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"Basic Principles of Organizational Change Essay Example"
Basic Principles of Organizational Change Essay Example
William Katz
Purpose / Rationale

This paper will explore some of the basic principles of organizational change. An example of where organizational change was used within an organization will be looked at followed by a summary / conclusion that will incorporate organizational change principles as it applies to the example used.

Patterns of Change

As Josef Schumpeter observed, industrial economies evolve in waves characterized by how significant new technologies find their way into the economic system. Consider the pattern of technological innovation that has marked four great periods of change in the industrial era:

1. The 1830s. The spread of the railroad and factory production practices coincides with the opening of the West in the United States and tremendous social dislocation.

2. The 1880s and 1890s. Telephone and communications technology enter the economy—along with deep and sustained unemployment that reached 18 percent in 1893.

3. The 1930s. Commercial airlines, the automobile, and the oil industry start to become dominant in the throes of the Great Depression.

4. The mid-1970s to early 1990s. This period of economic stress also marks the real beginning of the biotech and information revolution, including the first biotech start-ups and the Internet.

The lesson to take from this pattern is simple: The shift to radically different industries and technologies is a recurring phenomenon of the Industrial Age. When times are good we don't innovate. We incrementally improve; we look for advantages on the margin. Why do hard times foster change? That is when dominant organizations are in disarray. This opens the door for new ideas and new organizations. These epochs of change provide the context for any leader thinking about the future today (Hesselbein & Johnston, 2002).

The Demand for Change

The demands for organizational change have accelerated at an extraordinary pace in recent years. In the late 1970s and into the 1980s, much of the organizational change...

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