Sample Management Paper on Changes in Organizational Life

Changes in Organizational Life

According to Leana & Barry (2000), change is an inevitable process in any organization. The changes that occur throughout an organization’s life cycle are mainly driven by factors, such as adaptability, cost containment, control, impatient capital markets, and competitive advantage. Some of the changes that have been occurring in the organizational life over the last few years include:

Changes in employment relations – The employment scenario have been characterized by changes, such as downsizing and contingent employment in various organizations. These changes enable managers to shift both the composition and the size of the workforce resulting in fewer core processes as well as fewer employees. This makes operations both cost effective and profitable. There has been a shift of focus from the consideration of human resources as an asset to be managed to a cost to be minimized (Leana & Barry, 2000).

Financial capital – this is another aspect of organizational life that has changed over the years and is still changing. The financial capital associated with various organizations becomes more impatient over the years, with investors requiring higher rates of return on investments. It is the role of organizations’ managements to ensure that investment decisions are worthwhile and that they offer faster rates of return. Increasing pressure to meet short term targets are also forming the important aspects of investment (Leana & Barry, 2000).

Changes in work arrangements – organizations that are more open to change are moving towards being more decentralized and less hierarchical. Through a change in work arrangements, the management of an organization can easily consolidate the control of the organization resulting in increased employee focus.

Change in processes – Leana & Barry (2000) assert that organizations that operate in volatile environments achieve their goals in most cases due to the adoption of organic process, which enable them to adapt best to the ever-changing market environments. The shift in organizational processes and structures towards the adoption of more adaptable ones is therefore understandable.

Theories of Change Management

Several theories have been proposed that relate to organizational change management. Different authors propose different theories in support of organizational change management. For instance, Amagoh (2008) describes the concept of organizational change management through the application of the systems concept theory and the complexity theory. The systems concept theory proposes that no part of a system can function in isolation. Consequently, an organization must include all the processes and stakeholders in the achievement of beneficial change. The systems concept theory and the complexity theory go hand in hand. When system components are arranged in a hierarchical order, the complexity of the entire system reduces hence it becomes relatively easy to communicate, control, and implement changes in the organization (Bausch, 2002).In this, the interactions between the organization and its environment must be considered in depth.

Another theory that attempts to describe and characterize organizational change is the theory of reasoned action and planned behavior (Kritsonis, 2005). In the articulation of this theory, Kritsonis (2005) suggests that any change in behavior is determined by an individual’s attitude towards the behavior and the willingness of the individual to adopt the new behavior. The tendency towards behavior change is often influenced by the social set up and the environmental conditions surrounding the individual. In this context, the individual is the organization’s employee as well as the management. In order to initiate change in individual behavior, the prevailing environmental and social conditions must be favorable to behavior change.

Organizational Change Theory and Observed Changes

In discussing the relevance of the various change theories, the systems concept theory will be considered with regards to the financial capital and changes in work arrangements.

Financial Capital – in considering the organization as a system with various subsystems, which include the finance department, procurement department, and research and development departments, the role of each of these sub units in the accomplishment of positive change in financial capital is imperative. Communication within and across departments is compulsory for effective and timely decision-making. The procurement department needs to save costs, the R&D department should find information regarding beneficial investments, and the finance department is to cater for financial needs while the other departments also have different roles to play.

Changes in work arrangements – any system has a specific mode of operation for the achievement of organizational goals at minimum costs. The negation of hierarchical work arrangements should result in effectiveness in the communication both inter and intra departmental sections. The view of the organization as a system renders it possible to unite the individual objectives of the different departments to achieve the overall objectives. Existence of sub units makes it possible to decentralize operations.



Sugarman (2001) opines that in order to effectively manage change in organizations, it is important to delve into the guts of organizational operations for information. It is important to take any attempt at change in an organization as an opportunity to strike a bargain for higher quality and better returns. Most recently, organizational managers have been encouraged to use the push and grow models for change management, which drive towards the use of available resources to grow both the organization and the individuals involved in it. Solution of organizational crises rest in the ability to adapt to change and the expertise with which organizational change is managed (Nazzari & Foroughi, n.d)













Amagoh, F. (2008). Perspectives on Organizational Change: Systems and Complexity Theories The Public Sector Innovation Journal, 13(3).

Bausch, K. (2002). Roots and branches: a brief, picaresque, personal history of systems theory. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 19(5), 417-428.

Kritsonis, A. (2005). Comparison of Change Theories International. Journal of Scholarly Academic Intellectual Diversity, 8(1), 1- 7.

Leana, C. & Barry, B. (2000). Stability and Change as Simultaneous Experiences in Organizational Life. The Academy of Management Review, 25(4), 753 – 759. Retrieved from

Nazzari, S. & Foroughi, H. (n.d). Organization’s Changes Through its Lifecycle; A System Dynamics Approach.

Sugarman, B. (2001). PUSH  and GROW  Theories in Change Management: Gateways to Understanding Organizational Learning. “Gateways” Paper for Ivey Conference