Home Organizational change Dualities in the organizational change – Notes

Dualities in the organizational change – Notes

by Massimo

The approach suggested by current literature on Change Management, considers a well-defined process to enable change in Companies and Organization.

As reported in “HANDBOOK OF ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE AND INNOVATION”,  process model for understanding institutional change at the organizational field level of analysis. This process model consists of five overlapping stages of institutional change:

  1. pressures for change
  2. the sources of new practices from institutional entrepreneurs
  3. the processes of deinstitutionalization and reinstitutionalization
  4. the dynamics of deinstitutionalization and reinstitutionalization
  5. reinstitutionalization and stability.

Institutional change, therefore, is the movement from one institutionally prescribed and legitimated pattern of practices to another. As such it involves processes of de- and reinstitutionalization. 

An important aspect of organizational change is the Duality. Dualities and tensions play an important role in organizational change. Dualities refer to polar opposites that often work against one another; thus, they represent oppositional pulls that vary in degrees. These dualities are not necessarily contradictions that are mutually exclusive. For example, organizations could clearly implement planned change at both the individual and organizational levels. However, because it is difficult to direct planned change programs at both levels simultaneously, this dichotomy surfaces as a tension in deciding the most appropriate entry level for a planned change effort. What is targeted and privileged often drives out or subjugates the polar opposite that resides in the background of the process. Thus, these dualities are not simply alternatives, e.g., invoking technical approaches or choosing humanistic perspectives. The choice to focus on one of the poles creates a tension and difficulty to enact both ends of the continuum simultaneously. Moreover, dualities exist in bipolar relationships that imply multiple interrelated tensions. For example, certainty-uncertainty is tightly linked with bipolar relationships between predictable-unpredictable, expected-unexpected,androutine—non-routine.Hence, any one duality exists in larger systems of bipolar pairs that impinge on the ways that planned change approaches are understood and managed. In this chapter, we use dualities to reflect on and critique theories of planned change.

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