Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to
understand failure to change by examining patterns of coherent
structure and agency characteristics in changing organizations in
specific sectors and to provide specific recommendations for
intervention in these patterns.
Design/methodology/approach: A large survey in
367 organizations engaged in different change processes and from
different sectors, among employees in different positions.
Findings: The paper finds that there are five
patterns among changing organizations, each with their own specific
problems, characteristics, and change approaches that require
Research limitations/implications: Parsimony in
research models and the study of overall
relations between variables does not help to understand failure to
change. More integrative approaches are needed that take variety
among changing organizations into account.
Practical implications: Change agents should
not opt for a "one best strategy" for change but choose a
contingent change approach that takes into consideration the
specific characteristics of their organizations, change processes,
and contexts in order to make change more successful.
Originality/value: This paper establishes that
successful change cannot be explained by one or a few variables but
is contingent on an interplay of agency, structure, and contextual
characteristics. Together, these characteristics form
constellations that characterize different sectors. The paper
provides suggestions for more successful change.
Keywords: Organizational change, Change
management, Organizational behaviour,
Paper type: Research paper
Author: Renate A. Werkman, 2009.