Understanding and Facilitating Organizational Change in the 21st Century: Recent Research and Conceptualizations

By Adrianna J. Kezar | Go to book overview

Theories and Models
of Organizational Change

WHY ARE MODELS of organizational change necessary or important to understand? They are helpful for assessing change at a macro level— the level at which many institutional leaders view (or should view) their organizations. Models can reveal why change occurs (the driving forces of change); how change will occur (the stages, scale, timing, and process characteristics); and what will occur (the content of change, outcomes, and ways to measure it). In addition, each model of change represents a different ideology with its own assumptions about the nature of human beings and social organizations. For example, can people change easily, or do they have fairly rigid identities? Most models address the question of determinism: Is change beyond the capacity of people to manage and shape? Choosing a model is not an arbitrary choice—it is an ideological one. The assumptions we make about change are also assumptions about the nature of reality and people. It is important to review the multidisciplinary research on change because some of the ideas have not been applied in higher education. Furthermore, each model helps us to understand different aspects of change. This article reviews the six main typologies of organizational change.

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