McKinsey Company Organisational Change and Development


Organisational change and development is increasingly becoming an irresistible factor. This paper analysed the perceptions of an experienced Strategic Manager who was a worker of the McKinsey Company. The study used a qualitative research design that relied on a combination of semi-structured and unstructured interviews for data collection. Through content analysis, the research discovered that organisational change comes with technological progress, innovation enhancement, reputational change, leadership transformation, training and development, and high work efficiency.

However, organisational change and development is very complex, as it requires ensuring financial stability, restructuring of a firm, renovating the corporate culture, and training the workforce to manage the protracting changes. Change adoption and adaption is also tiring because handling the confused workforce is often a challenge. The Strategic Manager indicated that some workers barely adjust to the new technologies, some instigate and engage in conflict, some feel strained, some fear demotions and retrenchments, while some dissuade others.


The corporate world is continuously experiencing business transformations that seem to be influencing the procedures and management of organisations (Bovey & Hede, 2001). To maintain the increasing changes in the customer preferences, modern technologies, and human resource demands in the labour markets, organisations must transform. According to Bovey and Hede (2001), the concept of organisational change and development has heightened in the recent decades.

Corporate organisations are ensuring constant progress to maintain the corporate changes that are on the gradual increase. Empirical evidence about change management discovered that a strategic organisational change influences organisational performance and human ability (Karakas, 2009). This paper discussed organisational change and development and its impact on organisational effectiveness from the perspective of a Strategic Manager on a full-time employment.

Review of Literature

Organisational change and development is a systematic process of several pragmatic approaches of corporate changes that transform firms (Nguyen & Johnson, 2007). Organisational change is a comprehensive process of transforming corporate operations through integrating new business approaches and through devising lucrative investments that add a progress value to an operating company.

Recent studies on management have associated organisational change and development with several benefits to the organisational workforce and to the efficiency of firms. Karakas (2009) conducted a qualitative management research that used questionnaires to evaluate the views of managers concerning the impact of organisational change and development in the Middle East firms. Karakas (2009) concluded that organisational change is very important because it allows firms to reassess and refurbish their production strategies.

It is through understanding production lapses, adapting to modern innovations, and devising new methods of countering organisational challenges via a strategic process, that firms are capable of transforming and meeting the modern business demands (Caluwe & Vermaak, 2004). An effective change management helps firms to re-evaluate their strategies, renovate production techniques, and redesign their human resource capacity (Weiner, 2009).

Nevertheless, the process of organisational change is pragmatic and requires a consideration of the relationship between several internal factors. In a 2009 research, Weiner sought to establish the views of the management experts concerning the important factors that determine the readiness of organisations for the desired changes. Weiner (2009) discovered that both contextual conditions and physical factors determine the readiness of organisations when embracing an organisational change.

The establishment of Weiner is that organisational change is a multi-faceted construct that requires an extensive preparation. In a different research, Visagie and Steyn (2011) conducted a quantitative electronic survey of about 113 employees to establish the reception, commencement, and commitment to certain organisational change initiatives in several American companies.

The researchers revealed that, “affective and normative commitment approaches, positively associate with change readiness, personal, and organisational valence” (Visagie & Steyn 2011, p. 98). Affective and normative commitment approaches from a wider perspective, entail physical preparedness such as financial stability, infrastructural propensity, and psychological awareness, such as cognitive preparedness. Psychological preparedness helps firms to dismantle the rigid corporate cultures and social frameworks that often act as barriers to change.

Management experts theorised about the concept of organisational change and development and established several important assumptions concerning corporate change (Waddel, Cummings, & Worley, 2011). One of the theories that associate organisational change and development with organisational effectiveness is the complexity theory. The complex system theory in the paradigm of management refers to “the measure of heterogeneity or diversity in internal and environmental factors such as departments, customers, suppliers, socio-politics and technology” (Amagoh, 2008, p. 6). The complex system theory understands that organisations are complex social systems with heterogeneous components that often adapt to changes, but behave differently towards the changes. Boyatzis (2006) revealed that human beings are among the main heterogeneous components of the complex systems of the complexity theory.

Aims of the Research Report

Specific Objectives

  1. To evaluate the direct influence of organisational change and development on organisational effectiveness.
  2. To examine the preparedness of firms towards embracing the desired corporate changes.
  3. To investigate the major challenges that employees face in the process of accepting a change.

Research Method

Research Participants

A primary research investigation must take into account the views of participants or respondents who provide the primary responses that are important for the empirical validation of a research inquiry (DiCicco-Bloom and Crabtree, 2006). The research collected data from a selected respondent, who was a senior Strategic Manager who worked on a full time employment program at McKinsey Company.

To ensure the research achieves optimal findings from the interviewed respondent, the research designed the minimum participation age of the desired respondent. The research sought to interview a senior Strategic Manager with a minimum living age of about 55 years, and a working experience of approximately 20 years as a full time worker in an established workplace. In addition, the researcher wanted an experienced manager, who worked for about 9 years with the chosen organisation.

Research Procedure

The research embraced a qualitative research technique in which an interview schedule formed the data collection instrument. According to scientific investigations, a single qualitative interview is an efficient research technique because it produces rich empirical evidence from an independent viewpoint (Gill, Stewart, Treasure, & Chadwick, 2008). Single qualitative interviews produce substantial information about the research inquiry because the interview schedules give the participants a freedom to provide information from an individual perspective.

This research predominantly used an unstructured interview, with certain elements of a semi-structured interview. According Gill et al. (2008), unstructured interviews do not contain conversations or theories that influence the responses of the interviewees. The combination of the two interviews was important to enable the interviewee to comprehend the main components of the research.

Sampling Techniques and Data analysis

Following the assumptions of DiCicco-Bloom and Crabtree (2006), seeking official research permission from the company was a necessity to ensure that the research abides by the ethical principles of investigative studies. During the reconnaissance process on the due date of seeking permission, the researcher identified the strategic management department in which the interest of the investigation on organisational change hinged upon.

Sampling of the targeted respondents is among the foremost research procedures that determine the research credibility and validity (Gill et al., 2008). To obtain the most substantial information about the concept of organisational change and development, the researcher purposefully selected the office of the strategic management. The senior Strategic Manager was the only respondent. For data analysis, DiCicco-Bloom and Crabtree (2006) assert that qualitative research techniques rely on a content analysis approach to analyse the data.

Findings and Discussion

Aim 1: Impact of Organisational Change on Organisational Effectiveness

The researcher sought to investigate the perceptions of the senior Strategic Manager concerning the possible impact or influence of organisational change and development in a workplace. The Strategic Manager viewed organisational change as the source of modernism and innovation. Similarly, Weiner (2009) discovered that innovation is one of the greatest contextual factors for any organisation that embraces an effective change.

Concerning work effectiveness, the Strategic Manager claimed that organisational change and development brings about work efficiency. In a strategic analysis, Boyatzis (2006) revealed that a useful change enhances work efficiency of the employees, due to the new skills acquired and the improved working facilities. The Strategic Manager stated that organisational change and development initiates capacity building. Visagie and Steyn (2011) discovered that a corporate change initiates capacity growth through workforce training.

Concerning the association between an effective corporate change and company reputation, the manager considered a corporate change as an effective plan that managers often use to enhance or restore their corporate reputation. Theoretically, the complexity theory claims that organisations are complex systems that operate with a complex phenomenon, because people have divergent views. However, Nistelrooij and Sminia (2010) argued that production excellence, ethical leadership, innovation, work efficiency, and positive workplace relations are components of a positive reputation.

The manager asserted that corporate changes bring about technological growth, because an effective modern technology has always associated with a positive corporate progress. The manager also perceived corporate change and development as a source of transformational leadership. However, the manager argued that leadership depends on situational factors and the context of the crisis that is requiring a solution.

Aim 2: Preparedness of Firms towards Changes

The study investigated the opinions of the Strategic Manager concerning the preparation of their firm during the change adoption process. According to the manager, McKinsey renovates its missions and visions through a panel of strategic planners to accommodate changes in its strategic plans. From a critical perspective, the respondent postulated that change preparedness is a pragmatic process and it is more evident through actions, not through mere expressions.

To inform the workforce about the latest advancements, the manager stated that their company conducts an effective awareness program. On an estimated budget, the Strategic Manager claimed that the company spends about $200 annually to advertise and inform the employees about the new advancements. Nguyen and Johnson (2007) claim that change awareness enables the workers to change their attitudes and behaviours to advance their professional competencies in readiness for a change.

Financial stability is a paramount source of corporate change and growth. The Strategic Manager indicated that the McKinsey Company ensures financial stability while preparing for changes. Caluwe and Vermaak (2004, p. 11) assert that, “the foremost consideration of the yellow-print change agent is to always bear in mind the conglomeration of interests, parties, and players.” For a company to support the change ideas discovered, financial stability is an overriding factor (Waddel et al., 2011).

Concerning the structural and cultural readiness, the manager stated that McKinsey restructures its corporate structure to sustain the emerging changes. Such perceptions imply that corporate restructuring is important during change adoption. In addition, the manager stated that the McKinsey Company often trains its workforce and alters its corporate culture to accommodate new changes, because these two factors work in tandem.

Aim 3: Challenges that Workers Face in the Change Adoption Process

Corporate change and development is a systematic process, but it is sometimes difficult for employees to adapt or understand its facets. The study collected the views of the manager concerning the challenges that workers face during the change adoption process. The manager explicitly stated that some employees barely adjust to the new technologies that come with changes, and sometimes confusion and conflict occurs during the restructuring process.

According to the complexity theory, such situations occur because human beings are heterogeneous and complicated in nature (Amagoh, 2008). The manager exposed that some employees feel stressed, and some pessimistic workers discourage others with pessimistic attitudes. Additionally, the manager explained that some workers fear demotions and retrenchments during change adoption, because the process of corporate change sometimes instils tensions and nervousness among workers.


Organisational change is quite a complex process to understand or undertake. Organisational change and development brings about technological growth, innovation, progress, reputational change, leadership transformation, training and development, and work effectiveness. However, although corporate change is overwhelming, it requires some strategic plans. These actions may include enhancement of financial stability and renovation of the corporate culture and structure.

McKinsey has at least met most of the essentials of corporate change. Nonetheless, handling employees during change adoption is challenging because some workers can barely adjust with the new technologies, sometimes conflict arise amongst employees, some workers feel strained, some fear demotions and retrenchments, while some dissuade others. Precisely, the implication is that organisational change and development is a complex process.


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DiCicco-Bloom, B., & Crabtree, B. (2006). Making sense of qualitative research: The qualitative research interview. Medical Education 40(2), 314-321.

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Weiner, B. (2009). A theory of organizational readiness for change. Implementation Science, 4(67), 1-9. Doi:10.1186/1748-5908-4-67.

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