Chief Executive Officer’s Role in Organizational Change


The purpose of this paper is to investigate different aspects of organizational change and clarify the role of the CEO in its development. Throughout this project, the main focus will be the work of managers in the company FIAT Chrysler (UAE). One of the initial steps is to give clear definitions of such terms as organizational change, organizational behavior, and change management. The second stage includes the discussion of organizational change and investigation of what people think about this change. Then, primary research will be conducted through an interview with the manager of the chosen company. Finally, a discussion will be developed to understand how to prepare a company for organizational change and what CEO’s role in this process is. Organizational change is usually used to promote positive changes in a company, and CEOs have to know what to do to achieve success.

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Literature Review

This literature review helps to understand the worth of important concepts in change management and organizational behavior. The evaluation of several sources explains what determines organizational change and who should take responsibility in the process. The role of managers cannot be ignored or misunderstood.

Organizational Change Essence

Companies have to investigate their opportunities fast to stay competitive and effective. Organizational change is one of the main outcomes that can be observed in every company due to existing technological, political, and economic improvements (Juneja, 2018a). Change is a process that depends on different internal and outside factors, and decision making is what promotes effective solutions. Sometimes, organizational change is an outcome of what should be done to stay competitive and recognizable in the chosen fields (Church et al., 2015). In some cases, change is a reason to take new steps and create new boundaries (Burke, 2015). However, in any organization, change is a movement from one state to another, depending on the goals and expectations set.

Importance of Change Management

It is not enough for companies to comprehend the essence of change. According to Burke (2015), companies, as well as their managers, have to distinguish between change and transition that is required during a change process. Juneja (2018b) explains that change management is a complex task the completion of which depends on how well managers and employees from all levels comprehend their involvement and roles in a process. The era of globalization and industrialization creates new standards and promotes new merges. Change is inevitable, and change management is a process that proves the company’s readiness to work, make decisions, and choose between strategies (Juneja, 2018b). Change management is not only a creation of a specific opening point in a working process but also an introduction of a final step all employees have to achieve.

Theoretical Perspective on Change Management

If a person or a team of people supports the idea of organizational change, many practical and theoretical aspects have to be discussed. For example, the integration of theory, research, and practice should not be ignored (Burke, 2015). Church et al. (2015) admit that the identification of a theory is an integral step in change management because any transformation has to be explained and developed according to a clear change model with all learning mechanisms and capabilities. Kurt Lewin was one of the original creators of change models with the help of which appropriate conditions for change were introduced and explained until an appropriate decision was found (Church et al., 2015). His action research and the three-stage model are effective for organizational change in many companies because these steps explain change importance, process, and expected outcomes.

Role of Managers in Organizational Change

Despite properly given definitions and a theoretical perspective, organizational change management depends on how well people can work or understand what they can or should not do during this process. Research advancement and innovations determine opportunities for people who are involved in organizational change (Juneja, 2018b). Therefore, the idea developed by Church et al. (2015) that organizational change should not focus on one area and intervention but all people, their knowledge, and activities. Managers should guide the rest of the staff in their understanding of organizational change, give explanations, and support each other to make proper decisions, choose necessary theories, and compare the possibilities of other organizations in their fields.

Primary Research

One of the managers in FIAT Company was interviewed to gather the opinions and attitudes on the given topic. Mr. Maher is one of the leading international managers in the company who knows a lot about organizational management and the importance of change due to the existing challenges and evident national and international competitions. During the interview, it was discovered that mutual help and cooperation determined the success of the organizational change. A manager should guide and explain all unclear points to their employees, as well as stay supportive and promote inspiration through change. A change process may have different forms. For example, a leader wants to change the way of how employees communicate with customers, and the task of a manager is to provide as many examples and explanations as possible to prove the necessity of such change. In case change influences organizational culture, it is expected from a manager to give enough time and moral support to every employee.

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During this communication, it was discovered that the company faced numerous external and internal changes. The maintenance of a cohesive workplace environment is an important part of a working process and organizational change because a manager should investigate all political factors (e.g. changes in the relationships between the countries and the possibilities to continue selling goods to all customers), economic factors (e.g. abilities of regular customers to meet price changes), or technological improvements (e.g. new design, technological support, and other details that make cars and vehicles attractive to people). Regarding the inability to predict outcomes or define change barriers, CEOs have to deal with all types of business risks and mitigate them by providing time, rewards, training, and communication.


Primary and secondary research shows that organizational change cannot be avoided in today’s business world. Companies should be ready to demonstrate excellent performance and make fast decisions to stay competitive. Change management, cooperation between departments, and supportive behaviors of CEOs and managers define the future success of an organization. The result of this work helps answer the main research question. The role of CEOs in organizational change is essential, and managers should understand the importance of their support, abilities to explain what may be necessary and what must be avoided, and readiness to motivate and inspire every member of a team. The only recommendation that may be given to evaluating the worth of organizational change is the necessity for current CEOs and managers to recognize and follow change models and theories.


In general, this research concludes that organizational change is an obligatory process that aims at improving organizational performance, promoting productivity, and supporting employees in their intentions to use the current technological process. The evaluation of the role of CEOs in organizational change shows that this group of people is not always ready to comprehend how crucial their words and decisions can be for their employees. Therefore, communication between CEOs, leaders, managers, and employees has to be a central issue in organizational change.


Burke, W.W. (2015). Choice points: The making of a scholar-practitioner. In A.B. Shani & D.A. Noumair (Eds.), Research in organizational change and development, volume 23 (pp. 1-38). Bingley, UK: Emerald.

Church, A.H., Totolo, C.T., Margulies, A., del Guidice, M.J., Ginther, N.M., Levine, R., … Tuller, M.D. (2015). The role of personality in organization development: A multi-level framework for applying personality to individual, team, and organizational change. In A.B. Shani & D.A. Noumair (Eds.), Research in organizational change and development, volume 23 (pp. 91-165). Bingley, UK: Emerald.

Juneja, P. (2018a). Change management – Meaning and important concepts. Web.

Juneja, P. (2018b). The need for change management. Web.

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