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Journal cover: Learning Organization, The

Learning Organization, The

ISSN: 0969-6474

Online from: 1994

Subject Area: Organization Studies

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A case study in organisational change: implications for theory


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Title:A case study in organisational change: implications for theory
Author(s):Lindsay Nelson, (Lindsay Nelson is Head of School of Management, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.)
Citation:Lindsay Nelson, (2003) "A case study in organisational change: implications for theory", Learning Organization, The, Vol. 10 Iss: 1, pp.18 - 30
Keywords:Management attitudes, Modelling, Organizational change
Article type:Case study
DOI:10.1108/09696470310457478 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:MCB UP Ltd
Abstract:Organisational change is typically conceptualised as moving from the status quo to a new, desired, configuration to better match the environment. Change could, therefore, be seen as a departure from the norm, or alternatively as normal and simply a natural response to environmental and internal conditions. Static models of organisations are being displaced by dynamic models, which reflect the discontinuous nature of organisational change. Developments in theory suggest limitations to contingency approaches, which carry the assumptions of static models of change. Analysis of this case at PowerCo in Australia reveals a number of issues related to changes aimed at achieving a more commercial, profit-oriented, focus. Points out that the contextualist approach is holistic, in which these aspects interact with each other as change unfolds temporally. A contextualist framework permits models of change to be visualised as dynamic rather than static, having a temporal setting which has multiple causes acting as loops rather than simple lines. This enables change to be understood as a discontinuous phenomenon having the benefits, without the limitations, of rational contingency models.



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