Organizational Change

Cite this article as:"Organizational Change," in The Business Professor, updated April 24, 2020, last accessed October 29, 2020,

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What is Organizational Change?

Organizational change is when an organization shifts from a strategic, structural, operational, financial, policy-related, procedural, technological, people-related, or cultural norm to another.

Organizational change can happen rapidly and succinctly or slowly over an extended period of time. It can happen all at once or in successive stages.

What are the reasons for Organizational Change?

The reasons for or driving forces behind organizational change can be grouped into two categories.

  • External Factors – External factors might include any of the following:
    • Market Conditions (E.g., Consumer Needs/Wants)
    • New Governmental Laws
    • Technology
    • Economy
    • Globalization
  • Internal Factors – Internal factors might include any of the following
    • New Organizational Strategy (E.g., Growth, Retrenchment, Stability, Turnaround)
    • Change in composition of the Workforce
    • New Equipment/Resources
    • Employee Attitudes

What is Change Management?

Change management is part of the core management functions – Planning, Organizing, Leading, Controlling. Specifically, change management involves all of the following activities

  • Change Management Models – Managers develop models on how to best manage change in a given circumstance or situation.
  • Change Management Processes – Managers must develop new processes and activities that effectuate the intent for change.
  • Change Management Plans – Managers must coordinate and organize resources and activities that carry out the change-related processes.

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