“It is not the strongest of the species that survive nor the most
intelligent but the one most responsive to change”
- Charles Darwin
In a world of new technologies, transforming economies, fluctuating
consumer preference and dynamic competition, it is not a question of
whether firms should change but rather when, where and how they should
change. While change could be seen everywhere not all is of a
strategic nature. Much of it is ongoing operational kind. From an
organisation context change can be considered from 3 perspectives:
§ Crisis - When a need arises to respond to a situation that will
cause a loss or damage to the organisation. This type change is
usually ...view middle of the document...
Text Box: Environmental Forces
[IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE]Text Box: Initiate changeText Box: Implement changeText Box: Need for change
Text Box: Internal Forces
Figure 1: Model of Change Sequence Events
There are different types of organisational change such as strategy,
technology, products, structure and culture as shown in Figure 2.
Depending on the external and internal forces of change organisations
may embark on different forms of change. With some forms of change
affecting another. Eg. A new product may require changes in technology
and a new technology may require new people skills or a new structure.
[IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE]Text Box: Culture/People[IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE]Text Box: ProductsText Box: TechnologyText Box: StrategyText Box: Structure
Figure 2: Types of Organisation Changes
No matter the type of change the organisation has to select an
approach to it. Many managers struggle with the question of how bold
they should be. Depending on the type of change at times in order to
fundamentally transform the organisation a break in the past is
needed. The distinction between disruptive and gradual change has been
mentioned in the strategic management and organisational behaviour
literature such as Greiner 1972; Tushman, Newman and Romanelli 1986).
Organisations need to have a balance between strategic (revolutionary)
and operational (evolutionary) change. Yet it is also mentioned that a
strategic change can be pursued by both revolutionary and evolutionary
means. With this introduction to organisation change, now lets look at
how the organisation structure has an impact on these two types of
Hierarchical Organisation Structure and Culture
In a hierarchical organisation, people of similar skills are grouped
together in order to achieve economies of scale. This is a strong
vertical structure where information is flown up and down vertically
and decisions are made at the top and pushed down the hierarchy. Max
Weber (1864-1920) developed the concept of bureaucracy where
organisations had such rigid roles and responsibilities with following
§ Specialisation hierarchy – Each functional area has a clearly
defined set of competencies, where the lower ranks are supervised and
dictated by the higher ranks.
§ Rules – There are general guidelines established and they are
§ Specialisation of labour – Jobs and tasks are broken into
§ Centralized decision making – Decisions are made at the top by a few
group of high ranking people and passed down the chain. Ideas are not
flown up the hierarachy.
Organisation culture can be defined as the set of key values, beliefs,
understandings and norms shared by members of an organization (Daft,
Management, 2003, p88). In a bureaucratic culture, the organisation
does not encourage...