Organizational Change: Historical Points


Change is inevitable in organizations. It enables organizations to re-strategize and adopt new ways of undertaking their activities, which will trigger success (Greenberg & Baron, 2008). Rethinking organizational change entails evaluating the appropriateness of change. Change should be undertaken in order to improve the fortunes of an entity. However, with the frequency of change in organizations, some of the alterations undertaken are unjustifiable and add no value to entities (Denison, 2001). Change should be undertaken when it is justifiable and beneficial to an entity. The history of change is massive and dates back to the onset of humanity. In the past, societies made changes when they realized that a certain strategy of governance was not working (Boonstra, 2004). Most of the scholarly history of change pertains to the period beginning from the 1970s onwards. Commencing from this time, change became a vital discipline in management. Nature of change is a feature of this discipline, which attempts to elaborate various aspects of change. Nature of change will detail its effects, causes and method of instituting it in organizations (Yukl, 2002).


The history of change details the emergence of this discipline as a subset of management. It highlights the emergence of an organized society as the key trigger of change. The history of change relates to the other two sections since it records the changes that are occurring in the discipline (Turner, 2009). Based on the history, most organizations have been undertaking change, which is unjustifiable. Consequently, it was imperative to rethink change. Change should be undertaken when it will culminate in improvements. History shows that organizations undertake change without any real drive or reason. The nature of change elaborates various aspects of change. This can be learnt widely from history, which has all the information on this discipline from which its nature may be deduced.


There are also numerous disparities between the three historical topics of change. The history of change entails making a detailed record of what has happened to the discipline. It records what is happening to change as a discipline while the second topic, which entails rethinking change, provides a different aspect of change. Rethinking change seeks to ensure that organizations do not undertake transformation randomly, but undertake it when it is necessary and it will contribute to the improvement of an organization (Sengupta, 2006). This chapter on change wants organizations to undertake change not as just as a trend, but with certain corporate ambitions.

Impacts of change on organizations

The nature of change is also different from the rest since its attempts to explore the dynamics of change. It reveals important aspects such as how to undertake change effectively. Unlike the other two topics, nature of change elaborates the implications of change on organization. Change will have many impacts on an organization. The human resource is normally affected by changes. Impending change will result in massive uncertainty among the employees. Consequently, it is fundamental to involve the employees in the process of instituting change (Paulsen, Hernes & European Group for Organizational Studies. 2003). Involving employees will reduce the anxiety since they will learn what change entails and will accept and own it. The history of change only records the progress of the discipline. It fails to provide incisive information, which will enable us, understand what change entails. Rethinking of change seeks to provide new thinking when undertaking change. Organizations should not undertake change as a routine, but the drive to change should emanate from the need to fine-tune an entity (Osborne & Brown, 2005).

Revolutionary change

Managing change is crucial when undertaking instituting transformation. Failure to manage change may have many implications. Change is dynamic and occurs in many ways (Newton & Tarrant, 2002). Revolutionary change is sudden and results predominantly form change in personnel. Conversely, evolutionary transformation is gradual and predominantly results from policy changes in the organization or government regulations. Revolutionary change occurs when there is change in personnel (In Mesa-Lago & University of Pittsburgh, 1971). When a new CEO was appointed in our organization this kind of transformation occurred. It occurs since CEOs will attempt to impose their philosophies in the organization. In my organization, the management culture was relaxed. However, the new CEO had a more formal approach. This approach made most employees uncomfortable since they were used to a relaxed or laid-back CEO. The new CEO had a hands-on approach. Such changes occur in organizations that have revolutionary impact since employees have adjusted rapidly.

Evolutionary change and conclusion

Evolutionary changes have also occurred in my career. As a manager in the financial department, we adhere to certain standards in our work. The alteration of these standards has resulted in certain transformations (Denison, 2001). However, the professional bodies have provided a window within which we can adjust to the new reporting standards. This kind of change is evolutionary since it had an adjustment period. Evolutionary change is easy to bear with. Hence, employees accepted it easily. Contrary, the change resulting from a new CEO was tough and sudden for most employees. However, the employees also adjusted, but it required some time. In view of such problems, it is vital to manage change by providing timely and appropriate information on impending change (Boonstra, 2004).


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Newton, C., & Tarrant, T. (2002). Managing change in schools: A practical handbook. London: Routledge.

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Yukl, G. A. (2002). Leadership in organizations. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

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