Organization Change


Change is one of the main aspects of working towards which management of an organization needs to pay a lot of attention to, largely because of reason that it is directly related with firm's operations as well as existence in the market. The present report discusses about need for emergent approaches of change management for modern day business firms, because of the constantly changing and evolving business environment. This report also sheds light on difference between planned and emergent approaches to change and also the role they play for modern day companies. While conducting this research paper it was observed that both these methods of change management are very different from one another and also of great importance for companies, regardless of the market that they may be functioning in.

Further, it was also observed that Lewin's Change Management Strategy along with democratic leadership style are very effective for bringing a planned change at workplace. But for companies in the present era, it is imperative that they use emergent approach to change, primarily because of reason that they help companies to be aware of market conditions and also apply as well as adapt to change with great ease and comfort.

Introduction To Business Aspects

Change is one of those aspects of business functions to which authorities have to pay a lot of attention for not only managing but also implementing it at the workplace (Milgrom and Roberts, 2005). The present report also discusses about varied kinds of approaches to change being proactive change in particular. The approaches are emergent and planned approach to change. Emergent change is described as the one which is unpredictable as well as unintentional in nature and involves the presence of a relatively informal self. Planned change is the one that everyone related to it can see and observe. Proactive change on the other hand involves for making an attempt to make alternations in the workplace as well as the practices. Another section of this research paper discusses about structure systems that in most cases lead to planned or emergent change in an organization. Technical changes also result in emergent change.

Existing Approaches to change management

Modern environment that different business organizations work in the modern age has become extremely competitive, volatile, which has rendered it to become a very dangerous aspects of operating in different markets. Studies have shown that change and development in organizational practices has become a very common phenomenon, making it very hard for companies to function effectively and also be able to attain their aims and objectives. In this sense, it may not be wrong to say that companies which do not adapt to change have very less chance for surviving in the market. In different industries and sectors, there have been such developments and trends which effectively have changed face of the industry and also the way its market players operate and achieve their aim and objectives. According to, a Lindgren (2006) major development that has happened across sectors is constant changes in customer needs and demands. Today, expectations of customers from companies has changed by a great margin as they now demand for such products and/or services which not only meet their demands and satisfy them but also that they are cheap, technologically advanced and environment friendly as well. Because of this reason, it has become imperative for business organizations that they identify such demands and also try to meet them with great ease and comfort, as opined by Tsoukas (2012). On many occasions, it has been observed that needs and demands of customers have changed by significant margins in aviation industry during last some years (Greenwood and Hinings, 2006).

In view of Keen, (2006) to apply a change at a workplace, authorities have to work extra hard to first of all identify the change that must be brought about in the firm and then convince employees and other internal decision makers to implement the change and make necessary modifications according to it (Parker and, 2013). Blake (2011) in this context, opines that management at an organization first have to identify and then understand the change, where in they would have to expend a major sum of their money and other resources (Hiatt and Creasey, 2003). This is mainly because of reason that it would lead management to expend a lot of their valuable resources and the chances of change being accepted as well as implemented might be very less. According to authors such as Woodman, (2013) using emergent approaches to change can be a very risky option to an organization, largely because it may derail the firm off its track to growth and prosperity because of which company might not be able to effectively survive in the market, thus resulting in non-attainment of corporate goals (Weick and Quinn, 2009). Furthermore, it is not easy for management of different firms and enterprises to bring about and implement a change because of reason that they have to convince the employees by making them understand need and importance of the change (Reid and Todffel, 2009). As per the view of Bedeian, (2007) change although is very important but implementing it at workplace is very difficult (Giraud and Autissier, 2008). There are a lot many approaches and methods or tools that can help companies to accept and adapt to changes and implement them at the workplace. Emergent, Planned and Proactive are the most common ones.


There is a presence of many situations within organizations that triggers the changes. These are in form of removal or addition of technology so as to bring changes in work process. Other area is structure and size of firms. Some changes are very essential so as to ensure towards overall organizational development. While in other cases, politics and power may further led to bringing in subsequent changes.

Emergent approaches to change

Emergent change is that type of change which is nether planned or unplanned in nature. For the modern day companies, it is crucial that they remain attentive and receptive to different kinds of market forces, as the unexpected or emergent changes have significant impact over working of companies regardless of the market they may be operating in (Claire, 2012). Many researchers and scholars have opined that emergent change is such a kind of change to implement which there are no particular approaches or techniques. As per the view of Bybee (2007), it may not be wrong to say that it can be a very tough task for management of an organization to implement an emergent change at the workplace, largely because of reason that there are no particular approaches or methods through which the same can be implemented (Todnem and Macleod, 2012). Emergent change is another type that companies must be ready to identify, accept and embrace to, as found in the study by Becker (2009). This is mainly because of reason that environment that organizations, regardless of their sectors or industries, operate in have become highly competitive (Appelbaum and, 2012). Past researchers believed that “big bang approach” must be used to implement a change at workplace; but modern scholars and researchers opine that emergent approach must be used (Argyris, 2003). They follow the age old adage of “expect the unexpected”, according to Whisler (2009).

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Strengths of Emergent Approaches to Change

According to Burns (2001), this is quiet a true aspect in the modern day environment, as activities keep on happening in industries at a rapid and continuous pace. This means that if companies do not prepare themselves to face unexpected changes and situations, then there are substantial chances that they may perish (Leban and Stone, 2007). On the contrary to it Jones (2010), believes that emergent change can be described as an ongoing learning process which lays emphasis on analytical, evolutionary nature of change instead of accepting to and following pre-determined steps and procedures to cope or accept and implement the same (Claire, 2012). According to, Faniran (2011) to bring about such kinds of changes at workplace, management must be aware of market situations and also should conduct thorough analysis of market(s) they operate in, so as to gain information regarding developments that may lead to changes in the company (Weick and Quinn, 2009).

Weaknesses of Emergent Approaches to Change

According to Dunphy (2008), it is a very good option for business firms to implement a change in the company through emergent approaches of change management, as they would aid them to implement any kind of development at the workplace with great ease and comfort and also ensure that organizational goals and objectives are attained easily (Todnem and Macleod, 2012). Therefore, it may not be wrong to say that emergent change approaches are the best options that companies, regardless of market they operate in, can use to bring about a change in organizational working. But in contrast to it Lorenzo (2014), believes that using emergent approach to change is not an effective or useful one, largely because of reason to use and implement it, authorities have to expend a lot of organizational resources and assets like finance, manpower and the likes on conducting extensive and thorough market surveys to identify such kinds of changes (Argyris, 2003).

Planned Approaches to change

Research studies and investigations have described planned change as the best approach to developing and implementing any change at workplace. In this sense, it may not be wrong to say that it is the most vital and crucial form of a change which an organization can use to its benefit (Rouse, 2011). Planned change is important mainly because of reason that through it, companies, irrespective of market they may be operating in, can make attempts to improve their performance and also try to prolong existence in the market. In this regard Weick (2000), opines that there are many ways through which a change can be implemented at the workplace (Carr and Hancock, 2008). In such contexts, planned changes can prove to be of great use to business organisations, as argued by Hwang (2010). To bring about a planned change at the workplace, it would be of great use to management of companies, regardless of the market that they may be operating in to use Lewin's Change Management Model. There are three parts of this model – Unfreeze; Change and Refreeze. In the first stage, of unfreeze, steps have to be taken by authorities to plan for bringing about a change at the workplace. Herein exisitign status quo, etc. are broken so that they may be used to implement change in the organization. In the next stage, change is practically implemented in the firm. At this stage, people in the company start to accept to the development, as they try to find new ways to do things. Though this stage could take a lot of to manifest and transform into something very useful to the company, but the effects it would have on the firm would be substantial. This would help to prolong firm's existence in the market. The next and final stage in this regard is refreeze. In this stage, organizational structure, culture, etc. are changed so that the change can be made a routine part of the firm.

Strengths of Planned Change

In these kinds of cases, Lewin's change management model can be very effective and useful. In addition to it, democratic leadership styles can be very conducive to organizational mission and vision, thus helping in process to help company to remain competitive in the market (Giraud and Autissier, 2008). There are three steps that would have to be carried out by management of an organization in this regard. First stage in this context is to unfreeze. Herein, authorities would have to interact and convince all those directly associated with the firm's working, as argued by Wilkins (2009). This way the firm can be prepared for the change which is to be implemented at workplace.

Weaknesses of Planned Change

Although it is a very difficult stage to be carried out, but is very important largely because of reason that if it is not successfully performed, then the planned change cannot be effectively implemented in the organization (Argyris, 2003). Next stage in this regard is to implement the change or development at the workplace. Once an uncertainty is created in company through this stage, it would become a lot easier for management to implement given change in the organization (Markus and Robey, 2008). The next stage herein is to refreeze. This essentially means that the development is made a permanent part of organizational workings, as said by Nadler (2007).

Statement in support of emergent approach to change

This would help them in conducting thorough investigation of the market and thus be able to identify such kinds of developments and try to save the organization from any adverse&nb effects of it (Christensen and Overdorf, 2011). Furthermore, these approaches will also help the company to face the sudden changes that may happen due to high volatility and unpredictable characteristics of market the firm may be functioning in. French (2010) believes that for modern day business organizations it is very crucial that they identify changes. But adapting to it is even more important, as it is the only way through which enterprise can operate successfully and achieve its goals and objectives. Through this investigation, it can be said emergent change is the best approach that can be used by management of an organization so as to effectively implement a change or development at the workplace.

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This is so largely because of reason that it would enable the authorities to function in a more efficient and effective manner and ensure attainment of corporate goals and objectives. By using the approach of planned change, authorities would be required to conduct thorough organizational analysis, and also ensure that specific steps are taken to meet and implement desired change in the firm (Kandt, 2002). Considering volatile and unpredictable environment that modern day companies operate in, using the approach of planned change cannot be very useful and effective, mainly because of reason that it would not allow the authorities to be aware and ready for developments in the environment such companies operate in.

Many studies and research investigations have shown that enterprises, regardless of the industry that they may be operating in, it is imperative that they are always ready to accept and implement any kind of change at the workplace and adapt to it. There are various reasons and aspects which have to be considered in this regard, as they can trigger change in the firm. One of them is that of organizational development. Companies have to constantly change their operational styles and functioning, mainly so that they can adapt to developments and modifications in the market along with procuring the ability to stay competitive in industry that they are a part of. Many studies also have shown that there is no specific way to bring about and manage a change in an organization. Rather this approach states that management of companies must focus on being flexible and developing as well as implementing changes at the workplace in unique fashion. This way the change can be brought about much more effectively and efficiently in the organization and also making it conducive to corporate goals and objectives. This approach of change is known as contingency change.
Another type of change that may occur in an organization is that of strategic change. Such kinds of change and development lead to significant modification in a firms' working. It can be supported through fact that it leads to adjustments in overall direction that the enterprise may be moving forward in; as well as its structure and way of working for the long term. This is a very crucial form of change and requires utmost attention to be paid by the authorities, as it is related with how the company operates, provides goods and/or services to customers and also satisfies their needs and wants. Primary goal of strategic change is to improve firms' standing in the market and also make the process of attainment of goals and objectives much simpler.


Through the above study, it can be concluded that using emergent approaches to change management can be very useful for business organizations, heedless of the market that they may be operating, mainly because it would enable companies to effectively fulfil demands of customers and also enhance the organization's standing in the market in terms of its performance and brand image.


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