Introduction Beerel (2009: pg. 32) stated that change


Upon reading the statement, it is clear
to understand that whether the changes within a business are ‘planned’ or
’emergent’, they are different from one another. Depending on what the changes
are i.e. structural change or an internal culture change they will require
different actions as there is no blanket method for change that suits all. This
report shall therefore critically evaluate the statement through breaking down
the themes and issues raised into sections which shall then be backed up with
evidence through the use of case studies and change theories. Firstly, defining
and understanding the difference between planned and emergent change will take
place. Followed by delving into the potential different ‘forms’ that these changes
may come in. Finally, these change ‘forms’ shall be proven to need different
types of action. An overall conclusion at the end shall round up the evidence
formed to complete the critical evaluation in support of the statement given.

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Defining Planned and Emergent change

Senior & Fleming (2006: pg. 54)
stated that ‘change could be viewed as neither wholly emergent nor planned’.
Mullins (2007: pg. 736) defined planned change as ‘an intentional attempt to improve, in some important way, the
operational effectiveness of the organisation’. However, Emergent change
is defined as ‘an approach to organisational change in a complex organisation
operating in a volatile, unstable or uncertain environment’, Kurian (2013: pg.


Diagnosing a change situation

When it comes to managing
organisational change, it is key for organisations to be able to diagnose the situation
to be able to manage it successfully. Organisational change takes many
different forms and it is therefore key for organisations to realise it can be
both beneficial and negative. Beerel (2009: pg. 32) stated that change is good
when it ‘responds directly to new realities and reinforces the organisations potency
and relevance to customers, employees and shareholders’. However, change is negative
when it ‘removes potency and relevance and affects employee morale and
willingness to future change’, Beerel (2009: pg. 32).  Therefore, reviewing change models can help
aid the diagnosis of the change situation.


“Those who pretend that the same kind
of change medicine can be applied no matter what the context are either naïve
or charlatans” (Strebel, 1996a, P.5). Grundy (1993) as cited by Senior &
Fleming (2005: pg. 45) stated there are “three varieties to change” including Smooth incremental change which evolves
slowly and is predictable, bumpy
incremental change which has periods of harsh changes in the pace of change
and other times no change, the final change is discontinuous change in which change is marked by rapid shifts in
strategy, structure, culture or all three’, (Senior & Fleming, 2005: pg.
311). All three of these varieties of change will need different actions as
there are different timings, different problems that will need to be addressed
and no straight action will be able to cover all three varieties.


Diagnosing the change situation in
relevance to the statement helps to understand whether the change does need
different actions depending on what type of change it is. Through the knowledge
of Grundy (1993) it is clear to see that change does take different forms thus
supporting the themes within the statement given.


A Hard or Soft Problem?

The change spectrum allows
organisational change to be located in terms of complexity and variability to
man/system interface increasing (McCalman et al (2016: pg. 89). This means the
change can be placed on the spectrum under a hard or soft approach. Senior
& Fleming (2005: pg. 310) stated that “change in situations that are
characterised by ‘hard’ are more likely to be enacted easily than change in
‘soft situations”. ‘Soft’ change is known to have subjective and interrelated
objectives available of which have no specific time scale and problem
characteristics are hard to define, (McCalman et al (2016: pg. 91). The hard
approach assumes that clear change objectives can be identified to figure out
the best way to achieve them (Senior & Fleming, 2005: pg. 311). Hard problems
are considered to have known time scales, the change has a concise definition
and solutions may be limited but knowledge of them is attainable, (McCalman et
al (2016: pg. 91). This is in support of the statement as the ‘hard’ changes
cannot have the same actions taken as a ‘soft’ problem due to varied or unknown
time scales, different objectives and different goals to be reached won’t be
reached through the same actions.


The Lewin 3 step model (1958) can aid
the planned change process. This model includes ‘unfreezing, changing and
refreezing the organisation into its new state’ (McCalman et al, 2016: pg.
229). Through the first stage, the behaviour is made explicit and the change
needed is identified, through the second stage, the change slowly becomes
implemented into the business. In the final, stage, the business is refreezing
in the new state where the change has been learned and will be maintained in
the future, (Liebhart and Garcia-Lorenzo 2010). This planned form of change requires
actions which will enhance the process and relate to the problem. This includes
a strong organisational development intervention in which there is a strong
connection to the consultant as ‘the implementation stage of the change is most
likely to fail due to unanticipated consequences’ which could be viewed as
emerging issues, (McCalman et al, 2016: pg. 229).


Within the case of Serp Enterprises
(Tymon and Gilmore, 2015), it is clear that they are facing a ‘hard’ planned
change problem. Overall there is a considerably hostile environment within Serp
with negative comments and employees leaving. Currently there are high amounts
of uncertainty within the business at a time of change and employees are said
to ‘not like change’. The new MD made a plan to create a new organisational
structure. He could therefore benefit from using the Lewin 3 step model and from
completing a TROPICS test. This is key to figuring out early warnings to the
impact and magnitude of the impending change (McCalman et al, 2016: pg. 91).
TROPICS stands for Time Scale, Resources, Objectives, Perceptions,
Interest, Control, Source,
identifying these in consideration to the impending change, managers can
understand more and figure out the most beneficial route forward, (McCalman et
al (2016: pg. 92). This system allows for the change to be placed on the change
spectrum of hard and soft, allowing a deeper understanding of the change to
design the guide, planning and implementation of the change (Senior &
Fleming, 2005: pg. 63).


Within the statement, planned change is
usually linked to hard problems. The three step lewin model is key to this,
Liebhart and Garcia-Lorenzo (2010) described Lewin (1951) as ‘the father of
planned change in organisation studies’. The model is used once managers
identify the need to change something within the organisation and therefore
create a ‘planned’ change movement. This model however, allows room for
emerging issues to take place in the implementation stage as it is ‘hard to
force an organization to change’ and it can therefore encounter some change
issues that are unexpected and if not handled with the correct action could
cause the change process to fail (McCalman et al, 2016: pg. 232). Taking into
account the TROPICS test, the change that is coming can be timed and objectives
set, this therefore plans the change that will take place. Emergent change
could also benefit from the use of TROPICS as creating time scales, checking
resources, creating objectives and controlling the change would allow for the
new emergent organisational change action to be implemented correctly. This therefore
agrees with the section of the statement that different actions are required whether
the change is planned or emergent. Actions in terms of a ‘soft’ change would
take a different approach to a ‘hard’ change due to different change characteristics
and objectives.


Cultural change, Power & Politics

When it comes to understanding change
under culture, power and politics reviewing the ‘organizational iceberg’ model by
French and Bell (1990, 1999) as cited by Senior & Fleming (2006: pg. 139)
will aid this. This model shows the top of the iceberg to be easy to visualise
aspects of the business in which are clear organisational goals and strategy,
the procedures and the products and services, Senior & Fleming (2006: pg.
139). However, underneath the water is the hidden aspects that need to be
considered within change management. These underwater parts may be the most
dangerous and unknown until the organisation comes across them unwillingly.


Power within organisations has a
significant influence on the extent to which an individual can exert influence
on their staff members, this can be referred to as a power structure, (Beech
& Macintosh, 2012: pg. 71). It is seen that the wider distribution of power
within an organisation, the greater the opportunity for politics, (McCalman et
al, 2016: pg. 259). Buchanan and Badham (2010: 16) as cited by McCalman et al
(2016: pg. 261) identify eight ‘turf game tactics’ that managers use. A few of
these tactics include ‘Building image
through support for the ‘right cause’ and adherence to group norms; creating alliances with key people,
creating a strong coalition to enforce will; Networking with people in influential positions; scapegoating and making sure someone
else is blamed but taking credit for successes; issue selling and promoting plans in ways that seem more appealing
to the audience’ (McCalman et al 2016: pg. 261).


Cultural change can come in different
forms, this can include rebranding the organisation, aligning the organisation
and creating an employer brand (Cameron and Green 2012: pg. 337). Schein (1999)
as cited by Cameron and Green (2012: pg. 336) stated that ‘organizations will
not successfully change culture if they begin with it specifically in mind’ and
should start with ‘issues the business faces’.


In the case study of DEI airlines, (Weeks,
2007) it is clear to see that there are significant cultural issues. Trying to
integrate the two entities has been a struggle and has resulted in the two
different bodies having completely different cultures. DEI are planning to
change from a “transportation culture” to a “service culture”. The change within
this organisation is planned however, there may be some emerging issues along
the change process. This type of change would benefit from reviewing the 7-S
framework of Mckinsey which ‘allows the organization to analyse their
effectiveness and align with any issues that need to be corrected’ (Singh,
2013). This would allow the business to evaluate the shared values and create
central beliefs and attitudes. It will also produce a sound structure to follow
in turn creating a strategy to produce the wanted outcome and reach identified


As shown by this case study, the
internal culture, politics and power within an organisation when it comes to
change has to be positive. The change has to be introduced by someone in a
powerful situation as introducing a new culture will be a very complex job.
Politics and power also need to be considered highly as they could hinder
change within an organisation and will slow the process down and potentially
turn it negative. Upon completion of the Harvard Simulation Game it was clear
to see that power and influence can easily help and hinder the process of
change, once it seems credibility is lost, the hope of successful
organisational change decreases significantly. The culture in which an
organisation operates can be severely defensive against change and therefore,
this is why it is stated that ‘in order to bring around any significant
organisational change, the organisations culture must be managed accordingly’
(Senior & Fleming 2006: pg. 178).


Upon reviewing culture, politics and
power it is clear to see that whether planned or emergent, the cultural form of
change does require different types of action. Not implementing change
correctly in the culture means that the efforts will fail. Kotter (1995) stated
that there are two important factors in implementing the different forms of
change including ‘making a conscious attempt to show people the new approaches
and behaviours’ and/ ‘taking sufficient time to make sure the next generation
of management really takes on the new approach’. It is stated that ‘in an emerging
change process people need to be convinced, told and reminded of changes’,
(Liebhart and Garcia-Lorenzo 2010). Although planned change can have specific
targets and goals with time scales, change is not always predictable and a
culture and environment in which employees can respond to change constructively
and in a positive way is key, (Liebhart and Garcia-Lorenzo 2010). Finally,
although there may be plans set in place for a cultural change, due to the
length of time that it takes it can be seen as emergent as things progress and
circumstances change (Weick, 2000) as cited by Beech and Macintosh (2012: pg.


Structural Change

Emergent change is said to come from
the ongoing activity within organisations as problems and opportunities are
responded to (Livine-Tarandach and Bartunek, 2009). Many cases of emergent
change are produced through problems occurring or through opportunities for
improvement. Structural change is known to have a rapid speed of change with a
broad approach (Beech and Macintosh, 2012: pg. 94). This therefore means that
once begun, it is virtually impossible to identify everything that will change
and in turn plan and implement actions for these changes (Livine-Tarandach and
Bartunek, 2009).


Through use of Kotter’s 8 step model
and sufficient planning, there can be limitations placed on these emergent
changes. Communication of the reason for change is key to keep ambiguity
limited (Beech and Macintosh, 2012: pg. 20). Step 4 of Kotter’s model is
communication and would aid in spreading the change vision, (McCalman et al,
2016: pg. 69). Not only this but in creating a sense of urgency to change the
organisational structure and giving an overall guide of a vision and strategy,
it could potentially limit the different forms of emerging change arising.


Within the case study of Pirelli real
estate (Salvemini and Sommuaruga, 2007), it is clear to see that there are
significant structural problems. There are said to be inefficiencies within the
organisational structure due to ‘acquisitions made in the past year’. Within this
case study, the HR office have stated several issues with the organisational
structure including ‘little communication, vague corporate strategies and vague
goals’. They currently operate in a matrix structure in which there are 7
different staff functions and 6 companies offering real estate services. Matrix
structures are complex and the emphasis on group decision making can lengthen
the response to overall organisational change, however they can be beneficial because
there is increased flexibility and individual teams can monitor their own
environments and potentially adapt to change quicker individually (Senior and
Fleming, 2006: pg. 97).


Structural change can potentially
happen overnight however there would be a longer period after in which
employees adapt to the change, (Beech and Macintosh, 2012: pg. 20).
Communication for the reason upon which the change is taking place is necessary
as employees could potentially be ambiguous. Structural change could therefore
create a VUCA environment in which the business environment becomes Volatile,
Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (Casey, no date). Here is where the change
leader would benefit from the previously mentioned model as the different forms
of emerging and planned change that could potentially take place within structural
change are communicated and a plan is created to control them.


When reviewing structural change in
terms of planned and emergent, it is clear to understand that this form of
change can be a mixture of both. The structural change could be planned but
considering the fast speed of change, there is a large uncertainty that
everything will run smoothly. This therefore means that emerging change will
inevitably arise throughout the change form. This form of change will
definitely require different actions than a change which is small scale and relatively
slow such as behavioural change within an organisation. Within this, there
would be a chance to create plans and address the situation with goals and
targets of creating a stimulating environment for employees to develop new
skills and ways of behaving whereas structural change would need to completely
change the business and would therefore need completely different actions.



Having reviewed both of the planned and
emergent aspects within the statement it is clear to see that change does take
different forms and does require different types of action. A counterbalancing
point to this is that although change does take different forms, it doesn’t always
require different types of actions. This could be argued through the use of
models. As some models can be used for multiple cases that have been described
previously. For example, the case of Pirelli real estate could benefit from
using the lewins 3 step model yet it has different internal changes to Serp
enterprises. Another model that could benefit all three cases is TROPICS although
not stated in each. This could therefore suggest the actions taken towards the
change could be similar if not the same. The overall conclusion that the
statement is correct is supported by Senior & Fleming (2005: pg. 65) in that
they stated, “not only are there different types of change, which manifest
themselves in different organisations, change also appears at different levels
of an organisation and in its functions”. The aspects of change that have been
reviewed allow an in-depth review of the statement as the forms of change
provide different models and different outcomes. Organisational structural
change will not be introduced when using actions that would be put in place for
a small change situation such as a small internal technological change as the
form of change is completely different. Strebel (1996) as cited by Senior &
Fleming (2006: pg. 57) stated that ‘change leaders cannot afford the risk of
blindly applying a standard change recipe and hope it will work. Successful
change happens on a path that is appropriate for the situation’. Some may be
planned to begin with and face emerging problems along the course of the
change. Change is present in all organisations due to cultural change, people
change, technological change and many more forms. Having a comprehensive
understanding of the different forms of change whether planned or emergent, allows
the statement to come to life and the issues raised within are understood that
although change does come in planned and emergent forms, sometimes these two
types will inevitably have to co-exist in some organisational change
situations. Although some models and forms may have similar actions and
responses, generally there are different types of action for each. 


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