Organisational Change Management: a Critical Review

Critique by Robin May of
Organisational Change Management: A Critical Review

In his article, Rune Todnem By defines change management as ‘the process of continually renewing an organisation’s direction, structure, and capabilities to serve the ever-changing needs of external and internal customers’. He suggests that organisational change cannot be separated from organisational strategy and that, as such, successfully leading organisational change is the foremost task for management today.

The author comprehensively refers to studies and research throughout his article. He suggests that research and theories concerning organisational change are confusing and contradictory and that most are supported by unchallenged assumptions.

He quotes research to state that 70% of all change programmes fail. It is unclear as to what, if any, theories or research informed these change programmes.

My professional career began with a decade in the electronics industry. I was party to several periods of significant change. During the first five years we grew from five to fifteen employees, a constant period of slow, continuous and successful   change. The business was sold and relocated, becoming part of a large organisation – a period of discontinuous change. During the following five years the organisation was resold on three occasions, one of which involved a significant number of redundancies. From an employees perspective, it appeared to be unsuccessful periods punctuated by abrupt, sometimes dramatic, changes .

I was not party to all of the planning concerning the above organisational changes, however of those which I were, none were informed by research or organisational change methodologies.

I also have experiences in facilitating individual change over the last decade.   Although organisational change management differs from that of the individual, I suggest applicable similarities.

Within this critique I endeavour to compare my beliefs, formed through...