deals with the public at large, the U.S.Congress, the president and the executive administration, contractors, vendors and consultants, the scientificcommunity, and various watchdog organizations that constantly monitor how taxpayer dollars are spent.Daniel Goldin, the administrator of NASA for about a decade, significantly affected the organization as achange leader. His mantra of “faster, better, cheaper” permeated the agency. Goldin was quite clear aboutwhom he and NASA served: the American public through its elected representatives, such as the presidentand Congress. His response to this critical part of NASA’s external environment, under the banner of faster,better, cheaper, drove and continues to drive changes at this federal agency.At the state level, a good example of significant change took place in Ohio. Driven by the governor and adesire to be more efficient and customer focused for the people of the state, several separate agencies mergedinto a much larger one of about 4,000 state employees. The merged organization, the Ohio Department ofJob and Family Services, has the responsibilities of providing for families in need, especially those on welfareand with children who require special care, and of contributing to the Ohio workforce through unemploymentsupport, training, and development. With more federal tax dollars being delegated to the states foradministration and services, these government organizations have had to deal with significant change.With this fifth edition more space is devoted to change practices in government agencies. About half ofChapter 13 addresses this particular type of organization. Clearly, government organizations affect our dailylives and other organizations more than ever before.35
Changing Higher Education Institutions and Nonprofit OrganizationsInstitutions of higher education no longer exist exclusively in the nonprofit sector. The University of Phoenix,for one, is a profit-making company and by all accounts is doing quite well. Even though it has a fairly sizablecampus with classrooms in Phoenix, its forte is distance learning. It is more expensive than many of itscompetitors but focuses on customer convenience and service. This relatively recent entrant into the world ofhigher education has caused a stir and has begun to call into question the long-term survival of many colleges,especially if they drag their feet on implementing technology. Moreover, with tuitions increasing every year,many colleges and universities may be gradually pricing themselves out of the market. So even in the domainof higher education, which includes some of the oldest, most traditional types of organizations in the world,the external environment is changing. Unless colleges and universities adapt, their traditions may not last, atleast not for the centuries they have in the past.With respect to the changing world for nonprofit organizations, consider the case of the A. K. Rice Institute(AKRI). This institute was founded in Washington, D.C., by a group of psychologists, psychiatrists, andrelated professionals who were keenly interested in the form of human relations and group dynamics trainingand education that had been developed by the Tavistock Institute in the United Kingdom. In the UnitedStates, the foundation took the name of A. Kenneth Rice because he was instrumental in bringing to this sideof the Atlantic the methods and theory of this form of education. From 1965 until recently, AKRI hassteadily grown and extended roots all across America through regional affiliates. AKRI has been both amembership organization (with dues) and an educational institute that holds national and regionalconferences (learning laboratory groups) throughout the year. Qualified members of AKRI serve as staff for itseducational conferences.The primary point to be made with this example of an organization and its relation to its externalenvironment is the distinct possibility that AKRI has not been sufficiently in touch with its external world.This insularity has been due in part to (a) the desire of members to work and, of course, earn money as stafffor the conferences and (b) broader issues of membership per se; that is, what do we get in return for our dues,and who gets selected and why? These issues have been all-consuming. Members not selected, or not selectedoften enough, to staff conferences became angry and resentful. Blame was directed at the nationalorganization, which was perceived to be overly restrictive and limited in its decision making. It is interestingthat the exciting group process of the conferences—learning experientially about issues of authority,leadership, individual-group interactions, and the power of the group as a whole—became the mode membersand committees used to attempt to deal with AKRI itself. In other words, the real work before the institutewas often left undone because the sexier way of working was the conference learning process, as opposed totackling tasks and accomplishing objectives on behalf of AKRI itself. Confronting AKRI, the authority, wasmore fun than dull and time-consuming committee work.The problem, therefore, has been the dual and somewhat conflicting missions of the institute—that is, to be amembership organization and serve its members while at the same time having an educational mission for thepublic at large. Membership issues often prevented effective accomplishment of the educational mission. And36
to be effective in the latter, AKRI’s external environment needed to be monitored and responded to moredirectly, instead of indirectly via its members, who were often conflicted between an individual desire to earnmoney and a desire to give back to and serve AKRI. AKRI has recently launched a significant organizationchange effort to modify its bylaws and governance structure in support of one mission, the educational one,and to close down its membership structure. Among a number of other consequences, this change will forceAKRI to be significantly more in touch with its external environment. And the likelihood is much greater thatAKRI will indeed survive and perhaps be even more successful in the future, at least until the externalenvironment changes again.37
SummaryThe sections in this chapter so far have been about changing corporations, changing government agencies, andchanging higher educational institutions and nonprofit organizations, which have served as examples of thecritical nature of organizations’ external environment and their dependence on it for survival. These exampleshave also illustrated how organizations of all kinds today have to deal with environments that are changingmore rapidly than the organizations themselves. In fact, the remainder of this book could be filled with suchexamples alone. The ones covered are illustrative only, not comprehensive.The primary purpose, therefore, of these sections has been to make the case for the need for a much greaterdepth of understanding about organization change across all major sectors of organizations. In addition togovernment organizations, a neglected category of organizational types is health care, the other half ofChapter 13. With the rate of change becoming faster and faster and the demands on organizations to adaptand change themselves becoming greater and greater, our learning curve is steep. This book, then, is anattempt to climb that curve and provide more depth of understanding. Our need is to understandorganizations more thoroughly, but the greater need is to learn more about how to change them.Another purpose in presenting these examples of changing organizations and their interactions with theirexternal environments is to introduce, perhaps not so subtly, a particular point of view about organizationchange: that the process begins (and ends, for that matter) with the external environment.The objective of the following sections is to be more explicit about points of view and to provide with thesepersonal declarations a preview of coming attractions.38
Personal Declarations and Points of ViewThe purposes of the final section of this chapter are (1) to provide personal points of view about organizationchange, especially planned organization change, and (2) to provide very briefly an overview of what is coveredin each of the following chapters.39
The Metaphor of ChoiceAs Gareth Morgan (1997) has so eloquently explained, we can understand an organization through a varietyof metaphors, such as a machine, a brain, a psychic prison, or an organism. Morgan appropriately warns usabout metaphors: that although they are a way of seeing, at the same time they are a way of not seeing.Metaphors can help but can also limit our perspective and ultimate understanding.With this warning clearly in mind, the metaphor of choice for this writing effort is the organism. A majorstrength of this metaphor is the emphasis on the interactions between an organization and its externalenvironment. An organization is not a closed system, a fact that encourages viewing it as an open and flexibleentity. A second strength, as Morgan (1997) has pointed out, is the emphasis on survival; that is, certain needsmust be satisfied for the organization to survive:This view contrasts with the classical focus on specific organizational goals. Survival is a process,whereas goals are often targets or end points to be achieved. This reorientation gives managementgreater flexibility, for if survival is seen as the primary orientation, specific goals are framed by amore basic and enduring process that helps prevent them from becoming ends in themselves, acommon fate in many organizations. (p. 67)One of the limitations of this metaphor is the fact that an organism is concrete; it is a fundamental of nature,with material properties that can be seen and touched. An organization, on the other hand, is sociallyconstructed, a product of someone’s ideas, vision, and beliefs. And although there may be buildings, landowned or leased, machines, and money, an organization depends on the actions of human beings for survival.It does not maintain itself through an autonomic process.Also, this view suggests that organizations are totally dependent on their environments for survival,overlooking the fact that organizations interact with the external world: yes, being influenced, but influencingoutwardly as well.Another limitation of the metaphor is what Morgan (1997) calls functional unity. Organisms have highlyinterdependent parts, and each element supports other elements, as in the human being with a heart, lungs,glands, and so on, operating together to preserve the whole. Organizations rarely operate this way. We mightargue that ideally they should, with interdependence and harmony and all elements working for the good ofthe whole. Yet we know that creativity often stems from conflict and debate and that these kinds of actions byorganization members may contribute more to the organization’s survival than harmony would.The final limitation that Morgan (1997) notes is the danger that the metaphor might become an ideology:that organizations should be harmonious, that interdependence is always a good thing, or that individuals shouldget their needs met on the job.Bearing in mind these limitations, the strengths of the organism metaphor support the points of view40
represented in this writing more than any other metaphor. Thus the choice. Not becoming trapped by themetaphor is nevertheless a highly important pitfall to avoid as we proceed.41
The Theories of ChoiceIt should come as no surprise that, with the metaphor of choice being an organism, the primary choice here isopen-system theory, which was, after all, derived from biology. Moreover, the point of view established in thisbook is that the life sciences, with their theoretical foundations, are more relevant to understandingorganizations and change than are the physical sciences. Fritjof Capra’s (1996) work is especially relevant,particularly his emphasis on the concepts of pattern, structure, and process. Chapter 4 is devoted to thesetheoretical foundations.42
Types of Organization ChangeThink first about evolution versus revolution, a gradual continuous process of change in contrast to a suddenevent. That sudden event might precipitate massive turmoil, resistance, and planned change that could lead toeventual organization change. This contrast is actually a useful way to think about the different forms thatorganization change can take. The language that scholars and practitioners currently use is exemplified asfollows:Revolutionary versus EvolutionaryDiscontinuous versus ContinuousEpisodic versus Continuous flowTransformational versus TransactionalStrategic versus OperationalTotal system versus Local optionStating this language in terms of one versus the other is for purposes of clarity and understanding, not tosuggest that the conditions they describe are mutually exclusive. Pascale, Milleman, and Gioja (2000), forexample, have stated:The point is: Over time (and even concurrently) organizations need evolution and revolution. Whenthey have been limited exclusively to the restrictive precepts of social engineering [for example], theyhave been handicapped and largely unsuccessful in unleashing authentic revolutionary change. Theprinciples of living systems offer a powerful new recourse. The trick is to clearly identify the natureof the challenge and then use the right tool for the right task. (p. 38)Revolutionary change or transformation requires different tools and techniques for bringing about successfulorganization change than do methods for evolutionary or continuous change. The former requires total systemevents, such as (1) an initial activity that calls attention to the clear need for a dramatic modification ofmission and strategy due to changes that have occurred in technology or (2) new, unforeseen forays by asignificant competitor. The latter requires improvement measures in how a product is designed, how a serviceis delivered, or how quality is measured and upgraded. A transformation requires the immediate attention ofall organizational members, whereas a continuous improvement action may require the attention of only acertain segment of the organizational population or a phased involvement of all organizational members overtime. Chapter 5 provides further detail and examples of these two different forms of organization change.Chapter 7 also addresses this distinction from a theoretical and research perspective.43
Levels of Organization ChangeAs in the case of the differences between transformational (revolutionary) and transactional (evolutionary)change, it is very important to understand the various effects of organization change across the primary levelsof any social system. These primary levels are the individual, the group or work unit, and the total system. Inmany large corporations today there is an additional level—the business unit, which consists of multiple workunits and teams and is a primary subsystem of the larger organization. In other words, a business unit isresponsible for a significant piece of the overall corporation’s business, such as a regional group—for example,the southeastern United States—or a unit responsible for a primary segment of the larger market, such as adepartment of women’s wear as part of a larger clothing and fashion business. The group level encompasseslocal work units and may also include the larger business unit, which consists of local work units. In any case,the point here is that the way organization change affects the individual differs from the way groups areaffected and from the way the total system is affected. Furthermore, the major focus for change differs as afunction of level. At the individual level, the focus of attention is on activities such as recruitment,replacement, and displacement; training and development; and coaching and counseling. At the group level,the focus is on, for example, team building and self-directed work units. At the total system level, theemphasis is on the more encompassing aspects of the organization, such as mission, strategy, structure, orculture—in other words, components of the organization that will be affected sooner or later by the initialactivity.Chapter 6 is devoted to an examination of the levels of organization change, how resistance to change differsby level, and how change leaders need to deal with the resistances according to level. The process is not thesame for all organizational levels.44
How Organization Change OccursLet us assume that an organization needs to change itself significantly. With major shifts in its externalenvironment, the organization must change its basic strategy and certain aspects of—if not most of—itsmission statement, the organization’s raison d’être. Change in mission and strategy means that theorganization’s culture must be modified if the success of the overall change effort is to be realized. Change inthe culture is in support of the changes in mission and strategy; it is the “people” side, the emotionalcomponent of organization change, or what a seasoned organization change consultant calls “the changemonster”—the human forces that either facilitate or prevent transformation (Duck, 2001). So culture changeis our focus. The point of view that I am presenting here is that you don’t change culture by trying to changeculture. Culture is “the way we do things around here” and concerns deeply held beliefs, attitudes, and values.Taking a direct, frontal approach to changing values is fraught with difficulty, resistance, and strong humanemotion. We therefore start with behavior instead. We start with the behavior that will lead to the desiredchange in attitudes and values.When talking about a desired organization change, leaders and managers often say something like, “We needto change people’s mental sets.” The implication is that attitude is the focus of change. As is the case withvalues, attempting to change an attitude, one’s mental set, is difficult. So we begin with behavior changes that,if enacted, will eventually lead to shifts in attitudes and beliefs and will subsequently affect values. Although itis absolutely necessary to be clear at the outset of a change effort about the desired values and about themodified culture that is the goal, we do not concentrate on the culture per se but on the behaviors that willgradually influence the culture in the desired direction. Further thought about this point of view and thetheory and research that support it is presented in Chapter 7.45
The Content and Process of Organization ChangeThe content of organization change is one thing, and the process another. The distinction is important becausethe former, the what, provides the vision and overall direction for the change, and the process, the how,concerns implementation and adoption. Content has to do with purpose, mission, strategy, values, and whatthe organization is all about—or should be about. Process has to do with how the change is planned,launched, more fully implemented, and once into implementation, sustained. The kinds of behaviors requiredfor content differ from those required for process. Determining the what requires leadership in the form oftaking a stand, declaring what the new world will look like, and composing the story of change that addressesissues of identity and purpose. Determining the how requires leadership that, for example, is participative,involves organizational members in the activities that will bring about the change, and recognizesaccomplishments. So, for example, composing the story is the content, and telling the story is the process.This distinction between content and process, although useful for our understanding, is not pure. Composingthe story of organization change is, after all, a process. In any case, the various ways of understanding thedistinctions and overlaps is the subject matter of Chapter 8.46
Organizational ModelsIn addition to theory about organization change, it is useful to have frameworks that help simplify and focus:simplify in the sense of reducing the many parts and aspects of any organization into more manageableportions, and focus as a matter of determining which portions are the most important ones for our attention. Auseful organizational model is one that simplifies and at the same time represents reality, a conceptualframework that makes sense to people who work in organizations and helps them organize their realities inways that promote understanding and action for change. Many organizational models or frameworks forunderstanding organizations exist in both the academic and applied worlds. The organizational modelscovered in Chapter 9 are highly selective. They are the ones most closely associated with organization change.For the most part, these models are steeped in open-system theory and convey an organismic perspective.They also help integrate content and process of change.47
The Organizational Model of ChoiceIn making a choice about a model to apply to an organization change effort, certain questions are important toconsider. First, in what kind of theory is the model grounded? Organization theory in general or, say, open-system theory in particular? If the latter, then an input-through-output sequence, with a feedback loop fromoutput to input and vice versa, is absolutely necessary. Second, does the model consist of the most relevant andkey factors or components? For example, is the mission included? Third, is the model merely descriptive, or isit prescriptive? That is, for performance to be optimized or for change to be effective, are there certaincomponents in the model that are more important or carry heavier weight than other factors? For example, isculture more important than strategy or structure, or vice versa? And finally, are there any unique features ofthe model?Although the questions just posed are appropriate, they are also somewhat leading. The Burke–Litwin modelof organizational performance and change, the model of choice for me, represents a positive response to thesequestions. Born from the world of practice, the model evolved and was defined from a major organizationchange effort in the 1980s at British Airways (BA). Theoretically, the model is grounded in the open-systemway of thinking. The components of the model come from original work on organizational climate by GeorgeLitwin, in the 1960s, and from experiences at BA. (On climate, see Litwin & Stringer, 1968; for BA, seeGoodstein & Burke, 1991.) Also from these experiences, the model became both descriptive and prescriptive.The model is more normative than contingent on what actions should precede what other actions in a large-scale transformation of an organization. Furthermore, the model is unique in that transformational ordiscontinuous change is addressed, as well as transactional or continuous change. A full description of themodel is provided in Chapter 10.48
Organization Change Should Be Data-Based and MeasuredWith respect to planned organization change, it is imperative that the effort be based on data as much aspossible to help ensure success. It is difficult to know what to do next if one does not know what the currentsituation is. Measures taken over time—Time 1 compared with Time 2, then with Time 3—help (1) trackprogress, (2) establish priorities for next steps, and (3) determine what to celebrate when milestones arereached.49
Planned Organization Change Requires LeadershipChange can emanate from any unit, function, or level within an organization. Regardless of its origin,leadership is required. There can be leaders anywhere in an organization. But if the organization change islarge in scale and transformational in nature, requiring significant change in mission, strategy, and culture,then leadership must come from the top of the organization, from executives, particularly the chief executive.Chapter 14 addresses the importance of transformational leadership, and Chapter 15 concentrates onexecutive leadership and specifies the change leader’s role for each of four sequenced activities: the prelaunchphase, the launch of the organization change, the implementation phase, and sustaining the effort. Theperspective adopted herein is that leadership should take the form of specified roles and behaviors rather thanthe form of a personality orientation. Is personality important? Yes, because leadership is far more personalthan management. But charisma, for example, is not required for successful organization change. Neithershould we attempt to emulate great leaders, such as Mohandas Gandhi, Margaret Thatcher, Martin LutherKing Jr., Jack Welch, Ronald Reagan, Eleanor Roosevelt, and George Patton. Although lessons can belearned from the lives of these people, in the end, it is how each of us uses his or her self in its own uniqueformation that makes the difference. An article (Brooker, 2001) about Herb Kelleher, the fabled former CEOof Southwest Airlines, had the subtitle “I Did It My Way.” How else could he have done it? And how elsecould anyone else do it except his or her own way? That is what leadership is about: doing it one’s own way,but for purposes of leading change according to key roles and sequenced activities.50
Planned Organization Change Is ComplexCharles de Gaulle, the former president of France, once said, “I have come to the conclusion that politics aretoo serious to be left to the politicians.” A similar statement could be made about the complexity oforganization change. In other words, organization change is too complex to rely solely on the traditionalliterature in areas such as organization theory, organizational behavior, organization development, andstrategic management. As stated in Chapter 1, sources for this book have not been exclusively the “usualsuspects.” The life sciences and theories related to chaos and nonlinear systems are more useful for ourunderstanding and application. In Chapter 16, I will, for example, address Gladwell’s principles andperspectives from his book The Tipping Point and apply them to organization change.51
SummaryWith these personal declarations and points of view, I have attempted to accomplish two objectives. First, Iwanted to declare myself—to state my points of view about organization change with biases clearly presented.With these declarations, I have also shown what I consider to be the most important topics for understandingorganization change in more depth. A second objective was to summarize in a few pages what the bookaddresses in the following 15 chapters. Now, as you will see in my closing request, I hope that I did not tip myhand too much.52
A Closing RequestWhen you go to a movie theater, the film you went to see never begins at its designated time. What precedesit is a flood of previews and coming attractions attempting to entice you to return to the theater and see thosemovies as well. Some critics and pundits have been known to complain that previews show the best parts of aforthcoming film, so that actually seeing the entire movie is not worth one’s time. Whether this complaint isvalid or not, the danger of having provided a preview of this book is that you, the reader, will now skip thedetails. But please read on. The richness of organization change is in the details.53
Three A Brief History of Organization ChangeOrganization change is as old as organizations themselves. The pharaohs of ancient Egypt probably struggledwith a need to change the organizations that built their pyramids. And imagine the degree of organizationneeded, with continual modifications, to successfully construct the Great Wall of China. What we callreengineering today was probably practiced in some form back then.The first organization change recorded in the Old Testament (Exod. 18:13–27) dealt with what we call todaya loosely coupled system (see Chapter 12). In fact, it was too loosely coupled, and that was the problem. Moseswas the client. Having escaped from the tyranny of the Egyptian pharaoh with thousands of Israelites as hisfollowers, Moses had to deal with a daunting number of social system issues. Thousands of his followers haddirect access to him. Moses was leader, counselor, judge, and minister to all. His father-in-law, Jethro, nodoubt because he was concerned for his son-in-law’s mental health, suggested what amounted to areorganization. He proposed that Moses select a few good men to be rulers of thousands. They would havedirect access to him and would bring to him only the problems they could not solve. Each of these rulers, inturn, would have lieutenants who would be rulers of hundreds and would have direct access to the rulers ofthousands and would bring to them only the problems they could not handle, and so on, down to the lowest,the rulers of 10 persons. This was the birth of one of the first pyramidal organizations. It is possible, of course,that this idea of organization did not originate with Jethro; before Moses’s deliverance, the Hebrews had beenenslaved by the Egyptians, who had a highly organized society. In any case, changing organizations is notexactly new. What is comparatively new, however, is the study of organization change: what systematicallyseems to facilitate and enhance effective change (effective meaning the accomplishment of planned changegoals) and what leads to failed attempts at organization change. Note the emphasis on planned change.Organization change can be unplanned, of course, and more often is. This distinction will be covered in moredetail later.Jethro, along with his client, Moses, was an early organization change agent. Since that earlier time, therehave been many others we could cite, such as Machiavelli and his client, the prince. In keeping with thepromise in the chapter title of being brief, however, a leap to the 20th century will now be made. Besides, ourprimary perspective and purpose is to consider the study of organization change, and it is only recently thatorganization change has become an interest of scholars. What follows, then, is a tracing of the importantforerunners of the modern study of organization change:Scientific managementThe Hawthorne studiesIndustrial psychologySurvey feedback54
Sensitivity trainingSociotechnical systemsOrganization development (OD)The managerial grid and ODCoercion and confrontationManagement consultingAn appropriate starting point is the first decade of the 20th century and the work of Frederick WinslowTaylor, the father of scientific management.55
Scientific ManagementTo understand and appreciate Frederick Taylor’s approach to organization change, we need to consider thehistorical time and content of his work. The time was the late 1800s and early 1900s—his famous book, ThePrinciples of Scientific Management, was first published in 1912 (Taylor, 1915). Regarding the broader context,we need to recall that (1) the Industrial Revolution was in full swing, (2) the predominant type of organizationexperiencing considerable growth was manufacturing, and (3) the primary disciplines providing a strongfoundation for (1) and (2) were economics and engineering. It is not surprising, then, that Taylor’s conceptionof an organization was that of a machine. An organization, particularly a manufacturing one, should thereforebe studied in scientific terms: What is cause, and what is effect? And in terms of operating principles, themachine may be thought of as being based on the idea of a physical entity with movable and replaceable parts.Taylor’s (1980) “scientific management,” as he labeled it, was based on four principles:Data gathering: Amassing “traditional” knowledge about the way work has been done in the past, throughdiscussions with workers and observations of their work; recording the knowledge; tabulating it; and reducingit to rules, laws, and if possible, mathematical formulas. In addition to talks with the workers themselves,Taylor used time-and-motion-study methods. These consequent rules, laws, and formulas were then appliedto the workplace by management, and if applied properly, greater efficiencies were typically realized.Worker selection and development: Paying considerable attention to selecting and placing the worker in a jobthat was as good a match as possible of human skills and ability with the requirements of the job, in otherwords, the nature of the work itself. Furthermore, Taylor was a strong advocate of training and helping theworker do the best job he or she (mostly he during those times) was capable of performing.Integration of the science and the trained worker: Bringing together scientific management and the trainedworker to “make” the worker and science come together. What Taylor meant was that one could have thebest-trained workers humanly possible, but if they did not use and apply the new methods of work, the entireeffort would fail. To “make” this integration, to use Taylor’s word, he argued that workers needed to betreated well, taking into consideration their wishes and allowing them “to express their wants freely” (Taylor,1980, p. 21). Moreover, he was a proponent of incentive pay. He added, however, that if a worker refused toperform the new modes of work, then moving that person out (transferring the worker to another job in thecompany or severing the worker from the company) was the proper step to take. Scientific management didnot mean mollycoddling the workers, Taylor pointed out. He also stated that “nine-tenths of our troublecomes with men on the management side in making them do their new duties” (p. 21). Obviously, Taylorbelieved that changing managers was far more difficult than changing workers. For scientific management tosucceed, management must assume new modes of work, which is essentially Taylor’s fourth principle.Redivision of the work of the business: Dividing the work of the company into two large parts. The job of theworker was to perform the work itself (shoveling coal, operating a machine, hauling pig iron, and so on), andthe job of management was to plan and monitor the work, not to actually do the work. Managers were to act56
like scientists, constantly collecting and analyzing data and then planning the next segment of the company’swork accordingly. Managers were also responsible for providing the requisite resources for the workers to dotheir jobs. Taylor stressed the importance of cooperation between workers and managers for this division oflabor to succeed.Taylor demonstrated on a number of occasions that his approach worked; it reduced costs and improvedprofits. Yet not all was bliss. Frequently, Taylor’s scientific management process did not succeed. Executiveswho used Taylor’s methods were too often desirous of quick gains and either only partially or entirelyinappropriately applied the methods. Workers resisted methods that appeared to them to be “speedups,” usedfor no other apparent reason than to make more money faster, at their expense.It is not surprising that Taylor became controversial. Some supported him strongly; others vilified him. Therewere, during Taylor’s lifetime and still to some extent today, two Frederick Taylors (Weisbord, 1987):Few men ever were such powerful magnets for both admiration and revulsion. [There were] twoTaylors. One a mechanistic engineer, dedicated to counting, rigid control, and the rationalization ofwork, an unfeeling authoritarian who turned his own neurosis into repressive methods anathema toworking people. . . . The other was a humanitarian social reformer, who believed workers couldproduce more with less stress, achieve greater equity in their output, and cooperate withmanagement for the good of society. This [latter] Taylor has hardly been recognized publicly since1925. (pp. 25–26)Taylor was probably the first industrial engineering consultant, and as an organization change agent, hebelieved deeply that taking a rational, “scientific” approach would provide the best opportunity for change. Herecognized that workers were “feeling animals,” to use his words, and that they should be treated humanely.Data collected systematically, analyzed carefully, and applied rigorously, if not rigidly, would in the endproduce the primary set of methods that would achieve the greatest efficiencies and have the most powerfuland lasting effect on the organization.Taylor’s impact on organizational work, especially those enterprises that rely predominantly on technologyand engineering, should not be underestimated. Some would argue that he is not only the father of scientificmanagement but also the father of the whole field of industrial engineering. Initiatives that today we callreengineering and business process engineering, for example, have evolved from Taylor. Other related activities oftoday include ISO 9000, six sigma, and total quality management. These days, it may not be politically correctto claim to be a devotee of Frederick Taylor, but to be involved in any of the techniques and methods justmentioned is to live in his long shadow.57
The Hawthorne StudiesWhereas Taylor’s work was steeped in the disciplines of economics and engineering, the Hawthorne studies,as they turned out, were significant contributors to psychology and sociology. “As they turned out” is theoperative phrase here, because the studies at the outset were not unlike Taylor’s, for example, investigating theeffects of lighting changes on worker productivity. In the early stages of their investigation, the research teamwas dumbfounded by the results. The assumed cause–effect linkage between illumination and productivity didnot exist. Something else was clearly going on.Beginning in 1924 and continuing into 1933, the Western Electric Company sponsored a series ofexperiments for studying worker productivity and morale at its Hawthorne Works, in Chicago. Theresearchers, from the Harvard Business School, were led by Fritz Roethlisberger, T. N. Whitehead, EltonMayo, and George Homans, and by W. J. Dickson of Western Electric. Full discussion of these studies ispresented in Roethlisberger and Dickson (1939).The studies can be categorized according to types of experiments, types of workers studied, and time period.The four categories of experiments, listed chronologically, were as follows:The illumination experimentsThe relay assembly group experimentsThe interviewing programThe bank-wiring group studiesThe intent of the investigators was to determine the effect of working conditions on productivity and morale.In the illumination experiments, lighting was changed in a variety of ways for a test group consisting ofwomen. A control group was also studied. As lighting was increased, productivity increased, but to thesurprise of the investigators, productivity continued to increase even when lighting was subsequently decreasedto significantly less than it had been originally. Other variations were tried. In some cases, even when theresearchers pretended to change the illumination, the women responded positively and productivity increased.Throughout these experiments, regardless of whether the workers were in the test group or the control group,production either increased or did not change significantly. The researchers concluded that if light was afactor with respect to employee output, it was only one among many. They further hypothesized that workerattitude was a significant factor.The next series of studies, the relay assembly group experiments, were conducted with a group of six womenwho assembled part of the standard telephone. The variables studied were shorter working periods, incentivepay, personal health, and supervision. The conditions of the study were that (1) the women worked in aspecial, separate area, (2) they were continuously observed by a researcher, (3) they were consulted by the58
researcher-observer prior to any change, and (4) although the observer served as a supervisor of sorts, it wasclear to the women workers that he was not a formal part of management. Over a period of 2½ years, in spiteof many changes, productivity steadily increased to a level 30% higher than it had been before theexperiments, and morale among the six women improved steadily. Their absentee record was superior to thatof the other regular workers, and there was no turnover. Also, regardless of the direction of the change theresearchers made, output continued to increase over time. The conclusion was that there is no cause-and-effect relationship between working conditions and productivity. The women themselves told the researchersthat the primary factors contributing to the increase in productivity were as follows:More freedom on the jobNo bossSetting their own work paceSmaller group (Their pay was based on their performance as a small group, as opposed to the usuallylarger one of 30 or more; thus, they had more control over the relationship between theirperformance and pay.)The way they were treatedThis series of experiments had clearly shown the researchers the importance of worker attitude and providedinformation about factors other than physical working conditions that contribute to positive worker attitude.Managers at Western Electric were impressed with these studies, particularly with what they perceived to be aconsiderable amount of latent energy and willing cooperation that could be tapped under the right conditions.In an attempt to investigate attitude more thoroughly, a third set of studies was launched in 1928. Thisprogram began as a vast data-collection process using individual interviews. Some 21,000 interviews wereconducted by 1930. The interviews tended to become counseling sessions, and the researchers learned a greatdeal about employee attitudes, particularly those relating to supervision, worker relationships, and theimportance of perceived status. A major outcome of these interview studies was learning how to teachsupervisors about handling employee complaints: teaching them that an employee’s complaint frequently is asymptom of some underlying problem, one that exists either on the job, at home, or in the person’s past.The researchers’ desire, however, was to investigate social relations on the job more extensively. Thus, thefinal set of studies was conducted with a bank-wiring group of 14 men. This group’s job was to wire andsolder banks of equipment for central connecting services. Again, the group was separated for study, and datawere collected by observers. The findings of this study concerned the importance of group norms andstandards and the informal organization. For example, a group norm for rate of productivity significantlyinfluenced the level of individual performance, and informal authority from influential group members oftenoverrode formal authority from the supervisor.59
The Hawthorne studies are significant as a precursor to our understanding of organization change for thefollowing reasons:They demonstrated the important influence of psychological or human factors on worker productivityand morale.They signaled the criticality of certain variables for worker satisfaction: autonomy on the job (workersbeing able to set their own work pace), the relative lack of a need for close supervision of people whoknow their jobs, receiving feedback on the direct relationship between performance and reward, andhaving choices and some influence over change.They ushered in more humanistic treatment of workers on the job.They provided evidence for later theory, such as Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene notion. The hygieneportion of Herzberg’s theory is that there is no direct cause–effect relationship between workingconditions and productivity (Herzberg, Mausner, & Snyderman, 1959).They provided the stimulus and data for much of what we now know about group dynamics, especiallyin a work context. The bank-wiring group was analyzed thoroughly by Homans, and this study, plusothers in the series, resulted in his theory about work groups, his leading-edge thinking about groupnorms, and his now classic book The Human Group (Homans, 1950).A quotation from Roethlisberger (1980) is a fitting conclusion for this discussion:What all their experiments had dramatically and conclusively demonstrated was the importance ofemployee attitudes and sentiments. It was clear that the responses of workers to what washappening about them were dependent on the significance these events had for them. In most worksituations the meaning of a change is likely to be as important, if not more so, than the change itself.This was the great éclaircissement, the new illumination, that came from the research. It was anillumination quite different from what they had expected from the illumination. (p. 33)60
Industrial PsychologyIndustrial psychology is now called industrial and organizational psychology, and the expanded label reflectschanges in the field. In earlier days prior to, during, and immediately after World War II, industrialpsychology was largely limited to business, industrial, and military organizations. Its primary thrust wastesting, along with studies of morale and efficiency. Questionnaires for selection and screening were created bythe hundreds and then tested for reliability and validity. As a result of the war effort, psychological testingcame into its own. Industrial psychologists were also involved in training and development, especiallysupervisory and management training, during and after the war.A research project conducted at the International Harvester Company by Edwin A. Fleishman (1953) duringthe late 1940s and early 1950s was typical of this era of industrial psychology. It combined supervisory trainingand the development of a psychological test. This series of studies, conducted over a period of more than threeyears, was highly significant for another reason; however, it provided useful background for our currentunderstanding of organization change.Fleishman (1953) was interested in the study of leadership and in the consequences of supervisory training:whether supervisors’ attitudes and behavior would change as a result of a 2-week training program onleadership principles and techniques. Using several questionnaires, Fleishman took measures before thetraining and immediately after the program. Measures were also taken from a control group of supervisors andfrom the bosses and subordinates of both groups, the trained and untrained supervisors. In addition tomeasures taken right after the training, the same tests were administered at various intervals, ranging from 2to 39 months later.These tests reflected two primary functions of leadership: (1) initiation of structure, the provision of taskdirection and conditions for effective performance, and (2) consideration, the leader’s sensitivity to andconsideration of subordinates’ needs and feelings. Prior testing had shown that first-line supervisors atInternational Harvester were strong in initiation of structure but were rarely considerate of their subordinatesas people. The training program focused on increasing the consideration function.Measures taken immediately after the training showed that the supervisors who had received the trainingscored significantly higher on consideration in comparison with both their own previous scores and the scoresof the control group. Further measures taken over time with the trained group, however, revealed a startlingoutcome. Not only did these supervisors gradually revert to their original behavior (not being veryconsiderate), but in a number of cases, they ended up being less considerate than the control group.On further investigation, Fleishman (1953) found that the bosses of the trained supervisors also scored highon initiation of structure and low on consideration. The few supervisors who had considerate bosses continuedto score high on consideration over time. There was a direct relationship between the attitudes and thebehavior of the supervisors and those of their bosses. Moreover, this relationship was stronger than the effectsof training.61
Schein (1972) explains the outcome of Fleishman’s research directly and succinctly:The effects of training were immediately related to the culture, or climate, of the department fromwhich the men came. These climates had as much of an effect on the trainee as did the training.Consequently, the training was effective, in terms of its own goals, only in those departments inwhich the climate from the outset supported the training goals. (p. 44)As early as 1953, therefore, the knowledge was available that organization change was not likely to occur as aresult of an individual change strategy unless the objective of the training was in the same direction as thedesired overall organization change.One final point for this section: There have been many other contributions to our understanding oforganization change from industrial psychologists during World War II and the decades that followed. TheFleishman study was singled out because it illustrated a critical point about organization change: thedifference between focusing on the individual and focusing on contextual variables (such as group norms andorganizational culture) and systemic factors (such as structure). These broader issues of organization changewill be addressed in the next and later chapters.62
Survey FeedbackAs the previous section noted, psychologists rely rather extensively on questionnaires for data collection andfor diagnosis and assessment. Leadership questionnaires typically have been associated with a group ofpsychologists at Ohio State University in the 1950s. Questionnaires for organizational diagnosis, however, aremore likely to be associated with the psychologists of the 1950s and 1960s at the Institute for Social Researchof the University of Michigan. Rensis Likert, the first director of the institute, started by founding the SurveyResearch Center in 1946. Kurt Lewin founded the Research Center for Group Dynamics at theMassachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). With his untimely death in 1947, the center moved to theUniversity of Michigan later that year. These two centers initially constituted Likert’s institute. The two mainthrusts of these centers, questionnaire surveys for organization diagnosis and for group dynamics, combined togive birth to the organizational survey feedback method. As early as 1947, questionnaires were being used tosystematically assess employee morale and attitudes in organizations.One of the first of these studies, initiated and guided by Likert and conducted by Floyd Mann, was done withthe Detroit Edison Company. From working on the problem of how best to use the survey data fororganization improvement, the method we now know as survey feedback evolved. Mann (1957) wasimportant for the development of this method. He noted that when a manager was given the survey results,any resulting improvement depended on what the manager did with the information. If the manager discussedthe survey results with subordinates, particularly through group discussion, positive change typically occurred.If the manager did not share the survey results with subordinates, however, and failed to plan certain changesfor improvement jointly with them, nothing happened—except, perhaps, an increase in employee frustrationover the ambiguity of having answered a questionnaire and never hearing anything further.First, the survey feedback method involves the survey, data collection by questionnaire to determineemployees’ perceptions of a variety of factors, focusing mainly on the management of the organization. Secondis the feedback, in which results of the survey are reported back systematically in summary form to all peoplewho answered the questionnaire. Systematically, in this case, means that the feedback occurs in phases, startingwith the top team of the organization and flowing downward according to the formal hierarchy and withinfunctional units or teams. Mann (1957) referred to this flowing-downward process as the “interlocking chainof conferences.” The chief executive officer, the division general manager, or the bureau chief—the highestofficer in the organization or subunit surveyed—and his or her immediate group of subordinates receive anddiscuss feedback from the survey first. Next, the subordinates and their respective groups of immediatesubordinates do the same, and so forth, downward, until all members of the organization who have beensurveyed (1) hear a summary of the survey and (2) participate in a discussion of the meaning of the data andthe implications. Each functional unit of the organization receives general feedback on the overallorganization and specific feedback on its particular group. After a discussion of the meaning of the surveyresults for their particular group, the boss and his or her subordinates then jointly plan action steps forimprovement. Usually, a consultant meets with each of the groups to help with data analysis, groupdiscussion, and plans for improvement.63
Later, Rensis Likert (1967) took the survey feedback approach a step further by developing his “Profile ofOrganizational Characteristics,” a questionnaire and model consisting of six sections: leadership, motivation,communication, decisions, goals, and control. These six were surveyed within an overall framework of fourorganizational categories or systems. Likert labeled System 1 autocratic, System 2 benevolent autocracy, System3 consultative (employees are consulted about matters, but management, in the end, makes the decisions), andSystem 4 participative and consensus management. Likert argued that System 4 was the most desirable and thatmost employees felt the same way. Likert thus was able to profile an organization according to the four systemtypes along the six organizational dimensions mentioned above.Thus, survey feedback, this rather orderly and systematic way of understanding an organization from thestandpoint of employee perceptions and processing this understanding back into the organization so changecan occur, is a primary method of leveraging organization change. Unless applied appropriately, surveyfeedback will work no better than any other change mechanism. Used properly, however, survey feedback canbe powerful for the following reasons:It is based on data.It involves organization members directly.It provides information about what to change and according to which priority.It focuses change on the larger system, not on individuals per se.In later chapters, the survey feedback method will be explored in more depth with reference to certain morecurrent sources, such as Kraut (1996).64
Sensitivity TrainingFrom a historical viewpoint, it would be interesting to know how many events, inventions, or innovations thatoccurred in 1946 had lasting impact through the subsequent decades. Apparently, once the war was over,people were somehow free to pursue a variety of creative endeavors. One such innovative event occurred in thesummer of 1946, in New Britain, Connecticut. Kurt Lewin, at the time a member of the faculty of MIT anddirector of the Research Center for Group Dynamics, was asked by the director of the Connecticut StateInterracial Commission to conduct a training workshop that would help improve community leadership ingeneral and interracial relationships in particular. Lewin brought together a group of colleagues and studentsto serve as trainers (Leland Bradford, Ronald Lippitt, and Kenneth Benne) and researchers (Morton Deutsch,Murray Horwitz, Arnold Meier, and Melvin Seeman) for the workshop. The training consisted of lectures,role play, and general group discussion. In the evenings, most researchers and trainers met to evaluate thetraining to that point by discussing participant behavior as they had observed it during the day. A few of theparticipants who were far enough from their homes to stay in the dormitory rooms at the college in NewBritain asked whether they could observe the evening staff discussions. The trainers and researchers werereluctant, but Lewin saw no reason to keep them away and thought that, as participants, they might learneven more.The results were impactful and far-reaching. In the course of the staff’s discussion of the behavior of oneparticipant, who happened to be present and observing, the participant intervened and said that she disagreedwith their interpretation of her behavior. She then described the event from her point of view. Lewinimmediately recognized that this intrusion provided a richness to the data collection and analysis that wasotherwise unavailable. The next evening, many more participants stayed to observe the staff discussions.Observation alone did not last, of course, and three-way discussions occurred among the researchers, trainers,and participants. Gradually, the staff and participants discovered that the feedback the participants werereceiving about their daytime behavior was teaching them as much as or more than the daytime activitieswere. The participants were becoming more sensitive to how they were being perceived by others and theimpact their behavior was having on others. This serendipitous and innovative mode of learning, which hadits beginning that summer in Connecticut, has become what Carl Rogers (1968) labeled “perhaps the mostsignificant social invention of the century” (p. 265).Sensitivity training, T-groups, and laboratory training are all labels for the same process, consisting of small-group discussions in which the primary, almost exclusive source of information for learning is the behavior ofthe group members themselves. Participants receive feedback from one another on their behavior in the group,and this feedback becomes the learning source for personal insight and development. Participants also have anopportunity to learn more about group behavior and intergroup relationships.T-groups (T is for training) are educational vehicles for change—in this case, individual change. When thisform of education began to be applied in industrial settings for organization change during the late 1950s, theT-group became one of the earliest interventions in what became known as organization development. See, forexample, the classic article “T-Groups for Organizational Effectiveness,” by Chris Argyris (1964).65
Sociotechnical SystemsAs mentioned previously, the period immediately after World War II was a productive time for innovationand creativity. While in the United States the serendipitous birth of the T-group was occurring, across theAtlantic, in the United Kingdom, a parallel and highly significant set of social developments was under way.The United Kingdom work emanated from the Tavistock Institute, based in London. There were two actionresearch projects at the institute in the late 1940s. One studied group relations (like the T-group but differentin the role of the group trainer, called a consultant). The other studied the diffusion of innovative workpractices and organizational arrangements. The former emphasized individual learning about oneself andgroup and intergroup dynamics, and the latter emphasized organizational matters, especially organizationchange. Eric Trist was the leader of this latter project. He and his associates began their work at the time inthe British coal industry.The newly nationalized coal industry, then the major source of power in the United Kingdom, was not doingwell. There were problems with productivity, turnover, the union, and adaptation to new technology. Oneexception occurred in the South Yorkshire coalfield. Trist and his colleague Ken Bamforth, a former minerhimself, went to take a look. They found that the work organization consisted of the following:Relatively autonomous groups interchanging roles and shifts and regulating their affairs with aminimum of supervision. Cooperation between task groups was everywhere in evidence, personalcommitment obvious, absenteeism low, accidents infrequent, productivity high. . . . The men told usthat in order to adapt with best advantage to the technical conditions in the new seam, they hadevolved a form of work organization based on practices common in the unmechanized days whensmall groups, who took responsibility for the entire cycle, had worked autonomously. Thesepractices had disappeared as the pits became progressively more mechanized in relation to theintroduction of “longwall” working. This method had enlarged the scale of operations and led toaggregates of men of considerable size having their jobs broken down into one-man/one-task roles,while coordination and control were externalized in supervision, which became coercive. Now theyhad found a way, at a higher level of mechanization, of recovering the group cohesion and self-regulation they had lost and of advancing their power to participate in decisions concerning theirwork arrangements. . . . It was not true that the only way of designing work organizations mustconform to Tayloristic and bureaucratic principles. (Trist, 1993, pp. 37–38)What Trist (1993) had discovered was a new paradigm of work, and what is interesting, the coal miners haddesigned it themselves. Trist went on to conceptualize and further develop the new paradigm, and it becameknown as sociotechnical systems, a new field of inquiry and approach to organization change. Some of theprimary principles of sociotechnical systems are as follows (Trist, 1993):Work organizations consist of two interdependent systems: the technical system (equipment, machinery,chemical processes, etc.) and the social system (individual workers and groups of workers).67
The work system is the basic unit, comprising a set of activities that make up a functioning whole, ratherthan single jobs and tasks.The work group, rather than the individual jobholder, is central.Regulation of the system is performed by the group itself, instead of by supervisors (completely counterto Taylor’s scientific management notions).An individual worker is complementary to the machine, rather than an extension of it.There is more to the sociotechnical systems field than these principles; however, those presented are designedto provide a flavor of sociotechnical systems thinking.Considering organization change through a sociotechnical lens means that one would gather data about boththe social and technical systems but would then consider and act with the perspective that the two areinterdependent: A change in one system will directly affect the other, and this effect must be treated as anotherleverage in the change process. For example, changing a piece of software in an organization’s informationsystem (the technical) will directly affect how employees who use the software interact with one another in thefuture.A final point: Sociotechnical studies need to be conducted at three broad levels, from micro to macro,according to Trist (1993). All three levels are interrelated. The first is primary work systems, identifiable andbounded subsystems of a whole organization, such as a department or a business unit. The second is wholeorganization systems, the entire company or institution; they persist, as Trist points out, by maintaining areasonably steady state within their environment. And the third is macrosocial systems, organizations withincommunities and industrial sectors, as well as institutions operating at a societal level, such as nationalgovernment.The sociotechnical approach insists that systems are interdependent. Moreover, this approach “has alsodeveloped in terms of open system theory [the subject of the next chapter] since it is concerned with theenvironment in which an organization must actively maintain a steady state” (Trist, 1993, p. 41). For more onsociotechnical thinking, especially on the design of effective organizations, see Pasmore (1988).68
Organization DevelopmentBoth sensitivity training and sociotechnical systems set the stage for the emergence of organizationdevelopment (OD). As the T-group method of learning and change began to proliferate in the 1950s, itgradually gravitated to organizational life. Sensitivity training began to be used as an intervention fororganization change; in this application, the training was conducted inside a single organization, and membersof the small T-groups were either organizational “cousins,” from the same overall organization but not withinthe same vertical chain of the organization’s hierarchy, or members of the same organizational team, so-calledfamily groups.As French and Bell (1995) have reported, one of the first events to improve organization effectiveness bysensitivity training took place with managers at some of the major refineries of Exxon (then known as Esso) inLouisiana and southeast Texas. Herbert Shepard, of the corporate employee relations department, and HarryKolb, of the refineries division, used interviews followed by 3-day training laboratories for all managers in anattempt to move management in a more participative direction. Outside trainers were used, many of them themajor names of the National Training Laboratories at the time, such as Leland Bradford and Robert R.Blake. Paul Buchanan conducted similar activities while he was with the Naval Ordnance Test Station atChina Lake, California. He later joined Shepard at Esso.At about the same time, Douglas McGregor, of the Sloan School of Management at MIT, was conductingsimilar training sessions at Union Carbide. These events at Esso and Union Carbide represented the earlycharacteristics of OD, which usually took the form of what we now call team building (Burck, 1965;McGregor, 1967).Also during that period, the late 1950s, McGregor and Richard Beckhard were consulting with GeneralMills. They were working on what we now call a sociotechnical systems change effort. They helped change someof the work structures at the various plants so that more teamwork and increased decision making took placeon the shop floor; more “bottoms-up” management began to occur. They did not want to call what they weredoing “bottoms-up,” nor were they satisfied with “sociotechnical systems” or “organization improvement,” sothey eventually labeled their effort “organization development” (Beckhard, 1997). This label also became,apparently independently, the name for the work Shepard, Kolb, Blake, and others were doing at the Humblerefineries of Esso.The first sustained long-term OD efforts were conducted with TRW Systems, the aerospace division ofTRW, Inc. (Davis, 1967), and with the Harwood-Weldon Manufacturing Corporation (Marrow, Bowers, &Seashore, 1967). During the early 1960s, Herbert Shepard, who had left Esso for the academic world at CaseWestern Reserve, consulted with TRW Systems and worked particularly with internal employee relationsmanagers James Dunlap and Sheldon Davis. Team building was the primary intervention used in those earlydays. Later, as OD practitioners became more sophisticated and diversified, TRW Systems began to use avariety of methods. In fact, the external and internal consultants at TRW during the 1960s helped inventmuch of the OD technology we use today—such as the organization mirror, “reflecting” back to members of a69
work unit how they see themselves in comparison with how others see them—and other quick techniques forteam diagnosis (Fordyce & Weil, 1979).The primary method at Harwood-Weldon started with an action research approach (Coch & French, 1948),conducting a study for the purpose of application and corrective action to some problem, rather than asresearch that serves the primary purpose of contributing to a body of literature and scholarship; it thengradually incorporated the method of survey feedback developed at the University of Michigan.OD, then, is an approach to organization change based on applied behavioral science and is reliant on theaction research approach. It is steeped in the theoretical tradition of applied social psychology, especially thework of Kurt Lewin. In other words, the methodological model for OD is action research: Data on the natureof certain problems are systematically collected (the research aspect), and then action is taken as a function ofwhat the analyzed data indicate. The specific techniques used within this overall methodological model (fewof which are unique to OD) are (1) diagnosis, interviews with both individuals and groups and perhaps theuse of a questionnaire and observation, followed by analysis and organization of the data collected; (2)feedback, reporting back to those from whom the data were obtained on the collective sense of theorganizational problems; (3) discussion of what these data mean and planning the steps that should be takenas a consequence; and (4) taking those steps. In OD language, taking a step is making an intervention into theroutine way in which the organization operates. And finally, the field of OD is imbued with a stronghumanistic value system, making certain that organization members are involved in the change decisions thatwill directly affect them and that interventions are frequently focused on change in the organization’s culture.For coverage of this field, one may refer to the Addison-Wesley series on OD; the volume in that series thatprovides an overview is Burke (1994).70
The Managerial Grid and Organization DevelopmentWhat might be characterized as a special case of OD, a comparatively highly structured approach to change,both individual and organizational, is Blake and Mouton’s managerial grid. First, a brief overview of theirmodel relating to the individual manager will be presented, followed by coverage of their approach to changeat the organizational level.Building on the earlier work of Fleishman and his colleagues at Ohio State University in the 1950s (see earlierIndustrial Psychology section), Blake and Mouton (1964) took the two dimensions of leadership—initiationof structure and consideration—relabeled them production and people, respectively, and specified that thetypical leader or manager had different concerns about each, some being more concerned with getting the jobdone than about the people involved, and vice versa for others. They arranged these two concerns on a graph,using 9-point scales to represent the degree of concern (Burke, 1997).The juxtaposition on a graph resulted in what they called the “managerial grid,” a two-dimensional model thatdescribes managerial style (Blake & Mouton, 1964). How these two concerns combine for a given managerdetermines his or her style of management. The greater the concern for production, the more autocratic themanager’s style tends to be; the greater the concern with people, the more permissive the management style.Blake and Mouton argue that a manager who has a simultaneously high concern for both production andpeople (what they label a “9,9 style”) is likely to be the most effective (p. 5).A few years later, Blake and Mouton (1968) applied the grid model to organization change, calling theirapproach “grid organization development.” Based on a large, cross-sectional study, Blake and Mouton beganwith an organizational diagnosis that they claimed generalizes to most organizations. Their study showed thatmanagers consider the most common barriers to organizational effectiveness to be (1) communicationproblems and (2) a lack of planning. Blake and Mouton contended that these two barriers were at the top ofmanagers’ lists, regardless of country, company, or characteristics of the managers reporting. They went on toargue that communication and planning as barriers to effectiveness were symptoms and not causes of less-than-optimal performance. Poor planning or the lack of planning stem from senior management’s not having astrategy or having a faulty one. Communication problems come from poor supervision and management.To address these two causes, Blake and Mouton (1968) developed a six-phase approach that addressed theorganization’s strategic plan and, of course, the style and approach to supervision and management.The first phase in the grid OD approach was to train all managers in how to become a 9,9, or participative,manager. This usually required 5 days. Phase 2 was teamwork development—in a sense, applying what hadoccurred in Phase 1 with “cousin” groups to “family” units. In addition, group norms and workingcharacteristics of the team were identified. Phase 3 was intergroup development, which characterizedcooperative behavior, as opposed to competition between groups in the organization. Today, this process isoften referred to as cross-functional group work. Phase 4 consisted of developing an ideal strategic corporatemodel. Phase 5 was the implementation of Phase 4, and Phase 6 was a systematic critique of the previous five71
phases, with a particular focus on specific barriers to change that still existed and needed to be overcome. Insummary, Phases 1, 2, and 3 were designed to deal with communication problems, and the remaining phaseswere to address the planning barriers. In addition:Blake and Mouton never state it, but they apparently assume that, unless an organization learns howto communicate more effectively (practice 9,9 management) and plan more logically andsystematically (build an ideal strategic model and begin to implement it), its management will neverbe able to deal optimally with the specifics of running a business. Phase 6 in the grid OD sequencegets to the specifics. (Burke, 1994, p. 121)Ten years later, Blake and Mouton (1978) claimed success for their approach, but outside their own reportingthere is scant documentation. This is not to argue that grid OD fails. Following Blake and Mouton’sapproach can lead to successful organization change. It is more a matter of senior management’s tolerance fora lock-step approach that is based on one best way to manage, participative, which goes against the grain ofmany organizational managers. On this final point, it should be noted that there is considerable evidence,despite the beliefs of many senior managers, that participative management is more likely than most otherapproaches to lead to higher unit and organization performance. See, for example, Chapter 5 in Druckman,Singer, and Van Cott (1997).72
Coercion and ConfrontationAlthough coercion in the form of both nonviolent and violent strategies and techniques may not at firstappear to be related to organization change, these kinds of social interventions have indeed been used.Disputes between labor and management have on occasion contained violent actions as well as nonviolentprotests, such as company or plant entries being blocked by union members to prevent nonstriking employeesfrom going to work. During the late 1960s, especially at the height of protests against the Vietnam War,attempts were made by students to change their universities. Their tactics were for the most part nonviolentyet highly intrusive, such as occupying the university president’s office for several weeks.Examining these coercive and confrontational strategies and techniques will not occupy a large space in thisbook (see Hornstein, Bunker, Burke, Gindes, & Lewicki, 1971, for more comprehensive coverage), butcertain relevant points pertinent to our study of organization change should not be ignored. Two examplesmay help make the point.Groups, such as unions, minorities, and the disabled, who feel disenfranchised by the organization thatemploys them and confront or attempt to coerce management for changes may be understood to some degreeby considering in-group and out-group theory and research. The pioneering experiments of Muzafer Sherif(Sherif, 1966; Sherif, Harvey, White, Hood, & Sherif, 1961; Sherif & Sherif, 1953, 1969) and the work ofother scholars, such as Coser (1967) and Deutsch (1969), have helped not only to clarify and provide usefulconceptualization in such situations but also to generate further ideas for dealing with such conflict. Forexample, the idea of a superordinate goal or common enemy is proposed to focus attention more oncooperation and less on competition and confrontation. Practical applications of such ideas for organizationchange may be found in publications such as Blake, Shepard, and Mouton (1964); Burke (1974); and Burkeand Biggart (1997).In the arena of community organizing and change, arguably the preeminent reflective practitioner was SaulAlinsky. His book Reveille for Radicals (Alinsky, 1946) became a handbook for how to organize and challengeaccepted authority. Many of his targets were organizations that he attempted to change through coercion andconfrontation. The relevance of his work to the dominant view of organization change presented in this bookis, as Peabody (1971) has pointed out, that Alinsky’s model for building a community organization containsmost of the same phases described by Lippitt, Watson, and Westley (1958) in their book on planned change.In other words, even though the underlying value systems and tactics differ, the overall framework for how toconceptualize the main phases of change is essentially the same. The phases of Alinsky’s model were entry,data collection, goal setting, and organizing, which correspond closely to Lippitt and his colleagues’ phases ofplanned change. To quote Peabody (1971), “The parallels are no coincidence; the study of power requires thekeenest observation of social dynamics. Whether or not he read any of these behavioral scientists, Alinskymade similar observations years ago, and applied them to his own imaginative manner” (p. 524).It can therefore be useful to understand more about change strategies and techniques that do not normallyconstitute chapters in books for students in psychology, sociology, organizational behavior, and management.73
Such learning can help either undermine coercive techniques or support, say, a disenfranchised group that onevalues.74
Management ConsultingJethro, of the Old Testament, may have been one of the earliest management consultants, if not the originalone. One of the first management consultants of modern times was Frederick Taylor. From the standpoint ofestablishing a professional service firm devoted to management consulting, the first, at least in the UnitedStates, was James O. McKinsey. (According to Drucker [1974], the first in the United Kingdom was LyndallF. Urwick, born in 1891.) Born in 1889, McKinsey was younger than Taylor but knew of his work and wasinfluenced by it, especially Taylor’s strong emphasis on data collection and deep analysis. He started hisconsulting company around 1923 in Chicago. Unlike Taylor, McKinsey was not an engineer. He waseducated in law and accounting (he was a CPA) and eventually became a professor in the Graduate School ofBusiness at the University of Chicago. McKinsey was impressed with the rigor of Taylor’s approach andstressed the importance of engineering principles for helping organizations improve and change. In fact, anearly name of his firm, around 1938, was James O. McKinsey and Company, Accountants and Engineers.Whereas Taylor stressed a scientific approach, McKinsey emphasized professionalism. McKinsey andCompany was, and remains in emphasis to this day, a firm of professional practice, not a business per se.McKinsey believed that three ingredients were critical to establishing a professional practice (Bower, 1979):Unquestioned respectability: McKinsey spent much of his early life getting himself educated and had agoal of becoming a professor of business.Professional exposure: He wrote books devoted particularly to accounting and budgeting and gavenumerous speeches and lectures.Reputation: McKinsey wanted to make certain that he had a strong reputation for special competence inan area of concern to management—in his case, accounting, budget control, and business strategy andpolicy in general.To say that McKinsey was successful is an understatement. The firm that bears his name today is consideredto be one of the most prestigious of its kind.The McKinsey way of consulting, as it is for most management consulting firms, is to employ a strictproblem-solving process (Rasiel, 1999). First, the consultant gathers as much factual information about theclient organization’s problem as possible. For example, the client’s presenting problem (the presentingproblem may not be the real problem, as most experienced consultants know) may be a sudden drop in sales.Although this presenting problem is real, it is a symptom of something. Finding that “something” is the task.The consultant uses interviews, particularly with people from the sales force; company records that reflect, forexample, sales and marketing strategies and tactics; survey data from customers; and accounting and financialinformation to collect as many facts as possible. Experienced management consultants believe that “facts arefriendly” and that being fact-based is the same as being a credible, competent consultant.Second, after a thorough analysis of the facts, an initial hypothesis is formulated, to be tested with the client.A third facet of this problem-solving process is to be highly structured. This means (1) limiting the75
recommendations for solving the problem to what can realistically be done with the client’s resources, theconsulting firm’s resources, and amount of time required; (2) proposing a reasonable number of recommendedactions (McKinsey, for example, often limits recommendations to three, no more, no less; see Rasiel, 1999);and (3) establishing milestones that can be met with targets that can be achieved, along with the verbalassurance that the client will be satisfied.The roots of management consulting, as mentioned previously, come from Taylor. Thus, applying thescientific method of data gathering, analysis, hypothesis generation, testing the hypothesis, and action, basingremedies for the problem on these facts and the hypothesis, is the modus operandi. McKinsey and Companyadopted Taylor’s approach and added its own structured way of problem solving. Most managementconsulting firms conduct their business similarly. For more detail on the “McKinsey way,” see the book byRasiel (1999).Today, management consulting is a huge industry and continues to grow around the globe. Moreover, majorfirms today include as part of their practice what has been referred to as change management. Even the majoraccounting firm Deloitte conducts a significant practice in change management, which it calls “Organizationand Strategic Change Services.” Change management, then, is an attempt to integrate some of the standardaspects of management consulting (e.g., changing a client’s business strategy, modifying its informationtechnology systems, or changing the organizational design and structure) with organization change methodsthat are based on applied behavioral science, particularly organizational psychology.76
SummaryAlthough the length of this chapter may not deliver the “brief” history of its title, the coverage provided isonly the tip of the iceberg. A full chapter could easily be devoted to each of the 10 forerunners that weresummarized. For the purpose of this book, the coverage provided should suffice. It is important to rememberthe following points:1. Scientific management set the stage for a systematic approach to organization change; prior to Taylor,such rigor had not existed.2. The Hawthorne studies demonstrated the importance of the human dimension of organization changeand contributed significantly to the future of applied behavioral science.3. Industrial psychology, with the fuller integration of the individual and the organization, has provided,and continues to provide today, the research and theory required for the growth and development of ourunderstanding of organization change.4. Survey feedback may not be the most important tool for diagnosing and implementing organizationchange, but it is certainly in the top tray of our tool kit.5. Even though controversial to this day and not used as prevalently as it was in the 1960s, sensitivitytraining has provided an unsurpassed mode for learning about group dynamics, interpersonal behavior,and oneself.6. Sociotechnical systems furnished what seems today the obvious and yet overlooked critical nature of theinterdependence of people and the organizational tools with which they work.7. OD has given us a systematic approach to organization change with its emphasis on the total system,clear steps and phases of organization change, and an underlying set of humanistic values to guide theentire process.8. Although highly structured, grid OD has stressed the importance of priorities in organization changeand which primary organizational issues need to be addressed.9. Although unconventional for what we usually think of when considering organization change, much cannevertheless be learned from coercive and confrontational techniques of trying to change an organizationor institution.10. Greater integration of the standard forms of management with those from the behavioral sciencesshould strengthen our understanding and effectiveness of organization change methodologies andprocesses.77
Four Theoretical Foundations of Organizations andOrganization ChangeTo understand organization change, we must begin with some basics about organizations. This understandingwill be grounded in two somewhat different but overlapping theoretical domains:Open-system theory, which stems from the discipline of biology, especially cell biologyA theoretical synthesis of recent thinking on shifts from physics to the life sciences as the predominantexplanatory disciplineThe study of organizations offers a choice of theories. We could include theory from sociology and politicalscience, for example, but as the preface noted, the standard literature for organization theory, based in part onsociology and related disciplines, emphasizes stability and not organization change. So an additional choice isto rely on disciplines aligned with open-system theory, which is rooted in the life sciences.78
Open-System TheoryAny human organization is best understood as an open system. An organization is open because of itsdependence on and continual interaction with the environment in which it resides. Closed systems exist onlyin the world of nonliving matter. Even a biological cell is an open system, because it depends on itsenvironment to live—for taking in oxygen, for example.For survival, an organization takes in energy from its environment. Energy is broadly defined and may includemoney, raw materials, or the work of people. This energy is then transformed into a product or service andreturned to the environment. The output may encompass the same segments of the environment or othersthat were used as energetic inputs. One critical element of input for a business organization is money, whichmay take the form of a bank loan or the sale of ownership shares. After transformation into a product that issold in the marketplace (another aspect of the organization’s environment), the income from those salesprovides additional input. For a profit-making organization to survive in the long term, sales income mustbecome the primary input. The sales income then reactivates the system. This cyclical process is input-throughput-(transformation)-output, a feedback loop that connects output to input. Thus, for example, abank loan (input) provides money to purchase raw materials (more input) so that a product can be made(transformation) and then sold (output) to consumers, and their payments provide money for further input,reactivating the cycle.To identify the boundaries of an organization, therefore, it is not necessary to consider its name, location, orpurpose (though these may add to the definition) but, rather, to follow, according to Katz and Kahn (1978),“the energic and informational transactions as they relate to the cycle of activities of input, throughput, andoutput. Behavior not tied to these functions lies outside the system. . . . Open systems [therefore] maintainthemselves through constant commerce with their environment, that is, a continuous inflow and outflow ofenergy through permeable boundaries” (pp. 21−22).Although their boundaries are permeable and open, organizations are also entities with internal elements orparts that are easy to identify: physical and technological parts, such as buildings, machines, desks, and paper(typically, piles of paper!); task- or work-related elements, such as specific jobs, roles (boss, subordinate), orfunctions (accounting, manufacturing); and suborganizations or subsystems, such as departments, divisions, orbusiness units. Most important, there are the people: male or female, African American or Irish American,skilled or semiskilled, old or young, and so on. All these parts compose a whole, a total organization thatrepresents an entity different from the simple sum of its elements and dimensions, which is a basic tenet ofGestalt psychology. General Motors is more than the sum of Chevrolet, GMAC, Saturn, and the othersubsystems. Similarly, a hospital is something more than the operating room and its staff, the various units,beds, nurses, doctors, patients, and so on, put together.To consider organization change, it is important to take a total system perspective. Although one rarelytackles the entire system at once, one works diligently to keep the total in mind as one goes about changingparts, because the change of one part will affect other parts, perhaps all parts eventually.79
Characteristics of Open SystemsUsing as an intellectual source the general systems theory of biologist Von Bertalanffy (1950), Katz and Kahn(1978) delineate 10 characteristics that distinguish open systems.1. Importation of energy. No human organization is self-contained or self-sufficient; thus, it must drawenergy from outside to ensure survival. Take the case of a consulting firm that specializes in conductingemployee opinion surveys for client organizations. The energy that the firm draws from its environmentcomes from various sources, such as a line of credit from a nearby bank; the purchase of raw materials toproduce the firm’s products and services, for example, paper, high-speed color duplicating machines andservices, three-ring binders, or computer disks for online processing; revenues from previous client work; andperhaps some temporary workers to help meet peak demands.2. Throughput. The employees of the firm take these raw materials and other sources from the environmentand use them to develop an employee-opinion survey questionnaire, administer the survey in their clientorganization, collect and analyze the survey data, and prepare a report for the client.3. Output. Deliver the report, work with the client organization to take appropriate action according to thesurvey data, and finally, collect a fee from the client organization for the services rendered.4. Systems are cycles of events. Providing an excellent survey instrument and high-quality service with thedelivery of the product will help ensure that the consulting firm will stay in business, if not result in increasedbusiness and ensure that the input-throughput-output cycle will continue. Katz and Kahn (1978) used theterm events (after Allport, 1962) to explain the nature of an organization’s structure and boundaries. Anorganization does not have a physical boundary as a human being does (skin that encloses bones, muscles,organs, and so on) to identify it as a system. An organization’s building does not suffice as the identifyingfeature of structure and boundary, although the TransAmerica Tower in San Francisco comes to mind as anattempt to erect a structure that at least symbolizes the company. Nevertheless, events, for the most part,rather than things, provide identity. Social structures, the chain of events between and among people,establish boundaries. For our consulting organization, the identifying and boundary-setting events werecontracting; purchasing; hiring a workforce; preparing the survey and providing the service associated with it;collecting monies from the client to purchase more raw materials and to pay employees; and eventually,contracting again with the client for additional work or moving on to a new client. Such a cycle of events iswhat establishes and identifies an open system—for our purposes, an organization.5. Negative entropy. According to general systems theory (Katz & Kahn, 1978), the “entropic process is auniversal law of nature in which all forms of organization move toward disorganization or death . . . [but] byimporting more energy from its environment than it expends, the open system can store energy and acquirenegative entropy” (p. 25).When an organization is losing money, the managers do not typically ask, “How can we stop this terribleentropic process?” but they do understand that, unless positive action is taken, they and all their employee81
colleagues may be out of jobs, for the organization will cease to exist under such a condition. For a profit-making organization, storing energy consists in part of having capital and lines of credit. For a privateuniversity, it is having a healthy endowment. For the consulting firm that is in the survey business, it is, forexample, having the goodwill of clients, money in the bank, good relations with other members of the firm’sprofession so that referrals for future business will occur, and a solid reputation for high-quality products andservices.The point is that organizations are not self-sufficient; they are unstable and will not survive or grow unlessactive and deliberate effort is expended. The process of interpersonal trust serves as an analogy. Trust betweenpeople is a very unstable process that must be maintained constantly. When one party to the relationshipbehaves at all strangely or suspiciously, the trust in the relationship is automatically in jeopardy, and deliberateaction must be taken for the trusting quality to be regained and maintained. Similarly, constant effort must beexpended not only for the maintenance of an organization but for its very survival.6. Information input, negative feedback, and the coding process. If an organization obtains feedback on howwell its output is being received, it can respond to its customers or clients more effectively in the future. Thisis especially true when the feedback is negative; then, corrective action can be planned and taken. Whencustomers or clients complain about the service they are receiving, the firm’s leaders can take action to changesome elements within the input-throughput-output and feedback set of events. It is rare for all information inan organization’s environment that could be used as feedback to be tapped. Some kind of coding occurs asorganizational members are selective and try to simplify all the possibilities into fundamental categories thatseem to be most relevant for a given system. The consulting firm would probably pay more attention tonegative feedback from clients (good clients especially) than from professional peers. Although professionalpeers may influence the firm’s reputation by what they say in public forums, the clients, after all, provide thefirm’s income (i.e., input), which is more directly linked to survival.7. Steady-state and dynamic homeostasis. Organizations that survive are typically considered in steady state,but this does not mean that little activity is occurring. As Katz and Kahn (1978) depict it, “A steady state isnot a motionless or true equilibrium. There is a continuous flow of energy from the external environment anda continuous export of the products of the system, but the character of the system, the ratio of the energyexchanges and the relations between parts, remains the same” (p. 26).Lewin’s (1947) concept of quasi-stationary equilibrium is relevant here. An organization’s apparentequilibrium is actually up at one moment (during one event in the cycle) and down at another, but the overallaveraging of these ups and downs gives the appearance of a stationary or steady-state situation.To counteract entropy, organizations need to grow and to control more and more of their environment—thatis, expand the original system. This counteracting process implies change. In Lewin’s (1958) concept ofequilibrium, the average of an organization’s ups and downs does not always remain at the same level. Evenso, the basic character of an organization tends to remain the same. To say that JPMorgan Chase or the Bankof America is now a financial intermediary institution, for example, is to reflect the organization’s movementinto a broader field of services, not necessarily to state that it is getting out of the banking business.82
8. Differentiation. As an organization continues to offset the entropic process and therefore grows (not alwaysmeaning expansion but sometimes creating new businesses and eliminating old ones), differentiation andelaboration occur; that is, specialization and division of labor evolve. In our consulting firm example, thiscould be a division of labor consisting of those who work directly with the clients and others who conduct thedata processing and analyses.9. Integration and coordination. In the effort to maintain stability, too much differentiation can occur. Acertain degree of unification and coordination is then necessary. According to Katz and Kahn (1978),integration is accomplished through shared norms and values. Organization structure, roles, and authority arethe social-system vehicles that managers use to achieve integration and coordination. The current hue and cryabout the “silo effect” in many corporations is an outcome of too much differentiation and inadequateintegration and coordination.10. Equifinality. According to Von Bertalanffy’s (1950) principle, an organization can attain the same goalfrom different starting points and by a variety of paths. To increase sales, a clear and specific goal, ourconsulting firm in the survey business may, for example, concentrate on referrals from current and past clientsrather than, say, advertising via direct mail with follow-up phone calls. Either path might achieve the goal ofincreased sales.An organization’s success and effectiveness in a systems sense is contingent on two processes—openness andselectivity. The organization’s managers must operate according to the foregoing 10 open-systemcharacteristics, but they should be selective in their inputs and outputs, especially with respect to the feedbackthey obtain from the environment.To summarize, open-system theory begins with the cyclical process of input (importation of energy)-throughput-output, that is, transforming input into a usable product or service. The output into the externalenvironment (a customer, for example) creates the potential for feedback, which in turn generates anotherform of input so that the organization can correct its throughput to improve its future output, thus helpingensure long-term survival. So systems are composed of cycles of events. Within these cycles, it is critical thatorganizational managers make sure that they store more energy from the external environment than theyproduce as output. In theoretical terms, this is referred to as thwarting the natural process of entropy. In practicalbusiness language, it is ensuring that sales are greater than costs. A primary mode of fighting entropy is toobtain feedback regularly about how well the organization is performing so that corrective action can be takenand the organization can remain adaptive (i.e., have a strong capacity to fight equilibrium and change itself).As organizations do well in offsetting the entropic processes, they tend to grow and develop, which results ingreater differentiation of products and services, along with the congruent need for integration andcoordination. A final characteristic of organization according to open-system theory is the principle ofequifinality, which essentially means that for any given goal, there are multiple paths that organizationalmembers can take to achieve it. In short, it should be clear that managers of organizations need to beconstantly aware that they are managing a system that has permeable boundaries, is dependent on itsenvironment for survival, and will go out of existence unless it is actively attended to (managed).83
Organization Change Is SystemicThe objective for change is systemic; that is, some aspect of the system, such as the organization’s managerialstructure or the reward system, is selected for change. Usually, this selection is made as a result of a previousdiagnosis and in collaboration with the relevant people within the organization.The change objective should be systemic for at least three reasons. First, when some aspect of the system ischanged, other aspects eventually will be affected, thus calling for a total system approach. If the leader orchange agent works in one part of the organization and does not consider this impact and plan for theconsequences of his or her actions for other parts of the system, the effort is likely to fail eventually (Burke,1980).The second reason for an organization change effort to be systemic is based on our knowledge of how to bringabout change in an organization. One of the precursors of organization change research and theory issensitivity training (see Chapter 3), which is educational and individually focused on the objective for change,improvement, and learning. Sensitivity training was a primary intervention for organization change in the1960s. As we discovered through experience and research, however, although training may lead to individualchange (Bunker & Knowles, 1967; Dunnette, 1969; Rubin, 1967) and, in some cases, to small-group change(Hall & Williams, 1966, 1970), there is scant evidence that attempting to change individuals will in turnchange the organization (Campbell & Dunnette, 1968). The Fleishman (1953) research of the 1950s atInternational Harvester, mentioned in Chapter 3, is further evidence that individual training alone does notaffect the total organization for purposes of change.The target for change, then, is the system, not the individual (Burke & Schmidt, 1971). This systemic targetis often the organization’s culture, especially the group and organizational norms to which members conform.This approach is based in part on the original work of Kurt Lewin. His theories and research led him toconclude the following: “As long as group standards are unchanged, the individual will resist change morestrongly the further he is expected to depart from group standards. If the group standard itself is changed, theresistance which is due to the relation between individual and group standards is eliminated” (Lewin, 1958, p.210).Others since Lewin also have shown in their research that work performance and satisfaction are greater whenworkers perceive that they influence the formulation of work group norms (Bachman, Smith, & Slesinger,1966; Bowers, 1964; Hornstein, Callahan, Fisch, & Benedict, 1968; Likert, 1961; Tannenbaum & Kahn,1957, 1958). Recall also the Hawthorne studies described in Chapter 3. The classic study by Coch and French(1948), based on Lewinian theory, clearly demonstrated this relationship of commitment, norms, and change.Because individual and group behavior in an organization are largely determined by group norms(fundamental to the organization’s culture), the changing of certain of these norms and their accompanyingvalues that are integral to culture needs to be a major focus of an organization change effort.The third reason an organization change effort should be systemic relates to the open-system characteristics of85
importation of energy and negative entropy. For an organization to survive, energy must be taken into theorganization in a variety of forms and transformed into products or services that add value to the consumer,and the entropic process must be reversed. According to Katz and Kahn (1978), “by importing more energyfrom its environment than it expends, the open system can store energy and acquire negative entropy” (p. 25).It is therefore highly important to pay particular attention to how human energy is used in the organization.Are employees’ efforts thwarted because of excessive bureaucracy? Is energy bottled up because of an overlycentralized control and authority structure? Are people’s efforts dissipated because power and authority are sodiffused in the organization that people work at cross-purposes?Paying considerable attention to the use of human energy can help the organization’s leaders change things(norms, rewards, or authority structure) so that this energy can be focused more appropriately towardaccomplishment of the organization’s goals. Thus, negative entropy is more effectively established.Open-system theory is highly relevant and even expedient for our understanding of organization change.Although it is necessary to our understanding of organization change, it is not sufficient on its own.86
Toward a Deeper Understanding of Organization ChangeOpen-system theory is but a part of a much larger set of theories that constitute a paradigmatic shift fromphysics—which Kurt Lewin and many others have relied on as the explanatory discipline for understandingreality—to the life sciences, or as Capra (1996) refers to the new paradigm, “deep ecology.” To use Capra’swords,The new paradigm may be called a holistic worldview, seeing the world as an integrated wholerather than a dissociated collection of parts. It may also be called an ecological view [in a broadersense recognizing] the fundamental interdependence of all phenomena and the fact that, asindividuals and societies, we are all embedded in—and ultimately dependent on—the cyclicalprocesses of nature. (p. 6)This section relies on the work of Fritjof Capra, the theoretical physicist who has written extensively andclearly for us nonphysicists. His books The Tao of Physics (1991; first published in 1975) and The TurningPoint (1982) are prime examples of his ability to span disciplines, to integrate them, and to help us achieve adeeper understanding of science in particular and life in general. His latest contribution, The Web of Life(1996), brings us closer to a comprehensive theory of life that has relevance to organizations and organizationchange.To continue with the transition from physics to the life sciences and from open-system theory to broader andmore comprehensive modes of thinking, it was evident that by the 1930s, as Capra (1996) points out, thebasis for systems thinking had been derived by biologists, Gestalt psychologists, and ecologists:In all these fields the exploration of living systems—organisms, parts of organisms, andcommunities of organisms—had led scientists to the same new way of thinking in terms ofconnectedness, relationships and context. This new thinking was also supported by the revolutionarydiscoveries in quantum physics in the realm of atoms and subatomic particles. (p. 36)The primary criteria for systems thinking, such as the following, are now well-known and accepted:Living systems are integrated wholes with properties that none of their parts have.Living systems nest within other systems.A part of a system is actually “a pattern in an inseparable web of relationships” (Capra, 1996, p. 37).“None of the properties of any part of this web is fundamental; they all follow from the properties of theother parts, and the overall consistency of their interrelations determines the structure of the entire web”(Capra, 1996, p. 39).But as it turned out, systems theory was not sufficient to achieve Von Bertalanffy’s goal of its becoming amathematical discipline. Mathematical techniques for dealing with the complexities of living systems were not87
available until decades later. According to Capra (1996):Instead of a formal systems theory the decade of the 1980s saw the development of a series ofsuccessful systemic models that describe various aspects of the phenomenon of life. From thosemodels the outlines of a coherent theory of living systems, together with the proper mathematicallanguage, are now finally emerging. (p. 79)What follows is a brief summary of these emerging theories and models, with an attempt to relate this morecomprehensive way of thinking to organization change.88
Capra’s Three Criteria for Understanding LifeThe three concepts that Capra (1996) uses as criteria for understanding life are pattern, structure, and process,common words that are quite complicated when applied to an explanation of life and living systems. Thesethree criteria are totally interdependent and therefore together form what Capra calls “a new synthesis”: adeeper and more comprehensive theory based on certain commonalities that exist across all living systems,from a cell to a human being. It seems useful to learn more about this way of theorizing to determine thefeasibility of generalizing this understanding to organizations and organization change.89
PatternThe pattern of organization for a living system is “the configuration of relationships that determine thesystem’s essential characteristics” (Capra, 1996, p. 161). This configuration further determines how a livingsystem will be recognized: a normal cell versus a cancerous one, a rose versus a gardenia, a dog versus a cat,and so on. To understand pattern more thoroughly, Capra relies on the work of Maturana and Varela (1987)and their theory of autopoiesis, or self-making. Using cell biology as their foundation, Maturana and Varelapoint out that the key characteristic of a living system, or living “network,” as Capra (1996) often calls it, isthat it continually produces itself. The function of each component of a plant or human cell is to participate inthe production of other components in the network so that the network continually makes itself. A primarycomponent of any cell is its membrane, which is the cell’s boundary and which maintains the flow of externalmatter into the cell and dissipates waste into the cell’s external environment: in other words, the input-throughput-output mechanism or process of a living system. Other cell components are its nucleus—thelocation for DNA and the cell’s production center containing RNA molecules—enzymes, proteins, oxygen,and so on.Even though cells interact with their environments, exchanging energy and matter through their membranes,the entire system is closed organizationally. According to Maturana and Varela (1987), the cell (and any largerliving system) is self-organizing in that its pattern is not determined by the external environment but isestablished by the system itself. Thus, living systems are autonomous. They interact with their environmentsto survive, taking in oxygen, for example, but their internal network or pattern of component relationships isnot determined by the environment. In particular, the environment does not change the DNA. “Autopoiesis,then, is seen as the pattern underlying the phenomenon of self-organization, or autonomy, that is socharacteristic of all living systems. . . . Moreover, the continual self-making also includes the ability to formnew structures and new patterns of behavior” (Capra, 1996, p. 168). It should be noted, however, that anexception to the cell’s independence from its external environment and autopoiesis is that carcinogens (fromthe external environment) can cause cancer, an altering of the cell’s patterns.It is not too much of a stretch to point out that business corporations are at least to some extent autopoieticnetworks. Two business organizations may be manufacturing and selling the same kinds of products to thesame set of customers or marketplaces and yet, internally, be organized very differently and have highlydistinctive cultures—both of which define the unique pattern of relationships for each of the respectiveorganizations. Volvo and Toyota illustrate this point.In summary, autopoiesis means that living systems continually change their structures, renewing themselveswhile preserving their patterns of organization. Components of the system “continually produce and transformone another with cells breaking down and building up structures, tissues and organs replacing their cells incontinuous cycles. In spite of this ongoing change, the organism maintains its overall identity, or pattern oforganization” (Capra, 1996, p. 218). A fascinating tidbit of Capra’s is that “our skin replaces its cells at therate of one hundred thousand cells per minute. In fact, most of the dust in our homes consists of dead skincells” (p. 219).90
StructureThe structure of a living network is the embodiment of the system’s physical components: their shapes,chemical compositions, size, and the like. Capra’s (1996) major source here is the work of Ilya Prigogine(Prigogine & Stengers, 1984) and his theory of dissipative structures.Whereas Maturana and Varela (1987) focused on the closed nature of living systems, Prigogine and Stengers(1984) emphasized the openness of a system’s structure to input and output. Capra (1996) then pointed outthat living systems are both open and closed—open structurally and closed organizationally. Open structurallyis what is meant by autopoiesis, and closed organizationally means that the system’s overall pattern remains thesame. This seeming paradox is the simultaneous existence of change and stability, which Prigogine andStengers (1984) refer to as “dissipative structures.”Structure for us human beings is our physical body and its components: skin, bones, muscles, and organs.How we look to ourselves and to others is the particular pattern of these components. The same pattern,“human being,” can, of course, be embodied in a great many individual structures. This example, however,though perhaps explanatory, oversimplifies the theory of dissipative structures.From their research with physical and chemical systems—heat convection, for example—Prigogine andStengers (1984) discovered that phenomena “far from equilibrium” that produced noise, nonlinearity, andother apparently chaotic conditions, when observed more carefully, closely, and over time gradually revealednew, unique structures and patterns—that is, a new order out of chaos. This back and forth quality of order tochaos to a new order is what Prigogine and Stengers (1984) meant by dissipative structures. (Note thesimilarity to Lewin’s ideas of change.) The structure of a living system, its physical nature, is therefore open toconsiderable change, but the form or pattern of its components remains the same. As Capra (1996) notes,dissipative structures are not always living systems, even though he uses the idea to understand living systemsmore clearly. The example that Capra provides of water flowing through a bathtub drain is an interestingimage of dissipative structures: That is, water flowing through the drain forms a stable state with self-balancing feedback loops, despite the fact that the water is constantly changing.The stimulus for structure change in a living system comes from its external environment and triggersreactions and new events within the system. Given a strong enough stimulus of new matter and energycreating consequent reactions followed by feedback loops—from input to output back to input again—one cancreate conditions far from equilibrium: turmoil, even chaos. For the system, a new order may eventually bereached, a new structure may form, and another phase of evolution may begin, perhaps, but the change occursdissipatively, resulting in equilibrium again, but a different form of equilibrium. The way the system dealswith this strong stimulus from the external environment—that is, the system’s pattern of components, itsprocess of input-output, and its feedback loops—remains the same.The two criteria of Capra’s (1996) synthesis theory of living systems that have been briefly described, patternand structure, represent different perspectives or aspects but, in reality, are inseparable and interdependent.92
The way a system deals with input from the external environment depends on its internal componentrelationships, and the nature of the structure that houses this pattern depends on its interaction with both theexternal and internal environments of the overall system. If a new structure forms, its form will be a functionof the network, or web characteristics, of the system.These ideas of pattern and structure from the life sciences help explain what Foster and Kaplan (2001; seeChapter 2) mean by cultural lock-in, or the inability to change the culture (or to do so rapidly enough) even inthe face of threats to survival from the marketplace. In other words, the way the organization deals withexternal threats remains the same and, according to Foster and Kaplan, is ineffective. Their argument is thatthe organization’s culture (pattern of behavior) must change.93
ProcessCapra (1996) defines his third criterion of a living system as “the activity involved in the continualembodiment of the system’s pattern of organization” (p. 161). In this brief definition, he incorporates theprevious two criteria: structure (i.e., embodiment) and of course, the term itself, pattern. Remember thatstructure and pattern are interdependent. Process, then, serves as the connection or link between pattern andstructure. The next logical question is, what does Capra mean by “activity”? He then introduces the termcognition as meaning the process of life. Thus, the activity is cognitive—that is, a way of knowing. Wepsychologists cannot assume that cognition has exactly the same meaning as when these physical scientists usethe term. With this third criterion, Capra relies on the work of Gregory Bateson (1979), who introducedcognition as a concept for understanding life, and again on the theorizing of Maturana and Varela (1987).Next, Capra (1996) introduces the term mind. (As we proceed, it is helpful to our understanding to considerthese terms and others already used as both literal and metaphorical—that is, to go back and forth in ourthinking.) And it is key to our understanding to distinguish between mind (cognition) and brain. Our brain isa physical thing, but our mind is not: It is a process. For us, as higher levels of living systems, the brain is thestructure through which the process of cognition or mental activity operates. “The relationship between mindand brain, therefore, is one between process and structure” (p. 175). Electrical and chemical activities in thebrain that form connections for thought and emotions are analogous to what is meant by process. But whatabout lower levels of life that have no brains or central nervous systems? According to Maturana and Varela(1987), the brain is not necessary for mind or cognition or mental activity to exist. The simplest organism, abacterium, can perceive its environment, can perceive changes, differences between light and dark, hot andcold, higher or lower levels of some chemical, and so on. This process of knowing is much broader thanthinking that involves emotion, action, and perception. With humans, of course, cognition also involvesthinking, language, and other aspects of consciousness. The concept of mind, as used by these theorists, ismore comprehensive than thinking, incorporating emotion, context, and so on. This way of theorizing is notunlike Gardner’s (1983) earlier work on multiple intelligences encompassing emotional intelligence. This workby Gardner challenges the Cartesian notions of a mind–body split, which is that feelings are not separate fromthought and that emotional intelligence is an integral part of overall intelligence.Cognition, or the process of knowing, can be understood only in terms of the living system’s interaction withits environment. The living system does not process information the way a computer does, but instead bringsits entire being to the interaction. This interacting is what Maturana and Varela (1987) refer to as “structuralcoupling.” With autopoiesis, or self-making, the system goes through continuous structural changes yetmaintains its pattern of organization. These recurrent interactions stimulate structural changes in the livingsystem, but the system, remember, is autonomous. According to Capra (1996):The environment only triggers the structural changes, it does not specify or direct them. . . . Thestructural changes in the system constitute acts of cognition . . . and by specifying whichperturbations from the environment trigger its changes, the system “brings forth a world” as94
Maturana and Varela put it. (p. 267)Specifying which perturbation is important means that the living system does not react to everything in itsenvironment but rather selects. Thus, each living system is distinct, with its own mode of environmentalinteraction. Moreover, the interaction is not a linear cause and effect. The system “responds with structuralchanges in its nonlinear, organizationally closed, autopoietic network [which] enables the organism tocontinue its autopoietic organization and thus to continue living in its environment” (Capra, 1996, p. 269).Building on the works of scientists and theorists such as Prigogine, Maturana and Varela, and Bateson, Capra(1996) presents us with his synthesis by way of the three criteria for defining and understanding life. While itis extremely complicated, and therefore overly simplified in the summary provided previously, we cannevertheless speculate about the larger meaning for organizations and organization change.Let us consider a rough approximation of how these ideas from Capra and others are applicable. Effectiveorganizations and, particularly, successful corporations constantly monitor their external environments, butbecause these environments are so complex and rapidly changing, organizational leaders have to be selectiveabout what they monitor. These leaders then attempt to adapt their organizations to the changes in theenvironment (the marketplace, for example). Successful adaptation is a function of how congruent theselection made is with the internal organization change. In part, the success of the merger of SmithKlinePharmaceuticals, of Philadelphia, and Beecham, Ltd., of London, may be attributed to the deliberate decisionon the part of the top executives to monitor and focus predominantly on the global marketplace—not at theexpense of domestic markets but a shift of emphasis, nevertheless. Internal organization change at the newlymerged SmithKline Beecham, especially in its business strategy, structure, and corporate culture, was thereforebased on this selective external environment focus. For more detail about this successful merger, see Bauman,Jackson, and Lawrence (1997), Burke and Trahant (2000), and Chapter 15 in this volume.The following and final section of this chapter is a further attempt to apply the ideas of Capra and otherscientists he cites.95
Implications for Organizations and Organization ChangeCapra (1996) provides a sweeping summary and then raises an intriguing question:All living systems are networks of smaller components and the web of life as a whole is amultilayered structure of living systems nesting within other living systems—networks withinnetworks. Organisms are aggregates of autonomous but closely coupled cells; populations arenetworks of autonomous organisms belonging to a single species; and ecosystems are webs oforganisms, both single celled and multicellular, belonging to many different species. . . . Commonto all these living systems is that their smallest living components are always cells. . . . thusautopoietic. (pp. 209–210)Are larger systems, organizations and human societies, autopoietic (self-making) networks?Maturana and Varela (1987) state that our current knowledge is not sufficient to give a definitive answer.Moreover, they point out, as a consequence of language and abstract thinking, human societies are distinctfrom “lower levels” of organisms and ecosystems. It is interesting that they further state that ants, for example,communicate with one another using chemical exchange; humans communicate using language.Components of organisms exist to serve the larger whole, whereas societies exist for their components, that is,individual human beings. Furthermore, the laws of nature are not the same as the laws of a society; the lattercan be broken, but the former cannot. Humans can choose to interact or not; molecules cannot choose tointeract—they must.Even with these caveats and critically important distinctions, one can still see numerous parallels andanalogies. For example, organizations and societies have boundaries (membranes); these boundaries are largelysocial, of course, but can be defined nevertheless. See the previous open-system section of this chapter and thework of Katz and Kahn (1978). It is clear that organization change typically is initiated by some“perturbation” in the external environment, but the organization responds in its own unique manner and, infact, may not respond at all—often to its peril. And although the organization may respond to thedisturbances in its environment with some internal changes, say, to its strategy and structure, theorganization’s pattern of operations among its components may remain essentially the same (e.g.,organizational culture). What rarely, if ever, changes is its pattern, or as we will see in the next chapter, its deepstructure.Additional examples from Capra and others that parallel or help explain organizations and organizationchange are as follows:Organizations interact with their external environments in a back-and-forth manner, influencing andbeing influenced and “bringing their whole being” to the process in much the same way as Maturanaand Varela (1987) describe. Recall how Katz and Kahn (1978) state it: “Systems . . . maintain96
themselves through constant commerce with their environment, that is, a continuous inflow and outflowof energy through permeable boundaries” (p. 22).Cells take in energy, matter, and the like and dispose of waste; organizations take in energy and“dispose” of products and services and excess human resources at times.Although cells are autopoietic, they, like human organizations, are not self-sufficient and depend forsurvival on the external environment.A cell does not respond to all elements or disturbances in its environment; selectivity occurs. So it iswith organizations.Cells continuously reproduce themselves; organizations continually deal with entropy and in the processproduce themselves.A cell’s pattern is not determined by the external environment (except for carcinogens, as noted earlier)but by the system itself. For an organization, the same is largely true but not entirely. Organizationalmembers are also members of a larger society and culture and therefore bring these patterns into theorganization’s pattern. This statement is consistent with Capra’s (1996) point about networks beingnested within networks.Cells have differentiated components, yet these components exist to support one another in the interestof the whole. This statement corresponds with the open-system concepts of differentiation andintegration defined earlier in the chapter. This weblike quality of cells is totally congruent with open-system thinking and supports the ideas underlying the Burke–Litwin model of organizationalperformance and change described in Chapter 10. The components of this model are designed tosupport the organizational whole.Capra’s (1996) third criterion, process, is the living system’s mind, cognition, or mental activity. This meansthat living systems perceive, sort through, and select for internal use certain but not all elements from theexternal environment. This implies that some form of information processing occurs. Do humanorganizations learn? Apparently so, but what is not clear is how they learn. At the present time, organizationallearning is a growing area of interest for scholars and practitioners.Other examples could be suggested and parallels drawn. And although Capra’s new synthesis and theassociated theories are not completely and uniformly applicable to human organizations and organizationchange, this way of thinking nevertheless provides plenty of thought-provoking ideas to warrant our attentionand consideration.One last point: Capra’s synthesis takes us a step beyond open-system theory. For example, the latter calls toour attention the interdependence between an organization and its external environment—dependent forsurvival yet influential on that environment by means of its output (organizational performance, products, andservices). Capra’s synthesis helps us more broadly understand executive organizational actions such as anorganization’s selective response to perturbations in the environment, and because the organization’s pattern(or culture; recall cultural lock-in from Chapter 2) is unique and employs an autopoietic (self-making) process,the response to the perturbation may be inadequate to the task of reaching a stationary or steady-statesituation, not to mention inadequate for long-term survival.97
Five The Nature of Organization ChangeAs prime minister of Great Britain, Margaret Thatcher was hardly a shrinking violet. “Change agent” wouldbe a more apt descriptor. She worked hard to move her country from a socialist economic system to a morecapitalistic one. She believed strongly in a free-market system. As part of this overall political and economicchange effort, she declared that many government-supported organizations, for example, public-sector waterand electric utilities, would become private enterprises. Prominent among these changing organizations wasBritish Airways (BA). About 1983, she declared that BA would become a publicly owned company, withshares of the company being traded on both the City of London and New York stock exchanges. For its entireprior existence, BA had been a government-supported organization, and in essence, Thatcher stated that eventhough it had been the nation’s flagship airline, it would now have to survive on its own in a global free-market system. The British government would no longer, year in and year out, bail it out financially. BA wastherefore faced with a need to change itself rather radically if it wished to remain an organization—in thiscase, a commercial enterprise. An example of a successful transformational organization change effort, the BAstory is summarized in Chapter 11, which focuses on culture change.During the late 1980s, the general manager of a chemical division within a large, global pharmaceutical-chemical company was concerned about customer service. Customer orders were often delivered late, and asmight be expected, the customers were complaining. The cause of this problem was not immediately apparentto the general manager, but he quite naturally assumed that it resided somewhere in the way customer orderswere handled inside his division. He hired a consultant to tackle the problem. The consultant started with theend state—that is, with the customers’ receptions of their ordered products—and then traced the process backthrough the chemical division’s sales and delivery systems. The consultant recommended some structuralorganization changes that would result in a more streamlined process. The general manager made thesechanges in his organization, and customer service improved, as well as overall customer satisfaction.The two cases briefly described here both illustrate organization change, but as can readily be understood, theyare very different in the scope and depth of the change efforts. The first, BA, represents a revolutionarychange, and the second, an evolutionary one.It is interesting to note that Darwin’s theory of evolution has been characterized for many years as a slow,incremental process of change, but more recently, scholars have challenged this view, stating that changes inliving organisms actually occur in spurts, or leaps, as perturbations. In other words, a species may live for manyhundreds, if not thousands, of years with no significant change—that is, in a state of equilibrium. Buteventually, an entirely new species will emerge, replacing the previous one as if overnight. Natural historianStephen Jay Gould (1977) has been a primary challenger of the idea that change is merely gradual, and he hasproposed a new way of thinking and theorizing called “punctuated equilibrium”: a steady state for a period oftime, then a sudden (punctuated) change, followed by equilibrium again.Important for our understanding, then, is that change occurs both incrementally and radically. This is true for99
individuals, groups, and organizations, as well as for even broader domains, such as fields of science andbiological species. First we will consider revolutionary change, then evolutionary.100
Revolutionary ChangeWhen scholars independently derive similar, if not the same, theoretical ideas (even though different wordsmay be used), especially if these scholars represent different disciplines, it is time to sit up and take notice.Connie Gersick (1991) took notice of how the punctuated equilibrium idea had emerged in six distinctdomains to explain change as revolutionary. In her study, she found commonality of thinking in the following.Daniel Levinson’s (1978) theory of individual change: We live our lives through a relatively orderlysequence, but at times, many of us, especially around 40 years of age, dramatically change that sequence.Gersick’s (1988) group change: Groups do not develop in a linear set of stages; rather, they proceed withnot much happening and then recognize (almost suddenly) a need to move forward rapidly in a newway.Organization change (e.g., Tushman & Romanelli, 1985): Organizations do not evolve but are morelikely to change in strategic reorientations that demand significantly different patterns of operations.Scientific fields (Kuhn, 1970): Truth is probably not discovered through the accumulation of individualfindings but more likely in paradigmatic shifts—that is, breaks in the prevailing mode of thinking.Biological species (Gould, 1980): Change occurs after long periods of equilibrium and then in “rapidand episodic events of speciation” (p. 184).Grand theory (Prigogine & Stengers, 1984): Systems vacillate between some kind of transition and thestatus quo, or equilibrium. At times of transition—that is, punctuated equilibriums—there is no endstate that is a given, because during times of transition, system parts interact unpredictably. The change,therefore, becomes revolutionary.The commonality of thinking across these six theories is in three domains, according to Gersick (1991).1. Deep structure. Gersick’s (1991) definition is as follows:A network of fundamental, interdependent choices about the basic configuration into which asystem’s units are organized and the activities that maintain both this configuration and the system’sresource exchange with the environment. Deep structure in human systems is largely implicit. (p.15)For individuals, it is the underlying pattern of a person’s life at a given time (Levinson, 1986). For groups, it isthe structure and process a group chooses to accomplish its task (Gersick, 1988). For organizations, it is theunderlying culture, the structure itself—that is, organizational design for decision making, accountability,control, and distribution of power—and the way the organization monitors, reacts to, and in general, relatesto its external environment (Tushman & Romanelli, 1985). For scientific fields, it is the paradigm—that is,the pattern and set of standards for how a discipline develops and is maintained or sustained over timethrough scientific achievements (Kuhn, 1970). Change in scientific fields occurs through a break from thepattern, a paradigmatic shift. For biological species, it is a network of circular and interdependent interactions101
with feedback loops; thus, no single unit or part can interact with the environment independently (Gould,1977, 1980; Wake, Roth, & Wake, 1983). This network of interacting parts helps create resistance to change.A perturbation, then, brings about change. Change will not occur as a result of life as usual within the species;that is, it will not occur in a linear, evolutionary manner. And finally, for grand theory, collective modes andparameters determine order for the overall system (Haken, 1981).2. Equilibrium periods. Gersick’s (1991) analogy is helpful here: “If deep structure may be thought of as thedesign of the playing field and the rules of the game, then equilibrium periods might be compared loosely to agame in play” (p. 16). Specifics of play vary, but the structure and rules remain fixed. The equilibrium periodconsists of (1) maintenance of the system and (2) choosing of activities, “calling the plays,” but within anoverall pattern of rules, standards, mores, and circular processes. Because part and parcel of equilibriumperiods is inertia, one can begin to understand why it is so difficult for systems to change. O’Toole (1995), forexample, lists 33 hypotheses for why organizations are resistant to change, including homeostasis—“Continualchange is not a natural condition of life; hence resistance . . . is a healthy human instinct” (p. 161)—and therectitude of the powerful—“The best and the brightest have set us on the current course. Who are we toquestion the wisdom of our leaders?” (p. 164).Gersick (1991), after reviewing this literature, narrowed the resistance list to three quite powerful barriers tochange: (1) cognition, (2) motivation, and (3) obligation. These three are variations of the same phenomenon:resistance. Cognitive frameworks shape our awareness and thinking, how we interpret reality, and how weconsider choices for action. In other words, cognitive frameworks, models of reality, and so forth, are usefulfor understanding reality; yet at the same time, they limit our awareness of other ways to look at reality.With respect to motivation, change is accompanied by loss of some kind and by uncertainty. Resistance to lossand uncertainty are easy to understand; that is, one is motivated to reduce the loss and uncertainty. Regardingobligation, Gersick (1991) cites D. Levinson, Tushman and Romanelli, and Kuhn by pointing out “theinertial constraints of obligations among stakeholders inside and outside a system” (p. 18). Stakeholders holdexpectations of and assumptions about how the system is supposed to operate. When this equilibrium isdisturbed, they put pressure on the system to “get back into line.”3. Revolutionary periods. As Gersick (1991) clarifies,incremental changes in a system’s parts [will] not alter the whole. As long as the deep structure isintact, it generates a strong inertia, first to prevent the system from generating alternatives outsideits own boundaries, then to pull any deviations that do occur back into line. (p. 19)So how do revolutions occur? By (a) internal disruptions that pull subsystems and activities out of alignmentwith each other or the environment—for example, intrusion of a “foreign body” from an acquisition or merger—and (b) changes in the system’s environment that threaten its ability to obtain resources—for example,creation of new technology or severe consolidation of an industry via huge mergers. It is important to notethat these internal changes or external ones do not in and of themselves bring about revolution. They simply102
create the need for change.Revolutionary change, by definition, can be seen as a jolt (perturbation) to the system. As a result, nothingwill ever be the same again. Organizations that change their missions exemplify revolutionary change—as inthe BA case of focusing on the marketplace after years of insularity and focusing on the most negative aspectsof bureaucracy. Although the overall mission for BA remained transportation, the specifics changedsignificantly—for example, new goals of customer satisfaction and profitability, neither of which had everbeen emphasized before. The change of mission affects all other primary dimensions of an organization:leadership, strategy, structure, culture, and systems. In Gersick’s (1991) language, the deep structure has beenaffected significantly.It should be reiterated that the fundamental mission of an organization is to survive. Most of the time,organizations survive by continuously fixing problems and trying to improve the way things are done.Sometimes, however, survival depends on an entirely new raison d’être with completely different products orservices or both. The BA case is such an example and is described in more detail in Chapter 11. The DimeBancorp case, a merger, will be used as the revolutionary change example for this chapter.103
Evolutionary ChangeNo doubt, more than 95% of organization changes are evolutionary. As noted previously, the resistances torevolutionary change are indeed strong. The second case vignette at the beginning of this chapter(improvement in customer service at the pharmaceutical-chemical company) is illustrative of evolutionarychange. Most organization change consists of improvements, incremental steps to fix a problem or change apart of the larger system. Most organization change in Japan, for example, is referred to as kaizen, meaningcontinual improvement: changing the way a product is packaged before shipment to the customer, institutinga new form of commission on sales for how salespeople will be compensated, developing a new set of productsor services for an emerging market on the basis of demographic shifts, acquiring a smaller company toaugment current business lines, and installing a new leadership development program for the top 300executives in the organization, to name only a few examples. These examples illustrate evolutionary changes.Any one of these examples, however, could be part of a larger change effort that might be revolutionary. But ifany one of these partial changes does not affect the whole and the deep structure of the organization is notfundamentally modified, then the change is evolutionary.In an attempt to further clarify the meaning of evolutionary change in organizations, let us consider thewritings of Orlikowski (1996) and Weick and Quinn (1999). In place of evolutionary, these scholars refer tocontinuous change. The meaning is the same, nevertheless. For Weick and Quinn, continuous change means“the idea that small continuous adjustments created simultaneously across units, can cumulate and createsubstantial change. That scenario presumes tightly coupled interdependencies” (p. 375).The “looser” these interdependencies, the less likely that overall organization change will occur. The change ismore likely to remain primarily within subunits of the organizations—although not necessarily exclusively.Ultimate organization change could occur if consistent with managers’ abilities and desires to diffuseinnovation from one unit to other units.Orlikowski (1996), as cited in Weick and Quinn (1999), has also helped with definition and clarification. Shehad noted the following:Each variation of a given form is not an abrupt or discrete event, neither is it, by itselfdiscontinuous. Rather, through a series of ongoing and situated accommodations, adaptations, andalterations (that draw on previous variations and mediate future ones), sufficient modifications maybe enacted over time that fundamental changes are achieved. There is no deliberate orchestration ofchange here, no technological inevitability, no dramatic discontinuity, just recurrent and reciprocalvariations in practice over time. Each shift in practice creates the conditions for further breakdowns,unanticipated outcomes, and innovations, which in turn are met with more variations. Suchvariations are ongoing; there is no beginning or end point in this change process. (p. 66)I would question Orlikowski’s assumption that “sufficient modifications may be enacted over time that104
fundamental changes are achieved.” Although possible, it is unlikely. Overcoming inertia and equilibrium, asPascale, Milleman, and Gioja (2000) emphasized, is difficult, if not impossible, without a discontinuous joltto the system. Organization change does occur with continuous attention and effort, but it is unlikely thatfundamental change in the deep structure (Gersick, 1991) of the organization would happen.Another example of continuous change is the relatively new field of organizational learning (Argyris & Schön,1978). Watkins and Marsick (1993) define organizational learning as the following:Advocates may differ about specific details, but in general, they agree that the learning organization1. Is not just a collection of individuals who are learning—instead, learning also occurs simultaneously atvarious collective levels within business units and sometimes within an entire company2. Demonstrates organizational capacity for change3. Accelerates individual learning capacity but also redefines organizational structure, culture, job design,and mental models (assumptions about the way things are; Senge, 1990)4. Involves widespread participation of employees and often customers in decision making, dialogue, andinformation sharing5. Promotes systemic thinking and building of organizational memory (pp. 78–79)Further examples of summaries of organizational learning include Easterby-Smith (1997), Huber (1991),Lundberg (1989), Miller (1996), and Mirvis (1996).In concluding this section, it should be noted, of course, that not all organization changes lead toimprovement, just as revolutionary change is not always good and does not always produce a significantlybetter organization. The following two cases do represent successful change—the first revolutionary, thesecond evolutionary.105
Revolutionary Change: Case ExampleThis chapter began with a brief illustration of radical change, albeit over time. BA in the 1980s experiencedsignificant organization change, a fundamental modification of its deep structure. The case to follow, DimeBancorp, is another example of change in the organization’s deep structure. The “jolt” to the system was amerger of two savings banks.106
Dime Bancorp, Inc.Dime Bancorp was the holding company for the Dime Savings Bank of New York, a regional financialenterprise serving customers and businesses through 120 branches or more, primarily in the greater New YorkCity metropolitan area. Due to an acquisition in 1997, Dime also provided financial services and mortgagebanking via more than 260 offices throughout the United States. The Dime case to be described was theresult of a merger between the Dime Savings Bank and Anchor Savings Bank in January 1995. Our casebegins with this merger. First, a little history.BackgroundDime was founded in 1859 as the Dime Savings Bank of Brooklyn. With a minimum deposit of a dime, thefounder, William Edwards, encouraged all New Yorkers, even the most humble, to save. In 1862, the Dimewas the first bank to offer banking by mail, permitting depositors fighting in the Civil War to send money totheir families in the North.It is interesting that Anchor was founded at about the same time, also in Brooklyn. Anchor also encouragedsavings and focused on the local community as its primary market. Over the years, both Anchor and Dimegrew by way of mergers and acquisitions that led to regional expansion and a broader range of services toindividual customers and businesses.With the merger of Dime and Anchor, a “merger of equals” as the deal was called in January 1995, it seemedat the time that with such similar histories and resemblances in size, revenues, customer base, and so on, onemight assume that the two organizational cultures would be alike. In fact, the opposite was true: The twocultures were highly dissimilar! This conundrum was in part explained, however, by the idea of attractors,referred to later in the brief coverage of nonlinear complex systems theory in Chapter 7. Attractors arepatterns of behavior with the dual characteristics of “sensitivity to initial conditions” and “stability.” Theformer characteristic suggests that the early history and founding of an organization is highly significant; thatis, initial behaviors in the organization’s start-up phase that receive positive feedback become reinforced andstabilize quickly. These initial behaviors are quite specific, if not unique, to the situation at the time; therefore,they are distinct in nature, are likely to be undetectable at the time, and become entrenched over time as aconsequence of consistent reinforcement. These small, undetectable behaviors loom large later and account forhighly differentiated cultures, even though on the surface, judging on more macro similarities, one wouldassume likeness, not dissimilarity. Apparently, early in the development and growth of the Anchor Bank,attention to detail was rewarded. Their culture some 150 years later reflected this emphasis. Dime, on theother hand, was more concerned with the bigger picture and becoming a presence in the greater New YorkCity area. This difference between the two banks, though perhaps minor over a century before, was highlysignificant at the time of the merger.The respective CEOs of Dime and Anchor were quite aware of the differences in culture and therefore soughtconsultative help with the merger. The merger occurred because the two CEOs and their respective boards of107
directors realized that their pieces of the financial services pie were shrinking and that proceeding alone, as inthe past, was probably not wise to ensure a successful future for their businesses and for their stakeholders.Commercial banks were dominant (and still are), whereas savings banks were fighting hard for new business.Thus, an intent of the merger was to become less savings and more commercial.Once the merger became official and the two companies were one enterprise, three major initiatives wereundertaken. First, a strategic planning process was launched to better understand how the resources of the twoformer companies could now be deployed to gain market share rather than losing share, which had been truefor each of the two prior to the merger. Second, an organization-wide opinion survey was conducted (1) todetermine the state of morale; (2) to assess employee understanding of the company’s strategy, its new culture,leadership, organizational structure, and so on; and (3) to establish an internal benchmark for future surveycomparisons and to track trends and progress. The third early initiative was to draft a new mission statementfor the merged organization. Each of the two companies had a mission statement, but these were discarded,and a task force consisting of 15 employees who represented the two merged banks and composed a cross-section of the organization was formed to draft the new mission statement. This task force tapped another100 or so employees to get opinions and suggestions about what the mission content should be. After manydrafts, they presented their statement to the top executive team and got further feedback and suggestions. Thefinal version was then presented to the board of directors and was unanimously approved. This third initiativehighly involved many people in the organization and consequently led to strong commitment to the newmission statement. Moreover, when the task force presented its final draft of the mission statement, it wasgiven a standing ovation by the board.Organizational SurveyThe initial organizational survey, designed according to the Burke–Litwin model (see Chapter 10), revealedthat most employees at all levels were positive about the merger, supported leaders at the very top of theorganization, believed in the mission statement, and understood the overall business strategy, but they werenot very clear about the newly merged organizational culture and structure and were critical in general ofseveral system elements (such as information systems and compensation) and of leadership and management.As a consequence of these survey outcomes, a number of actions were taken. Changes were made tostrengthen the information system (new management, updated software, etc.), the reward system wasimproved, some of the organization’s structure was changed, and a major initiative was launched to improveleadership and management, starting with the top 125 executives and managers.The CEO was highly supportive of these change efforts deriving from the survey and served as a role modelfor leadership and change. Working closely with an external consultant who had been involved from thebeginning, the CEO and the head of human resources authorized, planned, and implemented a major effortto clarify the organization’s culture and to develop and train managers in both leadership and managementskills. Using the mission statement as a primary source, five values were extracted that seemed to represent thedesired culture. In other words, corporate values were implicit within the mission statement. These valueswere then tested throughout the organization, and eventually, a sixth one was added. The six values served as108
content guides for determining a set of practices that were behavioral manifestations of these values. These 36practices, 6 per value, were then used in a questionnaire for the purpose of providing feedback for the top 125people in the company. A 2½-day leadership program was conducted for these top managers, and thisfeedback was the central element. Before the program, participants rated themselves on the 36 practices andsimultaneously were rated by their respective bosses, peers, and subordinates. Other questionnaires were usedas prework as well. During the program, all participants received this multirater feedback and could comparehow they viewed themselves with how the other three rating sources perceived them on the same set ofbehavioral practices, the primary content of which was leadership. Six months later, these 125 top peopleparticipated in another 2½-day program, but this time the focus was on performance and projectmanagement. Multirater feedback was integral to this second program as well, coupled with a “Time 2”assessment of the earlier 36 leadership practices to see how these top managers were doing. The 125 alsoreceived intensive coaching on the feedback they received.At about the same time that the leadership development program was launched, a second organization-widesurvey was conducted using about 90% of the questions asked at Time 1, so comparisons could be made andtrends determined. The ratings via a 5-point Likert-type scale showed that out of 125 questions asked at bothTime 1 and Time 2 (about two years later), except for two items, which remained about the same, all ratingswere higher at Time 2. Significant improvements had been made over the 2-year period, at least in the eyes ofthe employees (see Figure 5.1).Combining data from the second survey and these multirater norms in summary form—that is, no individualwas identified—trends and further problem areas could be discerned. For example, it became clear from thesedata that further work had to be done with helping managers do a better job in coaching and developing theirsubordinates. A further next step in this organization change effort was to cascade down to the next levels ofmanagement in the 2½-day programs on leadership and management.Figure 5.1 1996/1998 Burke–Litwin Model Summary Scores for Dime109
As can be seen from Figure 5.1, the survey items of both Time 1 and Time 2 and the results reported to themanagers and employees of the bank were organized according to the Burke–Litwin model. Further statisticalanalyses within the framework of the model were conducted. For example, a regression analysis performedusing the Time 2 results (1998) appeared to be associated with the respondents’ perceptions of organizationperformance. To be clear, the performance category was assessed by survey questions such as, “To what extentdoes the bank provide high quality customer service?” and “To what extent is the bank currently achieving thehighest level of employee performance of which it is capable, given its existing resources and technology?” Sotheir responses are perceptions of organizational performance, not performance measurements per se. Referringto Figure 5.2, it can be seen that employees’ responses to questions in the four model categories of businessenvironment, mission and strategy, individual needs and values, and motivation had the strongest statisticalrelations with perceived organizational performance. Figure 5.3 provides a more detailed picture.The specific items in Figure 5.3 that have a plus sign (+) in parentheses after the abbreviated survey statementindicate an above-average score on the survey (3.5 or greater); those that have a minus sign (−) indicate abelow-average score (2.9 or less). All items listed in each of the four boxes (individual needs and values,motivation, mission and strategy, and the business environment) were positively correlated with perceivedperformance.The message to the client went something like this:The parts of the model that appear to be most positively related to employees’ perceptions of how well the Dime is110
performing include their views of the bank’s external business environment and their understanding of andcommitment to the bank’s mission and strategy.In other words, these transformational factors relate significantly and positively to perceived performance. Theserelated perceptions could perhaps be reinforced even more so that a self-fulfilling prophecy could have more effect; thatis, assuming that clarity about environment and mission and strategy relates positively to perceived performance,strengthening these perceptions might eventually influence organizational performance positively. The categoriesrelated to morale are problematic, however. Lower-than-average ratings on individual needs and values, especiallywork–personal life balance and motivation (e.g., employees’ perceptions of morale, empowerment, and control), may becontributing to a negative view of organizational performance and could be affecting performance adversely. It istherefore suggested that a thorough examination of people’s jobs in the bank be undertaken. This examination wouldinclude consideration of the following:Figure 5.2 1998 Predictive Model for DimeDegree of workload: Are some employees overloaded in their jobs and others not, or is it true that most people are111
overworked and an increase in hiring is warranted?Feelings of empowerment and a related sense of having little control over changes in the bank: These need to beexamined further; that is, do people have too much responsibility with too little authority?Figure 5.3 Detailed Scores, 1998 Predictive Model for DimeWorking on these morale issues should improve motivation and, in turn, performance.These exact words were not actually said to Dime employees, but the above statement does capture themessage that was given. Of course, all the other items in the survey and the model categories were covered andexplained. The regression analysis was conducted on the Time 2 results only. The important and excitingnews was the increase from Time 1 to Time 2 in 123 of the 125 total survey items. Although it was notscientific proof that the desired changes at Dime were successful, the executives, managers, and employees112
believed nevertheless that positive change had occurred.What has been briefly described—that is, from the original merger to these later action steps—spanned aperiod of more than four years. The financial services company continued to focus on organization change andimprovement and sought growth of market share primarily by acquiring other, similar businesses.In summary, it should be clear that this case represents organization change that is more revolutionary thanevolutionary in nature, because the emphasis of change was mission and strategy and culture. A compellingcase for change as a consequence of the merger was made by the respective leaders of both companies, and adisruption ensued as a consequence. The organization’s initial and continuing change process had beeneffective because of many factors; the main ones are as follows:The CEO’s leadership, support for change, and modeling behaviorChange initiatives carefully planned and driven by dataAn enlightened human resource leader and staffStrategic change expertise provided by external consultantsKey changes made among the top 20 executivesSignificant acquisitions of additional businessesSignificant change over the four-plus years described in this case had clearly been made. The fundamentalnature of the business changed somewhat in that the organization made a deliberate effort to become more ofa commercial and less of a savings bank. The merged culture was a bit more representative of one of theprevious organizations than of the other, but it became a new culture nevertheless. Systems were significantlyimproved with the introduction of new technology. Moreover, shifting demographics caused changes inmanagers’ behavior; that is, they became more attuned and sensitive to individual differences.The main objective of presenting the Dime case was to demonstrate how revolutionary change can beimplemented and managed. Another objective was to provide an overview of the entire change effort at Dimeso our major theme of organization change can be continued. In the case of Dime, the initial change wastransformational, and as shown by the survey data, the transformational factors in the model were the primarylevers for change: external environment, mission and strategy, leadership, and more gradually, culture. Abusiness strategy for Dime at the time was to expand its business beyond the New York City metropolitanarea. This expansion was to be via an acquisition either by Dime or of Dime by a larger company. The latteroccurred in 2002 when Washington Mutual acquired Dime. A few years later Washington Mutualunfortunately experienced serious business problems and was gobbled up by bigger players. Perhaps if it hadadopted more of Dime’s culture, leadership, and ways of doing business, it would have survived.113
Evolutionary Change: Case ExampleThis case concerns a comparatively small professional services partnership that is close to a century old. Thepartnership consists of about 50 partners, with about the same number of associates, plus administrative andtechnical staff. The firm is relatively small, deliberately. It is a specialty house providing highly individualizedservices, to corporations primarily. Its mission is to remain specialized, not to provide a broad array of generalservices for clients. It serves more than half the Fortune 500 corporations, and more than half its revenuecomes from clients it has served consistently for more than 20 years. The firm serves clients in 400 U.S. citiesand 15 foreign countries. Although growth of the firm is a goal, the partners do not favor “rapid growth,mergers, and branch offices.” In fact, the firm is located in only one building in a large metropolitan area inthe eastern United States.The structure of this professional services firm is rather simple and straightforward. At the top is themanaging partner (the CEO equivalent), and working closely with him is a small executive committeeconsisting primarily of department heads, or as they prefer to call them, “practice group chairs.” Following themanaging partner and the executive committee are the senior partners, then the junior partners (recententrants into the partner status), the associates (most of whom have partner aspirations), and the staff.The organizational consultants working with this firm were initially asked to meet with the managing partnerand some of his executive committee members to explore ways of evaluating the performance of their seniorand junior partners and, eventually, to cascade the process down to include the associates. The managingpartner had heard about something called a 360-degree feedback process and wondered whether this kind ofprocedure could be used to measure and reward performance. The consultants who were asked to meet withthe managing partner and his colleagues had considerable expertise in this type of feedback process, as well asin the broader arena of organization change and development.Briefly, a 360-degree feedback process gets its name from a full-circle procedure of rated behavioral practices.The behaviors rated are usually in the domains of management and leadership. The central person rateshimself or herself on a set of behavioral practices that are employed in leadership or management, and threeother categories of raters rate the person on the same set of behavioral practices (examples will be providedlater in this case presentation). The three other categories of raters are the central person’s supervisor, peers,and direct reports or subordinates. The central person and three other sets of raters compose the full circle, or360 degrees, as it is often called. Incidentally, instead of the overly popularized and metaphorical label, a moreaccurate description would be multirater or multisource feedback, because other raters may be included, such asclients or customers.The feedback process consists of the comparison between the central person’s self-ratings and those of theothers (one or sometimes two supervisors and a minimum of three peers and three direct reports). The degreeof congruence or divergence in the ratings is, of course, the main focus of attention.In the exploratory discussion with the managing partner and his colleagues, the consultants quite naturally114
asked many questions and, in due course, offered opinions and suggestions. In addition to finding a way toevaluate partner performance, the managing partner also stressed the need for more leadership, especiallyamong the senior partners; the need for identifying potential leaders among the junior partners; and the needfor more teamwork. The consultants explained in detail how a multirater feedback process works and thenoffered the opinion (actually the expression of a value the consultants hold) that using this kind of procedureas a measure of performance for certain organizational purposes was not wise. That is, to employ multiraterfeedback in the service of performance appraisal and then to base organizational rewards (incentivecompensation, promotion, etc.) accordingly would create the strong possibility of rater bias. To baseevaluations and rewards on the rating procedure would mean that one’s ratings become somewhat public—that is, known to those who make decisions about performance evaluation and rewards, certainly to themanaging partner and his executive committee. In other words, what would likely drive the process would bethe rewards to be obtained, not so much one’s desire to be a more effective leader or team player. Moreover,when one knows that one’s ratings of someone, especially one’s supervisor, will be used for evaluativepurposes, rather than for the purpose of individual and organization development, the ratings are likely todiffer. It is not necessarily a matter of using multirater feedback for organizational administrative purposes(e.g., performance appraisal) versus using the process solely for individual and organization development. AsLondon (2001) has pointed out in his coverage of the “debate,” it does not have to be one or the other:[The feedback process] can be used for both development and administrative purposes, but thistakes time. The organization may need to start by using MSF (multisource feedback) fordevelopment alone to establish a culture of interpersonal trust and attention to development. (p.383)With respect to the professional services firm, this multirater feedback process was a first. For more coverageof using this process for individual and organization development, see Bracken (1996) and Church,Waclawski, and Burke (2001).The consultants therefore urged the managing partner and his executive committee colleagues to use themultirater process for individual and organization development. Individually, the purposes would be toincrease self-awareness in particular (studies have shown a positive link between self-awareness andperformance, e.g., Church, 1997) and to increase personal and professional development in general.Organizationally, the purposes would be to (1) select behavioral practices related to functioning as a leader andmanager and to teamwork that fit with the managing partner’s objectives and (2) encourage partners throughthe feedback process (i.e., coaching by the external consultant) to work on improving their leadership qualitiesand to improve them so as to enhance teamwork in the firm. Furthermore, the consultants urged the firm’sleaders to authorize that the multirater feedback process be confidential so that only the person being ratedand the external consultant directing the overall process and providing the feedback and coaching would haveaccess to and knowledge about the individual’s ratings. Finally, the consultants assured the managing partnerthat when a sufficient number of feedback sessions with partners had been conducted, an overall summary ofall the ratings would be provided.115
The consultants then recommended that the behavioral practices be as tailored as possible to the firm’s changeneeds, mission, and values. Not recommended were off-the-shelf or “general purpose” practices but, instead,the process of identifying and selecting behaviors that they, as the firm’s leaders, thought made the most sense—that is, in terms of aligning partner behavior more closely with desired values and change directions for thefirm.At the end of the discussion of almost three hours, the managing partner and his colleagues told theconsultants that they would talk further among themselves about what was being recommended and let theconsultants know within a week or two. There was no expectation by the consultants that the firm’s leadershipwould make a decision that day. Rarely do potential client organizations make a decision to move forward thatquickly. Besides, in this case, the consultants had attempted to persuade the managing partner and hisexecutive committee members to move in a different direction from what they had asked for in the first place—namely, a change from an administrative appraisal to a developmental one.The firm’s leadership did decide to move forward with the consultant’s recommendation (otherwise therewould be no story to tell!), and the process began.116
The Tools for Assessment and RatingsTo start, the consultants asked for certain materials and documents from the firm, such as their missionstatement, strategic plan, statement of values, and any other information that addressed their desired futurestate. Because the firm’s leadership was rather conservative and careful about organization change, requestingthese materials from the firm suggested a course of action consistent with continuous improvement, ratherthan a significant and sweeping change of mission; the firm wished, you will recall, to remain relatively smalland specialized. Although they wanted to expand their services to new clients and broaden their base, therange and nature of these services would continue as they were. They considered themselves among the best attheir specialty and wanted to remain so. They had good reason to believe that they were among the best—theystill are—because their clients list was indeed desirable, and more than half their clients stayed with them forlong periods of time, more than two decades.117
Behavioral PracticesOn the basis of these documents and some selected interviews, the consultants, from their data bank ofhundreds of behavioral practices that had proved to be effective in other organizations, developed a workinglist of behavioral practices that were as relevant to the firm as possible. These behavioral statements werecategorized according to the firm’s list of values—for example, promoting a courteous, collegial, and trustingculture. Through a collaborative, back-and-forth, iterative process with the client firm that required aboutthree months, the consultants and the firm’s leadership agreed on a final list of 59 behavioral practices. In theend, at least half these behavioral statements were written “from scratch,” that is, expressly for the firm. Muchdebate about the right phrases and proper wording had ensued.The 59 practices were then arranged into a rating questionnaire using a 5-point Likert-type scale. Each of thebehavioral statements was rated twice—first, according to the extent to which the person being rated practicedthat specific behavior and, second, according to how important the behavior was to the part of the firmrepresented by the partner being rated. Comparing the behavior in terms of how much it is practiced and howimportant it is considered helps the individual being rated decide how much change in the given behavior maybe needed. If the behavior is not seen as very important, little, if any, change may be required. If there is a gap—the behavior is perceived to be highly important, but the person is rated as practicing it very little—thenbehavior change may be needed. The 59 practices were categorized according to the firm’s 12 primary values.An example of a practice for six of these values used in this multirater feedback process is shown in Table 5.1.In addition to the 59 behavioral practices, three other rating instruments were used in this feedback process.These additional three were related more to personality than to specific behaviors. There were two primaryreasons for adding these three questionnaires.First was the matter of context. One’s day-to-day behavior is in part a function of the situation and in part dueto one’s temperament or personality. In a sense, one’s behavior is foreground and the personality underlyingthe behavior is background. Thus, in providing feedback about behavior, that form of feedback can beunderstood more thoroughly if one can also see the rated behavior in the context of one’s nature, that is,personality and temperament. An introverted individual behaves differently from one who is extroverted.Linking this dimension of personality to behavior can help one more clearly understand feedback from others.118
Second, the firm’s leaders wanted to encourage their partners to assume more leadership, and they wanted tounderstand more about the potential for leadership in the firm, especially among the junior partners.It should be noted that providing leadership and management in a professional services firm is not exactlyeasy. There are clearly exceptions, but professionals—lawyers, accountants, and consultants—do not as a rulejoin firms to be managers or leaders. They join because they want to practice law, consult with clients, oranalyze a company’s financial situation. They do not want to lead and certainly do not want to manage otherprofessionals. They definitely do not want to have to be concerned with such mundane matters as budgeting,hiring other professionals, generating a business plan, providing performance feedback to others, determiningcompensation, and so on.So the managing partner wanted to know whether he could count on more help with leadership for the firm119
—or whether his firm was like most other professional service enterprises in this regard.What follows is a brief description of the three other instruments of assessment that were used in thisfeedback study.Myers-Briggs Type IndicatorBased on Carl Jung’s theoretical notions about individual differences, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator(MBTI) assesses a person’s degree of strength of preference along four continua of personality dimensions(Briggs & Myers, 1943). Briefly defined, these dimensions are as follows:Extroversion–introversion: the degree to which individuals differ with respect to sociability and beingenergized while around others, as compared with introversion, which stresses keeping more to oneselfand being energized more while alone than with othersIntuition–sensing: the degree to which individuals depend more on intuitiveness and hunches forassimilating information, as compared with a preference for concrete, fact-based information—that is,more a function of what a person sees, touches, hears, smells, and so onThinking–feeling: the degree to which individuals differ with respect to what they do with informationonce they take it in; that is, whether one (1) uses primarily thought processes such as logic, analysis, andobjectivity or (2) prefers instead to rely more on emotional consideration when making decisions—forexample, feeling domains such as interpersonal relationships, values, and certain internal, personalstandardsJudging–perceiving: the degree to which individuals prefer order, planning, achieving closure, anddecisiveness, rather than keeping their options open and “going with the flow,” or spontaneityA person’s results on the MBTI become eight preference scores that represent comparisons with norms basedon many thousands of others’ scores on the continua of thinking to feeling, judging to perceiving, extroversionto introversion, and intuition to sensing.Although it would be possible to have others answer the MBTI as a rating of the central person, this other-rating is not typical. The MBTI is lengthy, well over 200 questions, and has strengths of reliability andvalidity; thus, it serves the feedback process well only with self-ratings.NEO-Personality InventoryAlso a self-rating instrument only, the NEO-Personality Inventory (NEO-PI) provides measures that arelinked to the “Big Five” factors of personality (Costa & McCrae, 1985). The NEO-PI is also lengthy, with240 items, and is based on extensive research and practice. NEO is an acronym for three of the five factors, allof which are briefly defined below:Neuroticism: The higher the score, the more one tends to be anxious, depressed, and angry.Extroversion: The higher the score, the more one tends to be gregarious, warm toward others, andoutgoing—very similar to the same measure on the MBTI.120
Openness: The high scorer’s behavior is likely characterized by curiosity, a love of intelligence, andcreativity, primarily meaning he or she is open to ideas and new learning.Agreeableness: The higher the score, the more one tends to be cooperative, trustworthy, kind, andsympathetic toward others.Conscientiousness: High scorers on this factor tend to be reliable, well organized, responsible, anddisciplined.There is some overlap with the MBTI, and the feedback to a person needs to highlight convergence where itexists, such as the obvious extroversion dimension and intuition with openness and perhaps judging withconscientiousness. Consistency across instruments helps convince the person receiving the feedback that his orher responses are credible.Leadership Assessment InventoryThis instrument was included to determine the extent to which partners in the firm preferred leadership tomanagement. It is possible, as noted previously, that many of the partners preferred neither. If neither, aperson’s scores would be relatively low on a large set of norms. The Leadership Assessment Inventory (LAI)consists of 18 items that measure an individual’s preference for leadership over management. It is based on thethinking of Burke (1986), Burns (1978), and Zaleznik (1977). See Chapters 10 and 12 for more coverage ofthis kind of thinking. The LAI is a multirater instrument, including ratings by oneself, one’s supervisor, andone’s subordinates but not one’s peers. The content of the 18 items does not lend itself to peer ratings. Peerratings in this case are not as relevant or as reliable as those from supervisor and subordinates. In addition toan overall preference score for leadership compared with management, individuals receive ratings on fivesubfactors—namely, determining direction (five items), influencing followers (five items), establishingpurpose (three items), inspiring followers (three items), and making things happen (two items). For moreinformation on the LAI, see Sashkin and Burke (1990) and Van Eron and Burke (1992).121
Data Summary of the Firm’s PartnersThe 50 partners in the firm were rated the highest on practices categorized as “Solidifying and MaintainingClose Client Relationships” and “Promoting a Courteous, Collegial, and Trusting Culture.” Their“Teamwork” ratings were fairly strong, but “Developing the Business” resulted in so-so ratings, and the lowestwere “Leading and Managing.” In fact, the lowest-rated practice of all was “Provide a Vision of the Futurethat Captures the Commitment of People.” Moreover, the ratings on the LAI reflected little desire for serviceas leaders. Management activities were not exactly popular, either.The MBTI pattern of the firm did not fit norms for the United States very closely. Whereas 25% of theoverall U.S. population scored as introverts, 56% of the partners did so. On intuition, the partners scored 68%,compared with 25% for U.S. norms; thinking was at 72% for the partners, compared with about 50% for U.S.norms; and 62% scored as judging, compared with about 50% for U.S. norms. The overall combination oftraits among the partners—among the 16 possibilities for the MBTI of introversion, intuition, thinking, andjudging—occurs in less than 2% of the U.S. population. This firm’s partners may not be like most Americanpersonalities, but they may not be that different from other professional service firm populations. Althoughsome research has indicated that perceived leaders in organizations are likely to be higher on intuition and abit higher on perceiving rather than judging (Van Eron & Burke, 1992), the only dimension conducive forleadership in our professional services firm is intuition. So there may be some potential in the firm forleadership but, in the main, not a clear, strong profile for it.The results on the NEO-PI were well within the normal range for neuroticism—no problems there—andshowed consistent scores on extroversion (rather low), with openness and conscientiousness being strong.Agreeableness was in the average range.122
ConclusionThe lead consultant in this case made the following points and recommendations to the managing partner andexecutive committee of the firm:This professional services firm is indeed highly professional, showing a strong emphasis on servingclients promptly and effectively; internal firm norms of courtesy, respect, and collegiality; and clarityabout mission and the identity within the larger professional community, that is, strong specialization.Although a reasonable amount of teamwork in the firm seems to exist, there is insufficient attentionbeing paid to mentoring and providing professional development for junior partners and associates.The leadership picture is rather bleak. Although there may be leader ability among the partners, there islittle motivation.The latter two points overlap. Mentoring is a form of leadership.About halfway into this consultant–client relationship of about three years, the managing partner hired asenior partner from another firm to help with leading and managing. This seasoned outsider enjoyedleadership and appeared to be quite good at it. The consultant discussed this decision with the managingpartner and suggested these options for the future: This method of providing further leadership for the firmcould be followed and focus could be placed on changing the firm’s reward system in such a way that internalleadership would be reinforced more strongly and recognized to the same degree as effective client work.Much more could be stated about the interesting culture of this firm and the issues facing it. However, thepoint of providing the case example is this: Organization change for this firm came slowly; it was clearlyevolutionary in nature. Future work will be on leadership development, whether internally or externally bymeans of new hires. The firm needs to do a much better job of (1) mentoring, (2) considering the firm moreas a business and less as a professional club, and (3) learning how to improve from the kind of process it spentconsiderable time and money on, its multirater feedback program.This professional service firm was not in trouble. There had been no need for a sea change. Evolutionarychange was therefore quite appropriate. Continuous improvement was its slogan.123
SummaryThe primary purpose of this chapter was to make clear that not all organization changes are the same. Animportant distinction is the difference between revolutionary (later to be referred to as transformational) andevolutionary (later to be referred to as transactional) change. The inclusion of the two case examples wasintended to clarify the distinction between the two.Revolutionary change, perhaps by definition, occurs in leaps, spurts, and disruptions, not in an incremental,linear fashion. Our understanding of revolutionary change has been enhanced and emboldened by similarfindings across disciplines and multiple levels of analyses. These similarities are quite remarkable. Deepstructure, as explained by Gersick (1991), is perhaps the key concept for understanding the nature ofrevolutionary change more fully.Evolutionary change is characteristic of most organization change. Evolutionary change is typically an attemptto improve aspects of the organization that will lead to higher performance. The fundamental nature, or deepstructure, of the organization—its culture, for example—remains undisturbed. The primary mission of theorganization remains the same, and the primary rationale for its strategy to implement the mission alsoremains intact. Yet major organization changes can occur, such as modifying the structure, installing a newsystem of information technology, or launching a new line of businesses. These kinds of changes are simplyevolutionary when it comes to a comprehensive understanding of organization change.124
Six Levels of Organization Change Individual, Group, andLarger SystemWe now know the importance of considering organization change in systems terms (Chapter 4). Anorganization is a totality, a whole with interacting parts or components. Change to a part may be a change inthe organization, but it is not organization change. To change a part of the component does not constitute achange in the system. To understand organization change as thoroughly as we can, however, it is useful toanalyze, to examine the various pieces and parts and how they affect and are affected by each other and by thewhole. Also, to understand organization change as thoroughly as we can, particularly in light of the fact thatthe process is so complex, it is critical to consider multiple perspectives. The previous chapter attempted todistinguish between revolutionary and evolutionary change. Although definitions of the two types of changeoverlap, separating them helps us understand more clearly that organization change occurs quite differentlywhen the change goal is to improve operations and when the goal is to turn the organization in an entirelynew direction.This chapter examines change at three different yet overlapping organizational levels and focuses on theinternal organization. Not only does evolutionary organization change differ from revolutionary change, butchange differs at different levels in the organization.Our analysis in this chapter examines three levels: the individual, the group, and the total system. There ismore to an organization than these three broad levels, of course. The prefix inter comes to mind. Individualsin organizations relate with one another, so there is the interpersonal level. Groups in organizations relatewith one another, so there is the intergroup level. And organizations relate with other organizations, so thereis the interorganizational level. We will touch on these other, “inter” levels, but our main focus will be on thethree broad ones.Organizational behavior and change can be at least partially understood according to the three broad levelsthat form the focus of this chapter, but we must constantly bear in mind that individuals in organizationsalways behave in context. The context is at the interfaces, that is, relations with others, or as Capra (1996)would put it, “networks within networks.”With this caveat in mind, let us now proceed with an analysis of organization change at the level of theperson.125
Change in Organizations at the Individual LevelFirst, an assumption: An important pretext for addressing any level of change is to decide an overall directionfor organization change. Changes at the individual level are therefore designed and implemented to help theorganization move in its new direction. This assumption is critical to our understanding. Many, perhaps most,changes at the individual level in organizations are not in the service of moving the total system in a newdirection. Training programs, for example, are often conducted because another competitor in the industry isdoing it, and “to remain competitive, we had better do it, too.” This “keeping up with the Joneses” mentalityaccounts for many changes at an individual level that rarely, if ever, affect the whole.Now let us consider three primary change examples for individuals that can be in the service of helpingimplement organization change.126
Recruitment, Selection, Replacement, and DisplacementThis category of individual change concerns getting, placing, and keeping the right people in the right rolesand jobs to facilitate the larger change effort. For example, almost three decades ago, General Foods, now apart of the Phillip Morris Corporation, decided to try an experiment with a new plant start-up that, ifsuccessful, would be disseminated throughout the company in the interest of its becoming more competitivein the food industry. As reported by King (1972), the plan was to design this new manufacturing organization,a food-processing plant, according to the criteria of Likert’s (1967) System 4. This meant that major taskswould be accomplished by teams and that first-line supervisors would be team leaders rather than operatemore traditionally as supervisors by giving close individual supervision. Status differences among all employeeswere to be minimized. There would be no executive dining room, for example, but one cafeteria for all, and aparticipative approach to management was to be practiced. The top management group for the plant, thegeneral manager and three operating managers (operations service, manufacturing, and technical), had beenselected by corporate headquarters according to the new plant design criteria; that is, these individuals werecompatible with and committed to managing their organization according to the participative managementpremises of System 4. The objective of the selection process, therefore, was to find people who were alsocompatible with a participative approach. Team leaders would be expected to manage participatively.The selection process was managed by the top team with the assistance of an organization developmentconsultant. The principles that guided their work were as follows:1. All selection decisions would be made by the people who were to work with those selected.2. Decisions would be based on how applicants behaved in collaborative and conflicting group situations.3. All applicants would receive feedback from the decision makers on why they did or did not receive joboffers.4. The selection process would reflect as much as possible the types of tasks and relationships that wouldbe characteristic of work in the plant; that is, status differences were minimized, the process waspersonalized, there was a growth and development emphasis for all employees, communication was twoway, and considerable activity took place in small groups.5. Psychological tests would be used but only as secondary information, and the results would not becomea part of an individual’s employee file.6. Contact between those who were already members of the organization and those who were strongprospects would gradually become more extensive and open as the selection process progressed.King (1972) has described in detail the 2-day process for the selection of team leaders. The process included aplant visit, a detailed description of the new organization, role-playing exercises, a battery of psychologicaltests, group decision-making tasks, and simulation exercises of plant work. As King pointed out,the selection decision makers must obtain an accurate indication of whether or not the candidate islikely to function well in a participative organization. At the same time, prospective employees need127
accurate information to assist them in deciding whether or not it is advisable for them to join such anew system. (p. 201)King’s report was written about nine months after the start-up of the plant. During that time, only two peoplehad left the organization, absenteeism was less than 1%, and productivity had exceeded original expectations.This early success was sustained (Walton, 1975), but the managerial and change process associated with it didnot spread to the overall parent company. Walton has hypothesized several reasons for this lack of diffusionwithin General Foods and in six similar cases in organizations in the United States, Canada, the UnitedKingdom, and Norway. Some of the reasons were an inadequate pilot project, a poor model for change,confusion over what was to be diffused, and deficient implementation. An eighth organization, Volvo, ofSweden, was an exception. The success of an initial pilot effort there was effectively diffused into other partsof the overall organization (Gyllenhammar, 1977). This more effective diffusion was due to an effective pilotproject, a better model for change, less confusion about what to diffuse, and better implementation than theother organizational examples. Also, as work by Levine (1980) has shown, innovative enclaves inorganizations that are incompatible with the overall culture and are unprofitable remain isolated and do notdiffuse whatever innovation they develop.The opportunity to select people for a new organization in a planned, systematic way is rare. The advantagesof such an opportunity are clear:Many difficult problems in overcoming resistance to change are obviated. New norms, differentfrom traditional norms in industry, can be developed. Rather than the problem of changingestablished roles and role expectations about how supervisors or employees “should” act, roles areestablished anew. The newness of the physical setting and technology is congruent with theinstitution of a new approach to organization and interpersonal relationships. (King, 1972, p. 201)Although still relatively rare today, selecting employees in this deliberate, planned way does occur. The Saturnautomobile division of General Motors was started and has continued to operate according to many of thesemore participative ways of selecting and working with people. Procter & Gamble has used similar practices,and some of the newer high-tech companies such as those in Silicon Valley do the same.Replacement and displacement in the interest of organization change also occurs. The brief story ofrevolutionary change at British Airways (BA) related in Chapter 5 began in part with reducing the workforceby more than 20,000 people. This displacement occurred over some period of time, because early retirementsand other forms of natural attrition were predominantly used. The main objective, nevertheless, on the part ofthe CEO at the time, Colin Marshall (today Lord Marshall), was to reduce bureaucracy and move BA towarda more market-oriented, customer service enterprise. In other words, this huge reduction in the workforce wasin support of the overall organization direction and change effort.Finally, a key replacement tactic in many organization changes is to recruit a new leader from inside the128
organization, but more often from the outside. Marshall, the change leader of BA, was recruited from anoutside yet similar industry, Avis car rentals, a service organization in the broader travel industry. LouGerstner was recruited from outside the computer industry to change IBM (and he did). Many otherexamples could be given.The point is that, frequently, a deliberate tactic for organization change at the individual level is to infuse thesystem with new leadership, especially at the top.129
Training and DevelopmentAgain assuming that a training program is designed and conducted to help bring about organization change,most of the time the effort is directed toward individuals in managerial positions. How this approach totraining was implemented was described in Chapter 5 with the brief story of the change at BA. Let us nowconsider another example also conducted by a service organization, a global bank.Citicorp, now known as Citi, launched a unique training program, Managing People, early in 1977. Thecorporation’s top management was concerned that, along with its rapid growth in the late 1960s and 1970s,the increasing strain on managers to continue to produce profits and adapt to rapid change had causedmounting “people problems” in the organization. More and more people were feeling like cogs in a (money)machine. Because it was accepted by top management that people were the organization’s most importantresource, particular attention had to be paid to managing this resource more effectively. William Spencer,president of the corporation at that time, publicly stated in a filmed introduction to Citicorp’s program, “Themanagement of people is probably a greater skill mandated than individual brilliance. Even the most brilliantperson, if there is little or no ability to manage people, is a lost cause in our operation” (Burke, 1982, p. 244).He was talking about what Daniel Goleman (1995) today calls emotional intelligence.To begin the process, a study was conducted (1) to identify the best management talent within theorganization, (2) to determine the specific set of management practices that seemed to distinguish the bestfrom average managers, and (3) to design a training program based on these superior practices. A criteriongroup of managers was thus established by asking senior executives to identify subordinate managers withintheir respective groups who were outstanding and would most likely be taking their places as senior executiveswithin the next decade. They indentified 39 such managers. The researchers then asked these same seniorexecutives to identify 39 additional managers within their groups who were satisfactory managers but not aseffective as the first group. The researchers next arranged for 353 subordinates of these 78 managers (39 in theA group [outstanding] and 39 in the B group [satisfactory]) to rate their bosses on 59 management practicesculled from a list of hundreds. The ratings were done with 5-point Likert-type scales. Some of the practicesrated were as follows:Your manager communicates high personal standards informally—in conversation, personal appearance,and so forth.Your manager tries to make the best use of staff members’ skills and abilities when making assignments.Your manager works with staff members (subordinates) to reach mutual agreement on theirperformance appraisals.Your manager uses recognition and praise—aside from pay—to reward excellent performance.The work group meetings your manager conducts serve to increase trust and mutual respect among thework group members.The A group was rated significantly higher than the B group on 22 of the 59 practices, regardless of theirmanagement situation in the corporation. Another eight practices differentiated between the two groups but130
only under structured conditions of management, such as in a back-office operation of check processing. TheA-group practices were then used as the basis for design of the training program. Because this group had beenidentified as outstanding managers and subordinate ratings had further identified some of the specificpractices that these managers did exceptionally well, it followed (to Citicorp’s top management) that the largerpopulation of managers should be trained to adopt this special set of people-management practices. Before theprogram began, managers were rated by their subordinates on the selected practices.The 5-day program then consisted of training in clusters of these practices, with each training day devoted toone cluster. The five clusters were (1) getting commitment to goals and standards, (2) coaching, (3) appraisingperformance, (4) compensating and rewarding, and (5) building a team for continuity of performance.Training techniques included case method, role practice, group problem-solving and decision-makingexercises, and occasional short lectures. For each day of the program, the managers received a computerprintout of their ratings by their subordinates on that day’s cluster of practices. This feedback for the managerwas the most powerful part of the training program, because managers focused their learning andimprovement objectives on the practices that received the lowest ratings. In its first 3 years, about 2,000Citicorp managers went through the program. It continued to be popular and highly valued among Citicorpmanagers for at least another 15 years.This Managing People program of Citicorp’s was designed to change the management of the organizationfrom an insensitive and results-only mentality to a management group that focused more on people, with abetter blend of getting results and managing subordinates in a more participatory and caring fashion.Although some qualitative studies were done over the years to determine the degree of success of theManaging People program, its ultimate payoff is not clear. The fact that the program continued for almosttwo decades supports the belief that it had value for Citicorp. In any case, the value was primarily individual innature and its value for the organization as a whole is unclear. Assuming that change did occur, it wascertainly evolutionary, not revolutionary.131
Coaching and CounselingCounseling in an organizational work setting, or as we prefer to call it today, coaching, is not exactly new.Counseling was recognized as a tool for individual development and organizational improvement at least 70years ago, when the Hawthorne studies were conducted (Dickson & Roethlisberger, 1966). Whencounseling/coaching is used for purposes of furthering organization change, we have the problem ofintegrating individual needs and organizational goals. This is not an easy problem to solve,since the requirements of system-wide change may not be in the interest of the individual, and vice-versa. However, if the counselor [coach] can relate equally to the demands of organization changeand to the needs of the individual, he is in a unique position to help the individual and theorganization renegotiate a new psychological contract. (Beer, 1980, p. 190)The new psychological contract, then, is an attempt to integrate individual improvement objectives withorganization change goals.Most of the time, coaching or counseling occurs informally with internal organizational professionals, usuallyin the human resource function, serving in the helping role. These informal encounters may be carried outduring lunch conversations, brief and spontaneous talks with a manager before or after an intense meeting,phone conversations with a manager about scheduling the next time together in which a current problem isdiscussed incidentally, and so forth. One of the most important times is when the coach is helping his or herclient (usually a manager) deal with feedback that the client experiences as negative (Crockett, 1970).Defensive feelings are the most common ones, and the more the coach can help the client talk about thosefeelings, the more the client will be able to move on to a problem-solving mode of behavior.More recently, the term executive coaching has become incorporated into our language. Actually, coachingtoday occurs at all levels of management in an organization, but executive coaching has more panache as a term.In any case, this form of coaching currently consists of providing help to a manager or executive in much thesame way an athletic coach works. Witherspoon and White (1998) have specified at least four roles thatexecutive coaches play:1. Coaching for skills: The focus is on tasks that a person has to accomplish and the skills andcompetencies required. An example might be a highly important speech that the executive has todeliver, and the help needed might concern how best to “win over” the audience.2. Coaching for performance: The focus here is broader and encompasses the executive’s entire job, and thehelp needed is how to perform the overall job effectively. An example would be an executive’s jobchange from operations or line responsibility to staff; in the former job, success would be defined morein terms of supervision, whereas with the latter, job success would be defined more in terms of how wellone can influence others to accomplish tasks when formal authority is minimal.3. Coaching for development: Here, the focus is on the future; it is more about helping the executive with132
career choices and about the next job.4. Coaching for the executive’s agenda: In this case, the executive decides what is needed. An examplewould be a forthcoming meeting that the executive must lead; the help provided might be in designingthe meeting, how the executive could share leadership, how certain difficult subordinates could bemanaged in the meeting, and so on.Determining at the outset the need that the executive has for coaching more clearly defines the particular rolethe coach will play. In other words, distinguishing among these four possibilities helps the coach respondmore directly and precisely to what the executive may require.It is also useful to think about the coaching sequence:Gaining commitment to the coaching process with an agreement or contract between the coach and theexecutive about the work to be doneAssessing the problem presented by the executive, which determines for the coach which of the four rolesto playAction to be taken by the executive after a given coaching sessionFollow-up by the coach after the executive’s action(s), in which the coach helps the executive learn fromhis or her experienceWitherspoon (2014) has added to his coverage of executive coaching by incorporating the earlier work ofArgyris and SchÖn (1978) on double-loop learning. Using similar language Witherspoon labels his approachdouble-loop coaching, a way of learning how to “think in action” and then to apply that learning in such a waythat the executive’s performance and leadership will improve. The essence of this approach to executivecoaching “is the idea that the way leaders act and the results they create begin with the way they think” (p.261).This synopsis of what constitutes executive coaching helps illustrate how change at an individual level canfacilitate organization change. More specifically and also currently, coaching is frequently conducted as part ofmultirater feedback in which help is provided in understanding the feedback more clearly and in planningchanges in one’s behavior accordingly. Moreover, research is beginning to show that multirater feedback byitself does not seem to lead to positive change in performance. Coaching appears to make a helpful andpositive difference (Luthans & Peterson, 2003; Seifert, Yukl, & McDonald, 2003; Smither, London, Flautt,Vargas, & Kucine, 2003). In any case, if the content of the feedback is congruent with organization changegoals, then this individual process helps leverage the change. We will return to this type of leverage fororganization change in Chapter 11 and, by implication, in Chapter 12, which is about leading organizationchange.133
Individual Responses to Organization ChangeIndividuals’ reactions to significant change in organizations, change that directly affects them, has beenlikened to the psychiatrist Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s (1969) description of the five stages that most people gothrough when they are faced with a terminal illness. The struggle begins with (1) shock and denial; moves to(2) anger; (3) bargaining, or attempts to postpone the inevitable; (4) depression; and finally (5) acceptance.Not everyone moves through all these stages; some never move beyond denial. And so it is with organizationalbehavior. Some organizational members fight the change “to the death,” constantly denying that the change isnecessary. Others embrace the change readily and move with it. Most people are somewhere in between andmove through all stages.Levinson (1976) has argued that whether change is resisted or embraced, all change is nevertheless a lossexperience, particularly a loss of familiar routines. And the more psychologically important the loss, the morelikely one’s behavior will take the form of resistance. Levinson further argued that all loss needs to be mourned(a bachelor party on the eve of a groom’s wedding, most often a joyful change, could be thought of as amourning ritual) and that people should have an opportunity to discuss and deal with their feelings if they areagain going to be able to perform effectively on the job. He went on to state:Most organizational change flounders because the experience of loss is not taken into account.When the threats of loss are so severe as to increase people’s sense of helplessness, their ability tomaster themselves and their environments decreases. To undertake successful organizational change,an executive must anticipate and provide means of working through that loss. (p. 83)134
ResistanceThe phenomenon of resistance to change is not necessarily that of resisting the change per se but is moreaccurately a resistance to losing something of value to the person—loss of the known and tried in the face ofbeing asked, if not forced, to move into the unknown and untried. Feelings of anxiety associated with suchchange are quite normal.Another form of loss that leads to resistance can come from one’s experiencing a lack of choice, that is, theimposition of change, or being forced to move to some new state of being and acting. That is, people are notsimply and naturally resistant to change. What comes closer to a universal truth about human behavior is thatpeople resist the imposition of change. Brehm’s (1966) research and his theory of psychological reactance helpexplain this human phenomenon. When one’s feeling of freedom is in jeopardy, the immediate reaction islikely to be an attempt to regain the feeling of freedom. This reaction is so strong, in fact, that peoplefrequently will not bother to defend their beliefs and may even change them to oppose others’ attempts atchanging them. In some cases, the issues of advantage and change are in conflict, leading to a situation inwhich people may prefer to continue on a path that is not in their best interests rather than give up the feelingof free choice.Research shows, for example, that when a smoker is told to stop smoking, his or her typical reaction is eitherto continue as usual or increase the rate. Brehm’s (1966) theory is that when people believe themselves free tobehave in a certain way, they will experience psychological reactance (i.e., they will resist) if that freedom isthreatened or eliminated. The degree of ease and success with which an organization change is introduced istherefore directly proportional to the amount of choice people feel they have in determining andimplementing the change.It is also important and useful to consider the kind of resistance that is being manifested. Hambrick andCannella’s (1989) distinctions are helpful in this regard. In other words, diagnostically, one should determinewhether the resistance is blind, political, or ideological.Blind Resistance. Some people, no doubt a small minority, are simply afraid and intolerant of change—anychange. Two kinds of response may be useful here. One is to provide as much reassurance as possible. Movinginto something unknown is always discomforting, at least for a while, but things rarely turn out as dire as weimagine. Second, allow time to pass. Some people in this category merely need time to get used to the newidea; it is just their nature to react defensively at first, like a reflex, but not necessarily forever.Political Resistance. Persons engaged in political resistance believe that they stand to lose something of valueif the change is implemented, such as loss of one’s power base, status, job, income, or the like. With this kindof resistance, one needs to counter with negotiation, trading something of value with something else of value.Also, one might argue long-term gain versus short-term loss: Yes, for a while we will be losing some things,but over the long haul, we stand to gain much more.Ideological Resistance. Some people may genuinely believe that the planned change is ill fated (it simply will135
not work, and here are reasons why) or in violation of deeply held values (this change is the wrong thing to do,and here are reasons why I feel this way). In other words, the resistance comes from honest, intellectualdifferences or genuine beliefs, feelings, or philosophies that are different. Under these circumstances, it can beuseful to counter with strong persuasion based as much as possible on data, facts, and substance. Mere opinionwill not be persuasive. Careful prediction from and linkage to this information is absolutely necessary.It also should be noted that resistance to change is not necessarily a bad thing. Apathy is worse. At least withresistance, there is energy and the person cares about something. Moreover, resistance is a natural humanresponse and, like one’s defense mechanisms, should be respected. There are reasons for defenses to be inplace. As the previous paragraphs have attempted to explain, there are likewise reasons for resistance.Understanding these reasons is important if the organization change agent wishes to be successful.To summarize, change usually involves a shift away from a known situation, with all its familiarity, comfort,and advantages. The people affected are exchanging the known for the unknown, certainty for uncertainty,existing patterns of behavior and adaptation for new patterns, or tried rewards for untested ones. In additionto the uncertainty of the satisfactions to be gained from the new situation, the people being asked to make thechange are required to spend a great deal of effort and psychological energy in getting to know the newsituation and in tolerating and coping with frustration until they can evolve new work or living patterns. Inpsychological terms, newness and the need to cope with it constitute stress. If the long-term rewards to begained from the change are no greater than those enjoyed formerly, the stress cost outweighs the futureadvantage. If the new advantages outweigh the old but are not well understood by those undergoing thechange, again the effort will not seem worthwhile. Only if the advantages are greater and are desiredsufficiently to outweigh the efforts required to make the transition are people likely to embrace changewillingly.Finally, it should be clear that resistance is not a universal human phenomenon. Individuals do indeed differin their responses to organization change. Oreg (2003), for example, has demonstrated that people’s responsesto change differ in four primary ways—in the extent to which they (1) seek routine, (2) react emotionally(particularly common when the change is imposed), (3) take a short-term focus, and (4) react in a cognitivelyrigid way. And Wanberg and Banas (2000) found that the more organizational members tended to beoptimistic, possessed high self-esteem, or had high internal locus of control, the more open to and supportiveof organization change they were.Most people, therefore, do not easily fall into an either/or category of resistance versus acceptance of change.In fact, most of us when confronted with the possibility of change are likely to be ambivalent—the change, orsome aspect of it, might be good, yet there may also be some adverse consequences. As Piderit (2000) hasnoted, responses to change are “neither consistently negative nor consistently positive” (p. 783).136
Individuals Coping With ChangeThere are at least three ways to help organizational members deal with change: conceptually, by achievingclosure, and through participation.Frequently, giving people a way of thinking about what they are experiencing can be useful. The frameworkdeveloped by William Bridges (1986) is an example. First, he distinguishes between change and transition.Change, he states, is something that “starts and stops, or when something that used to happen in one waystarts happening in another” (p. 25). Transition is a psychological process extending over a long period of timethat cannot be managed in a rational way, whereas change can be. People in transition, Bridges contends,move through three phases of ending and letting go. People must let go and stop identifying with the oldbefore they can embrace the new.1. Surrender: People must give up who they were (role, position, title, etc.) and where they have been ifthey are to make a successful transition. A great deal of what we call resistance to change is reallydifficulty with the first phase of transition.2. The “no man’s land”: People in this second phase experience ambiguity, confusion, and perhaps despairand a sense of meaninglessness. It is also a time of reorientation, and gradually, a new psychologicalplace can be attained.3. A new beginning: People may begin to learn new skills and competencies, make new relationships, anddevelop a new vision for the future.In managing people’s transition, Jick’s (1990) caution and perspective need to be heeded:These basically optimistic theories about how people eventually embrace change, whilepsychologically accurate, are somewhat simplistic. Most people will work through the emotionalphases they delineate; some will do so more quickly than others. But others will get stuck, often inthe first stages, which encompass the most keen and jagged emotions. . . . People get stuck for twobasic and obvious reasons: “Change” is not some monolithic event that has neat and tidy beginningsand ends; and people’s subjective experiences of change vary considerably as a result of individualcircumstance. [Moreover,] frameworks that presume periods of psychological sorting out while thechange is being digested are somewhat flimsy in helping us deal with multiple changes. How are weto be in “defensive retreat” with one change, in the “neutral zone” with another, while adapting to athird? If these changes are also rapid-fire, a fairly common situation in these upheaving days in thepolitical and economic arenas, it becomes clearer why some people “resist.” (p. 5)Achieving closure is most relevant to the surrender or disengagement phase, letting go of the past. As Jick(1990) implies, this is easier said than done. Although there are individual differences, most, if not all, peoplehave some need to complete “unfinished business,” and at some level, energy will be spent in an attempt to“finish the thing.” For example, when one has an argument with someone that stops, for one reason or137
another, short of resolution, one tends to continue the argument mentally, even though the other party is nolonger present. People spend mental and emotional energy in an attempt to finish, resolve, or complete theargument. So it is with organization change. When newness is thrust on organization members, replacing,say, formal ways of doing things, with no time to disengage and “finish the business” of the former way, theywill spend energy trying to deal with the incompleteness. This energy may take the form of simply continuingto talk about the former ways or, even more resistantly, sabotaging the new ways. What is referred to as“resistance to change” often amounts to attempts to gain closure. Providing ways for organization members todisengage from the past, at least to some extent, helps them focus on the change and the future.A case of achieving a reasonable degree of closure occurred at one of the centers of the National Aeronauticsand Space Administration (NASA). Because certain technology was obsolete, the center director had toterminate a rocket program as part of a larger change effort. Several hundred scientists, engineers, andtechnicians were affected. The center director held a brief ceremony for all these people that symbolized the“death and burial” of the program. He also made a toast to the group commemorating the fine work that hadbeen done on this program in the past. Follow-up interviews indicated that this NASA executive achievedclosure for his part of the agency. (For more detail about this closure experience, see Burke, 1994, pp. 147–148.)Finally, getting people involved, or participating in making the change work, can go a long way towardresolving resistance. A principle of behavior that is central to effective management in general and managingchange in particular is, “Involvement leads to commitment.” Stated a bit more elaborately, the degree to whichpeople will be committed to an act is a function of the degree to which they have been involved indetermining what the act will be. This is a commonsense principle of human behavior that is corroborated byconsiderable research. This principle helps explain why so many elegantly and appropriately designed plansnever get implemented. When a single person or small group of people plans a change that will involve amuch larger group of other people and fails to involve the others in the planning, the likelihood of successfulimplementation is diminished. The larger group is likely to perceive the plan as something imposed on them,and their reactance will be aroused. Although they may agree that the plan is intrinsically logical andappropriate, there will be no psychological commitment to it if they have not been involved in the planning itselfand have had no influence on its content or choice in whether to contribute to it. This lack of psychologicalcommitment does not necessarily cause complete resistance to implementation, but the best that can beexpected (unless organizational loyalty is extraordinarily high) is slow, reluctant compliance. Getting peopleinvolved, then, can not only mitigate resistance but also contribute to a more effective overall change process.138
Change in Organizations at the Group LevelThe primary work group, whether it is a top management team, a packaging unit at plant level, or a districtsales team, is the most important subsystem within an organization. The work group serves as the context andlocus for (1) the interface between the individual and the organization, (2) the primary social relationships andsupport of the individual employee, whether or not he or she is a manager, and (3) a determination of theemployee’s sense of organizational reality. The extent to which members of a group work well together andthe extent to which they, as a group, work well with other groups in the organization will determine in partthe overall effectiveness of the organization.Work groups have always been important for organizational effectiveness. We first recognized this systematicimportance in the Hawthorne studies (see Chapter 3). This importance is increasing. The single individualwho knows many of the functions and specialties within an organization is becoming more and more a rarity.Groups of various specialists attempting to produce something that is greater than the total of their individualspecialties are becoming more the rule than the exception. Newer organizational structures, such as the matrixdesign and networks, require an increase in group activities.139
Team BuildingOrganization change efforts typically rely heavily on the use of work groups. These family units within theorganization have to make changes in the way they conduct their work. Their unit goals may need to beentirely different, their roles within the unit may need to be modified, and so forth. Conducting team-building activities often supports the larger organization change. And the more the work unit has at least onegoal that is common to all group members and the accomplishment of that goal (or goals) requires cooperativeinterdependent behavior on the part of all members, the more likely a team-building activity is in order. Dyer(1987) has developed criteria to help determine whether team building is needed, for example, in the case ofdifficulty between the team leader and members or difficulty among team members; Beckhard (1972) hasprovided a set of four purposes for team building:1. To set goals or priorities2. To analyze or allocate the way work is performed according to team members’ roles and responsibilities3. To examine the way the group is working—its processes, such as norms, decision making, andcommunications4. To examine interpersonal relationships among membersBeckhard (1972) pointed out that all these purposes are likely to be operating in a team-building effort, “butunless one purpose is defined as the primary purpose, there tends to be considerable misuse of energy. Peoplethen operate from their own hierarchy of purposes and, predictably, these are not always the same for allmembers” (p. 24). Thus, Beckhard’s order for the four purposes is important. The reason for this ordering ofthe purposes is as follows: Interpersonal problems could be a consequence of group members’ lack of clarity onteam goals, roles and responsibilities, or procedures and processes; problems with procedures and processes couldbe a consequence of group members’ lack of clarity on team goals or roles and responsibilities; and problemswith roles and responsibilities may be a result of group members’ lack of clarity about team goals. To begin ateam-building effort with work on interpersonal relationships may be a misuse of time and energy because it ispossible that problems in this area are a result of misunderstanding in one of the other three domains.Clarifying goals, roles and responsibilities, or team procedures and processes may eliminate certaininterpersonal problems among team members; clarifying roles and responsibilities may in itself eliminate someof the problems with the team’s working procedures and processes; and clarifying team goals and prioritiesmay in itself eliminate certain problems team members have with their roles and responsibilities.A smoothly operating group of people in a work unit, or in a temporary task force, for that matter, can behighly beneficial to an overall organization change effort, particularly if the group is the top management teamof the organization. To have everyone pulling in the same direction is critical to the success of an organizationchange effort.A well-honed, highly cohesive, smoothly operating work unit or task force can have adverse consequences forthe overall good of the organization, however. Kanter (1982), for example, has addressed the importance oflinking teams with their environments. She points out that this linking has six dilemmas:140
1. Suboptimization: Too much team spirit can cause insularity, with members losing sight of their team’srole and function in the larger organization.2. Turnover: A highly cohesive team has a difficult time accepting new members.3. Problem of fixed decisions: Norms and ground rules can become rigid, and prior decisions may becomeimmutable.4. Stepping on toes and territories: A highly cohesive team can feel powerful and believe that no one elsecan understand what they know; their expertise should therefore have great influence in the largersystem.5. NIH: “Not invented here” is the problem of ownership and transfer, a reluctance to share and to beinfluenced by other individuals and groups.6. As Kanter (1982) put it, “a time to live and a time to die” (p. 22): Groups have life cycles, and after ahigh of effectiveness, they may then dip to ineffectiveness.141
Self-Directed GroupsIt may be that as part of a larger change effort, management has decided to “flatten” the organization’shierarchy, that is, to eliminate several layers of supervision. Usually, with such changes, the span of control fora given manager or supervisor broadens from, say, 1:9 to 1:20 or more. Organizational members need to learnmore about how to manage themselves individually and in work units. So-called self-directed or self-managedgroups have become much more prevalent in organizations of late. With many organizations downsizing anddelayering to become more nimble and adaptable to rapid changes in their marketplaces, the growth of self-management, particularly in groups, has significantly increased.Hackman (1992) has (a) delineated the key features of self-directed groups, paying particular attention to theauthority and leadership issues; (b) specified the behaviors that distinguish self-directing from the moretraditional modes of operating, for example, taking personal responsibility, mentoring and managing one’sown performance, actively seeking guidance when needed, and helping others in the group; and (c) suggestedconditions that foster and support the kinds of self-direction that will contribute both to personal satisfactionand to group achievements, such as having clear and engaging goals, a supportive structure for the unit, expertcoaching and consultation, and adequate material resources. Paying attention to Hackman’s criteria andconditions should lead to greater team effectiveness for self-directed groups. In any case, evidence is beginningto emerge that self-directed groups can indeed be successful. In a comprehensive meta-analysis of 70 studies,Goodman, Devadas, and Griffith-Hughson (1988) concluded that self-directed groups had a positive impacton productivity. In another study by Pearson (1992), attitudes on the job were favorably influenced as well.As one might expect, there are problems to overcome for self-directed groups to be effective:Group members must learn to share power and leadership.Effectively managing differences and conflicts within the group is critical to success.Not all group members are equal with respect to skill and ability, experience, knowledge, and expertise.Managing these differences—that is, deploying the human resources of the group toward taskaccomplishment in an efficient and effective manner—is key to success.It is likely that for overall organization change to be successful now and in the future, there will need to bemore and more reliance on self-directed groups. Why? Because of the demand for organizations to be asflexible and adaptable as possible for future survival. A part of this greater adaptability is a flatter hierarchywith more rapid decision making and less bureaucracy.142
IntergroupWork units or groups in organizations that normally depend on one another—such as marketing peopleworking with operations people, research and development with manufacturing, or headquarters with field asthey exchange information, hand off one aspect of the production process to another unit, and so on—willfrom time to time experience problems and issues with one another. Each group has its own mission, but forthat mission to be accomplished, each group occasionally must rely on the other. This mutual dependence, orinterdependence, is a natural setting for conflict.The original research in intergroup conflict, which set the stage for how we deal with it in practice today, wasconducted by Sherif and his colleagues in the late 1940s and early 1950s (Sherif, Harvey, White, Hood, &Sherif, 1961). In a series of studies with groups of boys at summer camp, Sherif and his colleaguesdemonstrated how to develop strong in-group feelings with two separate groups by creating opportunities forsuccess and enhancing pride and then showing how these feelings translated into competitive behavior whenthe two groups were placed in a win–lose situation. Experiments were also conducted in reducing conflict andin establishing a cooperative attitude between the two groups by focusing on a superordinate goal—that is, agoal that could only be accomplished with cooperative efforts between the two groups. These experimentswere also conducted over a period of years with adults in industrial organizations (Sherif & Sherif, 1953).Blake, Shepard, and Mouton (1964) summarized Sherif’s work and demonstrated refinements of the processesin work done with actual groups in conflict, such as staff and line, headquarters and field, sales and operations,and management and union. Alderfer (1977a) has provided an overview and summary of intergroup relations,as has Schein (1980).It is important to distinguish between real conflict between groups and what Harvey (1977) referred to as“phony conflict.” Otherwise, what action to take remains unclear. According to Harvey, the difference is thatreal conflict involves substantive differences. One party says, “The research project is technologically feasible,”and the other says, “Not according to my understanding of the data.” Phony conflict, however, consists ofnegative, even hostile blaming behavior that occurs when agreement is mismanaged. One party says, “I told youthe project couldn’t work. Look at the mess you’ve got us in,” and the other says, “Don’t blame me. It wouldhave worked if you had done your job.” Harvey argued that such conflict is a symptom, not a condition initself. As a symptom, conflict may reflect real differences, or it may be symptomatic of agreement that peopleare not willing to acknowledge: For example, all members of a team believe that a project is doomed to fail,but no member will voice this agreement because they also may believe, perhaps incorrectly, that the teamleader is fully behind the project.Harvey (1977) further argued that when managers and consultants fail “to distinguish between real and phonyconflict they collude with maintaining the problem they are attempting to solve” (p. 166). In a phony conflict,all members—regardless of group—know what the problem is and what solution is required. They arereluctant to act because of action anxiety, negative fantasies, fear of separation, real risk, or psychologicalreversal of risk and certainty (Harvey, 1974). Confronting reality and recognizing and acting on the implicitagreement may require more risk than people in the situation feel like taking. Thus, there is an underlying143
agreement not to discuss the implicit agreement, but it is not being exposed and managed. According toHarvey (1977), it is highly important to bring this agreement to the surface and help manage it toward action.Real conflict between groups involves substantive issues, and the two (or more) groups express competitivebehavior, not merely blaming one another. Within each group, we are likely to find that members are closeand loyal to one another. Their internal differences are submerged; group climate is formal, serious, and taskoriented, rather than informal, playful, and oriented toward members’ psychological needs; the group leader ismore directive and less participative; activities are structured and organized; strong norms exist that demandloyalty to the group from each member; and there is considerable energy to resist the other group.Once it has been determined that real conflict exists and that there is motivation within both groups to workon the problems, action to resolve the conflict is warranted. As the earlier coverage of experiments aboutintergroup conflict by Sherif and others suggested, the first action step for resolving conflict among groups isto establish a superordinate goal. For a description of action that is based on the theoretical foundationsbriefly described previously and on the earlier work of Sherif and colleagues, see Burke (2006).144
Group Responses to Organization ChangeThe more that work units in the organization are involved in helping plan and implement change, the morethey are likely to embrace rather than resist the organization change effort. Resistance by organizationalgroups, on the other hand, can take at least four forms (listed next in no particular order).“Turf” Protection and Competition. “To change our unit is to endanger a central and core competence of theorganization” is an expression often heard during organization change. The work group, function,department, or business unit is fighting for survival and will muster every rationale, fact, and guilt-inducingbehavior to justify its continuation.Closing Ranks. “Circle the wagons”; “One for all and all for one.” In a recent structural change at a university,the anthropologists were asked to divide themselves among two or three new academic departments. Theyrefused, declaring that they must remain as a group and join only one department, none of which they liked,incidentally. Their arguments and feelings were that the president was attempting to destroy their identity andfunction in the university by dividing them.Changing Allegiances or Ownership. To avoid having to deal with the organization change, a group may optfor becoming a separate entity—that is, formally departing from the parent organization. The group can be“spun off” as a separate business and go its merry way. Leveraged buyout (LBO) is one form of separation.The group may join another division within the organization but remain intact. The group may become a“wholly owned” subsidiary and have to survive on its own but remain intact and maintain its autonomy. Aspin-off, LBO, or subsidiary may be a carefully planned and deliberate action as part of an overall changeeffort for the organization. Just as likely, these kinds of actions are ways of avoiding conflict and having to dealwith difficult change issues.The Demand for New Leadership. Analogous to distinguishing between real and phony conflict, there aretimes and circumstances in which the group leader is simply not capable of dealing with and leading a changeeffort. Under these conditions, perhaps the leader should be replaced. There are times, on the other hand,when the leader is quite capable but the followers in the group revolt as a way of resisting the change. In otherwords, they collude with one another to resist their change leader by suggesting, if not outright averring, thattheir leader is incompetent. This form of resistance is a deeper psychological process and may reside more inthe collective unconscious of the group than in its consciousness. Bion’s (1961) theoretical distinction betweena work group (conscious of its task and the passing of time) and what he calls a “basic assumption” group(colluding to destroy the leader, that is, assuming that the leader is no longer a leader) is useful for morethoroughly understanding this form of resistance. After all, organization change generates strong emotions fororganizational members; feelings may “run high,” as the expression goes. People may be aware of their feelingsbut may not always be conscious of what is causing them.Ways of dealing with change for individuals—conceptually, achieving closure, and participation—apply togroups as well. A few additional points on group action are worth our consideration.145
Achieving closure at a group level, for example, conducting a brief “funeral” for a former program or the pastways of operating and then celebrating the new way or program, may be more beneficial than closure at anindividual level. Sharing feelings—that is, having an opportunity to discuss these feelings with people who aregoing through the same experience—is often a valuable, worthwhile expenditure of human energy.Conducting group problem-solving meetings off-site, where members can participate in determining thespecific change actions that will directly affect them, may be highly beneficial.Finally, it may make sense to recompose a group, not changing its function necessarily, but changing itsmembership. It may be that new skills and technology are needed for a particular work unit to go forward insupport of the larger organization change effort. Or it may be that the members are so resistant to the change,for whatever reasons, that they need to be reassigned—as Kanter (1982) noted, “a time to die.” In otherwords, for the overall common good, the local group must be recomposed.146
Change in Organizations at the Larger-System LevelAn organization change effort rarely, if ever, begins all at once with the total system, especially in a largeorganization. Beginnings typically involve an individual, a group, or a program, such as management training,or an already recognized need to make a significant change—in the organization’s structure, for example. Theprevious sections in this chapter have dealt with much of the groundwork that either leads to large-systemchange or facilitates it. In this section, we shall consider some of these previously described interventions inattempts to change a large organization, a system composed of multiple groups, functions, and processes. Inexamining large-system change, we shall briefly consider the orders or levels of change, the phases of large-system change, the change focus (mission or structure), some examples of change processes at the larger-system level, and finally, change at the interorganizational level.147
Orders of ChangeBecause change at the larger-system level is so complex, it is useful to think strategically about different ordersof change. Kimberly and Nielsen (1975) have suggested three orders of change. (Order refers to the level ofthe ultimate target for change.) For first-order changes, the initial focus is some subsystem of the organization.The change would occur as a result of an intervention in a particular unit or division (subsystem) within theorganization. The unit may be a relatively autonomous business line or the top management team, and theintervention could be team building, with a change objective of developing more collaborative, consensualdecision-making behavior. First-order change, then, is within a subsystem, and although change in that unitwill have some consequences for the larger system, the likelihood is that, unless other, complementary andsupplementary changes are also occurring in related parts of the total system, the change within the initialsubsystem will be short-lived. For an excellent and classic example of this point, see the Hovey and Beard case(Whyte, 1955).Second-order change means that the target is a subsystem or process that is beyond the initial focus but will beaffected if the initial effort is successful. The focus is frequently a category or a particular set of subsystemswithin the organization. An intervention may take place with one group of employees, first-line supervisors,for example, when the ultimate objective for the change effort is to affect all workers below these supervisorsin the organizational hierarchy. If we want to decrease absenteeism and turnover among the workers who areaccountable to these supervisors, our initial effort may be a training program for the supervisors in which theywould have the opportunity to learn more about human motivation, the consequences of certain kinds ofrewards and punishment, and effective ways of providing feedback on worker performance. With properapplication of this learning, the supervisors would help reduce absenteeism and turnover, our ultimate targetfor change.Third-order change eventually influences some organizational process or outcome that is affected by multiplefactors. Third-order change, therefore, means the involvement of multiple factors in some causal sequencetoward an ultimate goal. Wherever the interventions or series of interventions are made, the ultimate objectiveof the change effort is larger—to increase productivity, for example. Staying with this example, becausemultiple factors affect productivity, no single first-order or even second-order change is likely to be successful.Also, for third-order change, there is likely to be a chain or sequence of factors that eventually leads to higherproductivity. We may begin with changing how supervisors treat subordinates, for example, by getting themto manage more participatively. This change in turn will affect work climate and subordinate motivation,which then may lead to greater individual and group performance and, finally, to increased productivity.Documenting change at the first order is fairly straightforward; at the second level, it is more difficult; and atthe third, very difficult, as we shall see in the next chapter. Nevertheless, we must understand that changingthe entire system is a third-order change.148
Change PhasesOne of the first psychologists to help us understand organization change at the larger-system level was KurtLewin. His rather simple three-phase model set the stage for the more elaborate and comprehensive modelswe embrace today. These more recent models are explained in a later chapter. For now, let us briefly examinewhat is meant by these three phases.Although applicable to the larger system, Lewin (1958) explained his three-phase model for change at thegroup level. The term step is often used in describing Lewin’s model, but phase is a better word because thesteps are not discrete; they overlap.Lewin (1958) argued that in Phase 1, we must unfreeze the system. This unfreezing phase may take a varietyof forms—creating a sense of urgency about the need for change, educating managers to behave differently,merging with another organization, and so on—but the underlying notion is that the system must be shakenup, must be confronted with a compelling need to do business differently, and must be thawed from itspresent way of doing things so that in a new, more malleable, perhaps even vulnerable state or condition, thesystem is accessible and amenable to change interventions.The second phase, then, is movement, or changing the organization: moving in new directions with differenttechnologies and ways of operating. Lewin’s (1958) point was that the system will not move or change in anymeaningful way unless and until an unfrozen condition has been achieved.Once change, or movement, is under way, the third phase, refreeze, must be initiated (Lewin, 1958). Thechange that has occurred cannot be allowed to dissipate or drift away. The new, changed condition or statetherefore needs to be reinforced, or undergirded, with a process and infrastructure in place to maintain thenew system. This means, for example, having a different reward system that reinforces the behaviors that arecongruent with the new, changed organization. In other words, organizational members see a clear and directrelationship between what the organization’s mission and strategy are and their individual roles andresponsibilities. Other examples could be noted, such as organizational structure and information systems.The point is that as the new state is “frozen” in the early stages of change, it is delicate, somewhat vulnerable,and until jelled, subject to further change that may not be desired. Thus, reinforcing the new state is just asimportant in the change process as shaking up the old one was in Phase 1. Chapter 15 provides more aboutsustaining a change effort.We examine in more depth this phased way of thinking about, planning, and implementing organizationchange in Chapter 8.150
Change FocusIn a sense, the question here is, where do we start with our change effort, what comes next, and then where dowe focus? The answer to “Where do we start?” depends on what is initiating the change in the first place,particularly from the organization’s external environment, and how deep the change should be. Are we talkingabout revolutionary or evolutionary change? If revolutionary, then the focus is on deep issues such as theraison d’être of the organization, its purpose, its mission, and related matters, for example, strategy. We willalso focus on issues of leadership and organizational culture. If, on the other hand, the changes needed are notas fundamental or transformational in nature—that is, what seems to be required is some fine tuning,improvements here and there, or changes to some important parts of the organization but not the entiresystem—then we are talking about evolutionary, or transactional, change. The focus, therefore, is on matterssuch as organizational design and structure, the information system, or perhaps management practices.Staying with our theme, larger-system change, implying more transformational than transactional change, westart with a focus on the bigger picture—mission, leadership, and culture—followed by a focus on the moretransactional dimensions. The focus of change in the latter case is on the support and infrastructural aspects ofthe organization that will reinforce the transformational changes: organizational structure (after the newstrategy has been determined), the reward system (to reinforce new behaviors), information technology (toalign with and support new operations), new roles and jobs for people, improving the climate of groups andteams, and so on.151
Change ProcessesIn general, process here refers to mechanisms that facilitate the overall change effort, such as communicationsystems (newsletters that tell stories about successful changes that support the overall effort, videos of theCEOs championing the cause, etc.) and training programs that focus on the new skills and behaviors neededto make the change work. More specifically, process refers to certain interventions meant to significantlyimplement the change effort, as in the following two examples.Large-Group Intervention. Large-group intervention involves bringing together a large, key group oforganizational members (e.g., the top 100 executives or all 500 first-line supervisors) in one room for a day ortwo to address a significant organization change issue, for example, determining the new mission and set ofguiding values for the organization or responding to an organization-wide survey with action plans. This kindof intervention requires a significant amount of design and logistical planning, yet it can be powerful formoving the organization (a huge step) toward the change goals. For more information about this kind oflarge-scale intervention, see the book by Bunker and Alban (1997) and the article by Burke, Javitch,Waclawski, and Church (1997).Survey Feedback. The historical development and brief description of what this kind of intervention entails isprovided in Chapter 3.Suffice it to say here that in support of an overall change effort, an organization-wide survey helps achieve thefollowing:Establish data points at a particular time that can serve as milestones or benchmarks for how well thechange is progressing (Further value is provided when a Time 1 assessment is compared with a Time 2measure, say, a year later.)Establish priorities about which aspects of the organization to emphasize for change and in what orderto address themSend messages, by the content of the questions that are asked, to organizational members about what isimportant in the change processKeep the change effort based on dataInvolve a large number of people in the organization change effort through feedback and actionplanningFor more information on this kind of organizational intervention, see Kraut (1996).152
InterorganizationalCurrently and probably for some time yet to come, larger-system change comes about by way of mergers andacquisitions, strategic alliances, joint ventures, and the like. There are a number of reasons for these joinings,but two in particular: (1) the opportunity to share resources that neither organization by itself has and (2) theopportunity to improve cost-effectiveness by reducing redundancies. By their very nature, these decisions andoccurrences force organization change. This is particularly true of a merger in which two organizations ofrelatively equal size and scope come together as one. But most of these joinings fail, especially mergers andacquisitions. Using the criteria of what is promised by the leaders of merged and acquiring companies and theobjectives of the decision to join (“achieving synergies” is a phrase often bandied about), there are many morefailures than successes. Burke and Biggart (1997) conducted a study of interorganizational relations and foundthat this majority of failures could be attributed to the following primary reasons or conditions:Insufficient clarity about goals and how to measure progress toward the goalsImbalance of power and control between the two organizations when they merged or, say, established astrategic alliance or joint ventureImbalance of expertise, status, or prestige between the two partiesOverconfident and unrealistic notions about future success of the relationship—that is, holding anerroneous belief of having sufficient control over key variablesLack of a contingency plan (As Chapter 2 notes, organization change, including these joinings, neverunfolds as foreseen.)Lack of perceived equity, for example, in distributions of key jobs and rolesConditions for success in organizations’ coming together are the opposite of those on the failure list. Toclarify, here are a few examples:Having a superordinate goal—that is, a goal or goals that can be accomplished only through thecooperative efforts of the two parties (See the section “Coercion and Confrontation” in Chapter 3 forthe original research in this domain, the work of Sherif and Sherif [1969] and Blake et al. [1964].)Having a balance of power, expertise, and statusCreating mutual gainHaving a committed leaderAligning rewards (In the early stages of a merger or acquisition, it is important to consolidate variouscompensation systems into one.)Having respect for differencesAchieving equityHaving realistic assumptions about what can be accomplished and in what time frameHaving good luckIn an informal discussion with senior executives who had recently been through an acquisition (some theacquirers and some the acquired) and were about to go through yet another one, I asked them what they had153
learned from their previous experiences. The following is a quick summary of what these executives said:1. They emphasized the importance of having a vision for the future (sound familiar?).2. They noted that having a rationale behind the joining and explaining this carefully to all those affectedis critical.3. They stressed the importance of being open and honest about the change.4. They pointed out how important it is in the early stages to have informal relations between the twoparties, such as going to a ball game together, sharing meals, and so on.5. These executives argued that rapid decision making was imperative even if some of the decisions wouldhave to be changed later. They pointed out that people cry for structure and order and this need shouldbe addressed.6. The executives emphasized the importance of what they referred to as “walking the talk,” meaningmatching words with actions, or the absence of hypocrisy. (Chapter 14 elaborates on this aspect ofleading change.)7. They stated that in the midst of this kind of organization change, typically the customer is forgotten.With so much time and energy being focused inwardly, conducting the business and serving customerssuffers.Although these executives made some interesting and unique points, as can be seen, there is considerableoverlap with the findings from the study by Burke and Biggart (1997).To see how a successful merger changed two organizations, SmithKline Beckman of Philadelphia andBeecham of London, into a new organization that required the coming together of two companies as well astwo nationalities, see Bauman, Jackson, and Lawrence (1997) and Burke and Jackson (1991). And to see howa strategic alliance that cut across three companies and three nationalities (United Kingdom, France, andGermany) affected the internal organization change effort of British Aerospace, see Evans and Price (1999).Finally, as already cited, for an overview and analysis of interorganizational relations in general, see Burke andBiggart (1997).154
System Responses to Organization ChangeAgain, with strong efforts at following a planned process to bring about large-scale organization change,including heavy use of involvement and participatory activities as well as clarity of direction with strongleadership, successful organization change can occur. The change at BA and the successful merger ofSmithKline Beecham are good cases in point. Yet even with successful changes, resistance occurs along theway, and when success is not achieved, the resistance dominates and lingers. We will touch on six examples ofresistance to larger-scale change.Revolution Becomes, at Best, Evolution. When a transformational change is attempted, in the end, onlysome components of the organization are changed or perhaps just some fine-tuning occurs. The old culture issimply too powerful, the bureaucracy too pervasive. Even though the perturbation(s) from the externalenvironment may have been strong—say, a significant technological change in the industry (such as goingfrom analog to digital in the communications industry)—the organization’s response to this external shift isinsufficient, and the deep structure (pattern) does not change.Insufficient Sense of Urgency. In this instance, which happens often, the case for change is simply notcompelling. The question is obvious: “Why change?” Many people in the organization lack the motivation totackle an organization change process and program because they harbor disbelief about the need, seriousskepticism, a lackadaisical attitude, or a combination of these responses. For whatever reasons, not enoughorganizational members are convinced that change is required, and there is not a critical mass to move theorganization in another direction.“This Too Shall Pass.” This response is typically a function of history. Time and again, management has triedthis and tried that, taking on the latest fad for improving the organization, or the “flavor of the month,” as thisprocess is sometimes called. And people believe the cliché, “The more things change, the more they stay thesame.” So organizational members’ response is to “wait ’em out.” The response shows more apathy than itdoes active resistance.Diversionary Tactics. This category of response is indeed resistance and reflects a strong desire on the part oforganizational members to sabotage the effort in one way or another. One way is to create a crisis that must beaddressed before any change can get under way. Sales may drop all of a sudden, a technological glitch may popup, or some waste products may be declared toxic. There are many possibilities. Another more common formis to argue that the timing for such a change is wrong. There are far too many other things “on the plate,” asthe expression goes. “We have residual problems from last year that still need fixing”; “People are stretched tothe limits, too much stress, we simply cannot afford to pile yet another organizational initiative onto theiragenda”; “This kind of effort will divert us from the real work, manufacturing and selling our products, orattending to customer needs.” The point is that people will grab at anything to avoid, if not sidetrack, thechange.Lack of Followership. “Well, the platform may be burning, but if you think I’m going to follow this CEO155
into the flames, you’re out of your mind!” This response is, of course, similar to if not the same as the onementioned earlier in the group-level section. Followers, or more accurately, potential followers, collude oreven conspire with one another to find fault with the leader. And if there is no followership, by definition,there is no leadership. Without leadership, intended change will not occur.Coping With Responses to Change at the Larger-System Level. Many of the coping mechanisms at theindividual and group level are applicable at the larger-system level: achieving closure on the previous way ofdoing things, providing conceptual frameworks to help people understand more clearly what is happening tothem, and involving organizational members in the process of planning and implementing the change.In addition, we can easily point to the list of responses and resistances and then suggest antidotes. First andforemost is the issue of making a compelling case for the need to change. A clear example is the change atBritish Aerospace. The top 100 executives were complying with the CEO’s desire to bring about change, buta deep commitment on their part was lacking. A senior and highly respected executive in the company wasgiven the assignment of making the case for change. He conducted an environmental scan and showedconditions in the past and in the present, and—“if things continue as they are”—what the future would looklike. These conditions were in the categories of sales, technological shifts, what and how their competitorswere doing, and likely scenarios for the future with respect to the aerospace industry, which currently can bedescribed as a shrinking marketplace. British Aerospace is, of course, loaded with engineers. The seniorexecutive’s presentation to the company therefore was, quite appropriately, in the form of many bar charts,line graphs, and statistics. An engineer himself, he argued that if they remained as they were at the time,within a decade or less, they would be out of business. Critical to this senior executive’s success in getting themessage across was his knowledge of the audience. Although he was a senior executive, he was neverthelessone of them, an engineer, and therefore knew how to talk to them, using appropriate language, supportingdocumentation, and the proper medium (charts with data). From that time to the present, there has been asignificantly stronger commitment to the overall organization change effort (Burke & Trahant, 2000; Evans& Price, 1999).To combat apathy and responses such as “This too shall pass,” the change leaders must demonstrate as clearlyand strongly as possible that (1) this time, the change initiative is different (because of a compelling andpervasive need) and (2) we are in this for the long haul—that is, showing at the outset that persistence willprevail. The British Airways story of change had both these qualities.With respect to diversionary tactics, it is incumbent on the part of change leaders to be as clear and committedas possible to the organization change goals and objectives and to establish a set of priorities—to addressstrategy first and then tackle structure, and so on. And although it may not be desired, successful change mayrequire that certain saboteurs be dealt with by job changes, early retirements, or outright severance from theorganization.Finally, two points: (1) Summarized previously are examples of the kind of leadership that will attractfollowers, and (2) if revolutionary change is called for, the deep structure of the organization must be changed.This means changing the culture particularly, perhaps with new leadership and a different mission and156
strategy, followed by addressing the more transactional aspects of the organization, such as structure, withrespect to decision making and accountability, teamwork, and so on.157
SummaryWe have considered organization change in this chapter from the perspective of levels: individual (includinginterpersonal), group (including intergroup), and the larger system (including interorganizational). The pointof the parentheses following each of the three is to emphasize that taking this perspective is somewhatlimited. Organizations are far more complex than merely three levels. In fact, the interactions across theselevels are very important. As we proceed with additional chapters, these interactions will become more salient.Considering organization change according to these three levels, although limited, is useful nevertheless. Asnoted, organization change must start somewhere, and understanding how it can start at each of these levelshelps us more clearly understand how to plan and how to lead and manage the overall change. This chapterwas intended to deepen this understanding by addressing the nature of change at each level, the likelyresponses in general and resistances in particular that occur at each level, and some examples of copingmechanisms at each level. Moreover, these three levels of understanding are not discrete. Individuals residewithin groups and groups within the larger organization. And although our analysis, taking the organizationapart by level, is helpful, we must remain highly cognizant of the fact that we are dealing with totalities,wholes, and systems.This chapter covered a lot of ground. Tables 6.1 and 6.2 are therefore attempts at further summary. Also, inTable 6.1, the intent is to connect with Chapter 5—that is, by including examples at the three organizationallevels that show both evolutionary change and revolutionary change.In Chapter 7, we take a closer look at research on organization change and at further theory—in this case,theory that is more closely related to the research.158
Seven Organization Change Research and TheoryThe objective of this chapter is to provide a guide through the mazes of both organization change researchand organization change theory. Although we will review the compilations and summaries of research studiesfrom the appropriate sources, for example, the Annual Review of Psychology, when it comes to theory, we willnot rely on the “usual suspects,” such as textbooks on organization theory, but will explore the less typicalliterature instead. Organization change theory barely exists, and we must therefore seek other theories thatmay begin to inform us in such a way that in a decade or so, a clearer and more definitive theory aboutorganization change will emerge. For our theory bases, then, we will explore domains such as nonlinearcomplex systems theory, stemming from chaos and related theories, and some of the more fundamentalpsychological theories such as the one developed by William James and C. G. Lange, more than a centuryago, known today as the James–Lange theory (James, 1890; Lange, 1885/1922). But first, let us see whatresearch tells us about organization change by examining the literature of the past 30 years or so.161
Reviews of Organization Change ResearchOne of the early reviews of organization change research was the Annual Review of Psychology chapter byFriedlander and Brown (1974). Writing under the banner of organization development (OD), these authorsframed their review of research in the field in terms of “target of interventions” that led to outcomes. The twobroad categories of interventions were (a) people and (b) technology, with the former emphasizingorganizational processes, such as communication, decision making, and problem solving and the latteremphasizing organizational structures, such as task methods, job design, and organizational design. These twocategories of interventions could lead to two outcomes: (a) human fulfillment and (b) task accomplishment(see Figure 7.1).These components interact in the techno-structural and human-processual [their term, not in thedictionary] systems on behalf of the objectives of human fulfillment and task accomplishment—andthe environment obviously interacts with all these components in terms of input to and output fromthe organization. (p. 315)Their framework is reflective of an open-system approach to conceptualizing organizations.Friedlander and Brown’s (1974) main conclusions from their review of the research literature at the time wereas follows:Research showing change in the techno-structural category was clearer and more definitive than studiesinvestigating the human-processual (their language, which essentially means interactions amongorganizational members, for example, group dynamics) approach. They attributed this difference totypes of measurement tools; that is, techno-structural change is easier to measure than the more abstractand less objective human processes domain.“OD today is a long way from being the general theory and technology of planned social system wewould like to see it become” (p. 335).Although there was some evidence at the time that OD interventions had an effect on organizationalperformance, remembering the differences noted previously, the pervasiveness of the impact was not clear, andthere was no overall guiding theory.Figure 7.1 Approaches to Organization Development162
Source: Friedlander and Brown (1974). Reprinted with permission from the Annual Review ofPsychology, Volume 25 © 1974 by Annual Reviews, years later, Alderfer (1977b) provided a review of the research up to that time and concluded that “theoverall quality of research . . . is showing increasing signs of both rigor and vigor as more careful studies . . .are being conducted and reported” (p. 197). Alderfer, unlike his two predecessors, did not use an overallframework or model to discuss his review of the literature.In a subsequent summary of theory and research in organization change, three Europeans wrote a wide-ranging, cross-cultural review of the field (Faucheux, Amado, & Laurent, 1982). Their review differedsomewhat from Alderfer’s conclusions 5 years earlier. Citing the work of Porras (and his colleagues), one ofour foremost researchers in OD and planned change, Faucheux and colleagues reported that there remained a“paucity of good research and particularly fundamental research” (p. 350). For example, there was evenevidence to counter “that changed process caused changed outcome” (p. 350). In other words, part ofFriedlander and Brown’s (1974) model dealing with the outcomes of human processes (see Figure 7.1) wasnot substantiated. Faucheux and his colleagues called for a stronger linkage between the social and thetechnical approaches. This sociotechnical linkage (see Chapter 3) and the need to account for the broadercontext of organization change, such as understanding the relationship between a given organization and thesociety within which it resides, are critical. They contended that bringing about true organization change thatis measurable and endurable requires such a linkage. This way of thinking is quite compatible with Capra’s(1996) notion of networks (systems) embedded within networks (systems).With the passage of another 5 years, the lament was similar: “Despite more sophisticated research methods,OD research results are still inconclusive. One can find support for many different conclusions, among the163
results reported in the studies” (Beer & Walton, 1987, p. 343). In sum, these reviewers raised an all-importantquestion: “Why should this be so?” They stated that organization change research “suffers from problems,”which are described as follows:1. This kind of research attempts to determine causation. Most researchers rely on traditional scientificmethods, working hard to identify the effects of some change intervention, such as team building,structure change, survey feedback, training, a shift in business strategy, installing a new informationsystem or compensation plan, and so forth. What is overlooked is the larger system, theinterconnectedness of the various parts (sound familiar?), and the context—changes that are occurring inthe industry, for example. As Beer and Walton (1987) pointed out, “exogenous variables and interveningevents will always prevent any powerful conclusions. . . . Even worse, normal science methodology candamage the experiment itself” (p. 343). The authors then presented a very interesting example, a studyby Blumberg and Pringle (1983). These researchers described an intervention that included job redesignand worker participation in managing a mine. Blumberg and Pringle had a control group and anexperimental group, as normal science would dictate. In this case, however, the control group discoveredwhat was going on with the experimental group and resented the latter’s advantage. Moreover, thecontrol group of miners then voted to stop the whole process, and no further changes occurred.2. Most research on organization change is a snapshot, not a longitudinal view. Thus, it is difficult todetermine how permanent a change may be.3. Beer and Walton (1987) used the word flat to signal the third problem. What they meant is that muchresearch methodology and instrumentation is quite precise, but the meaning and interpretation of thedata are anything but precise. History is often ignored, as is environmental context. The authors alsopointed out that quantitative methods are not very useful for understanding an outcome that hasmultiple causes.4. The research often does not fit the needs of the user. “Good science can be antithetical to good action”(Beer & Walton, 1987, p. 344). The use of highly technical, if not esoteric, statistical procedures canmake research outcomes so complicated that managers and executives in organizations (users) end upwith glassy eyes wondering what all this may mean. Also, researchers often equivocate about results anduse phrases such as “on the other hand” and “this outcome can only be expected under these conditions.”The researchers, certainly from their point of view, are using proper language for normal science. Theusers expect something quite different, such as simple declarative sentences.Beer and Walton (1987) went on to state that organization research may be at a turning point; continuing asit was would lead only to studying isolated and episodic events. Going in another direction—namely, “actionscience,” as Argyris, Putnam, and Smith (1985) called it—may be the better choice. This means moving awayfrom typical positivistic assumptions about research in organizations and toward a process that (a) involves theusers in the study; (b) relies on self-corrective learning, say, trying certain assessment methods and thenmodifying them along the way as trial and error yields knowledge; and (c) occurs over time, not episodically.As Beer and Walton noted (1987), the literature about this kind of choice for organization change researchhas begun to grow. See, for example, Carnall (1982), Legge (1984), and Morgan (1983).164
In addition to the four problems covered by Beer and Walton (1987), at least two more can be identified, (a)the researchers themselves and (b) determining what, if anything, changed:1. Numerous studies have shown that the research can affect the outcome (Rosenthal, 1976). The degreeto which the researcher is directly involved makes a difference: collecting data from organizationalmembers, as a more distant observer, or not directly intervening in the organization at all and relyingexclusively on archival information. Clarity must be sought, therefore, about the objective of theorganization change research. Is it for evaluative purposes, and are the organization’s members theprimary users? If so, then from the outset, these organizational members need to be involved, as Argyris(1970) has argued, in decisions about what data to collect and how to collect them. This increases thelikelihood that appropriate data will be collected and analyzed with valid inferences being made. Itfurther ensures that the data will be used. If, on the other hand, the primary user is the scientificcommunity, then more objectivity in the process is necessary, with a greater reliance on data that aremore likely to be objective, such as archival information, financial outcomes (although these need to bechosen carefully, because “creative accounting,” for example, is not dead), and independent assessmentsof the organization’s effectiveness, such as Dun and Bradstreet ratings.2. With respect to a more complete understanding of what, if anything, changed, the work ofGolembiewski, Billingsley, and Yeager (1976) is enlightening. They drew distinctions among threetypes of change, which they labeled alpha, beta, and gamma. Alpha change concerns a difference thatoccurs along some relatively stable dimension of reality. The change is typically a comparative measurebefore and after an intervention. If comparative measures of trust among team members showed anincrease after a team-building intervention, for example, then we might conclude that our organizationalintervention had made a difference. Golembiewski and colleagues asserted that most evaluation researchdesigns consist of such “before” and “after” self-reports.Suppose, however, that as a result of our team-building intervention, a decrease in trust occurred—or there wasno change at all. One study has shown that, although no decrease in trust occurred, neither did a measurableincrease occur as a consequence of a team-building intervention (Friedlander, 1970). Change may haveoccurred, however. The difference may be what Golembiewski and colleagues (1976) called a beta change, arecalibration of the intervals along some constant dimension of reality. As a result of a team-buildingintervention, team members may view trust very differently. Their basis for judging the nature of trust mayhave changed, rather than their perception of a simple increase or decrease in trust along some stablecontinuum. In other words, their standard for judging what trust is may have changed.A gamma change “involves a redefinition or reconceptualization of some domain, a major change in theperspective or frame of reference within which phenomena are perceived and classified, in what is taken to berelevant in some slice of reality” (Golembiewski et al., 1976, p. 135). This involves change from one state toanother. Staying with the example, after the intervention, team members might conclude that trust was not arelevant variable in their team-building experience. They might believe that the gain in their clarity aboutroles and responsibilities was the relevant factor and that their improvement as a team had nothing to do withtrust.165
Thus, selecting the appropriate dependent variable—determining specifically what might change—is not assimple as it might appear. This is especially important when self-report data are used.Returning to reviews of organization change research and focusing on the latest work in this genre, weapparently can no longer rely on the Annual Review of Psychology. The last review article was published at theclose of the 20th century and written by Weick and Quinn (1999). We will summarize this article at the endof the chapter, because Weick and Quinn did not actually summarize research studies but instead providedinteresting and somewhat new conceptual thinking. Thus, their coverage is more appropriate for the finalsection of the chapter.Conducted by Oreg, Vakola, and Armenakis (2011), the most recent review of organization change researchappears to be the extensive coverage of change recipients’ reactions to change—that is, how people react toand feel about what is happening to them. Beginning in 1948, these researchers’ coverage spanned about 60years. The focus was on quantitative studies that measured organizational members’ reactions to change—what they experienced. Over these six decades of organization change studies, they found about 700 publishedarticles. Using standard criteria from “normal science”—that is, the scientific method, for evaluating thequality of a given study—Oreg and his colleagues narrowed their universe of 700 publications to a final groupof 79. Based on these more rigorous studies, the researchers provided a framework consisting of three primaryantecedents of organizational members’ reactions to change: (a) change recipient individual characteristics—for example, style of coping; (b) change process—for example, degree of recipients’ participation in the changeprocess; and (c) change content—that is, the primary focus of the change (organizational structure, job design,information technology, etc.). They linked these antecedents in a quantitative manner to explicit reactions—behavioral, affective, and cognitive—which in turn were associated with change consequence, for example,organizational performance, job satisfaction, personal well-being, and so on. Oreg and his colleagues thenconcluded that their framework deals with inconsistencies of terms typically used in research, particularly withrespect to change reactions. In other words, by clarifying the varieties of antecedents—that is, recipients’reactions and how they are linked to consequences, for example, resistance, and what affects what. They werecareful to point out that determining what is cause and what is effect can be tricky. Variables such asorganizational commitment and job satisfaction can be “antecedents as well as change consequences” (p. 513).Oreg and colleagues (2011) also provided a critique of the 79 studies that they reviewed. They did thefollowing:Emphasized that when conducting organization change research, it is critical to match variabledefinitions to measurement instruments (a validity issue).Pointed out that most of the 79 studies were based on self-reports from a single source.Noted that many of the longitudinal studies were deficient regarding a Time 1–Time 2 linkage—that is,Time 2 recipients were not the same individuals who responded at Time 1; in other words, only overalltrends could be reported, not trends at the individual level.Admitted disappointment that “the vast majority of studies explored change processes that occurred in asingle organization (or department). This prevents the consideration of variables, e.g., antecedents, at166
the organizational level such as change content” (p. 514).These researchers went further with their critique by arguing that executives are often incapable of predictinghow change recipients will react to organization changes that contribute to ineffective leadership.The consistent findings from Oreg and his colleagues’ (2011) review of change recipients’ reactions led theseresearchers to conclude that three aspects of organization change are critical—(a) trust, (b) involvement, and(c) selection—to lead a successful change effort. Elaborating on these three primary findings, the researcherssuggested that in implementing organization change it is important to emphasize the following:Change recipients must trust their leaders and the process that they portray.Involvement in decisions that directly affect change recipients leads to commitment to the change effort.Selection of people to help lead and manage the change needs to have a personal disposition associatedwith positivism regarding change, rather than with a negative and resistant disposition. After all, thereare individual differences regarding resistance to change (Oreg, 2003).These conclusions by Oreg and colleagues are not exactly a huge surprise. We have been clear for quite sometime now that trust, involvement, and value congruence are indeed critical to success when it comes to leadingchange. It is comforting nevertheless to have empirical support and consistency for what we teach andpractice.Whereas the extensive review of research studies on organization change by Oreg and colleagues (2011)focused mainly on the recipients of change, another recent summary of organization change studies conductedby Ford and Ford (2012) targeted the other side of the relationship—the leadership of change. Ford and Fordbegan their article by referring to my statements regarding the question of whether leadership of change inorganizations actually matters. The quote they cited was as follows:What has not been clear from the literature is the impact of leadership on organization change . . .[and] there has been little evidence that scientifically demonstrates the leader’s impact. It seemsreasonable to assume, nevertheless, that because there is mounting evidence that leaders affectorganizational performance in general, surely they have an impact on organization change inparticular. We will proceed . . . with the assumption that leaders have significant influence onorganization change. (Burke, 2011a, p. 249)Ford and Ford (2012) tended to agree that my assumption was justified, but they wanted to test this thinkingby reviewing recent empirical evidence on the leadership of organization change. They did not have an easytime of it. As they pointed out, the literature is not clear-cut. The body of literature they covered wasempirical studies “dealing specifically with the leadership of change published in peer-reviewed academicbusiness journals between 1990 and 2010” (p. 2). This approach yielded 27 empirical articles. But Ford andFord wanted to be even more specific and limit their review to the leadership of change per se. This finalcriterion then narrowed their search to only 14 articles. Their summary and conclusions were therefore based167
on these few articles that met their criteria.Initially, Ford and Ford believed that it was critical to distinguish between different forms of leadership bypointing to the important difference of focused compared with distributed leadership. Citing the work ofGronn (2002), focused leadership refers to a single individual in a leadership position. The unit of analysis istherefore the “stand-alone leader.” Most leadership research and writing has focused on this form that Yukl(1999) labeled as the “heroic leader paradigm.” Distributed leadership, on the other hand, involves manypeople with their individualistic, and hopefully complementary, versions of leading. Distributed leadership hasat least two subsets according to Gronn (2002): (a) collective and (b) co-performing. Collective distributedleadership means that leadership is dispersed among many organizational members at all levels and functions.“Senior management” might be a collective and therefore the unit of analysis. Co-performing distributedleadership is performed by a specific group of individuals who collaborate with one another. In other words,co-performing is more like deliberate teamwork, whereas collective distributed leadership is more dispersed.Ford and Ford (2012) classified their 14 studies into 7 that were focused, 2 that were distributed collective,and the remaining 5 that were distributed co-performing.Ford and Ford (2012) also help us understand leading change from the 14 studies they reviewed by addressingthree ways of studying leadership:1. Approaches to change such as directive, master, self-assembly, and emergent based on (a) whether thechange effort is simple or complex and (b) whether the change can be driven from the top or from amore local, differentiated approach (Higgs & Rowland, 2005). Ford and Ford (2012) also pointed to thestudy of university mergers by Kavanagh and Ashkanasy (2006) and their three alternative approaches:(a) immediate (conducted quickly in a short period of time), (b) incremental, and (c) indifferent (noaction taken over an extended period of time). Ford and Ford concluded this section on approaches bysuggesting “that leaders who have a top-down approach to change may believe change is best donequickly, and those with a more local approach may take a more differentiated and delegated view ofchange” (p. 8).2. Leader behaviors, a second way of studying leadership, rely on identifying specific behaviors ofindividuals in positions of authority. In the studies covered by Ford and Ford (2012), the researcherseither emphasized traditional leadership behaviors that are assumed to be stable over time and acrosssituations, for example, transformational leadership, or as in the case of the study by Higgs and Rowland(2005), identifying behaviors specifically related to change, such as “shaping behavior, framing changeand creating capacity.” Ford and Ford summarized it this way:Shaping behaviors include leader communications and actions directly related to the change.Framing change behaviors include establishing starting points for the change, designing andmanaging the change journey, and communicating guiding principles. Creating capacitybehaviors include developing individual and organizational capabilities and “communicatingand creating connections. (p. 9)168
3. Leader change activities are Ford and Ford’s (2012) third way of studying leadership of change. Theemphasis is on particular change activities such as communicating a vision, coaching organizationalmembers, engagement activities, and evaluating progress.As Ford and Ford (2012) pointed out, one might assume that there are relationships among changeapproaches, leader behaviors, and leader change activities, but this apparently is not the case. They went on toraise important questions regarding this lack of relationships—that is, whether leaders of change efforts (a)stop doing things they usually do, (b) add new things while continuing what they usually do, (c) modify theextent or degree to what they usually do, or (d) some combination of these (p. 12).The primary analysis that Ford and Ford (2012) conducted with the 14 studies they reviewed concerned thequestion of whether leadership made a difference—and more particularly, a difference in what? In response tothis question, researchers have considered two areas: (a) the personal reactions and experiences of changerecipients—see, for example, the studies by Herold, Fedor, Caldwell, and Liu (2008) and Oreg and colleagues(2011)—and (b) leader effectiveness in making change happen—for example, Gilley, McMillan, and Gilley(2009), one of the 14 studies that Ford and Ford reviewed. Moreover, in reviewing these 14 studies, Ford andFord considered a third area of research: the impact of leading on the leaders themselves—for example, seethe study by Denis, Lamothe, and Langley (2001) among the Fords’ 14 articles reviewed.First, with respect to recipients’ personal reactions and experiences of change, Ford and Ford (2012)concluded that there is some evidence that the way leaders approach change has an effect on recipients asmeasured by their commitment and readiness for change.Second, regarding leader effectiveness in change implementation, the problem with attempting to drawconclusions from the studies was the fact that no study used an objective measure of effectiveness, such assomething as simple as percentage of milestones attained. There was one exception among their 14 articles:The study by Kavanagh and Ashkanasy (2006) showed that with respect to university mergers, at least, ahighly directive approach tended to be more successful, although the recipients were not very happy about it.Concerning the third area of leading change, identified by Ford and Ford (2012) as the impact of change onthe leaders themselves, they concluded that it was unlikely “that leaders can make it through a changeunscathed by the process of which they are an integral part” (p. 21). Leaders of change do seem to alter theirbehavior—for example, communicate more rather than less and choose certain activities over others, forexample, organizing and deploying a special task force to help implement the change; however, the studiesthat Ford and Ford reviewed did not consider the psychophysiological costs of leading change. The Fordscited an article by Boyatzis, Smith, and Blaize (2006) that does address these costs for leaders of change.In an attempt to summarize and integrate some of the main findings from the Ford and Ford (2012) review,the following points should help clarify what they deem to be primary issues and tentative conclusions:The studies reviewed by the Fords used cross-sectional data where measures were taken at only a point,either at some stage during the process of change or at the end. Organization change is by its very naturea longitudinal process. What is lost with snapshot measures is, for example, the dynamic interplay169
between leader behaviors and the activities of change over time.Although not completely clear from these 14 studies, it does seem that individuals in positions ofleading change alter their behavior during the process, at least to some extent, perhaps—for example,becoming more transformational and at times more directive.Leadership effectiveness in a co-performing form appears to be based on the complementarity ofbehaviors among leaders, rather than change outcomes being based on one person in a leadershipposition. Moreover, no single approach to change or particular set of leader behaviors, with the possibleexception of communication, seems to dominate.Communication is the one behavioral category that apparently cuts across all these studies. But whatkind of communication? The language used in these studies included such phrases as “engagingcommunication,” “communicating the need for change,” “communicating appropriately,” and“communicating and creating conditions,” all of which, after all, do not tell us much about the actualcontent of communication, how much and how often, or which way—up or down, laterally.Measuring outcomes of organization change is quite problematical. The studies reviewed by Ford andFord relied on assessments, ratings, and questionnaires capturing organizational members’ perceptions,reactions, and opinions rather than factual data regarding success or failure based on the Fords’suggestions, such as a priori specification of intended outcomes and objective measures necessary todetermine their accomplishments and determining the impacts of actual activities and behaviors onobjective outcomes.These five points just listed may raise more questions than they answer regarding leading change, but at leastthe questions are likely to be in the right directions for improving and enhancing our understanding.Finally, in concluding the Ford and Ford (2012) review article, we will use their language. First is theirconclusion about research on leading change:Research on the leadership of change appears to be challenged by four weaknesses:1. an over-emphasis on the role of the individual leader in a position of authority,2. the use of subjective assessments of change implementation and leadership without addressingthe original intended outcomes for the leadership of a successful change,3. the single-point data collection of many studies that does not include the temporality ofchange and its implications for the process and interactions of leadership, and4. a vocabulary that adds confusion and vagueness to both the research and its conclusions. (pp.31–32)And then Ford and Ford (2012) ended their review article as they began—that is, referring to a certainassumption:With regard to Burke’s assumption that leaders have a significant influence on organization change,170
we’re willing to agree but unfortunately can’t say what that influence is, what leader actions andinteractions are responsible for it, or whether the influence is only on the subjective perceptions ofpeople affected by the change or also impacts the objective outcomes of change. (p. 33)This final statement by the authors seems fair to me, and in any case, it points the way for where futureresearch needs to focus.In summary, we have learned over the past three decades that measuring organization change is not simple.Following traditional methods of normal science may be straightforward, but the results may not be.Determining cause and effect in organizations is difficult, because so many variables are involved and mostcannot be controlled. In our attempts to measure organization change, we must also be clear about who theresearch is for. If the users are other researchers, then following normal science may be important. If the usersare the members of the organization being studied, then they need to be involved and normal science is notnecessarily appropriate. The emerging field of action science may need to be followed.In fact, a recent discussion appeared to lean in that direction. Under the label of “Making ResearchMeaningful: Translating Scholarly Work to Application,” the issues of normal science versus applied/actionresearch were addressed once again by a panel presentation at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Academy ofManagement (Beer, Burke, Mohrman, Lawler, Sorensen, & Yaeger, 2016). The issues have not changed. Yeta realization that action science and normal science reside in two different worlds with different incentivesystems, and that these two worlds will remain, has largely been accepted. Maybe it is wishful thinking on mypart, but it looks as though more creativity is likely to emerge in the action science world.171
Recent Approaches to Research and Theory172
The Shift From “Normal” ScienceSo-called normal science methods originated with the physical sciences and were adopted by the social andbehavioral sciences. But the physical sciences have not stayed exclusively with “normal” methods. Chaostheory, nonlinear systems theory, and related concepts and theories, such as fractals, have precipitated changesin research methods. As Svyantek (1997) and his colleagues have pointed out (e.g., Svyantek & Brown, 2000;Svyantek & DeShon, 1993), organizational researchers need to move in similar directions. Svyantek andBrown (2000) referred to this kind of direction as a “complex-systems approach” to the study of organizations,meaning that organizational behavior can rarely be explained by analysis—that is, breaking down the systeminto its component parts:Explaining the behavior of a complex system requires understanding (a) the variables determiningthe system’s behavior, (b) the patterns of interconnections among these variables, and (c) the factthat these patterns, and the strengths associated with each interconnection, may vary depending onthe time scale relevant for the behaviors being studied. (p. 69)With respect to their third point, (c), Svyantek and Brown (2000) cited an example by Koch and Laurent(1999) in which reaction time is the measure. With respect to light, sound, a machine, or the human nervoussystem, reaction-time differences may be measured in milliseconds, whereas for measurements of change in“corporate performance, the time scale might be in months or years” (Svyantek & Brown, 2000, p. 69).Svyantek and Brown (2000) went on to point out some fundamental differences between traditional (normalscience) approaches to the study of organizations—that is, the use of linear methods such as regression, andcomplex systems approaches that rely on nonlinear methods; with respect to the latter, the following applies:[The] data gathered consist of multiple measurements of both independent and dependentvariables, and these data are then graphed. The predictions made are more molar and qualitativethan the predictions in traditional approaches. The value of these predictions is based on the degreeto which a consistent pattern of behavior is found in the system across the repeated measurements.The results of such an experiment are used to make predictions that are context-specific. (p. 69)Relying on the work of Liebovitch (1998) and Richter (1986), Svyantek and Brown (2000) proposed twononlinear concepts “that have explanatory value for understanding social systems . . . phase space and attractor”(p. 70).Phase space consists of a depiction of multiple behavioral measurements over time (the phase aspect). Thedepiction can be a three-dimensional graph (the space aspect) that shows how a particular behavior can beaffected by, say, three variables over time. Richter (1986) has provided examples of this phase-space method:how an individual’s responses in a particular situation may be affected by his or her level of aggressiveness,173
fear, and guilt, all at the same time and over time. Patterns of behavior can then be traced.Attractors are these patterns of behavior. They have two primary characteristics: (a) sensitivity to initialconditions and (b) stability.Sensitivity to initial conditions means that an organization’s history is highly important. (A number of yearsago, a colleague of mine, also an organization change consultant, and I were working together. He kept sayingto the client, “Spare me the history!” I thought it was a mistake then, and I am even more convinced today.)By way of positive feedback, early behaviors in an organization’s developmental stages get reinforced andstabilized. Two organizations in the same domain (e.g., business) that originated at the same time undersimilar, if not identical, conditions can become very different from each other over time. Small differences atthe beginning can lead to large differences years later, as a result of highly specific, even undetectable,behaviors consistently reinforced in the first year.A personal consulting experience recently illustrated this attractor characteristic dramatically. After almost 150years of independent existence, two banks in a large metropolitan area decided to merge. These two businesseswere remarkably similar. Both were founded at about the same time, in the mid-19th century, in the samecommunity of the larger metropolitan area, and 10 decades later they were almost equal in size in number ofemployees, number of directors on their respective boards, annual revenues, and number of branches.Moreover, the announcement of the deal was touted as a “merger of equals.” At the outset, the consultingproject seemed easy. Such similarities would no doubt make the integration of the two banks quick andsmooth. In reality, the merger was anything but quick and smooth. The corporate cultures of the two banks,despite all those similarities, were entirely different. The culture of Bank A was loose, risk-taking, quitespendthrift, and led rather than managed, whereas Bank B could be characterized as tight, risk averse, highlycost conscious, and managed, not led. The descriptors of the two cultures are examples of multiple behaviorsthat represent the phase-space concept. A century earlier, small, undetectable but different behaviors in thetwo banks were positively reinforced (and became attractors), and decades later these differences loomed large.It took more than two years for the merger to even be accepted, much less integrated. And these were nothuge organizations in the first place—about 1,700 employees in each. This example is explained inconsiderable detail in Chapter 11.The second characteristic, stability, can best be understood analogously, as an organization’s culture. Oneinteresting point by Schein (1985) is the importance of a founder’s behavior in shaping an organization’sculture, especially through what he or she emphasizes and values.This nonlinear approach helps us with a new way of thinking about the research process and phase spaces andgives a clearer focus on what to study: attractors.In summary, the primary point is that measuring organization change is extremely complex and thereforerequires extremely complex approaches and methods. Although still useful, “normal” and traditionalapproaches to research nevertheless are limited indeed.174
The Organization Change Research Theory of Porras and ColleaguesAlthough by no means exclusively, in the early 1990s, theory and research most closely associated with ODwere reflected largely in the work of Jerry Porras and his colleagues. They have reviewed and to some extentconsolidated the literature on organization change research and theory (Porras & Robertson, 1992; Porras &Silvers, 1991). To begin with, Porras and Robertson (1992) have provided some use-ful distinctions to help usunderstand organization change more thoroughly: planned versus unplanned change and first-order versussecond-order change.Planned Change. This is a deliberate, conscious decision to improve the organization in some manner orperhaps to change the system in a deeper, more fundamental way.Unplanned Change. In this case, the organization has to respond to some unanticipated external change—forexample, creation of a whole new technology that affects the very core of the business, as was true for Swisswatchmakers when the digital version came on the scene. In unplanned change, the response is adaptive andoften spontaneous.First-Order Change. This form involves what we today refer to as “continuous improvement” (the Japanesecall it kaizen); that is, the change consists of alterations or modifications in existing system characteristics,such as eliminating a layer of management or administration in the organizational hierarchy, rather than ashift in some fundamental way, such as change of organizational mission. In Chapter 5, we referred to thisfirst-order level of change as evolutionary.Second-Order Change. This form is radical, more fundamental change. We earlier referred to this form asrevolutionary, a change of the organization’s deep structure (see Chapter 5). The change is paradigmatic.Quite naturally, Porras and Robertson (1992) then placed these concepts into a 2 × 2 arrangement (see Table7.1). Although this arrangement is rather neat and easy to grasp, it oversimplifies, unfortunately.Revolutionary change can be planned after all (see, for example, Goodstein & Burke, 1991), and so canevolutionary change (see Chapter 5).176
In a related paper, Porras and Silvers (1991) distinguished between first order (they classified OD as firstorder; again, see Table 7.1) and second order, or what they referred to as “organization transformation” (OT).With respect to the former classification, OD, they concluded the following:Much of this research is fragmented and does not build on work done by other authors laboring in asimilar arena. More effort should be directed at the development of a paradigm for OD, and thusresearchers must build more consciously on each other’s work. (pp. 69–70)And concerning the latter, OT, Porras and Silvers (1991) stated the following:Although the broad outlines of the field may be sketched (e.g., a focus on vision, conscious change,etc.), there is still considerable diversity in this area and consequently many different directions forfuture development. It is therefore difficult to predict where the field will be in ten years. (p. 73)Now, more than a decade and a half later, the designation OT itself has faded, but the distinctions have not.In fact, in the most recent review of the literature, Weick and Quinn (1999) organized their report accordingto episodic change (discontinuous, transformational, and revolutionary) and continuous change (continuousimprovement, transactional, and evolutionary). We will return to their review later in this chapter.177
Organization ModelsAs noted earlier, Friedlander and Brown (1974) provided a framework or approach for understandingorganization change, or OD (see Figure 7.1). They referred to two primary approaches to organizationchange: (a) people, or human-processual, and (b) technology, or techno-structural. They were categorizingtargets of intervention (people and technology) and two outcomes of these interventions, (a) humanfulfillment and (b) task accomplishment.Some years later, in a more elaborate attempt to diagram the way planned organization change occurs, Porras(1987) provided a model that is grounded in open-system theory—that is, environment (input), organization(throughput), organizational performance, and individual development (output), with a feedback loopconnecting output back to input. The organization part of his model (throughput) consists of organizationalmembers’ behavior and the work setting (context).Porras (1987) further delineated within the work setting part of his model’s four components, what he calls“streams,” or four basic dimensions: (a) organizing arrangements (e.g., goals, strategies, structure, andsystems); (b) social factors (primarily culture but also including social patterns and networks and individualattributes); (c) technology (tools, equipment, machinery, job design, and technical systems); and (d) physicalsettings (space, ambiance, interior design, etc.). In the reviews of the literature that Porras and his colleaguesprovided (Porras & Robertson, 1992; Porras & Silvers, 1991), this model was used to organize their analyticalsummaries. See Figure 7.2 for a diagrammatic summary of the model.Porras’s (1987) model is essentially a description of how input from the external environment getstransformed into output—organizational performance and individual development. The model also highlightswhat, for Porras, are the primary elements and dimensions of an organization: the work setting elements(social factors, physical setting, etc.) and the member elements (cognitions and behaviors). With respect tooutput, he distinguished between the performance of the organization and individual development, asopposed to, say, individual performance. One could argue, however, that organizational performance includesboth unit (group, team, and department) and individual performance. These in turn affect or produceorganizational performance.This model by Porras is a description of how organizations operate and what the key elements are in thatoperation. The model adds to the array of like models in the field of OD and change. See, for example, Burke(1994). The reason for coverage of the Porras model is to establish a backdrop or context for his thinkingabout how organization change occurs.Figure 7.2 A Change-Based Organizational Framework178
Source: Dunnette and Hough (1992). Copyright ©1992 Nicholas Brealey Publishing. Used bypermission.179
Organization Change TheoryBefore plunging into the various change ideas and theories, let us consider what an adequate theory shouldinclude. Whetten (1989) proposed that a “complete” theory contains four elements:1. What (constructs): factors that should logically be considered as explanatory parts of what is beingconsidered—for example, if organizational, such factors as strategy, culture, and performance.2. How (linkages): how the factors under what relate to one another, typically portrayed in the form ofboxes and arrows—what comes before what (strategy before structure) and what causes what.3. Why (conceptual assumptions): the logic underlying the theory or model. As Whetten put it, “thesoundness of fundamental views of human nature, organizational requisites, or societal processes providethe basis for judging the reasonableness of the proposed conceptualization” (p. 491).4. The fourth element in Whetten’s criteria set includes the combination of Who/where/when: “Thesetemporal and contextual factors set the boundaries of generalizability, and as such constitute the range ofthe theory” (p. 492).These elements and criteria for what should be included in a complete theory can guide our review of thetheories and models that follow.In their review of the OD and change literature, Porras and Silvers (1991) stated at the outset, “Plannedchange that makes organizations more responsive to environmental shifts should be guided by generallyaccepted and unified theories of organizations and organizational change—neither of which currently exists”(p. 51).They followed with a new model or theory of planned change that proposes a process of how organizationchange occurs. The framework begins with organizational interventions that are intended to affect certainvariables, which in turn affect individual behavior and ultimately improve organizational performance andenhance individual development. This model (see Figure 7.3) relies on Porras’s previous organizational model(see Figure 7.2) but is now cast in terms of change processes.Figure 7.3 Planned Process Model of Organization Change180
Source: Porras and Silvers (1991). Reprinted with permission from the Annual Review of Psychology,Volume 42 ©1991 by Annual Reviews, elaborated further on his perspective about the change process in a slightly later work (Porras &Robertson, 1992). He was clearly on target when declaring that for organization change to occur,organizational members must “alter their on-the-job behavior in appropriate ways. This assumption is rootedin the belief that behavior is significantly influenced by the nature of the setting in which it occurs” (p. 724).Moreover, the schema presented in Figure 7.3 is a straightforward and rather linear depiction of howorganization change occurs. The process begins with some intervention that is intended to affect anorganization’s vision, purpose, and mission (an OT intervention) or an intervention that is aimed at changingaspects of the work setting (an OD intervention), if not both. These interventions in turn affect organizationalmembers’ thought processes or mental sets that may occur at any one level or at multiple levels—alpha, beta,or gamma changes—and thus behavior is changed, which then leads to improved performance and enhancedindividual development. This theoretical framework by Porras is fairly easy to understand and has a certainlogical flow to it; that is, A leads to B, which in turn affects C, and so on.Moreover, with this theory, Porras meets Whetten’s (1989) criteria for completeness reasonably well. Thewhat (constructs) is there (vision, work setting, performance, etc.); the how (linkages) is in place; and the whyis explicated. Also, the boundaries of the theory are fairly clear: This addresses how change occurs within anorganization.It is not likely, however, that organization change occurs in this manner. First, assuming that organizationalmembers, who are human beings, after all, plan (or simply react to events from the organization’s externalenvironment) and implement organization change, we must account for how this very human process takesplace. Although cognitive change can precede behavior change, most of the time, particularly the moreemotional the situation is, it is the other way around; that is, behavior comes first, then cognition. We act and181
then attribute meaning to that action.Second, we must account for what happens at the larger, more complex organization level, the social effect—how organizational members collectively react to events and how they interact with one another.So a problem here for organization change is being able to establish the causal links between vision (thought)and action (behavior). We want this attributed causation to ensure commitment and, in turn, implementationof the new vision (mission, purpose, and goals). The argument now to be made is that it is preferable topromote, if not induce, the action desired to cause movement—for example, a training and developmentprogram, a multirater feedback process, a new business strategy, or installation of new work procedures andprocesses—rather than to provide an elaborate plan and rationale for change and expect the appropriatebehavior to follow. Yes, one needs to have a change plan, but the implementation thereof is essential andshould turn more on the desired behavior and less on the rationale and thoughts.To summarize in a practical way, the initiation of organization change begins with a vision of the future. Thisis a cognitive process. But we should not assume that this thought process will then generate the necessarybehavior for the organization change. Although it is a necessary first step, the vision, or cognition, is notsufficient for change. Behavioral movement in the direction of the vision is required. It is best to begin withthe vision (it is difficult to get there if we don’t know where we’re going) but not to concentrate on it. Weconcentrate on the behavior needed. As movement in the vision direction occurs, the appropriate attributionwill gradually be made to explain why the direction makes sense. Even though organizational executives makepronouncements such as, “We’ve got to change people’s mental sets around here!” the change in mental setcomes after behavior has occurred in the direction desired for the new mental set.It may be that this argument sounds a bit illogical, but let us consider some evidence that supports the idea ofbehavior change first, then change in mental set.In the area of research and theory, considerable evidence now strongly suggests that William James, morethan a century ago, was largely correct. He stated that emotional behavior precedes emotional experience(James, 1890):Our natural way of thinking about these coarser emotions is that the mental perception of somefacts excites the mental affection called the emotion, and that this latter state of mind gives rise tothe bodily expression. My theory, on the contrary, is that the bodily changes follow directly theperception of the exciting fact, and that our feeling of the same changes as they occur IS theemotion. Common sense says, we lose our fortune, are sorry and weep; we meet a bear, arefrightened and run; we are insulted by a rival, are angry and strike. The hypothesis here to bedefended says that this order of sequence is incorrect . . . and the more rational statement is that wefeel sorry because we cry, angry because we strike, afraid because we tremble. (p. 449)It should be noted that at about the same time, more than a century ago, Danish physiologist C. G. Lange182
(1885/1922) independently suggested much the same idea. And as we may recall from our introductorypsychology course, this idea became known as the James–Lange theory. Is this idea mere speculation orillogical theory?About seven decades after the James–Lange theory had been proposed, the social psychologist StanleySchachter decided to test the idea. The theory, at the time, was controversial, and many believed it to bewrong. In a series of ingenious studies with college students, Schachter (1959) put the theory to the test. Heinjected adrenaline in the arms of experimental group participants and a saline solution in the control groupparticipants. Adrenaline causes a rise in emotional energy. But what is the emotion exactly? Schachterhypothesized that he could determine what the emotion would be. The further two conditions of the studywere to “cause” either anger or euphoria with the experimental groups. His results provide considerablevalidation for the theory. Compared with the control groups, the experimental groups behaved significantlymore as Schachter’s hypothesis predicted. In other words, an emotion was induced, but the attribution as towhich emotion the subject experienced came after the inducement and the enacted behavior. Since then,supportive evidence has mounted. See, for example, a summary article by Laird and Bresler (1990).In the same vein as the James–Lange theory, there is also growing evidence to suggest that the actual causes ofour behavior are rarely conscious to us. Causation stems far more from our unconscious. We, of course,attribute causation via a conscious process, but this process is perceptual. The real causes are a result ofintricate mechanisms that occur in our brains, of which we are unaware. In a comprehensive article on thistheoretical perspective and put in the context of challenging the notion of “conscious will,” Wegner andWheatley (1999) summarized their premise by stating the following:The experience of will is a result of the same mental processes that people use in the perception ofcausality more generally. Quite simply, it may be that people experience conscious will when theyinterpret their own thoughts as the cause of their action. This idea means that people can experienceconscious will quite independent of any actual causal connection between their thoughts andactions. (p. 480)In other words, we perceive a causal link between our thoughts and actions. Our “will is not a psychologicalforce that causes action” (Wegner & Wheatley, 1999, p. 481).To perceive a causal link, Wegner and Wheatley (1999) posited that three criteria must be met: (a) priority,(b) consistency, and (c) the lack of other possible attributed causes. First, we must have the thought shortlybefore the action. (Studies show that if 30 seconds or more elapse, the causal link is less likely.) Second, thethought should be compatible with the action.When people do what they think they are going to do, there exists consistency between thought andact, and the experience of will is enhanced. When they think of one thing and do another—and thisinconsistency is observable to them—their action does not feel as willful. (p. 485)183
Third, the thought should be the only apparent cause of action. “A basic principle of causal inference is thatwe tend to discount the causal influence of one potential cause if there are others available” (Wegner &Wheatley, 1999, p. 486).In related work by psychologist John Bargh and his colleagues, a strong case is made that the ability to controlour behavior consciously and intentionally is of course possible but actually quite limited. Most of our dailypsychological lives function through nonconscious means, via what has been referred to as “automaticity”(Bargh & Chartrand, 1999).In summary, first, to account for how the linkage typically occurs for organizational members between visionor mission (concepts, cognitions) and action (behavior), we must not assume that it is primarily a conscious,deliberate, and rational process. It is primarily the opposite. With a set of values and goals declared, we thenquickly move to action: behavior that enacts these values and implements these goals without assuming thatorganizational members have made the linkages. As appropriate movement (behavior) continues over time,the proper attributions can eventually be made, for example, “We are doing this because we believe it is theright (value) thing to do.” Behavior is followed by cognition. It should also be noted that this manner oftheorizing is not unlike the thinking of Karl Weick, a contemporary organizational scholar. See his award-winning book on “sensemaking” (Weick, 1995).Second, to account for what happens at the larger, more complex organization level, we must rely on theoryand concepts that are nonlinear, such as the work of Svyantek and others (e.g., Svyantek & Brown, 2000).Executives trying to bring about change often talk about how “messy” the process is or how little control theyhave (“Once we started this change effort, it seemed to take on a life of its own”) and how difficult it is tosustain (“For every step forward we take, we seem to fall back two—resistance is a very powerful thing!”).At the organization level, then, we must think in terms of attractors—the concept from nonlinear complexitytheory, in terms of organizational culture (norms and values) and what gets systematically reinforced—so wecan strengthen some attractors and eliminate others. It is also useful to think of organization change as a seriesof “loops”—taking initiatives and then looping back to correct details missed on the first attempt or loop (seeChapter 2). It’s messy and nonlinear but, at the same time, realistic. In fact, Beer, Eisenstat, and Spector(1990) identified a number of false starts in the change effort at General Products. As Weick and Quinn(1999) pointed out, “this suggests that change is not a linear movement through . . . stages, but a spiral patternof contemplation, action, and relapse and then successive returns to contemplation, action, and relapse beforeentering . . . maintenance and then termination stages” (p. 373).184
Current Thinking on Organization Change and ResearchWe will end this chapter in the same way we began—that is, by considering the last review article onorganization change and development in the Annual Review of Psychology. The first of this genre was thereview by Friedlander and Brown (1974). Throughout this chapter, subsequent reviews have been highlighted.One of the more recent reviews is by Armenakis and Bedeian (1999), covering the organization changeliterature of the 1990s. They concluded “that the field is robust and that it continues to be responsive tocontemporary organizational demands” (p. 313). The Annual Review of Psychology chapter by Weick andQuinn (1999) is not so much a summary of the research literature as the Porras and Silvers (1991) chapter—and the one by Armenakis and Bedeian (1999). The Weick and Quinn review is more for describing andcommenting on recent thinking about the nature of organization change. Weick and Quinn organized theirchapter according to what they consider to be the two primary categories of organization change: (a) episodicand (b) continuous. These two ways of conceptualizing organization change were addressed in the previouschapter—that is, (a) revolutionary versus (b) evolutionary change in organizations. Their definition of episodicchange is clear and useful:The phrase “episodic change” is used to group together organizational changes that tend to beinfrequent, discontinuous, and intentional. The presumption is that episodic change occurs duringperiods of divergence when organizations are moving away from their equilibrium conditions.Divergence is the result of a growing misalignment between an inertial deep structure and perceivedenvironmental demands. This form of change is labeled “episodic” because it tends to occur indistinct periods during which shifts are precipitated by external events such as technology change orinternal events such as change in key personnel. (p. 365)On the other hand, according to Weick and Quinn (1999), continuous change is “ongoing, evolving, andcumulative” (p. 375). They went on to clarify the following:The distinctive quality of continuous change is the idea that small continuous adjustments, createdsimultaneously across units, can cumulate and create substantial change. That scenario presumestightly coupled interdependencies. When interdependencies loosen, these same continuousadjustments, not confined to smaller units, remain important as pockets of innovation that mayprove appropriate in future environments. (p. 375)By gleaning ideas and research results from the literature, Weick and Quinn (1999) conclude that episodicchange arises as a result of inertia (entropy in open-system theory terms) and an organization’s inability torespond to external environmental changes adequately. Continuous change is driven, they argue, “by alertnessand the inability of organizations to remain stable” (p. 379), but as Pascale, Milleman, and Gioja (2000)pointed out, such alertness and tendency to disequilibrium is rare.185
Weick and Quinn (1999) also provided a new way of applying Lewin’s three-stage model of the changeprocess. They state that episodic change follows (or should follow) the stages as Lewin (1958) originallyconceptualized—that is, unfreeze–movement–refreeze—whereas continuous change, to be effective, is morelike freeze–rebalance–unfreeze. To freeze continuous change is to find the patterns in day-to-day life in theorganizations and to reinforce them. To rebalance is to change the patterns so fewer restraints and barriers arepresent and the continuous change can flow more freely. To unfreeze after the rebalancing is to innovate andfind new ways of ensuring continuous change. These new ways evolve from habits of continuing to look formeans of improving the manner in which work gets done and continuing to strengthen the criticalinterdependencies of organization members. An example of this notion about continuous change is providedin Chapter 5, in the case of the professional services firm.This differentiated way of considering organization change is likely to endure. The mounting evidence isimpressive that change in organizations does indeed take one, but rarely both, of these two paths.186
SummaryThis chapter has focused on reviewing the reviews of organization change research and theory over the pastquarter century. Earlier, the lament was about not having enough or the right kind of research to draw anysignificant conclusions. Later, the argument was made that organization change research followed the wrongmodel—that is, normal science (Beer & Walton, 1987)—and that action science would be better. ThenPorras argued, quite appropriately, that we had no adequate theory about how organization change actuallyworks, and he proposed a framework and process (see Figure 7.3) as a remedy (Porras & Silvers, 1991). Twoproblems arise from Porras’s proposed model or theory. One is its linearity and the other is his proposedsequence of the process—that is, cognition preceding behavior. Theory and research were cited as support forconsidering organization change more in terms of complex nonlinearity and in terms of behavior typicallypreceding thought, attribution, meaning, and related cognitive events.Finally, it seems quite clear today that a highly useful way to understand, if not lead and manage, organizationchange more effectively is to consider whether the change is, or needs to be, episodic or continuous.We will end on a pithy statement: To assume that change in organizations is or can be rational is irrational.187
Eight Conceptual Models for Understanding OrganizationChangeIn the previous chapter, organization change was considered as either discontinuous (revolutionary, ortransformational) or continuous (evolutionary, or transactional). This kind of distinction can be useful inhelping us understand and diagnose the nature of the required organization change. As a result, one is in abetter position to know what types of action to take. If the required change is discontinuous (“a big leap”),then we need to concentrate on the organization’s interface with its external environment; on theorganization’s mission, goals, and strategy; and probably on the organization’s culture as targets for change. If,on the other hand, the required change is not as revolutionary and more resembles continuous improvement,then our focus may be on targets in the organization such as the reward system, information technology,work-flow processes, or management practices.The purpose of this chapter is to consider additional categorical concepts for understanding organizationchange more thoroughly—namely, content, or what to change, and process, or how to bring about the change.In Chapter 6, we considered the phenomenon of resistance to change. A link between the concepts and ideaspresented there and in this chapter can be expressed as follows: The content of resistance is the threat of loss,and the threat of loss of control is process. In this chapter, we also consider (1) organization change processframeworks in terms of both theory and practice and (2) a select group of 10 mini-theories aboutorganizational behavior that are germane to organization change.188
Content: What to ChangeWhat to change usually (but not always) begins when the organization’s leaders are confronted with someevent or shift in the organization’s external environment. Examples are an economic downturn, the burstingforth of a new technology (e.g., from analog to digital), an announcement of a merger between twocompetitor organizations, the passage of new legislation, or some new mandate by a political leader, as in thecase of Prime Minister Thatcher’s decision to change British Airways from a government-owned airline to apublic-owned corporation. Such modifications in the organization’s external environment then cause seniorexecutives and their constituents to consider what to change about their organization to meet the newchallenges and to survive as an organization. This may mean something as significant as changing theorganization’s mission, purpose, and raison d’être or as straightforward and uncomplicated as discontinuingcertain products or services without changing the overall mission and purpose.A useful perspective on what to change comes from the management guru and business and organizationalobserver and philosopher Peter Drucker. In his 31st article written for the Harvard Business Review, Drucker(1994) argued that highly successful companies that do the right things often end up doing them “fruitlessly,”and decline ensues. This “paradox,” as Drucker called it, set the stage for his articulation of what he labeled“the theory of the business.” This theory is a set of assumptions about how a given business can succeed in aparticular environment and marketplace. According to Drucker, these assumptions “shape any organization’sbehavior, dictate its decisions about what to do and what not to do, and define what the organizationconsiders meaningful results” (p. 96). Notice that in this quotation, he used the word what three times. Intimes of trouble for a business, Drucker was arguing that what to change is the theory of the business—thefundamental beliefs and assumptions about what causes what and how success is defined. Companiestherefore get into trouble when “the assumptions on which the organization has been built and is being run nolonger fit reality” (p. 95). Drucker cited IBM, General Motors, and Deutsche Bank as examples.According to Drucker (1994), a theory of the business has three parts:1. Assumptions about the external environment of the organization, such as society and its structure, themarket, the customer, and technology2. Assumptions about the organization’s mission, purpose, and raison d’être3. Assumptions about the organization’s core competencies, that is, the skills and abilities required toaccomplish the missionDrucker (1994) followed with his four specifications of, or criteria for, a valid theory of the business:1. The three assumptions must fit reality.2. All three assumptions must fit or be congruent with one another.3. The theory of the business must be known and understood by all organizational members.4. The theory needs to be tested constantly.Although Drucker (1994) did not label his ideas as such, it should be clear that he was addressing189
transformational or discontinuous change. His argument was that tinkering with the organization when itstheory of the business is out of sync with what is going on in the external environment will inevitably lead tobusiness failure. Also implied in Drucker’s thesis is that organizations that have experienced considerablesuccess in the past (his examples of IBM and General Motors) tend to hold on to their assumptions andtheory entirely too long—that is, persisting when reality has already changed.A study by Audia, Locke, and Smith (2000) supports this implication quite dramatically. Moreover, the titleof their article is “The Paradox of Success.” Their research consisted of two studies. One was archival, basedon data from the airline and trucking industries over a 10-year period, and the other was a laboratoryexperiment. Their studies showed thatgreater past success led to greater strategic persistence after a radical environmental change, andsuch persistence induced performance declines. The laboratory study also demonstrated thatdysfunctional persistence is due to greater satisfaction with past performance, more confidence inthe correctness of current strategies, higher goals and self-efficacy, and less seeking of informationfrom critics. (p. 837)In summary, the content of organization change can vary. It can be mission and strategy, culture, structure, orsystems. We can apply the discontinuous–continuous change distinction to the content. With discontinuouschange, our content concerns more transformational factors, such as the external environment, mission,purpose, and strategy—or in Drucker’s (1994) language, the fundamental assumptions or theory of thebusiness. With continuous change, our content concerns more day-to-day operations and transactions, and wewould therefore focus more on factors such as products and services, work-flow processes, organizationalstructure, and information technology. The model by Porras and Robertson (1992) presented in Chapter 7provides examples of the content for organization change: vision, technology, physical setting, organizationalarrangements (structure), and on-the-job behavior. The organizational models covered in Chapter 9 providefurther examples of content: purposes, rewards, helpful mechanisms, leadership, tasks, informal organization(culture), mission, and strategy.Finally, it is interesting to note that the more successful an organization has been in the past, the more seniormanagers seem to hold on to the business content that got them to their current level of success—in spite ofradical changes in their organization’s external environment. General Motors’ insistence on business as usualwhen the Japanese were encroaching on their territory is a case in point. It is no doubt safe to conclude thatchange comes the hardest for organizations (and individuals, for that matter) that have experienced success inthe past. The values of staying in touch with one’s external environment and listening to criticism cannot beoveremphasized when it comes to change that is needed for future success and survival.190
Process: How to Change—A Theoretical FrameworkIn an attempt to integrate the diverse theories about organization change, Van de Ven and Poole (1995),using the key words change and development, conducted a computerized literature search across disciplines andturned up over 1 million articles. They reviewed about 200,000 titles and read about 200 of the articles. Theyidentified 20 theories of development and change and clustered them into four ideal types of developmenttheories, or four primary schools of thought. These four categories are useful in that they help us understandbetter, at least broadly, the primary ways to consider process: the how, and sometimes the why as well, oforganization change. We will now briefly summarize the four primary theories or schools of thought that Vande Ven and Poole identified—that is, life cycle, teleological, dialectical, and evolutionary theories.191
Life-Cycle TheoryLife-cycle theory states that an organization “follows a single sequence of stages or phases, which iscumulative (characteristics acquired in earlier stages are retained in the later stages) and conjunctive (the stagesare related such that they derive from a common underlying process)” (Van de Ven & Poole, 1995, p. 515).Change is inevitable; life-cycle theory rests on the metaphor of organic growth: In other words, anorganization is like a living organism. Although an organization may undergo change as it passes through itsphases, perhaps in both form and function, it nevertheless maintains its identity throughout the phases.Although Van de Ven and Poole (1995) classified Greiner’s (1972) model of organization development asboth life cycle and dialectical, his model is easy to understand in life-cycle terms. Greiner posited five stages inan organization’s life cycle: creativity (the start-up phase), direction (more focus needed), delegation (asorganization grows larger), coordination (with differentiation of functions, integration is then required), andcollaboration (working together more effectively as a total entity). As Van de Ven and Poole (1995) describedthe other critical ingredient of the Greiner model, “each of these stages culminates in a different dialecticalcrisis (of leadership, autonomy, control, red tape and ‘?’ [Greiner’s symbol for not knowing what this stagewould be], which propels the organization into the next stage of growth” (p. 530).Others have proposed life-cycle models of organization development and change, for example, Adizes (1979)and Kimberly, Miles, and Associates (1980), but Greiner’s remains popular with managers because hisframework is easily understood. It is also popular with managers because it seems to correspond closely withtheir experiences.192
Teleological TheoryRooted in the philosophical doctrine of teleology, teleological theory assumes that an organization ispurposeful and adaptive. Accordingly, an organization develops toward a goal or some end state. As Van deVen and Poole (1995) pointed out, “proponents of this theory view development as a repetitive sequence ofgoal formulation, implementation, evaluation, and modification of goals based on what was learned orintended by the entity” (p. 516). So even though goals may be reached, new ones are set, usually as a functionof changes in the external environment. Establishing an organizational mission statement, creating a newvision, planning a different strategy, or simply listing a set of goals are all examples of application of thisschool of thought. The point is this: Organizations change as goals and purposes change. The process isongoing and iterative; in other words, an organization is never static or in permanent equilibrium.193
Dialectical TheoryThe basic assumption with dialectical theory is that organizations exist “in a pluralistic world of collidingevents, forces, or contradictory values that compete with each other for domination and control” (Van de Ven& Poole, 1995, p. 517). Organization change occurs as two different points of view collide and someresolution is reached. The desired resolution is a creative synthesis of the two opposites, or at least the twosufficiently different positions. As Van de Ven and Poole stated, “there is no assurance that dialecticalconflicts produce creative syntheses” (p. 517). In the business world, acquisitions and hostile takeovers oftenrepresent resolutions that are not necessarily creative. A creative synthesis is usually mutually beneficial, butthis kind of outcome is quite rare. So organization change that occurs as a consequence of a dialectical processmay be good or bad.194
Evolutionary TheoryAs might be expected, evolutionary theory assumes that organization change proceeds, as in biologicalevolution, according to a continuing cycle of variation, selection, and retention among organizationscompeting for resources in a designated marketplace or environment. “Competition for scarce environmentalresources between entities [organizations] inhabiting a population [particular environment] generates thisevolutionary cycle” (Van de Ven & Poole, 1995, p. 521). Organization change, then, is explained in terms ofan ongoing, evolving process. As in other theories, the organization is never static; there is no permanentequilibrium. It’s as if organizations have no choice but to change. As in biological entities, evolution isconstant. Again, a living organism is the primary metaphor for understanding an organization according tothis theoretical perspective about process.Borrowing a couple of dimensions (metaphor and event progression) from Van de Ven and Poole, wesummarize these four process schools of thought in Table 8.1.Van de Ven and Poole (1995) proceeded to argue quite logically and persuasively that although these fourschools of thought may seem discrete, in reality, they are not. By considering interplay among these schoolsand examining underlying assumptions, the authors developed “a framework of 16 possible explanations oforganization change and development” (p. 534). Of these 16 explanations or theories, four are the originalones—life cycle, teleological, dialectic, and evolutionary. The remaining 12 are combinations: Two incombination might form, for example, an “organizational punctuated equilibrium theory” (Tushman &Romanelli, 1985); an example combining three is Weick’s (1979) Social Psychology of Organizing; a theory thatuses all four is human development progressions (Riegel, 1976). Van de Ven and Poole further argued thatthese schools of thought, although historically important and helpful to our greater understanding oforganization change and development, are largely linear in nature, and organizational researchers have treatedunexplained patterns of change as “noise” and “error” distributions that “mess up” their experiments. Van deVen and Poole conclude that a major extension of their framework of 16 explanations of organization changeand development “is to develop and study nonlinear dynamics systems models . . . [and to examine] chaos asan alternative explanation” (p. 535). This conclusion, of course, relates to themes we address in Chapters 5and 7.195
Process: How to Change—Practice FrameworksIn this section, we move from a more macro, theoretical way of considering the change process to a moreapplied, practice-oriented way of considering the change process. In other words, we focus more specificallyon the how, the actual steps involved, the sequence of these steps, and related interventions. The general flowof this section will be from simple to more complex.Early in the process of initiating organization change, it is important to determine as clearly as possible howready people in the organization are to accept and implement the change. Another way of expressing thisquestion of degree of readiness for change is to consider if people directly affected by the proposed change willbe resistant and how they will resist. A way of assessing this degree of readiness is to conceptualize thepotential according to what the social and psychological costs may be. David Gleicher’s formula fordetermining these costs is cited by Beckhard and Harris (1977) as follows:C = (ABD) > XWhere C = change, A = level of dissatisfaction with the status quo, B = clear desired state, D = practical firststeps toward the desired state, and X = the cost of change. In other words, there has to be enoughdissatisfaction with the current state of affairs (A) for someone to be mobilized for the change. The varioussubsystems need to have clear enough goals (B); otherwise the “cost” (X) is too high. For each subsystem,there needs to be some awareness of practical first steps (D) to move, if movement is to take place (Beckhard& Harris, 1977, pp. 25–26).Both clarity of change direction and motivation are necessary for acceptance and commitment on the part oforganizational members.We will now proceed to discuss the process of change implementation more specifically.197
Lewin’s Three StepsIn the 1940s and 1950s, Kurt Lewin (see Chapters 3 and 4 for other references to his work) and his associates(Lewin, 1947) conducted a number of studies as part of a larger effort to change food habits to adapt to warneeds at the time, that is, to influence people to eat less desirable but cheaper foods (whole wheat breadinstead of white, beef briskets and organs instead of steak, etc.). After 4 years of studies and action researchprojects, Lewin concluded that to be successful, the change process needed to follow a three-step procedure:(1) unfreezing, (2) moving, and (3) freezing at a new level (or refreezing). The first step is to unfreeze thepresent level of behavior. This step, according to Lewin, can take many forms and needs to be tailored asmuch as possible to the particular situation. To reduce prejudice, for example, this first step of unfreezingmight be catharsis (Allport, 1945) or participation in a series of sensitivity training sessions (Rubin, 1967). Atthe organizational level, the unfreezing step could be one of presenting data to organization members thatshow a sizable gap between where they are and where they need to be to meet growing demands in theirmarketplace, for example, where customer service is slipping dramatically. The second step is to move towardthe new, desired level of behavior. In the organizational gap example, moving might take the form of (1)training managers to behave differently toward their subordinates to improve customer service (see Schneider,1980, for research related to this example) or (2) implementing action plans for changing work processes orimproving information systems. The refreezing step establishes ways to make the new level of behavior“relatively secure against change” (Lewin, 1947, p. 344). This step could include installing a new rewardsystem to reinforce the new, desired behavior (Lawler, 1977) or restructuring certain aspects of theorganization so new accountability arrangements and new ways of measuring performance are put into place.198
Lewin’s Three Steps Expanded: ScheinSchein (1987) has appropriately pointed out that although Lewin’s steps may convey discrete actions, the stepsare not discrete. Schein states that the steps (he calls them stages) overlap and the process is more elaborateand complicated than a mere three steps. He kept the three stages, but within each one, he expanded andelaborated.Stage 1: Unfreezing. Creating motivation and readiness to change. There are at least three ways of unfreezingan organization, according to Schein (1987):Disconfirmation or lack of confirmation: Demonstrate a need for change by, for example, surfacingorganizational members’ dissatisfaction by showing that the customer base is eroding and somethingmust be done to stem the tide or by providing information about radical change in the organization’sexternal environment that threatens the survival of the enterprise.Induction of guilt or anxiety: When organizational members are faced with data that show a gapbetween what is and what would be better, they are likely to be motivated by guilt feelings and generalanxiety to reduce the gap and to take action toward goals that would make things better.Creation of psychological safety: Creating disconfirmation and inducing guilt and anxiety are notenough to accomplish the unfreezing stage, however. Schein contends that for people to move to thesecond stage and actually change, they must believe that doing so will not cause feelings ofembarrassment, humiliation, or loss of face or self-esteem. Organizational members need to feel worthyand psychologically safe—that is, to have no fear of retribution or punishment for embracing thechange.Stage 2: Changing. Changing involves cognitive restructuring, according to Schein (1987). What he meant isthat organizational members need to see things differently from how they saw them before and, as a result ofthis different view, must act differently. Two processes are necessary to accomplish this stage:1. Identification with a new model, mentor, leader, or even a consultant to “begin to see things from thatother person’s point of view. If we see another point of view operating in a person to whom we payattention and respect, we can begin to imagine that point of view as something to consider for ourselves”(p. 105).2. Scanning the environment for new, relevant information. Has this kind of change worked in otherorganizations? Are we in danger of reinventing the wheel? Can we learn from others’ experiences?Action involved here may mean inviting outsiders with relevant experience to visit us and share theirstories, or it may mean a select group of organizational members attending relevant conferences to gainnew information about this kind of change. Or it could take the form of sending the top executive teamto Japan to study their experiences with quality improvement and related initiatives, as was the case withSmithKline Beecham in the early days of their merger (Bauman, Jackson, & Lawrence, 1997).Stage 3: Refreezing. As indicated earlier, refreezing is the integration of the change for organizational199
members that, for Schein (1987), has two parts:1. Personal and individual: helping the organizational member feel comfortable with the new behavior thatis required to make the change succeed, that is, to link the new behavior with one’s self-concept. Scheinnoted that this process requires considerable practice—trying out the new behavior, getting feedback,and then being rewarded when one gets it right.2. Interpersonal: making sure that the new behavior fits well with others who are significant in theorganization and that these other significant individuals (organizational members that one works withclosely) are comfortable with the new behavior from the “changed” person. In other words, “If I change,you will also need to change if we are to work together effectively in the future.”200
Phases of Planned ChangeRonald Lippitt, a protégé of Lewin’s, also elaborated on the three-stage procedure (Lippitt, Watson, &Westley, 1958). Working with his two colleagues, Lippitt expanded the three stages to five phases. Similar toSchein’s point, some 30 years earlier, Lippitt and his colleagues thought that phase was a better term to use,because overlap occurs across the three stages. The five phases are as follows:1. Development of a need for change (unfreezing)2. Establishment of a change relationship between the change agent (consultant, usually external to theorganization, or perhaps an internal organizational member who is championing and leading the changeeffort) and the client organization3. Working toward change (moving/changing)4. Generalization and stabilization of change (refreezing)5. Achieving a termination in the relationships, that is, ending the “change contract” between theconsultant–change agent and the client organizationLippitt and colleagues (1958) wrote an entire book about these five phases, and the simple list above givesonly a flavor, not the depth, of their thinking. For more specifics on their five phases, see their original book,or summaries provided by Burke (1994) and by Hornstein, Bunker, Burke, Gindes, and Lewicki (1971).201
Organization Change as a TransitionMany practitioners and scholars have written about the concept of transition as a way of understanding theprocess of organization change. For our purposes—that is, considering the more applied ways of thinkingabout change—we will briefly consider two models that are based on this idea of transition.Beginning with what they call “demand system,” meaning forces in the environment that initiate the processof organization change, Beckhard and Harris (1987) described their transition model as involving thefollowing:Three distinct conditions: the future state, where the leadership wants the organization to get to; thepresent state, where the organization currently is; and the transition state, the set of conditions andactivities that the organization must go through to move from the present to the future. (p. 29)These authors pointed out that organization change and the leading and managing thereof “is not a neat,sequential process” (Beckhard & Harris, 1987, p. 30). After the demand system has been delineated, the nextstep is to define the need for change and then determine whether to change. If the choice is to change,Beckhard and Harris defined their process for bringing it about (identifying the future state, assessing thepresent state, and—where most time and energy is spent—working on getting from the present to the future)as the transition state. Transition management, as Beckhard and Harris labeled it, is a process of conductingactivities such as planning a road map for the change effort. This involves determining where to intervenefirst; choosing transition technologies, such as pilot programs, educational interventions, and confrontationmeetings (Beckhard, 1967); and creating transition management structures, for example, a parallel structurefor change purposes that operates alongside the traditional structure. See, for example, Miller (1978).A second transition model comes from the popular writings of William Bridges (1980). His model is anindividual one, not one for organizations (see Chapter 6 for this perspective on Bridges), but can be easilyapplied to organization change. Moreover, his three phases are not unlike Lewin’s three-step procedure. Thefirst phase for Bridges is endings, the process of letting go of the past and of the previous ways of doing things.Bridges emphasized the need for people to achieve some closure about the past and to celebrate what wasgood about it. Bridges labeled the second phase the neutral zone, a period of time in which the individual isneither in the past nor in the new phase. This phase is experienced as a state of limbo and emotionaldisconnection and as ambiguous and often anxiety provoking. There are individual differences in the time ittakes for people to let go of the past and embrace the new, but leaders of change need to be sensitive to thisphase and should not rush people through it. Bridges calls the third and final phase new beginnings, the timewhen organizational members start to focus on new goals and priorities, begin to try the requisite newbehaviors, and are psychologically prepared to move ahead. Again, patience on the part of change leaders isneeded, because as people try new behaviors and skills, mistakes will be made and corrective action will berequired.202
Although simple in concept, the transition models of Beckhard and Harris and Bridges nevertheless illustratethe complexities of large-scale organization change. Together, these models help us be clearer about theimportance of understanding organization changes at multiple levels all at the same time.In summary, it should be recognized that these process models of organization (and individual) change,beginning with Lewin in the 1940s, are sequential—steps, stages, or phases—and they are helpful forplanning and managing a change effort. This sequential planning in linear and causal terms can be useful: Ifwe do A, B is likely to follow; if Y happens, it will likely be a consequence of X. This mode of thinking helpsus make sense of complex, seemingly unrelated organizational behavior. Taking this way of thinking tooliterally, however, will often result in errors of judgment and being blindsided by unanticipated outcomes. Wemust bear in mind, therefore, that as organization change actually occurs, it is not sequential and is far morecomplex, ambiguous, and even “messier” than the models convey. Recall the point in Chapter 2: Theimplementation of organization change is nonlinear and often unpredictable. Also, as Chapter 7 noted, it isuseful for us to be as clear as possible about whether the change requires large-scale, radical, and discontinuousinitiatives or whether, instead, the change is more continuous, requiring partial improvements to theorganization, not major surgery. Although we need to think and plan in these sequential ways even fordiscontinuous change processes, these models may be more directly applicable to continuous improvementinitiatives, because the latter do not, as a rule, take the form of punctuated equilibrium but move along in asmoother, linear way.We now move from models to theories. The models we have covered have addressed process, and althoughsomewhat simple, they were fairly comprehensive in scope. The theories we will now cover address change inmore circumscribed or limited ways. These theories address both the content and process of organizationchange but are partial, not comprehensive, statements. These mini-theories do not in all cases concernorganization change per se, but they do inform us about the what and the how, the content and the process.203
Mini-Theories Related to Organization ChangeThe purpose of this section is to provide brief coverage of 10 theories from psychology and organizationalbehavior that are applicable to organization change and development. The choice of the theories presented isselective. Other theories could have been covered. The intent is to use these theories as examples of how toapply theory to organization change. The intent is not to attempt an exhaustive listing of theories that mightbe applicable. For a broader coverage of these theories, see Burke (1994).We begin with theories that address primarily the individual, then cover those that are more interpersonal andfocused on groups, and conclude with theories that emphasize the larger system.204
Individual EmphasisNeed Theory: Maslow/HerzbergAlthough both Maslow (1954) and Herzberg (1966) based their theories on individual needs, they differed intwo primary ways. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs addressed motivation per se, whereas Herzberg’s focused moreon job satisfaction. The second difference is that Maslow’s hierarchy was represented as a single continuum,from basic, creature comfort needs to self-actualization, whereas Herzberg posited two continua—oneaddressing dissatisfaction, from high to low, and the other addressing job satisfaction, from low to high.Herzberg’s two-factor theory stated that so-called hygiene or maintenance factors, adequate versus inadequate(e.g., fringe benefits, good supervision, etc.), contributed to dissatisfaction, and motivator factors (e.g., degreeof autonomy on the job, recognition, opportunity to achieve) contributed to job satisfaction. The content forapplying Maslow’s theory would be extent of motivation, and for Herzberg it would be degree of jobsatisfaction. The process focus for both theories would be enriching individuals’ jobs—that is, providing moreautonomy, recognition, and achievement opportunities and empowering employees by giving them moreauthority and decision-making responsibilities.Expectancy Theory (Cognitive): Vroom/LawlerThe study of motivation from an expectancy perspective focuses more on extrinsic behavior and less oninternal or intrinsic needs. The theory is based on three assumptions (Lawler, 1973; Vroom, 1964):1. People believe that their behavior is related to certain outcomes—the performance-outcome expectancy.2. Outcomes (rewards) have different values for different people; for example, some are more attracted tomoney than others are.3. People relate their behavior to certain probabilities of success—the effort-performance expectancy. “If Itry harder, will the increased effort pay off for me?”Thus, as stated in Burke (1994),people will be highly motivated when they believe that their behavior will lead to certain rewards,that these rewards are worthwhile and valuable and that they are able to perform at a level that willresult in the attainment of the rewards. (p. 39)The content for applying expectancy theory is both motivation and rewards, particularly the degree of effortput forth by organizational members, whether the reward system is the right one for most people, andwhether people see a strong link between their efforts and the rewards they receive. The process focus could beon changing both the way organizational members’ performance is measured (i.e., attempting to ensure thatpeople see the link between their behavior and how performance is measured) and the reward system, toensure that organizational members (1) value the rewards they may receive and (2) see the link between theirperformance and the rewards they receive. To ensure that these processes work optimally, it is imperative that205
organizational members believe that the measuring and reward processes are administered in a fair and justmanner.Job Satisfaction: Hackman and OldhamGrounded in both need and expectancy theories, yet more specific and targeted, Hackman and Oldham’s(1980) content emphasis is on three primary psychological states that affect employee satisfaction:1. Experienced meaningfulness of the work itself2. Experienced responsibility for the work and its outcomes3. Had knowledge of results—that is, performance feedbackThe process focus, therefore, is on work and job design—that is, designing jobs and roles for organizationalmembers that enhance these three psychological states and, in doing so, increasing motivation and perhapsperformance as well. Perhaps is inserted in this latter phrase because performance is often based more onability than on motivation.Positive Reinforcement: SkinnerB. F. Skinner was not exactly an organizational theorist, but he did address organizational issues and theapplication of his empirical theory when he wrote the book Walden Two (Skinner, 1948). Key tounderstanding Skinner and his work is understanding his emphasis on control—that is, control of one’senvironment. Walden Two describes a utopian community designed and operated strictly according toSkinner’s principles of operant behavior and schedules of reinforcement. This book is fictional, of course, butis very clearly an application of Skinnerian theory and research. More recently and certainly not fictional,Skinner’s principles were applied in a business setting, Emery Air Freight, in the early 1970s (see “At EmeryAir Freight,” 1973). His principles were applied carefully and as “close to the letter” as possible, and as aresult, Emery realized an annual savings of $650,000.The content for change, then, is the reward system, particularly the application of incentives in the form ofpartial positive reinforcement. The process focus is on the work environment, with the intent of controlling theconditions of how employees are rewarded. The initial determination is to clarify the performance behaviorsdesired and then administer positive reinforcement accordingly.206
Group EmphasisThe Group as the Focus of Change: LewinField theory is the succinct way of labeling Lewin’s contribution. Borrowing concepts from physics, Lewin(1951) explained individual behavior as an interaction between a person’s needs and personality and the fieldof forces impinging on the individual from the external environment. The key in this explanation is the matterof perception, how the individual perceives these forces, especially in terms of whether the forces are perceivedto be imposed or induced or whether they are “owned” by the person—that is, directly affecting his or herneeds. Forces that are perceived to be induced are usually resisted, whereas those that are owned by theindividual are embraced. Lewin (1958) also distinguished between driving forces and restraining forces:Drivers push an individual toward new behavior (e.g., higher productivity), and restraining forces inhibit newbehavior. A driving force toward greater productivity may be strong supervision, and a restraining one may bea group norm that expects organizational members to conform to a certain level of productivity and performno higher.Content, for application of Lewin’s theory, would be an analysis of perceived forces in the work environmentand what people perceive the norms and values to be. The nature and degree of conformity to group standards(norms) represent Lewinian content as well. The process focus would be on (1) changing group norms, (2)reducing restraining forces instead of increasing driving forces (the latter increases resistance, after all), and (3)increasing owned forces and decreasing imposed forces. And finally:Adherence to Lewinian theory involves viewing the organization as a social system, with many andvaried subsystems, primarily groups. We look at the behavior of people in the organization in termsof (1) whether their needs jibe with the organization’s directions, usually determined by their degreeof commitment, (2) the norms to which people conform and the degree of that conformity, (3) howpower is exercised (induced vs. own forces), and (4) the decision-making process (involvementleading to commitment). (Burke, 1994, p. 43)Changing Values Through the Group: ArgyrisThe value base for Argyris (1971) is largely represented by McGregor’s (1960) theory Y, as opposed to theoryX. By theory X, McGregor meant certain assumptions that managers hold about people in workorganizations: that they are inherently lazy and require structure and direction and that, given too muchfreedom, they will not work responsibly. Theory Y assumptions, on the other hand, hold that people are notlazy, want to do a good job, do not require close supervision, and prefer work that is meaningful andchallenging. Argyris contended that many managers and executives assert Y values but behave according to Xbeliefs. This inconsistency between words and actions, particularly on the part of organizational leaders, causesmistrust, lower commitment, and poor morale on the part of employees, Argyris argued. He has writtenwidely on such topics as the relationship of individual personality and organizational dynamics, organizational207
intervention theory and method, and organizational learning, but a core, if not the core, of his work is thedegree of congruence between what he calls espoused theory and theory in action (Argyris & Schön, 1982).Argyris has often worked with top organizational executive groups and attempts to apply many of Lewin’sprinciples to such areas as induced versus owned forces. See the previous section on Lewin, “The Group as theFocus of Change.”The content for Argyris (1971) is values, at least espoused values in the organization; the substance ofdecisions; and whether these decisions, when enacted, are congruent with spoken beliefs and values on thepart of the top executive group. Argyris’s process focus is on the actual behavior of executives. The process mayinvolve, for example, recording an executive group’s meeting, analyzing the content of the meeting (problemsdiscussed, decisions debated and then made, etc.), and then reporting the analysis back to the group. Thisanalysis often emphasizes the degree of congruence between statements and arguments made and subsequentaction taken. Argyris used the theory Y versus theory X concepts and the values of McGregor as his frame ofreference. The overall change goal, then, is to reduce the gap between words and deeds.The Group Unconscious: BionOriginally trained as a psychiatrist and then as a psychoanalyst, Bion (1961) held the theory that a group hasan unconscious just as an individual does; this “collective unconscious,” as he refers to it, operates parallel tothe conscious group, or the work group. The work group has the purpose of task accomplishment, whereasthe unconscious, or “basic assumption group,” as he calls it, has the purpose of destroying the group leader.Bion’s main issue, therefore, is authority: who has it and especially how it is exercised. The collectiveunconscious assumes that authority is to be resisted, destroyed, and then replaced with a new leader who willget it right—which according to Bion never happens. The same dynamic continues regardless of theindividual players. As long as the work group is dominant over the basic assumption group, productiveoutcomes can be realized. But if the group members wander from the task, frequently fight among themselves,form subgroups that are unintegrated with the total group, and overly defer to the leader instead of assumingtask responsibility themselves, then the basic assumption mode has become dominant and the group will failat task accomplishment.The content for Bion is purely and simply the collective unconscious—that is, issues of authority. The processfocus is to reduce the effect of the basic assumption mode and enhance the work-group mode by stayingfocused on the task and being aware of the passage of time.208
The Larger-System EmphasisParticipative Management—the One Best Way: LikertLikert’s main contributions are his linking-pin idea of management hierarchy and his four-system model oforganizations (Likert, 1967). The latter is more relevant to our coverage.Likert (1967), perhaps best known for his agree–disagree, 5-point scale, “the Likert scale,” categorizedorganizations according to their management approach and declared four main categories:System 1 Autocratic management: Decisions flow from the top down, and power is exercisedexploitatively.System 2 Benevolent autocracy: Not exploitative but still top-down. “We at the top know best, and wewill take care of you as long as you do your job.”System 3 Consultative management: Managers ask their people for their opinions, ideas, andsuggestions but reserve the right to make the final decisions.System 4 Participative management: Decisions involving policy and affecting a large number of peopleare made in groups by consensus.Likert (1967) then used seven behavioral functions within organizations to further describe and differentiatehis four systems: leadership, motivation, communication, interaction and influence, decision making, goalsetting, and control. The content for Likert was quite specific and clear: the four systems, or managementapproaches, and how they are manifested or practiced within each of the seven functions. Likert was just asspecific and clear about process, which was the use of survey feedback methodology. The “Profile ofOrganizations” in Likert (1967), later called “Survey of Organizations,” is a diagnostic questionnaireorganized according to the seven functions across the four-system models (i.e., management approaches).Answers by organizational members are profiled according to the four systems in two ways: what therespondents perceive the current situation to be and what they believe their ideal responses would be. Usually,the respondents’ current perceptions center on System 2 or 3, and their ideal typically clusters around System4. In other words, a gap between what is and what should be is established. Organizational members’motivation, it is contended, is quite naturally a desire to reduce the gap.Likert (1967) not only argued that there is one best way to manage—according to System 4—and establishedwhat he considered to be the relevant content; he also posited one best process, that is, survey feedback. In anorganization change effort, then:Likert’s approach is highly data-based, but the diagnosis is largely limited to the functions he deemsimportant. Once the survey data are collected, they are given back in profile form to organizationalfamily units—to a boss and his or her team. . . . Although organizational change agents may beuncomfortable with Likert’s one best way and may prefer an approach that is more contingent andperhaps more flexible, they can be very sure of the direction and the objectives of the change effort.209
(Burke, 1994, p. 48)It All Depends: Lawrence and LorschUnlike Likert, Lawrence and Lorsch are contingency theorists: There is no one best way for management, forstrategy, for structure, or for how to deal with systems and processes in the organization. It all depends.“Depends on what?” you might reasonably ask. The one word that captures their point of view is interface, andthey focus primarily on three forms (Lawrence & Lorsch, 1967): (1) the organization’s relationships with itsexternal environment, (2) relationships of units within the organization, and (3) the relationship, or implicitcontract, between the organizational member and the organization.The main contribution that Lawrence and Lorsch (1967) have made is their replication in the United Statesof a study conducted by Burns and Stalker (1961) in the United Kingdom. The respective studies showed thatthe most effective internal structure or organization design for a business-industrial enterprise depended onhow stable or dynamic (rapidly changing) the organization’s external environment or marketplace was.Moreover, how units within the organization should relate with one another—that is, the degree and natureof information exchange, cooperative behavior, and the way conflict should be handled—again depended onthe nature and characteristics of the organization–environment interface. These interfaces in turn affected theindividual–organization relationship—for example, how permanent and secure one’s job might be, as opposedto having to change jobs or learn new skills.If an organization’s environment is rapidly changing, as in a high-tech industry, then the internal structureneeds to be more decentralized than centralized so that many more organizational members will be in aposition to monitor and keep up with changes in technology, what customers want, and governmentregulations. If the external environment is not as volatile, then a more centralized internal structure may bemore effective—that is, with decisions being made at the top more than unit by unit.Lawrence and Lorsch (1967) further argued that highly differentiated organizations, those that are structuredlargely by function or by highly separate business units, are likely to experience considerable conflict betweenfunctions, such as marketing versus manufacturing, or between separate business units (the so-called siloeffect). In such cases, a premium is placed on managing and resolving conflict.To summarize, the content for Lawrence and Lorsch (1967) consists of the interfaces and the nature andcharacteristics of these relationships, beginning with the environment–organization interface. The processwould emphasize internal restructuring, conflict management and resolution, and how all of the above affectthe relationship between management and the employee and the implicit set of expectations between thesetwo parties within the organization.The Organization as a Family: LevinsonIt is not surprising that Harry Levinson (1972), who was educated and trained originally as a clinicalpsychologist, with a lacing of Freudian psychoanalytic theory, views an organization much like a nuclear210
family. His claim (Levinson, 1972) is that organizations replicate family dynamics with, for example, theCEO as father and ego-ideal; the head of human resources as mother, the nurturer; and the remainingexecutives who report directly to the CEO as siblings, with the requisite behavior of sibling rivalry. It is alsonot surprising to learn that much of Levinson’s consulting experiences have been with family-ownedbusinesses.Levinson (1972) believes that an organization has a personality (we might call it culture), just as an individualhas a personality, and that the health or effectiveness of an organization, not unlike that of a person, dependson how well the various parts of the personality (id, ego, and superego, in Freudian terms) are integrated.Levinson refers to this process as “maintaining equilibrium.”For organization change and improvement, the relevant content for Levinson (1972) consists of, first, thebehavior of the top executive group, diagnosed according to family dynamics that are viewed through the lensof psychoanalytic theory; second, how the top-family dynamics affect and are replicated throughout theorganization; and third, how integrated the various parts of the organization’s personality are. Levinson (1975)also pays considerable attention to the levels of stress in an organization, especially among executives, and howstress is handled. Further content is what organizational members do with their energy—that is, the balancebetween energy directed toward goal accomplishment and energy directed toward dealing with stress.Levinson’s process would be to conduct a “clinical history” of the organization, much as a physician or therapistwould do with a patient, and then work with the top executive team, especially the CEO, to ensure betterintegration of the organization’s personality and to direct as much energy as possible toward the task and lesstoward dealing with stress.211
SummaryThe 10 theories from psychology and organizational behavior that were selected for this chapter are thosemost applicable for organization change and development. These mini-theories address only certain aspects oforganization change, and none is truly comprehensive. It is likely that at some stage in the future, a morecomprehensive theory will emerge from domains such as cell biology, chaos theory, or nonlinear complexsystems theory. But until that day, we must rely on combinations of theories that alone are unsatisfactory buttogether can enhance our understanding.Table 8.2 is an attempt to succinctly summarize the 10 theories covered in this section of the chapter.212
The Content and Process of Strategic Change in OrganizationsAt a more macro level of theory and research on organization change, Rajagopalan and Spreitzer (1997)reviewed the literature on strategic change and classified their findings into two schools of thought on theresearch domains and the methodologies that researchers used: the content school and the process school. Theformer refers to antecedents and consequences of strategic change, the what, and the latter focuses on the roleof managers, or how they seemed to have implemented strategic change. Rajagopalan and Spreitzer went on topoint out that although these two schools of thought are related, they “have evolved independently with littletheoretical or empirical synergy, resulting in theoretical and practical gaps in researchers’ understanding ofstrategic change” (p. 48). These authors further classified the 59 studies that they reviewed from the 1980sand 1990s into four research and theoretical perspectives. The four categories represented their attempt toreduce the theoretical and practical gaps in understanding. In other words, they found the content–processdistinction to be overly simplified. They identified three distinct “theoretical lenses: the rational, learning, andcognitive lenses” (p. 50). Their fourth classification was various combinations of these three, which theyappropriately labeled “multi-lens studies.”213
All three lenses, or perspectives, are alike in that they consider both content and process and are concernedwith an organization’s alignment with its external environment. In this regard, Rajagopalan and Spreitzer(1997) cast their perspectives well within the larger open-system theory framework and stated, at leastimplicitly, that for survival, an organization is dependent on its external environment. Briefly defined, thethree lenses, or perspectives, are as follows:Rational: This school of thought focuses more on content than on process and assumes that the externalenvironment can be viewed objectively; that is, there are facts out there that can be obtained, classified,and acted on. Sequential planning and somewhat linear thinking also characterize this perspective.Learning: This perspective makes a different assumption about the external environment, that it isdynamic, changing, and uncertain. Objectivity is very difficult. Although the change process(emphasized more than content) takes the form of a series of iterative actions that are evolutionary, notdiscontinuous, these actions are not linear or sequential. Managers must take change steps, learn fromthe consequences of these steps, and then take the next change step according to what was learned fromthe preceding steps.Cognitive: Like the learning perspective, this school of thought focuses more on process than contentand focuses on managerial cognitions, such as core beliefs, causal maps, and knowledge structures.Managerial actions in pursuit of strategic change are studied through this lens. Then retroactiveattributions serve to deduce what managers were thinking to have caused such actions.As part of the conclusions from their analysis of the 59 studies, Rajagopalan and Spreitzer (1997) stated:The rational lens perspective reflects a crucial aspect of the reality facing managers, namely, thatchanges in strategies must match the requirements of a firm’s environmental and organizationalcontexts in order to be successful. . . . The learning and cognitive lens perspectives provide value tothe rational lens perspective because they help researchers to understand (a) why different firmsrespond differently to a similar context (because of different cognitions and actions) and (b) howfirms can maximize the effectiveness of their adaptive responses (through different managerialactions aimed at the environment and/or the organization). (p. 70)This synopsis does not do justice to the depth of Rajagopalan and Spreitzer’s (1997) work. Nevertheless, thepoint of the brief summary is twofold: First, their review of the strategic change literature demonstrated thatcontent and process are intertwined. Discussing content as separate from process is like attempting to explainbehavior as driven by either nature or nurture. It is not possible to explain causes of behavior as being one orthe other. Conceptual distinction in this case may serve as an analytical and theoretical convenience but doesnot reflect reality. Second, a contribution that Rajagopalan and Spreitzer have made was to show us a littlemore clearly what the reality of strategic change is; in other words, strategic change in organizations is notexactly obvious, cannot be explained adequately from a single perspective, and is not a linear process (seeChapter 7).215
Strategies for Effecting Change in Human SystemsIn this final section of the chapter, we will consider, again briefly, broad strategies for change. In the previoussection, with the summary of Rajagopalan and Spreitzer’s (1997) work, the term strategic was used. Strategic,for this review, referred to the organization’s strategy—that is, how the organization implemented its mission.Strategic therefore concerned content, although most of the studies they reviewed addressed both content andprocess.Strategies for change covered in this final section refer more exclusively to process, or how change isimplemented. Our coverage relies on the classic work of Chin and Benne (1985), because their thinkingrepresents a broader and more comprehensive perspective than we have considered thus far and because it isan appropriate way to conclude and integrate the wide-ranging content of this chapter.It should be noted initially that Chin and Benne (1985) discussed strategies for change genotypically and inthe context of planned change: a conscious, deliberate attempt to change an individual, a group, anorganization, or a community. They grouped their strategies into three categories. The first category—and,they argued, the one most frequently used—was what they called empirical-rational strategies. They labeledthe second normative-reeducative and designated the third group of strategies power-coercive. What follows is adefinition of each of these three groups of strategies for effecting change.217
Empirical-Rational StrategiesThe fundamental assumption underlying this group of strategies is that people are rational and that they willfollow their rational self-interest once it is made apparent to them. As Chin and Benne (1985) put it:A change is proposed by some person or group which knows of a situation that is desirable,effective, and in line with the self-interest of the person or group, organization, or communitywhich will be affected by the change. Because the person (or group) is assumed to be rational andmoved by self-interest, it is assumed that he (or they) will adopt the proposed change if it can berationally justified and if it can be shown by the proposer(s) that he (or they) will gain by thechange. (p. 23)There are six strategies within this empirical-rational group, according to Chin and Benne (1985):1. Basic research and dissemination of knowledge through general education: The strategy of knowledgebuilding and general education is used to widely spread the results of studies so that thinking people willunderstand, approve, and act in accordance.2. Personnel selection and replacement: The difficulty of getting knowledge into practice may be due tocertain people who do not take appropriate action occupying positions of responsibility. In other words,the wrong people are in these positions and need to be replaced. This strategy comes from industrialpsychology.3. Systems analysts as staff and consultants: In this case, we have experts who deliver knowledge in arational and systematic manner (often by computers, which are even more rational), the assumptionbeing that their expertise is unique, highly technical, and specialized; therefore, they know best. Thisstrategy is represented by traditional management consulting.4. Applied research and linkage systems for diffusion of research results: Chin and Benne (1985) used thewords applied research; we could also use action research. In any case, what is meant here is the use ofsound research methodology, data gathering, and analysis in the service of promoting change. Theresearch conducted is highly targeted, and the changes are driven by data. The assumption is that thesekinds of data will be accepted for change because the methodology is steeped in the scientific method.5. Utopian thinking as a strategy of changing: Perhaps the best example of this strategy has already beenmentioned in this chapter—that is, Skinner’s Walden Two (1948). The point is that utopian thinking isan effort to extrapolate from science to a future and better vision for society, a community, or anorganization.6. Perceptual and conceptual reorganization through the classification of language: Enemies of a rational-empirical strategy are superstitions and myths. One way to counter this type of enemy is to purifylanguage. Experts here are people disciplined in semantics. The assumption is that experts in semanticscan “see more correctly, communicate more adequately and reason more effectively and thus lay arealistic common basis for action and changing” (Chin & Benne, 1985, p. 31). For example, Hayakawa218
(1941), a prominent semanticist of his time, sought ways of clarifying and correcting the names ofthings and processes, according to Chin and Benne.Names associated with this group of strategies include Thomas Jefferson, Horace Mann, Henry Murray, E. L.Thorndike, Frederick Taylor, B. F. Skinner, and S. I. Hayakawa.219
Normative-Reeducative StrategiesChange agents adopting this group of strategies would accept the premise that human beings are rational andintelligent. But as important—if not more so—is the assumption that people conform and are committed tosociocultural norms. Undergirding these norms are individual beliefs, attitudes, and values. Thus:Change in a pattern of practice or action, according to this view, will occur only as the personsinvolved are brought to change their normative orientations to old patterns and developcommitments to new ones. And changes in normative orientations involve changes in attitudes,values, skills, and significant relationships, not just changes in knowledge, information, orintellectual rationales for action and practice. (Chin & Benne, 1985, p. 23)An application of this strategy would be the T-group, or sensitivity training. Further assumptions are thatpeople are more active than passive in their attempts to satisfy needs and that our interaction with theenvironment is transactional; that is, we seek information and gratification from the environment and attemptto influence the interactive process.There are two primary strategies within this normative-reeducative group, and they have the following incommon:The client system is heavily involved in the change process; change is not imposed.The problem the client is facing is not assumed to be a technical one, since it may have more to do withnorms, values, and attitudes, thus requiring reeducation.Nonconscious factors may need to be surfaced.Applying methods and concepts from the behavioral sciences is primary.These are the two main strategies within this group:1. Improving the problem-solving capabilities of a system. Chin and Benne (1985) stated that organizationdevelopment, as based on the thinking and practice of Kurt Lewin, was the major representation of thisstrategy. Also, later, Argyris and Schön (1978) introduced the concept of organizational learning withtheir ideas of single-loop learning, or fixing problems, and double-loop learning, or fixing problems pluslearning more about the problem-solving process. Double-loop learning, then, is much like what Chinand Benne were describing with this change strategy.2. Releasing and fostering growth in the persons who make up the system to be changed. Those who promote thisstrategy tend to view the individual as the basic unit within an organization, a group, or a community.That individual’s growth and development take precedence. The work of Maslow, summarized earlier inthis chapter, and McGregor’s theory Y and theory X have been highly influential. Also, the sensitivitytraining (T-group) movement has been a significant lever for their strategy of change. In addition toMaslow and McGregor, other names associated with the normative-reeducative strategy are JohnDewey, Sigmund Freud, Kurt Lewin, Warren Bennis, Eric Trist, Carl Rogers, Rensis Likert, Chris220
Argyris, and Leland Bradford, Kenneth Benne, and Ronald Lippitt of the National TrainingLaboratories sensitivity-training era.221
Power-Coercive StrategiesThis group of strategies is based on the use of power in whatever form it may take: political, nonviolentresistance, and so on (Chin & Benne, 1985).The influence process involved is basically that of compliance of those with less power. . . . Oftenthe power to be applied is legitimate . . . thus the strategy may involve getting the authority of lawor administrative policy behind the change to be effected. (p. 23)The source of power in the rational-empirical approach is knowledge, but here, the sources are more likely tobe political and economic sanctions for lack of compliance to the proposed change. Chin and Benne (1985)describe three strategies within this group:1. Nonviolence: Names that immediately spring to mind are Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.Coercion is the prime lever, but conducted nonviolently, often dividing the opposition via moralconviction, perhaps combined with economic sanctions (e.g., boycotting certain commercialenterprises).2. Use of political institutions: Coercion here does not necessarily involve oppression, provided a democraticprocess can be sustained. A recent example of this strategy was the use of both state (Florida) andfederal courts to decide the Bush versus Gore presidential election. This form of change, even thoughenacted in law and resolved by legal means, can nevertheless feel oppressive to those being affected.3. Changing by the recomposition and manipulation of power elites: Chin and Benne (1985) cite Karl Marx asa classic example of this strategy, in that he believed strongly in a classless society and in overcoming thepower of the ruling class. This strategy depends largely on economic action and on a large number ofpeople organizing, as in a union, to become a power of production in society.In addition to Marx, representative others within the power-coercive group of strategies are C. Wright Mills,Bayard Rustin, and Saul Alinsky. For more specific coverage of these three broad strategies of change by Chinand Benne, see the volume by Hornstein et al. (1971).Some evidence has arisen showing that effective organization change begins with sudden bursts of a radicalnature followed by comparatively “sedate progress”—transactional processes—toward the change goal, andthat sequence is highly important. Changing first “high-impact elements”—transformational factors—“sends aclear message that the changes being implemented will be substantive and enduring” (Amis, Slack, &Hinings, 2004).222
SummaryThe theme of this chapter has been the content–process distinction in analyses of organization change, withcontent referring to the what, or substantive, aspects of change (we found Drucker’s [1994] “theory of thebusiness” instructive) and process referring to the how, or ways that change occurs or can occur. With respect tothe latter, Van de Ven and Poole (1995) discussed four theories of the change process. Their coveragediscussed how organization change happens through the lenses of life-cycle, teleological, dialectical, andevolutionary theories or schools of thought, whether or not the change is deliberate and planned. They notedthat although these four theories are useful to our understanding, they overlap, and in reality, organizationchange more often than not is explained through multiple theoretical lenses.We then moved from theory to practice and considered different (but again overlapping) frameworks forunderstanding how change can occur. These frameworks, beginning with Lewin’s (1958) three steps and theelaborations of Schein (1987) and Lippitt et al. (1958), address planned change, or deliberate initiatives.Returning to theory again—this time summarizing mini-theories from the behavioral sciences that arerelevant to but not necessarily directed toward organization change—we considered 10 theories, focusing bothon the content elements of each one and on the process for change advocated, or at least implied.The work of Rajagopalan and Spreitzer (1997) addressed both content and process, but they argued that thedistinction, although useful for helping us understand strategic organization change more thoroughly, was,after all, not reflective of reality. They discussed three theoretical perspectives—rational, learning, andcognitive—and showed how these distinctions can be integrated for a deeper understanding of strategicchange.Finally, to help integrate much of the chapter, we considered the broad conceptual framework on process andplanned change developed by Chin and Benne (1985). It is not obvious how Van de Ven and Poole’s (1995)four developmental theories fit within Chin and Benne’s framework. The former, though theoretical, arelargely descriptive and explanatory, whereas the latter, which is also descriptive, is about planned change andtherefore has an advocacy component. In a sense, both the Van de Ven and Poole and the Rajagopalan andSpreitzer contributions explain and enrich our understanding. Chin and Benne also seek explanation andunderstanding, but their understanding has more to do with the choices of change agentry when the objectiveis to deliberately bring about change in an organization, group, or community. With regard to the broadstrategies of Chin and Benne, the practice frameworks of Lewin and others fit largely within the normative-reeducative group of strategies. Rajagopalan and Spreitzer’s rational school of thought is similar to therational-empirical group of strategies; their learning school of thought is similar to the normative-reeducativegroup of strategies, and their cognitive school of thought is similar to some combination of rational-empiricaland normative-reeducative strategies.223
Nine Integrated Models for Understanding Organizations and forLeading and Managing ChangeIn the previous chapter, we considered organization change from a content perspective, what to change, andfrom a process perspective, how to bring about the change. These perspectives were addressed boththeoretically, for example, Van de Ven and Poole (1995), and from the standpoint of what research has to tellus, for example, Rajagopalan and Spreitzer (1997).An additional perspective on content and process can be taken by returning briefly to a comparison ofmanagement consulting, as it is described at the end of Chapter 3, with the kind of organization changeconsulting implied so far in this book. (What has been implied will become much more explicit in theremaining chapters.) The point to be made here is that management consulting tends to focus on content—onwhat needs to be changed. The process of how to bring about the change is either ignored or left to others,especially the client, to implement. Effective consulting for organization change must focus on both contentand process. The organizational frameworks examined in this chapter help integrate content and process as weconsider organization change in a more applied manner. The title for Chapter 8 used the term model, meaningconceptual model—in other words, frameworks and ways of thinking that emanate from theory.A brief recap: In Chapter 7, we reviewed the organization change literature and, in so doing, began tointroduce the notion of an organizational model with the framework provided by Porras and Robertson(1992). In Chapter 8, we considered conceptual frameworks about organization change in terms of contentand process. And now, in the present chapter, we address organizational models per se.In this chapter, the notion of a model is considered more in terms of “a representation of,” that is, a graphicdepiction of an organization. Theoretical concepts help us understand organization change in a moreprofound way—for example, Gersick’s (1991) use of deep structure as a means of distinguishing betweenfundamental and superficial changes in an organization. Organizational models as used in this chapter help usmap and choreograph organization change in both content, or what to emphasize, such as organizationalmission and purpose (see coverage of Drucker’s theory of the business in the beginning section of Chapter 8),and process, or how to think through a planned change effort (see Lewin’s three steps in Chapter 8, forexample).With the present chapter, we are gradually shifting from how to think about organization change to how tothink about doing it. Referring once again to chapter titles, this time the modifier integrated is used. Theorganization models covered in this chapter address content explicitly and process either explicitly orimplicitly. Our primary purpose is to present integrated models that help us know more about what to changeand how to do it. Application of theory and concepts is the raison d’être of this chapter and chapters thatfollow.225
What Is an Organizational Model?The first definition of model in dictionaries is something like a “standard to emulate, to imitate, or with whichto compare.” Additional definitions often include a “copy” or a “subject for an artist.” But the usual seconddefinition is the one meant here, that is, a “representation, to show the construction or appearance ofsomething.” By model, then, we mean a representation of an organization that more often than not ismetaphorical in nature. One of the most commonly used metaphors is an organism, in which any organizationis depicted as an open system (see Chapter 4) that, like an organism, has input and output. The throughput iswhat the organization (organism) does with the input to produce an output, transforming input to output.With the organism, input is oxygen and other ingredients from the external environment, which the organismuses and transforms into energy as well as waste. With the organization, it is money, people, and materialsfrom the external environment that are used and transformed into products and services that are thrust backinto the external environment. Other metaphors for organizations have been a machine, brain, culture,political system, and psychic prison (Morgan, 1997).Organization and organization change models were discussed in Chapter 7. A brief recap should remind us.With respect to the latter, early work by Friedlander and Brown (1974) provided a framework forunderstanding organization change that was based on two primary approaches: human-processual and techno-structural. Integrating these two approaches was the challenge, according to Friedlander and Brown.Porras (1987) has provided an example of the former, an organization model grounded in open-system theoryand metaphorically based on an organism (see Chapter 7). Porras’s model consists of four components:organizing arrangements, such as goals; social factors, such as culture; technology, such as tools; and physicalsettings, such as space. These four components plus organizational members’ behavior form the throughputdimensions of his model.The remainder of this chapter will be devoted to examining models like the one by Porras—that is,organizational models that integrate content and process and either imply or explicitly address ways ofimplementing change.227
Why Use an Organizational Model?An organizational model can be useful in a number of ways (Burke, 1994):An organizational model can help categorize. When observing or collecting data about activities andbehavior in an organization, we are faced with informational bits in the thousands, if not millions.Because we cannot deal with everything, what should we select out or pay attention to? A model canhelp “chunk” and categorize the bits and pieces into a more manageable set of, say, 10 or 12 componentsinstead of thousands.An organizational model can help enhance our understanding. If we find that serious organizationalproblems exist with our model in, say, three of the categories but not in the remaining components, thenwe know more readily where we should take action than we might otherwise have.An organizational model can help interpret data about the organization. Assume that, in our model, we havethe two categories of strategy and structure. As it turns out, most organizational models do include thesetwo components. Suppose further that from data we have about the organization, we recognize that aserious problem exists with the structure, such as the hierarchical arrangement or decision-makingauthority, and we need to do something soon about this problem. We know from research (Chandler,1962) that for optimum organizational effectiveness, there must be a strong link between theorganization’s strategy (i.e., how the mission and purposes are to be accomplished) and the structure.First, we must achieve clarity about strategy and then let this clarity help us determine what thestructure should be. Borrowing from the world of architecture, it means that form (structure) shouldfollow function (strategy). So we would not attempt to correct the structure until we were clear aboutwhat the organization’s strategy would be for now and into the future. To concentrate only on thestructure without due consideration initially of the strategy would fix nothing; in fact, it would makematters worse. An organizational model with these two components that are linked and in the properorder—strategy before structure—can help us interpret our data appropriately and make the rightdecisions.An organizational model can help provide a common, shorthand language. Instead of making statementssuch as, “Well, it’s the way we do things here; it’s our beliefs and values,” and so on, we can simply say“culture,” and we will quickly know what we mean. A model, therefore, can help us be more efficientwith language.An organizational model can help guide action for change. If an organizational model is arranged in such away that (1) certain dimensions under certain conditions are more important or carry more leverage orweight than other dimensions and (2) an order or sequence of dimensions or organizational elementsand functions is at least implicit, if not obvious, then the direction of change can become clear. That is,priorities about what to tackle first and what comes next, and so on, can establish a road map andimplementation strategy for the overall change effort. The model described in the next chapter providesthis kind of help.An organizational model can indeed be useful, but there are at least two important caveats:228
1. A model is only as good as the components selected and the arrangement of these components—that is,how each part relates to each of the others. As we know, organizations consist of many components. Weneed to categorize thousands of parts into a workable number and decide which components are themost important.2. Gareth Morgan (1997) stated the second caveat eloquently: “Metaphor is inherently paradoxical. It cancreate powerful insights that also become distortions as the way of seeing created through a metaphorbecomes a way of not seeing” (p. 5).229
Organizational Models and Organization ChangeBy way of introduction to this main body of the chapter, it should be noted that many organizational modelsexist. Most organizational theory textbooks provide one or more models. Mintzberg (1989), for example, likeMorgan (1997), describes a variety of approaches: the entrepreneurial, machine, diversified, professional, andinnovative organizations, and his own version (see Mintzberg’s chapter on “Deriving Configurations”). Mostof these models are descriptive and do not address organization change as such.Many current models are based on the earlier thinking of Harold Leavitt (1965). His diamond-shapedorganizational systems model helped set the stage for thinking about organizations as interdependentmultivariate systems (see Figure 9.1).Although Leavitt’s (1965) model was primarily descriptive, he did consider change by noting first that thefour major components—task (the organization’s purpose, e.g., to provide a service, to manufacture aproduct), people (those who carry out the task), technology (tools, computers, etc.), and structure (work flow,decision-making authority, communications, etc.)—all interacted with one another and were interdependent.Second, Leavitt pointed out that change in any one of the components would result in change among theother three.Figure 9.1 Leavitt’s Organizational Systems ModelLeavitt’s (1965) early version, although grounded in systems thinking—describing four interdependentcomponents, each affecting the other three—was not based on open-system theory, at least not in its entirety.The model represents only throughput, or the transformation process, with no accounting for input or output.230
The following three models are based on open-system theory and come from the world of organizationdevelopment, meaning that they address what to diagnose for change and consider, at least to some degree,how to intervene so that organization change can be implemented. These models represent an integration ofcontent and process and have evolved from both practice and theory. Each author of these models has spenttime and energy as an organizational consultant, and most have also taught graduate students in businessschools and therefore have spent time and energy as academics. Thus, the models are grounded in bothresearch and change-consulting practice.231
Weisbord’s Six-Box ModelMarvin Weisbord (1976) must be more intuitive than most people, because he preferred a visual way ofpresenting his model. He relied on the organism metaphor as well as another one: the air traffic controller’sradar screen. The six “blips” on the screen tell us which organizational components are the most importantand, by the intensity of the blips, where trouble spots might be. Weisbord was quick to clarify, however, thatwe must pay attention to the screen (organization) as a whole and avoid focusing too much on one particularbox in the model (see Figure 9.2).As Figure 9.2 shows, the boxes are surrounded by a circle that represents the external environment, witharrows pointing in both directions—that is, the input and output representations. Weisbord (1976) is aproponent of understanding organizations from both the formal and the informal perspective. In other words,there is the formal system—represented by, say, the structure—and the informal system embedded in theorganizational culture. But Weisbord stated that there are informal and formal aspects to each of the sixboxes. So, for example, the structure box has its formal dimensions, in that the organization chart depicts linesof authority and accountability, and also has its informal dimensions, its unspoken rules about how authorityis actually exercised. Diagnostically, Weisbord argued, the extent of the gap between the formal and informalis highly important, and the action to be taken (the process side) is that of reducing the gap. Otherwise, theorganization will remain more ineffective than effective.To understand more clearly what Weisbord (1976) meant by or how he defined each box, it is instructive toconsider the primary questions he asked about each one. The boxed questions in Figure 9.2 give us the generalidea for each organizational component in the model. More specifically, Weisbord’s primary question(s) foreach box are as follows:Purposes: How clear are organizational members about the organization’s purpose and mission? Howsupportive are they of the organization’s purpose and mission?Structure: How adequate is the fit between the organization’s purpose and mission and the internalstructure that is designed to serve that purpose? (This question is similar to the strategy–structure linkmentioned earlier.)Rewards: What are the similarities and differences between what the organization formally rewards andpunishes and what organizational members actually believe they are rewarded or punished for doing?Helpful mechanisms: Which processes and procedures in the organization (planning, budgeting,information systems, etc.) actually help organizational members do their work, and which of themhinder more than help?Relationships: For this box, Weisbord was concerned with three categories—between individuals;between and among groups, units, departments, and so forth; and between the person and therequirements of his or her job. He argued that, diagnostically, first one should consider the quality ofthese relationships, and then one should consider the adequacy of the models for managing and dealingwith conflict.Leadership: This box is at the center of the model because Weisbord believed that organizational232
leaders’ jobs are to watch for blips in each of the other five boxes on the radar screen and to make surethat they are in alignment.To summarize, Weisbord (1976) believed that regardless of the wording for these organizationally diagnosticquestions, they need to be asked on two levels:1. How large is the gap between the formal and informal dimensions of the organization, that is, thedegree of fit between the individual and the organization?2. What degree of discrepancy is there between what is and what ought to be, that is, the congruencebetween the organization and its external environment?Some of the strengths of Weisbord’s six-box model are simultaneously its weaknesses: Although categorizingthe many organizational dimensions into six boxes helps simplify and provide quick understanding,organizations are far too complicated to be represented by only six categories. A strength of the model is theprominent position of the leadership box in the middle, signifying the coordinating function. If there arenegative blips on this part of the radar screen, we know that we have serious issues. It is also clear that thepurposes box links most directly with both the relationships and structure categories, but how does purposes linkto the other boxes? The leadership box does imply a causal linkage with all the other five boxes, but no othercausal linkages are suggested.Figure 9.2 Weisbord’s Six-Box Organizational Model233
Source: M. R. Weisbord, “Organizational Diagnosis: Six Places to Look for Trouble With or Without aTheory, 1976, Group and Organization Management: An International Journal, 1 pp. 430–447.Reprinted with permission of SAGE Publications.Weisbord’s six-box model can be helpful for rapid and simple diagnostic purposes. It is also useful for clientorganizations that have little sophistication about systems thinking and the larger complexities oforganizational dynamics. But when a deeper and more complicated diagnosis is required, these six boxes aresimply not sufficient.234
The Nadler–Tushman Congruence ModelNadler and Tushman (1977) developed their model at about the same time Weisbord was creating his, andthey made the same assumptions: that an organization is an open system and therefore is influenced by itsenvironment (inputs) and also shapes its environment, at least to some extent, by its outputs. The Nadler–Tushman model will be presented according to the open-system framework, starting with inputs, thenoutputs, and finally, the bulk of the model, which they refer to as the transformation process, or thethroughput (see Figure 9.3 for a depiction of the model).Figure 9.3 The Nadler–Tushman Congruence Model for Diagnosing Organizational BehaviorSource: D. A. Nadler and M. L. Tushman, “A Diagnostic Model for Organization Behavior,” 1977, inPerspectives on Behavior in Organizations, edited by J. R. Hackman, E. E. Lawler, and L. W. Porter,pp. 85–100, New York: McGraw-Hill. Reproduced by permission of the McGraw-Hill Companies.InputsNadler and Tushman (1977) viewed inputs to the system as relatively fixed. The four they cited are theenvironment, the resources available to the organization, the organization’s history, and strategies that aredeveloped and then evolve over time. These inputs help define how people in the organization behave, andthey serve as constraints on behavior as well as opportunities for action.236
As we know from the works of Burns and Stalker (1961) and Lawrence and Lorsch (1967), the extent towhich an organization’s environment is relatively stable or dynamic significantly affects internal operations,structure, and policy (see Chapter 8). For many organizations, a very important aspect of environment is theparent system and its directives. Many organizations are subsidiaries or divisional profit centers of largercorporations, such as colleges within a university or hospitals within a larger health care delivery system. Thesesubordinate organizations may operate relatively autonomously with respect to the outside world (having theirown purchasing operations, for example), but because of corporate policy, they may be fairly restricted in howmuch money they can spend. Thus, for many organizations, we must think of their environments in at leasttwo categories: the larger parent system and the rest of the outside world—government regulations,competitors, and the marketplace in general.Resources within the Nadler–Tushman model include capital (money, property, equipment, and so on), rawmaterials, technologies, people, and various intangibles, such as company name, logo, or brand, which mayhave a high value in the company’s market.An organization’s history is also input to the system. The history determines, for example, patterns ofemployee behavior, policy, the types of people the organization attracts and recruits, and even how decisionsare made in a crisis. Recall from Chapter 7 the example of two banks with highly similar backgrounds. Whenthey merged after some 150 years of independence, their respective histories had shaped two entirely differentcorporate cultures. History is an important variable in the understanding of any organization.Although strategy is categorized as an input in the model, Nadler and Tushman set it apart. Strategy is theprocess of determining how the organization’s resources are best used within the environment for optimalorganizational functioning. It is the act of identifying opportunities in the environment and determiningwhether the organization’s resources are adequate for capitalizing on these opportunities. History plays asubtle but influential role in the strategic process.Some organizations are very strategic; they plan, for example, the rational perspective regarding strategicchange delineated by Rajagopalan and Spreitzer (1997; see Chapter 8). Other organizations simply react tochanges in their environments or act opportunistically, rather than according to a long-range plan thatdetermines which opportunities will be seized and which will be allowed to pass, similar to the learningperspective described by Rajagopalan and Spreitzer. As Nadler and Tushman (1977) pointed out, however, allorganizations have strategies, whether they are deliberate and formal or unintentional and informal.Rajagopalan and Spreitzer made the same point.OutputsShifting to the right side of the model (Figure 9.3), we will consider outputs before covering thetransformation process. Thus, we shall examine the organization’s environment from the standpoint of bothhow it influences the system and how it becomes influenced by the system’s outputs.For diagnostic purposes, Nadler and Tushman (1977) presented four key categories of outputs: system237
functioning, group behavior, intergroup relations, and individual behavior and effect. With respect to theeffectiveness of the system’s functioning as a whole, the following three questions should elicit the necessaryinformation:1. How well is the organization attaining its desired goals of production, service, return on investment, andso on?2. How well is the organization using its resources?3. How well is the organization coping with changes in its environment over time?The remaining three outputs are more directly behavioral: how well groups or units within the organizationare performing; how effectively these units communicate with one another, resolve differences, and collaboratewhen necessary; and how individuals behave. For the last output, individual behavior, we are interested inmatters such as turnover, absenteeism, and of course, individual job performance.The Transformation ProcessThe components of the transformation process and their interactions are what we normally think of when weconsider an organization: the people, the various tasks and jobs, the organization’s managerial structure (theorganization chart), and all relationships of individuals, groups, and subsystems. As Figure 9.3 shows, fourinteractive major components compose the transformation process, changing inputs into outputs.The task component consists of jobs to be done and the inherent characteristics of the work itself. The primarytask dimensions are the extent and nature of the required interdependence between and among taskperformers, the level of skill needed, and the kinds of information required to perform the tasks adequately.The individual component consists of all the differences and similarities among employees, particularlydemographic data, skill and professional levels, and personality–attitudinal variables.Organizational arrangements include the managerial and operational structure of the organization, work flowand design, the reward system, management information systems, and the like. These arrangements are theformal mechanisms used by management to direct and control behavior and to organize and accomplish thework to be done.The fourth component, informal organizational, is the social structure within the organization, including thegrapevine, the organization’s internal politics, and the informal authority-information structure—whom yousee for what.Congruence as the Concept of FitAs Nadler and Tushman (1977) pointed out, a mere listing and description of these system inputs, outputs,and components is insufficient for modeling an organization. An organization is dynamic, never static, andthe model must represent this reality, as the arrows in Figure 9.3 do. Nadler and Tushman went beyonddepicting relationships, however. Their term fit is a measure of the congruence between pairs of inputs and238
especially between the components of the transformation process. They contend that inconsistent fits betweenany pair will result in less than optimal organizational and individual performance. If, for example, anorganization’s strategy is to become a global corporation, but one of the “formal organizational arrangements”(structure) is a division of international operations, and international emphasis is not a structural aspect of allunits within the organization, then we have a lack of fit, or incongruence. Nadler and Tushman’s hypothesis,therefore, was that the better the fit, the more effective the organization will be.Nadler and Tushman (1977) recommended three steps for diagnosis:1. Identify the system. Is the system for diagnosis an autonomous organization, a subsidiary, a division, or aunit of some larger system? What are the boundaries of the system, its membership, its tasks, and—if itis part of a larger organization—its relationships with other units?2. Determine the nature of the key variables. What are the dimensions of the inputs and components? Whatare the desired outputs?3. Diagnose the state of fit. This is the most important step, involving two related activities: determining fitsbetween components and diagnosing the link between the fits and organization outputs.For their model, then, Nadler and Tushman (1977) argued that one must concentrate on the degree to whichthe key components are congruent with one another. It should be noted that measuring these degrees ofcongruence is no easy undertaking. The process requires considerable data gathering and analysis.For diagnosing the link between fits and outputs, the organization change agent must focus the outcome ofthe diagnoses of the various component fits and their behavioral consequences on the set of behaviorsassociated with system outputs: goal attainment, resource usage, and overall system performance. Consideringthe component fits, or lack thereof, in light of system outputs helps identify critical problems of theorganization. As these problems are addressed and changes are made, the system is then monitored forpurposes of evaluation through the feedback loop.In summary, the Nadler–Tushman model is comprehensive and sophisticated—which is the reason so muchspace is devoted to the framework. Although mostly descriptive, the model does suggest certain cause–effectlinkages, that is, the idea of congruence. Little or no congruence between, for example, strategy and structurewould produce poor organizational performance. Moreover, incongruence between the external environmentand strategy would also suggest a causal relationship with performance. The point is that many othercongruencies or incongruencies could be emphasized. There are many possibilities. What would help, but arenot provided in the Nadler–Tushman model, are ideas for determining which organizational dimensions aremore central or “weightier” than other other dimensions. Their category “formal organizational arrangements”consists of quite a number of components, such as structure, job design, formal policies and systems, and goalsor objectives. Some of these, such as goals, for example, might be more central than others. Finally, no meansare suggested for determining when congruence is in place or for determining what levels of congruence orincongruence produce desirable or undesirable effects.Perhaps it was chaos and nonlinear complex systems theory (see Chapters 4 and 7) that later influenced239
Nadler and Tushman (1989) to question their own congruence position. To use their words:While our model implies that congruence of organizational components is a desirable state, it is, infact, a double-edged sword. In the short term, congruence seems to be related to effectiveness andperformance. A system with high congruence, however, can be resistant to change. It develops waysof insulating itself from outside influences and may be unable to respond to new situations. (p. 195)240
Tichy’s TPC (Technical, Political, Cultural) FrameworkAlthough similar to the other two models, particularly the Nadler–Tushman framework, Tichy’s (1983)model focuses much more explicitly on organization change. In fact, his nine components should be seen lessas boxes in a model and more as change levers. Figure 9.4 displays these levers in a certain order that Tichyconsidered important for organization change.Briefly, the nine change levers are as follows:1. External interface, or the organization’s external environment (input)2. Mission3. Strategy (Tichy combined mission and strategy in the model, but he considered them distinct levers.)4. Managing organizational mission and strategy processes (i.e., realistically engaging the relevant interestgroups)5. Task (Change often requires new tasks.)6. Prescribed networks (more or less, the formal organizational structure)7. Organizational processes (communicating, problem solving, and decision making)8. People9. Emergent networks (more or less, the informal organization)Figure 9.4 Tichy’s Framework241
Source: N. M. Tichy. Managing Strategic Change: Technical, Political, and Cultural Dynamics.! 1983.Reprinted by permission of John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, page 73.Managing as such is not shown in the model. Tichy (1983) considered management as pervading the entireframework. He assumed “that organizational effectiveness (or output) is a function of the characteristics ofeach of the components of the model, as well as a function of how the components interrelate and align into afunctioning system” (p. 72).The TPC in Tichy’s (1983) thinking provides the more unique aspect of his framework. Technical, political,and cultural represent the three primary systems that cut across the nine levers. Tichy considered these threesystems to be the dominant ones for understanding organizations in general and organization change inparticular. The technical system is based on science and hard data and therefore represents a highly rational242
perspective. The political system is based on power dynamics and the fact that in organizations some groupsand individuals are more powerful than others. With respect to change, the primary behavior representing thisperspective is negotiation. The cultural system concerns shared values and norms, or “cognitive schemes,” asTichy called them. These schemes are what link people and constitute the organization’s culture. Consistentwith Lewinian thinking (see Chapter 8), culture change occurs, according to Tichy, by developing new normsand perhaps values. Dealing with only one or two of these systems instead of all three simultaneously will leadto ineffectiveness in organizational performance. All three must be realigned for successful change. Tichy,therefore, saw these three systems as intertwined metaphorically like three strands of a rope. The threesystems or perspectives can be understood separately, but for effective change to occur, all must be managedtogether. Overlaying these three systems with the change levers produces a matrix like the one shown inFigure 9.5.Tichy (1983) argued that these systems must be aligned with levers and each with every other one for effectivechange to occur. For diagnostic purposes, data must be collected for each cell of the matrix. These data needto be informative about the degree of change required for proper alignment. Across the matrix the alignmentis within a system, and down the matrix the alignment is between systems. An illustration of the former,within, might be a case of new technology arising in the external environment and the organization’s holdingon too long to its own technology, which may be rapidly reaching obsolescence. An illustration of the latter,between, might be a case of attempting cultural change toward a more trusting set of values when the politicalsystem in the organization is based in part on “information is power,” and it is best to share this form of powervery sparingly.Figure 9.5 Tichy’s Technical, Political, Cultural MatrixSource: N. M. Tichy. Managing Strategic Change: Technical, Political, and Cultural Dynamics.! 1983.243
Reprinted by permission of John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, page 19.To summarize, Tichy’s model includes most of the variables that are critical to understanding and especiallychanging organizations. The TPC rope is a unique feature of his framework and adds to our understanding ofwhat to consider in and how to think through the implementation of a large-scale change effort in anorganization.There are some limitations, however. The people component in Tichy’s model is barely mentioned. Moreover,issues at the individual level of organizational analysis have a lower priority than issues at group andorganizational levels. To be fair, Tichy (1983) did admit this omission in his book by stating that he skimmedover the psychological aspects of change. Also to be fair, the cultural and political strands of the TPC rope doaddress people issues, but at a more macro level than at the level of, say, job–person match (congruence) orlocal work unit activities, such as self-directed work group dynamics and teamwork. Finally, the previouscriticism that too much emphasis on congruence could have an adverse or dampening effect on organizationchange might also be true for Tichy’s argument that alignments are very important.244
A Comparison of the Three ModelsThe models by Weisbord, Nadler and Tushman, and Tichy are more alike than unlike. All three are based onthe open-system theoretical way of thinking and consequently include the external environment (input), thebulk of each model being the throughput (or transformation process) and performance (outputs). WithWeisbord (1976), the output was accounted for merely by an arrow pointing outside the circle. Nadler andTushman (1977) actually used the term outputs and referred to them at three levels: individual, group, andorganization. Tichy (1983) used both terms, performance and output. All three models refer to organizationaldirection in one way or another—purpose, mission, or strategy—and all three account for structure andpeople. Tichy is unique with his systems rope metaphor, and Weisbord is the only one to make leadership andrewards explicit. Culture looms large in Tichy’s model, Nadler and Tushman included an informalorganizational component, and Weisbord used relationships, which he would probably argue accounts forculture. Tichy was simply much more explicit about it, because he considers culture to be critical toorganization change. And finally, as noted before (Burke, 1994):With regard to explanation, Weisbord argues that leadership is critical, Nadler and Tushmanadvocate congruence (but not too much of it), and Tichy espouses alignment. The Weisbord andNadler-Tushman models present more of a contingency viewpoint, whereas Tichy takes a strongnormative stance. Tichy’s strategic rope, consisting of technical, political, and cultural strands, mustindeed be a braided rope; that is, the strands must be aligned, the three systems, as he labels them,must be aligned with his key levers (organizational components), and the levers themselves must bealigned with one another. (p. 70)245
SummaryOrganizational models can be useful in helping us understand the dynamics of action taken and organizationalmembers’ behavior in organizations. Because actions and behavior cover such a wide array of data,categorizing this enormous universe into more manageable chunks helps us transform the data into usefulinformation. Models, then, help us be more efficient and more rational as we attempt to understand andchange an organization.But any organizational model has its limitations. How can we be certain that the categories of our model arethe primary and correct ones? And even if our components make sense and are widely accepted, what ismissing and perhaps overlooked?The models covered in this chapter and the one by Porras described in Chapter 7 were all born from acombination of practice, theory, and research. Thus, from the standpoint of organization change, thesemodels do provide our best guesses so far about what is important to consider. Nevertheless, they are selective;that is, they are all based on the same organism metaphor (as noted, there are other useful metaphors), andthey conform more to Chin and Benne’s (1985) normative-reeducative strategy for change than to either theirempirical-rational or power-coercive strategies (see Chapter 8). Recall that a primary example of a normative-reeducative strategy for change is organization development (OD). The models covered in this chapter as wellas the one by Porras and Robertson (1992) from Chapter 7 all evolved from the field of OD.This chapter does not complete our coverage of organizational models. After all, as the author of this book, Ihave not had my say! The next chapter is my statement about organizational modeling and change. TheBurke–Litwin model (Burke & Litwin, 1992) is presented next and represents an attempt not only to providea descriptive model of what is important to consider in understanding an organization but also to take aposition about organizational performance and change. The Burke–Litwin model is therefore a statementabout cause and effect, and the perspective taken is a normative rather than a contingent one.246
Ten The Burke–Litwin Causal Model of OrganizationPerformance and ChangeThe organization models we have considered thus far—the one by Porras covered in Chapter 7, and byWeisbord, Nadler–Tushman, and Tichy in Chapter 9—integrate content and process, at least implicitly, butthey are more about organizational functioning than about change. The exception is Tichy’s technical,political, cultural (TPC) framework. His model addresses change: the importance of alignment fororganization change to be effective. But Tichy is not explicit about cause and effect, and neither are theauthors of the other organization models. How does the political system in Tichy’s TPC affect or influencethe cultural system and vice versa? How does the alignment of the technical system with the lever of missionand strategy affect performance, and more particularly, how does it shape change? These questions are notaddressed.The purpose of this chapter is to respond to some of these kinds of questions by first explaining the Burke–Litwin model and, second, by attempting to validate the framework with brief coverage of related research andtheory.247
BackgroundMy colleague in the derivation of the Burke–Litwin model, George Litwin, conducted research in the 1960son organizational climate (Litwin & Stringer, 1968; Tagiuri & Litwin, 1968) that established the groundworkfor what later became our overall organizational framework (Burke & Litwin, 1992).In graduate school at the University of Michigan and later as a professor at the Harvard Business School,Litwin was influenced by the works of Atkinson (1958) and David McClelland (1961), respectively.McClelland was a need theorist and believed that human needs could be aroused by manipulating theenvironment. Although we all may have some degree of need to achieve, McClelland (1961) showed from hisresearch that such a need could be increased and enhanced. Litwin wanted to demonstrate this phenomenonorganizationally and from the standpoint of leadership. He hypothesized that different styles of leadershipcould create different organizational climates (environment) that would appeal to (arouse) different motives orneeds. Working with MBA students in a laboratory setting, Litwin created three separate organizations led bydistinctly different leaders, one being a power-oriented leader to arouse followers’ need for power, a secondbeing an achievement-oriented leader having a strong task focus with challenging goals, and a third being anaffiliation-oriented leader to arouse relationship and interdependence needs. His study showed thatperformance and morale differed significantly across the three laboratory organizations, with the achievementleader having both the highest performance and the highest morale (Litwin & Stringer, 1968).Based on this early work, Litwin (Litwin, Humphrey, & Wilson, 1978) developed an abbreviatedorganizational model with climate as the centerpiece. He defined organizational climate as a set ofpsychological priorities of a given (usually) work environment that are based on the collective perceptions ofthe people in that environment. The nature of a climate is determined by a number of organizational variables,not just management or leadership approach. These other variables for Litwin et al. (1978) included normsand values (culture) and management systems (policies and procedures). Figure 10.1 depicts this early versionof Litwin’s model.Figure 10.1 Organizational-Climate System248
Source: G. H. Litwin, J. W. Humphrey, and T. B. Wilson, “Organizational Climate: A Proven Tool forImproving Performance,” 1978, in The Cutting Edge: Current Theory and Practice in OrganizationDevelopment, edited by W. W. Burke (p. 190), La Jolla, CA: University Associates.Note that Litwin et al. (1978), in addition to modeling climate as affecting motivation, also included theoutcome variables of organizational performance and employee health and retention. Also, it should be notedthat the importance of this early research and theory development on organizational climate was the cause–effect position that Litwin took—that is, the linkage of psychological and organizational variables. Hisempirically testable claim was that the better the work unit climate, the greater the likelihood of highorganizational performance.In other words, this kind of thinking and research set the stage for how we developed the Burke–Litwinmodel. One final point before we proceed to a description of the model: Although there is overlap between249
climate and culture (in any organization, rarely, if ever, is a single variable discrete), we do make a distinction(Burke & Litwin, 1992):Climate is defined in terms of perceptions that individuals have of how their local work unit ismanaged and how effectively they and their day-to-day colleagues work together on the job. Thelevel of analysis, therefore, is the group, the work unit. Climate is much more in the foreground oforganizational members’ perceptions, whereas culture is more background and defined by beliefsand values. The level of analysis for culture is the organization. Climate is, of course, affected byculture, and people’s perceptions define both, but at different levels. (pp. 526–527)Schneider (1985) has made similar distinctions between climate and culture in organizations. Moreover,although there are similarities, understanding the differences between culture and climate is one of the keys tounderstanding organization change more thoroughly.The remainder of this chapter is devoted, first, to a description of the model and then to coverage of researchand theory that support the primary tenets of the model.250
The ModelAs noted earlier, the Burke–Litwin model has its roots in the organizational climate studies conducted byLitwin and his colleagues during the latter part of the 1960s. Further development of the model did not occuruntil the late 1970s and 1980s, when Burke and Litwin began their collaborative work in the arena oforganization change consulting, first with Citibank, as the financial enterprise was known back then, and laterwith British Airways (BA), beginning in 1985.The model as conceived today actually emerged from practice—that is, as a consequence of trying tounderstand more about how to bring about change at BA. This case is introduced in Chapter 5. Theorganization change of BA at the time was initiated by a decree from the prime minister of Great Britain,Margaret Thatcher. BA, the nation’s flagship airline, (1) was not exactly efficiently run, (2) had evolved fromthe Royal Air Force of World War II and was therefore managed rather bureaucratically and in a top-downmilitary manner, and (3) ended each year financially in the red, with the government having to make up thedeficit. Thatcher decided to put a stop to this way of doing business and declared that BA would have tosurvive on its own as a private corporation, publicly owned, with stock traded on both the City of London andthe New York stock exchanges. The decree was finally enacted in February 1987. Thus, BA, to survive, had tochange. Every nook and cranny of the organization was affected—especially, at the outset, BA’s mission,business strategy, leadership, and organizational culture. The theory of the business (Drucker, 1994; seeChapter 8) had to be altered significantly, primarily from conceiving of BA as the national airline, with all therequisite rights and privileges, to seeing it as a commercial enterprise that must serve customers to survive.This story of change at BA, with all its complexities, could easily take up many additional pages. The change,after all, took time (about five years), was quite dramatic and dynamic, and was deemed successful by a varietyof measures and independent sources. For more, see Burke (1994), Burke and Trahant (2000), Georgiadesand Macdonell (1998), Goodstein and Burke (1991), and Litwin, Bray, and Brooke (1996).As we proceed with a description of the model, the influence of the change at BA and our consequentlearning can easily be discerned. The criticality of an organization’s external environment, for example, cannotbe overestimated. For BA, at the time, the external forces impinging on the enterprise were in no small wayrepresented by the persona of Margaret Thatcher. For most organizations, the external environment is not asdramatic but just as important, nevertheless, for understanding organization change. The overall model isdepicted in Figure 10.2.As can be seen, the model conforms to the open-system way of thinking, in which the external environmentbox serves as the input dimension and the individual and organizational performance box serves as the outputdimension. The remaining boxes represent what we consider to be the primary throughput dimensions. Tocomplete the picture (metaphor), the feedback loop connects the input with the output. Note that the arrowsfor the feedback loop go in both directions, meaning that organizational outcomes—products and services—affect the external environment, for example, customer satisfaction, and that forces in the externalenvironment can affect performance directly (depending on how performance is defined and measured), forexample, when Wall Street trends affect a change in government regulations or company stock price.251
Figure 10.2 The Burke–Litwin Model of Organizational Performance and ChangeSource: From “A Causal Model of Organizational Performance and Change,” by Burke, W. W., &Litwin, G. H., in Journal of Management: Official Journal of the Southern Management Association,18, pp. 523–545. Copyright © Southern Management Association. Reprinted with permission fromSAGE Publications, Inc.As noted, the 12 boxes that compose the model represent our choices of what we consider to be primary fororganizational understanding and analysis. Although we made our own choices, we have definitely beeninfluenced by the thinking of others. One can easily see overlap with the Weisbord (1976), Porras andRobertson (1987, 1992), Nadler and Tushman (1977), and Tichy (1983) models. And like some of theseauthors, we have accounted for dimensions at the larger-system level with such variables as mission, strategy,leadership, and culture; at the group or local work unit level with climate; and finally, at the individual levelwith individual needs and values, task requirements and individual skills, and motivation.The arrows that connect the boxes and go in both directions signify the open-system principle of multipleeffect; that is, a change in any one category or box will eventually affect all the remaining boxes. To portraythe model as close to reality as possible, there would need to be arrows, or linkages, between each box and all252
the other boxes. Figure 10.2 depicts some of the more important linkages rather than attempting to showevery possible connection. The clutter of displaying all connections would look rather daunting, if not messy.But daunting and messy is no doubt closer to reality. Moreover, our two-dimensional display is limited.Closer to reality would be a display of the model in the form of a hologram. Circular arrows would depictreality much more accurately. Yet our model predicts cause, so some directions are more important orweightier than others when it comes to planning and implementing successful organization change. A quickexample can be provided by comparing the linkage between the culture and systems boxes. Although thearrow connecting the two is bilateral, culture probably has a stronger influence on systems than the other wayaround. Evidence for a strong linkage between the two boxes has been provided by Kerr and Slocum (1987).Their research showed that an organization’s reward system (a subdimension of the larger systems box) is amanifestation of its culture and that the reward system can be used, perhaps should be used, to facilitatechange in an organization’s culture. In other words, their study supports the notion of linkage and itsbidirectional nature. With our display of culture above the systems box (and therefore carrying more “weight,”or influence), we are going further than the Kerr and Slocum study—that is, beyond mere linkage—andstating that culture, especially the aspects of beliefs and values, helps determine the type of reward systemsenior managers deem appropriate. Therefore:Displaying the model the way we have is meant to make a statement about organizational change.Organizational change, especially an overhaul of the company business strategy, stems more fromenvironmental impact than from any other factor. Moreover, in large scale or total organizationalchange, mission, strategy, leadership and culture have more “weight” than structure, managementpractices, and systems: That is, having organizational leaders communicate the new strategy is notsufficient for effective change. Culture change must be planned as well and aligned with strategyand leader behavior. These variables carry more weight, because changes in them (e.g.,organizational mission) affect the total system. Changing structure, on the other hand, may or maynot affect the total system. It depends on where in the organization a structural change might occur.We are not necessarily discussing at this stage where one could start the change, only the relativeweighting of change dynamics. When we think of the model in terms of change, then, the weightedorder displayed in the model is key. (Burke & Litwin, 1992, p. 529)253
Transformational and Transactional DimensionsKey to understanding change according to the model is the top half compared with the bottom half.Borrowing language and concepts from James McGregor Burns (1978) and his distinction between twoprimary forms of leadership—transformational and transactional—we have conceived of the model similarly.Burns classified transformational leaders as being those who bring about change; they never leave a situationthe way they found it, and the “situation” (organization, community, nation, etc.) will be different as aconsequence of this kind of leader being in charge. He classified as transactional leaders those who see theleader–follower relationship as just that, a transaction: “If you do such and such for me, I’ll see that you(follower) get rewarded” (promotion, bonus, time off, etc.). This latter form of leadership may involve change,but not change that is sweeping or transformational in nature (change in the deep structure of the system; seeChapter 5). Transactional leaders are more interested in maintaining the status quo, but if change is necessary,they would argue that it should be gradual and evolutionary, not sudden and revolutionary.The categories or boxes in the top half of the model—external environment, mission and strategy, leadership,and culture—are referred to as the transformational factors. Changes in these boxes are likely to be caused bydirect interaction with external environmental forces and will as a consequence require significantly newbehavior from organizational members. Figure 10.3 is a display of these transformational factors. It is similarto Burns’s conception of transformational leadership, but of course, in an organization context, a change inany of these boxes or organizational dimensions means that the entire organization or system is affected andthat the change is discontinuous and revolutionary in nature (see Chapter 5), that is, affecting the deepstructure of the system and requiring visionary leadership.Figure 10.3 The Transformational FactorsSource: From “A Causal Model of Organizational Performance and Change,” by Burke, W. W., &Litwin, G. H., in Journal of Management: Official Journal of the Southern Management Association,254
18, pp. 523–545. Copyright © Southern Management Association. Reprinted with permission fromSAGE Publications, Inc.The remaining boxes or organizational dimensions in the lower half of the model are what we refer to as thetransactional factors. These dimensions build on the original thinking and climate research of Litwin and hiscolleagues (1978; see Figure 10.1). These factors concern more of the day-to-day operations (transactions) ofthe organization, and for any change there we would use terms such as continuous improvement, evolutionary,and selective, rather than sweeping. Figure 10.4 is a depiction of the transactional factors in the model.As noted previously, the transformational–transactional distinction in organization modeling and changecomes from theory about leadership. This theory has several sources, perhaps the first being Zaleznik’s (1977)distinction between a leader and a manager, and one year later, Burns’s (1978) similar distinction, thoughphrased differently. Transformational (Burns) is very much the same as Zaleznik’s leader, and transactional(Burns) is very similar to Zaleznik’s manager. Burke (1986) combined these two ideas about leadership andhypothesized that each leader (transformational) or manager (transactional) could empower others effectively,but the behaviors would differ when one was acting as a leader and as a manager. With respect to ourorganizational model and staying with the transformational (leader) and transactional (manager) distinctions,transformational change is more closely linked with leadership, and transactional change is more closelyassociated with management. Organization transformation requires a change leader (see Chapter 12) whopersonally identifies with the change that is needed and sees no distinction between the organization’s newmission and his or her mission. Transactional change requires managers who see their jobs as constantlyfocusing on improvement and quality rather than on an overhaul of the total system.Figure 10.4 The Transactional Factors255
Source: From “A Causal Model of Organizational Performance and Change,” by Burke, W. W., &Litwin, G. H., in Journal of Management: Official Journal of the Southern Management Association,18, pp. 523–545. Copyright © Southern Management Association. Reprinted with permission fromSAGE Publications, Inc.With this transformational–transactional distinction serving as a backdrop, what now follows is a briefdefinition of each box in the model.External Environment. Forces or variables outside the organization that influence or will shortly influenceorganizational performance. These forces include variables such as customer behavior and satisfaction,marketplace conditions (the extent of competition for commercial enterprises, for example), politicalcircumstances, government regulations, world financial and economic conditions, and changing technology.For more elaboration on how the external environment influences an organization, see Pfeffer and Salancik(1978).Mission and Strategy. Briefly, mission concerns what the organization “is all about,” its purpose, its raisond’être, and its primary goals. The organization’s strategy concerns the how, or implementation—that is, howthe mission is to be accomplished. Of late, the term vision has emerged as a popular organizational andleadership concept. Vision is more associated with the leadership category in the model, but a quick word ofdistinction here between mission and vision is warranted.256
Mission is current, or the present, and concerns ultimate purpose. It is cerebral, meaning that the statement ofmission is carefully and logically crafted, with key words carrying significant weight—for example, “to serve.”Mission is tied directly to the core competencies of the organization and provides an answer to the question,“If this organization did not exist, what difference would it make?” Vision addresses the future and concernsaspirations and desired outcomes. Though not irrational, vision nevertheless is emotional and often reflectspassion that organizational members feel, especially leaders. Vision statements can be lofty and implychallenge and a “stretch” for the organization over the next 3 to 5 years. Vision, therefore, is more aboutleadership, and mission is more about purpose.Part of the following chapter is devoted to the Dime Bank’s change story. As an example of an organizationalvision, the bank’s statement follows (Dime Savings Bank, 1997):Our VisionThe Dime will be the preeminent super-community bank in the greater New York area and a high-performance mortgage banking and consumer financial services company in select marketsthroughout the United States. We will be a leading provider of diversified financial products andservices to individuals, families, and businesses, creating profitable relationships with our customersand communities. Extraordinary customer service and the highest ethical standards will be ourdefining characteristics. We are committed to delivering customer satisfaction, achieving employeepartnership, and demonstrating superior financial performance.For research on the nature and importance of corporate mission statements, see Pearce and David (1987), andfor an in-depth treatment of how strategy links to the external environment, internal structure, and corporateculture, see Porter (1985).Leadership. Although this category is usually associated with the behavior of senior executives—andappropriately so—leadership is, after all, exercised throughout an organization. In any case, the primaryassociation here is with providing direction, whether it comes from the chief executive officer or from a first-line supervisor. Also, by leadership, we mean persuasion, influence, serving followers, and acting as a rolemodel, and we do not mean command and control, domination, and serving edicts instead of followers. As themodel shows (Figure 10.2), leadership and management practices are in separate boxes. Although there isdefinitely overlap between the two (thus, the boxes are juxtaposed), we believe that there are sufficientdifferences to warrant separateness. Leadership is about vision; change; using one’s intuition, influence,persuasive and presentation skills; and rewarding people with personal praise and providing opportunities tolearn new skills. Management is about role, task accomplishments, setting objectives, using the organization’sresources (e.g., budget or information systems) efficiently and effectively, and rewarding people with extrinsicfactors such as money, titles, and promotions. For more specifics on this distinction, see, for example, Bennisand Nanus (1985), Burke (1986), Burns (1978), and Zaleznik (1977).Culture. Although not very scholarly-sounding, the popular definition—namely, “the way we do things257
around here and the manner in which these norms and values are communicated” (Deal & Kennedy, 1982)—is quite appropriate for quickly describing what organization culture actually means. The way means thenorms we conform to and the values we believe in. Culture, then, embodies rules that we follow, both explicitand implicit. Explicit rules (norms), for example, are what the human resource manual states about issues suchas mode of dress and hours of work. Implicit rules are followed but never discussed, informal rules of behavioror codes of conduct that are not written down but govern much, if not most, behavior in organizations—forexample, when subordinates conform to an implicit norm by telling their boss what they believe he or shewants to hear, rather than telling the truth. The history of an organization is also important for understandingculture, particularly knowing about the values and customs of the founder(s) (Schein, 1983). For one of themore definitive sources for understanding organization culture, see Schein (1992).Structure. We normally think of structure as the “organization chart,” the diagram of boxes with titles andpeople’s names in them, with lines that connect them—solid lines of connection, with the occasional additionof dotted lines to complicate matters even further. With respect to definitional words, structure refers to thearrangement of organizational functions (e.g., accounting, manufacturing, human resource management) andoperational units (e.g., the western region, customer service for product group X, Goddard Space FlightCenter within NASA) that signify levels of responsibility, decision-making authority, and lines ofcommunication and relationships that lead to implementation of the organization’s mission, goals, andstrategy. For one of the classic articles about structure, see Duncan (1979), and for more current coverage, seeGalbraith (1995).Management Practices. This category addresses what managers do each workday to carry out the organization’sstrategy. Practices, in this case, refers to a particular set of specific behaviors. An example of a managementpractice might be “to encourage direct reports and associates to take initiative with innovative approaches tovarious tasks and projects.” In practice, two different managers may “encourage direct reports and associates”to the same degree, but how each one does it behaviorally and specifically may differ. One manager maychallenge; the other may use highly positive remarks and “pats on the back.” Although he used the termcompetency instead of practice, Boyatzis (1982) is an early contributor to this line of research and thinking; foradditional examples, see Burke and Coruzzi (1987) and Luthans (1988).Systems. We are concerned here with policies and procedures that are designed to help and supportorganizational members with their jobs and role responsibilities. This category in the model is akin to one ofWeisbord’s (1976) six boxes, the one labeled helpful mechanisms. Included within this systems box aresubcategories such as information systems and technology—sometimes referred to as MIS (managementinformation systems)—the organization’s reward system, and a variety of control systems: performanceappraisal, the setting of goals and the budget process, and human resource allocation. In other words, thesystems category within the model covers a lot of territory. Sources that help explain what is meant by some ofthese subcategories include Lawler (1990) on reward systems; Flamholtz (1979) on control systems; Beer,Spector, Lawrence, Mills, and Walton (1984) on managing human resource assets; and Kraemer, King,Dunkle, and Lane (1989) on MIS.258
Climate. Climate is the collective perceptions of members within the same work unit. These perceptionsinclude the following:How well they are managed, in generalHow clear they are about what is expected of them in the workplaceHow they feel their performance is recognizedHow involved they are in decision makingWhether they believe they are managed according to standards that are challenging and fairHow much support they feel from fellow work unit membersHow effectively they believe they work with other units in the organizationFor more on climate, see the works by Litwin and the book edited by Ashkanasy, Wilderom, and Peterson(2000).Task Requirements and Individual Skills/Abilities. The short version of this category is job–person match: thedegree to which there is congruence between the requirements of the job, role, and responsibilities and theknowledge, skills, and abilities (competence or talent) of the individual holding the job. For more on what wemean by this category and its importance to individual motivation and productivity, see Burke and Pearlman(1988).Individual Needs and Values. This is the category on the other side of the motivation box from taskrequirements and individual skills/abilities, meaning that these two categories influence motivation significantly.Both boxes have to do with congruence. In this latter case, needs and values concern the extent to which one’sneeds are met on the job—for example, the need for security or achievement and the degree to which there iscongruence between what the individual organizational member believes is important, worthwhile, andvaluable and what the organization stands for, such as its purpose, values, and how people in and out of theorganization (including customers) are treated. The arrow connecting culture with this box represents thislinkage and potential for congruence between the individual and the organization. Moreover:[Most] behavioral scientists believe that enriched jobs enhance motivation and there is evidence tosupport this belief, yet as Hackman and Oldham (1980) have appropriately noted, not everyone hasa desire for his or her job to be enriched. For some members of the workforce, their idea ofenrichment concerns activities off the job, not on the job. As the American workforce continues tobecome even more diverse, the ability to understand differences among people regarding their needsand values with respect to work and job satisfaction increases in importance. (Burke & Litwin,1992, p. 533)For more about individual needs and values in organizations, see Meglino and Ravlin (1998) and Sagie andElizur (1996).Motivation. For all living humans (and for animals as well), being motivated is a natural state. If Freud is259
correct about dreams, we are constantly motivated, even while asleep. With respect to the workplace, however,we must be more specific, and in this context, we are concerned with certain needs being aroused—in thelanguage of McClelland (1961), the need to achieve, to affiliate with others, and perhaps to have power.These aroused feelings are not random but are directed toward goals that, when reached, will help satisfy ourneeds, and these needs will persist until some degree of satisfaction has been attained. A primary function oforganizational leaders and managers, therefore, is to establish the proper goals—that is, goals that areorganizationally important and will respond to individual needs for ends such as achievement, meaningfulwork, reasonable autonomy on the job, and recognition.As noted previously, job–person match and congruence between the goals and values of the organization andthe individual’s needs and values contribute significantly to workplace motivation. For brief summaries ofrelevant theory and research on workplace motivation, see Chapter 8 and the section on mini-theories relatedto organization change with individual emphasis. And finally, for a definitive statement on the nature of workmotivation with supportive theory and research, see Katzell and Thompson (1990).Individual and Organizational Performance. To be more complete, we should note that group, or work unit,should be added to the description of this category in the model; output, in the language of open-systemtheory, refers to the outcomes and results of all the throughput activities that in turn are responses to theexternal environment (input). Also, as indicated by the feedback loop directly connecting the externalenvironment with performance, the external environment may directly affect performance in its broadest sense—for example, stock price in the case of a publicly owned corporation. In general, however, performance isdefined and measured by indices such as productivity, customer satisfaction, quality of product or service, andprofit or earnings per share. A deeper understanding of performance, especially at the organizational level, canbe found in the writings of Cameron and Whetten; see, for example, Cameron (1980) and Cameron andWhetten (1981, 1982).More recent work that reflects a unique approach to measuring performance and one that has caught theimagination of many corporations is Kaplan and Norton (1996). Their “balanced scorecard” concept andrelated measurements have broadened the corporate notion of the bottom line from merely financial indices tomeasures of customer satisfaction, innovation, and internal business practices.Now that a definitional overview has been provided, we will consider evidence in support of our normativestance—that is, the causal assumption underlying the model.260
Support for the Model’s ValidityRecall that a fundamental premise of the model is that planned change should follow the flow from top, orexternal environment, to bottom, or performance. Although the arrows connecting the boxes travel in alldirections—down, up, and laterally, to reflect open-system theory fundamentals—those pointing downwardare presumed to carry more causal weight. The earlier example of culture influencing systems is a case inpoint. The following coverage of research and theory in support of the premise of the model is thereforeselective; that is, it emphasizes studies that demonstrate the downward weighting. Thus, concerningorganization change, the premise is that external environment has the greatest impact. Then, inside theorganization, the transformational factors (mission/strategy, leadership, and culture) have the greatest impact.Next in importance come the transactional factors as they are serially portrayed in the model.261
The Influence of the External EnvironmentFirst, it should be noted that two excellent sources for defining the texture, describing the causal nature of, andunderstanding the linkage between the external environment and organizations, are Emery and Trist (1965)and Katz and Kahn (1978, Chapter 4). Second, the Burke–Litwin model is an attempt to represent reality; itis not reality itself, however. After all, human beings in the organization are the reality, with their decisionsand daily activities. To put things in boxes is only a depiction, and an overly simplified one at that.The immediate box in the model affected by the external environment is leadership, the senior executives andprimary decision makers for the organization. These executives in turn determine the mission and strategy, orat least change these variables. These executives also shape the organization’s culture—but not entirely. Thework of Hofstede (1991) shows that organizational culture is influenced by societal norms and values. In anycase, much of reality can be described as what influences the thinking and feelings of senior executives, andtheir consequent decisions in turn help shape the two boxes on either side of leadership in the model (seeFigure 10.2). Collins (2001), for example, has shown with his concept of “Levels 1 to 5” of leadership,particularly Levels 4 and 5, how a CEO can significantly influence the ultimate performance of a corporation.So with respect to organization performance and change, leadership does indeed matter. For more evidence,see the comprehensive article by Hogan, Curphy, and Hogan (1994).Prescott (1986) provided evidence for the way external environment influences strategy, which in turninfluences performance. Executives’ perceptions of their organization’s external environment have been shownto directly and causally affect their strategy decisions (Miles & Snow, 1978). For the effect of environment onorganizational culture, we can once again refer to Hofstede’s (1991) research, which demonstrated thepowerful influence of national origin, with its customs and mores, on individual behavior. And if we considera more limited perspective—that is, industry group—as representing environment, then Gordon’s (1985)study of utility companies and financial institutions showed that corporate culture is directly affected byindustry category.262
The Transformational FactorsMission and strategy, leadership, and culture are the transformational factors that most immediately anddirectly respond to external environmental dynamics. Mission and strategy are together because both conceptsconcern direction, goals, and objectives for the organization and its various units, with mission being the whatand strategy the how. The order (mission, then strategy) is important for reasons of common sense. (Howcould strategy be implemented effectively if the mission were not articulated?) Furthermore, at least one studyindicates that mission does influence strategic decisions that in turn affect performance (Pearce & David,1987). Moreover, although Figure 10.3 does not reflect it, an arrow should directly connect mission andstrategy with culture (yet leadership is the most important conduit between the two boxes), because missionstatements usually either explicitly or implicitly include values and philosophy. These statements represent andreflect the organization’s culture (Wilkens, 1989).For the influence of strategy, three additional studies are worthy of note. First, Chandler’s (1962) classic studydemonstrated the importance of strategy preceding structure; that is, the more successful companies in a givenindustry determined strategy before designing or changing the internal organizational structure. Chandler’scriterion for success was a company’s financial performance. In the model, therefore, strategy carries moreweight than structure.More recently, an analysis of 262 large companies over a span of 28 years showed the “reciprocal relationshipbetween strategy and structure. However, our results support the original conception of a hierarchicalrelationship between the two—strategy is a more important determinant of structure than structure is ofstrategy” (Amburgey & Dacin, 1994, p. 1427). A third study, a meta-analysis by Miller and Cardinal (1994)of 26 previously published studies, suggested that strategic planning positively affects performance. What isinteresting about this analysis is the link between strategy and performance and the speculation about themediating variables between the two. Of course, the underlying assumption of the Burke–Litwin model is thatthose mediating variables are the transactional factors that lead to climate, motivation, and so on, and finallyto performance.As already noted in discussing leadership, there is ample evidence that senior executives in leadership positionsinfluence organizational performance. Also, an early study by Fleishman (1953) showed how supervisors areinfluenced by their managers’ approaches and styles. Thus, the leadership box precedes the managementpractices category in the model. Finally, two studies about 30 years later showed that leadership accounted formore variance in organizational performance than did other variables (Weiner & Mahoney, 1981) and thatleadership was significantly related to improved organizational performance over time (Smith, Carson, &Alexander, 1984).263
The Transactional FactorsThe remaining categories (boxes) in the model leading to performance and change are in the transactionaldomain. These categories—structure, systems, management practices, work unit climate, individual needs andvalues, task requirements and individual skills and abilities, and motivation—represent organizationaldimensions and activities that are more day-to-day operations than the transformational factors, and moreincremental in making changes. They also are more related to foreground (work unit climate) than tobackground (culture).Joyce and Slocum (1984) showed that structure, the next category in the model, had a direct impact onclimate, as did management practices, another primary variable in the study. In an earlier study, Schneider andSnyder (1975) essentially demonstrated the same outcome. Lawrence and Lorsch (1967, 1969) have shownthat structure influences management practices, and Galbraith (1973, 1977) has demonstrated that structuredirectly affects task requirements as we depict them in the model. As noted before:Regarding the impact of systems, perhaps the most important subsystem of the policy and procedures(systems) box is the organization’s reward system. The belief that “people do what they are rewardedfor doing” is practically a cliché. Demonstrating this relationship of rewards and behavior in theworkplace is not as obvious and straightforward as one might presume, however. Witness the pay-for-performance controversy for a case in point. There is evidence, nevertheless. (Burke & Litwin,1992, p. 537)Bullock and Lawler (1984), for example, have shown linkages down the middle of the model betweenmanagement practices, climate, motivation, and performance in their research on gain sharing (a participativeincentive process). Deutsch (1985) has shown a linkage between reward systems and individual needs andvalues, as has Jordan (1986).Another subsystem of the policy and procedures box is human resource management (HRM), or the HRsystem. In a large-scale study of 293 U.S. firms, Huselid, Jackson, and Schuler (1997) showed that at least forlarge companies, HRM effectiveness had a positive impact on performance. Multiple measures ofperformance were used by these researchers, including indices of finance, productivity, and market value. It isinteresting that they compared technical HRM effectiveness—for example, strong capabilities in recruiting,selection, performance measurement, training, and compensation and benefits administration—with strategicHRM effectiveness, capabilities, and activities, that is, “designing and implementing a set of internallyconsistent policies and practices that ensure a firm’s human capital contributes to the achievement of itsbusiness objectives” (p. 172). This means, for example, strategic use of compensation for purposes oforganization change instead of simply administering compensation to remain competitive in the labormarketplace. Huselid et al. further found that, although it was less commonly practiced among theorganizations they studied, strategic HRM was a stronger predictor of positive organizational performancethan was technical HRM effectiveness.264
And finally, another major subsystem in the policy and procedures box is the MIS, sometimes simply referredto as IT (information technology) or IS (information system). One of the leading experts in this arena isZuboff (1988). Her work has demonstrated rather dramatically the impact that IT has on worker behavior ingeneral and on motivation and performance in particular.Directly in line between leadership and climate is the category of management practices. Even though it wasdefined earlier, for more comprehensive coverage of what we mean by management practices, includingnumerous examples, see Burke, Richley, and DeAngelis (1985). With respect to research, the work ofSchneider is the most relevant here. In a series of studies, he has shown a clear and direct connection betweenmanagement practices and climate (Schneider, 1980; Schneider, 1990b; Schneider & Bowen, 1985, 1995).While covering the history and background of the Burke–Litwin model earlier in the chapter, we noted thatthe work of Litwin and his colleagues has demonstrated the impact of climate on motivation and in turn onperformance. Independent of this earlier work, Rosenberg and Rosenstein (1980) have also shown thatclimate, with particular emphasis on participation, influences productivity positively.Motivation in the model can perhaps best be understood as an intervening or mediating variable, because inresearch studies, motivation is sometimes treated as an independent variable (e.g., the hypothesis might bethat highly motivated workers are more productive) and at other times as a dependent variable (e.g., when jobsatisfaction or morale is used as a surrogate). In any case, important from the perspective of the model are thetwo categories (boxes) on both sides of motivation, task requirements and individual skills/abilities andindividual needs and values. With this perspective, we are considering motivation as an intervening category,with performance as the ultimate dependent variable or outcome. A premise of the model is that these twoboxes significantly influence motivation: If the job and the person do not match well, motivation will suffer; ifindividuals’ needs on the job and values about work and the workplace are incongruent with the organization’sculture, areas such as the reward system and motivation will suffer. With respect to research on the effect ofjob–person match (task requirements and individual skills/abilities), Burke and Pearlman’s (1988) chapterprovides considerable evidence for this aspect of the model, as does the research by Hunter and Schmidt(1982). Hackman and Oldham’s (1980) work provides some of the clearest support for the impact ofindividual needs and values on motivation, and so do the research outcomes in the study by Guzzo, Jette, andKatzell (1985).Referring again to the work on organizational climate by Schneider (Schneider, 1980, 1990a; Schneider &Bowen, 1985, 1995), support for the hierarchical relationship of climate, motivation, and performance in themiddle of the Burke–Litwin model comes from their research with front-line people in service businesses,such as tellers and loan officers in banks or ticket agents and cabin crews for an airline (regarding the latter,see Burke, 1994, and Goodstein & Burke, 1991, for the BA case example). How these front-line employeesare treated by their supervisors has a direct effect on customer satisfaction. In bank branches, for example,where these service employees were managed more participatively as opposed to bureaucratically (followingprocedures strictly), customer satisfaction was significantly higher. In other words, the managers’ practices ofparticipation created a climate that positively influenced motivation and in turn performance, which then had265
a positive effect on customer satisfaction.Finally, recall that when changing the transformational factors in the model (external environment,mission/strategy, leadership, and culture), the consequent organization change is more likely to bediscontinuous (episodic and revolutionary) and affect the deep structure (Gersick, 1991) of the total system.Changing the transactional factors (structure, systems, and climate) is more likely to result in continuousimprovement: incremental and evolutionary organization change.266
SummaryThe goal of this chapter was to provide an organizational model or framework that would help explain open-system theory in action and to provide a way of thinking about planned organization change. Backgroundabout and a brief descriptive overview of the model was covered, followed by the section on support for themodel’s validity. It should be noted that the studies cited in this latter section were selective. Other studiescould have been included that both support and call into question some of the underlying assumptions of themodel. However, the main point is that evidence exists to support the model’s validity. To be fair, it should benoted that the evidence cited comes from a variety of sources and, as it relates to the model, is somewhatpiecemeal. An ideal test of the model’s validity would be research that simultaneously examines the effect ofall boxes in the model across an array of organizations.Although not always a test of the entire model, some “simultaneous examinations” have been approximated. Astudy by Bernstein and Burke (1989) demonstrated support for parts of the model, and Fox’s (1990) researchin a hospital “demonstrated that leadership, culture, and management practices predicted significant variancesin employees’ perceptions of work unit climate and organizational performance [with] leadership and culture[being] clearly the two strongest indicators” (Burke & Litwin, 1992, p. 540). A longitudinal study of a largeBritish corporation by Anderson-Rudolf (1996) and a more recent employee survey analysis within a majorglobal corporation (Alexander, 2002) have both demonstrated support for the model’s assumptions. We cantherefore conclude that the model represents organizational reality to some degree and that practitioners canapply it with a reasonable amount of confidence. Moreover, the proof of any organizational model is its degreeof usefulness for (1) adequately understanding current organizational dynamics (diagnosis) and (2) helpingsteer change in such a way that performance of an organization will be improved. In other words, a usefulmodel should help us understand and guide the process that it models, in this case, organization change.267
Eleven Organizational Culture ChangeAs the title suggests, the purpose of this chapter is to continue our process of exploring and explaining thenature of organization change but, in this case, focus on changing an organization’s culture—“the way we dothings”—the most difficult aspect of organization change. From the previous chapter covering the Burke–Litwin model, recall that culture is a transformational factor, meaning (a) systemwide (every organizationalcomponent and activity in one way or the other reflects the organization’s culture), (b) directly related to theexternal environment, and (c) with respect to change requires revolutionary rather than evolutionaryinterventions.First, using examples, we will explain in more depth than we have covered so far and more precisely just whatorganizational culture is. Most useful for this explanation are Edgar Schein’s (2004) three concepts: artifacts,espoused beliefs and values, and basic underlying assumptions.Second, we will use the story of British Airways (BA) as our primary example of culture change—thatorganization’s journey from being a government-owned airline to becoming a private, stockholder-ownedenterprise competing on its own in the marketplace of global airline companies.Finally, we will refer to a previous theory covered in earlier chapters to help explain the culture change at BA.268
Experiencing Organizational CultureEarly in my career I was involved with an organization that operated in the world of law enforcement andcorrections. It was known as the National Parole Institute, which was funded by the federal government totrain parole board officers nationwide in group decision making. As a part of my indoctrination, I visited anew federal prison, in Minnesota as I recall, with the director of the parole institute. As we entered the newfacility, I noticed that he was observing everything he saw quickly yet intensely. The facility was brand new,with all the latest architecture and technology. Cameras and TV monitors were everywhere. The floors, walls,and windows (what few there were) sparkled with cleanliness, and everyone from the warden all the way downthe hierarchy to the officer in charge of a cellblock was dressed impeccably. Within only a few minutes ofobservation, the parole institute director in an aside to me said, “This is the ‘tightest’ prison I have ever seen.No one here will be unruly much less escape from this place.” I marveled at how quickly he could size up thejoint by only looking around. We had not yet interviewed anyone much less collected any further data.Although I did not pursue a career in law enforcement, several decades later, I had the opportunity to visit acounty jail in upstate New York. It was entirely different from the federal prison. The warden dressed in“civilian” clothes, had a doctoral degree in criminology, and knew each prisoner personally. The prisonersspent their days in a community room, not in cells; had access to sports equipment, books, magazines, boardgames, and so forth; and interacted freely and informally with one another and with the jailers and other staffmembers. In the few hours I was there, I never felt in danger. This facility may have been the “loosest” jailthat my colleague of long ago had ever seen.The descriptive terms tight and loose suggest something about each of these two facilities’ cultures. Eventhough the terms may have been accurate reflections of the organizations’ cultures, they barely scratch thesurface of an in-depth diagnosis of culture. The “surface” was the extent of the diagnosis at the time—that is,what was seen, heard, touched, and smelled. These surface observations are what Schein (2004) referred to asartifacts, the visible manifestations—such as the ones previously described—and technology, products,language, mode of dress, manners of human interactions, rituals, ceremonies, and so forth. Artifacts are butone level of understanding culture, and though they are obvious to see and sense, determining the meaningbehind them is not all that obvious. For example, one might infer that the federal prison was very efficient,using its resources frugally, whereas the “looser” county jail was inefficient and perhaps wasteful. But theopposite could be true. Efficiency is inferred from artifacts but for the observer is an interpretation of what onesees. The interpretation can be wrong. Schein went on to argue that understanding two additional levels isabsolutely necessary to comprehend and diagnose more thoroughly an organization’s culture. To addressSchein’s second level, let us consider another brief consultant anecdote of mine.As I recall, it was a day in the late 1960s when I spent time with the internal organization development (OD)group at the Cincinnati headquarters of Procter and Gamble (P&G). In those days, P&G was heavilyinvolved in OD work, and considerable innovation about organization change was under way. Most of the dayinvolved discussion between the P&G OD folks and me regarding what was going on in other organizations.I was executive director of the OD network at the time. At one stage during our discussion, especially about269
organizational culture, the head of the OD group made a provocative statement. He said that if there were100% turnover of the entire P&G population within a 24-hour period, the new workforce would behave andoperate the company exactly the same as the old workforce had been doing. I said something to the effect of,“You’ve got to be kidding!” He then said, “Come with me for a short walk.” We left the meeting room andwalked down the hallway to a large open space. We stopped before two large oil portraits. My friend thensaid, “These two paintings are of Mr. Procter and Mr. Gamble, founders of the company and long since dead.But they watch us constantly to make sure that we present-day employees continue to live the values of thecompany that they instilled long ago; so the new employees would conform to these values and behave just theway we do because that’s the way Mr. P and Mr. G would want it.”The second level for understanding an organization’s culture is what Schein (2004) referred to as espousedbeliefs and values. When a group is first formed to solve a problem, perhaps to initiate an enterprise, deal witha major issue, or the like, an individual or two will emerge as a leader or leaders and propose a solution,suggest ideas, and so forth. What the leader proposes might work, but it is only what the leader wants to do.Not until the group has taken some joint action and that action turns out to be successful will the membersbelieve what they did actually works. This common belief and acting on it is what Schein called socialvalidation, meaningthat certain values are confirmed only by the shared social experience of a group. For example, anygiven culture cannot prove that its religion and moral system are superior to another culture’sreligion and moral system, but if the members reinforce each other’s beliefs and values, they come tobe taken for granted. Those who fail to accept such beliefs and values run the risk of“excommunication”—of being thrown out of the group. . . . [T]he group learns that certain beliefsand values as initially promulgated to prophets, founders, and leaders, “work” in the sense ofreducing uncertainty in critical areas of the group’s functioning. (p. 29)Examples of statements promulgating beliefs and values for the organization include Hewlett-Packard’s(2013) The HP Way and Johnson & Johnson’s (2013) credo.Schein (2004) referred to this second level of culture diagnosis as espoused beliefs and values for a reason.When organizational members, particularly at the executive level, say what the beliefs and values are but rarelybehave consistently with those statements, then the espoused words become limited in helping us fullyunderstand the culture. This second level can be useful for helping us understand organizational members’intentions, but if actions do not always match the espoused beliefs and values, we know that some importantingredient of the culture is unavailable to us. It is below the conscious, overt level of artifacts and what peopleespouse. It is that below-the-surface level, the third dimension, that Schein (2004) labeled basic underlyingassumptions.For the better part of 25 years I was a consultant to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA). I helped establish their Management Education Center and conducted many development programsthere. I also helped create an annual employee opinion survey system and provided executive coaching from270
time to time. The span of time for my involvement was from the late 1970s to about 2000. Thus, I wasinvolved at the time of the tragic Challenger accident in 1986 and the O-ring seals problem located primarilyat the Marshall Space Flight Center in Hunstville, Alabama. An important aspect of NASA’s culture at thetime was the espoused value of openness, candor, and honesty. In other words, it was a “tell-it-like-it-is”culture. Sometimes NASA engineers and scientists could be quite blunt and confrontational with one another.Yet prior to the accident it was known that there was an O-ring problem and that in subfreezing conditionsthe rings could become brittle and break. This knowledge was concentrated at lower, technical levels inNASA’s hierarchy but not at higher executive levels. In other words, there was a reluctance to deliver badnews to one’s boss. The problem did not reach high-enough levels in the system to influence decision makingin a timely manner. Although the espoused value of openness may have held for peer interactions and top-down relationships, it did not hold for bottom-up interactions. In fact, in an analysis of data following theaccident, we found that in our 40-item multirater feedback system, the one practice that was rated the lowestby peer, boss, subordinate, and self-ratings was “You present bad news in a constructive manner.”It looked as though, whether constructive or not, bad news was simply not communicated, especially upwardin the hierarchy. And that was particularly true at the Marshall Center. So there was an exception to the “can-do” attitude and the espoused value of openness lying beneath the surface: the basic assumption of opennessexcept with your boss. This assumption was deeply buried in the culture—not discussed—and probablyemanated from the first center director at Marshall, Wernher von Braun, who was known as a top-downexecutive and a rather intimidating personality.Basic assumptions, then, consist of behaviors that are (a) rarely if ever discussed, (b) taken for granted, and (c)based on repeated successes—that is, these behaviors “work” for us, whether “work” means to be embraced oravoided. Basic assumptions according to Schein (2004) “tend to be non-confrontable and non-debatable, andhence are extremely difficult to change” (p. 31). To change a basic assumption requires a reexamination ofdearly held beliefs and therefore can destabilize a system, whether an individual or a group, and consequentlycause considerable anxiety. Schein went on to state thatculture as a set of basic assumptions defines for us what to pay attention to, what things mean, howto react emotionally to what is going on, and what actions to take in various kinds of situations. (p.32)Moving on to changing culture, Schein (2004) argued thatthe two keys to successful culture change are (1) the management of the large amounts of anxietythat accompany any relearning at this level and (2) the assessment of whether the genetic potentialfor the new learning is even present. (p. 32)In summary, an organization’s culture can be understood at three levels—its artifacts, its espoused beliefs andvalues, and its basic underlying assumptions. To fully understand culture, one must reach the third level,271
because we can only interpret the meaning of artifacts and give credence to espoused beliefs and values byknowing, at least to some extent, the pattern of basic underlying assumptions.With Schein’s fundamentals of culture as background, and keeping in mind his warning that culture change isdifficult, we will now consider a large-scale case of organization change with a primary focus on culture thatwas successful and took well over five years to accomplish.272
The British Airways Story: A Case of Culture ChangeIn the 1980s, BA experienced significant organization change and, with considerable and focused effort over anumber of years, gradually realized a fundamental modification of its deep structure, the concept explained inChapter 5. Described briefly at the beginning of that chapter were the external forces threatening BA’ssurvival—the edict handed down by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the growing deregulation ofinternational air traffic; that is, many fares were no longer being set by governments but instead were beingdetermined by the marketplace. Recall that Thatcher believed strongly in a free-market society, andaccordingly, her actions were to change public-sector organizations supported by the government to privateenterprises. One of the first of these changes was to consolidate a number of disparate governmentorganizations in the aerospace and aviation area into one “free-market” company, British Aerospace.Following soon thereafter was Thatcher’s declaration that BA would become a publicly owned enterprise withcompany stock being traded on the stock exchanges of London and New York. As a government-supportedorganization, BA had been the country’s flagship airline but now had to survive on its own. Employeeswanted BA to remain the flagship, but they realized that they would have to do so competitively in the worldmarketplace. In the mid-1980s, the pressure to survive and to develop a more competitive strategy quickly wasintense. Things had to change.In an attempt to become more competitive and cost conscious, an early decision made by the CEO, ColinMarshall, was to reduce the workforce from about 59,000 to 37,000. This act got everyone’s attention and, asmight be expected, drew lots of criticism. Marshall stayed the course, however, and went on to emphasize amission of providing superior service and to focus on a strategy that would increase market share and customersatisfaction.These changes of mission and strategy began to affect the deep structure of BA but were not sufficient tocomplete the change. Marshall knew that he had to change the BA culture. Historically, BA was formed fromthe former pilots and staff of the Royal Air Force of World War II and early on was actually two airlines:British Overseas Airline Company (BOAC) and British-European Airline (BEA). Flying all over the world,BOAC was the more glamorous airline, with royal blue uniforms and large airplanes for long trips, and BEAflew short trips and the crew wore brown uniforms. These artifacts—as Schein would call them—became aproblem when the two airlines later merged and formed what we now know as BA. The former BOAC staffheld more status, of course, and even with common uniforms as a result of the merger one could still tell whowere the glamorous ones and who were the “brown suits.” Becoming one airline took a long time, but by the1980s, they were essentially and finally one company and now had to change again. Yet a vestige of the pastremained, a part of BA’s deep structure, and that was the military influence from World War II, which hadquite naturally evolved over time into a command-and-control culture that was engineering rather thanmarket driven. BA had a terrific maintenance and safety record, but passengers seemed to be incidental to thewhole process. It was a question of what to change in the culture while keeping those aspects that couldcontinue to support the superb maintenance and safety records.Let us pause here for a moment and consider two important points. One concerns the second of Schein’s273
(2004) three levels of organizational culture: espoused beliefs and values. BA employees, particularly those inthe engineering and maintenance functions, believed strongly in the emphasis on solid engineering andmaintenance of their aircraft. After all, these activities, done well, resulted in the closely held value of safety.BA has been known for its safety record, and its maintenance staff has enjoyed an excellent reputation in theindustry. In fact, a significant source of income for BA is providing maintenance services for other airlines.The second point concerns a fundamental principle of managing organization change. The principle is this: Inan organization change effort, communicating what will remain the same is as important as communicatingwhat will be different. Wisdom from the world of counseling and clinical psychology is relevant and can beapplied to leading and managing change at an organizational level. To help individuals cope with and managechange in their lives, the wisdom is that of keeping something stable in one’s life while changing otheraspects. It is not wise to change one’s career, quit one’s job, and get a divorce all at the same time. Holding onto something that is not changing in one’s life—having an anchor, as it were—immeasurably helps one dealwith the complexity of change in other parts.The same is true at an organizational level. People can more adequately deal with and manage what may beconsiderable chaos and complexity with respect to an organization change effort if they know that someaspects of the organization will remain stable—at least for the time being. We can more easily handle, say, amajor overhaul of the organization’s structure and even accompanying changes in our jobs if we can at thesame time be assured that, for example, our compensation will not change; that is, the organization’s rewardsystem will remain intact.In the case of BA it was, of course, a matter of keeping intact—that is, largely as it had been—the engineeringand maintenance functions. Marshall, the CEO, was clear about what needed to change (i.e., to becomemarket and customer driven), and he was just as clear about keeping the technical standards at the highestlevels (where they had always been) regarding the flying and maintaining of their aircraft.To be more specific about the culture change, a series of programs and activities was launched to move BAfrom a bureaucracy laced with military residue to a service business in which passengers were treated as humanbeings rather than as another form of baggage. The initial programmatic effort was a 2-day orientation to thenew culture called “Putting People First.” The program challenged the prevailing wisdom about how thingswere to be done at BA. This initiative served as one of the action steps to launch the “unfreezing” stage ofLewin’s three stages—unfreeze, movement, and refreeze.The next activities were to focus even more intensely and directly on the culture. Nick Georgiades, the head ofhuman resources at the time, conceptualized this aspect of the change effort in terms of a “three-legged stool.”The “seat” was the new, desired culture—one that was more customer focused—and the three legs of the stoolwere as follows:1. The “Managing People First” (MPF) program, a 5-day residential set of activities to help managerslearn how to (a) communicate more openly and build trust, (b) manage their people moreparticipatively, (c) manage their direct reports more as a team and less in a one-on-one manner, and (d)274
provide constructive feedback in performance appraisal sessions with their people. Considerable timeand energy during the program was devoted to providing feedback to the managers via a multiraterprocess that was based on specific behaviors that represented (a) through (d).2. Performance appraisal for all managers. Previously, BA managers were evaluated according to resultsaccomplishment—and results only. Now half of the managers’ evaluations would be based on results,and the other half would be based on how they got the results—in other words, the rated behaviors fromthe MPF program. This rating process became an annual activity; that is, the behaviors from theprogram became a formal part of a manager’s annual performance appraisal.3. Pay for performance—that is, rewarding managers according to how they were rated on the second legof the stool.The notion of a stool with three legs was meant to convey that if one leg was removed the stool wouldcollapse. All three legs together were critical to the process of culture change.Another program was to train all human resources staff within BA on consulting skills so they would be in abetter position to help the MPF participants apply what they had learned.A guiding rationale for conducting the MPF program and spending considerable effort with follow-ups toensure change in the BA culture was supplied by the research work of Ben Schneider and his colleagues. In aseries of studies reported in Schneider (1980, 1990a) and Schneider and Bowen (1985), this is what has beenconsistently demonstrated:How “front line” people in a service organization (in this case, banks, therefore, tellers, loan officers)are treated by their respective supervisors has a differential effect on customer satisfaction. In bankbranches where front-line employees were managed more participatively as opposed tobureaucratically—following procedures strictly, for example—customer satisfaction was significantlyhigher. (Burke, 1994, p. 137)With BA, of course, being a service business, the same principle was applied. Although ticket agents andcabin crew employees needed some technical training in how they served the customer, the primary emphasiswas not with them per se but rather with their managers. To be clear, think of it this way: We have tworelationships to consider; one is the relationship of the boss with his or her direct report, say, a ticket agent,and the other is the ticket agent’s relationship with customers. For the sake of argument, let us say that wehad to make a choice as to which relationship to try to improve to enhance customer satisfaction—the boss–subordinate one or the ticket agent–customer one. Schneider’s research tells us that the boss–subordinaterelationship is more important.The MPF program was therefore designed and conducted to help managers manage more participatively,openly, respectfully, enthusiastically, and with greater trust in their subordinates. Managers cannot managethe myriad hour-by-hour contacts that employees who have direct contact with customers encounter every day—those 50,000 “moments of truth,” as Jan Carlzon (1987), another successful airline CEO, described them in275
his popular book. Managers can, however, work with their subordinates in an involving manner that will inturn have a positive effect on customers (Burke, 1994, p. 137).Many other activities were involved in this large-scale change effort—for example, changing the entirefinancial function from one of government accounting and reporting to one of providing annual financialstatements for stockholders and monthly income statements for managers. Also, Marshall essentially created amarketing function in BA where, prior to his arrival, for all practical purposes, none existed.It is now a matter of record that BA transformed itself (Goodstein & Burke, 1991). By the end of the 1980s,BA was one of the most profitable airlines in the world and had improved its service record so much thatpassengers who had said BA stood for “bloody awful” revised the interpretation to “bloody awesome” (Power,1989).In summary, the revolution at BA began as the result of a disruption from the airline’s external environment.Internally, the initial disruption was the huge reduction of BA employees by more than 20,000. Then,through a planned series of activities and interventions, the culture (deep structure) was gradually shifted froma militaristic, bureaucratically driven way of doing things to one that was focused significantly more on serviceto customers and on being competitive in the marketplace. The organization in a span of some six to sevenyears had fundamentally changed, had transformed itself. And the refreeze stage of Lewin’s three stages waslargely realized by 1990, when BA became the most profitable airline in the industry.276
You Don’t Change Culture by Trying to Change the CultureNow let us review some important principles, concepts, and theories that are applicable to the BA story andhelp explain culture change. First, consider the title of this section, which sounds contradictory and may evenseem inane if not ridiculous. But stay with me.If I were to ask you to rank order the following three termsvaluesattitudesbehaviorfrom most difficult to change to least difficult, you would quickly say, “In the order listed.” And I would agree.Values, norms, deeply held beliefs, and attitudes, as well as long-standing historical precedence, constituteprimary aspects of culture. So why would you begin with trying to change the most difficult aspects? Rather,you begin with the easiest of the three to tackle—behavior. And as I stated earlier:Of course, you can begin by determining what you want the new culture to be (in the case of BritishAirways, it was to become more service oriented and customer focused), followed by anidentification of the behaviors required to realize that new and different culture; such as, for example“Communicating with others in an open and frank manner,” or “Involving subordinates in decisionsthat directly affect their work.” Next you train managers in these behavioral practices primarily viafeedback and role or skill practice. Then you include these new practices in managers’ performanceappraisals and incorporate pay for performance so that the more managers actually use the practicesthe more incentive pay they receive. To summarize, first you announce the change regarding theculture. Second, you get managers’ attention by training them in the practices. Third, you measuretheir degree of use of the practices. And, finally, you reward them when they employ the practices.These were the steps followed in the British Airways change effort. (Burke, 1994, p. 157)If this sounds easy to do then I have been misleading. Remember the change at BA took well over five years.Also recall that Schein has argued persuasively that the “real” culture, so to speak, is embedded in basicunderlying assumptions that are largely buried in the collective unconscious of organizational members. Howdo you get to this level? You cannot “see” assumptions. It is largely a matter of inference, considering artifacts,listening to people espouse their beliefs, and in general, observing behavior over time. At BA it came down toissues of power and authority. The BA culture had been about command and control, but by the 1980s thatmilitaristic quality had evolved. Top-down behavior was not as evident, nor was it as accepted as it had been20 years before. Power in the culture was more about information and who had the most. Managers playedtheir cards close to their vests, as the saying goes. Like Iago—Shakespeare’s villain in the tragedy Othello, whochided the open and trusting Othello as being foolish—managers at BA valued secrecy far more thantransparency.277
A primary focus of the change effort at BA, therefore, was behavior change in the direction of openness, moretrusting of others, and greater teamwork. And in line with the James–Lange theory (see Chapter 7), it wasbehavior—that is, movement—first, followed by cognitive processing, a reordering of values.Here is a final thought about diagnosing culture at the level of basic underlying assumptions. The thought istriggered by Lewin’s admonition long ago. Although not exactly the way he probably stated it, he saidsomething like, “If you really want to understand an organization, try to change it.” An intervention into asystem causes disequilibrium, and the normal reaction is to seek equilibrium. This may take the form ofresistance. In any case, Lewin was telling us to observe closely organizational members’ reactions to theattempt to change the “way we do things.” It is the nature of these reactions that gives us at least a glimpseinto the unconscious. Metaphorically, it is like tossing a pebble into a pond. The ripples are far moreimportant than the pebble.278
A Theoretical Summary of the British Airways StoryThe BA story began with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s policy of stopping what she considered to bethe continuing yet unacceptable movement toward socialism and a return to her country’s strength—freeenterprise. A primary initiative to enact this policy was to privatize many of Great Britain’s governmentagencies. Privatizing BA was an early, significant step in this tsunami of societal change. For BA, this actionwas a huge jolt to the system, punctuating its equilibrium (Gersick, 1991), and what Tushman and Romanelli(1985) referred to as a perturbation. Thus, change at BA was revolutionary, not evolutionary. And asTushman and Romanelli pointed out, revolutionary change is a consequence of a perturbation from theorganization’s external environment. This jolt to the BA system led the CEO, Marshall, and his keyexecutives to question the organization’s “way of doing things”—its culture that somehow had to be“unlocked” (Foster & Kaplan, 2001) and made more responsive to its marketplace.The culture-change work at BA involved all three of Schein’s (2004) levels. With respect to artifacts, early inthe change effort (a) all pilots, cabin crew, and customer service personnel (e.g., ticket agents) received newuniforms; (b) BA’s whole fleet of aircraft was repainted with brighter colors, including new, artful patterns onthe fuselage and tail; and (c) new, more comfortable seats were installed, along with attractive interior fabrics.Espoused beliefs and values were changed and expanded to a value system focused on the competitivemarketplace, in general, and customer service more specifically. And regarding basic underlying assumptions,tackling what Gersick (1991) calls the deep structure—plus following the principles of the James–Langetheory (behavior first)—the effort toward change at this more latent or unconscious level took considerabletime (the better part of five years) and effort. The focus was on behavior that was intended to counter thebasic assumptions that strict, hierarchical procedures are to be followed, information and holding on to it ispower, and managing subordinates in a one-on-one manner is the best way. Therefore, the new emphasizedbehaviors included communicating in a more transparent way, managing more participatively, trusting others,and stressing collaboration and teamwork.The direction toward what the new culture at BA should be was quite clear and straightforward; customersand safety were top priorities. But what if organizational executives know that culture change is needed butwhat that different and better culture should look like is not so clear?Captured in their book, Kotter and Heskett (1992) have provided an important and groundbreaking study ofthe relationship between corporate culture and organizational performance. They were among the first toshow how the culture of a corporation influences its economic performance, for better or worse. They studiedmore than 200 companies and then concentrated on 10 that had made culture change to draw theirconclusions. Some of the organizations they studied were Bankers Trust, BA, ConAgra, General Electric,Imperial Chemicals Industry, and Scandinavian Airlines System. Of interest here is their conclusion about theadaptive culture, those organizations that had the highest performance and the ability to make changes whenneeded. From their work, then, what does an adaptive culture look like?This list represents worthy norms and goals to pursue for most any organization. Attempting to have an279
organization that looks like this would no doubt help prevent what Foster and Kaplan (2001) called “culturallock-in” (see Chapter 2).Characteristics of an Adaptive Culture According to the Work of Kotter and Heskett (1992)1. Willingness to make changes in culturally ingrained behaviors2. Emphasis on identifying problems before they occur and rapidly implementing workable solutions3. Focus on innovation4. Shared feelings of confidence about managing problems and opportunities5. Emphasis on trust6. Willingness to take risks7. Spirit of enthusiasm8. Candor9. Internal flexibility in response to external demands10. Consistency in word and action11. Long-term focus280
SummaryTo change an organization’s culture, one must first understand it. This understanding comes from threeprimary sources or concepts, as Schein (2004) has labeled them—artifacts, espoused beliefs and values, and basicunderlying assumptions. Artifacts are what we encounter first: symbols (e.g., a company’s logo), the way officesare arranged and how open or closed they may appear, how members of the organization dress, and the natureand characteristics of the organization’s products and services. Artifacts are what are “on the surface,” and withthese observations, we begin to get a feel for the culture, but it is just that, a feel, an interpretation that may bea clue to an accurate understanding of the culture but may not.With more time and experience in the organization, we begin to learn about its espoused beliefs and values,how organizational members express themselves, particularly concerning what they say about theirorganization—“what we stand for,” “why our products do so well in the marketplace,” “how we treat ourcustomers,” and so forth. These beliefs and values give us more depth of understanding of the culture (i.e.,beyond artifacts), yet we must be diligent in our quest for an accurate picture of the culture by discerningpossible differences between what the organizational members say about their beliefs and values and what theydo, how they actually behave.And with a lot more time and effort, we may begin to understand what the culture truly is all about by gettingat the basic underlying assumptions—those unspoken rules, mostly below the conscious level of organizationalmembers, that guide behavior. When asking a member a question about why certain things in the operation ofthe organization are done the way they are, the response may be something like, “Gee, I don’t really know.We simply have always done it that way.” Culture, then, is a set of basic assumptions that serve as guidepostsfor how we are supposed to behave in the organization.To change the culture, we spin our wheels when we attempt to change at the outset espoused beliefs andvalues and basic underlying assumptions we cannot see, much less understand. We must first identify thebehaviors that when practiced will lead us to the new vision and the change goals. Then as organizationalmembers begin to react to these new behaviors—some embrace them, others resist—we pay attention to these“ripples” and attempt to realign them, if necessary, toward the change goals. The BA story helped illustratehow these principles drawn from research and theory can work.281
Twelve Understanding and Working With Loosely CoupledSystemsAs we learned in Chapter 11, changing an organization’s culture can be a daunting undertaking. It can bedone, nevertheless, as the British Airways (BA) story demonstrated. Change at BA did occur. It took at leastfive years and required talented, dedicated people; considerable resources; and enormous energy andperseverance on the part of leaders in the organization. Most observers of the change at BA would no doubtagree that it was successful.The story of organization change described in this chapter was also successful but only for a short period oftime—no more than two years—and therefore would have to be classified as a failure. There was a short-termchange, but in the end, the organization reverted back to what it was before the change effort was initiated.What happened—and an attempt to explain why it happened, as well as what was learned as a result—is thetheme of this chapter.The primary learning was that organization change with a tightly coupled system (e.g., BA) is not the same aschange—effective change, that is—with a loosely coupled system. The fundamental difference is that a tightlycoupled system is characterized mainly in terms of hierarchy and interdependence. To change BA, hierarchyhad to be addressed. A loosely coupled system (e.g., a network) has little or no hierarchy, and interdependenceamong units rarely exists. Thus, interventions to change a loosely coupled system (i.e., effectively) are not thesame as with a tightly coupled system, as we will see in this chapter.282
The Case of Change at the A. K. Rice InstituteFirst, let us consider the organization itself, the A. K. Rice Institute (AKRI), briefly described in Chapter 2 asa nonprofit organization that was insufficiently attuned to and aligned with its external environment. Ourcoverage here will begin with AKRI’s founding purpose, its history, and the problem that was addressedregarding the change effort.The full story of the attempt to change AKRI is told in the article by Noumair, Winderman, and Burke(2010). What now follows is a synopsis of that story.AKRI is a network of some eight centers that span the United States, from California to the East Coast, witha small headquarters located in Florida that helps coordinate these rather autonomous entities. There is apresident and board of directors, elected by AKRI members, who oversee the headquarters and the institute asa whole and from time to time establish policy. AKRI began rather informally in 1965 when Margaret Rioch,Pierre Tourquet, and Ken Rice decided to organize in the Washington, D.C.–Baltimore area a group relations(GR) conference designed and conducted according to principles and practices of such conferences under theauspices of the Tavistock Institute in the United Kingdom. About five years later, these so-called “Taviconferences” were taking hold in the United States, and in 1975 AKRI was incorporated as a nonprofiteducational institution. By 2000, AKRI had grown from a small center in Washington, D.C., to a muchlarger network of eight centers with a paid administrator.Based on the Tavistock GR tradition of open-system and psychodynamic theories, AKRI produced GRconferences, training programs, scientific meetings, and publications for the general public through itsqualified members. By 1990, membership had stabilized at about 225 volunteers, mental health professionalspredominating. The modest revenue generated from AKRI-sponsored GR conferences and publications andmember dues enabled the institute to hold an annual meeting of the board of directors and coveradministrative expenses (Noumair et al., 2010, pp. 475–476).As AKRI grew and became a more complex organization, its original purpose seemed to be lost or at least notas clear as it was in the days of Margaret Rioch’s leadership. There was ongoing confusion about AKRI’smission and its ultimate purpose, and questions emerged concerning whom the customers were—people whoattended GR conferences, the broader general public, or the AKRI members who conducted the conferences.Moreover, there was fragility among the eight centers, not to mention their relationships with theheadquarters and overall leadership, and the board of directors’ work tended to be internally focused instead ofoutward looking.Due to these worrisome issues, particularly confusion about purpose, by 1997 the board decided to focus onchanging AKRI and launched three major initiatives:1. To establish broader connections with more focus toward the external environment2. To strengthen the infrastructure of AKRI3. To shift more toward a learning culture283
Action to undergird these initiatives was the launching of two ad hoc committees: one on strategic planningand the other on training—that is, professional development for members and a clearer set of standards forqualifying members to conduct GR conferences, which in essence were certification programs. Additionalefforts were made to strengthen communication channels between the AKRI president and the centerpresidents, and member caucuses were held and surveys conducted to facilitate more focus on mission andcore values. These actions culminated in a membership-wide meeting in 2000 with about 75 attending. Mostagreed that change was needed.Following the thinking of Gersick (1991), there are, at the most basic level, two requirements for launchingan organization change effort: (a) a sense of urgency and (b) a vision for the future. While most AKRImembers believed that change was needed, it was not clear at the time that this need was urgent. As ithappened, a crisis erupted shortly after the membership-wide meeting that created a clear sense of urgency.A GR conference was conducted by AKRI leaders but outside the auspices of the institute—in other words, akind of renegade movement. This act created competition with AKRI and its centers. Moreover, since AKRIleaders designed and conducted this conference, board members were extremely upset and felt betrayed. Theboard halted its strategic planning effort and sought outside help.284
Enter External Consultant (Yours Truly)My initial diagnosis based on extensive interviews with the board members indicated that the institute,certainly at the board level, was quite insular and out of touch with its external environment. This insularitycontributed to AKRI’s decreasing impact as an educational institution. At the heart of this insularity was inreality two missions: (a) education, yes, but also, primarily, (b) serving members’ desires—that is to staffconferences, to enjoy the process of conducting these conferences according to the Tavi approach (focusing onissues of power, control, and authority), and to make some money (albeit not exactly astronomical amounts).In my judgment, the latter mission, even though not in AKRI’s charter, was a reality and contradicted andworked against the educational and original mission. To my way of thinking, it was hard to have it both ways.Also, to my surprise, board meetings were not unlike GR conferences. After all, interpreting members’behavior according to power and authority issues was more fun than dealing with the mundane tasks of theboard, working on budget issues, doing committee work, planning for the future, and so forth. In other words,the real work of the board was often left undone.The problem then was the dual and somewhat conflicting missions of the Institute, that is, to be amembership organization and serve its members and centers, while at the same time having aneducational mission for the public at large. Membership and center issues often prevented effectiveaccomplishment of the educational mission. To be effective at the latter, AKRI’s externalenvironment needed to be monitored and responded to more directly, instead of indirectly via itscenters and members, who were often conflicted between an individual desire to seek status orpower through conference work and a desire to give back and to serve AKRI with organizationneeds superseding, at least some if not most of the time, individual needs. (Noumair et al., 2010, pp.478–479)Faced with these issues and contradictions, the board voted unanimously to adopt the educational mission;they began to engage members and centers in a change process.285
Action StepsTo provide focus and undergird the reality of change, I suggested that a transition task force (TTF) be formedin parallel to the board to plan and lead the change effort, and that the president serve dual roles as head ofthe board and overall director of the TTF. My job was to work closely with both the board and TTF byserving as a facilitator, change expert, and executive coach—especially for the president. I used the Burke–Litwin model (see Chapter 10) as the framework for guiding the overall change effort.The TTF focused on the following:Creating a name change, from the A. K. Rice Institute to the A. K. Rice Institute for the Study ofSocial SystemsCrafting a new mission statementForming a reconstituted board, including three outside members to help the institute stay in bettertouch with the external environmentModifying governance procedures—for example, board elected by members at largeEstablishing a fund-raising effortExploring potential strategic alliances with other like-minded organizationsConducting competitor analysisChanging centers to affiliates, with AKRI becoming more of a whole system as opposed to a simplenetworkSpecial attention was given to crafting the new mission for the institute. Guided by the eight components ofeffective mission statements identified by Pearce and David (1987), the mission statement clearly reflected thenew change direction. See Table 12.1 for the complete statement.Further accomplishments as a result of the change effort included the following:Hired executive directorPublished Group Relations Reader 3 (Cytrynbaum & Noumair, 2004)Produced the Forum Special Scientific ConferenceGot training and certification process well under wayAffiliates delivered their signed agreementsLaunched strategic partnershipsEstablished global community connections fundBy 2004, I was no longer consulting with AKRI, and although not everything had changed, much had. It wastime for AKRI to continue on its own. Yet as we now know, the most difficult aspect of any organizationchange effort is to sustain it once under way. The changes that were launched began to unravel. There wassignificant turnover of board members, many issues remained unchanged, many wanted the membershipmission not only to remain but to become primary, the changes brought about required increased expenses,and the economy was not exactly favorable. Most important, apparently collective resentment among286
members toward the transformation process had grown. Furthermore, in retrospect, the basic culture, theunderlying beliefs and values, had not changed. By 2007, the turnover at the board level was complete, andthese new members reversed the mission decision, with membership becoming primary and educationincidental. In fact, the final death knell for the change was when the board abandoned the 1975 certificate ofincorporation and became solely a membership organization, a club rather than an educational institution. Inthe “Introducing the Discussion” section of the paper, we stated the following:There are multiple reasons as to why the transformation of AKRI from club to organization did nothold. In this article, we propose five contributing factors: implications of a volunteer organization; aloosely coupled system; trying to change deep structure; management of resistance to, andambivalence about, change; and insufficient attention to integration of GR and OD approaches toorganization change. (Noumair et al., 2010, p. 486)Even though all these five factors help explain the change failure and are useful for our understanding, the onethat was most powerful for me regarding implications for organization change and for my own learning wasthe concept of a loosely coupled system. The remainder of this chapter will be devoted to understanding andworking with a loosely coupled system, and AKRI is an excellent example of looseness. But before we plungeinto loosely coupled systems, let us at least summarize the other four factors, beginning with the implicationsof a volunteer organization.287
A Volunteer OrganizationAKRI is not only an organization run by volunteers; it functions virtually for the most part. The 80–20 rulealso applies to AKRI—that is, about 20% of the members do 80% of the work. Busy people are reluctant tovolunteer their time, especially to undertake a leadership position. This succession of board members, not tomention standing for election as president, is problematical. A succession plan is rare, and withoutsuccessions, there is usually a lack of widespread commitment to any kind of change. Such a vacuum can leadto a situation in which those who step up to responsibility are those who opposed the organization changefrom the beginning. In any case, this kind of succession problem was true for AKRI.289
Changing Deep StructureDeep structure is Gersick’s (1991) term for the core of an organization’s culture. She explains it in terms ofinitial choices that members of a group or organization make in the formative stages—choices about how thegroup is going to work together to accomplish the task at hand. These choices concern such decisions as whowill do what and how to organize (division of labor) and decisions about procedures such as how decisions willget made. Once these choices are made, they remain tentative so that members can determine if they workwell enough for the group or organization. If so, these choices then become systematic, are taken for granted,and stick, so to speak. These ideas of Gersick’s were covered in Chapter 5. Applying this to AKRI, somechoices were indeed explicit, some implicit about how the institute was going to carry out its mission, such asfocusing almost exclusively on small groups, not organizations per se, and emphasizing authority relations(Rioch, 1975). Group dynamics became the core (deep structure), with Bion’s theory providing the rationalesfor learning objectives and procedures in the GR conferences. With group dynamics at the core, a focus onorganizations was clearly secondary, a different level of phenomenon (see Chapter 6), and changing AKRI asan organization required modification of its culture, which was quite naturally resisted.290
Dealing With Resistance and AmbivalenceRecall that we addressed resistance to change in Chapter 6 and covered Hambrick and Cannella’s (1989) threedistinctions—(a) blind, (b) ideological, and (c) political. With respect to AKRI, the resistance that occurredwas primarily political; that is, many members felt that they were going to lose something of value to them:their identities as members of an exclusive club that provided opportunities to serve as staff for GRconferences, accompanied with feelings of status and prestige, which was more important than the moneythey might make.Organizational members in times of change may be viewed as resistant when in reality they are not all thatopposed to the change. They simply may be ambivalent, “on the fence” as it were, perhaps skeptical, and havea desire for more information that might convince them. This distinction between resistance and ambivalencehas been explained by Piderit (2000) and summarized in Chapter 6. As change leaders for AKRI, we mayhave concentrated more on countering resistance than on addressing ambivalence. We also embraced a we–they attitude: It’s us against those baneful, rigid resisters. This we–they attitude and approach causes a viciouscycle and can significantly contribute to change failure. Recent and more sensible coverage of resistance tochange is provided in Chapter 17.291
Group Relations Versus Organization DevelopmentAs we pointed out in the article (Noumair et al., 2010) there are similarities between a GR perspective andorganization development (OD). They both rely on open-system theory, and their respective value systemsoverlap—humanism, resolving conflict intrapersonally and interpersonally, and building a better world. Butthere are differences: the main one being covert versus overt. GR individuals emphasize unconscious processescoupled with interpretations of the overt behavior—the intention and meaning underneath—whereas ODpeople focus on the overt behavior itself, taking at face value what people say and do. We can compare the twoin at least four dimensions:1. Theoretical focus—Bion for GR and Lewin for OD2. Diagnostic focus—group unconscious for GR and norms and values for OD3. The “invisible leader”—Mary Parker Follett’s (1996) notion that the “leader” to be followed is purpose,which is consistent with OD, whereas for GR individuals the “leader” is the task4. Primary concern—authority and authorization for GR, power and politics for ODThe point is that the two parties hold different perspectives, and the external consultant in this case being anOD type rather than a GR person was a cultural misfit. “From a GR perspective, we failed to analyze the fullmeaning of intentionally selecting an OD consultant and the extent to which we were enamored with the ODperspective” (Noumair et al., 2010, p. 494).These four factors—(a) volunteer organization, (b) deep structure, (c) resistance, and (d) ambivalence—andGR versus OD help explain the failure ultimately to change AKRI. The fifth factor, loosely coupled systems,however, became the most important explanation for me, primarily because in retrospect it seems so obvious.Yet by sticking to my past, I failed to see what was indeed right in front of me. In other words, often to see isnot to see.292
Organizational Structure and Loosely Coupled SystemsAlthough hierarchy and the interdependence of work units remain as critical characteristics of large, complexorganizations—that is, tightly coupled systems—with the advent of the Internet, globalization that oftenincludes virtual units, greater use of temporary systems formed to solve a particular problem and thendisbanded, and networks of all kinds, organizational forms that are more loosely coupled demand ourattention more than ever before. Networks, the webs that hold cells together, are especially important.As executive director of the Organization Development Network for 8 years (1966–1974), I learned abouthow a network without hierarchy (except perhaps for me and an advisory board at the center or hub) canaccomplish tasks. Key was the fact that our purpose was clear, and therefore, we had clarity of tasks in theservice of that purpose. Networks are composed of nodes, where pivotal people serve as connectors (rememberGladwell’s [2000] tipping points) and gatekeepers, those who facilitate or impede entry and participation inthe network.With the help of the Internet, networks today are more sophisticated and complex. Consider the followingcommentary:But terrorist organizations are generally referred to as networks, which can be quite varied. Insteadof being built around a controlling hub surrounded by terrorist cells, a network can be a sprawling,decentralized arrangement. In fact, the declaration that Americans are engaged in a different sort ofwar than ever before may have to do with this structure and not just with terrorism itself. Disablinga network often requires different strategies from those used to attack a nation or a hierarchicalorganization. . . . For better or worse, the world has entered an era of networks. (Rothstein, 2001, p.A13)Networks that are highly effective are unusually focused and have a structure and process that are built ontrust—that is, political and emotional connections among people who must rely on one another to accomplishtasks.Thus, I am arguing that we need to gain considerable background on networks, to take the points made hereand dig deeper by reading articles and books such as the one by Arquilla and Ronfeldt (2001), and tointerview experts such as Kathleen Carley, director of the Center for Computational Analysis andOrganizational Systems at Carnegie Mellon University.We also need to formulate the questions and hypotheses for research, such as, “The degree of effectiveness(high performance) of a network is a function of the clarity of purpose—the greater the clarity, the higher theperformance” or “The degree of effectiveness is a function of the extent of trust among members—the greaterthe trust, the higher the performance.” And we should explore questions such as, “What are the key roles andresponsibilities in an effective network?” “How do decisions get made?” “What is the nature of accountabilityin a network?”293
One might naturally ask where my sense of urgency about this learning need came from.My motivation and learning direction was precipitated by the intensive organizational consulting experiencethat began positively but ended unsuccessfully: the AKRI organization change case. I had a need to makesense out of this experience. On reflection, if I had known then what I know now, the outcome might havebeen different.Although I knew about Karl Weick’s work on loosely coupled systems, I had not diligently studied thisliterature. Now that I have, what follows are some key summaries of what is most important to learn andknow.294
Loosely Coupled SystemsWhen considering the concept of loosely and tightly coupled systems, we typically think in a unidimensionalway, with loose on one end of the dimension and tight on the other end. The concept of interdependencehelps define “looseness”: The more interdependent the units of an organization are, the tighter the system,and the less interdependent, the more likely the system is characterized as loosely coupled. Hierarchy isanother term that comes to mind to describe tight (steep hierarchy) and loose (flat hierarchy). The GoogleCorporation is closer to a loosely coupled system than is the U.S. Marine Corps.Although attractive to help us describe and understand organizations, this unidimensional way of thinking isan oversimplification. According to Orton and Weick (1990), a dialectical interpretation of loose–tight is amore useful and realistic concept. Their argument is that a system can be both loose and tight. This argumentis not unlike the question of whether an organization should be centralized or decentralized—a point that wasraised earlier in the chapter. The answer to the question is yes. In other words, the more appropriate questionis what functions or which components of an organization should be centralized and what functions should bedecentralized—for example, finance centralized and operations decentralized.To elaborate on and understand the dialectical nature of loosely coupled (and tightly coupled) systems, Ortonand Weick (1990) combed the literature, citing more than 100 references, and categorized their findings intothe following:Five recurring voices that focus separately on causation, typology, effects, compensations, andoutcomes. . . . [The authors] first use the five voices to review the loose coupling literature and thento suggest more precise and more productive uses of the concept. (p. 203)These “voices” from Orton and Weick’s (1990) review of the literature help explain the meaning of looselycoupled systems. A summary of their work follows.295
Voice of CausationWhat causes loose coupling? At least three factors cause it: (a) causal indeterminacy, which concerns unclearmeans–end connections—for example, efforts to improve product or service quality do not seem to lead tohigher customer satisfaction; (b) fragmented external environment—for example, a proliferation of marketniches and specialties that demand varied responses from the organization; and (c) fragmented internalenvironment, which can take many forms, one example being when few organizational members are involvedin or even care about the larger system or its many operations (Pfeffer, 1978); a university would be anappropriate case in point.In summary, factors that differentiate the organization further tend to produce in kind differentiatedresponses—that is, loose coupling.296
Voice of TypologyThis category is not about causation; rather, it concerns different types of loose coupling. Orton and Weick(1990) identified at least eight that have emerged most often—that is, loose coupling among (a) individuals,(b) subunits, (c) organizations, (d) hierarchical levels, (e) organizations and their environments, (f) ideas, (g)activities, and (h) intentions and actions. The value of this voice is that it “captures descriptions of ongoingactions” (p. 210) that are based on certain decisions in organizations, such as adopting a new software systemor something as simple as declaring a “dress-down” day on Fridays.297
Voice of Direct EffectsThis voice is one of advocacy: Loose coupling is a good thing; it is or should be a clear management strategy.Such a strategy can eliminate unnecessary relationships, register inputs from the external environmentaccurately (i.e., more avenues of direct connections to the environment with less filtering), and create moreopportunities for autonomous information gathering and making sense of the information.298
Voice of CompensationIn a sense, this voice is the opposite of the preceding category: direct effects. Loose coupling is not a goodthing; therefore, tightening is in order. “The three most frequently recurring managerial strategies,” accordingto Orton and Weick (1990), “are enhanced leadership, focused effort, and shared values” (p. 211). Tocompensate for the problems of too much looseness is (a) to provide stronger, more direct leadership; (b) tofocus more attention on carefully selected targets for improvement and thereby increase efficiency and controlresources more rigorously, with management simply acting more forcefully; and (c) to emphasize shared values—that is, working on an agreement about preferences and priorities and what is most important for realizingsuccess over time.“In summary, this voice preserves a dialectical interpretation when it builds on the premise that looseness onsome dimensions should be complemented by coupling on other dimensions” (Orton & Weick, 1990, p. 213).299
Voice of Organizational OutcomesThis category is a study of the effects that loose coupling has on organizational performance. To quote Ortonand Weick (1990) again for purposes of capturing as clearly as possible what they mean, let us consider thefollowing two sentences:Because of the causal distance between loose coupling and organizational outcomes, the voice oforganizational outcomes requires the consideration of more independent variables than does thevoice of direct effects. The outcome voice, consequently, is less forceful then the voice of directeffects in advocating loose coupling as a managerial strategy, and it focuses on five organizationaloutcomes: persistence, buffering, adaptability, satisfaction, and effectiveness. (p. 213)To bring about stability or organization change, usually tightening of a loosely coupled system, requirespersistence (see Chapter 15, which uses a similar concept: perseverance). As Orton and Weick (1990) pointedout, Wilson and Corbett (1983) found evidence to support the idea: See Firestone (1985), who found “thattightly coupled systems are more conducive to systemwide change than loosely coupled systems” (p. 213).Buffering means that loosely coupled systems tend to isolate and prevent problems from affecting the entireorganization, which can often be a positive outcome but can also be a negative outcome; recall the NationalAeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Challenger accident, referred to in Chapter 11. Adaptabilityis more often than not a positive outcome of loose coupling—and so is job satisfaction. Organizationaleffectiveness is harder to pin down. Loose coupling can lead to greater effectiveness but can also lead to theopposite. Studies differ, and as might be expected, it depends heavily on how effectiveness is defined andmeasured.The loose–tight conundrum is in the same sphere as many other organizational forces that appear to beopposites—freedom and constraint, autonomy and connection, and differentiation and integration, to namesome of the most obvious ones. Orton and Weick (1990), as noted earlier, believed that a dialecticalinterpretation of loose coupling is more useful than a unidimensional interpretation. From a researchstandpoint as well as an organizational diagnostic perspective, dialectical thinking leads to qualitative as wellas quantitative methodologies and as a consequence enriches our understanding of organizations as systems.Orton and Weick (1990) concluded their article by raising some key questions:To state that an organization is a loosely coupled system is the beginning of a discussion, not theend. What elements are loosely coupled? What domains are they coupled on? What domains arethey decoupled on? What are the characteristics of the couplings and de-couplings? (p. 219)Slightly more than a decade later, Weick (2001) was still pursuing his quest for understanding loosely coupledsystems. Focusing on change in such systems, he took the position that change is continuous rather than300
episodic, occurred on a small scale rather than a large one, was more improvisational than planned, wasaccommodative rather than constrained, and was local rather than cosmopolitan (p. 390). He noted furtherthat change in loosely coupled systems happens slowly and rarely promotes diffusion of innovation.For a deliberate, planned effort at changing loosely coupled systems, Weick (2001) chose five targets: (a)presumptions of logic, (b) socialization of processes, (c) differential participation, (d) constant variables, and(e) corruptions of feedback. A synopsis of each of these change targets follows.Presumptions of logic: Highly important ingredients of loosely coupled systems are the beliefs thatorganizational members maintain about what holds loose events, activities, and units in the organizationtogether. Cause–effect beliefs illustrate this point: Autonomy and independence lead to higher job satisfactionand, in turn, to positive organizational outcomes. Planting a seed of doubt about such a belief can be aprecursor to change.Socialization of processes: As we know, an organization’s culture can be a powerful force for conformity ofbeliefs and behavior; recall the Procter & Gamble example in Chapter 11. Focusing on aspects of the culturethat “re-socialize” organizational members can lead to organization change; the BA story described in Chapter11 is a case in point.Differential participation: Different degrees of participation are more common in loosely coupled systems.Recall the earlier reference to Pfeffer (1978), where he noted that few organizational members are all thatinvolved in or even care about the overall organization. Thus, a force for system-wide organization change canbe to equalize more effectively participation across the organization. Making sure that everyone attends his orher respective meetings in the organization, for example, is a step toward this equalization effort.Constant variables: Over time, subunits within a loosely coupled system, being in large measure independent ofother subunits, can become “set in their ways” about how they work together, both within their respectiveunits and across units. This behavioral rigidity can cause long-standing conflict—that is, insufficientcooperation especially across units. Distracting this constancy can lead to change (i.e., focusing on a differentway of relating and working together can lead to organization change). For an example, see Burke’s (2006)description of managing intergroup conflict between two functional units—(a) manufacturing and (b)engineering—within a manufacturing plant of a large corporation.Corruptions of feedback: Weick (2001) argued the following:In loosely coupled systems, flawed feedback is often a major source of looseness. Consequently,feedback is often suspect when it is introduced, and sometimes people are not even clear how to useit. Loosely coupled systems often learn to make do with minimal feedback because feedback isunavailable, meaningless, or discredited. When feedback is offered by a change agent, peoplewonder why they should believe it and how they should use it. (pp. 398–399)For effective change, then, dependability of feedback is imperative, such as ensuring that the feedback is301
explicit, immediate, accurate, and relevant to organizational members’ work and to actions that need to betaken.302
SummaryIt may be that in this day and age, with change a constant, the external environment for organizations almosttoo fragmented and complex for executives to cope with effectively, and “virtualness” a way of life, the notionof looseness in and across organizations will become more dominant than tightness.Considering OD, a field of practice about change, it is interesting to note that most of the work byconsultants since 1960 has been focused on loosening tight organizations, most having been corporations. Buttimes have changed significantly since 1960, with looseness now surrounding us. The tragic and devastatingoil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 by British Petroleum (BP) is illustrative. The practice of OD, inparticular, and organization change, in general, needs to concentrate more than ever before on loosely coupledsystems—how to understand them and at times ensure that looseness is maintained, yet also how to tightenthem when such action is called for. We know a lot about loosening tightly coupled systems. We have a longway to go to match that level of knowledge about tightening loosely coupled systems. And for more onWeick’s contribution, see his book Making Sense of Organizations (Weick, 2009).303
Thirteen Health Care and Government OrganizationsMost of the organization change literature is based on work (research and practice) conducted with profit-making corporations. In the beginning of the field of organization development (OD), the late 1950s inparticular, the organizations that gave birth to OD were the Harwood Manufacturing Corporation (AlfredMarrow), General Mills (McGregor and Beckhard), and Humble Oil (Blake, Mouton, and Shepherd). Whilethis predominance of corporations continued for decades, there were other organizations involved in ODwork early on as well, for example, the Episcopal Church in the 1960s and the U.S. Army (they called itorganization effectiveness, or OE) in the 1970s. In fact the Army devoted a school to OE located at Ft. Ordin northern California. For a couple of years I was a consultant to the school. Neither the school nor Ft. Ordexists today.Most have probably assumed—certainly I have—that this predominance of corporations in the world oforganization change and development continues to this day. But that may not be the case. I do not know thefacts, yet I have the impression that more change efforts than ever before are occurring in the health carearena, for example. Of course that world is composed of both profit and nonprofit organizations, but themajority is no doubt made up of the latter.Let us further assume that “other” organizations have become more involved in organization change anddevelopment activities. In any case, with this assumed expansion, do we also assume that changing a healthcare organization is essentially the same as changing, say, a consumer products corporation? The answer is yesand no. Key principles of organization change like Lewin’s unfreeze, change, and refreeze should be essentiallythe same. How you apply these bedrock principles no doubt needs to be somewhat different. Even moredifference lies in the organization’s culture. What we pay attention to culturally in health care is not exactlythe same as in the corporation—the control and reward systems, for example. The purpose of this chapter,therefore, is to explore these differences in two “other” organizations—health care and government, especiallyat the federal level. There are many other organizations with which we could make comparisons anddemonstrate differences—foundations, museums, educational institutions, community agencies, volunteernetworks, and so forth—but the reasons for focusing on health care and government are (a) the differencesstand out and therefore must be considered first and foremost in practice and (b) these two otherorganizations are actually not “other” but quite pervasive and powerful in our daily lives.304
Important Characteristics of Health Care and Government OrganizationsThe most obvious difference between a business/industrial corporation and these two other organizationsconcerns mission. Most corporations these days have mission statements, but they are not driven by mission;rather, they are driven by strategy—how do we beat the competition? Both health care systems andgovernment agencies are driven by mission—patient care and providing important services for citizens.Although different in substance, both health care and government organizations are controlled by dualities.With respect to health care, the duality is characterized by two hierarchies: One is the profession of medicine,and the other is the administration of the organization that provides the medical care, whether a communityhospital, health maintenance organization, or clinic. This duality is most keenly experienced by departmentheads, center directors, clinic directors, and the like. They must serve the profession, with its Hippocratic oathand related requirements, and ensure that the organization survives financially and operationally. Sometimesthis duality is clearly in a state of conflict—do I see that another diagnostic procedure is prescribed for apatient, even though he or she probably does not really need it, because our clinic direly needs the insuranceincome that pays for it? Incidentally, the physicians who are serving these two masters are easily recognized inthe organization; they wear white coats. Not unlike sergeants in the army, nurses actually run the day-to-dayactivities and events and can be a strong force for change or just the opposite (i.e., highly resistant to change).Thus, when building a coalition for change, nurses need to be deeply involved. It should be noted that nursesface the same conflict as do physicians: their professional standards as registered nurses versus theirresponsibilities as administrators.With respect to government—both federal and state—the duality concerns time, long-term versus short-term.The short-term is based on election phases—at the federal level, every 4 years as the nation selects byreelection the current president of the United States or the next president. Thus, the longest short-term is 8years, but it can be only 4. At the state level the phases are determined by the election of the governor. Manyif not most initiatives and changes in the government take time, often more than four years. The duality, then,is a matter of dealing with long-term initiatives that must survive a change in leadership at the top versusshort-term efforts that may abruptly end whether complete or not after 4 or at most 8 years. The work of theNational Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), where I served as a consultant for some 25 years,illustrates this duality where long-term was the norm but so was dealing with potential budget cuts every 4years. From a hierarchical perspective, periodically, the top executive group is replaced, whereas middle andlower management often remain more than 20 years. Management is therefore always dealing with thesechanges. The conflict can take the form of the top executive group’s wanting to make changes quickly becausethey don’t have a lot of time, whereas middle to lower management may play a “waiting game” as a way ofresisting change. After all, they are likely to be facing an entirely different initiative shortly, especially if theregime change shifts from a Republican base to a Democratic base or vice versa.Now let us consider each of these two “other” organizations in more detail, particularly in terms oforganization change—that is, what is applicable from the organization change scholarly literature and fromour practice experiences regardless of organizational type and what must be considered as unique for each of305
these two types.306
Changing Health Care OrganizationsWe know that most organization change efforts fail. That failure rate may be even larger for health careorganizations. After all, these organizations are quite complicated, with their (a) duality of hierarchies; (b) attimes having to deal with life-and-death issues, especially in a hospital emergency room; and (c) medicalpractices that are based on multiple sciences, not just one—chemistry in pharmaceuticals, anatomy andbiology in surgery, and neuroscience in dealing with mental and emotional issues, to name just a few. Andthen there is internal medicine, where diagnosticians must know all of the above. Running, say, a newspaper isa complicated business to be sure, but the operation is based primarily on journalism and business acumen, notmultiple disciplines.With such complexities, is it even possible to achieve a successful change effort in a health care system? Doneright (i.e., following many of the principles presented in this book), it is possible, as the following casesdemonstrate.Case 1. In a study of change in a large managed health care organization, Caldwell, Chatman, O’Reilly,Ormiston, and Lapiz (2008) found that when primarily concentrating on physician behavior, change wasindeed possible. The study was conducted in two phases, the first being interviews with 37 physicians,followed by the second phase a year later, which was essentially a survey based on the content from theinterviews. The fundamental outcome variable for the study was patient satisfaction.Driving the change in this health care system were shifts in the organization’s external environment that werein turn adversely affecting the quality of patient care. A change in strategy was in order. The strategic changewas support for a new patient care service initiative. The data collected in Phase 2 were from 313 physiciansacross multiple specialties—for example, surgery, pediatrics, ob-gyn, and emergency medicine—resulting in a53% response rate. The researchers’ main interests were in three areas (the independent variables): (1) degreeof support from the physicians for the strategic change, (2) norms that indicated the degree of readiness forthe change, and (3) perception of medical departments’ leadership—that is, did the department heads provideleadership for the change? Overall there were positive results, particularly with respect to support fromphysicians for the change and the interactive effects of the three main independent variables; for example, thepositive effects of leadership are strongest when the medical specialty units have norms that support thechange.In their section on “recommendations for practice,” Caldwell et al. (2008) provide useful food for thought:Not surprisingly, the positive effects of strategic change are greatest when groups support the newdirection. Therefore, when strategic changes are undertaken, leaders need to focus on buildingsupport for them. This requires direct, relentless communication. In addition, leaders need to lookfor ways to involve staff in identifying ways of implementing the strategy. As our Phase 1 interviewssuggest, building support often involves helping staff members understand both the benefits of thechange and the risk of continuing the status quo. (p. 132)307
Leaders’ endorsements of the change effort are important for most any organization that has a clear hierarchyof authority, but leaders/physicians in health care are critical. Without their support, very little change—certainly not significant change, as in a transformation—is likely to occur. And finally, as Caldwell et al.(2008), from their perspective as the researchers in this case, put it:These results illustrate the importance of social control in organizations. In the organization westudied, physicians had a great deal of power, not only because of their roles but also because of theownership structure of the medical group and accountability of the CEO to the physicianshareholders. In such an environment, relying on formal control systems to induce change may beproblematic. However, social control, exercised through norms in medical departments, facilitatedchange. It may well be that it is both the culture of a health care organization and the specific normsthat develop in groups that will allow health care organizations to adapt to the environmental joltsthat these organizations will face. (p. 132)Case 2. In the previous case, regarding their conclusions about practice, Caldwell and colleagues (2008) usedthe term relentless communication and emphasized how important it is during times of intense change. Thiscase study by Stein, Frankel, and Krupat (2005) covers a 16-year period of “relentless” work on enhancingcommunication skills, especially focused on the doctor–patient relationship, and was conducted within theKaiser Permanente (KP) health care organization. Their article describes the authors’ approach to improvingthe clinical communication and relationship skills of clinicians. According to the authors,the centerpiece of KP’s approach has been the creation and dissemination of a unifying clinician–patient communication (CPC) framework for teaching and research called the Four Habits Model.The Model has served as the foundation for a diverse array of KP programs. Sustained improvementin patient satisfaction scores has been demonstrated. Clinician–patient communication training hasbecome a well-established component of professional development in KP. (p. 4)What follows is a synopsis of the Four Habits Model:Habit 1: Invest in the beginning. The skills needed at the beginning involve creating rapport quickly,eliciting the patient’s concern, and providing an overview of the present session.Habit 2: Elicit the patient’s perspective. The skills for this habit are asking for the patient’s ideas andpoint of view, seeking out specific requests from the patient, and exploring the impact on the patient’slife (e.g., effect on loved ones).Habit 3: Demonstrate empathy. The skills that help ensure expression of empathy include being open tothe patient’s emotions, making an observation and asking if it is accurate, and conveying empathynonverbally, such as by touching the patient.Habit 4: Invest in the end. These skills include providing a working diagnosis, educating the patientabout the problem (e.g., symptoms that are experienced), involving the patient in making decisions, and308
summarizing the visit and clarifying next steps.These four habits may seem rather obvious and relatively easy to do, but the secret to success is in theexecution, applying the skills associated with each habit to each individual patient. And no two patients arethe same; thus the skills must be applied uniquely to each patient. Paying attention to cultural and backgrounddifferences is also a key to a successful clinician–patient interaction and relationship. In our overspecializedworld, following these habits can help provide a more common experience for patients, regardless of whetherthe physician is a neurologist or cardiologist.And finally, to our underlying theme of the importance of power and social control in the health care world,Stein and his colleagues (2005), in discussing the training programs they have conducted, observed, andcollected evaluative data from, conclude: “One of the most important lessons learned was that departmentswith the greatest success in participation and enthusiasm were those in which the chief promoted andattended the program” (p. 8).Case 3. A number of years ago, I was asked by the medical school dean to help with the implementation of anoverall change in the school’s curriculum. Prior to my arrival, a curriculum change had been in the planningprocess for 2 years. The planning was being done by a small committee of 10 people from both the faculty andadministration. The committee was planning on behalf of a total faculty group of about 200 people.In the early stages of my work, it became clear that the committee had a sound plan and was very enthusiasticabout it, but the faculty as a whole was suspicious. The committee had been working on and off for 2 years,but no one beyond the committee members knew anything about the plan, and rumors were rampant. In mymeetings with the committee, members expressed their concern about faculty suspicion and rumors and theirfears that the new plan would not receive the necessary faculty vote for ratification. The dean and committeechairman wanted it to pass with at least a 2-to-1 vote, but they were realistic enough to realize that, if a votewere taken at the moment, the plan might be defeated.I began by confronting the committee with the probability that, if they wanted ratification, they would have torisk possible modifications to their plan. For overall faculty commitment to occur, something more thaninformation sharing would be required. Regardless of the logic and elegance of the new curriculum design,simply explaining the new plan to the faculty would not overcome suspicion and guarantee ratification.Resistance could be expected because of the degree of change involved in the plan. The plan called for greatercoordination across courses and a shift away from the solo-instructor model toward more team teaching, withconsequent loss of some freedom for the instructors. It thus involved a degree of loss of choice. I explainedthat, although the committee could remain in control of the planning, its responsibility and roles would needto shift from that of planning the curriculum content to that of leading and managing the change process.The committee began to organize the further planning process. It formed itself into a steering committee andassigned major managerial roles to each member. Four individuals were chosen to head the more detailedcurriculum planning for each of the four medical school years, and four primary subcommittees were formed.The subcommittees were composed of faculty members other than those on the original committee. At that309
point, about 40 additional faculty members were included. Other special committees were then formed asextensions of the four primary subcommittees. These “sub-subcommittees” became involved in planningspecifics, such as how cell biology would be taught within an overall organic systemic approach. Eventually,some 100 faculty members were involved in planning at least one piece of the new curriculum.With so many people involved and with such a complex new plan, it took most of a year to get the job done.When the faculty vote finally came, however, the new curriculum was ratified by a 4-to-1 margin. The deanwas happy, to say the least. With respect to the original 2 years of the planning committees’ existence, perhapsa James Thurber quote is an appropriate way to conclude this case: “Progress was all right. Only it went on toolong.” When the faculty got involved, the change did indeed occur. A fundamental principle of organizationchange is, “Involvement leads to commitment.” Once again, this case demonstrated the validity of thatprinciple, whether one is employed by a health care organization, government agency, or most any otherorganization.Case 4. This final case is a brief description of an attempt a few years ago to resolve conflict between twoimportant service functions—human resources (HR) and information services (IS)—in a large managedhealth care organization in the western part of the United States. The conflict was fierce, even to the point ofname-calling; for example, the HR people labeled the IS folks “idiots.” In a careful and diligent approach, theinternal OD specialist decided to intervene. The OD specialist interviewed people on both sides and verifiedthat the conflict was widespread and feelings ran deep and were indeed vitriolic. The OD specialist waspatient and understanding, yet at the same time persistent about attempting some degree of resolution.Eventually, the OD person persuaded the key players from the two functions to meet off-site to work on theirissues. The OD specialist decided to follow as closely as possible the steps explained in an article by Burke(2006), which consisted, first, of facilitating an exchange of perceptions between both parties—how do we seeourselves, how do we see the other group, and how do we think they see us?—and second, creating cross-functional groups to work together on ways to reduce the conflict. In other words, an intervention usedeffectively in business-industrial organizations (Burke, 2006) was applied as closely as possible in a health caresetting. Data were collected before and after the intervention in this health care organization. The datashowed that the conflict between the two service functions had been reduced significantly. Data collectedinformally and over time looked promising; that is, the degree of resolution was lasting.The point of including this brief case is not to report on a research study as such—the study was a simplebefore-and-after comparison, not a rigorous research effort—but to illustrate that tried-and-true interventionsfrom OD in business-industrial organizations can work effectively in health care organizations as well.In summary, these cases demonstrate that physicians in management and leadership roles have considerableinfluence and control. Without their involvement in a change effort in health care organizations, little if anychange is likely to occur. And finally, techniques and interventions from the OD and change world of businessindustry can also work effectively in the health care world.310
Changing Government OrganizationsThe literature on organization change in government organizations is sparse. There are a number of reasonsfor this meager situation. First, most government organizations are large, unwieldy, and complicated, thusmaking change difficult. Complicated in this case means that these organizations typically serve many differentconstituents—especially at the federal level, with Congress itself at the top of the list—and therefore, havingtotal organizational focus is difficult. Second, even though much may be espoused about change with eachnew administration, very few organization change efforts are actually undertaken. Third, and as a consequenceof the above, not much is known about how to bring about change successfully in government organizations.Finally, as noted already, government executives face the fundamental issue of time; therefore long-termchange (and large-scale organization change takes time) is rare.We do have one study of organization change in the federal government to review and, although limited withrespect to the number of organizations studied and methodology, it is worthy of our consideration.Case 1. Kelman and Myers (2009) in their research wanted answers to such questions as:How are senior government executives who attempt to realize a lofty vision that requires significantchange able to succeed?Do they have a clear strategy and does that matter?What form of leadership, behaviorally, seems to be critical to success?Kelman and Myers (2009) attempted to answer these questions and others by studying executive behaviors ofthose from the Clinton and Bush administrations (1993–2007) who led change efforts and were identified byindependent experts as having led successful change, compared with those executives who attempted changebut failed. For Kelman and Myers successful change meant that these top executives had a strong vision thatrequired significant organization change and that the implementation required paid off.As mentioned at the outset, the Kelman and Myers (2009) study was based on a small number of cases, yetconsiderable information was gathered about each one. Incidentally, the researchers were adamant about notconsidering “best practices” research, since the results of such studies are usually based on success cases only.They explained their position this way:If one chooses only successes and finds they did A, B, and C one really cannot conclude from thisthat A, B, and C caused success because others (about which one has no information) may havedone A, B, and C as well. Central to our research design, therefore, is creation of a control groupalongside the successful executives, so we can compare successes with those of others. (p. 3)They cite Lynn (1996) as support for their position of avoiding “best practices” research.Kelman and Myers then proceeded to generate 17 hypotheses that guided their study. A sampling of their312
hypotheses is as follows:H1: Successful agency heads will be more likely than others to engage in the strategic planning processfor strategy formulation.H2: Successful agency heads have a smaller number of goals than other leaders.H3: Successful agency heads pay significant attention to creating alignment between their goals andtheir agency’s internal capacity more than other leaders.H4: Successful agency heads pay attention to engaging their external political environment more thanother leaders.H5: Successful agency heads use a collaborative, participatory management style more than otherleaders.H8: Successful agency heads use performance measures more than other leaders.H12: Successful agency heads tend to come from agencies with relatively more political appointees asa percentage of agency employees, compared with the average agency.The executives studied by Kelman and Myers (2009) were nominated by two groups of independent experts:fellows from the National Academy of Public Administration (N = 410) and principals from the Council forExcellence in Government (N = 450). The researchers also provided criteria for these experts to apply to theirnominations—for example, those executives for nomination who had an ambitious vision, who were successfulin implementing strategy, and so forth. Kelman and Myers received 111 responses from these experts, for a13% response rate. Those executives to be studied had to have at least three nominations from experts. In thefinal list there were more successes nominated (N = 8) than failures (N = 3). With so few failures Kelman andMyers added another source for comparison, that is, counterparts to the successes:Those in the same positions, appointed at the same time in the lifecycle of an administration, in theadministration other than the one of the success. So if the success was Bush’s first appointee, thecounterpart would be Clinton’s first appointee to the position. The idea was to control for as muchas possible, to make comparisons as free from noise as possible. (p. 18)Thus, the control group for comparison was three failures and six counterparts, that is, a comparison of eightsuccesses with nine controls.The major data source for their study, therefore, was individual interviews with these nominated executives.All interviews were transcribed and analyzed qualitatively. The primary measure was the number ofspontaneous mentions of a technique by the interviewer.With respect to the results of the study, the techniques mentioned most frequently by the successful executiveswerecollaborative/participatory management style employees (seven mentions);strategic planning, proactively working with Congress using performance measures, and reorganization313
(six mentions each);proactively working with interest groups, appealing to public motivation, and developing slogansreflecting goals (five mentions each);relationship building with external constituencies and/or employees and using the period betweennomination and confirmation to think about goals/gather information (four mentions each).Regarding the sampling of seven hypotheses noted above and labeled H1 through H5, H8, and H12, all weresupported by the research except for H3 and H12. With respect to H3, executives simply do not pay muchattention to aligning their goals with the organization’s capacity to accomplish those goals. And with respectto H12, the opposite seems true. It may be that the greater the number of political appointees in a givenagency, the less attention is paid to long-term change efforts.Some other important highlights from this study are as follows:1. Strategic planning with goal specificity is important.2. H5, executives’ use of collaborative, participatory management style and practices, was supported, yetthere was no difference between successful change executives’ behavior and their counterparts’. It wouldappear that in government all or most executives endorse and try to practice these behaviors. Thedifference is that the successful change executives also paid the same amount of attention to good,general management practices focusing on performance management, matters of efficiency, few goals,reorganization, and strategic planning. As Kelman and Myers (2009) cleverly captured this point,everyone has read about change management and McGregor’s Theory Y, but only the successfulexecutives have read both the change management literature and Drucker’s (1974) masterpieceManagement.3. Even though change experts emphasize the importance of establishing a sense of urgency—the so-called“burning platform”—to provide the motivation and readiness for change, in government this techniquecarries little if any import. Again the key variable in government is time, and there is rarely if ever asense of urgency. If it is really important, then Congress has to be involved and that will take a while.As pointed out earlier this study has its limitations—small number of executive agencies, the basis ofcomparison of success and failure/counterparts, the small response rate from the experts, to name the primaryones. Nevertheless, Kelman and Myers (2009) believe that their findings add to the literature and also providehelpful advice to practitioners. I tend to agree.To conclude this first case on a sardonic note and use a quote that Kelman and Myers use, let us point to theproblem of government executives’, particularly political appointees’, lack of attention to the organization theysupposedly lead.Many appointees are captivated by the glamour of their positions and ignore the fundamentals.They lavish their attention on travel opportunities, public appearances and speeches, pressinterviews, top-level policy meetings, and White House contacts, but they have little patience forthe critical spade work that makes programs and organizations function effectively. They devote314
little or no time to working out key regulatory provisions, making budget allocations, building andnurturing the organization, determining critical personnel assignments, or translating policyconcepts into operational reality. . . .[W]hat’s the harm of letting political appointees play the amateur government game? Isn’t it a smallprice to pay? It is not such a small price, and it does a lot of harm. (Cohen, 1998, pp. 475, 478)Case 2. Rather than a large sweep across many government agencies, as reported in Case 1, this caseconcerned one government organization that was comparatively small, 3,264 employees. The change effortitself was widespread; therefore, all employees were affected. Although the research was conducted with justone agency and generalization of the results is problematical, the strength of the study rests on the fact that itwas longitudinal, spanning a year, and not just a snapshot of change at only one moment in time. In fact theoverall change took about three years; so the survey, taken twice a year apart, was essentially at the midwaypoint. Thus, the study conducted by Shin, Seo, Shapiro, and Taylor (2015) focused on the sustainment ofchange; that is, did the change a year later continue? Were employees still committed to implementing thechange? And if so, what were the primary sustainers?Data were collected at two levels: individual and work unit. The three measures at the individual level were (1)commitment to change, assessed according to effect (e.g., “I believe in the value of this change”) andnormative behavior (e.g., “I feel a sense of duty to work toward this change”); (2) turnover intention assessedat Time 2 only and posed rather straightforwardly by three items, one being “I will probably look for a newjob within the year”; and (3) behavioral support for change, also assessed at Time 2 only, using four items,with an exemplar being “I speak very positively about the change to others to show them why this is animportant and needed set of changes.”At the work unit level, three measures also were conducted: (1) control variables, that is, those factors that canpotentially influence the study, such as (a) overall commitment to the organization, not just to the specificchange effort, (b) the quality of exchange between leaders and followers, and (c) the degree of impact onemployees’ daily routines as a result of the change; (2) informational justice climate (perceived fairness),assessed by five items, with one being “Has the manager tailored their communications about the changeeffort to people’s specific needs?”; and (3) transformational leader behavior, using 12 items developed byPodsakoff, Mackenzie, and Fetter (1990), with a couple of examples being “My boss has a clear understandingof where we are going” and “My boss challenges others to reexamine some of their basic assumptions abouttheir work.”Most of the predictions (some 13 hypotheses) by the researchers were supported by the results of their study,leading them to draw three main conclusions:1. Employees’ commitment to their organization’s change tends to be sustained over time.2. Employees’ maintenance of commitment to change is stronger when their work unit leaders providesufficient and sincere information and exhibit transformational leader behaviors during the change.3. Organizations undergoing change are more likely to produce positive outcomes (e.g., lower turnover315
intention and greater change-supportive behaviors by their employees), particularly at the later phase ofthe change, when employees maintain higher levels of affective and normative commitment to the effortto change (Shin et al., 2015; pp. 517, 518, 521).Even though this case is government specific, the researchers’ findings could likely occur in a business-industrial corporation as well. Their study of change emphasizes the importance of commitment, a sense offairness regarding communication, and the critical role of leadership, especially transformational leadership (seeChapter 14). I suspect that organizational size played a significant part in this change effort reported by Shinand her colleagues. In a manner of speaking, as a leader, one can get her or his “arms around” the complexityof this organization. We are not dealing with the Department of Defense. This point may argue that forchange to be successful in huge bureaucracies, it is better to work with comparatively independent subunitsrather than attempt to change the entire organization.Case 3. The last chapter of this fifth edition of the text (Chapter 17), in the section on selection of potentialleaders, outlines an informal study conducted at NASA. The study was based on data collected from amultirater feedback and work unit climate process that was part of a management and leadership developmentprogram. This final case on government organizations briefly describes change at NASA. This descriptionprovides the broader context for the study reported in Chapter 17.This NASA case is an obvious example of evolutionary, not revolutionary change, but change nevertheless.For a report of part of that long-term change effort, see the article by Burke, Richley, and DeAngelis (1985).About a decade prior to the publication of this article, one of the coauthors, Lou DeAngelis, who wasresponsible for training and development at NASA, contacted me about working with him. The work to bedone was a long-term change effort beginning at the individual level, the target being managers andadministrators. DeAngelis had been authorized to build a management development program and a center,the point being that having some of the top scientists and engineers in the world on the NASA payroll didnot guarantee good management. DeAngelis and I planned and gradually implemented two significantinitiatives: designing the original program and finding an appropriate location for the management educationcenter. The place was Wallops Island, Virginia, which NASA had “inherited” from the U.S. Navy. It was aNavy installation during World War II. It was tough going for DeAngelis and me at the outset. Fightingmosquitos large enough to drain most of the blood from one’s body, we pressed onward and survived. Wearranged for a complete rehabilitation of the dilapidated base, with good food and comfortable sleepingquarters at the top of the list. Our conference rooms were constructed with the latest audio-visual equipment.Some 40 years later, the center is still operational.The programs we designed were based on two objectives: (1) to bring to the educational process the latestthinking and evidence from organizational psychology and (2) to establish a process of developing one’s self-awareness. Thus, individual feedback was fundamental. We also worked with NASA centers (Burke et al.,1985) and eventually conducted organizational surveys for NASA as a whole and for the centers.This effort on the part of DeAngelis, me, and many others was a long-term effort, which continues, and it isunusual for a government agency to make such a commitment. It was a gradual process, to be sure, but I am316
convinced that culture change did indeed occur. Executives and managers saw the value of feedback, at theindividual level with multirater feedback and at the organizational level with survey feedback. And we tried toremain as evidence-based as possible with all our exercises and presentations.Even with all this effort over time, NASA did not improve to a state of perfection. It may have been that theChallenger accident had more of an impact on changing NASA’s culture than anything we did. I would like tobelieve, however, that the work we did might have helped NASA executives cope more effectively with thattragedy and others that followed.317
Summary and Some ConclusionsBecause organization change and development practices in the early days of the field (1950–1960s) in theUnited States and United Kingdom were conducted predominantly in business-industrial organizations, theapplicability of that earlier work may have established a strong precedence for how change efforts should bedone. That precedence could be described as following the overall sequence of Lewin’s unfreeze, change, andrefreeze, in general, and more particularly conducting attempts to support (a) more open communicationregardless of level, (b) more employee involvement in the decision-making process, that is, including them inthe decisions that directly affect their work, (c) increased teamwork, and (d) initiatives that provide vision andclear direction for the future.Yet when considering the change cases reported in this chapter, all of them, whether in health care orgovernment, quite appropriately used the thinking and practice of organization change and development fromthe past and from business-industrial organizations. So it would appear that the process of effective change thatwe have known and practiced for many years is applicable beyond business-industrial organizations. Possiblemodifications of this conclusion should be considered, depending on how loosely coupled the organization weare attempting to change—see Chapter 12—not necessarily whether the organization is in health care orgovernment. The conclusion I am presenting, therefore, is that the process of change (i.e., how we bring aboutthe change) should remain the same, but the what will differ. And that what concerns power and control.Besides conducting surveys, resolving conflict between groups and functions, team building, and so forth, ouroverriding goal in health care is likely to be focusing on the conflict between professional loyalty andallegiance to the organization’s administrative requirements and helping those directly involved, doctors andnurses, deal with that conflict. In government the conflict we as change consultants need to help with is long-term versus short-term goals.But what if our organization of interest is the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)? It is both a healthcare and government organization. The VA is attempting a massive change due to incredible need. It has beena broken system for quite some time, and changing it for the better will take quite some time. The VA is (a)huge, with more than 300,000 employees nationwide (e.g., it’s the largest employer and trainer of clinical andcounseling psychologists); (b) complex, providing most of the wide range of health care for U.S. veterans; and(c) bureaucratic, with layers upon layers of administration. The VA may be the most difficult organization onthe planet to change.11. In 2014 Congress passed the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act. A part of this legislationrequired that a study be conducted to assess the current capabilities, problems, and issues of the VA. Theprime contractor conducting this study from mid-2014 through September 2015 was the Mitre Corporation.Because the study needed to be done comprehensively yet quickly, Mitre subcontracted with McKinsey, GrantThornton, and the RAND Corporation to provide assistance and expertise. Mitre also established a “blue-ribbon panel” of independent experts to provide overall evaluation of the study. I was a member of that panel,and my information came from that oversight activity.318
Change for the VA, which continues to the present, has been considered from practically every possibleperspective and potential—carve it into more manageable units, make it a private corporation, decentralize thestructure, establish a more limited mission and give veterans more choice from the private sector regardingtheir health needs, and so on. In any case, and finally regarding change, it may be best to concentrate a changeeffort at this stage on one critical component of the VA instead of the entire system, such as the clinics (notthe hospitals for now) that provide outpatient care. And not so incidentally, it may be that the head of the VAneeds to be a physician, not a military general or admiral and not a former business executive. Respect fromfollowers for their leader is no doubt linked to expertise in both health care and government. Whom followersgive power to is of utmost importance. Appropriately, then, we now move to the next chapter, on leadership.319
Fourteen Transformational LeadershipA psychologist friend and colleague, Dale Lake, years ago learned to fly an airplane, now a primary hobby forhim. Flying in the copilot seat with him over and seemingly through the Colorado mountains was a thrill Iwill never forget. He told me at the time that a primary reason he loved to fly was the precision required andthe joy of accurately navigating a chosen destination. He elaborated by saying that for him, flying served as anantidote to the lack of precision in psychology. The antidote for me is boating. Charting a course in the Gulfof Mexico, cruising through the water, and then seeing on the horizon a buoy or lighthouse at the place andtime it was supposed to appear is highly satisfying and indeed fun. In planning the trip, one must take intoaccount environmental factors such as tide changes, strength of the current, wind and other weather-relatedelements (such as the potential for fog), as well as internal factors, such as engines (I prefer motors, not sails)and instruments (radar, radio, etc.). Are they in good working order?Although not as precise, using an organizational model in the manner described in Chapter 10 is not unlikecharting the course and reading the navigational signs. The organizational model serves as a navigational chartthat helps us account for environmental factors both external and internal to the organization. And if we have(1) measures over time, which are automatically provided in boating and flying and in the organization are amatter of comparing the Time 1 and Time 2 measures, as in the Dime case in Chapter 5, and (2) multipletime measures, being even better, then we can determine whether we are on course and, if needed, which isusually the case, take corrective steps.But who is the “royal we” in the previous statement? Staying with the comparison for one more moment, the“we” is the pilot or the captain. Without this person at the controls or at the helm, the destination will neverbe reached. Without leadership, planned organization change will never be realized. The leadership box in theBurke–Litwin model is therefore critical. It is the leader who articulates and brings together the externalenvironment with the organizational mission, strategy, and culture and then provides a vision for the future:the destination, the change goal(s).The purpose of this chapter, then, is to define what leadership is, especially executive leadership, and explorethe role of the organization change leader.First, let us return to a phrase stated previously: Without leadership, planned organization change will neverbe realized. This is a strong declaration. I am not the only one to make such a statement. For example, one ofthe concluding remarks that Kotter and Heskett (1992) made as a result of their extensive study oforganization change with many corporations, particularly with respect to culture change, was “The single mostvisible factor that distinguishes major cultural changes that succeed from those that fail is competentleadership” (p. 84).The question that is implied here is this one: Does leadership really matter? Evidence will be provided beyondthe Kotter and Heskett (1992) declaration. Next, we will address a definition with an attempt to clarify thenature and characteristics of leadership. And in the next chapter, we will discuss the role of the change leader320
in the context of phases of planned organization change. Thus, this chapter is about the what of leadership,especially transformational, and the following chapter is about the how, leading a change effort.321
Does Leadership Matter?Before moving too far along on the assumption that leaders do indeed make a difference, perhaps we shouldpause for a moment and examine the assertion. There is, after all, a school of thought that embraces theargument that leadership is exaggerated and that leaders are not exactly influencing organizationalperformance. An organizational theorist who takes a sociological perspective would claim that the success ofan organization depends largely on external factors—economic conditions, historical forces, technologicalchanges, and so forth—that are beyond the control of an organization’s CEO. Salancik and Pfeffer (1977), forexample, have argued that organizational leaders do not affect organizational performance in any appreciableway. Others argue, as Zaccaro (2001) has noted, “that organizational performance is strictly a function ofenvironmental characteristics and contingencies” (p. 5); for example, see Aldrich (1979), Bourgeois (1985),Lawrence and Lorsch (1967), and Romanelli and Tushman (1986). Others in this camp have argued thatprecedence plays a large role, and so do organizational culture and previous organizational decisions andactivities (Miles & Snow, 1978; Starbuck, 1983).These arguments questioning the influence of leaders are heavily dependent on definitions, the measurementsand methods used, and the kinds of statistical analyses employed. In other words, some of their conclusionscan be questioned on the basis of their methods. To be fair, however, leaders do not account for all or evenmost of the variance in explaining organizational performance.But leaders do make a difference, especially in terms of organization change. Anecdotal evidence and commonsense need to be considered. As Hogan, Curphy, and Hogan (1994) have pointed out in their answer to thisquestion: “The fact that Lincoln’s army was inert until Ulysses S. Grant assumed command and that somecoaches [e.g., Phil Jackson in basketball and Bill Parcells in football] can move from team to teamtransforming losers into winners is, for most people, evidence that leadership matters” (p. 494). Hogan and hiscolleagues also offer interesting reflections on the damaging side of leadership; that is, leaders can have aharmful effect, for example, Hitler and Stalin. And Hogan et al. also cite evidence from the consumer side—amanager’s direct reports or a leader’s followers—that leaders make a difference. For further support of theproposition that leaders make a difference, see the work of Bass (1990); Hughes, Ginnett, and Curphy (1993);and Yukl (1998). Furthermore, as Hogan et al. (1994) noted,conversely, reactions to inept leadership include turnover, insubordination, industrial sabotage, andmalingering. R. Hogan, Raskin, and Fazzini (1990) noted that organizational climate studies fromthe mid-1950s to the present routinely show that 60% to 75% of the employees in any organization—no matter when or where the survey was completed and no matter what occupational group wasinvolved—report that the worst or most stressful aspect of their job is their immediate supervisor.Good leaders may put pressure on their people, but abusive and incompetent management createbillions of dollars of lost productivity each year. (p. 494)For more on leaders’ negative influence, see Dixon’s (1976) book on military incompetence and, more322
recently, Hornstein’s (1996) book on “brutal bosses.”In addition to the report of Hogan et al. (1994), Zaccaro (2001) has cited convincing evidence that leaders domatter. For example, a study by Weiner and Mahoney (1981), which covered 193 companies across 19 years,showed that leadership accounted for about 44% of the variance in profits and 47% in stock price. Additionalevidence can be found in studies by Barrick, Day, Lord, and Alexander (1991), who show that high-performing executives when compared with average performers accounted for an additional $25 million invalue to their organizations, and Hambrick (1989) and Hitt and Tyler (1991), who have argued thatexecutives do indeed influence organizational strategy. Also, Joyce, Nohria, and Roberson (2003) providedevidence showing that CEOs account for about 14% of the variance in the financial performance of theirorganizations. We can conclude with reasonable confidence now that leaders of organizations can and domake a difference.What has not been as clear from the literature is the impact of leadership on organization change. There arenumerous cases that anecdotally support the argument that leadership matters in times of change; see, forexample, Burke and Trahant (2000). But there has been little evidence that scientifically demonstrates theleader’s impact. It seems reasonable to assume, nevertheless, that because there is mounting evidence thatleaders affect organizational performance in general, surely they have an impact on organization change inparticular. We will proceed in this chapter, in any case, with the assumption that leaders have a significantinfluence on organization change and in the following chapter describe how this influence can occur.323
On Defining LeadershipDefining and attempting to clarify leadership is a lot like trying to define and describe love. First, we know itwhen we see it and feel it, but finding accurately descriptive words for what we see and feel is not easy.Second, there may be as many and as diverse definitions for leadership as there are for love. Rost (1991), in hisbook on leadership, devotes two chapters—a total of 58 pages—just to definitions. And finally, definitionsand descriptions depend on who you are talking with and what your respective experiences have been. All ofus have experienced leadership, good and bad, starting with parents, and most of us have experienced someform of love, also beginning with parents. These experiences and forms, after all, differ.These caveats aside, some initial clarification is warranted, starting with the concepts of power and leadership.Power is the capacity to influence others; leadership is the exercise of that capacity. In social psychology, adefinition of the exercise of power is when Person A is able to get Person B to do something that B might nototherwise have done. Leadership can be defined accordingly, that is, the act of making something happen thatwould not otherwise occur. The operative phrase here is “making something happen.” This chapter isdedicated to that definition.Before tackling the “making something happen,” however, we need some further clarification.324
Toward Further Definition325
The Leader–Manager DistinctionFirst, leadership is not the same as authority and is different from management. With respect to the latter,Zaleznik (1977) was one of the first to specify differences between leaders and managers. Leaders, forexample, are more personal about organizational goals; that is, they see no distinction between one’s own goalsand the organization’s, whereas managers are more impersonal about goals. With respect to relations withothers, especially followers, leaders relate more intuitively than managers do, whereas managers relate moreaccording to role, as Zaleznik sees it. He specified other differences as well (see Table 14.1).One year later, James McGregor Burns (1978) introduced the concepts of transformational and transactionalleadership, defined in Chapter 10. Using different terms, his distinctions between these two forms ofleadership were nevertheless very similar to Zaleznik’s (1977); that is, Zaleznik’s leader was much like atransformational leader for Burns, and Zaleznik’s manager was quite similar to Burns’s transactional leader.See Table 14.2 for a summary of the differences that Burns has delineated.326
Having read at the time the article by Zaleznik and the book by Burns, I was captured by their contributionsand later wrote about these ideas in an attempt to understand the notion of empowerment more thoroughly(Burke, 1986). Around that time I also made a presentation on leadership in Tokyo to an audience of about100 managers from Japanese firms. All the audience knew in advance was my topic. They had not readZaleznik’s article or Burns’s book. (I verified this later.) I was curious. So I began my session with the request327
that they in small groups discuss the question of whether there were differences between a leader and amanager. If they saw no difference, I asked them to give their reasons, and if they believed there weredifferences, I asked them to state them using adjectives or language that would express their beliefs andperspectives. After about 40 minutes, the walls were covered with their responses—all in Japanese—written oneasel-pad paper. I asked my interpreter to translate the responses verbatim from Japanese to English. Table14.3 is a sample of their responses.It should be obvious when looking at Table 14.3 that the Japanese way of thinking about the leader–managerdifferences is very similar to that of Zaleznik and Burns. Two other brief examples should clarify that this wayof thinking travels across cultures.I conducted the same exercise some years later for a smaller group of high-level government executives fromChina; see Table 14.4. A close look should indicate that these 15 executives see the leader as a bit more top-down and in charge than do the Japanese or Zaleznik and Burns, but the nature of the distinctions is againvery similar.And finally, let’s consider the perspective of the British. In 1994, I conducted the same exercise with 10executives from the BBC. Their comparisons are shown in Table 14.5. Displaying perhaps a bit of British328
culture with their terms, for example, leader as romantic and manager as prosaic, their distinctions are againclose to the perspectives of others from the United States and Asia.These comparisons from my group exercises with the audiences I was addressing are anecdotal and not exactlyscientific. The similarities I found are fascinating nevertheless.329
In the mid-1990s, Bass (1997) conducted a more scientific and rigorous study of these distinctions on all butone continent. In Bass’s language, “there is universality in the transactional-transformational paradigm” (p.130). His evidence comes not only from a variety of cultures but from a variety of organizations in business,military, government, education, and the independent sector. Today, then, these distinctions are more or lesstaken for granted; see, for example, Kotter (1990).330
Authority and LeadershipAuthority concerns the “right to”: the right to make decisions that are binding on others, to use and distributeresources, and to perform certain functions (e.g., hire and fire). Obholzer (1994) differentiates three sources ofauthority—from above, from below, and from within. Authority from above is derived from a particular rolein a social system, for example, within an organizational hierarchy in which the “right to” is authorityaccording to the position that one holds. Authority from below, whether formal or informal, is given(authorized) by subordinates (followers) or colleagues; one’s authority is either sanctioned or withheld frombelow. Authority from within derives from one’s individual capacity to assume his or her own authority(formal, informal, or personal) from his or her personality (e.g., charismatic qualities, personal history).Leadership is more associated with authority from below and from within and less with authority from above.Leadership has more to do with the person and less to do with role and position. Leadership is aboutinfluence, not command and control. First, to be successfully influential requires personal skills such as activelistening, persuasion, empathy, and awareness of how one as a leader is affecting others and in turn how one isbeing personally affected by others.Second, leadership requires followership. A person may think that he or she is a leader, but if there is no oneto lead, it does not matter what the person’s self-concept may be: Without a follower, a person is not a leader.Thus, leadership is about influence, but that influence is a reciprocal process. Leadership occurs when apotential follower exists and wants direction.Third, as noted previously and in Chapter 10, Burns’s (1978) two categories of leaders, transformational andtransactional, also correspond to the two categories of organization change, discontinuous and continuous,respectively. Transformational leadership is therefore more likely to be required for discontinuous change, andtransactional for continuous change.331
Transformational Leadership According to BassBass (1998) has developed a measure of these two leadership categories, the Multifactor LeadershipQuestionnaire (MLQ). From research with this instrument, several components of transformationalleadership have emerged:Charismatic leadership (or idealized influence)They are role models, admired, respected, and trusted.Followers identify with and want to emulate them.As leaders, they are willing to take risks and are consistent.As leaders, they have high standards of ethical and moral conduct.Inspirational motivationThe leader provides meaning and challenge.A team spirit is cultivated.The leader communicates clear expectations that followers want to meet.There is a strong commitment to goals.Intellectual stimulationThe leader urges followers to be innovative and creative, to question assumptions, to reframe problems,and to approach old situations in new ways.When followers make mistakes, the leader does not criticize them in public.Individual considerationThe leader pays close attention to followers’ needs for achievement.The leader often serves as a mentor and coach.Individual differences are recognized by the leader.The leader practices MBWA (“management by walking around”).The leader follows up with tasks and responsibilities that have been assigned and delegated withoutfollowers feeling as if they are being monitored.Bass (1998) points out that charismatic and inspirational motivation usually form a combined single factorthat he labels charismatic-inspirational leadership.The point is that a significant part of transformational leadership in Bass’s MLQ involves charisma. AlthoughBass (1998) does not equate transformational leadership with charisma, one gets the impression, nevertheless,that the two go together more often than not. Moreover, Bass and his colleagues summarize considerableresearch evidence that transformational as compared with transactional is a superior form of leadership(Avolio, 1999; Bass, 1998). Bass and his colleagues would probably agree that one can be a successful332
transformational leader without being charismatic (although they might also argue that such a leader is rare).In any case, Colin Marshall was such a person, that is, a highly successful change agent as CEO of BritishAirways (BA), yet not charismatic, at least not in the classical sense. Marshall led a transformation of BAfrom a command-and-control, bureaucratic, insular culture to one that became market-oriented, customer-focused, and more nimble than bureaucratic in its day-to-day operations; see Chapter 5 in this volume,Chapter 6 in Burke and Trahant (2000), and Goodstein and Burke (1991) for more on the BA story.An opposite example to Marshall, one that fits more with Bass’s contention regarding transformational leadersand charisma, is Roger Goldman, who led a significant organization change at NatWest Bancorp from 1991to 1996; see Chapter 12 in Burke and Trahant (2000). Goldman led much of the change by the sheer force ofhis personality. For example, he maintained a special phone line direct to his office (the phone was bright redand labeled “Call Roger”) that any employee could use to ask him personally any questions he or she desired.In other words, Goldman answered the phone himself.Goldman, then, is an interesting contrast to Marshall, yet what the two had in common as they led theirrespective change efforts was persistence. They stayed the course, kept people focused on the mission andstrategy, dealt directly with resistances, and bounced back when mistakes were made. The point is thatcharismatic leadership, though potentially helpful, is not required for successful organization change. What isrequired includes qualities such as persistence, as already noted, having a clear vision about the desired futurestate, and self-awareness, also noted previously. We will focus more on the kind of leader behavior andqualities that are needed for successful organization change in Chapter 15.With respect to the transactional leadership components, Bass (1998) has three:1. Contingent reward—in other words, pay for performance2. Management by exception3. Monitoring of deviances from the standard, mistakes, and errorsBass (1998) considers the last component of transactional leadership less effective than contingent reward.Transactional leadership is not the same as laissez-faire management, an avoidance or absence of leadershipthat represents “nontransaction”:Necessary decisions are often not made.Actions are typically delayed.Authority remains unused.Bass (1998) provides evidence that transformational is superior to transactional leadership. Considering howhe defines and measures transactional leadership, one can see why. In the earlier thinking and writing, neitherZaleznik (1977) nor Burns (1978) painted the manager/transactional side of leadership as negatively as Bassdoes. Considering the original distinctions, there is a time and place for both leadership and management.Leadership more often concerns change, which is what the term transformational means, and management isconcerned more with solving problems, maintaining efficient and effective operations, and simply keeping the333
organization running. An organization can survive for some period of time (not long, however) withoutleadership but can hardly survive at all without management.334
Characteristics of Executive LeadershipFinally, our concern in this chapter is with executive leadership, the senior people at the top of the pyramid orat the nexus of a network in organizations. We are less concerned with leadership in the middle or at the first-line supervisory level—not that leadership is unimportant at these lower levels. In fact, as organization changeprogresses, these middle and lower levels become even more critical to the success of the overall effort. But forpurposes of this chapter, our concentration is more at the top of the organizational hierarchy because theseexecutive-level individuals in the early phases of organization change are essential to the effort’s ultimatesuccess.With his rather comprehensive book, Zaccaro (2001) has provided a useful compendium of executiveleadership. At the outset, he appropriately points out that, broadly speaking, an executive has two primaryresponsibilities or functions:1. Boundary management—monitoring the organization’s external environment, making choices aboutwhat to pay most attention to, analyzing the amorphous and complex information to make as muchsense out of it as possible, and communicating this analysis to organizational members, particularlythose in management roles2. Organization-wide coordination—making certain that units within the organization communicate withone another, determining what decisions need to be made and who should make them, and monitoringoverall performanceThe first function is largely external and the second internal.Zaccaro (2001) then provides a thorough review of the literature and identifies four primary conceptualperspectives on executive leadership.335
Conceptual ComplexityThe conceptual complexity theory of leadership is based on the premise that organizations operate withinhighly complex environments and will do so even more in the future:[This] complexity results in the stratification of organizations, wherein higher levels of leadershipare characterized by greater information-processing demands and by the need to solve more ill-defined, novel, and complex organizational problems. To thrive, executive leaders require significantconceptual capacities that allow them to make sense of and navigate successfully within suchcomplex environments. (Zaccaro, 2001, p. 17)A prominent example of this perspective is the work of Elliott Jaques (1978, 1986) and his colleagues; see, forexample, Jacobs and Jaques (1987) and Jaques and Clement (1991) in their work on what is referred to asstratified system theory (SST). Interesting and useful components of SST are (1) an emphasis on theexecutives or “causal map” as the rationale for collective action, that is, making sense of the complexities in theexternal environment and explaining how to respond for the good of the organization; (2) stratification of theorganization according to hierarchical levels (and seven “layers” should be the maximum, regardless oforganizational size); (3) SST’s strong alignment with open-system theory; and (4) the requisite leadercharacteristics.With respect to the fourth component, Jaques (1986) specified three primary leader characteristics—technical,interpersonal, and conceptual. At the lower ranks of management, the technical and interpersonal are mostimportant, but the higher one goes in the hierarchy, the more conceptual qualities become important to one’ssuccess, with the technical characteristic gradually becoming less important. Although the nature of what aleader-manager deals with day to day and the interpersonal characteristics may differ somewhat as a functionof level in the hierarchy, the need for this leader characteristic remains critical regardless of level.This brief digression into Jaques’s and his colleagues’ contributions was only to provide an illustration of amodel of conceptual complexity, not to explore their contributions comprehensively. Other examples oftheories and models of conceptual complexity include Mumford, Zaccaro, Harding, Fleishman, and Reiter-Palmon (1993) and Streufert and Swezey (1986).336
Behavioral ComplexityThe behavioral complexity theory of leadership focuses on the multiple roles the leader plays and the multipleconstituencies to be served. With these many and diverse demands, the leader must be capable of behaving ina variety of ways in a variety of situations. Moreover, the leader, at times, must be capable of balancingcompeting demands, such as mentoring and developing subordinates, yet at the same time having to deliverdifficult feedback on, say, poor performance.It should be noted that behavioral complexity theory is not independent of conceptual complexity. Boththeories involve the leader’s ability to deal with all kinds of complexities. And both theories involveintelligence, just different forms. Conceptual complexity is more about analytical and thinking skills, andbehavioral complexity is more about what we refer to these days as emotional intelligence; see, for example,Goleman (1995). Another way of differentiating the two theories is that conceptual complexity is more aboutformulating plans for action, and behavioral complexity is more about implementation of plans, the actionitself. Examples of behavioral complexity theory include Mintzberg’s (1973) categories of managerial roles,Quinn’s (1988) competing values framework, and Tsui’s (1984) multiple constituency model.337
Strategic Decision MakingThe strategic decision-making theory of leadership stresses the importance of congruence between theorganization and its environment; thus, the primary tasks of senior leaders in the organization are to monitorthe environment, analyze potential problems, seek opportunities, form policies and strategies, and implementand then evaluate these policies and strategies. This theory of executive leadership is also about promotingstability and certainty in the short run and flexibility and adaptation in the long run. With respect to leaderqualities, emphasis is given to cognitive abilities, functional expertise, and motives, such as need forachievement and self-efficacy, risk-taking, and locus of control. Finally, models of strategic decision makingare largely about how leaders make the strategic decisions. Examples of this perspective include the work ofBourgeois (1985), Lawrence and Lorsch (1967), Thompson (1967), and Wortman (1982).338
Visionary and InspirationalThe visionary and inspirational theory of leadership emphasizes charismatic, transformational, and visionaryqualities. The primary role of the leader is to develop a vision that will focus and motivate collective action byfollowers in the organization. Important leader qualities include cognitive abilities, self-confidence, risktaking, and emotional intelligence. Examples of this perspective include Bass (1998), Bennis and Nanus(1985), Burns (1978), Conger (1989), House (1977), and Sashkin (1988).339
SummaryAs Zaccaro (2001) pointed out, even though there are different emphases, these perspectives on executiveleadership overlap in that all emphasize the importance of long-term goals, organizational directions, andboundary management. With respect to our purpose in this chapter, it is important to understand that,although the language of the Burke–Litwin model might lead us to believe that executive leadership is thesame as the transformational and visionary perspective, there is more to it than that. As we proceed, let us bearin mind that the senior leader’s roles and qualities in leading change are complex and demanding. All four ofthese executive leadership perspectives are relevant.To illustrate this point, at least in part, we will now consider the work of Howard Gardner and others as a wayof combining some of the theories from Zaccaro, primarily conceptual complexity and visionary-inspirational.An additional objective of this final section in the chapter is to highlight the importance of the executiveleader’s need to provide vision and direction for the organization and to achieve this need with inspiration andcontagion.340
Howard Gardner’s Leading MindsA cognitive psychologist, Gardner (1995) has studied successful leaders, 11 rather intensively, to understandtheir thinking abilities and patterns—the generation of ideas, thoughts, images, or mental representations andhow they are stored, accessed, combined, remembered, and rearranged. Gardner also wanted to know howsuch leaders transmit their ideas. His 11 illuminaries included Eleanor Roosevelt, Martin Luther King Jr.,George C. Marshall, Margaret Thatcher, Mahatma Gandhi, and Alfred P. Sloan. Some commonalitiesamong these leaders, according to Gardner, are that they were leaders by choice—not imposed on followers—and they were motivated more by a desire to effect change than simply by a lust for more power.One of Zaleznik’s (1977) leader dimensions or characteristics was empathy. At the same time, he stated that aleader was more of a loner than a manager. How can a leader be a loner and empathetic simultaneously?Gardner (1995) sheds some light on this question. From his perspective, successful leaders empathizecollectively. They seem to sense and deliver what followers already desire. They provide what Gardner calls“mental structures” that activate followers’ desires. These mental structures are ideas about identity, who weare as an organization—what we believe, what we want, and how we prefer to be seen by the outside world.Gardner goes on to state that the successful leader conveys these mental structures in the form of a story. Theleader tells a story about who we are, our aspirations, and the direction we need to take for the future.Leaders, according to Gardner (1995), can be differentiated by these types of stories:Ordinary—the leader relates a traditional story. In a corporation, the CEO’s story might focus onwinning, beating the competition with better quality and customer service, being excellent, being thebest at what we do, treating our employees with care and respect, and providing for our stockholderssuperior returns on their investments. A similar type of story could also be told by the head of agovernment agency, a health care institution, or a nonprofit organization. The story comes as nosurprise. Followers expect words such as winning, improvement, respect, and the rest. This kind of story istherefore common, ordinary.Innovative—the leader surfaces a latent story. The leader has a sense of what followers need and want;these desires are simply not in their conscious awareness. The story is about beliefs and values peoplehold but do not necessarily discuss. They are implicit and tacit. Gardner’s (1995) examples of this typeof story are Ronald Reagan when he was president of the United States and Margaret Thatcher whenshe was prime minister of the United Kingdom. They both, Gardner has argued, tapped into latentbeliefs and desires of their respective constituents, beliefs and values that support a free-market system,oppose socialism and prefer capitalism, and provide people with a feeling of freedom and choice. In thecorporate world, innovative leadership might surface a strong desire on the part of employees to be morecollaborative as opposed to competing with others in the organization, to be more involved and engagedin the business, or to be participants in changing the organization.Visionary—the leader creates an entirely new story. Gardner’s (1995) examples of this story includeMahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., who established social movements and eventually socialsystems that previously did not exist. In the corporate world, this type of story is most associated with341
creative entrepreneurialism, for example, Steve Jobs at Apple, Bill Gates and Microsoft, and Fred Smithat FedEx.For Gardner (1995), then, the story is central. Successful leaders have a story that works for them. It isdynamic, not just a headline or a sound bite; in other words, the story constitutes a journey that leaders andfollowers take together. The story concerns issues of identity, who we are and what we believe, and must fit ata particular historical moment. With respect to this last point, two illustrative examples come to mind:Churchill was not reelected as prime minister after World War II, and Jack Welch would not have beenselected to succeed Reginald Jones at General Electric if Jones and other board members had believed that thecompany at that time needed stability and should proceed as before.Beyond Gardner, there is at least one other source on the importance of storytelling that warrants ourattention. Remember that what I am attempting to do here is (1) concentrate on executive leadership and (2)combine two categories or models/theories of executive leadership, namely, conceptual complexity andvisionary-inspirational. My objective, then, is to provide ways of enacting these very important dimensions ofleadership, particularly at the outset of organization change.342
McKee—a Master StorytellerRobert McKee is a noted screenwriter and screenwriting coach. He was interviewed by editors of the HarvardBusiness Review on the importance of storytelling and persuasion (McKee, 2003). Although McKee does notrefer to Gardner’s work, he would no doubt suggest that the ordinary story Gardner describes is indeedordinary. McKee’s point would be that there are two problems with this form of rhetoric. First, organizationmembers have their own set of statistics, authorities, and experiences (what to do to win against competitors)and are arguing in their heads with the leader’s attempts to persuade. This kind of reaction is especiallyrelevant to a company’s sales force. Second, if the executive does succeed in persuading organizationalmembers to his or her point of view, the commitment will only be intellectual. McKee states that people arenot inspired to do something differently by reason alone. Emotion must be engaged, and the best way to do sois with a compelling story. What does McKee consider to be a story?McKee (2003) states at the outset that “a story expresses how and why life changes” (p. 52). A story beginswith life being in balance, things being good, and daily activities occurring more or less according to the wayour people of interest want them to occur. But then something happens. There is an event. McKee calls it an“inciting event,” an event that throws life out of balance—a key executive dies, a competitor comes up with anew unanticipated product that is clearly a winner, or a major customer threatens to buy from someone else.The leader then discovers a story by asking four primary questions:1. What must be done to restore balance?2. What is keeping us from doing this?3. How should we act to achieve this desire for restored and renewed balance?4. Do I as the leader and storyteller believe this? Is it truthful? Is it believable and not just hype? Can Icome across with integrity?So what makes a good story? It begins with a desire, an aspiration, and then the story continues with adescription of the forces, the barriers that could prevent achieving the desire. In McKee’s (2003) words,“Stories are how we remember; we tend to forget lists and bullet points” (p. 52). The story is about thestruggle between expectation and reality. McKee provides a hypothetical example of a CEO of apharmaceutical company who wants his researchers to discover a chemical compound that could prevent heartattacks. He suggests that the CEO personalize his story somehow. Perhaps his father died prematurely of aheart attack. So nature itself is a force against the CEO’s aspiration. He therefore wants a new drug that willbe preventive. A second force to contend with is the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Soexperimentation and clinical trials must be conducted to get a patent for the new drug. A central piece of theCEO’s story, then, is how many lives potentially could be saved with this new drug. But capital is needed forthe research, for the long road to patenting the drug, and for bringing it to market. The story ends with theCEO stating in emotional terms that millions of lives each year could be saved. McKee then states thatbankers and investors will “just throw money at him [the CEO]” (p. 53). The point that McKee makes is thatan executive’s vision, direction, and inspiration is a story with passion and desire and not a list of tables andstatistics. It is a story with a protagonist, say, our CEO, and antagonists, in his example, the forces of nature,343
the FDA, and people who may be skeptical.Gardner (1995) emphasizes the importance and potential power of the leader’s story for purposes of simplyleading people and more specifically for creating the rationale and basis for change. McKee (2003) then helpsus learn how to do it—that is, the ingredients of what a real story is all about. Another article aboutstorytelling, also from the Harvard Business Review, that can be helpful to leaders is the one by Denning(2004).344
SummaryGardner (1995) concludes his analysis of 11 carefully selected and successful leaders with a list of what anexemplary leader looks like. His exemplary leaderis a skilled speaker;has a strong interest in and understands people;is energetic;shows early in life that he or she will accomplish something;is willing to confront individuals in authority;is concerned with moral issues;often is competitive;enjoys a position of control;establishes relationships in ever-widening circles;travels outside her or his homeland;has completed the necessary apprenticeships;is attuned to issues on people’s minds, particularly issues of identity;adjusts his or her story to accommodate changing circumstances while still adhering to basic principlesand remaining an individual of conviction;attaches herself or himself to an institution or organization—or creates one (e.g., Gandhi or King);seeks opportunities for reflection toreview, take stock,perceive the big picture,“unclutter” his or her mind,assess failures, resistances, opponents, and so on, and not be permanently set back,renew and return to the fray with energy and positive, revised plans and ideas; andis more optimistic than pessimistic.Many scholars and writers of popular books on leadership have their own lists of the successful leader’squalities. Some are grounded in research and theory; most are not. One might argue that Gardner’s (1995) listtakes some liberties, since it is based on just a few people, exemplary though they may be. After all, the listwas not equally applicable to all 11, with some being more or less exemplary on some of the list’scharacteristics than were the other 10. In any case, although small in number of cases, Gardner’s analysis ofthese 11 is grounded in theory from cognitive psychology and his conclusions have a ring of credibility.Let us now consider more recent work by Gardner. This later work, again grounded in cognitive psychology,serves as a segue to the next chapter on the how of leading, particularly leading organization change.Beyond the act of storytelling and more specific, how do change leaders persuade people to their point ofview, to see the need for and embrace change? How do they change people’s minds?345
Howard Gardner’s Changing MindsIn his book Changing Minds, Gardner (2004) identified seven factors or levers that provide (1) a way ofthinking about how one can lead change, and (2) useful action steps for helping persuade people to one’s pointof view. All seven factors begin with the letters R-E:1. Reason: Many organizational members can be reasoned with. The change leader can use a rationalapproach that involves logic, analogies, metaphors, and taxonomies. The change leader might also give alist of advantages and disadvantages for each proposal she or he makes. These rational approaches holdappeal for thinking, reflective people.2. Research: This lever for change complements the reason factor with the collection and presentation ofsupportive data. The research does not have to be formal and can involve, for example, the use of cases.The more scientifically oriented organizational members may be, however, the more the change leaderwill need to use data that were derived in a rigorous and persuasive manner. The arguments about“cultural lock-in” made by Foster and Kaplan (2001) (see Chapter 2 in this text for a summary)represent a powerful example of how this second factor of Gardner’s (2004) can be leveraged. Anotherexample of combining reason with research is the one at British Aerospace that described how the twotop executives made their case for organization change; see Chapter 15 in this text and the moreextensive coverage in Evans and Price (1999).3. Resonance: Does the argument for change feel right? Does it resonate with organizational members?Reason and research appeal to the cognitive, rational, thinking aspects of one’s mind, but what about theaffective component? Do the change leader’s proposals and arguments seem to fit the current situation,what is needed at this time, and convince organizational members that further persuasion and data areactually not necessary? As Gardner points out, it may be that resonance simply follows from the use ofreason and research; yet it is also possible that organizational members, at least some of them, arepersuaded mostly at an unconscious level. In fact, the reason and research factor, the fully rationalconsiderations, might conflict with what some organizational members believe and feel is moreimportant, like, for example, their respect for and the integrity of the change leader. Organizationalmembers may view the change leader as reliable, consistent, and honest. These qualities of the changeleader may be sufficient for changing minds and convincing people to go along with what is beingproposed. Hard data are simply not necessary. Of course, the leader’s story is the primary component ofthis lever.4. Re-descriptions: A change leader can often be more persuasive when relying on a number of differentforms of presenting one’s points and ensuring that these forms reinforce one another. A singular pointor argument can be made in a number of linguistic, numerical, and graphic ways—telling a story or two,making an argument supported by numerical trends, say, using simple percentages, and then showing afigure that is a bar or line graph that makes the same point. Engineers and scientists in particular lovethese latter two forms. They love a story, too, but a story for them may be interesting enough but justnot “data based.”5. Resources and rewards: This lever might be called enticement, but that term doesn’t begin with R-E.347
Changing organizational members’ minds is more likely to occur when the change leader is in a positionto provide resources that will facilitate the change being proposed—say, with an expanded budget,additional staff, or more space—and subsequently reward organizational members with, say, anadditional bonus when their behavior supports the change effort.6. Real-world events: Occasionally, events in the external environment—terrorist attacks, economicdepression, a hurricane, or more positively, a breakthrough in medical research or the creation of anentirely new technology, such as digitization—can change the minds of organizational members. Thesekinds of events can be so powerful that a change leader’s attempt to make a case for organization changeis not really required.7. Resistances: Gardner, after all, is realistic. He is well aware of the power of resistances. Changingorganizational members’ minds is most likely when the first six levers are mutually reinforcing and whenresistances are not very strong. But if the first six levers are inconsistent with one another and resistancesare strong, changing minds will be highly unlikely. As the reader knows, resistances are covered ratherextensively in Chapter 5 of this text.To illustrate the use of these levers for changing minds, Gardner (2004) describes the case of a successfulchange leader, James O. Freedman. In 1987 the trustees of Dartmouth College hired Freedman as president.Freedman came to Dartmouth from the University of Iowa, where he had served as president for 5 years. Thetrustees of Dartmouth wanted Freedman to turn the place around. Although an Ivy League member,Dartmouth was known as a party school; had dropped significantly in its scholarship; had a college studentpublication, the Dartmouth Review, that was heavily right-wing, which Freeman, a more liberal thinker,wanted to influence; and had alumni and students who worshiped football far more than academicachievement. These were some of the many problems Freedman faced.Gardner’s coverage of Freedman’s tenure as president is quite comprehensive. Suffice it to say that whileFreedman did not change the institution overnight, eventually he did. By a number of different performanceindices, Dartmouth changed—and for the better. For example, SAT scores for incoming students increased; alarger number of students received Rhodes, Marshall, and Truman scholarships and Fulbright fellowships;rankings in U.S. News & World Report climbed steadily upward over the years; and scholarly publication by thefaculty increased.The four factors that Gardner (2004) believed contributed the most to Freedman’s successes were these:Research—the way Freedman was able to learn from other successful examplesExemplars of change in many re-descriptions—presenting his message in many different ways andreaching a wide range of Dartmouth constituentsResources and rewards—initiating new practices to reinforce the achievement of higher standards and,when achieved, recognizing and rewarding peopleResistances—directly challenging Dartmouth constituents who took an anti-intellectual stanceAs a well-trained lawyer, Freedman also skillfully used the reason lever and apparently resonated with many,especially the faculty. But the four factors listed above, Gardner believed, were the ones that contributed most348
to Freedman’s success.Gardner (2004) also covers briefly two other leaders who illustrated poor use of the changing minds levers—John Chambers of the Cisco Corporation and Robert Shapiro, CEO of Monsanto. Chambers, Gardnercontended, did not pay sufficient attention to research about business cycles, and he underestimated theresistances he faced. Shapiro underestimated resistances as well, and he did not seem to resonate with thepowerful constituents of the company. These cases are documented in the popular business press.Now that we are in the process of trying to understand more thoroughly how to lead and bring aboutorganization change, let us pursue this deeper understanding by moving ahead to the next chapter.349
Fifteen Leading Organization ChangeAs noted and documented in the previous chapter, leadership matters. Evidence shows that leaders can hurtan organization badly or even destroy it completely. The Enron case is clearly a significant example. Evidencealso shows that leaders can measurably help their organizations and can add value. Examples of change leaderswho made positive differences for their organizations are described in this chapter. Also described and whatserves as the structure for the chapter is a simple phase model for planning and leading organization change.The purposes of this chapter, therefore, are to (1) provide a framework, a phase model, for planning andleading change; (2) describe actual case examples of organization change emphasizing the leader’s role; and (3)suggest with the model and case examples that large-scale transformations of organizations, although fraughtwith potential peril, can indeed be accomplished.350
Phases of Organization Change and the Leader’s RoleThe following descriptions of how to bring about organization change are derived from theoretical ideas andfrom experience in consulting with CEOs who were serving as change agents. What follows is written in aprescriptive fashion for the sake of clarity. Caveats are therefore not presented.An interesting paradox about organization change, as noted in Chapter 2, is that we plan as if the process islinear when, in reality, it is anything but linear. It is useful, nevertheless, to think about the planning processin terms of phases. After all, phases are not totally discrete; they overlap. But we must bear in mind that asplanned organization change is implemented, (1) more than one phase occurs at the same time (that is, theyare not temporally mutually exclusive) and (2) contingency plans need to be in place, because rarely doesanything turn out as planned. Unanticipated consequences occur. It’s not possible to think of everything!351
The Prelaunch Phase352
Leader Self-ExaminationLeadership is personal. The process concerns the use of self, how to be persuasive, how to deal with resistance,and how to be political, in the best sense of the phrase: how to embody the vision of where one wants theorganization to go. It is important, therefore, for the leader who is about to begin a significant change effort totake some time at the outset to reflect. This reflection can be considered in three categories: self-awareness,motives, and values.Self-Awareness. There is growing evidence that self-awareness is related to performance; that is, highperformers tend to have a greater overlap between how they see themselves and how others see them than domoderate and low performers (Atwater & Yammarino, 1992; Church, 1997). It behooves leaders who want tobring about a successful change effort to be as cognizant as possible of themselves in personal domains such asthe following:Tolerance for ambiguity: The courses that organization change will take are not exactly predictable;being able to live with this kind of ambiguity is important.Need for control: It is difficult to be a “control freak” and lead change effectively; organization change ismessy, sometimes chaotic, and seemingly out of control; thus, being clear about what one can controland needs to control and what one is not likely to be able to control is critical.Understanding how feelings affect behavior: What is one’s typical reaction when others disagree orchallenge or when others resist the change that the leader feels strongly about? Knowing oneself in theseways helps the leader manage himself or herself more effectively, especially in trying circumstances.Personal dispositions: Most people know whether their preference is extroversion or introversion, butwhat about other dimensions, such as need for closure and intuition compared with sensing? (These arecomponents of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator [MBTI] measure, based on Jung’s personality theory.)There is some evidence, for example, that intuition (trusting one’s hunches, future orientation, andconceptual tendency) is more related to leader behavior than is sensing (being fact-based, concrete, andpractical); see, for example, Van Eron and Burke (1992). When the MBTI was used with the top teamof a large global corporation a few years ago, 9 of the 11 scored intuitive, including the CEO. For a briefaccount of this team-building activity, see Burke and Noumair (2002).Decision making: It is highly valuable to understand the differences between times when one as a leaderneeds to take the reins and decide and times when one needs to loosen control and involve others as apart of self-knowledge.Additional examples could be catalogued here, but the point was to give a flavor of some of the moreimportant aspects of self-awareness for leadership purposes, not to provide an exhaustive list.Motives. Knowing one’s motives is of course a part of self-awareness, but for this section, the emphasis is onwhich motives are the more important ones for leading change.O’Toole (1999), one of our paramount thinkers and writers in the arena of organization change, makes the353
interesting point that ambition is the “only inherent character trait [that] is essential for effective leadership”(p. 1). This word, for some, maybe most people, conjures up negative feelings. An ambitious person, especiallyone with high ambition, is to be avoided. But O’Toole argued that a certain amount of ambition is good.O’Toole used the words “appropriately ambitious.” As he stated, “even the saintly Mohandas K. Gandhi hadambition” (p. 2). Gandhi admitted it himself. So let us agree with O’Toole that having the appropriateamount of ambition is not only a good quality but may also indeed be a necessary motive for effectiveorganization change leadership. Of course, the important issue here is, what is appropriate? O’Toole did notdefine appropriate, but he stated that the change leader needs to have a “healthy dissatisfaction with the statusquo” (p. 2) and then change it. He also points to the importance of having this ambition in the service of anorganization change goal. In a sense, then, he was agreeing with Zaleznik’s (1977) idea that a leader is onewho experiences no difference between personal goals and those of the organization.Using McClelland’s (1965, 1975) three major motives—need for achievement, power, and affiliation—asdiscussion points, we can probably agree, first, that having at least a moderate (if not high) need to achieve iscritical to success as a leader of change. Second, McClelland’s need-for-power concept is not unlike O’Toole’snotion of ambition. In this case, a certain amount of need for power would seem to be necessary for changeleadership. If one does not want to influence others, one is not likely to be very effective at it. The McClellandand Burnham (1976) study puts the need for power into context. Using subordinates’ ratings of theirorganization’s degree of clarity and amount of team spirit as indices of successful management, McClellandand Burnham found that if a manager was high in power motivation, low in need for affiliation, and high ininhibition (that is, the power need was socialized, mature, and not expressed for self-aggrandizement), theorganization’s degree of clarity was greater (subordinates knew the goals and what was expected of them) andthe team spirit was higher.There are good reasons for this. Managers who have a high need for affiliation usually want to be liked and tobe popular. As a result, their decision making tends to be impulsive, done to please someone at the momentrather than in rational support of the overall good of the organization. Managers with a high need for powerthat is personally oriented are not builders of the institution, according to McClelland and Burnham (1976).They tend to demand personal loyalty from their subordinates—loyalty to them as individuals rather than tothe organization. The institutional managers are the most successful because they encourage loyalty to theinstitution rather than to themselves. As a result, the successful manager creates a climate with clarity, teamspirit, and opportunities for accomplishment.The profile of the desirable institutional manager thus has three major elements: high need for power, lowneed for affiliation, and high inhibition. In addition, successful institutional managers like organizations andare oriented toward them. They typically join more organizations and feel greater responsibility for developingthem than others. They enjoy work, they like the discipline of work, and they have a preference for gettingthings done in an orderly fashion. They place the good of the organization above self-interest. They arejudicious; that is, they have a strong sense of fairness. They are generally more mature, less ego-centered, andless defensive. They are also more willing to seek advice from experts, and they have a longer and broadervision of the future.354
Finally, McClelland and Burnham (1976) pointed out that successful managers tend to have a style ofmanagement characterized by participative and coaching behavior; that is, they are concerned with the needsand development of their subordinates. In summary, according to McClelland and Burnham:The general conclusion of these studies is that the top manager of a company must possess a highneed for power, that is, a concern for influencing people. However, this need must be disciplinedand controlled so that it is directed toward the benefit of the institution as a whole and not towardthe manager’s personal aggrandizement. Moreover, the top manager’s need for power ought to begreater than his need for being liked by people. (p. 101)Finally, effective change leaders need to have an above-average level of energy and be capable of (1) workinglong hours when needed, (2) interacting with lots of people, and (3) energizing others. Of the thousands ofcitations in Stodgill’s (1974) and, later, Bass’s (1990) handbook on leadership, one of the few consistentfindings was that effective leaders are typically high-energy people.Values. As noted with the explanation of the Burke–Litwin model in Chapter 10, the alignment of individualneeds and values with the organization’s culture (norms and values) is likely to enhance motivation and in turnperformance. This alignment is all the more important for the CEO and other change leaders in theorganization. But what if we are attempting to change the culture? Then, it is a matter of modifying currentvalues or establishing an entirely new set of values. Establishing these values to undergird and providedirection for the change effort is the responsibility of the CEO–change leader. Not that the values need tocome directly from the CEO; the establishing process can involve many people. But in the end, the valuesmust be compatible with the CEO’s personal values, because he or she must embody them and live them dailyin the organization. In the Dime Bancorp case summarized in Chapter 11, it was a matter of establishing newvalues (drawn from the mission statement). An internal Dime task force did the work of drafting the newmission statement, but the CEO, Larry Toal, was highly involved. He attended many of the meetings and inthe end was committed to the mission statement, and because the new values were elicited from the missionstatement, Toal’s commitment to the values was easily achieved.In another merger, that of SmithKline Beecham, values were created to help establish the new culture, as withDime. In this case, the top team of the global company initiated the work of establishing the values. BobBauman, CEO of the newly merged company (SmithKline from the United States and Beecham from theUnited Kingdom) at the time, 1989, described in his own words the value-generation process:So the executive committee and I went away again, this time to define the values that would makeup that culture. Obviously, there were certain values that were critical to our company. Innovation,for example, was critical. We didn’t have much trouble getting people to agree on that. . . . Therewas no disagreement that customers were critical and that our customer base was changing. . . .HMOs were coming in, which brought up the question, “Who’s the buyer now, the HMO or thedoctor?” and “How do we bridge this gap?” So we knew we had to start thinking more about355
customers and had to do a better job—not just in providing good drugs but also in how we managedand serviced our customers.We extended our discussion of customers incidentally to include not just the outside world but alsoour own organization. Because we thought it important to say that everyone in the company has acustomer. I had a customer on the Board. I had customers in dealing with members of the executivecommittee. We agreed that people on the manufacturing line, in R&D—people everywhere insidethe company—had customers. . . . Another value we believed in was winning. We wanted to createa winning attitude inside the company, so we thought performance was important. And there wassome feeling in our early discussions that we weren’t driving as hard in the area of performance aswe needed to. . . . We agreed we wanted to be winners and perform better than our competitors. . . .Another value that was clearly agreed to but harder to articulate was people. We knew we had tohave the best people we could find and that they were key to our competitive advantage. So as partof articulating this value, we emphasized that people needed to contribute to the goals of theorganization; we wanted to give everyone a chance to influence and participate in how work wasdone and how it got measured. And we wanted people to feel ownership for continuously improvingthe ways they worked on the job.Finally we agreed to the value of integrity. It’s something we felt we possessed and that wasimportant to the nature of our industry. We felt five values was the right number. We believed thatif we got too many it would be very hard to drive them all through the organization. (Burke &Trahant, 2000, pp. 64–66)The Dime example was a bottom-up process of determining mission and values, whereas the SmithKlineBeecham case was more top-down. Both worked because each organization operationalized its set of values byputting them into behavioral language and then building a multirater feedback program so that all keymanagers received feedback on behaviors that reflected the values. For more detail on the SmithKlineBeecham example, see Bauman, Jackson, and Lawrence (1997); Burke (2000b); Burke and Jackson (1991);and Wendt (1993).356
The External EnvironmentAnother critical element of the prelaunch phase is for the CEO and other top leaders in the organization tomonitor and gather as much information about their organization’s external environment as possible. Thisincludes information such as changing customer needs, changing technology in one’s industry, changinggovernment regulations, what competitors are up to, and what is occurring in the general economy bothdomestically and worldwide. And according to strategy guru Michael Porter (1985), it also includesunderstanding the bargaining power of customers, suppliers, and unions, and threats of (1) new entrants intothe marketplace and (2) substitute products or services. The CEO and his or her team must then determinehow to respond to what the environment is telling them and how to establish a more effective alignment fortheir organization.This prelaunch activity conforms, of course, to (1) the reality that for their survival, organizations aredependent on their external environment and (2) the theoretical principles of open-system theory. Moreover,organization change occurs primarily as a reaction to some change in the environment. Rarely, if ever, doboard members, CEOs, and their executive colleagues sit around a boardroom table together and decide tochange the organization without regard to the organization’s position in or degree of alignment within itsexternal environment. Reading that environment accurately and reacting accordingly is indispensable.Several decades ago, in their classic paper on the causal texture of organizational environments, Emery andTrist (1965) discussed four kinds of environment for organizations:1. Placid, randomized2. Placid, clustered3. Disturbed, reactive4. Turbulent fieldsThey stated that the world seemed to be moving more toward the turbulent type. They were quite correct, ofcourse; today, most organizational environments are turbulent. Their point further stressed the importance ofreading the environment as accurately as possible so that timely and appropriate organizational responsescould be made to ensure survival.The CEO–change leader’s responsibility here is to prepare for organization change as thoroughly as possible,by taking the time and expending the effort to gather environmental information carefully and accurately andthen to analyze this information before jumping into the change process too quickly. Impulsive behavior bythe CEO at this stage of the change process is to be avoided, if not at all other stages as well.357
Establishing the Need for ChangeIf people in the organization see or feel no need for change, they are not likely to embrace the idea. CEOs andother senior executives are often in a better position to monitor the external environment and therefore arelikely to see the need for change sooner and more clearly than the majority of organizational members. Theyare often in a better position, but not always. Technical people down in the organization may see atechnological change coming before senior management does. Often, the sales force and others in theorganization who have direct contact with customers see a need to serve them differently before seniormanagement does. Regardless of where the awareness of a need for change originates, it remains the CEO’sresponsibility to communicate that need to organizational members. And the communication must beconvincing. An example helps clarify these points.British Aerospace (BAe), a multibillion-dollar aircraft and defense industry enterprise, was formed in 1977 byputting together six defense and aerospace organizations under one corporate roof. The firm at that time was agovernment-owned company, but 2 years later, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher declared that BAe wouldbecome a private, stock-owned corporation, as she later did with British Airways (BA) and other nationalizedindustries during the 1980s. BAe was Thatcher’s first nationalized company to become privatized. In a sense,BAe was a holding company with six previously autonomous organizations, which had rich histories datingback to World War II and before and possessed quite different corporate cultures. Richard Evans (now SirRichard), having grown up in one of the six firms of the British aircraft corporation, became CEO on NewYear’s Day, 1990. He inherited six baronies, each of which viewed itself with considerable pride. After all,“that beautiful bird,” as Evans called the Concorde, came from the earlier parts of BAe, as did other highlyregarded aircraft (e.g., the Comet, the world’s first commercial jet) and sophisticated defense weaponry. Also,by 1990, BAe had a number of joint ventures with French and German companies in the manufacture of theAirbus commercial aircraft. So Evans took over a healthy organization from the standpoint of sales, profit,and future customer orders.One year later, however, things were considerably worse. The stock price had plummeted, orders were down(after all, the Cold War was over), and capital, especially cash, was badly needed. Evans began to cut costs—he laid off thousands of employees, for example—to divest of some of the businesses, and began to take severewrite-offs. Productivity and innovation remained strong, at least in most of the former six companies, andthere were many talented people in the ranks. But for some reason, these strengths could not be fully realized.Monitoring BAe’s external environment, Evans saw three large “blips on the radar,” as he called them. Onecame from Boeing, a major competitor. They produced a new version of their 737 that was superior to theAirbus, at least at that time. A second blip was the fact that the capacity of European aerospace and defensefirms far exceeded demand. And finally, there was the abysmal performance of BAe’s shares on the stockmarket. These “blips” caused Evans to act yet again; he believed this time that a significant change needed tooccur within the company to respond effectively. There were other needs for change as well, for example,correcting the silo effect of the six baronies that made up BAe. Evans believed that a major culture change wasthe right action to take. To use Gersick’s (1991) language, change in the “deep structure” of BAe was in order.358
To use Evans’s words:Why did I think that a culture change was the answer? There were of course many operating andstrategic fixes that we could do (and did) to improve our competitive standing and our share price.But when you added all these up, and when you looked at the competitive abilities of rivals, therewas a shortfall. I couldn’t quantify it. I simply had a gut feeling, a conviction that the underlyingreason for our deficiencies lay in the culture of the company. (Evans & Price, 1999, p. 10)The new culture desired was one that would integrate the various businesses so that, for example, consistent,common approaches could be taken across the corporation. Another change objective was to lessen therivalries that existed among the former six companies.So relying on the wisdom and experience of his new nonexecutive chairman of the board, Bob Bauman, whoknew a thing or two about large-scale organization change (recall that he had led the merger of SmithKlineBeecham a few years earlier), and the expertise of external consultants, Evans launched the change effort.Working with his top 100 or so executives, Evans’s initial work was on crafting a new mission statement withan appropriate list of corporate values. This early work went fairly well, but some of the executives were simplynot convinced that all this effort and the occasional angst were worth it. Many of them had been through“culture change” before. Again, to quote Evans:In the eyes of many of BAe’s top managers, the lack of a “burning platform” weakened my argumentthat change was urgently needed. How could I make them see that the present good times were notsymptomatic of the way things would be five years hence? The easier way was to present them withscenarios of likely futures. For this job I turned to one of our top line executives, John Weston, thenmanaging director of Military Aircraft, now my successor as Chief Executive. I seconded him fromhis regular duties and gave him carte blanche to analyze the company from end to end and thenreport his findings.With characteristic thoroughness, John documented “The Case for Change.” His report probedevery single part of the business, its macroeconomic environment, its competitive structure, the stateof technology, and so forth. Time and again he documented a stark conclusion: Our business units’rate of progress and future prospects of performance gains were inadequate, given the emergentthreats in the external environment. What’s more, even if we took a whip to them to urge them toimprove sales and profits and squeeze the cash flow, any conceivable improvement would notchange the analysis substantially. At the end of the day, BAe would be trailing and not setting theindustry tempo.Because John Weston was the divisional head of our largest and most profitable business unit, hiscall to action could not easily be dismissed. If he saw the writing on the wall, so might everyone else.“We wanted to give them the macroeconomic and geopolitical picture right between the eyes. The359
paradigm for defence and aerospace markets was changing dramatically, and we had to learnsuperior skills and ways of reacting,” says Weston. (Evans & Price, 1999, p. 17)The case was indeed made and the culture change at BAe went forth. The rest is history. Later, BAe becamequite successful, its stock price more than triple what it had been in 1993. One of its major products, theAirbus, became a formidable competitor with Boeing. Moreover, Evans was knighted in 1996 for his role asCEO in the turnaround of BAe. For the full story of how a CEO may make the case for change and otheraspects of successful organization change, see Evans and Price (1999) and Chapter 9 in Burke and Trahant(2000).360
Providing Clarity of Vision and DirectionThe final point of the prelaunch phase is to craft a vision statement and, in so doing, to provide clear directionfor the organization change effort. One of the best statements about vision has been articulated by JamesO’Toole (1999):A robust vision mobilizes appropriate behavior. It uses memorable, simple concepts that make clearwhat needs to be different about tomorrow. It describes the distinctive competencies needed todeliver on the desired end state (for example, “Here’s what we have to do differently in order tosucceed”). Often, a vision will make choices clear by making the case for change as either anopportunity or a burning platform (for example, “If we don’t change in this way, the company won’tsurvive”). That’s not asking much, is it?Leaders don’t even have to create visions themselves (although many do). But, at a minimum, theymust initiate a process for developing a vision and then engage themselves fully in generating buy-in. Shared commitment to a vision can be built either through wide-scale participation in the act ofits creation or through involvement immediately thereafter in its dissemination. . . . We’re nottalking quantum mechanics here. This is simple stuff—so simple that many leaders gloss over thebasics. For example, by definition, vision has to do with “seeing, sight, and sensing with the eyes.”Recognizing that simple fact, effective leaders make their visions, well, visual. Remember RonaldReagan’s budget message when he explained that a trillion bucks amounts to a stack of dough ashigh as the Empire State building? By using that visual reference, he got Americans to see thatfederal spending amounts to real money! In doing so, he changed the terms of the national debateand, for the first time, created a majority in support of lower taxes. It was his most effective momentas a leader. (pp. 302–303)Perhaps the paramount vision statement was delivered by Martin Luther King Jr. in his “I have a dream”speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. He used striking imagery—for example, of children holdinghands—that his listeners could “see.” The following are short examples of vision and direction provided bychange leaders who have been referenced already:At the time of the SmithKline Beecham merger, chairman of the board Henry Wendt’s (1993)conceptualization of what a truly global corporation looks like and his and CEO Bob Bauman’s craftingof “The Promise” (the merged company’s mission statement) provided both the vision and the missionfor the future. Their clarity of direction was critical to the success of the change that was, at the time,the largest cross-border merger ever. For the full story, see Bauman et al. (1997), Burke (2000b), andChapter 4 in Burke and Trahant (2000).At BA, it was Colin Marshall’s clear emphasis on what the new culture should be—one that wascustomer focused and market driven—that provided the necessary vision for what needed to be reached.At Dime Bancorp (see Chapter 5), it was the newly crafted mission statement.361
At British Aerospace, it was Dick Evans’s resolve to see that a mission and vision statement was craftedby the top 100 executives that set the stage for organization change. As O’Toole (1999) noted, the CEOmay not write the vision and mission statement himself or herself, but the responsibility for seeing thatthe job is done is clearly the CEO’s. The way Evans did it took time, to be sure, but “at the end of theday,” as the British are fond of saying, he had commitment.By way of a quick summary, recall that in the description of the Burke–Litwin model in Chapter 10, adistinction was made between mission and vision, with vision being associated more with the leadership boxor model category. But it is the change leader’s or CEO’s responsibility to see that both mission and vision arecrafted, because both set the tone and the clarity of direction. Without direction, both in terms of who we areand who we want to be in the future, desired organization change will not occur.362
The Launch Phase363
Communicating the NeedUsually, the CEO is the one who delivers the message about the need for change—but not always. In the BAeexample, Dick Evans called on his number two person, John Weston, to deliver the case for change. He madethis decision for at least two reasons. First, he had already launched the organization change by involving thetop 100 executives in the crafting of a new corporate mission statement and in making the choices of valuesfor the corporation as a whole. Although these executives did the work he asked them to, Evans was notconvinced that their hearts were in it. And besides, some of them seriously questioned the whole process. Inother words, Evans wasn’t certain that his credibility as the change leader was as solid as it needed to be.Moreover, some of his executives had been through culture change in their respective businesses and were notexactly sanguine about going through the whole process again unless there was a compelling reason to do so.Second, in making the case for change and communicating the message, Evans believed that Weston wouldhave more credibility because, unlike Evans, who came from marketing and sales, he was an engineer and a“numbers guy,” as were many of the BAe executives. It would be abundantly clear that Weston had done hishomework and knew what he was talking about. This decision by Evans did indeed work, and the buy-in forthe organization change began to emerge. The point is that although the CEO does not necessarily have to bethe message deliverer, seeing that the delivery occurs, especially by another change-leader colleague, isnevertheless his or her responsibility.In the BA case, it was Colin Marshall, the CEO, who delivered the message. In fact, he delivered it again andagain, making certain that he came across as consistent with the message each time he gave it and that he wasabsolutely serious and committed.364
Initial ActivitiesA significant activity to conduct at the outset of organization change is an event that will capture attention,provide focus, and create the reality that the change effort now launched is not merely an exercise. A quotefrom Marshall, of BA, gives first his rationale and then an example of an initial activity:But to get people to work in new ways, we needed a major change in the company’s culture. Thatmeant refocusing everyone on the customer, on the marketplace, and away from the exclusivelyengineering and operations focus we’d had. That had to be done, of course, without sacrificingsafety, technical, or maintenance standards. And that proved tricky. People had difficultyunderstanding why I kept hammering away at the need to focus on customers while also saying,“We’ve got to fly these aircraft at a very high technical standard, too.” The focus before had alwaysbeen on the technical side alone, but I made the point repeatedly that we had to do both. It was atthis point that we saw the explicit need for a culture-change program. . . . The first thing we did wasto launch a program called “Putting People First” . . . a two-day seminar. We took roughly 150employees at a time and drew people from various departments within BA and from variousgeographical areas. The program focused on how one creates better relationships with people, withone’s fellow employees, with customers, even with members of one’s own family. (Burke & Trahant,2000, p. 95)Another example comes from a venerable British organization, the BBC. John Birt, the CEO (“directorgeneral” is the proper title), authorized a 1-day workshop on “Extending Choice,” the new mission and visionfor the corporation. The day was devoted to, first, an overview and explanation of extending choice, andsecond, to small-group meetings so questions could be raised and discussions could be held about how thisnew “extended” mission affected each of them in their respective roles.At BAe, the initial activity, as noted, was the off-site meetings of the top 100 executives to craft the corporatemission statement and choose the values.At SmithKline Beecham, the initial activity to help shape the newly merged culture for the CEO, BobBauman, and the 10 executives directly reporting to him was working on the mission and value decisions andteam building. The team building at the top had two purposes: to get this top group to work together moreeffectively and, perhaps more important, to serve as role models for the rest of the global corporation. Part ofthe team-building process was (1) use of the MBTI to help the executives learn about their own and theircolleagues’ communicating, information-processing, and decision-making preferences and (2) participation ina multirater feedback process on leadership practices to obtain a clearer understanding of how their self-perceptions of their leadership compared with the perceptions of others, particularly peers and those directlyreporting to them. Subsequently, both the MBTI and the multirater feedback process permeated the entiremanagerial population of the company.365
Finally, at Dime Bancorp, the initial activities that launched the organization change (a result of a merger; seeChapter 5) consisted of (1) establishing a task force of 15 people who represented all business units and alllevels in the hierarchy to draft a new corporate mission statement, (2) determining a new business strategy ledby the CEO, and (3) team building for the newly formed top team.It should be obvious from these examples that the early activity of organization change can take a variety offorms. The point is that a focused symbolic and energizing event (or multiple events occurring at about thesame time) is a highly useful way of launching large-scale and planned organization change.366
Dealing With ResistanceRecall that in Chapter 6, organization change was considered at three levels: individual, group, and the largersystem, and the nature of resistance to change at each of these levels was discussed. The prudent change leaderwill be well aware of the nature of resistance to change and the forms that resistance behavior can take at eachorganizational level. Recall further that at the individual level, it is important that the change leader be wary ofimposing change on people and find ways for organizational members to have choice and be as involved in theprocess as possible. Also, the change leader needs to differentiate among the various types of resistance—blind, ideological, and political—so as to respond to and interact with people in the organizationappropriately.At the group level, recall that protecting one’s turf, closing ranks, and demanding a new structure orleadership can be common forms of resistance. Organizing activities in a group setting to achieve closure withthe past (e.g., having a symbolic funeral) can help in dealing with resistance. Also, recomposing a group withnew membership can help and, of course, so can any activity that involves people in key decision making. Forexample, a highly influential group early in the merger process of SmithKline Beecham was the “mergermanagement committee.” Selected by the CEO, this group had the responsibility of selecting who theexecutives would be for the key positions in the corporation, and the rule instituted by Bauman, the CEO,that no member of the committee could be named for any of these executive jobs was unique. Objectivity wastherefore more assured in the decisions of who was selected. Even though none of these committee memberscould have any of the plum positions they were working with, they were highly motivated and stronglycommitted to the task. After all, they were involved in an activity that would have far-reaching effects on thecorporation. A delayed reward for these members was Bauman’s making certain that they were eventuallyplaced in important roles and positions for the corporation. The purpose of this brief case was to provide anexample of how to involve people in the change process.At the larger-system level, recall that resistance can take the form of “This too shall pass”—that is, “We’veseen this kind of initiative, or fad, before and it won’t last this time, either.” Also, there are diversionary tactics—for example, “Other mainstream business needs are far more important than this change thing.” It wassuggested earlier that coping with these forms of resistance might involve making a compelling case for thechange (as in the BAe example) and exerting strong leadership—not in a dictatorial way but leading withpersistence and clarity of direction, passion, and vision, a point to be emphasized in the next section.367
Postlaunch: Further ImplementationOnce the organization change has been launched, it becomes quickly apparent to the change leader that so-called change management is an oxymoron. This particular phase of organization change—postlaunch—isdifficult for many CEOs. After all, they typically have control needs that are considerably above average, andnow matters seem out of control. CEOs can easily experience feelings of (1) anxiety (“What have weunleashed here?”) and (2) ambivalence in decision making; some organizational members feel the excitementof change unleashed and want to run free, whereas others are asking for the CEO to step in and exercisecontrol, usually taking the form of a cry for structure (“What’s my new job?” “Who will be my boss?”). Whencontrol needs are aroused by such pleas for structure, many CEOs will want to step in and establish the neworder. Because followers are asking for an antidote for all this uncertainty, the advice of Ronald Heifetz (1994)is most appropriate. In essence, he suggested three actions. First, to hold the collective feet to the fire, that is,to be persistent about what it is going to take to make the change successful (e.g., living with ambiguity aboutexactly how everything is going to work out). Second, draw the system out of its comfort zone but attempt tocontain the associated stress so it does not become dysfunctional (recall the work of Bridges, 1986; seeChapter 6). Third, deal with avoidance mechanisms that usually emerge during this time, such as blaming,scapegoating, and appealing to authority figures for answers.During the postlaunch phase, it may also seem to the change leader that the process has taken on a life of itsown. In fact, theory associated with living systems holds that when disturbance occurs (the launch phase), “thecomponents of living systems self-organize and new forms and repertoires emerge from the turmoil” (Pascale,Milleman, & Gioja, 2000, p. 6). The CEO–change agent must persevere but be patient at the same time sothat creativity and innovation “can do their work” or “magic,” as some might call it, and allow for new formsto emerge. “New forms” may mean any number of things, including new ways of doing work; different values;new structures, products, services, or business lines; getting into, if not establishing, new markets; acquiring abusiness never considered before; and so on.Some more specific actions need to be considered for this postlaunch change implementation phase as thechange leader begins to deal with (1) his or her feelings of both excitement and anxiety, (2) follower behaviorsof all varieties, and (3) seeming disorder. Though not exhaustive, the following five points are some keyactions change leaders need to bear in mind.368
Multiple LeverageIn large organizations particularly, change is too complicated for one action (intervention) to do the job. Manymanagers believe, for example, that changing the organizational structure will suffice. In a study oforganization change some years ago, failure was most often associated with change of structure when that wasessentially all that occurred (Burke, Clark, & Koopman, 1984). Moreover, in recent coverage of seven casestudies of successful organization change, two of the summary points that are relevant here were as follows:Time and again, these cases illustrate the absolute necessity of strong leadership for change to occur. Wesee change leaders in living color here. There is no substitute for visionary leadership in times of change.By definition, if there is leadership, there are followers.In addition to demonstrating how the phases of organization change work, all these cases show thedeployment of multiple interventions. True organization change is too complicated for one intervention.Multiple sources of influence are required. (Burke, 2000a, pp. 9–10)Examples of levers for change from these case studies included process reengineering, crafting missionstatements, developing a new process of supply-chain management, training and development, craftingcorporate values and leadership behaviors that were manifestations of the values, implementing a new pay-for-performance system, developing a “safety” culture, changing a plant in a chemical company, team building,and establishing self-directed work groups.369
Taking the HeatWhen organization change is launched, it is safe to say that not everyone will be happy with the idea. In fact,some may be quite upset and angry, looking for a target, a person or a group to blame “for this mess we’reabout to get ourselves into.” The change leader is the most obvious target. Recently, a college president whohad launched an organization change 5 years earlier sat through two meetings with full professors, listening to—and absorbing—their wrath about how poorly the change had been led and why it was such a stupid idea inthe first place.Dick Evans, of BAe, described one of his heat-receiving episodes this way:But I got a lot of pushback from people. People asked, “Why do we need to do this? We’reoperating perfectly well. We all have big change programs to deal with in our own businesses. Whydo we need to do all this other stuff?” Many seriously thought and believed that I had some sort ofhidden agenda and simply wanted to be told what to do so they could go away and do it. (Burke &Trahant, 2000, p. 146)Pushback, as Evans and Price (1999) described it, is to be expected—not from everyone, perhaps only aminority, but heat is generated nevertheless, especially if those who are pushing back are opinion leaders in theorganization. These are the times when the change leader must use as much self-control as she or he canmuster, working hard (1) to listen, (2) not to be defensive, and (3) to display the patience of Job.370
ConsistencyDuring the early days of change, the change leader’s behavior is scrutinized by followers. Does the changeleader really mean it? Is this for real? Or is this initiative like all the rest, just another fad that will soon pass?In a recent change at a large nonprofit organization, the most frequently asked question by followers in thehallways or at lunch has been, “Does he (the change leader) really mean it?” This is, of course, a questionabout consistency and perseverance (see the next section). The point here is trust. Can we (followers) trust theleader? Trusting the leader, of course, means believing that he or she is open and honest and tells the truth.Behaviorally, what may be even more important to followers is the extent to which the leader’s behaviormatches her or his words. This is the essence of consistency in an organization change effort—despite RalphWaldo Emerson’s derogatory comment about consistency, to wit, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin oflittle minds adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.” The key to this quote, however, isEmerson’s adjective foolish, and consistency of word and deed by the change leader in the organization’schange process is anything but foolish.371
Perseverance“Staying the course” is essentially what is meant by this term. Many potential change leaders falter when thegoing gets tough. A whimsical but illustrative comparison is that organization change is like losing weight.The first 5 or 10 pounds are easy, but the next 5 or 10 are much, much tougher. The early days oforganization change, compared with later, are easy. People are excited and say things like, “Finally, things aregoing to get better around here.” But a year later, the change effort may have bogged down, the excitement isgone, and fatigue has set in. This is the time for considerable perseverance on the part of the change leader.Perhaps the master of perseverance was Colin Marshall, at BA. Here’s a perfect example, in his own words:I made a particular point of attending every one of these “Managing People First” sessions. I spenttwo to three hours with each group. I talked with people about our goals, our thoughts for thefuture. I got people’s input about what we needed to do to improve our services and operations. Thewhole thing proved to be a very useful and productive dialogue. We found it so valuable, in fact, thatin cases when I was away, we offered people the opportunity to come back and have a follow-upsession with me. So I really did talk to all 110 groups in that five-year period. (Burke & Trahant,2000, p. 99)A part of leadership in an organization change effort, then, is to stay the course, to continue to encouragepeople, to exude energy and enthusiasm for continuing down the change path, and to find ways to continuecommunicating the message.372
Repeating the MessageFirst, what is it that you repeat? The message is the vision and mission, but to be most effective, a story needsto be told that incorporates the vision and mission and values. The work of Howard Gardner (1995),summarized in the previous chapter, is decidedly helpful in this regard. He deliberately uses the term story ornarrative instead of message or theme, because, as he states, he wants to accomplish the following:To call attention to the fact that leaders present a dynamic perspective to their followers: not just aheadline or snapshot, but a drama that unfolds over time, in which they—leaders and followers—arethe principal characters or heroes. Together they embarked on a journey in pursuit of certain goals,and along the way and into the future, they can expect to encounter certain obstacles or resistancesthat must be overcome. . . . The most basic story has to do with issues of identity. And so it is theleader who succeeds in conveying a new version of a given group’s story who is likely to be effective.Effectiveness here involves fit—the story needs to make sense to audience members at this particularhistorical moment, in terms of where they have been and where they would like to go. (p. 14)The change leader tells the story time and again, because people need to be reminded of what it is we aredoing—and why. In addition to the reminding, it is critical that the change leader tell the story to followers inperson, face-to-face, not over the web, in a video, on a written document, or on a CD-ROM. Why? Dialoguewith followers is essential. Questions need to be answered or at least responded to, and nuances may needelaboration. In the SmithKline Beecham merger, Henry Wendt, the chairman, and Bob Bauman, the CEO,traveled all over the world meeting with employees face-to-face to tell their story, which was the SmithKlineBeecham “Promise”: the company’s promises to customers, employees, and stockholders.Another example of a change leader’s telling the story personally—face-to-face, to 5,000 people—is the caseof Roger Goldman, who turned around a retail banking situation that was not only in the red but overallmoribund in its performance. In his words:I went on the road for a year to explain my vision of the bank to over 5,000 people in 800 profitcenters and support offices. I did this to get people’s support and to explain what we needed them todo if we were to be successful. In our case, it was about serving customers, communities, and ourfellow employees. “Everyone has to give 110 percent,” I told employees. “We’re going to reinventpeople’s jobs and hold everybody more accountable for results.” (Burke & Trahant, 2000, p. 193)By way of summary, consider the wonderful children’s television show Blue’s Clues. The same episode isrepeated four times after the initial presentation on Monday of each week. The creators of this program havediscovered that for the 4- or 5-year-old, repetition is critical for learning. By Friday, the child “gets it.” Tolearn something, adults in organizations may not need four iterations. Actually, they may need more! Thepoint is this: Organization change, with all its complexities and nuances, needs to have focus, proper373
emphases on priorities, and explanation, particularly of “why we are doing these highly disruptive activities.”Repeating this story time and again (message/vision/mission) is one of the most important functions of thechange leaders.Finally, we shall conclude this section on further implementation, the postlaunch phase, with a cautionarynote from Dick Evans, CEO of BAe:One danger that besets change programmes is the curse of superficiality, or too much faith in thepower of positive thinking. One day top management says, “Let’s have a change programme.” Andafter cranking out mission and vision statements, backed with a heavy communications programme,hey presto, they’ve done it. What are omitted from these narratives are the tensions, ambiguities,conflicts, and frustrations that inevitably arise in the implementation phase. These difficulties getswept under the rug, only to return later—most likely in a more virulent form. (Evans & Price,1999, p. 16)To mitigate the danger that Evans emphasizes, change leaders need to use multiple levers for thetransformation, take the heat from followers from time to time, provide consistency in terms of words anddeeds, persevere even to the point of risking being called stubborn, and repeat the message again and again.374
Sustaining the ChangeBefore considering thoughts about sustaining organization change once things are fully launched and underway (such as unanticipated consequences, momentum, and further new initiatives), let us examine some recentthinking that is highly relevant and applicable. Earlier, in the section “Postlaunch: Further Implementation,” ashort quote was cited from the book by Pascale et al. (2000). The overall premise of the book is that recentknowledge, particularly in the life sciences, can inform our understanding of organizations in general, andmanagement, leadership, and organization change in particular. Their premise is quite similar to the reasoningunderlying the present book. Pascale et al. made the point that so-called chaos theory is not applicable toorganizations, for they are not chaotic. But organizations are complex—that is, complex adaptive systems—and what they label as “the new science of complexity” is the applicable theory. These ideas are congruent withnonlinear complex system theory, discussed in Chapter 7 and Svyantek and Brown (2000); Gersick’s (1991)concept of deep structure; and Capra’s (1996) ideas covered in Chapter 4 of this book. Pascale and hiscolleagues have distilled from complexity theory and the life sciences (biology, medicine, and ecology) “fourbedrock principles” (p. 6) that they consider to be applicable to organizations, especially business enterprises.These principles are as follows:1. Equilibrium is a precursor to death. When a living system is in a state of equilibrium, it is less responsiveto changes occurring around it. This places it at maximum risk.2. In the face of threat, or when galvanized by a compelling opportunity, living things move toward theedge of chaos. This condition evokes higher levels of mutation and experimentation, and fresh newsolutions are more likely to be found.3. When this excitation takes place, the components of living systems self-organize, and new forms andrepertoires emerge from the turmoil [referred to earlier].4. Living systems cannot be directed along a linear path. Unforeseen consequences are inevitable. Thechallenge is to disturb them in a manner that approximates the desired outcome. (Pascale et al., 2000, p.6)These principles are useful for our thinking about the importance of sustaining an organization change effort.This thinking is organized according to four considerations: unanticipated consequences, momentum,choosing successors, and launching yet again new initiatives.375
Unanticipated ConsequencesReferred to earlier in this chapter and in Chapter 2 was the paradox of planning organization change in alinear, phased way of thinking, yet realizing that the change process itself is not linear. This means that whenthe change is launched, equilibrium is disturbed, and seeming chaos occurs; that is, many different reactions tothe disturbance happen simultaneously, and the system moves to the edge of chaos, as Pascale et al. (2000) putit. Some examples of this kind of reaction include the following: (1) different organizational units interpret thechange vision and direction to fit their needs, and therefore, the implementing of their part of the changebecomes different from that of all other units (this is not necessarily bad but is often unanticipated); (2) somepeople who were expected to resist actually embrace and become champions of the change—and vice versa;and (3) desired and expected outcomes for a part of the overall change effort simply do not occur. The scarypart is going to the edge, but the main point to remember here is that living systems are quite capable ofevoking new forms and solutions and of self-organizing with gradual movement (however, not linear) to anew state of equilibrium. Reaching a new state of equilibrium is essentially what Lewin (1947) meant with histhird stage of organization change, refreeze (see Chapter 8). Also recall Weick and Quinn’s (1999)reconceptualizing of Lewin’s three-stage model, calling for unfreezing after a rebalancing to ensure innovationand finding new ways of ensuring continuous change, which is applicable to our thinking here (see Chapter7). The point is that after a disturbance, living systems again seek equilibrium, and Pascale et al. warned thatequilibrium “is a precursor to death.” The important word in their phrase is precursor, which means that deathis not necessarily immediate. There is some allowable, if not necessary, time for things to resettle after thedisturbance. But for the organization change to maintain momentum, resettlement must not be allowed tolast.376
MomentumWriting in 1991 about the successful change effort at BA, Goodstein and Burke stated:It may be that BA’s biggest problem now is not so much to manage further change as it is tomanage the change that has already occurred. In other words, the people of BA have achievedsignificant change and success; now they must maintain what has been achieved while concentratingon continuing to be adaptable to changes in their external environment—the further deregulation ofEurope, for example. Managing momentum may be more difficult than managing change. (p. 16)A few years later, BA’s performance began to deteriorate in part from the lack of maintaining sufficientmomentum and in part because of Colin Marshall’s successor—choosing successors being the subject of thefollowing section.Maintaining the change momentum is critical, because the natural movement toward equilibrium has to becountered. Finding new ways to recognize and reward change champions in the organization and celebratingachievements clearly helps maintain momentum. The broader principles, however, are as follows: To counterequilibrium, Pascale et al. (2000) state rather provocatively that two forces—the threat of death and thepromise of sex—can prevail. The desire to survive is powerful. If you question this, think how difficult it is toend a committee in your organization that was supposed to be ad hoc. Darwinian principles suggest that livingsystems do not evolve on their own but change as they respond to forces in the external environment. Livingsystems that survive do so because they mutate; that is, they adapt to the changing forces in their respectiveenvironments.To maintain momentum, then, the change leader must constantly monitor the organization’s externalenvironment, being alert to changing forces that require adaptation to ensure survival.The “promise of sex” leads us to the third ingredient for sustaining the change effort.377
Choosing SuccessorsAnother form for countering equilibrium is to prevent homogeneity, according to Pascale et al. (2000):Sexual reproduction maximizes diversity. Chromosome combinations are randomly matched invariant pairings, thereby generating more permutations and variety in offspring. [This] benefits aliving system [because] harmful [bacteria] find it harder to breach the diverse defenses of apopulation generated by sexual reproduction than the relatively uniform defenses affected [by aprocess such as mitosis or cloning]. (p. 29)This principle from the science of living systems suggests that change leaders would do well to counterequilibrium and sustain the change effort by infusing “new blood” into their organizations, that is, not cloningthemselves. The point is that although a complete overhaul of the people involved in the change would beabsurd, having some proportion (20%? 30%?) who are new to the effort (hired from the outside or shifted overfrom other parts of the organization) counteracts such instances of equilibrium as tired thinking, solidifiednorms, and “group-think.”One of the reasons that Colin Marshall’s successor at BA, Robert Ayling, did not succeed as CEO was thathe had been with the organization for a long time and was peripheral to the change effort that had proceededunder Marshall’s leadership. In other words, Ayling was not one of the change leaders and had remained tiedto the old system. Examples of effective succession include the one at BAe from Evans to Weston and themore recent change at GE from Welch to Immelt.Much has been written about problems of succession and infusing new thinking into an organization. For anoverview of some of the central issues, see Levinson (1994).378
Launching Yet Again New InitiativesFinally, it is critical to identify and implement new initiatives that will renew organizational members’ energy,spark new ways of thinking, and continue to propel the organization further down its path of change aftersome unspecified time into the change effort. These new initiatives, of course, need to be in line with theoriginal change objectives, provided the external environment is not signaling to the organization thatsomething more drastic needs to happen to ensure survival.Examples of new initiatives in the service of sustaining the overall change effort might be the following:Acquiring another organization or businessCreating a new business line or new product, or bothEstablishing a strategic alliance or joint venture with another organization (which might even be acompetitor or former competitor)Starting a new program that will help improve quality and reduce costsDeploying current products and services into markets not yet penetrated; for example, a chemical, metal,or ceramic product that has been sold and marketed only to other businesses can be considered as aproduct sold directly to an individual customerThe important point is for the change leader to be clear and deliberate about disturbing the system with newinitiatives so equilibrium does not take over. Incidentally, it is imperative for the change leader to cause thesedisturbances even if the organizational members plead for the change to come to some end point orconclusion. Conclusion needs to occur only for specific initiatives, not for the overall change process.379
SummaryTo specify what leaders actually do and what they need to do as change leaders, contrasts and comparisonswere made between leadership and management, and power and authority. Leadership was considered interms of transformational (more related to organization change that is discontinuous) and transactional (moreassociated with continuous change).An additional refinement of what was being considered as leadership in the previous chapter addressed thedistinction of organizational levels, the point being that the executive was our primary focus. For thisemphasis, the work of Zaccaro (2001) was particularly helpful. In his survey of the literature, he delineatedfour different yet overlapping conceptual perspectives about executive leadership: (1) conceptual complexity,having to deal with ever more complex and changing environments; (2) behavioral complexity, the leader’smultiple roles in dealing with multiple constituencies; (3) strategic decision making, stressing the importanceof congruence between the organization and its environment; and (4) visionary-inspirational, emphasizing thecharismatic, transformational, and visionary aspects of leadership. The point was made that what is requiredto be an effective change leader is highly complex and demanding; therefore, all four of these perspectives arerelevant.In this chapter the leader’s role and function in organization change was specified according to four primaryphases:1. The prelaunch phase− Leader self-examination− Gathering information from the external environment− Establishing a need for change− Providing clarity of vision and direction2. The launch phase− Communicating the need for change− Initiating key activities− Dealing with resistance3. Postlaunch phase or further implementation− Multiple leverage− Taking the heat− Consistency− Perseverance− Repeating the message4. Sustaining the change− Dealing with unanticipated consequences− Momentum− Choosing successors− Launching yet again new initiatives380
It should be clear by now that we have attempted to address a great many interesting and complex ideas andpractices about organization change. Recall Figure 2.1, which was an attempt to represent some of thesecomplexities, with the fall-back loops symbolizing unanticipated consequences that must be addressed andcorrected for the overall change effort to keep moving forward.Perhaps it is also clear that with respect to leading organization change, this chapter has emphasizedapplication and practice more than theory and research. Recall that in introducing the large section “Phases ofOrganization Change and the Leader’s Role,” the point was made that these ideas came from theoreticalconcepts—for example, Lewin’s (1947) three steps of unfreeze, change, and refreeze—which have beenexpanded by others from consulting experience, and that caveats would not be presented. Now to a couple ofcaveats.One reason for the greater emphasis on practice was to stay with the earlier promise that the latter half of thisbook would stress practice more than theory. A second reason for the practice emphasis is the fact that theoryand research about leading organization change are rather sparse. This is why, for example, Zaccaro’s (2001)recent book was described as helpful. So if this chapter sparks some ideas for further research and theorydevelopment, I will be delighted.381
Sixteen Organization Change Summary and IntegrationIn this chapter, the purposes are to (a) do a bit of summarizing and integrating; (b) consider some successfulprocesses of organization change, also as a way of summarizing and integrating, that O’Toole (1995) hasaccumulated; and (c) take a closer look at what we are attempting to accomplish when launching anorganization change effort by summarizing the work of Lawler and Worley (2006) on how to build anorganization for change not merely for survival. In the next and final chapter, we will address the future not ina predictive way but to make suggestions for what we need to pursue to enhance our knowledge aboutorganization change—that is, some things we still need to know and address.To begin our summarizing and integrating, let us consider Gladwell’s (2000) book, The Tipping Point, whichhas some key principles that we can apply to planned organization change.382
Applying The Tipping Point Principles to Planned Organization ChangeThe ideas in Gladwell’s (2000) book suggest (a) ways of understanding organization change more thoroughly,for example, his concept of contagiousness and the fact that small events or activities can have largeconsequences, and (b) ways of planning the process—that is, how to spread a “virus” and cause an epidemic.In short, we must find the few that help us (connectors), make certain that our change message (vision,directions, goals) sticks, and find ways to change the context so our message becomes a reality and our goalsbecome attainable. At the same time, we need to bear in mind, of course, other principles of organizationchange that we have addressed already, such as open-system theory, causing disequilibrium, dealing withresistance and unanticipated consequences, and ways of sustaining the change process.Following our phase framework from the previous chapter—prelaunch, launch, postlaunch, and sustaining thechange—we will now apply Gladwell’s (2000) ideas and principles to planned organization change.383
PrelaunchDetermining the message, or the virus or epidemic, that we want to spread is the first step. This, of course, isour content (see Chapter 8); it’s the vision, providing clarity in the organization change purpose and direction.We want to make the message stick, so it is cast in the form of a story that can easily be remembered. We alsowant to consider a variety of ways to communicate the story—that is, not rely on a singular form or medium.Also, during the prelaunch phase, we search for our highly important few: connectors, mavens, and salesmen,those few who have social power, the ones who will be, according to Gladwell (2000), “responsible for startingword-of-mouth epidemics, which means that if you are interested in starting a word-of-mouth epidemic, yourresources ought to be solely concentrated on those three groups” (p. 256).The further point here is that the effort is on selection, or finding the right few, not so much on training them.Once they have the story straight and accept it, they will know what to do—that is, they will use their naturalmotives and abilities. Oreg (2003) made a similar point in a slightly different way. He demonstrated with hisresearch on resistance to change that there are individual differences; some people simply tend to be resistantregardless, and others are more likely to embrace change. Oreg’s suggestion was to seek out this latter group,the right few, to help lead the change.384
The LaunchFor this phase, our connectors, mavens, salespeople, and those who support the change effort go forth tospread the message, or the story. Our connectors get people together for common tasks, such as helping planan initial event. Our mavens facilitate the transactive memories—that is, help people learn what, where, andhow they can be connected. Our salespeople help persuade people that this change is indeed the right thing todo; that is, they communicate powerfully the need for change.The launching of initial, key activities is essentially, in Gladwell’s (2000) language, an effort to change thecontext. Recall that in the case of British Airways (BA) it was a 1-day event—“Putting People First”—stressing that now their primary concerns were customers and the marketplace, with less emphasis onprotocol, bureaucracy, and seniority. The Dime Bancorp launch was the formation of a task force of about 15people to craft a mission statement for the newly merged organization. Also, recall that with respect to thesize of these launch events, they included 100 or fewer people at a time, and an early stage of the Dime Bankchange effort was to focus on the top 125 executives and managers. In other words, the size in all these caseswas not more than 150. See Dunbar (1992) and Wegner (1991) for the theoretical ideas and research thatundergird the importance of this concept regarding size of units and groups.385
PostlaunchFrom previous coverage, remember that multiple leverage is critical; that is, one should not rely on a singularchange intervention, such as a structural change, to do the job. Moreover, Gladwell’s (2000) admonition is todo things that are not all that obvious, such as tinkering with the message to find ways to make it stick bycommunicating the story in multiple ways and determining which way(s) works best, at least for a particularperiod of time.Repeating the message is imperative. Remember the lesson from Blue’s Clues: Repetition, as well as acaptivating story, made the message stick. Sir Colin Marshall, the CEO and change leader for BA over the 5-year period I was involved in the change effort, must have repeated the story several hundred times.And in dealing with resistance to the change effort, we rely heavily on our selected few—connectors, mavens,and salesmen—without necessarily telling them that their job is to overcome resistance. As stated earlier, theywill know what to do.386
Sustaining the ChangeIt may very well be that the most important ingredient in sustaining organization change is the process ofdealing with unanticipated, unforeseen consequences of initiatives and interventions. This is especially truewhen launching the change process. Gladwell (2000) suggested that we proceed with our intuitions about newinitiatives, but he also cautioned that when we act on them, we should get data quickly on the consequencesand change to another approach as needed to keep the change going. A brief case should help illustrate thispoint.About 18 months into a major organization change at NatWest Bancorp from 1991 to 1996, the changeleader, Roger Goldman, conducted an organization-wide employee opinion survey as one of the ways tomonitor progress. (For details on the survey, see Chapter 12 in Burke & Trahant, 2000.) Using the Burke–Litwin model as the framework for structuring the questions and for analyzing the responses to the survey, theresults showed that the transformational factors in the model—perceptions of the external environment,mission and strategy, leadership, and culture—were rated highly. Goldman and his executive team memberswere elated. A few moments later, when the remainder of the survey results were presented, their elationplummeted to depression and then to anger. Some of the transactional factors in the model showed lowratings, for example, a 2 on a 5-point Likert-type scale, particularly in the systems and motivation boxes. Toput it in the vernacular, morale at the bank (as reflected in the motivation ratings) was “in the tank.” Thisoutcome was not anticipated. Goldman and his team were somewhat distraught and wondered what action totake.The consultant presenting the survey results suggested that they further examine these outcomes byconsidering other categories of the model and how they related to the problem. He pointed out that two boxesof the model were pertinent here, one transformational and one transactional: the mission and strategy boxand the task requirements and individual skills and abilities (job–person match) box. Recall that in the model,these two boxes are connected by a two-way arrow (see Figure 10.2 in Chapter 10). By referring to this link,the consultant argued that the fact that ratings in both of these categories were high should not be overlookedwhen further examining the survey results. In other words, it was likely that most employees saw a clearconnection between what they were doing in their jobs and the bank’s mission and strategy. In fact, statisticalanalysis of the results supported this argument. This linkage, it was further argued, would eventually influencemotivation in a positive way, provided some other actions were taken. A key element contributing to thesuccess of organization performance in general and organization change in particular is when people see howtheir day-to-day actions relate to and support the organization’s mission and strategy. So this part of thesurvey results was strong support for the ultimate success of the organization change effort.The problem was actually within the systems box. Further examination showed that low ratings in thiscategory were associated with information technology—out-of-date computer hardware and software that didnot support the needs of the change goals and the new vision and mission of the bank. In other words, mostemployees did not feel that they had adequate technical support. In a manner of speaking, the employees weresaying, “We understand and believe in the vision, mission, and strategy of the bank. We see how our jobs387
support this direction and these goals. We would very much like to ‘get on with it.’ But how can we do it withsuch outmoded technology? We cannot respond to customers in the ways desired, that is, with speed andaccurate information. It is extremely frustrating!” Thus, morale was low.Goldman and his colleagues then proceeded with a new initiative, which would take time and cost money, butupdating the information technology aspect of the bank’s work was now an imperative. After about another18 months, a second (Time 2) survey was conducted. Although other problems had emerged, someunanticipated, of course, motivation and systems were rated higher than at Time 1.Sustaining change means in large measure to (a) understand that many consequences of interventions cannotbe anticipated, (b) not allow these unforeseen outcomes to become barriers to the change effort, and (c) takeswift action with different initiatives and tactics to ensure momentum on new paths toward the change goals.In summary, Gladwell’s (2000) tipping-point principles do not address all aspects of organization change.That was not his intent. But these principles do help us understand certain change phenomena morethoroughly. Also, Gladwell’s book is explanatory in nature, not a recipe for planned organization change. Howto apply his explanations has been our intent, at least in part, and how to think about planning organizationchange in new and different ways.388
Changing the OrganizationIn an attempt to summarize and integrate, let us consider the key questions to raise and some of the criticaltenets of organization change.First, we must begin with the external environment. Actually, the more astute leaders constantly monitor theorganization’s environment. But are they asking the right questions, gathering the appropriate information,and seeking opinions and ideas from their primary constituents?The critical questions are as follows:What are the customers telling us? How satisfied are they with the quality of our products and services,the timeliness of our delivery, and the degree to which we listen to them? Asking our customersquestions and then listening to what they tell us is highly valuable for many reasons, the primary reasonbeing what they may not be saying directly but only hinting at or alluding to. It is not as if ourcustomers are trying to mislead us. It is more a matter of their not quite knowing what they may need,especially for the future. In other words, we must listen to their notions of what is next for them, wherethey’re going, what they may need or want next year and the year after. For more about what customersvalue and the inherent difficulties in obtaining such information, see Goodstein and Butz (1998).What are the capital markets telling us? Recall from Chapter 2 how critically important this question is.If we are a publicly owned company, how is our stock price doing? Are large investors buying shares?What are analysts saying about us? How easy or difficult is it for us to raise money for activities such asacquisitions, invest in new technology, and expand certain business lines, particularly globally?If we are a nonprofit organization, the fundamental questions are related but somewhat different. Thebasic question concerns mission. How relevant is our mission today? After all, nonprofit organizationshave customers, government regulators, and professional audiences. Are we responding appropriately toour constituents? Do we listen sufficiently to those whom we serve?What about our competitors? Where do we rank in our industry vis-à-vis our competition? Do we haveadequate information (in the military it would be called “intelligence”) about what our competitors aredoing—where they may be expanding, what their research and development (R&D) objectives are, orwhere they are investing (new business, new technology, new domains geographically, etc.)? Are theyattempting to be low-cost providers, highly differentiated in the marketplace, or niche players?What about the people we attract, select, place, and retain in our organization? Do they see us as anattractive organization to join? Do they believe that they will be recognized and rewarded according tomerit? Do they believe that they will have challenging work, be able to make a difference, learn andgrow, have good colleagues to work with, and even enjoy what they will be doing?And what about technology? Are we up to date, on the cutting edge, or falling behind? Do we even havethe right technology? It may be that our products or services are so dated that we need to change to anentirely new technological base—for example, from metals to ceramics or from a physical science base toa bioscience base.389
There are additional questions about the external environment that need to be raised, such as the possibility ofchanging government regulations, what is happening in the general economy, demographic shifts, relationswith our key supplies and suppliers, social trends, organized labor trends, shifts in educational level of ourpotential workforce, natural environmental factors, politics, and so on. For some industries and uniqueorganizations, some of these additional questions may be more important than the previous bullet points.Second, we must take a hard look inside our own organizations. Are we still in the right business or set ofbusinesses? This is where an article such as Peter Drucker’s (1994) can be very helpful (see Chapter 8 for briefcoverage of this article). Drucker indeed raised the right questions. Other questions for an outside and insidelook include the following: Do we need to change our industry and technology base? DuPont, for example,has been basically a chemical company for at least a century. Because many of its products (e.g., nylon) havereached maturity and sales have flattened, the CEO and other thought leaders in the company are stronglyconsidering shifting from science based on chemistry to a bioscience foundation. This shift would cause asignificant change in the kinds of products DuPont might offer in the future.Do we change some of the business lines and remain with our core, or is there a need to change our businessaltogether? Perhaps not changing overnight but moving down a different path for the longer term may be theproper course of action.And again, if we were a nonprofit organization, the priority question would be as follows: What is the level ofcommitment to or passion about our organization’s mission and purpose on the part of our board members,our senior executives, our employees, and our members?Third, assuming that some degree of change is needed, how ready is our organization for what will berequired? The question typically is not whether to change but the following: How quickly and how deeplyshould the process occur? Should the change be evolutionary and continuous (transactional in nature) orrevolutionary and discontinuous (transformational in nature), or should the change be both—that is, slowerand continuous for certain areas in the organization and revolutionary in other areas? With respect toreadiness on the part of organizational members, it will depend in part on how much change has beenoccurring already and how many initiatives have been thrust on the organization. With the announcement ofyet another change, people in the organization have been known to say, “We’ve been there, done that—evenhave a T-shirt to prove it!” Under such circumstances, change leaders will have to stress the difference anduniqueness of the current initiative to help organizational members, especially the jaded ones, get beyond theirfatigue and perhaps cynicism.Fourth, assuming that the change required is transformational, how locked into (to use the language of Fosterand Kaplan, 2001; see Chapter 2) our culture, our way of doing things, are we? After all, a transformationmeans fundamental change of the culture to support the significantly revised mission, if not a new missionaltogether, and of course a new strategy. It will not be business as usual. As we know, culture change, whendone correctly, requires new behavior that leads to new attitudes and beliefs and eventually to different values.Strong cultures are at best difficult to change, and if the organization is large and complex, it can take years.But change they must, should the external environment demand it—that is, when the capital markets and390
other factors are incongruent with the organization’s current direction and performance.Fifth, we must make the case for change: why we need to transform ourselves. The most immediate responsecan be something like the following: “We’ve been successful for more than 70 years; why do we need to takesuch drastic, even draconian, steps now?” So if dramatic change is indeed required, the case must be made.The parlance in today’s organization change world is the creation, or establishment, of a “burning platform”:the implication being that our very survival is at stake. The section titled “Establishing the Need for Change,”in the previous chapter, provides an actual case example of establishing a “burning platform.”And finally, we follow the sequence, spelled out in Chapter 15, of prelaunch, launch, postlaunch, and sustainingthe change. Staying with this sequence and how we “do things,” we would be wise to apply our theoretical andresearch knowledge about the following:Open-system theory: This is bearing in mind principles such as the system’s survival being dependent onthe external environment; thus, our constant objective is to create negative entropy, and when we changeone aspect of the organization, eventually all other aspects will be affected.Capra’s (1996) ideas about patterns’ autopoiesis, structure, and process: The parallels between a cell, ahuman being, and an organization are not perfect but are sufficient to warrant our understanding so weare better informed about how organizations change and can be changed.The differences between continuous and discontinuous change: These differences have implications forhow we plan organization change. If it is discontinuous, we are focusing on transformational factorssuch as mission, leadership, and culture, and we are attempting to affect the deep structure (Gersick,1991) of the system; if continuous, our focus is on factors such as structure, systems, and climate.Understanding of level differences in organizations: This understanding is important because we planchange and deal with resistance differently according to whether our focus is the individual, the group,or the system as a whole.Understanding of what comes first: It is behavior before cognition (Chapter 7).Measurement: This is being clear that an alpha change is different from beta and gamma changes; inother words, alpha change is a difference along some relatively stable dimension of reality, beta is arecalibration of the intervals along the dimension, and gamma involves a reconceptualization of somedomain. Exactly what we are measuring to determine change progress is critical to our understanding(Chapter 7).The distinction between content (what to change) and process (how to change) is key to knowing whereand how to focus the change effort (Chapter 8).Organization models: It is useful to have a framework for categorizing as many of the primarydimensions of an organization as possible so we can plan, implement, and track the change as effectivelyas possible (Chapters 9 and 10).If our change effort is transformational, it means that organizational culture is deeply involved and willno doubt need to be changed (Chapter 11).Studies of leadership are highly relevant, particularly with an emphasis on executive leadership and thevariety of roles and functions, from prelaunch to sustaining the change (Chapter 15).391
The principles of change explained by the writings of Pascale, Milleman, and Gioja (2000; see Chapter15) are very helpful, as is Gladwell’s (2000) work briefly described earlier.If only everything about organization change could be summarized in seven (plus or minus two) clear andstraightforward steps (Miller, 1956). But surely we have learned one thing clearly: Organization change isentirely too complex and nonlinear to summarize that easily. Thinking about organization change in thesequential terms of prelaunch to sustaining is about the best we can do.Moreover, if organization change were cast in terms of seven steps or limited to seven principles, we would befooling ourselves. The complexity of it all is what makes the study and practice of organization change sochallenging, so meaningful, so exciting, and so worthwhile.As a way of further integrating, let us briefly examine what O’Toole (1995) found from his study of changeleaders and the organizations they changed. Then we will move on to take a look at what we are seeking whentrying to change an organization.392
Successful Processes of Organization ChangeJames O’Toole (1995), in his book Leading Change, focused largely on leaders who had led successfulorganization change, for example, Max DePree at the Herman Miller company, James Houghton of Corning,Robert Galvin of Motorola, Jan Carlzon at Scandinavian Airlines, and Bill Gore of W. L. Gore & Associates.In studying the changes they led, O’Toole found eight commonalities:1. Change had top-management support: Organization change, especially change of culture, takes a longtime; thus leaders must make a long-term commitment. Colin Marshall of BA knew this, and he clearlymade the commitment.2. Change was built on the unique strength and values of the organization: While values for the organizationmay change, it is imperative that leaders understand what the organization’s core values are that shouldnot change and serve as anchors for organizational members as they deal with everything else that maybe changing.3. The specifics of change were not imposed from the top: The broader vision and overall direction for thechange is top management’s responsibility, but in terms of implementing the change, all levels in theorganization should be involved in all stages of the effort.4. Change was holistic: This commonality is, of course, consistent with open-system theory—that is, that allorganizational parts are interrelated and changing one will eventually have consequences for all otherparts of the system.5. Change was planned: The long-term process was drawn up and followed by a period of education for allemployees. Moreover, implementation was planned and carried out in detail.6. Changes were made in the guts of the organization: Changes in authority and power relationships weremade, access to information became easier, and the reward system was modified to support the overallchange effort.7. Change was approached from a stakeholder viewpoint: These change leaders started with the externalenvironment, considering such primary stakeholders as customers and the organization’s owners.Attempts were made to meet the needs of all the organization’s stakeholders.8. Change became ongoing: The external environment is more dynamic than ever before and remains in aconstant state of change. The organization must be adaptive and built to change, which is related to thework of Kotter and Heskett (1992) (see Chapter 11) and Lawler and Worley (2006), covered later inthis chapter.These successful aspects of organization change tend to put us in a positive frame of mind. So let us continuewith this theme by pursuing positivity in more depth. We will now consider the relatively recent trend inpsychology and how this movement relates to organization change.393
Positive Organization ChangeIn recent years, there has been a movement in psychology toward the positive, with less emphasis than in thepast on pathology and negative aspects of life. A watershed publication a decade ago demonstrated that thepositive movement had arrived and was having an impact. A special issue of the American Psychologist, editedby Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi (2000), consisted of 15 articles devoted to positive psychology. In theirintroduction, Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi referred to the movement as a science of positive subjectiveexperience emphasizing such topics as hope, wisdom, creativity, courage, spirituality, and optimism. From thestandpoint of research, the movement has been counter to the dominance of negative emphases inpsychological research. Studies often begin with a statement of “the problem.” Moreover, negative findings aremore powerful than positive ones in most studies. In other words, a large effect (e.g., R2) can usually bedetected by accounting for negative phenomena compared with positive phenomena, and the more powerfuleffects are the ones that are more likely to get published. As Baumeister, Bratslavsky, Finkenauer, and Vohs(2001) put it, the bad is stronger than the good.Kim Cameron, for one, has taken the lead in applying the positive psychology movement in the organizationscience domain by focusing both on leadership (Cameron, 2008b) and organization change (Bright &Cameron, 2010; Cameron, 2008a). Basing his organization change article on more than 160 references,Cameron has provided a solid foundation for understanding what he refers to as the “paradox of positiveorganizational change”—the positive versus the negative, yet how important both are for effective change inorganizations.Cameron (2008a) pointed out that the term positive has many definitions and a wide range of connections,but for organization change purposes, he settled on equating positive with exceptional performance. Consistentwith the positive psychology movement, nevertheless, positive in the context of organization change refers toan affirmative bias in change efforts with an emphasis on strengths, capabilities, and possibilities rather thanproblems, threats, and weaknesses. And positive refers to an assumption that all human beings are inclinedtoward goodness for its own intrinsic value.In reviewing much of the literature on our natural tendencies toward the positive, Cameron pointed out thatstudies (see Cameron’s [2008a] article for the specific references) have shown the following:Positive words are learned faster than negative words.People judge positive phenomena more accurately than negative phenomena (e.g., managers are moreaccurate in rating subordinates’ competencies and proficiencies when they perform correctly than whenthey perform incorrectly).People are simply more accurate in processing positive information.People more frequently recall positive life experiences than neutral or negative ones.Positive memories tend to replace negative memories.We tend to forget the bad and exalt the good in thought, judgment, emotion, and language.394
Some explanations for these natural tendencies include the fact that most information we are faced with isdisregarded, being too overwhelming, and what we select and retain tends to be life giving rather than lifedepleting. Moreover, people expect (a) to live longer than average, (b) positive things to happen in the futureeven when there is no evidence to support such expectations, and (c) to win more than lose in randomizedtasks. And most people (a) underestimate the likelihood of getting a divorce, (b) overestimate their prospectsfor success in the job market, and (c) overrate themselves when compared with how others rate them.Even with all these positive tendencies and biases, however, negative factors have a stronger impact onbehavior—the paradox. Consider some of the paradoxical effects of the negative. (Again, specific referencessupporting the following points may be found in Cameron’s [2008b] article.)Positive change can also result from problems, traumas, challenges, losses, and so forth.Negative news sells more than positive news.People pay more attention to negative feedback than positive feedback.“Bad is stronger than good.”Living systems respond strongly and quickly to stimuli that threaten their existence.When equal measures of good and bad are present, the psychological effects of the bad outweigh thoseof the good.Negative feedback has more emotional impact.Negatives tend to disrupt normal functioning longer.A positive event is remembered more accurately and longer, but a negative event has more effect onimmediate memory and salience in the short run.People tend to spend more thought time on threatening personal relationships than on supportive ones.Bad reputations are easy to acquire but difficult to lose, whereas good reputations are difficult to acquirebut easy to lose.To illustrate from a study by Bolster and Springbett (1961), in initial hiring decisions, 3.8 unfavorablebits of information were required to shift a decision to rejection, whereas 8.8 favorable pieces ofinformation were necessary to shift an initial negative decision toward acceptance.To help explain these paradoxical effects, Cameron (2008a) stated that both inclinations—positive andnegative—are evolutionarily adaptive but operate in different ways, particularly with respect to intensity. Andsince most of life’s events are positive, a negative event is somewhat unique. Cameron put it this way:Just as movement in a still room attracts attention, so negative (novel) events capture more attentionthan positive (normal) patterns. Furthermore, negative events often indicate maladaptation and aneed to change, (and) one single negative thing can cause a system to fail, but one single positivething cannot guarantee success. (p. 15)For positive organization change to occur, both positive and negative interventions are important. Recall thatGersick (1991) argued that for change in organizations to succeed, a sense of urgency should be embraced(negative) and a vision for the future endorsed (positive). Cameron (2008a) cautioned that overemphasis on395
either the positive or the negative can be dysfunctional; overly emphasizing the negative is likely to causedefensiveness—for example, paranoid feelings; and too much of the positive can come across as “sugarcoating”and unrealistic.So both positive and negative interventions are needed for ultimate effectiveness regarding organizationchange. The problem, we need to be reminded, is the fact that the negative has a far greater impact than thepositive. The challenge is to concentrate on processes and practices that will generate life-giving behaviorsand, as a consequence, produce positive change in organizations. Most encouraging are findingsdemonstrating that when positive dominates the negative, such human factors as mental capacity, personalresilience, intellectual complexity, knowledge, the capacity to explore, and physiological functioning are allenhanced (Cameron, 2008a). The point is that for the future, more research and practice that emphasize thepositive are warranted. The payoff of such efforts is likely to be highly significant.In the next section, again as a way of integrating material from this book yet at the same time including newthinking, we will consider what a “change” and a “changing” organization might look like.396
The Look of ChangeThe change effort for any organization is unique to that organization. BA needed to become more customeroriented; SmithKline Beecham, Ltd., and Dime Bancorp were about making a merger work; and the A. K.Rice Institute was about a change in its core mission. Commonalities across these four organization changeefforts were there—managed from the top, a holistic approach, the change was planned, and changes weremade in the guts of the organization—but in the end, each change looked very different from all the others.These differences were largely in the content of the change, and of course, the differences in the end were afunction of the nature of the businesses each represented, both profit and nonprofit.Yet today, with the constancy of change surrounding us, one might argue that all organizations, to ensurelong-term survival, effectiveness, and success, should be attempting to change in the same direction—that is,to be nimble, flexible, and adaptive and, in short, to be changed so the norm, the culture, is constantly in astate of change. Some scholars and practitioners have addressed the idea.The book by Kotter and Heskett (1992) was a study of the relationship between corporate culture andorganizational performance.As mentioned earlier, their list of 11 characteristics represents worthy norms and goals to pursue for most anyorganization.397
Corporate Culture in the Work of Lawler and WorleyA more recent work in this genre is the book Built to Change, by Lawler and Worley (2006). Although theseauthors give a respectful nod to the Collins and Porras (1994) book, Built to Last, they see their book as a kindof sequel and that the way to last is for the organization to be designed and operated for change. For Lawlerand Worley, stability is essentially the opposite of effectiveness. They cover a number of organizationaldimensions—external environment, mission and identity, strategizing, organization design and structure,measurement, human capital, and reward systems—and address them in terms of the design and operation ofeach of these dimensions to ensure that an organization will be built for change. Brief examples of how Lawlerand Worley consider these organizational dimensions follow.External EnvironmentIn the built-to-change organization, the external environment is addressed in terms of “environmentalscenarios.” Organizational members—senior management, particularly—involve themselves in a process ofdescribing a range of possible future business conditions, not simply the current environment. These scenariosthen drive strategizing and how to think about and measure organization effectiveness. Scenarios respond tosuch questions as the following:How will technologies, user interest, and social trends play out or change over the next 3 to 5 years?What are our competitors likely to do? Join with a larger provider (IBM, Pfizer, General Electric [GE],etc.), for example?It’s a matter of making reasonable guesses about the future and being prepared to respond accordingly.IdentityThis dimension concerns the organization’s statement about how it will achieve its long-term mission andspecifically the organization’s dominant approach to business—for example, as a low-cost provider? An energycompany? A transportation company? A distributor? In other words, what is the core identity of theorganization and its business model? Identity comes from the organization’s culture—what and how we dothings and what we will be rewarded for. Microsoft, for example, is all about being persistent; for GoldmanSachs, it is about making the deal; and for GE, it is about good if not superior management. A built-to-lastorganization should be able to change, and change quickly, practically all its dimensions—except for itsidentity, which provides the core and anchor to hold on to for organizational members. The analogy here forLawler and Worley (2006) is as follows: Identity is like individual personality, and strategizing is likeindividual behavior. Identity is not likely to change, but behavior can change considerably.StrategizingNote that Lawler and Worley (2006) used the gerund form for this dimension, not the more static terms ofstrategic planning or simply strategy. They wanted to convey with the “-ing” that strategy is a process and398
constantly in motion. For example, they stated that companies need to develop temporary competitiveadvantages and therefore be prepared for changing this aspect of their strategy overnight if necessary.Strategizing concerns intent—how does the organization intend to accomplish its mission and objectives?There are five elements of strategic intent in strategizing:1. Breadth: range of products and services offered, different markets served, different technologiessupported, different segments of the value chain occupied, and so on2. Aggressiveness: how the company develops new products, grows its business, and battles its competitors—for example, with highly active acquisitions of smaller companies, tough advertising, large budget forR&D to create new products and services3. Differentiations: how the company’s products and services are unique in their respective industry—forexample, how is a Toyota different from a Nissan or a Honda?4. Strategic logic: the company’s business model; is it based on capturing ever larger market share, loweringunit costs, small margin across many units (high volume), economies of scale, globalization?5. Orchestration: a planning process for how breadth, aggressiveness, and differentiation are sequencedand managed as well as for how communication, actions, decisions, and events to implement change arecoordinatedImplementation of strategy is about creating value through competencies and capabilities. Organizationalcompetencies are a combination of technology and production skills that underlie the product lines andservices offered—for example, Sony’s miniaturization of technology. Organizational capabilities are what theorganization can do and are difficult to copy: managing knowledge, developing new products and services,responding quickly to changes in the business environment, and serving customers, to name a few. It’s aboutcompetitive advantage.Organization Design and StructureLawler and Worley (2006) contended that the era of job descriptions should be history. They argued for“structures without jobs,” meaning that (a) job descriptions rapidly become outdated, (b) people should beassigned responsibility on a temporary basis, (c) people’s skills change as well as organizational needs, and (d)it is better to think project to project than job to job. The authors also are advocates for teams and businessunits. They discussed the advantages of multidisciplinary teams, temporary project and problem-solvinggroups, self-managing teams, and virtual groups that are useful for organizations with multiple sites andlocations. They found business units to be useful for (a) more direct customer contact and focus on theexternal environment; (b) getting more people to understand “the business”; (c) adding and subtracting unitsof an organization more easily, thus making it easier to pursue new business opportunities; and (d) makingjudgments about the degree of autonomy and independence for these units—that is, executives are forced tothink through the degree of independence they wish to support in this structural feature of the organization.Lawler and Worley also covered two other structural features they found useful:1. Matrix (combinations of business units or project management groups with functions such asengineering)399
2. Front–back structures (customer-facing units, such as sales, combined with “back” units that produceproducts and services)Front–back structures are easier to manage than matrix structures; they involve primarily only two sets ofoperations: (a) those who deal directly with customers and (b) those who serve or back up these front-lineindividuals and groups. The authors also discuss the pros and cons of business process outsourcing, jointventures, acquisitions and mergers, and alliances. They are not favorably disposed toward steep hierarchies andrelated structural traditions because they tend to prevent change and rapid action.MeasurementLawler and Worley (2006) are strong advocates of constantly gathering performance information at thebusiness unit and organizational level by scanning the environment, measuring individual performance at alllevels, and using simple and objective assessments. At the organizational level, they argued for not onlyfinancial data but intangibles as well—employee motivation and satisfaction and measures represented by thebalanced score card, such as innovation and customer satisfaction.Human CapitalBesides the usual admonitions for finding the right talent (use interviews, consider past behavior, and leantoward temporary and contract employment where possible), the authors stressed keeping the right people byrewarding learning and developing person descriptions for selection and placement along the lines of (a)thinking like a customer and (b) developing talent.Reward SystemThis dimension is, of course, Lawler and Worley’s (2006) strong suit. Two chapters in the book are devotedto reward systems. Briefly, suffice it to say that the authors address such topics as the impact of goals onmotivation; job satisfaction; linking reward to skills, knowledge, and organizational performance; the need toreward change initiatives; and something they call “reward attractiveness,” which means providing rewardsthat are not the usual (not to say boring) types—such as fringes, big offices, stock options, recognition awards,as important as these may be for most people—but in addition giving out such unusual rewards as “privaterodeos with mechanical bulls, fly fishing on Western ranches, flights in a fighter plane, river rafting,sabbaticals, forty-two kinds of free drinks, and a lifetime supply of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. Any of theserewards can be effective motivators if they are valued by individuals” (p. 238).Built to ChangeBuilt to Change is more than 300 pages, and obviously I have only touched on its considerable content. Myintent was to give a flavor of what the authors consider to be the significant dimensions of a flexible, adaptiveorganization and what a desired organization for these times of constant change should look like. To ensuresurvival, effectiveness, and long-term success, organizations today and in the future need to be built to change,not built to last.400
The purposes of this chapter were to summarize and integrate. The four phases of change leadership—(a)prelaunch, (b) launch, (c) postlaunch, and (d) sustaining the change—covered in Chapter 15 were reviewedbut this time in relation to ideas about change from Gladwell’s (2000) book, The Tipping Point. The point wasto broaden our thinking about how to implement these four phases more effectively.The “Changing the Organization” section was an attempt to highlight the most important questions toanswer—from customers we serve, whether profit or nonprofit, to changing technology—when planning anorganization change. Also summarized were the critical sources of knowledge regarding organization changefrom theory and research.O’Toole’s (1995) list of successful processes of change was useful if not encouraging (we do know some thingsfrom experience!), and the positive psychology movement applied to organization change is also encouragingand expands our perspective about the complexities of change.And finally, the Lawler and Worley book on change provides coverage on the key component of anorganization that will help us sustain change.Now let us turn to the future, not in a predictive sense but in terms of what we need to know more about or atleast in more depth.401
Seventeen Organization Change What We Need to KnowSome years ago, I wrote an article on what I thought we knew about organization change and what we neededto know (Burke, 1995). With respect to what we needed to know, I chose eight areas to cover. What followsis a synopsis and brief update of these eight areas regarding what we need to know more about now and in thefuture.402
The Process of Organization Change403
MomentumRecall from the previous chapter that the fourth phase of organization change—sustaining the change—is themost difficult. We must learn more about “organization change momentum,” or how to sustain the changeonce we are under way. Some specific suggestions for what to research and learn more about include keepingpeople informed, measuring and celebrating achievements, and experimenting with new and different ways ofrewarding people for the appropriate changes they make. See Lawler and Worley (2006) for a start ondifferent ways of rewarding.404
Chaos During TransitionRemember two important phenomena about chaos theory: One is that even when not apparent in the midstof change, patterns do exist. Figure 2.1 in Chapter 2 was an attempt to represent this phenomenon.Understanding more about pattern is a fruitful avenue for research. A second phenomenon is the likelihood ofinnovation and creativity at the “edge of chaos” (Pascale, Milleman, & Gioja, 2000). How long should thechange leader allow chaos to continue, hoping for a breakthrough? And how does creativity emerge?405
CommunicationIt is easy to state that during organization change, leaders need to communicate. More important than thissimple admonition, however, is the need to understand more about the timing of communication and theamount to communicate at any given time.406
Organization Change Leadership407
Personality and CultureBecause leadership is such a personal matter, understanding more about the proper match between the leader’spersonality and the desired organizational culture is critical to successful change. Moreover, charismaticleaders can play important roles during times of crisis, but what about afterward? The classic case of WinstonChurchill during and after World War II remains puzzling. Why was he not reelected? More recently andsimilarly, Rudolph Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, was superb during the aftermath of September11, 2001, but perhaps not so superb during times of relative normalcy. Successors to charismatic leaders oftenhave a difficult time, because charismatic leaders rarely leave adequate infrastructures and systems to maintainwhat they initiated during their tenures. We need to understand more about leadership in such key areas aspersonality, self-awareness, charisma, crisis versus noncrisis leadership, and succession.408
Power and PoliticsMore understanding about power—the leader’s capacity to influence—is needed. Classic works remaininformative; for example, see French and Raven (1959) on basic sources of power (reward, coercive,legitimate, expert, and referent) and Kipnis (1976) on the question of whether power corrupts (under certainconditions, power does corrupt). But what about the use of power during change? Revolutionary changerequires strong, powerful leadership, the transformational type. What is the proper balance between powerfulleadership and involving organizational members in decisions that directly affect them? These and relatedquestions are ripe for research.409
The Change LeaderBuilding on these questions, how does change leadership differ from leadership during times of relativestability? I have made the claim that self-awareness, as well as high emotional intelligence, is necessary foreffective change leadership. Am I correct?410
Organizational Structure411
Self-Directed GroupsAs a result of organization change, the trend continues toward flatter hierarchies in large systems, with theconsequences of greater spans of control for managers. Work units in organizations now operate more on theirown, with less supervision. Hackman (1992) has contributed to our understanding of self-directed groups, butwe need to know much more.412
Centralization–DecentralizationIt used to be a question of one versus the other. This is no longer the question; it is, rather, what functions tocentralize (finance?) and what functions to decentralize (human resources?). More learning about how to doboth simultaneously is needed.413
CellsThese self-managed groups have been prevalent in manufacturing organizations for quite some time now, butwe still do not know enough about how to change to this mode of operating effectively and how to make itwork well over time.414
NetworksA network is a structural form that has been around for a long time. There are actually many different types ofnetworks. When is one type, a loosely coupled professional association, for example, more effective thananother form, a network of, say, computer scientists within the same organization? How do you moveeffectively from a hierarchy to a network, or vice versa? (This topic was addressed in more depth in Chapter12 on loosely coupled systems.)415
Formal and Informal Rewards416
IncentivesWe know about pay, bonuses, and fringe benefits, but we do not know enough about applying them: theconditions for when they work well and when they do not. Pay for performance remains an issue. As soon as itbecomes expected, any pay-for-performance scheme loses the characteristic of incentive. If pay forperformance is an incentive, how long does it last? And how can such schemes be used to supportorganization change?417
Intrinsic RewardsI believe we need to know much more than we do about intrinsic motivation and reward. We know that “it’sthe work itself,” but what, in more depth and with more specificity, do we know? Such thinking asCsikszentmihalyi’s (1990) work on flow is helpful here, especially his distinction between joy and pleasure.We need to know more about how to make work more satisfying, how to experience flow from time to time,and how to make change more accepted and enjoyable. The growing positive psychology movement is likelyto be helpful in this arena.418
Training and Development419
Training in the Service of ChangeToo often, training in organizations is conducted because competitors are doing it or because some executivebelieves that conducting a certain program would be a good thing to do, regardless of whether any evidenceexists that the program actually works. Training is, indeed, capable of helping organizational members learnand develop, but training targeted at supporting and enhancing organization change can have considerablepayoffs. Recall the British Airways (BA) case from Chapter 11 and how training was deployed for culturechange. More learning about the use of training at individual and group levels in the service of ultimateorganization change is needed.420
Action LearningThis form of training and development combines actual problem solving in organizations with learning abouthow to work together better, how to solve organizational problems more efficiently and effectively, and howto improve the learning process in general—learning about learning. Even though action learning isreasonably well known, it is not practiced very often. This form of learning can be a powerful vehicle fororganization change; see, for example, Tichy and Sherman (1993). We need to know more about theintricacies of this problem-solving and learning process and why it is not used more often.421
Teams and Teamwork in OrganizationsThere are good sources about teams and teamwork. Katzenbach and Smith’s (1993) The Wisdom of Teams isone of them, as is Organizing Genius, by Bennis and Biederman (1997), and Leading Teams, by Hackman(2002). What surprises me, however, is that this collective wisdom is so seldom applied. Yes, here in theUnited States, we are an individually focused culture, but we know that teamwork can benefit organizationchange and performance. I believe now as I did earlier (Burke, 1995); that is, we need to know more aboutsuch things as the following:Why there is so much talk about teamwork, with so little real actionWhat the elements are of a high-performing teamWhat kinds of goals for teams are those that provide “demanding performance challenges”—and I donot mean going over a wall or climbing a mountain together (i.e., “ropes and slopes”)What it takes to achieve a high degree of personal commitment among team membersWhat synergy is, really, and what the conditions are for achieving itThe kinds of assumptions that organizational members hold about teamworkHow to instill a team culture in an organization and make it last through structural and managementchanges as well as changes in the reward system (pp. 167–168)422
Organizational Size423
Large and Small SimultaneouslyThe main thesis of Naisbitt’s (1994) book, Global Paradox, is that in the face of global expansion for nations,there is at the same time a strong emphasis worldwide on ethnic groups, local community, and subparts ofcountries as the basis for one’s primary identity and loyalty. If Naisbitt’s thesis holds for large organizations,what does this mean for organization change? Supposedly, the organizational whole should be more than thesum of its parts, but in thinking about organization change in the future, should we consider the opposite—that is, strengthening parts more than the whole? Of course, the answer to this question is, “It depends.” Butwhat are the pros and cons? These are interesting questions for research.424
Silos and Boundary SpanningThis is the newer language for differentiation and integration. Obviously, any large organization needs both.It seems, however, that silos win over cross-functional teams. Is this a phenomenon? If so, don’t we need toknow more? And how can change toward a greater boundary-less way of working be promoted and realized?425
Size of Organizational UnitsThe evidence in support of an organizational unit’s being no larger than 150 people is compelling. FollowingWegner’s (1991) lead to understand more about how this works and its importance for organization changewould be a fascinating stream of research.426
Organizational PerformanceAs part of his review of Jim Collins’s (2001) book about how some “good companies become great,” Holstein(2001) made the following point:Whatever contributions the book offers are called into question by an intellectual assumption thatruns throughout: The only way to define a great company is in its return to investors over acontinuous and prolonged period. Such a standard doesn’t consider how a company could havechanged society or the world, how it benefited customers, how it conquered international markets,or how it treated employees. (p. 6)The point is that defining the degree of greatness of a company according to its stock price, even if measuredover time, provides a very limited index of performance. The time is overdue for us to consider organizationalperformance in multiple ways; yes, finance is one measure, but as Kaplan and Norton (1996) have explained(and as noted in Chapter 10), there are at least three other ways to measure performance. Moreover, measuresof organization change are far too complex to be left only to financial measures. Thus, we need to learn muchmore about how to define and measure organizational performance.427
Learning Priorities Moving ForwardThe coverage in the previous section on “what we need to know” consisted of eight categories—(a) process,(b) leadership, (c) structure, (d) rewards, (e) training and development, (f) teams and teamwork, (g)organizational size, and (h) organizational performance. The point was that we know some things in theseeight areas but need to know more. What follows is coverage of four areas where we need to know much more,because mistakes are being made. The first area concerns structure, with concentration on loosely coupledsystems and especially networks. Since I considered this area to be of critical importance, an entire chapter(12) is now devoted to it. The second area is the nature of resistance to change. We have been living with afairly narrow understanding of this phenomenon. The third area is again leadership but this time to addressthe two primary issues—(a) selection and (b) development. The fourth area is the relatively new ideas aboutsomething called learning agility. And finally, although briefly, we will touch on the importance of trust intimes of change.Not too long ago I was asked to write a perspective article on the field of organization development (OD) andchange. In that paper (Burke, 2011b), I discussed four areas that I believed needed considerable attention forthe field to move forward. Two of these areas were covered in the third edition of this book—(a) culturechanges (see Chapter 11) and (b) loosely coupled systems (see Chapter 12). The other two areas from theperspective article of 2011 will also be discussed in this closing chapter—(a) resistance and (b) leader selectionand development. The two additional areas for brief coverage are (a) learning agility and (b) trust.428
Resistance Isn’t What It Used to BePeople always resist change. We know better. People do not always resist change. Some embrace change andmake remarks like, “It’s about time” or “What took them (management) so long?” or “We’ve been needing toaddress this problem for a long time.” Yet when in a position to lead and manage change in an organization,we act as if that opening statement is true. I have been no exception. After all, one of the first articles I read asa graduate student was the classic Coch and French (1948) study titled “Overcoming Resistance to Change.”Shortly thereafter, I was influenced by Goodwin Watson’s (1966) thoughtful paper on resistance, and Ilearned from Paul Lawrence (1954) about how to deal with resistance. The main learning was that resistancewas something to “overcome.”Yet we have learned that resistance is not as simple as I portrayed it in the previous paragraph. In Chapter 6,we learned that people do not necessarily resist change itself but will resist the imposition of change—that is,taking away our freedom of choice. And we know that change, whether positive or negative, means a loss ofsomething, particularly a loss of familiar routines. We also know that not all forms of resistance are the same:One form can be blind, another ideological, and another political, and we should not attempt to treat thedifferent forms in the same way. Moreover, O’Toole (1995) made things even more complicated byidentifying 33 hypotheses about why people resist change. And Piderit (2000) cautioned us that what lookslike resistance may be nothing more than ambivalence, and the person or group simply needs more convincingevidence for the idea to “sink in.” Piderit went on to point out that responses to change are “neitherconsistently negative nor consistently positive” (p. 783). I was influenced by her thinking. Also, at about thesame time, Dent and Goldberg (1999) challenged my earlier thinking, which they characterized as a mentalmodel—that is, resistance is consistent and must be overcome. Furthermore, my mental model was “anti-Lewin” (sheer heresy on my part) by limiting my perspective to the person who is resisting and notconsidering the combination of the individual and his or her context, the larger system. Their argument wasthat many of us in the change business were making resistance totally psychological and not a systematic issue.Being a Lewinian, this argument made perfect sense to me. And to others.More recently, Jeffrey Ford and his colleagues have added to the notion that resistance isn’t what it used to be.These change scholars view resistance more as a resource to be deployed in the service of change rather than abarrier to be overcome. In other words, their perspective is one of broadening our thinking about and workingwith perceived resistance. Perceived resistance is just that, a perception, and is rarely seen by change leaders asrational, thoughtful, or reflective. Ford, Ford, and D’Amelio (2008) then went on to suggest three ways toexpand our thinking.SensemakingRelying on Weick’s (1995) thinking, Ford and colleagues see dealing with resistance as a matter of problemsolving. What’s the problem? The change leader’s need to implement change compared with the changerecipients’ need to understand what the change means personally for them. The goal then is trying “to makesense” of the situation and trying to solve a problem of differing needs rather than assuming resistance and429
attempting to overcome it.Change Leader Contributions to ResistanceWe know from research and stories in the media that when change leaders (a) say one thing then do another,(b) misrepresent the chances of success, and/or (c) ignore ideas and suggestions from change recipients,resistance is bound to occur. In other words, the causal agent for change resistance can easily be the changeleader.Resistance as a ResourceWhere there is resistance there is energy. People who resist care about something. What is worse? Apathy.Resistance, after all, is a form of engagement. Change leadership, then, concerns movement of energy; thinkof it as movement from resistance to ambivalence to acceptance. Easy to state, not so easy to do, but theleadership is about working with that energy, that engagement, rather than ignoring or attempting to gainsubmission from change recipients.To summarize, the changing conception of resistance concerns avoiding a we–they process between changeleaders and change recipients, avoiding a misinterpretation of change recipients’ reactions as resistance ratherthan ambivalence, and treating at least perceived resistance as a resource rather than a barrier to overcome.Allow me to repeat a story from my earlier perspective article that illustrates our need to reconceptualizeresistance:Several years ago in my role as director of our graduate programs in social organizationalpsychology, I (read “change agent/leader”) proposed that we initiate a new MA program in additionto the two programs (MA and PhD) that we had been providing for well more than 20 years. Iexplained (I thought patiently) the market, the need, and our capabilities of delivering such aprogram successfully. When I finished, there was a long silence followed finally by a facultymember’s raising questions rather than cheering me on. I perceived the questions to be resistance,and I became rather belligerent and withdrawn. A rather heated debate then ensued. I later learnedthat my colleague was not necessarily opposed to the idea; her behavior could more accurately belabeled as ambivalent (Piderit, 2000). In fact, we as a faculty did decide to proceed with the newprogram. As the change agent, I came close by my own behavior to fulfilling a prophecy about mycolleague who was not necessarily resistant, only questioning. As the agent, I needed to have treatedthese questions as important concerns, reasons to explore in more depth the rationale and potentialhazards for such a program.This short story captures and illustrates the primary points that Ford et al. (2008) make—the roleand behavior of the change agent, the change recipient, and the interaction between the two. It isthis dynamic, to use Ford and his colleagues’ term, that needs to be understood in more depth andused as a framework for learning and skill development. (Burke, 2011b, p. 158)430
Getting Leadership Selection and Development RightOver two decades ago, it was documented that the failure rate for individuals in positions of leadership was,on average, 50% (Hogan, Curphy, & Hogan, 1994). One of every two did not accomplish the goals set forthfor them as leaders. I suspect that this outcome has not changed all that much. This is a costly andunacceptable situation. Do we have a selection problem in the first place, or once selected, is it a matter ofdevelopment? The answer appears to be yes to both.432
SelectionWith respect to the issue of selection, we have at least three biases that influence us. If the leader nominationprocess comes from senior managers and executives, there appears to be a strong cloning effect, even thoughscholars such as Bennis and O’Toole (2000) and Levinson (1974) have given us due warning of theconsequences.A few years ago, some colleagues and I were working with a high-tech firm on leader development. Wedesigned and delivered a 2-day intensive program to enhance self-awareness. We had convinced the client ofthe importance of conducting such a program, since there was strong evidence of the relationship betweenself-awareness and leader–manager performance; see, for example, Atwater and Yammarino (1992), Church(1997), and the section on self-awareness in Chapter 15. The individuals attending the program weresupposedly “high potentials” for leadership in the company and were selected by their bosses. An importantpart of the program was multirater feedback, which, of course, included supervisor ratings. Over time webegan to see a pattern: The people selected for the program had behavioral profiles that looked a lot like theirdirect supervisors’ profiles. This example is only one company, and our “high potentials” number in thehundreds, not the thousands, but at the risk of overgeneralizing, I would wager nevertheless that cloning isalive and well. Senior executives in this company had espoused the importance of diversity among theiremployees, but it would seem that this was more preaching than practicing.A second selection bias is an explicit one that is largely based on the big five factors of personality (Hogan etal., 1994). We like people for leadership roles who are (a) mentally and emotionally stable, (b) agreeable, (c)conscientious, (d) outgoing and extrovertive, and (e) open to new ideas and experiences. We also prefer leaderswho are tall, over 6 feet. There is nothing inherently wrong with this bias; it is more a matter of our not quiteknowing as yet if people who are high on these qualities or characteristics make effective leaders. The biashearkens back to trait theory in leadership studies.A third bias is implicit theory, also noted by Hogan and colleagues (1994). With the possible exception of thebig five bias, we seem to have “in the back of our heads” a picture of what a successful leader looks like. And ifour search committee is composed of, say, eight members, we then have eight different pictures. I have beenknown to win money on the veracity of this so-called theory. As noted in my recent perspective article (Burke,2011b), I ask each person in an audience to list what he or she believes are the five most importantcharacteristics of a successful leader. Then I propose a wager of $5 that there will be no two people in theroom who have the same list. Some people will take the bet. With the audience being no more than 40individuals, I have never lost. If the audience is more than 40, I simply do not propose a wager. The higherthe number, the poorer my odds. The point is this: With all these different pictures, it is difficult to agree onone person who looks like what each of us prefers. Thus, we often end in a stalemate or compromise and the“right” person to fit the position and context is overlooked.The point has also been made that in selecting leaders we want them to have a reasonably high degree of self-awareness, and we would like to see the relationship between self-awareness and performance verified. In the433
Church (1997) study, performance was defined at the individual level—performance appraisal ratings, meritawards, promotion rate, and so forth. But what about performance, or at least an outcome (dependentvariable), at the group level? An arena and framework for exploration is the Burke–Litwin model (Chapter 10)and testing, say, the relationship between dimensions such as management practices and climate. Althoughinsufficiently rigorous due to small numbers, such a study informally has been done. In other words, does self-awareness predict performance at the work unit level, the group’s assessment of its work climate?In an unpublished study of work unit climate and multirater feedback in the National Aeronautics and SpaceAdministration (NASA) in the early 1990s, we compared managerial behavior ratings of NASA middlemanagers by boss, peer, subordinate, and self with their subordinates’ ratings of work unit climate, ouroutcome variable. Table 17.1 is a display of the entire set of 39 work unit climate items (e.g., “the work unitgoals are clear”) organized according to the six primary categories derived from earlier statistical methods, suchas factor analysis. The overall work unit climate rating was a simple mean score for all 39 items rated by thesubordinates of a given manager.The managerial practices ratings were 37 behavioral statements organized into five primary categories. Thesefive categories, with an exemplar for self-ratings for each one, follow:1. Planning and controlling: You establish work unit goals.2. Promoting achievement: You encourage subordinates to initiate innovative approaches to tasks orprojects.3. Understanding and supporting others: You pay close attention and seek to understand subordinateswhen interacting.4. Evaluating subordinates: You face up to and take appropriate action regarding poor performance on thepart of subordinates.5. Managing interfaces: You present bad news in a constructive manner.While the study was based on small sample sizes that somewhat limit the conclusions that can be drawn, it isreviewed here to (a) stimulate similar research on manager behaviors as antecedents linked with climate and(b) illustrate how climate can be used as an outcome variable in change work.In this study, managers’ self-ratings of their practices were categorized as high or low based on whether theywere above (high) or below (low) the 50th percentile when compared with all self-ratings provided bymanagers. Their self-ratings (M) were also compared with how they were rated, in aggregate, by theirsubordinates (Sub). Thus, some managers rated themselves higher than their subordinates rated them, whichis often the case (M > Sub); about the same as their subordinates rated them (M = Sub); or lower than theirsubordinates rated them (M < Sub). The following table shows the comparisons:434 Our informal prediction was that the highest climate ratings would occur in the upper middle box of our 2 × 3—that is, in work units led by managers whose self-ratings were high relative to those of their peers(interpreted as reasonable self-confidence, perhaps) and whose ratings of themselves were roughly the same ashow their subordinates perceived them (interpreted as an above-average degree of self-awareness). We werenot quite perfect with our prediction. The outcome of our study is shown in the following table:That is, the highest-rated work unit climate was the 1 box (upper right), where the managers rated themselvesabove the 50th percentile yet rated themselves less favorably than their subordinates rated them. I call this the“slight humility effect.” The most “out-of-touch” managers (the 6 box) were those who rated themselvesbelow average but at the same time rated themselves higher than their subordinates rated them.Again, the purpose of presenting this research here is twofold: (a) to stimulate further climate research thatfocuses on antecedents, particularly with the leader and management practices dimensions, and illustrate howclimate can be used as an outcome variable in change work—that is, at the group level—and (b) to advancefurther the hypothesis that self-awareness predicts performance—in this case, by way of climate—and in turn,motivation, then performance, as the Burke–Litwin model sets forth.435 Finally, we want self-awareness at the top of our list as criteria for selection—more specifically, an individualwho has self-confidence and an above-average level of self-awareness (as measured by the degree ofconsequence between self and others’ ratings of our individual leader) yet also has a dose of humility.Incidentally, this earlier tentative finding of ours is consistent with the research of Jim Collins (2001),reported in his Good to Great book, that Level 5 leaders are unique in two ways— (a) persistence and (b)humility.Returning for a moment to our work with the high-tech firm and its issue of cloning, we believed that“accusing” them of a problem without an alternative was not fair. Thus, I put together for them a set of 10criteria for selection of potential leaders (see Table 17.2).436 437 DevelopmentNotice that the concept here is development, not training. If we revisit for a moment Chapter 12 and considerthe distinctions between a leader and a manager, and even bearing in mind that there is overlap, it should beapparent that one can train a person for management more easily than one can train an individual forleadership. While both roles require skills, the ones required for management are simply more trainable thanthose for leadership. Management concerns such skills as planning and forecasting, analyzing competitors inone’s marketplace, reading an income statement, and budgeting, whereas leadership is more about setting acourse of direction, convincing people that change may be required, thinking long-range of what might be,inspiring people, and having emotional intelligence. I cannot imagine getting an MBA degree in leadership.Morgan McCall’s earlier work at the Center for Creative Leadership—see, for example, McCall, Lombardo,and Morrison (1988)—set the stage for his more recent conclusions about developing potential leaders(McCall, 2010). He concluded that leader development stems largely from different job experiences. As thecliché goes, “Experience is the best teacher,” but not just any experience and not experience alone. Someexperiences are more important than others. McCall (2010) stated that a number of studies show thefollowing:Successful managers [my word would be leaders] describe similar experiences that shaped theirdevelopment. These experiences can be classified roughly as early work experiences, short-termassignments, other people (almost always very good and very bad bosses or supervisors), hardships ofvarious kinds, and some miscellaneous events like training programs. (p. 4)438 The experiences that produce the greatest opportunities for learning about leadership are thereforenonroutine, challenging and demanding, stressful, and often require tough decision making. McCallestimated that 70% of leadership learning comes from these kinds of experiences. Others agree; see, forexample, Yost and Plunkett (2009). McCall (2010) went on to declare that effective leader development needsto follow the 70–20–10 rule; specifically, that is 70% varied and challenging assignments, 20% learning fromothers—good and bad bosses and the same for mentors and coaches—and 10% learning from programs thatfocus on specific skills such as public speaking and the art of storytelling. An important point should be addedregarding programs: The more they are stand-alone events, the less effective they are for leader development.In other words, they work best when designed to support directly the potential leader’s job experiences,mentoring, and coaching, and when the training is not just an individual focus but in support of a larger439 change effort—that is, to change the organization itself in terms of, say, achieving strategic outcomes moreeffectively. Support for this latter point regarding leader development, and why it often fails, can be found inthe recent article by Beer, Finnström, and Schrader (2016).Thus far, we have considered the importance of how learning should be provided for effective leaderdevelopment. But what should potential leaders learn? Again, based on the work of McCall (2010) andothers, and as I (Burke, 2011b) summarized recently, what leaders need to know can be boiled down to fivebasic demands of the leader role:1. Setting and communicating direction—determining purpose and vision goals and establishing supportfor these endeavors2. Aligning critical constituencies—making sure that those who need to support these endeavors are “onboard”3. Developing an executive temperament—being able to cope with complexity, ambiguity, and thepressures of the leadership role4. Setting and living values—clarifying what to believe in and stand for and making sure that as leader,one’s words match one’s actions5. Growing of self and others—practicing and supporting in others’ lifelong learning, growth, and change(p. 161)In an attempt to summarize and conceptualize leader development based on the work just presented, I havesuggested a framework of four stages or phases—see Table 17.3. First is selection (see Table 17.2 forsuggested criteria). Second is to provide opportunities for learning from varied and challenging jobassignments. Third is reinforcing the learning from the second phase. Simply having an experience is notsufficient for learning. We must connect our experience to language, to concepts that help us understand whatwe have experienced, and be able to apply that learning to new challenges in the future. Thus, reflection iskey. Mentors and coaches can be helpful in this third phase. And finally, in the fourth phase we need todetermine if the first three phases have been effective. Having an evaluation process all along—that is, notwaiting for Phase IV to begin—would be ideal. Such indices as multirater feedback, job performanceindicators, promotion rate, awards received, and so forth can be useful for the evaluation process.440 One final point or perhaps caveat has not been addressed: the issue of performance versus development.Developing potential leaders as just outlined requires an investment in a deliberate plan for learning over anextended period of time. Executives must be willing to reassign their high potentials and performers for someperiod of time—6 months to a year perhaps—to another position. From the executive’s point of view, he orshe would be making a sacrifice to allow one or more high performers to be seconded to another assignment.His or her “bottom line” could easily be affected. Moreover, just as stated before, the following applies:With the pressure that executives face in our rapidly changing world putting an inexperiencedperson, regardless of how bright and able the individual may be, into a tough, risky assignmentrequires a strong commitment to development, a commitment that most executives are unwilling tomake. McCall (2010) addressed this issue and suggested, among other ideas, to “embeddevelopment seamlessly in the business strategy” (p. 11). In short, he argued that it is better to “joinwith” executives than to confront them about the development versus performance issue. Whetherto fight or join, we as change consultants nevertheless have a lot to learn about how to ensure thatevidence-based knowledge regarding leadership development gets used appropriately in theorganizations we serve. (Burke, 2011b, p. 162)To help us learn more about how to fight rather than join, however, a recent article based on huge data setsprovides considerable ammunition for our evidence-based battle. Writing about this new accumulation ofstudy results, Irwin (2016) reports that to move up the corporate ladder and attain a top executive position, itclearly helps “to have experience in as many of a business’s functional areas as possible” (p. 1B). Irwin quicklycounters this finding by pointing out that there can be too much variety; for example, switching industriesworks against corporate success for potential executives. Switching between companies within an industrydoesn’t seem to matter one way or the other when it comes to getting up to the C suite. Another studypointed out that having “hybrid” jobs appears to help.A major conclusion that Irwin draws regarding the evidence from these large data sets is “that success in thebusiness world isn’t just about brainpower or climbing a linear path to the top, but about accumulating diverse441 skills showing an ability to learn about fields outside one’s comfort zone” (p. 4B), which leads us to considerthe relatively new research results on learning agility.442 Learning AgilityIt may be that those high-potential leaders who perform well and learn the most in a variety of job experiencesare highly agile with respect to their modes of learning. These are early days for understanding andconducting research on learning agility, but the future looks promising and exciting. Moreover, if a reliableand valid measure of the concept can be realized, learning agility will then be added to the criteria for selectionof potential leaders. Claims have been made regarding measurement (DeMeuse, Guangrong, & Hallenbeck,2010; Eichinger & Lombardo, 2004; Lombardo & Eichinger, 2000), but confusion about the concept itselfand what is being measured remains. A major article by DeRue, Ashford, and Myers (2012) highlights theconfusion by pointing out that the measures that exist may be assessing learning ability not agility. Theseauthors offer a definition of learning agility that emphasizes both speed—gaining understanding of an issue,problem, situation, or idea quickly—and flexibility—seeing patterns and making connections across a varietyof situations and ideas. DeRue and colleagues then moved from definition to a model of learning agility that is(a) comprehensive, including such variables as individual differences, contextual and environmental factors,and (b) complex, defining learning agility as speed and flexibility but in two different ways or processes—cognitive and behavioral. All these factors then lead to outcomes—that is, learning in and across situationsand positive performance and change over time.Over a period of more than five years, doctoral students and I have been working on defining learning agilityand attempting to measure it, but only behaviorally, not cognitively; see our commentary piece in the samejournal issue as DeRue and colleagues’ (2012) article (Mitchinson, Gerard, Roloff, & Burke, 2012). Werecognize that to understand fully what learning agility is all about, we must eventually account for bothbehavior and how people think, but for the present time our focus is on behavior. We have establishedreliability and validity for a 38-item questionnaire based on a 7-point Likert scale that is behaviorally writtenand consists of nine dimensions. The nine dimensions, with a sample item for each, are shown in Table 17.4.The stem for answering the 38 questions is, “How often do you engage in this behavior in your professionallife?”Each dimension consists of a four-item scale, except for speed and flexibility, which have five items each. Inaddition to the establishment of reliability for the 38 items, correlations among the dimensions range from .40to .68, well within acceptable limits—that is, related but not too much, thus justifying the inclusion of each ofthe nine clusters. Early validity research (Smith, 2015) and another (unpublished) study have shownpredictive, convergent, and discriminate validity. Research now and in the future will be a continuation ofvalidity studies and field experiments to determine how to help people improve their agility skills and continueto learn how to learn.By way of a summary and to add a point of clarification, to be learning agile one must have reached athreshold of learning ability. Beyond that threshold, ability probably doesn’t matter that much; anyone canlearn to be more agile. And when considering the nine dimensions, it probably becomes obvious that learningagility overall involves both skill and motivation. Skill is about discerning whether what one has learned fromexperience is relevant to the task at hand—and if not, what one then does—and how one thinks and behaves443 in general. Motivation concerns one’s willingness to take risks in attempting to deal with novel situationswhen not knowing exactly what to do. Coupled with risk-taking is seeking feedback about how one is doing,regardless of how threatening this action might be to one’s self-esteem.These behavioral categories and measurement items written in observable, behavioral terms provide ourbeginning. We have only scratched the surface conceptually; for example, we need to be as clear aboutlearning as we are about agility, and behaviorally—that is, to end up with measurement items that can supportboth self-rating and others’ ratings of the target individual. Our quest is to operationalize behaviorally what itmeans to be an agile learner. Stay tuned.444 445 TrustThe purpose of this last section of the book is simply to call our attention to a serious issue between peopleindividually, between groups, in and between work organizations, and in and between nations. Problems oftrust seem to be pervasive and deeper than ever before. Maybe this problem is no worse than it was inShakespeare’s day and before. It just seems worse, perhaps because our planet is occupied by so many morepeople and organizations. In any case, the problem, nevertheless, is with us. We know a lot about mistrust andconflicts; we know less about how to resolve conflict and restore trust once broken. The following briefdescription of a case of broken trust should illustrate my point.The Department of Energy (DOE), a primary agency within the U.S. government, is the parent organizationfor most of the research and development (R&D) laboratories within the federal system, ranging from themany laboratories that serve the Department of Defense to those that serve other agencies such as health-related ones and the DOE itself. Examples of the latter are the three national nuclear laboratories located inthe West: (a) Los Alamos and (b) Sandia in New Mexico and (c) Lawrence Livermore in Los Angeles, with asatellite operation in Berkeley, California. The primary mission of these laboratories is to oversee and protectthe stockpile of nuclear materials, especially pertaining to weapons for the U.S. military. The laboratories alsoconduct basic and applied research in a variety of areas such as materials science and laser fusion. For manydecades, these laboratories have been managed contractually by the University of California, charging DOE adollar a year for its services. Around the turn of the 21st century, Congress decided that DOE’s relationshipwith the University of California had run long enough, plus the fact that some incidents had recently occurredthat frightened some members of Congress, such as a Los Alamos scientist taking his computer home for ashort period. It was time for new management—some thought—and time to put the management contractout for public bid. Winning the contracts for all three laboratories were private corporations such as LockheedMartin, Bechtel, and Babcock & Wilcox. Thus, new management took over, with bonus systems for seniormanagers and closer scrutiny and supervision for practically everyone. According to a number of laboratoryemployees who complained to their local representatives in Congress, the culture of the laboratories was beingaffected in a deleterious manner. Congress then commissioned the National Research Council of the NationalAcademies of Science to conduct a review (if not investigation) of the situation at all three of the laboratories.I served on the 12-person committee of scientists—most of whom were nuclear physicists (read: intimidationon my part). I was the only psychologist and person on the committee with an organization and changemanagement background.We pursued our charge for the better part of a year, concluding with a written report of some 120 pages(Shank & Patel, 2012). Numerous issues were explored, but the one that seemed to loom large and mostpressing was labeled as “broken relationships,” which had emerged between DOE and the three laboratories.In other words, mistrust was everywhere but especially at the nexus of the parent DOE and the managementof the laboratories. It wasn’t that the laboratories were poorly managed but more a matter of heavy if notoppressive oversight that challenged local expertise, experience, and autonomy—a precious commodity,especially for a scientist.446 One of my contributions, perhaps my only one, was to write a one-page document titled “On the Psychologyof Trust” (see the sidebar), which was incorporated within the chapter of our report on “broken relationships.”One of the recommendations in the report was essentially the last paragraph of this one-page document.The message of the “broken relationships” story was to illustrate the point made in the opening statement ofthis section on trust. Mistrust and broken trust are very difficult to restore. We know precious little about howto do it. I am not the only one hoping for innovation in this critical arena of human relationships. Ford andcolleagues (2008) and Tomlinson, Dineen, and Lewicki (2004) have pointed out that we have few tools thathelp us repair damaged trust resulting from broken agreements.But there is encouragement. Trust is getting more attention. In addition to writing a book about leading ahigh-trust organization, Bob Hurley (2011) also designed and conducted a “Summit on Restoring Trust inBusiness” in the fall of 2011, sponsored by Fordham University, that was well attended and generated spiriteddialogue. Also see Dirks and DeCremer (2011) for coverage on repairing trust. So maybe with more concertedattention to the issue of mistrust and restoring trust, as well as putting the issue more centrally in our attentionspan—for example, by holding a conference on trust as Hurley led at Fordham University—progress can bemade.447 Summary StatementMy main objective with this final chapter was to highlight areas of organizational dynamics that can haveconsiderable influence on the success or failure of organization change efforts. These six areas—(a) culturechange (covered in Chapter 11), (b) loosely versus tightly coupled systems (let me clarify that my treatise onculture change in Chapter 11 was aimed primarily at highly coupled rather than loosely coupled systems,which would be treated differently), (c) resistance, (d) leader selection and development, (e) learning agility,and (f) trust—are strong candidates for deeper learning. While not the only areas in need of more attention, Inevertheless believe that if we poured more of our learning energy and focus into these six, we could likelyreduce the failure rate of over 70% regarding organization change efforts to a less embarrassing figure.On the Psychology of TrustWe can consider trust in two somewhat different ways: one concerning reliance and the other confidence. Reliance means believing inthe other person’s character and ability. Can I believe what the other person tells me? Does he know what he’s talking about? Do Ihave faith in her expertise, her knowledge? The other form of trust—confidence—means believing that I can depend on somethingin the future regarding another individual (or group perhaps). Can I rely on the other person to do, to deliver what he said he would?If I rely on her, for example, to keep a confidence, will she? Can I confide in her?This latter form of trust is more about the dynamics of interpersonal relationships, hence, more complicated. The remainder of thisbrief treatise addresses this form of trust.First, let us by comparison consider the opposite. Mistrust is very stable, whereas trust between people is delicate, ephemeral, likegossamer wings, and to maintain requires diligence.Mistrust can last centuries (think, e.g., the Middle East, China, and Japan) and take the form of what we refer to as “intractableconflict.” Trust, on the other hand, can be broken in a nanosecond.To repair broken trust requires considerable time and effort. Attempting to fix things all at once and quickly is naïve and highlylikely to fail.To repair broken trust requires first an understanding of what the antecedents are. Being open, transparent, straight, and directusually breeds the potential for trust. These behaviors do not in and of themselves guarantee trust; in other words, they are necessarybut not sufficient, yet they do set the stage for trust to ensue.To repair broken trust, it is best to take small steps. Initially one needs to take a trust risk that is relatively inconsequential—that is, ifthe other person violates the trust one has initiated, the outcome is not dire. If trust is not broken with this first step, then one cantry a second step, a risk that again is fairly small, and if violated, no babies will die. If with a second step trust is not violated, thencontinue the process, and with an accumulative effect over time trust can eventually be restored. Bear in mind that this process ofrestoration requires motivation, perseverance, and patience.448 ConclusionHow do you end a book about change? After all, as some wise people stated long ago, change is ongoing.Reaching for my trusty Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations (Bartlett, 1968), I found at least three that captured thisthought:Nothing endures but change.—Heraclitus (540–480 BC)Nothing in the world lasts save eternal change.—Honorat de Bueil, Marquis de Racan (1589–1659)There is nothing in this world constant, but inconstancy.—Jonathan Swift (1667–1745)Also, I have continued to read things, such as the article by Pettigrew, Woodman, and Cameron (2001) andthe extensive review by Oreg, Vakola, and Armenakis (2011). They relied on much of the same literature Idid, which was nice confirmation. Friends kept telling me about interesting articles and books they had readthat needed to be included. And I realized that, like change, this process could go on for the rest of my life. Sowe are not ending; it is merely a matter of stopping—for now.449 Appendix Annotated BibliographyBurke, W. W., & Trahant, W. (2000). Business climate shifts: Profiles of change makers. Boston: Butterworth-Heinemann.This book is about examples of organization change and, more particularly, about change leaders.The first two chapters (a) set the stage for the external environment for organizations, especiallycorporations, in this early part of the 21st century and (b) provide a framework—the Burke–Litwinmodel—for how each chapter is positioned—in other words, which dimensions (boxes) of themodel are emphasized as the primary levers for change. Each remaining chapter is then devoted toan interview, including summary comments at the end, with a senior executive who is, in most cases,the CEO of a large, complex organization and had the primary responsibility for leading asignificant transformation of his or her enterprise. These executives include Mac McDonald, headof Royal Dutch Shell, South Africa; Bob Bauman, SmithKline Beecham; Lee Griffin, Bank One,Louisiana; Lord Colin Marshall, British Airways; Bill Henderson, postmaster general, U.S. PostalService; Sir Richard Evans, British Aerospace; Jane Garvey, Federal Aviation Administration; andRoger Goldman, NatWest Bank.Capra, F. (1996). The web of life. New York: Anchor Books. [Issued in paperback by Doubleday (1997).]Fritjof Capra was originally trained in theoretical physics, and as a writer, he has significantlycontributed to our understanding of modern science. With his expansive mind, he has drawn fromthe variety of research and theory in biochemistry, biology, and other life sciences, by luminariessuch as Prigogine, Maturana, Varela, Margulis, and Kauffman, to provide a new scientificunderstanding of life at all levels, from organisms to social systems to ecosystems. He explained howwe are shifting paradigmatically from a mechanistic world based on physics to an ecological worldbased on the life sciences and systems theory. Capra helps us see the world as an integrated wholerather than as an aggregation of dissociated parts and realize that all phenomena are fundamentallyinterdependent. Moreover, he showed how all of us—organisms, individuals, organizations,societies—are embedded in and ultimately dependent on the cyclical processes of nature.Capra, then, is an integrator, his book being a synthesis of recent theories: complexity, Gaia, andchaos theories. It is useful to consider how organizations fit within the larger ecosystem and at theother end of the spectrum, how organizations are like and imitate organisms but also differ—that is,in that they are creations of humans, not of nature.Duck, J. D. (2001). The change monster: The human forces that fuel or foil corporate transformation and change.New York: Crown Business.450 Jeanie Daniel Duck is a senior vice president at the Boston Consulting Group and has years ofexperience as an organization change consultant. The premise of her book is the notion that duringorganization change, and especially early in the process, human emotions and social dynamics“emerge like a dragon surfacing from the ocean depths” (p. xi). This emerging dragon is the “changemonster.” All organization transformations, of course, involve people, and that means emotions arerampant and egos are on the loose. This notion is another way of explaining what Pascale,Milleman, and Gioja (2000) referred to as “being on the edge of chaos.” These emotional aspects arescary for change leaders, and they tend to avoid them. The purpose of Duck’s book, therefore, is tohelp executives deal with seemingly uncontrollable and irrational responses to organization change.Duck provided a sequenced set of actions to deal with the change monster. The first is to confrontstagnation—that is, to deal with denial that change is needed. The second is preparation, in whichchange leaders engage in planning and communication. Duck advised going slowly at first and thengoing faster later. Third is implementation, which means to form new habits, and fourth isdetermination, or staying the course. The final set in the sequence is what Duck called fruition,when emotions are the most intense. The payoff comes with new behavior and deep change. Duckprovided many examples that clarify how meaningful organization change occurs.Foster, R. N., & Kaplan, S. (2001). Creative destruction: Why companies that are built to last underperform themarket—and how to successfully transform them. New York: Currency and Doubleday.These two McKinsey consultants argued that with the rapid rate of change that occurs now, unlikein the past, organizations that are successful and “built to last” will not. Nothing breeds failure likesuccess. The better the company, the more efficient its operations and the more “locked in” to theirculture, to use their words, they become—and thus, the more resistant to deep change. Foster andKaplan were rather blunt about how wrong they believed the message is in Built to Last, by Collinsand Porras (1994). The message by Foster and Kaplan, incidentally, is much like that in Drucker’s(1994) Harvard Business Review article “The Theory of the Business”; that is, frequent examinationof and questioning what business you are in is imperative for long-term survival.Creative Destruction is based on a straightforward theory of how capital markets work and how theyare more amorphous and change more rapidly than do corporations. The mission of the corporationis to adapt as rapidly as possible to these forces and to fight against the rigidities of thinking byexecutives. It is interesting that the authors drew on research from cognitive psychology to explainhow executives make decisions when they are faced with the “enigmas, dilemmas, paradoxes,puzzles, riddles, and mysteries” (p. 62) of the marketplace. Changing the mental sets of theseexecutives is the challenge.Gladwell, M. (2000). The tipping point: How little things can make a big difference. Boston: Little, Brown.451 A writer for the New Yorker, Malcolm Gladwell was intrigued with the phenomenon of how andwhy major changes in society frequently happen suddenly and unexpectedly. Why did crime in NewYork City decline as suddenly as it did during the mid-1990s? Why did Hush Puppies shoes all of asudden make a comeback? Why was Paul Revere’s ride so successful when William Dawes’s ride inanother direction—but with the same warning about the British—was so unsuccessful? Gladwellcompared these social epidemics to viral epidemics and pointed to the parallels; that is, when theyreach a critical mass, they take off. They have reached the tipping point.Parallels can also be drawn between the ideas and facts that Gladwell presented and organizationchange. The perspective that needs to be maintained is the difference between change that simplyoccurs and planned change. Gladwell’s notions can indeed be applied to planned organizationchange.Lawler, E. E., III, & Worley, C. G. (2006). Built to change: How to achieve sustained organizationaleffectiveness. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Foster and Kaplan criticized the Built to Last premise and stated that “cultural lock-in” is theproblem—that is, organizations, to last, must change their cultures and must continue to do so overtime to succeed in the long term. But Foster and Kaplan did not necessarily tell us how to do it, tounlock the culture. Enter Lawler and Worley from the University of Southern California. Theseauthors also referred to the Collins and Porras (1994) book, Built to Last, and used their reference toit as a taking-off point. For organizations to last today, especially in the commercial sector, theymust be built to change. To last, they argued, organizational leaders must ensure that theirorganizations are agile and adaptable and constantly monitor their external environments. Built toChange is very much about design, identifying and adopting practices, structures, and processes thatsupport and foster continuous change. Organization change is not so much a goal but more a process,a way of organizational life.For Lawler and Worley, designing organizations for change should concentrate on such dimensionsas (a) performance and defining organizational effectiveness; (b) strategizing; (c) structuring foreffectiveness and change; (d) developing the right information, measurement, and decision-makingprocesses; (e) acquiring the right talent; (f) managing human capital; and (g) designing the rightreward system—that is, the one for performance and change. To give a couple of examples of howthese authors address these dimensions, they argued that it is far more important for organizationalexecutives to construct environmental scenarios that describe a range of possible future businessconditions than simply to assemble an array of facts about the current environment. These scenariosshould then drive strategizing and define effectiveness. A second example is their use of the termstrategizing rather than strategy or strategic planning. Strategizing should occur every day, rather thandeveloping a plan that is done once a year. Lawler and Worley also emphasized the continuousdevelopment of a temporary competitive advantage for a business; that is, what may be an advantage452 today may not be one next week. The authors provided many additional examples for how to thinkabout design in these dimensions and cited illustrative cases from such companies as Procter andGamble, Johnson and Johnson, Limited Brands, and Toyota.Pascale, R. T., Milleman, M., & Gioja, L. (2000). Surfing the edge of chaos: The laws of nature and the new lawsof business. New York: Crown Business.These authors, like Capra, chose an organism as the best metaphor for an organization. In fact, theyargued that because an organization is a living system, the organism notion is more a reality than ametaphor. They drew from the life sciences what they referred to as “four cornerstone principles,”which are just as valid for organizations as they are for species. These cornerstone principles are (a)equilibrium leads to death, (b) innovation often occurs “on the edge of chaos,” (c) self-organizationand emergence happen quite naturally, and (d) organizations can only be disturbed (“perturbed”),not directed. Using examples from well-known organizations, including Sears, Hewlett-Packard,and the U.S. Army, Pascale and his colleagues demonstrated one important way organizations actlike species: They either respond to change and evolve—or die.These authors claimed by means of their parallels with the life sciences that change fororganizations is a constant and those that survive learn how to adapt themselves to the perpetuallychanging external environment.453 Note: The following six books and a video served as general backgroundsources for this book.Buchanan, M. (2000). Ubiquity: The science of history . . . or why the world is simpler than we think. London:Weidenfeld & Nicolson.This book is in the same genre of books as those by Capra, Gladwell, and Gleick cited already—thatis, writings about science for the broader public. In this case, Buchanan, a science writer with a PhDin theoretical physics, began like Gladwell (2000) in The Tipping Point by pointing out that suddenupheavals, such as world wars, earthquakes, gigantic forest fires, and stock market crashes, all eruptfrom very different roots but have at the same time an intriguing similarity. In each instance, theorganization of the system made it possible for a small triggering event to cause reactions far out ofproportion to the event itself. Such small triggering events are called by physicists the critical state,an “unstable and unusual condition that arises only under the most exceptional circumstances” (p.13)— a slight grain of sand falling into a pile of sand that causes an avalanche, a slight shift in theearth’s surface that causes an earthquake, one stockowner’s decision to sell that causes a marketcrash, the butterfly effect, and so on. Buchanan’s book is loaded with such examples, and theexamples indeed make his conclusions persuasive. It is interesting to speculate about theapplicability of these ideas for organization change. A small lever in the direction of the desiredchange—for example, a brief exchange between the CEO and a few key people—could cause arevolution.Capra, B. (1990). Mindwalk: A film for passionate thinkers. Hollywood, CA: Paramount Pictures.Based on Fritjof Capra’s (1982) book, The Turning Point, this movie is an extensive conversationamong three people—an academic (played by Liv Ullmann), a politician (played by SamWaterston), and a poet (played by John Heard)—who happen to be on a respite of sorts at the samelocation, the beautiful island abbey of Mont Saint-Michel. The academic waxes eloquent andphilosophical about organisms, patterns, ecosystems, the whole earth, and the universe, while thepolitician scoffs at the impracticality of it all and the poet provides some levity on occasion butmostly perspective—and a bit of poetry. Not quite 2 hours in length, the movie is a useful mediumfor introducing ideas from the new science: chaos and complexity theories, self-organization,patterns, autopoiesis, and open-system theory. This movie is not for your average 10-year-old butfor “passionate thinkers” who are somewhat older. It can be a worthy alternative to heavy tomes onthe same subject matter.Chernow, R. (2004). Alexander Hamilton. New York: Penguin Books.454 Many consider Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States, to be the father of theDeclaration of Independence and James Madison, the fourth president, to be the father and primaryauthor of the American Constitution. That would make Alexander Hamilton, according to RonChernow—now Hamilton’s primary and perhaps most authoritative biographer—the father of oursystem of government, including especially his concept of capitalism. Hamilton was GeorgeWashington’s aide de camp and eventually became the first secretary of the treasury. And if youwould like to know what he looked like, just reach into your pocket or purse, pull out a $10 bill, andthere he is.Why call attention to Chernow’s biography in an annotated bibliography of a book on organizationchange? It required effort on my part. The book is a hernia-producing 788 pages, including notes,bibliography, and acknowledgements. But my effort (about a month) in reading the book pales incomparison to Chernow’s effort of several years in writing it. I treasured each page. Chernow is aconsummate writer and superb scholar of American history.The reason for including Chernow’s masterpiece is that from my perspective Hamilton wassimultaneously a change agent (content) and change leader (process) par excellence. Hamilton was achange agent in the form of his writing and speaking (sometimes for as long as 6 hours), and hiscontribution to the Federalist Papers provided the bulk of the form and substance of our governmentbased on the rule of law. As a change leader, Hamilton provided (a) a clear vision for the future ofthe United States (16 states at the time) with the balance of a strong central government and states’rights and (b) a role model for change with his relentless communication of that vision via speechesand writings and his nurturance of a network of supporters and champions for the change he andthey advocated.Hamilton was unquestionably brilliant, yet like us all, human and therefore imperfect. As the bookjacket captures so well, Chernowvividly re-creates the whole sweep of Alexander Hamilton’s turbulent life—his exotic, brutalupbringing; his titanic feuds with celebrated rivals; his pivotal role in defining the shape of thefederal government; his shocking illicit romances; his enlightened abolitionism; and his famousdeath in a duel with Aaron Burr in July 1804.Reading the quote, one can easily understand why this book inspired the award-winning Broadwaymusical simply titled Hamilton. I highly recommend both the musical and Chernow’s book. For theformer you will need plenty of money, and for the latter you will need plenty of time.Gleick, J. (1987). Chaos: Making a new science. New York: Penguin Books.The introduction to chaos theory, at least for us neophytes, is this book by James Gleick. Heprovided for us the fundamentals of chaos theory as well as how it evolved. Gleick’s manner of455 writing is most helpful in two primary ways. One, he simply is an excellent writer. He tookincredibly complex ideas and explained them in such a way that nearly anyone can understand. Two,Gleick told stories about the scientists in the field, which of course makes the reading all the moreinteresting. Last, there are pictures—some in beautiful colors!As Gleick stated, “Where chaos begins, classical science stops” (p. 3). The implication is thatclassical science is about order, predictability, and regularity. Chaos theory is the opposite. By the1970s, a handful of scientists in the United States and abroad began to see “things” within disorderand irregularity that had not been seen before. These things, to name a few, became known as thebutterfly effect, nonlinearity, fractals, attractors, bifurcation, arrhythmia, the Mandelbrot set, and aphenomenon we have all experienced, especially in airplanes, turbulence. And the beauty of it all, andcertainly for those of us who need some closure, is that underlying apparent chaos is often order,pattern, and even at times symmetry.Kauffman, S. (1995). At home in the universe: The search for laws of self-organization and complexity. New York:Oxford University Press.Kauffman, a biologist, clearly stated that although Darwin’s theory of evolution has been“spectacularly successful,” it is not sufficient to explain much of life. Evolutionary theory, after all, issteeped in scientific reductionism—that is, breaking complex systems into their respective parts. Butthe whole often, if not always, has properties that cannot be explained by understanding the parts.This kind of complexity and whole-system way of thinking is not new. Yet Kauffman, using as hisbase biology and mathematics, provided compelling evidence with examples that show dramaticallythat we can understand systems without knowing all the details. He pointed out that one needs toknow which properties of a system are important and which properties of a system are less so. Thenone is in a position to independently explain the details of what the nature of a system is. Aneffective organizational model can have these characteristics. In chapter after chapter, Kauffmanvalidated his point. Implicitly, we have believed for quite some time that a group and anorganization are more than the sums of their parts. Now there is hard evidence. Kauffman also helpsus understand more about principles such as self-organization, the edge of chaos, and complexity.Recall that Capra (1996) in his book, The Web of Life, drew on the work of Stuart Kauffman.McClure, B. A. (1998). Putting a new spin on groups: The science of chaos. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.The initial premise of this book is that the models and theories of small-group development fromthe 1950s and 1960s, when put to use, are really not very valid. They tend to be overly linear and toostatic; for example, groups go through stages such as “forming, storming, and norming” (p. 34).McClure did not argue that these ideas should be discarded; he preferred to add new concepts fromchaos theory and from the evolution theory work of Arthur Young (1976) to build a new model of456 group development. McClure’s model is neither linear nor unidimensional, and he emphasized thecentral function of conflict. Although there is a progressive quality to his model, the focus is moreon how groups change, evolve, and mature. McClure is not as comprehensive as Gleick in hiscoverage of chaos theory, but he did introduce us to the terminology and to some of the primaryideas and concepts, particularly those that he found most applicable to group development, such asself-organization and behavior in systems far from equilibrium. Based on Young’s ideas of howevolution occurs—that is, nonlinearly—McClure derived an “arc” of group development havingseven stages and beginning and ending with performing. After the initial performing stage comesunity, then disunity, followed by the central focus or nadir of his arc, conflict and confrontation, thendisharmony and harmony, and ending with a new version of performing. His model is more complexthan my description may sound and does indeed reflect thinking from chaos theory and Young’swork.Stickland, F. (1998). The dynamics of change: Insights into organisational transition from the natural world.London: Routledge.As Stickland has pointed out, many books have been written about how to manage change but fewabout the nature of change itself, the what. His book, therefore, addresses the content; that is, heexplored what organization change is as a phenomenon. Stickland’s fundamental question is this:How can we really understand the process of leading and managing organization change if we arenot sufficiently clear about what it is in the first place? He then proceeded to explain systemsthinking—that is, general systems theory, or metaphorical ways of understanding organizationchange. Then he summarized much of the relevant literature, referring to familiar names such asKurt Lewin, William Bridges, and Andrew Pettigrew. Seeking a definition of organization change,Stickland then explored various perspectives, particularly from the social sciences and the physicalsciences. 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Rice Institute (AKRI), 17–18, 261–269action steps at, 264–265deep structure change at, 267external consultant for, 263group vs. organization development at, 268–269mission statement of, 265, 266 (table)overview of change at, 261–262resistance/ambivalence, dealing with, 267–268as volunteer organization, 265, 267Alderfer, C. P., 141Aldrich, H. E., 297Alexander, R. A., 298Alinsky, Saul, 49, 200Alpha change, 144, 161 (figure), 162, 358Anchor Savings Bank. See Dime Bancorp, Inc. (revolutionary change case study)Anderson-Rudolph, M. K., 243Annual Review of Psychology, 166–168Anxiety/guilt, 178Apparent equilibrium, 58Applied behavioral science, 52Applied research, 197Argyris, C., 109, 186–187, 192 (table), 198–199Armenakis, A. A., 145–147, 166, 397Arquila, J., 270Artifacts, 246–247, 251, 257, 258–259Ashford, S. J., 391–392Ashkanasy, N. M., 148–149, 150Attractors, 81, 154, 155, 166Atwater, L., 380Audia, P. G., 171–172495 Authority, leadership and, 304–305Autocratic management, 39, 46Autocratic system, 39Autonomy and connection, 274, 367Autopoiesis (self-making), 64–66, 69, 70, 71, 358Avis car rents, 104Ayling, R., 346Bamforth, K., 42Banas, J. T., 113Bank-wiring group studies, 35Bargh, John, 165Barrick, M. R., 298Barriers to change, 76–77Basic assumption group vs. work group, 123Bass, B. M., 304, 305–308Bateson, G., 68, 69Bauman, B., 326–327, 330, 332–333, 335, 341Baumeister, R. F., 361BBC, 335–336Beckhard, R., 45, 117, 176, 180–181Bedeian, A. G., 166Beer, M., 142, 143, 166Behavioral complexity theory, 310, 347Behavioral science, 52, 53Beliefs and values, 247–248, 257, 259Bell, C. H., Jr., 44Benevolent autocracy, 39Benne, K., 196–197, 198, 199–200, 201, 221Bennis, W., 199, 374, 380Bernstein, W. M., 243Beta change, 144–145, 161 (figure), 162, 358Biederman, P. W., 374Big five factors of personality, 381Biggart, N. W., 129, 130Biological species domain, 75Bion, W., 187, 193 (table), 268Birt, J., 335Blaize, N., 150Blake, R. R., 44, 46–48, 120496 Blind resistance, 111Block, Peter, 3Blue’s Clues (TV program), 342, 352Blumberg, M., 142Bolster, B. I., 363Bonabeau, E., 5–6Bossidy, L., 3Boundary management, 308–309Boundary spanning, 375Boyatzis, R. E., 150Bradford, Leland, 44, 199Brain vs. mind, 68Bratslavsky, E., 361Brehm, J. W., 111Bresler, C., 164Bridges, William, 113–114, 181British Aerospace (BAe), 133, 250choosing successor at, 346launch phase, 333–334, 335postlaunch phase, 339, 342–343prelaunch phase, 329–331research at, 317–318British Airways (BA) culture change case study, 25, 73, 77–78, 170, 225–226artifacts, 251, 257changing the culture by not changing the culture, 255–256choosing successor, 346espoused beliefs and values, 251, 257external environment, 226, 254initiation of change, 225–226, 250–251launch phase, 334–335, 352maintaining change, 345Managing People First program, 252–254postlaunch phase, 340, 352primary focus of change, 104, 256refreeze stage, 254theoretical summary of, 256–257training, 374underlying assumptions, 255–256unfreeze stage, 252vision, 333497 Brown, L. D., 140, 141, 166, 204Brown, L. L., 153–154Buchanan, P., 44Buffering, 273Built to Change (Lawler & Worley), 365–369Built-to-change organization, 365–369design and structure, 367–368external environment of, 365human capital, 368identity, 366measurement, 368reward system, 368–369strategizing, 366–367Built to Last (Collins & Porras), 2–3, 13, 365Bullock, R. J., 241Burke, W. W., 97, 129, 130, 159, 183–184, 242, 243, 261, 285, 292–293Burke-Litwin causal model of organization performance and change, 72, 222–244background of, 25, 223–225climate, 223–225, 224 (figure), 235, 242culture, 233–234description of, 225–229Dime Bancorp case study, 84 (figure)external environment, 231–232, 238–239individual and organizational performance, 237individual needs and values, 235–236leadership, 233management practices, 234mission and strategy, 232–233motivation, 236–237at NatWest Bancorp, 353–354structure, 234summary of, 243–244systems, 234–235task requirements and individual skills/abilities, 235transactional factors, 230–231 (figure), 240–243transformational–transactional distinction, 229–231transformational factors, 229–230 (figure), 239–240validity of, 237–243Burnham, D. H., 324, 325Burns, James M., 97, 189–190, 212, 229, 299, 300 (table)–301 (table), 308498 Business process engineering, 32Business unit level of organization change, 22Caldwell, S., 150, 280–281Cameron, K. S., 361–362, 363, 364, 397Cannella, A. A., Jr., 111–112, 267–268Capital markets, 2, 14–15Capra, F., 6, 20, 62–72, 101, 358Cardinal, L. B., 239Carley, K., 270Carlzon, J., 254, 360Causationloosely coupled systems and, 271–272as perception, 164–165See also Burke-Litwin causal model of organization performance and changeCells, 373Centralization–decentralization, 373Challenger accident, 248–249, 273, 292Chambers, J., 320Chandler, A., 239Changebarriers to, 76–77continuous (see Continuous change)eight-stage process of leading, 3–4episodic, 157, 167–168establishing the need for, 157, 167–168evolutionary (see Evolutionary change)focus, 124, 136 (table)integrated models (see Integrated models)look of, 364–365need for, communicating, 333–334orders of, 136 (table)phases, 136 (table)planned, 1, 8, 10–12 (figure)processes, 136 (table)process interventions, 162strategies for, in human systems, 195–200unplanned, 1, 29, 156, 157 (table)See also Organization changeChange management, 51499 Changing Minds (Gardner), 317–320Changing stage, 178–179, 180Chaos, edge of, 5, 343, 344, 371Charan, R., 3Charisma, 305, 306–307Charismatic leader, 304 (table)Chatman, J., 280–281Chin, R., 196–197, 198, 199–200, 201, 221Choicemetaphor of, 19–20theories of, 20Church, A. H., 380, 381Churchill, Winston, 313, 371Cisco Corporation, 320Citicorp (Citi), 105–107Clement, S. D., 309Climate, organizational. See Organizational climateClosed organizationally, 66Closed systems, 55Coachingcounseling and, 107–110development, 108double-loop, 109executive’s agenda, 108–109performance, 108skills, 108Coch, L., 61, 377Coding process, 58Coercion and confrontation, 48–49, 53Cognition, 68–69Cognitive (expectancy) theory, 183–184, 192 (figure), 194Collective distributed leadership, 148Collins, James, 2–3, 238, 376Communication, 151, 371relentless, 281–282skills case study, 281–283Competition, 122, 356Complexity theory, 309–310, 347Complex-systems approach, 153–154Conceptual models, 169–201500 content, what to change, 170–172, 359dialectical theory, 174, 175 (table)evolutionary theory, 78–80, 174–176, 175 (table)life-cycle theory, 174, 175 (table)mini-theories, 182–191, 192 (table)–193 (table)process, how to change, 172–173, 359process, how to change, practice frameworks, 176–182teleological theory, 174, 175 (table)Conflict resolution case study, 284–285Congruence model, Nadler-Tushman, 211 (figure)–216, 220, 227Conscientiousness, 96, 98Consensus management, 39Consistency, during postlaunch phase, 339–340Constant variables, 275Consultative management, 39Content vs. process, 169–170Contingency theory (Lawrence & Lorsch), 189–190, 193 (table)Contingent rewards, 307Continuous change, 2, 78–80, 157, 172definition of, 167discontinuous change vs., 358organizational learning and, 79–80transactional leadership and, 305See also Change; Evolutionary change; Transactional leaders/leadershipContinuous improvement (Kaizen), 78, 156Co-performing distributed leadership, 148, 151Coping with changeat individual level, 113–116, 137 (table)at organizational level, 138 (table)Corbett, H. D., 273Corporate culture, 365–369external environment and, 365human capital and, 368identity and, 366measurement and, 368organization design and structure, 367–368reward system and, 368–369strategic planning and, 366–367Corporations, changing, 13–15. See also Organization changeCorruptions of feedback, 275501 Coser, L., 49Creative Destruction (Foster & Kaplan), 5, 13Credo (Johnson & Johnson), 248Cross-functional group work, 47Csikszentmihalyi, M., 361, 373Cultural lock-in, 5, 15, 67, 258, 317, 357Culturecorporate (see Corporate culture)defining, 245organization, 233See also Organizational culture changeCurphy, G. J., 297–298, 381Curriculum case study, 283–284DaAngelis, L., 292–293D’Amelio, A., 378, 379–380, 395Dartmouth College, 319–320Davis, S., 45Day, D. V., 298Decision making, 310–311, 323, 347–348DeCremer, D., 395Deep ecology, 62–64Deep structure, 75–76, 77, 203, 257, 267De Gaulle, C., 26Demand system, 180Dent, E. B., 378Department of Energy (DOE), 394–395DePree, M., 359–360DeRue, D. S., 391–392Deutsch, M., 49, 241Deutsche Bank, 170Devadas, R., 119Developmentcoaching and (see Coaching)individual level of change and, 105–107organization vs. group, 268–269research needs, 386–391, 389 (table)See also TrainingDewey, J., 199Dialectical theory, 174, 175 (table)502 Dickson, W. J., 33Differential participation, 274Differentiation, 59, 60, 72, 173, 274, 366, 367, 375Dime Bancorp, Inc. (revolutionary change case study), 80–89background of, 81–82Burke-Litwin of survey summary scores, 84 (figure)launch phase, 335, 352mission statement, 82, 325–326, 327, 333organizational surveys, 82–89predictive model, 86 (figure)predictive model, detailed scores, 87 (figure)values and, 325–326, 327Dineen, B. R., 395Dirks, K. T., 395Disconfirmation, 178Discontinuous change, 2, 25, 169, 182continuous change vs., 358theory of business and, 171transformational leadership and, 305See also Revolutionary change; Transformational changeDissipative structures, 66–67Distributed leadership, 148Diversionary tactics, 132, 133, 138 (table)Double-loop coaching, 109Double-loop learning, 199Driving forces, 185, 186Drucker, P., 13–14, 50, 170–171, 289, 356Dunbar, R.I.M., 352Dunlap, J., 45DuPont, 13, 356Dyer, W. G., 116–117Dynamic homeostasis, 58–59Edge of chaos, 5, 343, 344, 371Edwards, W., 81Eisenstat, M. A., 166Emerson, R. W.Emery, F. E., 238, 328Emery Air Freight, 185Emotional intelligence, 68, 105503 Empathy, 282, 305, 312Empirical-rational strategies, 196–197Energy importation, 56, 60, 62Entropynatural process of, thwarting, 60negative, 57–58, 62Episodic change, 157, 167–168Equifinality, 59, 60Equilibrium, 343, 344–345apparent, 58countering in living systems, 268, 345–346domains, 75–78periods, 76–77punctuated, 74, 257quasi-stationary, 58Espoused beliefs and values, 247, 248, 250, 251, 257, 259Evans, Richard, 329–331, 333–334, 339, 342–343, 346Event cycles, 57, 60Evolutionary change, 10, 74case example, 89–92as first-order change, 156, 157 (table)levels of change and, 135 (table)–136 (table)Managing People program (Citicorp), 105–107revolutionary change vs., 1, 21, 99, 126–127selection of potential leaders at NASA case study, 291–293See also Continuous changeEvolutionary theory, 78–80, 174–176, 175 (table)Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done (Bossidy & Charan), 3Executive behavior case study, 286–290Executive coaching, 108, 109–110Executive leadership, characteristics of, 308–312behavioral complexity, 310, 347conceptual complexity, 309–310, 347strategic decision making, 310–311, 347–348summary of, 311–312visionary and inspirational, 311, 348See also Leadership; Transformational leaders/leadershipExpectancy theory (Vroom/Lawler), 183–184, 192 (figure), 194Explicit rules, 233External environment, 1, 2, 7504 built-to-change organization and, 365corporate culture and, 365of corporations, 14–15critical questions about, 355–356of government agencies, 15–16prelaunch phase and, 327–328Extroversion, 95, 96Exxon (Esso), 44, 45Faucheux, C., 141–142Fedor, D. B., 150Feedbackcorruptions of, 275multirater, 83, 90–91multisource, 90negative, 58, 363survey, 38–40, 52, 128360-degree, 89–90Fetter, R., 290Field theory (Lewin), 185–186, 192 (table)Finkenauer, C., 361First-order change, 124, 156, 157 (table)Flat hierarchy, 118–119, 271, 372Fleishman, Edwin A., 36–37, 46, 61, 240Focused leadership, 148Follett, Mary Parker, 268Ford Company, 13Ford, J. D., 147–152, 378, 379–380, 395Ford, L. W., 147–152, 378, 379–380, 395Foster, R. N., 5, 13, 14–15, 67, 237, 258, 317Four Habits Model, 282–283Fox, M. M., 243Frankel, R. M., 281–283Freedman, James O., 319–320Freedom and constraint, 274Freezing (refreezing), 126, 168, 177, 179, 180, 278, 293, 344, 349French, J.R.P., 44, 61, 372, 377Freud, Sigmund, 199Friedlander, F., 140, 141, 166, 204Front-back structures, 368505 Functional unity, 20Galbraith, J. R., 240Galvin, R., 359–360Gamma change, 145, 161 (figure), 162, 358Gandhi, M., 26, 200, 312, 313Gap, organizational, 177, 178, 188–189, 208, 209Gardner, H., 68, 312–313, 315–320, 341Gates, B., 313General Electric (GE), 13, 346, 366General Foods, 102–103General Mills, 45General Motors, 13, 104, 170, 171, 172General Products, 166Georgiades, N., 226, 252Gersick, C., 75–78, 203, 262, 267, 363–364Gerstner, L., 104Gilley, A., 150Gilley, J. W., 150Gioja, L., 5, 21, 79, 167, 359Gladwell, M., 5, 359Gleicher, D., 176Global Paradox (Naisbitt), 375Goldberg, S. G., 378Goldin, D., 15–16Goldman, R., 307, 341–342, 353–354Goleman, D., 105, 310Golembiewski, R. T., 144–145Goodman, P. S., 119Gordon, G. C., 238–239Gore, B., 360Gould, S. J., 74Government organizationschanging, 15–16, 285–293characteristics of, 278–280duality of, 279executive behavior case study, 286–290leader selection case study, 291–293mission of, 278summary of, 293–294506 sustainment of change case study, 290–291See also Health care organizationsGrand theory, 75Grant, U. S., 297Great Britain, leader–manager distinctions in, 302, 303 (table)–305 (table)Greiner, L., 173Griffith-Hughson, T. L., 119Gronn, P., 148Group level of change, 22, 116–123challenging allegiances or ownership, 122, 137 (table)closing ranks, 122, 137 (table)coping with change, 137 (table)demand for new leadership, 122–123, 137 (table)evolutionary change, 135 (table)intergroup, 119–121resistance, 137 (table)responses to change, 121–123revolutionary change, 135 (table)team building and, 44–45, 116–118turf protection and competition, 122, 137 (table)See also Larger-system level of organization change; Individual level of organization changeGroupsbasic assumption group, 123cells and, 373change and, 75cross-functional group work, 47development of, vs. organization development, 268–269in-/out-group theory, 48–49large-group interventions, 127–128mini-theories on, 185–187self-directed, 118–119, 372team building and, 44–45T-groups, 41, 44, 198, 199values, changing through, 186–187, 192 (table)work group, 43Group unconscious, 187, 193 (table)Guiliani, R., 3, 371Guilt/anxiety, 178Hackman, J. R., 119, 184, 192 (table), 242, 372, 374507 Hambrick, D. C., 111–112, 267–268, 298Harris, R. T., 176, 180–181Harvey, J. B., 120–121Harwood-Weldon Manufacturing Corporation, 45Hawthorne studies, 32–36, 52, 61, 107Hayakawa, S. I., 197Health care organizationschanging, 280–285characteristics of, 278–280communication skills case study, 281–283conflict resolution case study, 284–285curriculum case study, 283–284duality of health care organizations, 278–279mission of, 278physician behavior case study, 280–281summary of, 293–294See also Government organizationsHeifetz, R., 337Heroic leader paradigm, 148Herold, D. M., 150Herzberg, F., 35, 183, 192 (table)Heskett, J. L., 257–258, 296, 365Hierarchyflat, 118–119, 271, 372steep, 271Hierarchy of needs, 183Higgs, M., 149Higher education institutions, changing, 16Hitt, M. A., 298Hofstede, G., 238Hogan, J., 297–298, 381Hogan, R., 297–298, 381Holistic approach, 62, 360, 364Holstein, W. J., 376Homans, G., 33Homeostasis, 58, 76Houghton, J., 359–360HP Way, The (Hewlett-Packard), 248HRM (human resources management), 241Human capital, 241, 365, 368, 402508 Humanistic values, 46, 52Human-processual approach, 141 (figure), 158, 204Human resources management (HRM), 241Human systems, strategies for effecting change in, 195–200Hunter, J. E., 242Hurley, R. F., 395Huselid, M. A., 241IBM, 104, 170, 171Identity, corporate culture and, 366Ideological resistance, 112–114Illumination experiments, 33Implicit rules, 233–234Incentives, 31, 33, 90, 153, 185, 241, 255, 373. See also RewardsIndividual change theory, 75Individual consideration, 306Individual level of change, 101–110coaching and counseling, 107–110coping with change, 113–116, 137 (table)evolutionary change, 135 (table)expectancy (cognitive) theory and, 183–184job satisfaction, 184, 192 (table)job satisfaction and, 184, 192 (table)mini-theories on, 183–185, 192 (table)need theory and, 183, 192 (table)replacement/selection/replacement/displacement, 102–105resistance and, 110–113, 137 (table)responses to change, 110–116revolutionary change, 135 (table)training and development, 105–107See also Group level of changeIndustrial psychology, 36–38Information system (IS), 241Information technology (IT), 51, 127, 172, 241Innovative leaders, 304 (table), 313In-/out-group theory, 48–49Input-throughput-output, 56, 60In Search of Excellence (Peters & Waterman), 2, 13Inspirational leader, 300 (table), 304 (table), 311, 348Inspirational motivation, 306509 Integrated models, 202–221defining models, 203–204Nadler-Tushman congruence model, 211 (figure)–216, 220, 227reasons to use, 204–206, 220–221Tichy’s TPC (technical, political, cultural), 216–220, 217 (figure), 219 (figure), 227Weisbord’s six-box model, 208–211, 210 (figure), 220, 227See also Organization; Organization changeIntegration, differentiation and, 59, 72, 274, 375Integration and coordination, 59, 60Intellectual stimulation, 306Intergroup level of organization change, 119–121, 136 (table)International Harvester Company, 36–37, 61Interorganizational change, 128–131. See also Organization changeInterviewing program, 34–35Intrinsic awards, 373Introversion, extroversion vs., 95Intuition–sensing, 95Intuitive leader, 299, 300 (table), 302 (table), 304 (table), 323Jackson, P., 297Jackson, S. E., 241Jack: Straight from the Gut (Welch), 3James, William, 163–164James-Lange theory, 164, 257Japankaizen (continual improvement), 78leader–manager distinctions in, 301–302 (table), 302, 303 (table)Jaques, Elliott, 309–310Jefferson, Thomas, 197Jick, T. D., 114Jobs, Steve, 313Job satisfaction, 184, 192 (table)Job satisfaction (Hackman & Oldham), 184, 192 (table)Johnson & Johnson, 248Jones, Reginald, 313Joyce, W. F., 240, 298Judging–perceiving, 95Jung, Carl, 95Kahn, R. L., 55, 56–60, 71, 238Kaiser Permanente (KP), 282–283510 Kaizen (continuous improvement), 78, 156Kanter, R. M., 118, 123Kaplan, R. S., 5, 13, 14–15, 67, 237, 258, 317, 376Katz, D., 55, 56–60, 71, 238Katzenbach, J. R., 374Kavanagh, M. H., 148–149, 150Kelleher, Herb, 26Kelman, S., 286–290Kimberly, J. R., 124, 173King, D., 102, 103–104King, M. L., Jr., 26, 200, 312, 313, 332Kipnis, D., 372Kodak, 13Kolb, H., 44Kotter, J. P., 3–5, 257–258, 296, 365Krupat, E., 281–283Kubler-Ross, E., 110Laboratory training. See Sensitivity trainingLAI (Leadership Assessment Inventory), 96–97Laird, J. D., 164Lake, D., 295Lange, C. G., 164Lapiz, M., 280–281Large-group intervention, 127–128Larger-system level of organization change, 123–134apathy and, 132, 133, 137 (table)change factor, 126–127change process, 127–128contingency theory and, 189–190, 193 (table)coping with responses to change, 138 (table)diversionary tactics, 132, 133, 138 (table)insufficient sense of urgency, 138 (table)interorganizational, 128–131orders of change, 124–125phases of change, 125–126resistance to, 138 (table)system responses to change, 131–134See also Group level of changeLaunch phase, 333–337, 348511 applying Tipping Point principles to, 352communicating the need, 333–334dealing with resistance, 336–337initial activities, 334–335Lawler, E. E., III, 183–184, 241, 350, 365–369, 370Lawrence, P. R., 189–190, 193 (table), 212, 240Leaderscharacteristics of, 309–310defining, 233, 298–299development of, 386–391exemplary, 315–317heroic leader paradigm, 148innovative, 304 (table), 313inspirational, 300 (table), 304 (table), 311, 348intuitive, 299, 300 (table), 302 (table), 304 (table), 323levers for change and, 317–320manager vs., 299–304, 300 (table)–301 (table)ordinary, 312–313phased program for, 389 (table)power and, 372reasons to study, 359research needs, 371–372resistance and, 378selection of, 291–293, 380–386, 387 (table)self-awareness of, 322–323, 381, 386self-examination by, 322–327self-ratings by, 90, 96self-ratings of work unit climate by, 382–386, 384 (table)–385 (table)storytelling and, 4–5, 312–315transactional (see Transactional leaders/leadership)transformational (see Transformational leaders/leadership)visionary, 239, 304 (table), 311, 313, 338See also Executive leadership, characteristics of; Leadership; Transactional leaders/leadership;Transformational leaders/leadershipLeadershipauthority and, 304–305causal model and, 233charismatic, 304 (table)collective distributed, 148co-performing distributed, 148, 151512 dimensions of, 46distributed, 148executive (see Executive leadership)focused, 148functions of, 37organization change and, 25–26See also LeadersLeadership (Guiliani), 3Leadership Assessment Inventory (LAI), 96–97Leading Change (Kotter), 3–4Leading Change (O’Toole), 359–360Leading Minds (Gardner), 312–314Leading Teams (Hackman), 374Learningaction, 374double-loop, 199organizational, 79–80research needs, 391–393 (table)single-loop, 199Learning agility, 391–393 (table)Learning perspective, 194Leavitt’s organizational systems, 206–207 (figure)Levels of organization change, 100–138, 358business unit level, 22group level, 22, 116–123individual level, 22, 101–116larger-system level, 123–134summary of, 135 (table)–136 (table)total system level, 22, 56, 60–61Leveraged buyout (LBO), 122Levine, A., 104Levinson, D., 75, 77, 110Levinson, H., 190–191, 193 (table), 380Lewicki, R. S., 395Lewin, K., 38, 40–41, 45, 59, 61, 199, 256, 268field theory of, 185–186, 192 (table)three-stage model of, 125–126, 167–168, 177, 201, 344, 349Liebovitch, L. S., 154Life-cycle theory, 174, 175 (table)Likert, R., 38, 39, 102, 188–189, 193 (table), 199513 Lippitt, R., 49, 179–180, 199, 201Litwin, G., 25. See also Burke-Litwin causal model of organization performance and changeLiu, Y., 150Living systemsbedrock principles, 343–344countering equilibrium in, 268, 345–346criteria for understanding, 64–70parallels to organizations, 70–72pattern, 64–70process, 67–70, 72structure, 66–67Locke, E. A., 171–172Logic, presumptions of, 274Lombardo, M. M., 386London, M., 91Loosely coupled systems, 28–29, 260–276causation and, 271–272compensation and, 272–273defining, 270–275direct effects, 272organizational outcomes and, 273–275organizational structure and, 269–270summary of, 275–276tightly coupled system vs., 260–261, 270–271, 274typology of, 272See also A. K. Rice Institute (AKRI)Lord, R. G., 298Lorsch, J. W., 189–190, 193 (table), 212, 240Lynn, L., 286Mackenzie, S. B., 290Macrosocial system, 44Mahoney, T. A., 298Managementautocratic, 46boundary, 308–309causal model and, 234change, 51consultative, 49–51laissez-faire, 308514 participative, 39, 47, 48, 188–189, 193 (table)permissive, 46–47transition, 180–181while walking around, 306Management information systems (MIS), 234–235, 241Manager–leader distinction, 299–304, 300 (table)–301 (table)Managerial grid, and organization development, 46–48, 52Managing People First (MPF) program, 252–254Managing People program (Citicorp), 105–107Mann, F., 38–39Mann, H., 197Marshall, C., 104, 250–251, 252, 254, 307, 333, 334–335, 345, 346Marshall, G. C., 312Marsick, V. S., 79–80Marx, K., 200Maslow, A. H., 183, 192 (table), 199Matrix structures, 218–219 (figure), 367, 368Maturana, H., 64–65, 68–69, 70Mayo, E., 33MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator), 95–98, 323, 335MBWA (management while walking around), 306McCall, M., 386–388McClelland, D., 223, 324, 325McGregor, D., 44, 45, 199, 289McKee, R., 314–315McKinsey, J. O., 50–51McMillan, H. S., 150Measurement, 358–359, 368. See also Research, organization changeMergers, failure of, 9. See also Dime Bancorp, Inc. (revolutionary change case study)Metaphorair traffic controller, 208of choice, 19–20organism, 19–20, 208as paradox, 206Meyer, C., 5–6Miles, R. E., 173Milleman, M., 5, 21, 79, 167, 359Miller, C. C., 239Mills, C. W., 200Mills, P. R., 235515 Mind vs. brain, 68Mini-theories, 182–191, 201contingency theory, 189–190, 193 (table)expectancy theory, 183–184, 192 (figure)field theory, 185–186, 192 (table)group emphasis, 185–187group unconscious, 187, 193 (table)individual emphasis, 183–185job satisfaction, 184, 192 (table)larger-system emphasis, 188–191need theory, 183, 192 (table)organization as family, 190–191, 193 (table)participative management, 47, 48, 188–189, 193 (table)positive reinforcement, 184–185, 192 (table)summary of, 192 (table)–193 (table)Theory X and Theory Y, 186–187, 192 (table)Mintzberg, H., 206MIS (management information systems), 234–235, 241Mission, 232, 278, 341–343Mission statementof A. K. Rice Institute, 265, 266 (table)of Dime Bancorp, Inc., 82, 325–326, 327, 333Mitre Corporation, 294 (note 1)MLQ (Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire), 305Models, organizational. See Organizational modelsMomentum, 345, 370Monsanto, 320Morgan, G., 19–20, 206Morrison, A. M., 386Moses (biblical), 28Motivation, 236–237, 242inspirational, 306Motivation-hygiene theory, 35Motives, 323–325Mouton, J. S., 46–48, 120Movement (change), 168, 177, 180, 278, 293, 349Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ), 305Multi-lens studies, 194Multiple leverage, 338–339Multirater feedback, 83, 90–91516 Multisource feedback, 90Multivariate systems, 206Murray, H., 197Myers, C. G., 391–392Myers, J., 286–290Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), 95–96, 323, 335Nadler-Tushman congruence model, 211 (figure)–216, 220, 227concept of fit in, 214–215inputs, 212–213outputs, 213transformation process, 214Naisbitt, J., 375National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), 15–16, 115, 248–249, 271duality of, 279selection of potential leaders case study, 291–293work unit climate study, 382–386, 384 (table)–385 (table)National Parole Institute, 246National Research Council, 394NatWestBancorp, 307, 353–354Needs and values, 235–236Need theory (Maslow/Herzberg), 183, 192 (table)Negative entropy, 57–58, 62, 358Negative feedback, 58, 363NEO-Personality Inventory (NEO-PI), 96–97Networks, 269–270, 373Neuroticism, 96, 98Nielsen, W. R., 124Nohria, N., 298Nonlinear complexity theory, 166, 216Nonlinear methods, 154–155, 166Nonprofit organizations, changing, 17–18, 355, 357. See also A. K. Rice Institute (AKRI); OrganizationchangeNonviolence, 199Normal science methods, 154Normative-reeducative strategies, 198–199Norton, D. P., 376Noumair, D. A., 261Obholzer, A., 304–305Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, 16517 Oldham, G. R., 184, 192 (table), 242Openness, 66, 96, 98, 248, 249, 256Open structurally, 66Open systemscharacteristics of, 56–60prelaunch activity and, 328theory, 54–62, 158–159, 204See also Burke-Litwin causal model of organization performance and changeOrdinary leaders, 312–313Oreg, S., 113, 145–147, 150, 351, 397O’Reilly, C. A., 280–281Organism metaphor, 19–20, 208Organizational climatecausal model and, 223–225, 224 (figure), 235, 242self-ratings of work unit, 382–386, 384 (table)–385 (table)Organizational coordination, 59, 60Organizational culture changeartifacts level of, 246–247, 251, 257, 258–259basic underlying assumptions of, 248–249, 255–256, 259British Airways case study, 250–258characteristics of adaptive culture, 258espoused beliefs and values, 247–248, 257, 259vignette about, 245–246See also Organization changeOrganizational gap, 177, 178, 188–189, 208, 209Organizational leadership. See LeadershipOrganizational learning, 79–80Organizational models, 2, 24, 359caveats about, 206comparisons among, 220conceptual (see Conceptual models)defining, 24integrated (see Integrated models)limitations of, 220–221model of choice, 24–25Nadler-Tushman congruence, 211 (figure)–216, 220, 227organization change and, 24–25, 158–159 (figure)predictive, 86 (figure)predictive, detailed scores, 87 (figure)priorities and, 181, 205–206518 reasons to use, 204–206, 221Tichy’s TPC (technical, political, cultural) framework, 216–220, 217 (figure), 219 (figure), 227Weisbord’s six-box model, 208–211, 210 (figure), 220, 227See also Burke-Litwin causal model of organization performance and changeOrganizational performance, 237Organizational size, research needs, 375–376Organizational structure. See StructureOrganizational surveys, 82–89Organizational theory literature, 2Organization changebuilt-to-change organization, 365–369case for, 13–19changed-based framework, 158, 159 (figure)complexity of, 309–310, 347conceptual models for, 169–201consequences of, unanticipated, 344–345consistency of, 339–340content of, 23, 170–172critical questions for, 355–356data-based, 25, 189declarations/points of view of Burke, 19dialectical theory and, 174, 175 (table)domain of, 75evolutionary (see Evolutionary change)evolutionary theory and, 78–80, 174–176, 175 (table)group emphasis theories, 185–187history of, 28–53how change occurs, 22–23initiatives, 346–347interorganizational change, 128–131launch phase of, 333–337, 348, 352leadership (see Leadership)measurement of, 25models (see Organizational models)momentum and, 345, 346, 370nature of, 73–99nonlinear nature of, 11–12 (figure), 322–333paradox of, 362–363perseverance, 340–341, 352phases of, leader role and, 321–322519 planned (see Planned change)planned process model of, 160–161 (figure)positive, 361–369postlaunch phase, 337–343, 348, 352–353prelaunch phase, 322–333, 348, 351priorities and, 25, 133, 181, 342process of (see Process)research and theory (see Research, organization change)research needs, 370–397resistance to (see Resistance)rethinking, 9–27revolutionary (see Revolutionary change)sources for understanding, 1–8strategic, 191, 193–195successors, choosing, 346sustaining, 343–347, 348, 353–355systemic nature of, 60–62system responses to, 131–134systems theory implications, 63–64theoretical foundations of, 54–72Tipping Point principles and, 350–355types of, 20–22, 156–157 (table)vignette, 6–8vision and, 341–343See also OrganizationsOrganization development (OD), 41approaches to, 141 (figure)managerial grid and, 46–48, 52Organization performance, research needs, 376Organizationschanging, 355–359conceptual models for understanding, 169–201as families, 190–191, 193 (table)integrated models (see Integrated models)systems theory implications, 63–64teams and teamwork in, 44–45, 116–118, 374–375See also Organization changeOrganization theory literature, as information source, 1Organization vs. group development, 268–269Organizing Genius (Bennis & Biederman), 374520 Orlikowski, W. S., 78, 79Ormiston, M., 280–281Orton, J. D., 271, 272–273, 274O’Toole, James, 323–324, 331–332, 333, 350, 359–360, 377, 380Our Iceberg Is Melting (Kotter & Rathbeger), 4–5“Paradox of Success, The” (Audia et al.), 171–172Parcells, B., 297Participative management, 39, 47, 48, 188–189, 193 (table)Pascale, R. T., 5, 21, 79, 167, 343–345, 346, 359Pattern, as living system criterion, 66–67Patton, G., 26Peabody, G. L., 49Pearlman, K., 242Pearson, C.A.L., 119Performance, individual, 237Permissive management, 46–47Perseverance, during postlaunch phase, 340–341, 352Personalitybig five factors of, 381leadership and, 371Peters, T., 2, 3Pettigrew, A. M., 397Phase space method, 154Phony conflict, 120–121Physician behavior case study, 280–281Piderit, S. K., 113, 268, 377–371Planned change, 156, 157 (table)paradox of, 8, 10–12 (figure)phases of, 179–180unplanned change vs., 1See also Change; Organization change; Unplanned changePlanned process of model of organization theory, 160–161 (figure)Plunkett, M., 388Podsakoff, P. M., 290Political institutions, use of, 200Political resistance, 112Poole, M. S., 172–173, 175 (table)–176, 200, 201Porras, J., 2–3, 141, 156–157, 158–159, 160–162, 161 (figure), 166, 168, 172, 174, 175 (table)–176,204, 227521 Porter, M., 327Positive psychology movement, 362Positive reinforcement (Skinner), 184–185, 192 (table)Postlaunch phase, 337–343, 348applying Tipping Point principles to, 352–353consistency during, 339–340multiple leverage during, 338–339perseverance during, 340–341, 352repeating the message during, 341–343taking the heat during, 339Powell, M., 10Power-coercive strategies, 199–200Power elites, 200Power/politics, 372Predictive model, 86 (figure)detailed scores, 87 (figure)Prelaunch phase, 322–333, 348applying Tipping Point principles to, 351establishing need for change, 328–331external environment, 327–328leader self-examination, 322–327vision and direction during, 331–333Prescott, J. E., 238Presumptions of logic, 274Price, C., 339Prigogine, I., 66, 69Primary work system, 43Principles of Scientific Management, The (Taylor), 30Pringle, C. D., 142Prioritieslearning, 376–377organizational models and, 181, 205–206organization change and, 25, 133, 181, 342psychological, 223role of feedback in setting, 128team-building and, 117Processchaos and, 5, 343, 344, 371communication and, 151, 281–283, 371content vs., 169–170522 dialectical theory and, 174, 175 (table)evolutionary theory and, 174–176, 175 (table)Lewin’s three steps and, 177life-cycle theory and, 174, 175 (table)as living system criterion, 67–70, 72momentum and, 345, 370of organization change, 23–24practice frameworks for how to change, 176–182research needs, 370–371Schien’s three stages and, 177–179successful processes of change, 360–361teleological theory and, 174, 175 (table)theoretical framework for how to change, 172–176Proctor & Gamble, 13, 104, 274–275Professionalism, 50Professional services partnership case study, 89–92assessment and ratings tools, 92–99behavioral practice values, 94 (table)behavior practice example, 93–97data summary of partners of firm, 97–98recommendations, 98–99“Profile of Organizational Characteristics” (Likert), 39Psychological commitment, 115–116Psychological priorities, 223Psychological reactance, 111Psychological safety, 178Punctuated equilibrium, 74, 257Putnam, R., 143Quasi-stationary equilibrium, 58Quinn, R. E., 78–79, 145, 166–168, 344Rajagopalan, N., 191, 193–195, 201Rathgeber, H., 4–5Rational perspective, 194Raven, B. H., 372Reagan, R., 26Rectitude of the powerful, 76Reengineering, 28, 32Refreezing (freezing), 126, 168, 177, 179, 180, 278, 293, 344, 349Relay assembly group experiments, 33–34523 Relentless communication, 281–282Research, organization changeaction research, 45–46, 153, 197action science, 143applied, 197current thinking on, 166–168leadership of change, 147–152multi-lens studies, 194nonlinear methods, 154–155, 166normal science methods, 154organization change theory, 140–153organization development, 386–391, 389 (table)organization models, 158–159 (figure)phase space method, 154Porras and colleagues’ theory on, 156–157present/future needs, 370–397problems in, 142–144recent approaches to, 153–155reviews of, 140–153Resistance, 8, 319, 320at A. K. Rice Institute, 267–268blind, 111content/process of, 169–170at group level, 121–123ideological, 112–114at individual level, 110–113, 137 (table)during launch phase, 335, 336–337at organizational level, 138 (table)political resistance, 112research needs, 377–380as resource, 379–380Resources and rewards, 318, 320Restraining forces, 185Reveille for Radicals (Alinsky), 49Revolutionary change, 74–78case example (Dime Bancorp, Inc.), 80–89deep structure, 75–76, 77equilibrium periods, 76–77evolutionary change vs., 1, 21, 99, 100–101, 126–127levels of change and, 135 (table)–136 (table), (table)–(table)524 revolutionary periods, 77–78as second-order change, 156, 157 (table)Revolutionary periods, 77–78Rewardsbuilt-to-change organization and, 368–369contingent, 307formal and informal, 373See also IncentivesRice, A. Kenneth, 17, 261. See also A. K. Rice Institute (AKRI)Richley, E. A., 292Richter, F. M., 154Rioch, Margaret, 261Roberson, B., 298Robertson, R. J., 156, 172, 227Roethlisberger, F., 33, 36Rogers, C., 41, 199Romanelli, E., 77Ronfeldt, D. F., 270Roosevelt, Eleanor, 26, 312Rosenberg, R. D., 242Rosenstein, E., 242Rost, J. C., 299Rowland, D., 149Rustin, B., 200Schachter, S., 164Schein, E., 37, 177–179, 201, 246, 247–249, 251, 255–256Schmidt, F. L., 242Schneider, B., 225, 240, 241Schön, D., 109, 198–199Schuler, R. S., 241Scientific fields domain, 75, 76Scientific management, 30–32, 50, 51, 52Second-order change, 124–125, 156–157 (table)Selection, of leaderscase study, 291–293research needs, 380–386, 387 (table)Self-awareness, leader, 322–323, 381, 386Self-directed groups, 118–119, 372Self-examination, leader, 322–327525 Self-making (autopoiesis), 64–66, 69, 70, 71, 358Self-organization, 65, 337, 343, 344Self-ratings by leaders, 90, 96of work unit climate, 382–386, 384 (table)–385 (table)Seligman, M. E. P., 361Sensemaking, 378Sensitivity training, 40–41, 44, 52, 61, 198, 199Seo, M., 290Shapiro, R., 290, 320Shepard, H., 44, 120Sherif, M., 49Shin, J., 290Silos, 375Silvers, R. C., 157, 160, 166Skinner, B. F., 184–185, 192 (table), 197Sloan, A. P., 312Slocum, J. W., 240Smith, D. K., 374Smith, Fred, 313Smith, K. G., 150, 171–172Smith, M. L., 150SmithKline Beecham, 69–70, 131, 326–327launch phase at, 335, 336postlaunch phase at, 341prelauch phase at, 326–327, 332–333Snyder, R. A., 240Socialization of processes, loosely coupled systems, 274–275Social validation, 247–248Sociotechnical systems, 41–44, 45, 52Spector, B., 166Spencer, W., 105Spin-offs, 122Spreitzer, G. M., 191, 193–195, 201Springbett, B. M., 363Stability, 59, 66, 81, 155Stalker, G., 189–190, 212Steady state, 43, 44, 58, 74Steep hierarchy, 271Stein, T., 281–283Stengers, I., 66526 Storytelling, 4–5, 312–315Strategic change, content and process of, 191, 193–195Strategic decision-making theory, 310–311, 347–348Strategic logic, 367Strategic planning, elements of, 366–367Strategies, changeBurke-Litwin causal model and, 232–233empirical-rational, 196–197normative-reeducative, 198–199power-coercive, 199–200Stratified systems theory (SST), 309Structurebuilt-to-change organization, 367–368causal model and, 234centralization vs. decentralization, 373corporate culture and, 367–368deep, 75–76, 77, 203, 257, 267dissipative, 66–67front-back, 368as living system criterion, 66–67loosely coupled (see Loosely coupled systems)loosely/tightly coupled, 260–261, 270–271, 274matrix, 218–219 (figure), 367, 368networks, 269–270, 373research needs, 372–373Successors, choosing, 346Summary/conclusions, 293–294Surfing the Edge of Chaos (Pascale, Milleman, & Gioja), 5Survey feedback, 38–40, 52, 128Surveys, 82–89Sustaining change, 290–291, 343–347, 348applying Tipping Point principles to, 353–355choosing successors and, 346launching new initiatives and, 346–347maintaining momentum and, 345, 346unanticipated consequences and, 344–345Svyantek, D. J., 153–154Swarm intelligence, 5–6System 4 (Likert), 39Systems theory, 63–64527 Tao of Physics, The (Capra), 63Tavistock Institute, 42Taylor, F., 30–32, 50, 51, 52, 197Taylor, M. S., 290, 298Teamsbuilding of, 44–45, 116–118research needs, 374–375Technology, 77, 88as factor in planned change, 158, 159 (figure), 161 (figure)as factor in unplanned change, 156information, 51, 127, 172, 241obsolete, 218, 354, 356Techno-structural approach, 141 (figure), 158, 204Teleological theory, 174, 175 (table)Texture, causal, 238T-groups, 41, 44, 198, 199. See also Sensitivity training“T-Groups for Organizational Effectiveness” (Argyris), 41Thatcher, M., 26, 73, 170, 225–226, 250, 312Theorybehavioral complexity, 310, 347of choice, 20cognitive (expectancy) theory, 183–184, 192 (figure), 194complexity, 309–310, 347contingency, 189–190, 193 (table)dialectical, 174, 175 (table)evolutionary, 78–80, 174–176, 175 (table)field, 185–186, 192 (table)grand, 75individual change, 75in-/out-group, 48–49James-Lange, 164, 257life-cycle, 174, 175 (table)mini-theories, 182–191motivation-hygiene, 35open systems, 54–62, 158–159, 204organization change, 140–153, 160–166, 161 (figure)psychological reactance, 111strategic decision-making, 310–311, 347–348stratified systems, 309systems, 63–64528 teleological, 174, 175 (table)Theory X, 186–187, 192 (table), 199Theory Y, 186–187, 192 (table), 199, 289two-factor, 183visionary and inspirational, 311, 348Theory of the business, 170–171, 226Theory X, 186–187, 192 (table), 199Theory Y, 186–187, 192 (table), 199, 289Thinking–feeling, 95Third-order change, 125Thorndike, E. L., 197360-degree feedback, 89–90Tichy’s TPC (technical, political, cultural) framework, 216–220, 217 (figure), 219 (figure), 227Tightly coupled system, loosely coupled system vs., 260–261, 270–271, 274Tipping Point, The (Gladwell), 5, 350–355Toal, L., 327Tomlinson, E. C., 395Total system level of organization change, 22, 56, 60–61Tourquet, P., 261Trade literature, as information source, 2–4, 5Trainingat individual level of organization change, 105–107research needs, 374sensitivity training, 40–41, 44, 52, 61, 198, 199T-groups for, 41, 44, 198, 199Transactional factors, 230–231 (figure), 240–243Transactional leaders/leadershipcomponents of, 307–308continuous change and, 305transformational vs., 229–231, 300 (table)–301 (table)Transactional vs. transformational change, 127, 231See also Continuous changeTransformational change, 21–22, 359transactional change vs., 127, 231Transformational factors, 229–230 (figure), 239–240Transformational leaders/leadership, 305–308authority and, 304–305components of, 305–307discontinuous change and, 305transactional vs., 229–231, 300 (table)–301 (table)529 See also Executive leadership; LeadershipTransition management, 180–181Transition models, 180–182Trist, E., 42–44, 199, 238, 328Trust, 393–395, 396–397TRW Systems, 45Turning Point, The (Capra), 63Tushman, M. L., 77, 211 (figure)–216Two-factor theory, 183Unexpected consequences, 344–345Unfreezing, 125–126, 168, 177, 178, 179, 252, 278, 349Union Carbide, 44University of Phoenix, 16Unplanned change, 1, 29, 156, 157 (table). See also Planned changeUrwick, Lyndall F., 50Vakola, M., 145–147, 397Valuesbehavioral practice, 94 (table)changing, through groups, 186–187, 192 (table)commitment of leader to, 325–327espoused beliefs and, 247–248, 250, 251, 257, 259humanistic, 46, 52individual needs and, 235–236Van de Ven, A. H., 172–173, 174, 200, 201Varela, F., 64–65, 68–69, 70Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act (2014), 294 (note 1)Veteran’s Administration (VA), 293–294Vision, 331–333, 341–343Visionary and inspirational theory, 311, 348Visionary leader/leadership, 239, 304 (table), 311, 313, 338Vohs, K. D., 361Voice of causation, 271–272Voice of compensations, 272–273Voice of direct effects, 272Voice of organizational outcomes, 273–275Voice of organizational structure, 269–270Voice of typology, 272Volunteers, 265, 267, 278Volvo, 103–104530 Von Bertalanffy, L., 63–64Vroom, V., 183–184, 192 (table)Walden Two (Skinner), 184–185, 197Walton, R. E., 142, 143Wanberg, C. R., 113Waterman, R. H., Jr., 2Watkins, K. E., 79Watson, G., 377Watson, J., 49Web of Life, The (Capra), 6, 63Wegner, D. M., 164–165, 375–376Weick, Karl, 78–79, 145, 166–168, 175, 271, 272–273, 274, 344, 378Weiner, N., 298Weisbord’s six-box model, 208–211, 210 (figure), 220, 227Welch, J., 3, 4, 26, 313, 346Wendt, H., 332–333, 341Westley, B., 49Weston, J., 330–331, 333, 334, 346Wheatley, T., 164–165Whetten, D., 160, 162Whitehead, T. N., 33Whole organization systems, 43Who Moved My Cheese (Johnson), 4Wilson, B. L., 273Winderman, B. B., 261Wisdom of Teams, The (Katzenbach & Smith), 374Witherspoon, R., 109Woodman, R. W., 397Work system, 43Worley, C. G., 350, 365–369, 370Yammarino, F., 380Yost, P., 388Yukl, G. A., 148Zaccaro, S. J., 298, 308–309, 311, 347–348, 349Zaleznik, A., 97, 230, 299–300 (table), 308, 312, 324Zuboff, S., 241531 532 About the AuthorW. Warner BurkeEdward Lee Thorndike Professor of Psychology and Education,Graduate Programs in Social-Organizational PsychologyDepartment of Organization and LeadershipTeachers College, Columbia UniversityNew York, New YorkOriginally educated as a social-organizational psychologist (PhD, University of Texas at Austin), Dr.Burke is currently engaged in teaching, research, and consulting. He teaches leadership, organizationaldynamics and theory, and organization change and consultation. His research focuses on multiraterfeedback, leadership, learning agility, and organization change.Dr. Burke’s consulting experience has been with a variety of business-industry, education, government,religious, medical systems, and professional services firms, including British Airways; SmithKlineBeecham; National Westminster Bancorp; British Broadcasting Corporation; Business Consultants,Inc. of Japan (since 1972); Pricewaterhouse Coopers Consulting; the National Aeronautics and SpaceAdministration; Dime Savings Bank; and Miller and Chevalier law firm. He also served as senioradvisor to the strategy and organization change practice of IBM Global Business Services.Prior to his move to Teachers College, Dr. Burke was professor of management and chair of theDepartment of Management at Clark University. Prior to the Clark assignment, Dr. Burke was anindependent consultant, from 1974 to 1976. For 8 years he was a full-time professional with the NTLInstitute for Applied Behavioral Science, where he was director for Executive Programs and director ofthe Center for Systems Development (1966–1974). For 8 years, beginning in 1967, he also served as theexecutive director of the Organization Development Network.Dr. Burke is a Fellow of the Academy of Management, the Association for Psychological Science, andthe Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. He has served on the Board of Governors ofthe Academy of Management and the American Society for Training and Development, and he is adiplomate in organizational and business consulting psychology, American Board of ProfessionalPsychology. From 1979 to 1985 he was editor of Organizational Dynamics, and from 1986 to 1989 heserved as editor of the Academy of Management Executive. Dr. Burke is the author of more than 150articles and book chapters on organization development, training, change and organizationalpsychology, and conference planning, and author, coauthor, editor, and coeditor of 19 books. His mostrecent book is the third edition of Organization Development: A Process of Learning and Changing (2015,Pearson Education), coauthored with Debra Noumair. His latest book published by Sage isOrganization Change: Theory and Practice (4th ed.). He designed and served as faculty director of theColumbia Business School executive program “Leading and Managing People” from 1988 to 1995.In 1989 he received the Public Service Medal from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration,in 1990 the Distinguished Contribution to Human Resource Development Award, and in 1993 theOrganization Development Professional Practice Area Award for Excellence—the Lippitt Memorial533 Award—from the American Society for Training and Development. Dr. Burke has also served on threecommittees for the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences (1994–2012). InAugust 2003 he received the Distinguished Scholar-Practitioner Award from the Academy ofManagement, and in October 2003, he was the recipient of the Organization Development Network’sLifetime Achievement Award. In 2004 he was appointed Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence for theManagement Consulting Division of the Academy of Management, and in 2005 and 2010 he receivedthe Linkage Corporation’s Lifetime Achievement Award for leadership in the field of organizationdevelopment. Also in 2005, he became the codirector of the Eisenhower Leadership DevelopmentProgram, an MA in organizational psychology joint program between Teachers College and the U.S.Military Academy at West Point. Also in collaboration with the U.S. Army War College, Dr. Burke isresponsible for a 1-year fellowship program for U.S. Army colonels. In April 2007, he received theDistinguished Lifetime Contribution to Practice Award from the Society for Industrial andOrganizational Psychology, and in 2011 the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Best PracticeInstitute. On May 19, 2016, Dr. Burke was given the Outstanding Civilian Service Medal Award fromthe Department of the Army for his work with the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.534

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