First response to internal or environmental pressures,

First of all, most organizational changes are planned,
intentional changes, introduced by management for different reasons (that vary
from a response to internal or environmental pressures, to strategic changes,
meant to develop the organization). Secondly, organizational changes are easily
noticed, as they unfold in a more orderly, a better structured and a
significantly smaller space than social changes. Moreover, changes that take
place at organization level often evolve in a shorter time span than those
taking place at a macro level (except for the revolutions, of course). One
other difference is in identifying the operator of change – thanks to the
features presented so far, it (or they) can be easily identified. Yet another
significant difference is the fact that, in the case of organizational changes,
the systematic paradigm has a leading role; for instance, in OD the most
frequently used means of measuring the effects of a change is measuring a set
of factors specific to the system both before, as well as after the change, the
variation thus representing the effect of the intervention. Otherwise said, two
different stages of the system are measured, estimating the difference between
them at different moments in time – the very core principles of the systematic
model.

The theoretical space of organizational change has a few more
features, that are part of the metalanguage; first of all, most of the expert
literature is written from a managerial point of view – that is OD represents
the point of view of the management team, that is certainly interested in the
most effective ways of introducing change in the organization they run. The
second feature refers to the fact that there are two main ways of approaching the
issue of organizational change: the one that is an explanation for the means of
implementing a planned change, and the one that represents a description of the
process, that analyzes change instead of offering norms for applying it. We
will continue by presenting the two models included in each approach. 21

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One of the most well
known analytical models belongs to Harold J. Leavitt. This American author
believes that organizations are multivariate systems with at least 4 important
variables: goal, structure, players and technology – see graph 1.35

STRUCTURE

GOAL                   TECHNOLOGY

PLAYERS

Figure 4. ORGANIZATIONAL MODEL PROVIDED BY
H. LEAVITT (3, p. 198)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By structure, Leavitt meant
structures of authority, responsibility, communication and work relations; the players
were represented by the employees of the organization; technology was
believed to be a total of instruments and techniques used in the attempt to
reach the organization?s goals; as for the goal, it was considered “la
raison d?être” of the organization, the rationale that supports its existence
and functioning. These variables represented the marks for change to set in,
thus resulting 4 types of changes. At the core of this model was the strong
interdependence between these variables, which means if one modified, the
others would also modify as an effect. This fact has two consequences:

1. One variable can
be deliberately modified in order to cause desirable changes in the other
variables

2. The change of one variable may lead to
unexpected and unwanted changes in the other variables

 

The influence of the systematic paradigm is quite obvious
here.

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