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A case study in organisational change: implications for theory


Nelson, LG, A case study in organisational change: implications for theory, The Learning Organization, 10, (1) pp. 18-30. ISSN 0969-6474 (2003) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1108/09696470310457478


Organisational change is typically conceptualised as moving from the status quo to a new, desired, configuration to better match the environment. Change could, therefore, be seen as a departure from the norm, or alternatively as normal and simply a natural response to environmental and internal conditions. Static models of organisations are being displaced by dynamic models, which reflect the discontinuous nature of organisational change. Developments in theory suggest limitations to contingency approaches, which carry the assumptions of static models of change. Analysis of this case at PowerCo in Australia reveals a number of issues related to changes aimed at achieving a more commercial, profit-oriented, focus. Points out that the contextualist approach is holistic, in which these aspects interact with each other as change unfolds temporally. A contextualist framework permits models of change to be visualised as dynamic rather than static, having a temporal setting which has multiple causes acting as loops rather than simple lines. This enables change to be understood as a discontinuous phenomenon having the benefits, without the limitations, of rational contingency models. © 2003, MCB UP Limited

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Human resources and industrial relations
Research Field:Human resources management
Objective Division:Economic Framework
Objective Group:Management and productivity
Objective Field:Management
UTAS Author:Nelson, LG (Dr Lindsay Nelson)
ID Code:29226
Year Published:2003
Deposited By:Management
Deposited On:2003-08-01
Last Modified:2004-06-21

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