Change in Humans and Organizations

This week our lecture, reading, and concussion will focus on organizational change as a global (broadly-based) phenomena, and as the new constant for most organizations and their members. Organizational change can be anticipated or unanticipated; can be driven by Internal or external causes; and can be top-down or bottom-up (in some instances even driven from the “middle” of the organization). In any case, the need for change is one that is shared by many entities from small businesses to global organizations, cities and towns to nations, Individual citizens and employees to boards of directors and overspent.

It may be a response, a proactive measure, or the result of a survival instinct. Significant changes are apparent both in experience and as described by media sources and experts. The frequency with which change is encountered either personally or by description Illustrates Its current and constant nature. Responding to the need to or demand for change, particularly as an organization, is challenging – in no small part due to the number of people, the complexity of the situation and the organization. Hickman (2010), when considering external causes of change, notes that an organization’s “ability to meet new challenges… Upends on Its facility to build capacity among Its members. Change [then] Is an Inherent component of capacity building in organizations and is a fundamental component of [its] larger environment” (p. 502). The same idea of capacity to meet challenges through change can be ascribed to Individuals, teams, and of course any size of organization. The capacity to meet challenges can be exhibited through a number of means: adaptation, collaboration, conflict, democratic means, unilateral leadership action, or avoidance to name a few.

Each of the aforementioned have both positives and negatives associated with them. Some can be combined, others are mutually exclusive. The chosen means of meeting challenges (ultimately involving some type of change) should be aligned with strategy; culture; and abilities. It is important to note that abilities need not reside with the organization, but must be ones that can be acquired for the needed period of time particularly until change has been successfully implemented.