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Why Change Programs Don’t Produce Change Introduction to the Lesson

  • Why Change Programs Don’t Produce Change

Introduction to the Lesson with the author’s summary:

Faced with changing markets and tougher competition, more and more companies realize that to compete effectively they must transform how they function. But while senior managers understand the necessity of change, they often misunderstand what it takes to bring it about. They assume that corporate renewal is the product of company-wide change programs and that in order to transform employee behavior, they must alter a company’s formal structure and systems. Both these assumptions are wrong, say these authors. Using examples drawn from their four-year study of organizational change at six large corporations, they argue that change programs are, in fact, the greatest obstacle to successful revitalization and that formal structures and systems are the last thing a company should change, not the first. The most successful change efforts begin at the periphery of a corporation, in a single plant or division. Such efforts are led by general managers, not the CEO or corporate staff people. And these general managers concentrate not on changing formal structures and systems but on creating ad hoc organizational arrangements to solve concrete business problems. This focuses energy for change on the work itself, not on abstractions such as “participation” or “culture.” Once general managers understand the importance of this grass-roots approach to change, they don’t have to wait for senior management to start a process of corporate renewal. The authors describe a six-step change process they call the “critical path.”

Lesson objectives/outcomes

At the end of this assignment, students will be able:

  1. To assess how employees can be involved or empowered to help with facilitating change in an organization.

Instructions

Discussions will be posted per week on Canvas. Students are required to post their views and discussions.  You are also expected to read and respond to at least two (2) of your classmates’ postings for each discussion.  

Your participation is an indication that you are learning. Your posted responses would demonstrate your understanding and application of the knowledge gained.  Your postings to each discussion must be substantial and be supported with citations.  Please follow the APA style for your writing.  Remember this is a graduate level course and the length of your postings should be a minimum of 200 to 300 words in length.  Discussion postings are expected to be more than just “I absolutely agree” or “Excellent point!” to receive credits; a guideline is that responses to your classmates’ postings should be between 100 to 150 words.  All postings (discussions and responses) must be posted by the due date in order to receive full credits. 

Please note that there are two due dates for all your online discussions:   

  1. Your initial posting in response to the discussion questions is due no later than the Thursday of the assigned week.
  2. Your minimum of two (2) responses to two (2) or more of your classmates’ postings are due by the assigned Sunday of that week. 

The instructor would be monitoring all the ongoing “dialogues” and grading students on their participation. 

Discussion Questions:

  1. How can employees be involved or empowered to help with facilitating change in an organization?

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