Models/Approaches to Implement Change Management Programme

Several models of Change Management have been suggested by several management consultants, social scientists and clinical psychologists till date for implementing planned change successfully. But these models are continually revised or adapted as per the changing times or forces of business.

Change Management Models establish the framework or can be regarded as the starting point in the implementation of change across the organization by ascertaining the need for change and they set the scene for implementation of various change interventions across the organization. Each Model of Planned Change rely on certain theories which describe the different stages of change management and how it affects the various levels in an organization. If we review the literature, a lot of confusion exists in understanding the difference between models of change and change strategies.

According to Sadler (1996, p. 49), an organizational strategy can be regarded as the means for realising the ultimate goal or focal objective. It involves defining the vision and mission, long term and short term plans, operational objectives, values and organizational ethics and tactics. While, on the other hand a model of change encompasses the assumptions and beliefs which when combined together in a systematic manner, result in bringing about change in an organization (Tichy 199). Thus, it can be said that the models of change lay the framework for formulation and implementation of strategies.

Change Interventions can be subdivided into three broad categories:

  1. Top Down Change Management: This kind of intervention relies on the fact that the organizational change cascades from the top level of the management to the bottom most level in an organization. Hence if the decision-making authorities or the champions of change i.e. the top management plan and implement change correctly, then successful outcomes can be expected from the implementation of change in an organization. The primary focus is on minimizing the obstacles concerning resistance from the employees through culture building initiatives or encouraging employee involvement in the entire process.

  2. Transformational Change Management: This intervention relies on the influencing capabilities of a transformational leader who can set constructive examples and encourages “Out of the Box Thinking” abilities and risk acceptance for driving excellence at work.

  3. Strategic Change Management: As per this intervention, as against the other two interventions, it aims at encouraging introduction new ways of doing work, then allows the employees to analyse the effect of new behaviours at work on organization and then based on it internalize the new behaviours/ways of working for improved outcomes.

If we examine all the three interventions of change management, we will understand that all these interventions lay stress on the role of leadership, strategic planning, involving employees in the overall process and proper communication. Hence, for successful implementation of change, the models of change management or approaches should be considered.

According to Burke and Trahant (2000), for gaining a competitive edge over the competitors, an organization should have change management processes in place and be able to implement change effectively. These procedures may involve various elements like organizational structure and culture, organizational control, technological developments and transformational leadership. The nature or the degree of change will primarily depend on the organizational requirements for change. Thus, it can be concluded that change is inevitable and ubiquitous, affects different systems and processes in an organization and mostly involves a transition from known to the unknown state.

Due to the uncertainties involved in the process of change and its widespread impact, organizations must adopt an integrated approach in any change program which should include the structural, behavioural and technological approaches for implementing change across the organization (Harvey and Brown 1996, p. 410).


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Change Management