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Change Management

Patrick Dawson


Change management refers to the active process of introducing a change that moves an organization over time from established ways of doing things to new, desired ways of operating. A key aim of change management is to manage processes in a way that ensures the likelihood of a preferred future being attained. Planning and structuring change, establishing projects and engaging people, communicating intentions and trying to avoid technical or human contingencies are all part of a process that sets out to ensure smooth transitions in the successful implementation of change. But even when change is meticulously planned, the unexpected and unforeseen still occurs. Strategies for overcoming potential obstacles can be prepared for but the unanticipated happens. Changing towards an unknowable future is always going to have elements of unpredictability and this is part of the paradox of change management. Change management is often compounded by ideological and political entanglement, especially in situations where the agents of change hold positions of power and authority over those on the receiving end. For example, the recipients of management-designed initiatives may be expected to modify their behaviors or work practices in ways that they would prefer not to and this enforced intervention may precipitate conflict and resistance – often seen by change agents as a barrier to overcome in ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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