Article Critique

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Question Description

The Brisson-Banks (2010) article in the required reading for this unit compares the five different change management models presented in this unit. It also describes various situational variables that could influence the effectiveness of each model. Utilizing all of the knowledge accumulated through this unit and the previous units, write a critique of the article below:

Brisson-Banks, C. (2010). Managing change and transitions: A comparison of different models and their commonalities. Library Management, 31(4), 241-252. Retrieved from

In your article critique, be sure to include the following elements:

  • Evaluate different aspects of organizational change.
  • Discuss the role that leader vision plays in a change management strategy.
  • Discuss how effective change initiatives can influence organizational performance.
  • Compare leadership styles to the models of change.

Utilize the CSU Online Library to locate two sources to use as references (in addition to using the Brisson-Banks article) that support your article critique. Your article critique should be two to three pages in length.

Be sure to include the rubric elements from the guidelines below:

  • accurate identification of the premise and supporting points from the article;
  • insightful and thorough analysis of information from the article, including using evidence and reasonable and compelling interpretations;
  • critical thinking clearly stating your informed and substantiated opinion, thorough evaluation of article's premise, and supporting points;
  • organization resulting in clarity and logically arranged points to support the proposed solution;
  • academically credible sources meeting the assignment requirements and reference entries following APA format; and
  • clear and concise writing with proper sentence structure, grammar, and punctuation, and free from spelling errors.

Unformatted Attachment Preview

The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at Managing change and transitions: a comparison of different models and their commonalities Claire V. Brisson-Banks Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA Managing change and transitions 241 Received 15 August 2009 Revised 25 October 2009 Accepted 15 November 2009 Abstract Purpose – The purpose of this article is to analyze the commonalities of various change and transition models developed over time to assist with and support managing organizational change. Design/methodology/approach – The article provides an examination of change and transition models through a review of relevant literature and the comparison of different models. Findings – Each change and transition model has similar methods of handling change. Their unique methods and strategies provide additional insights into possible applications to most organizations. In some cases, models could be combined to form new models to best fit the circumstances of the organization. Practical implications – This comparison can assist individuals in evaluating and selecting the model based on organizational need while remembering to focus on both the physical and the emotional changes in an organization. Originality/value – The article shows that human resource managers can benefit from learning the commonalities between change and transition models when considering what will work for their organization in conjunction with the review of a number of well known and relevant models. Keywords Human resource management, Organizational change, Leadership, Change management, Adaptability Paper type Research paper Introduction Change is evident everywhere from the simplest everyday changes to the most difficult situations encountered by human resource (HR) managers as management grapples with reorganizations, downsizing and/or cutbacks. A crucial factor in the effectiveness of an organization is the ability to adapt to change (French and Delahaye, 1996). According to Bridges and Mitchell (2000) “Business conditions change and yesterday’s assumptions and practices no longer work”. While it may seem uncommon to some, most businesses are told they have to change everything from the way they think to the way they work (Nortier, 1995). Wagar (2000) provides a bit of history by reminding us of how downsizing became an obsession in the 1990s, the phrase “lean and mean” became a primary focus of most businesses at that time. Whether the success of downsizing tactics worked is not the topic for discussion here, however, the tactics employed at the time are part of this comparison. Today’s economic crisis has also added the new dimension of change needing to be immediate instead of over a period of time. Add increased global competition, outsourcing, fast changing and new technologies and you have a recipe for massive confusion to those involved in such a volatile environment. Library Management Vol. 31 No. 4/5, 2010 pp. 241-252 q Emerald Group Publishing Limited 0143-5124 DOI 10.1108/01435121011046317 LM 31,4/5 242 Literature review When beginning a review of studies surrounding change models, it was discovered that much time and energy has been devoted to bring about a better understanding of change as it relates to organizations. While this topic has been looked at from various disciplines, this article will only touch on some of the many change and transition models, which organizations have to choose from as they work through their particular organization change. An awareness of the need for change is the beginning of the whole change process (Armstrong, 2006). A complete assessment of the current situation is necessary to begin the process of implementing any kind of change in an organization. Unfortunately, this kind of assessment may take longer than management or stakeholders have if the situation is very serious. What happened to bring about the need for change? What kind of issues and problems have occurred to bring about this crisis are questions which need to be answered as this helps to determine the best course of action to follow. Which change and/or transition model will fit the organization? Another facet within change models are the individuals involved in working together to implement change. Ulrich and Brockbank (2005) provide some insights to this element of the equation by pointing out how “high-performing HR professionals make change happen successfully and thoroughly with their most critical contribution being to make sure the change happens quickly”. Just how involved the HR professional has to be for a successful change is up to the organization. There are a variety of reasons their involvement is imperative to the success of any type of change. Additionally, their familiarity with the organization’s culture and employees becomes a great asset to the individuals responsible for organizing changes. This is most significant in a change process as follow through skills become extremely valuable and adds to the facilitation of all types of organizational change. Taking a step back to change itself, various studies have revealed additional strategies concerning the very nature of change and how it relates to organizations. Kanter (1985) relates how organizations have to be able to adapt to change or face the possibility of losing out to competition. Kanter (1985) further expounds on how some in top management attempt to force change by just simply dictating it, changing polices without warning and expecting their middle management to take charge and make the change work. These experiences reflect how strategic-planning models are only a piece of the change process, which usually results in some sort of modifications to work with an individual organization. Burke (2004) looks at where the organizational development field is in 2004, and expresses how difficult it is to move forward without the knowledge of what is coming. Burke’s (2004) review of what is now known (in 2004) evaluates change processes and points out some of the change models which will be covered further in this article. Additionally, change effort is now enhanced with the aid of training and feedback. Burke’s (2004) comments bring out how any value-based change effort requires effective leadership and a business structure which includes strategy, mission plans and a model. When a change model is used in conjunction with the business structure it has a better chance of success and is part of the eight-step change model from Kotter (1995) where “to work together as a team united in the vision,” is necessary for success. Axelrod (2001) reminds us of how change management and models came to the point of unleashing the power of employees. Previous studies conducted by Kurt Lewin during World War II revealed how allowing input from employees when changes were needed added to acceptance of the changes with a bonus of increased productivity. These studies were conducted with surveys and working together to review the collected data which resulted in better change solutions. Axelrod (2001) further explains there needs to be a new paradigm involving more people and widening the circle of involvement. Dannemiller and Norlin (2001) have developed a different approach altogether calling it a whole-scale change where the business comes together to connect the collective wisdom of the organization creating the one brain and one heart methodology. This process brings in individuals from all levels of the organization to create the alignment needed for success. The additional touch of requiring high performance brings this model in line with another change model introduced by Quinn (2006). Following the path of working together, Schein(2004) uses the term “culture” and shows how it is extremely important to investigate and study the culture of an organization in order to work with them in a more cohesive manner. This very notion of knowing the culture of the organization is the responsibility of the leaders in order to determine how to lead or Schein (2004) says the “culture will lead them” making any change model more difficult to implement. Evans and Ward (2004) remind us how managers are in the position of needing to “be prepared for two types of change-planned and imposed”. New managers are under pressure to make a good impression and feel like they have to implement change correctly and operating under an unexpected or forced change can cause great difficulties with staff. While change can be risky and is time-consuming, careful preparation can enhance the process. Managers tackle the situation of how most people do not enjoy change, but somehow, because change must happen, individuals will adjust over time with the right people in management. Beer et al. (1990) conducted studies of change programs with 12 different companies and discovered how most do not work unless everyone is involved and on board. Beer et al. (1990) determined that “effective corporate renewal starts at the bottom, through informal efforts to solve problems”. Their studies revealed how senior officials can be committed to change and have to foster a climate of change instead of mandating the changes from the top as may have been done in the past. They also discovered how all departments and mangers need to be involved or the whole process can break down. Additional organizational change studies were conducted by Dunphy and Stace (1993) to show how no one model is universally applicable. They point out how “turbulent times demand different responses in varied circumstances, so managers and consultants need a model of change that is essentially a situational or contingency model”. Dunphy and Stace (1988) developed a contingency model using a combination of leadership styles and different types of changes. Identifying the optimum mix of leadership and change styles, while considering the organization, is what makes the change successful. Bridges and Mitchell (2000) provide what they call a new model for change. They remind us how, over the years, a large amount of time and effort has been spent in studying the management of change and yet it seems to have fallen short in providing Managing change and transitions 243 LM 31,4/5 244 the much needed solutions to the economical situations organizations find themselves in today as they work through a variety of necessary changes for survival. While change is not an easy or simple process, many still operate today as if it is and fail to understand why a business is unable to create a plan and follow it through successfully. Bridges and Mitchell (2000) point out “most leaders imagine that transition is automatic – that it occurs simply because the change is happening. But it doesn’t”. The human element of change needs to be addressed for change to be successful. Kotter and Cohen (2002) have put together a collection of success stories using Kotter’s famous eight-step change model from 1996 as well as situations which could be considered failures. In the book, Kotter and Cohen (2002) point out the reasons for success are “[b]ecause their most central activity does not center on formal data gathering, analysis, report writing, and presentations . . . instead, they compellingly show people what the problems are and how to resolve the problems”. It is this kind of process that goes a long way into creating successful organizational changes. This change model will be discussed in this article. Change and transition models Lewin One of the earliest change models was developed by Kurt Lewin. According to Burnes (2004) and Armstrong (2006) this model is referred to as the “3-Step Model” developed in 1947 and referenced in his Field Theory in Social Science (Lewin, 1951). This model breaks change down into three steps: unfreezing, changing, and refreezing, Armstrong (2006) provides greater detail to this process as follows: . . . Unfreezing – is altering the present stable equilibrium which supports existing behaviors and attitudes. This process must take account of the inherent threats that change presents to people and the need to motivate those affected to attain the natural state of equilibrium by accepting change. Changing – developing new responses based on new information. Refreezing – stabilizing the change by introducing the new responses into the personalities of those concerned (Armstrong, 2006). This could be compared to overcoming bad habits by replacing them with new and better habits. The individual, like an organization, has to be resolved and committed to make the change and do what is necessary regardless of any inconveniences involved in the process. The end goal is to succeed with the change. Burnes (2004) points out that Lewin is one of the early pioneers of group dynamics and how individuals will usually go along with the group norm whether it is a positive or negative situation or actions. Armstrong (2006) adds how “Lewin suggests a methodology for analyzing change which is called ‘field force analyses’” and involves the following: . . . Analyzing the restraining or driving forces will affect the transition to the future state; these restraining forces will include the reactions of those who see change as unnecessary or as a constituting a threat. Assessing which of the driving or restraining forces are critical. Taking steps both to increase the critical driving forces and to decrease the critical restraining forces (Armstrong, 2006). How does this apply to an organizational change? Ritchie (2006) sheds some light on how an organization can apply this to a change situation. The unfreezing is the time process required to prepare for change, to help the staff accept the coming change, and break down the status quo found through the evaluation completed leading up to the realization that changes were necessary for survival. This will force the organization to take a hard and difficult look at their very essence. Ritchie (2004) calls this a “controlled crisis” which adds the needed motivation to make a change. Once the change is set in motion, individual workers may have to find new ways to accomplish their jobs, whether they are the same jobs in new locations or new jobs in the same locations. Once the workers have accepted these changes they easily support and adjust to the change. In Johnson’s (1998) Who Moved My Cheese?, the character Haw realizes he needs to move on and accept his situation making the best of it, while Hem refuses to change and just remains in his same state. This is often what happens in an organization when certain individuals refuse to accept the changes while others move on and work through them. Richie (2004) states refreezing is at the point when there is a new stable organization, people are accepting the reorganization by working through the new methods and ways of accomplishing daily tasks. Once this occurs, confidence in the business increases and there is usually a new sense of hope and the future looks brighter for all in the new organization. It is at this point when refreezing should take place. A celebration of the new organizations should be held. This allows everyone to feel appreciated for their part in the success of the change. (Remembering change is cyclical and may have to be addressed again in the future.) Beckhard Richard Beckhard (1969) developed a change program, which incorporates the following processes (as cited in Armstrong, 2006): . . . . Setting goals and defining the future state or organizational conditions desired after the change. Diagnosing the present condition in relations to these goals. Defining the transition state activities and commitments required to meet the future state. Developing strategies and action plans for managing this transition in the light of an analysis of the factors likely to affect the introduction of change. Depending on the circumstance, an organization may receive the latest quarterly reports and realize that change is required in order to survive or successfully contend with their existing or future competition. A business’s staff can work together to plan and implement change using this program. To breakdown this change program further, Rouda and Kusy Jr (1995) provide Beckhard’s definition of organizational development; it is “[a]n effort, planned, organization-wide, and managed from the top, to increase organization effectiveness and health through planned interventions in the organization’s process, using behavioral-science knowledge”. This explanation provides additional insights in how the change program can be used in a business setting. Looking at this change program with this added definition helps to show how it can be applied in a business or organizational setting when change is imminent. According to Rouda and Kusy Jr (1995), this model: Managing change and transitions 245 LM 31,4/5 246 [t]akes a long-range approach to improving performance and efficiency in an organization by looking at the total organization, adding the necessary support from top management by implementing it themselves along with tying it to the bottom-line. Next apply incremental changes over a period of time while involving the individuals in the business providing them an opportunity to make a positive contribution. Additionally, Marshak (2004) states “The whole idea of planned change assumes, in essence, that it is possible to determine rationally how to initiate and implement actions to achieve and then maintain a predetermined, desired future state”. While these steps are not always applied in the correct order, they all need to happen for change to be successful. Thurley A third change model described in Armstrong (2006) was introduced by K. Thurley (1979) and has five main strategies to managing change: “Directive, bargained, hearts and minds, analytical and action-based”. Each strategy has advantages and disadvantages for all parties involved. The primary starting point is to recognize the need for change in an organization. An in depth review of each strategy is valuable when determining if and when there is any commonality with each of the change models discussed in this article exists and whether access to particular strategies will aid or hinder the success of the organizational change. Both Armstrong (2006) and Lockitt (2004) provide ample explanations of each strategy. . Directive – “the imposition of change in crisis situations or when other methods have failed. This is done by the exercise of managerial power without consultation” (Armstrong, 2006). “The advantage here is that change can be undertaken quickly, however, the disadvantage is it does not take into consideration any views, or feelings, of those involved in the change” (Lockitt, 2004). . Bargained – “this approach recognizes that power is shared between employer and the employed and that change requires negotiation, compromise and agreement before being implemented” (Armstrong, 2006). “[w]illingness by senior managers to negotiate and bargain in order to effect change. This approach acknowledges that those affected by change have the right to have a say in what changes are made, with disadvantages being the additional time to effect change” (Lockitt, 2004). . Hearts and minds – “an all-embracing thrust to change the attitudes, values and beliefs of the whole workforce. This normative approach seeks commitment and a shared vision but does not necessarily include involvement or participation” (Armstrong, 2006). This strategy allows “full support of the changes being made and a shared set of organizational values that individuals are willing and able to support. Again the advantage is the positive commitment to the changes being made with the disadvantag ...
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School: UC Berkeley



Organizational Change Models
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Change is constant and is evident from the simplest everyday organizational changes to the
most complex changes that the management have to make. Therefore, it is very important for any
organization to be able to handle changes in an effective and efficient manner. What makes an
organization successful is its ability to adapt to changes and make a smooth transition from the old
system to the new one, (Brisson-Banks, 2004). Over time various organizational change models
have been developed and the models have been used by many organizations. The success of any
model of change is highly determined by the management ability to implement the models
Organizational change has greatly evolved over the years, in the past organization were
told that they had to change everything from how they think to how they work. However, in todays
world where the business world is ever changing those old tricks do not work anymore. Nowadays
organizations require more immediate type ...

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