The majority of the articles included deal with the subject of organizational change. Several of them explore organizational change from a theoretical viewpoint and offer ideas for research, while other articles offer more practical information for management with examples of change, elements affecting change, and concrete examples of organizations’ implementation of change. Several of the articles focus on leadership. Again, some approach from a theoretical perspective, while others offer concrete examples of styles of leadership that can be utilized on a practical level. Altogether, the articles provide a diverse picture of theories and practices behind leadership and organizational change. This diversity demonstrates that research in leadership and organizational change is a fertile field active in theoretical scholarship as well as practical applications for organizations and their leaders. Another area of importance discussed in many of the articles is the rapidly changing global economic, social, and competitive climate that affects leaders and organizations. This changing climate underscores the importance of research and practical applications in leadership and organizational change, because organizations must change to adapt to the climate.
Barnett, William P. & Carroll, Glenn R. (1995). Modeling Internal Organizational Change. Annual Review of Sociology, 21, 217-236.
The purpose of the article is to describe how and why organizations change, as well as the consequences of this change. They feel that a model considering both process and content will resolve contradictory empirical evidence about the questions concerning organizational change. Although they do not discard the two sides of theory regarding organizational change, which include adaptive and selective change, they observe that these theories fail to answer basic questions regarding reasons for change and the outcomes following change. They evaluate new research concerning organizational change and outcomes. This aim of this technical article appears to be to stimulate more research regarding the modeling of organizations beyond the basic adaptive and selective models. This article’s audience is meant for theorists behind organizational change and its outcomes. However, it stresses the need for completing more research because it will be valuable to both theorists and management or leadership. This further research will assist management in learning how to deal with change and preventing the “demise” of their organizations.
Bate, Paul, Khan, Raza, & Pye, Annie (2000). Towards a Culturally Sensitive Approach to Organization Structuring: Where Organization Design Meets Organization Development. Organization Science, 11(2), 197-211.
The authors suggest a specific approach to organizational re-design, which includes cultural sensitivity toward the organization’s structuring. Their aim is to give the organization structure and culture a more holistic and personal focus. Their belief is that this kind of re-design will enable organizations to move out of ruts or aimless change and into more collective, sensible, and sensitive structures. They discuss their three core concepts, culture, structure, and leadership. Rather than seeing the three as separate, they emphasize the need to integrate the concepts. Their empirical evidence comes from an action research project done at a large hospital trust in England. This fairly technical article describes a very different aspect of leadership from most theoretical articles. Including cultural sensitivity as equal to or even more important than organizational structure is quite unique, and the authors admit that finding ways to get people to realize the importance of cultural sensitivity would be “a cultural change in itself.” This article will be valuable for leadership and management at upper levels seeking new ways to view their organizations.
Bloodgood, James M. & Morrow, J. L. (2000). Strategic Organizational Change Within An Institutional Framework. Journal of Managerial Issues, 12(2), 208-226.
This article presents theories using a resource-based view of institutional organizations in order to determine how managers develop strategic changes. This includes how management’s perceptions concerning determinism, choice, and uncertainty impact their decision making process. These three factors of management’s perceptions are discussed in depth. The Table illustrates different change strategies and potential outcomes. Their conclusion is that the primary force leading firms through organizational change are their institutional factors. This means that when management understands effects of institutionalized factors have on management itself, their own firms, and competitors, they will be better positioned to compete against rivals when change is called for. The intended audience of this article are top managers who need to be able to see and understand why and how different change strategies are enacted. Understanding the factors described in this article will also assist top management in predicting their own firm’s as well as competitors’ directions in strategic change.
Bordia, Prashant, Hobman, Elizabeth, Jones, Elizabeth, Gallois, Cindy, & Callan, Victor J. (2004). Uncertainty during Organizational Change: Types, Consequences, and Management Strategies. Journal of Business and Psychology, 18(4), 507-532.
The authors predicted that control would reduce the effects of uncertainty and psychological strain on employees when management communicated effectively and allowed participation in decision making for employees. Three types of uncertainty are discussed, including job-related, structural, and strategic uncertainty. The audience for this article is business administration, management, and leadership who are coping with a rapidly changing business environment on the global scale. Its intent is to discover ways for management to strategically manage employees’ uncertainty in order to reduce its negative consequences. These negative consequences include employee stress, dissatisfaction, less well-being, and lack of trust in the organization. The authors found that strategies such as team meetings and gathering employee input were more effective than one-way communication from management in reducing negative consequences of uncertainty. Effective communication must be open and constant to avoid rumors and stress concerning employees in times of change. Constant change itself can confuse employees, but it may be unavoidable. Therefore, the authors include that assisting employees in dealing with change is a constant part of managements’ role. This research is important for any business or organization today, as globalization and other factors speed up the rate of change for everyone.
Denison, Daniel R., Hooijberg, Robert, & Quinn, Robert E. (1995). Paradox and Performance: Toward a Theory of Behavioral Complexity in Managerial Leadership. Organization Science, 6(5), 524-540.
The authors have conducted an empirical study of 176 executives to study their theories concerning leadership. The aim of the article is to understand managerial leadership and to suggest further research of value. They fault traditional theories of management for the narrowness of their views and as trying to classify leaders as belonging to singular type groups. They suggest that leaders can fill previously described opposing categories at the same time. This is the apparent paradox, that a leader could be in a category that appears to contradict one he or she also fits into. Figure One, Quinn’s Model of Leadership Roles, illustrates apparent opposing categories. However, the authors argue that successful leaders can fit into a number of these categories, even opposing ones, simultaneously. Perhaps it is unsurprising to find that a successful leader can fit into a variety of roles; considering an example that an excellent debater can often play devil’s advocate and argue both sides of an issue successful, a leader similarly must be able to view things and act from multiple angles.
Gilmore, T. N. (1990). Effective Leadership During Organizational Transitions. Nursing Economic$, 8(3), 135-141.
The article was based on a presentation given to a nursing conference, is published in a nursing journal, its intended audience. Gilmore’s article specifically addresses the issue of how to use the opportunity during a time of leadership change to improve an organization. He brings up the important points that leadership is a paradox because it is needed most when it is lacking, such as when there is a transition between leaders, and also that leadership is different from management. He emphasizes the importance of a leader focusing on the spaces between people in the environment, which he believes are often neglected as people do not feel it is part of their job; for example, a nurse may feel it is his or her job to focus on seeing patients, but neglect what activities should happen between patients. A useful feature of this article are the two tables discussing key strategies and elements of leadership transitions. The strategies provided in this article would be useful in many organizations, not just the nursing field.
Harris, A. (2006). Opening up the 'Black Box' of Leadership Practice: Taking a Distributed Leadership Perspective. International Studies In Educational Administration (Commonwealth Council For Educational Administration & Management (CCEAM)), 34(2), 37-45.
Alma Harris is a Professor and Pro-Director on Leadership at the Institute of Education in London, England. Her specialty is in Distributed Leadership, and she has published a book and journal articles on the subject. She was elected President of the International Congress of School Effectiveness and School Improvement for 2013. Harris’s article focuses on how leadership affects innovation in a school setting. The intended audience is school administrators and people who train school administrators and teachers, such as Education department professors at a college. It concludes that teacher leadership equals or exceeds principal leadership. The author establishes that distributed leadership differs from collaborative or democratic leadership in that power is not focused at the top but is given some autonomy at all leadership levels. They theory behind the success of distributed leadership comes mainly from cognitive and social psychology. This article’s findings have ramifications for other leadership settings because it implies that distributed leadership is powerful.
Haveman, Heather A., Russo, Michael V., & Meyer, Alan D. (2001). Organizational Environments in Flux: The Impact of Regulatory Punctuations on Organizational Domains, CEO Succession, and Performance. Organization Science, 12(3), 253-273.
This article discusses how the authors bridge between the apparent polar opposites of the adaptation and selection organizational theories. It is a very technical piece concerning how industries are “punctuated” by outside changes such as rapidly evolving technology, political and social tumult, government regulation, economic changes, and so forth. The authors theorize that these types of events affect and alter an organization’s ability to change and its chances to survive. Change means risk, and an organization’s handling of risk will affect its outcome. The article focuses on the effect of regulatory punctuations to business organizations. New leadership is a necessary response to this. The authors present six hypothesis about how businesses will respond to regulatory change and the leadership that follows. Their research included hospitals, which undergo constant regulatory changes. The finding they found most significant is that the businesses who changed CEOs when responding to punctuations were the ones that improved their performance. This article will apply to many business leadership situations that are in situations of great flux.
Labianca, Giuseppe, Gray, Barbara, & Brass, Daniel J. (2000). A Grounded Model of Organizational Schema Change During Empowerment. Organization Science, 11(2), 235-257.
The author’s article deals with employee resistance during changes to an organization, including the motivations for resisting change and suggestions for improving change efforts. The authors found that even when employees were empowered by allowing them to be part of the decision making process when it comes to organizational change, the tendency still exists for employees to resist change and this route is not successful in aiding such change. The authors specify several reasons why employees may resist change, including organization politics, insufficient information, strong cultural and socialization norms, poor timing, and lack of necessary resources; any one of these or combination of them may cause resistance. The findings of this study are applicable to any organization making change in which employee or non-management input is necessary and valued. The authors conclude that conduct and design are of utmost importance in organization change; the change must be gradual, and management must act in accordance with, not just speak about the changes. Good intentions and positive attitudes will not be enough for success. Additionally, it should be seen as a cooperative learning process among management and employees.
Maak, Thomas & Pless, Nicola M. (2006). Responsible Leadership in a Stakeholder Society: A Relational Perspective. Journal of Business Ethics, 66(1), 99-115.
This article discusses leadership and what constitutes the qualities of responsible leadership from an ethical view in a stakeholder society. The leaders’ followers are the stakeholders. The environment in which they are discussing leadership is a globalized business environment in which leaders are accountable to stakeholders to act ethically and create a future that appears desirable for both the company itself and the communities it exists within. Stakeholders include employees, clients and customers, and business partners. Effective leaders need relational intelligence and ethical intelligence in order to secure long term trust with stakeholders and a successful business enterprise. Leaders must also be able to balance external pressure and internal tension to be effective. The authors establish various roles for the leader such as steward, citizen, visionary, servant, coach, architect, storyteller and meaning enabler, and change agent. The aspects of leadership discussed in this article could be applied to a variety of leadership situations beyond business, since it is an ethical discussion of what constitutes good leadership.
McCall, Morgan W. & Lombardo, Michael M. (1982). Using Simulation for Leadership and Management Research: Through the Looking Glass. Management Science, 28(5), 533-549.
The authors believe that previous examinations of leadership have been too narrow. This focus is the leader-subordinate relationship, and does not account for the organizational or environmental context of leadership and its impacts. The authors used Looking Glass, Inc., which is “a person-centered simulation of management in a complex organization” to test theories about management research. Primarily, they seek to discover whether simulation is practical, valid, or a game. The conclusion they arrive at is that the primary value of a simulation is that it can broaden ideas about leadership, help people look beyond the leader-subordinate relationship, and help end survey-methodology ruts in research. However, the authors note that any simulation results must be approached with caution because simulations have many limitations and are not an actual reality. The value of using a simulation will be that it can provide researchers with new questions to ask, and unexpected results may generate ideas for further research. This article’s audience is primarily those involved in theorists researching leadership in organizations. It will provide little useful information for actual management or leadership.
Paul, M. (1982). Power, Leadership, and Trust: Implications for Counselors in Terms of Organizational Change. Personnel & Guidance Journal, 60(9), 538-541.
Although Paul uses generalized examples of power, leadership, and trust, the focus of this article is on how counselors in human service delivery systems such as schools can most efficiently increase their influence using a collective leadership process. Some essential components for leadership are discussed, such as human motives and physical constraints, theories of personality, conflict and choice, change, and trust. Paul brings up the idea that people today often assume that power is the same as management or leadership and self promotion is given as authenticity. A problem the author sees with current bureaucracies is that they do not see their organization climate as being related to their mission, resulting in inefficiency. Trust and change are key issues for Paul, because the mission of his article is to improve counseling for kids in schools. Although this article presents some valuable information especially for school counselors, its message is harder to generalize to any other kind of institution or leadership situation.
Pless, Nicola M. (2007). Understanding Responsible Leadership: Role Identity and Motivational Drivers. Journal of Business Ethics, 74(4), 437-456.
The author discusses the qualities of a responsible leader by examining the leadership style of Anita Roddick, the founder of The Body Shop. The introduction brings up a few examples of bad leadership, such as those that occurred with the Enron and WorldCom scandals. These scandals have left a scar in the minds of society that Pless believes must be remedied by providing examples of responsible, ethical leadership that have experienced success with running their organizations. Pless believes that an examination of responsible leadership must look beyond the cognitive and behavioral psychology of the issue and examine the dynamics of leadership in a stakeholder society including the ethical perspective. By studying the life story and business practices of a single individual, Anita Roddick of The Body Shop, the author puts together a complete illustration of what leads to responsible leadership. The author gives many examples of lessons that can be learned from Roddick about what constitutes responsible leadership; the key word throughout these lessons is “values.” This article provides valuable insight for anyone studying leadership, responsibility, and values that could be applicable to any business or institution. It deals with the basis of responsible leadership rather than on strategy in times of change.
Roepke, Robert, Agarwal, Ritu, & Ferratt, Thomas W. (2000). Aligning the IT Human Resource with Business Vision: The Leadership Initiative at 3M. MIS Quarterly, 24(2), 327-353.
The authors use the example of multi-billion corporation 3M to illustrate how Information Technology (IT) leaders can deal with their organizations on a human resource level to be able to perform as a strategic business partners and enablers in order to conquer hurdles that could prevent success for their organizations. The rapidly changing technology and globalization of business are part of the challenges for today’s businesses, and the authors believe that IT must transition from a purely technical role to one of partnership to enable change. IT should not see itself as technical employees working under the command of the company, but also actively innovate to find better ways to serve its business’s needs. An informative example of what the authors mean by a transformation of IT towards leadership and human resources roles is provided in Table One, which contrasts “Old 3M IT” with “The New 3M IT.” This article provides a great number examples of how 3M accomplished this change, and will be valuable for anyone studying how to make changes within an organization, especially ones considering distributed leadership.
Stanley, David J., Meyer, John P., & Topolnytsky, Laryssa (2005). Employee Cynicism and Resistance to Organizational Change. Journal of Business and Psychology, 19(4), 429-459.
The authors present an article intended for an administrative or management audience concerning the problem of employee cynicism that leads to resistance to change. They differentiate between skepticism towards change and cynicism about change. Cynicism is described from a historical standpoint, and Table One provides a useful list of definitions and examples of different types of cynicism. The authors believe that cynicism has behavioral, cognitive, and affective components, and unify a definition of the term for their purposes as “change-specific cynicism.” An interesting finding is that the authors found through their research that a person with a generally cynical attitude is not related significantly to change-specific cynicism concerning an organization. For organizations like businesses or institutions, it is the employee’s personal experiences with that organization that predict cynicism. The authors conclude with some suggestions for management about how to break a cycle of cynicism within an organization, but feel that further research is necessary in this subject. This article presents some ideas that will be valuable to management and leadership of many varieties, but has little to offer in the way of practical solutions.
Understanding and Facilitating Organizational Change in the 21st Century: Recent Research and Conceptualizations. (2001). ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report, 28(4), 1-9.
The ASHE-ERIC Higher Education report is produced each year which synthesizes information from scholars in higher education to highlight a topic of importance to the field. They are specifically designed to help busy people concerned with higher education keep abreast of current topics of concern in the field. This article discusses what factors are creating a rapid need for organizational change and the challenges this poses for institutions of higher educations. Some of the factors include technology, cost constraints, changing demographics, international competition, diversity, and so forth. Some recommendations towards future organizational success are made, which in summary suggests that organizations need to be more flexible, conscious of their subcultures, and focus on specialties rather than being comprehensive. Overall, the emphasis is on the adaptability of the institution to change. Although the focus is on higher education, the results of the synthesis could be applicable to any number of institutions; it is rational to assume that many organizations are dealing with the same factors of change and could apply similar strategies in order to maintain success.