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Management of Change Completed by University of Outline 1. Introduction 2. Incremental model 3. Punctuated equilibrium model of organization transformation 4. Continuous transformation model of change 5. Continuous transformation model of change as the most suitable model in the modern environment 6. Conclusion 7. Works Cited This paper defines, outlines, and analyzes the process of change management as based on the three models, which are evaluated in both historical and modern perspectives. The models depicted according to Bernard Burnes’ ideas presented in the book titled, “Managing Change”. This work begins with explain my understanding of the major models of organizational change: incremental model, punctuated equilibrium, and continuous transformation model of change. These models serve as the three different approaches to change management that were developed at different periods in history and, subsequently, were most efficiently used during these periods also. Even though such models as incremental model and punctuated equilibrium may not be considered to be the most effective in the modern environment, these change management types will always have a currency with general readers, practitioners and researchers, perhaps for different reasons, but ultimately with a similar purpose: to find out what people experience and whether there is any transferable learning to be derived. All three of these models imply that there will be those whose focus is change management-based and who welcome opportunities to explore strategies that can be applied to achieve successful change at work, and there will be those who believe that a more evaluative approach opens up a reflective vein of research, which is not to be traduced by pragmatic considerations of facilitating change techniques for change managing practitioners. The simplest idea of change is probably the incremental model. Here, the shift is a change in process, perhaps associated with implementing productivity changes (Collins 34). Much that has passed for Total Quality Management during the years of its popularity could be seen within this type of change. In simple terms, there was the way the production process was organized before the change; the plan embodying the new method of production; a period of transition during which new procedures and equipment would be put in place; and the final new procedure reinforced by training and reward which would supersede previous practice and bring about the newly expected yields anticipated by the change in the first place (Burnes 2000, 254). Devolving a plan of action for such change underpins many different planned change schemas. They often involve steps which are offered to the prospective manager of change and relate quite well to problem solving schemas, too. It is a way of examining the management steps similar to Fayol’s, which were extremely popular in the middle of the 20-th century.

 

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Collins gives a typical example of such a schematic change model: 1 Develop strategy 2 Confirm top level support 3 Use project management support %u25A0 Identify tasks %u25A0 Assign responsibilities %u25A0 Agree deadlines %u25A0 Initiate action %u25A0 Monitor %u25A0 Act on problems %u25A0 Close down 4 Communicate results. (Colins 83) It gives the impression of offering control based on predictive steps and conceals possible complexity at the level of identifying tasks. At this point we are presented with the systemic approach to change. If there is a system which underwrites any process, then it is possible to proceed in the way suggested. Any system, by definition, is designed in a way that makes it possible to follow a sequence and thereby replicate a result or intervene in the process in a predictive way. Collins deals with this type of change under the heading of ‘under-socialized models of change’. Examples given are often mechanical and have been designed in a particular sequence. Those who know the sequence can solve any problem arising and they will do so by following the steps designed into the system. A second type of change is referred to by some authors as punctuated equilibrium. It is associated with the work of Miller and Friesen and Gersick. It is suggested that the idea of revolutionary or fundamental change is characteristic of the type of change. Its proponents see a similarity between the claims of evolutionary change in the natural sciences to the same kind of change process in organizations. The problem that we have with this descriptor is finding examples that will distinguish it from the previously discussed incremental change. Equilibrium as a word suggests that there is a steady state which is somehow disturbed - hence the punctuation leading to a new and different state of equilibrium following the change intervention. A simple example might be an aircraft in flight, which is acted upon by the four forces of flight that hold an aircraft steady in straight and level flight. Intervention on the controls by the pilot disturbs the equilibrium; the plane climbs or descends until the desired flight level is reached. The controls are set to normal and the plane resumes straight and level flight at a different altitude. Another example might be the demand/supply curve. In position A the two curves intersect at one point indicating a price of x for the product. If supply falls then the curve moves to the left and settles at a point to the left of the demand curve, thus indicating a different price of y. This kind of change in each example suggests that there are predictive dynamics attached to the movement of the forces depicted in the diagrams. It also suggests that the interventions are regular and we can gauge what the likely outcomes will be from whatever inputs were made.

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The dynamics of each model are, therefore, predictive so that the interventions to be made can be learned. So, in the example of the plane, a non-flier faced with a suddenly unconscious pilot could conceivably maneuver the controls in turn to discover how each intervention affects the flight. With the information derived from discovering the system designed into the controls, he or she could, in theory, land the plane (given direction from Air Traffic Control). Those elements that are testable, measurable and concrete will always lend themselves to a predictive assessment of how to control and manage change. Organizational Development (OD) as a discipline would describe itself in such terms. A third category for describing change is contained in the continuous transformation model of change. This gets closer to the subjective style of popular claims that change is a series of challenges to established order and a constant in the business environment that characterizes modern global industries. We will be looking more closely at the claims of authors who define the new competencies required to sustain this vision of individuals who are functionally flexible and organizations which support constant learning on the job to transform work to meet evolving targets over a long-cycle working life. Some authors refer to this phenomenon as “an improvisational model for managing change” (Jick and Peiperl 14). The authors explain that the model rests on two major assumptions that differentiate it from traditional models of change. First, the changes associated with technology implementations constitute an on-going process rather than an event with an end-point after which the organization can expect to return to a reasonably steady state. Second, all the technological and organizational changes made during the on-going process cannot, by definition, be anticipated ahead of time (Jick and Peiperl 17-18). Continuous transformation model- model of choice Given these assumptions, continuous transformation model of change most precisely approximates the contemporary business environment. It recognizes three different types of change: anticipated, emergent and opportunity based. While there is no predefined sequence in which the different types of change occur, the deployment of new technology often entails an initial anticipated organizational change associated with the installation of new hardware and software. Over time, however, use of the new technology will typically involve a series of opportunity-based, emergent and further anticipated changes, the order of which cannot be determined in advance because changes interact with each other in response to outcomes, events and conditions arising through experimentation and use (Jick and Peiperl 15) The continuous transformation model recognizes change as continuous, presumably because the technology which drives change shows no signs of abating - rather the reverse, in fact.

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But it also seems to suggest that the effect of this implementation of new technology is not certain in its consequences. As such, often, we cannot predict the outcomes and therefore the management and control are not as predictable as the previous mechanistic models of incremental and punctuated change seemed to suggest. Continuous transformation model implies that organizational development involves the long-term, system-wide application of behavioral science techniques to increase organization effectiveness. This model works on the idea that organization change involves improving the way people work in teams and the way team activities are integrated with organizational goals (Harvey and Brown 55). This model also implies that there is a continuing process of organization improvement usually involving a sequence of steps, or stages. The stages presented in this paper are typical of most programs dealing with continuous transformation model, but they are not always exactly followed, since a change program is an unpredictable and turbulent thing. The stages may not occur in the sequence described or some of the stages may occur simultaneously, but they can be regarded as an ideal or a typical model rather than as the actual representation of every OD program. The objective of continuous transformation model is a payoff in increased adaptability and productivity (Harvey and Brown 81). In conclusion, we have already referred to the tradition of interventional change in organizations described as Organizational Development. It is a movement which approaches the management of change with a series of tools and techniques, whose application can be viewed as a replicable, reliable means of effecting such change. Its definitions are sometimes stated simply and directly. Here is one example: The topic of change and its possible management will always have a currency with general readers, practitioners and researchers, perhaps for different reasons, but ultimately with a similar purpose: to find out what people experience and whether there is any transferable learning to be derived. There will be those whose focus is managerial and who welcome opportunities to explore strategies that can be applied to achieve successful change at work, and there will be those who believe that a more evaluative approach opens up a reflective vein of research, which is not to be traduced by pragmatic considerations of facilitating change techniques for managers. However, this reflexivity does not take place in a vacuum and is in a sense a crossroads at which the subject reflects not just on his or her responses to enforced change and its implication for sense-making and meaning, but also a point of connection with other influences and other reconstructions surfacing at the same time.

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The organizational identity discourses referred to in some research is a central concern for individuals in the group and organizational context (Knights and Morgan 267). The search to make sense of shared experience may well be the source not just of metaphors confected by managers and change agents, but other significant groups as well. Following this tradition of research, then, suggests that metaphors may themselves assume or evoke paradigms (Boland and Greenberg 18) and that these paradigms may denote not just differentiation but also ambiguity requiring resolution (Martin and Meyerson 1988 93). The path suggested here could open the way to connections between individuals, groups, ideas and significance. A traditional discourse is perhaps threatened by enforced change and the ensuing sense-making may be a focus of an opportunity for the individual to explore a new identity emerging from the deconstruction of previously taken-for-granted basic assumptions.

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