In every organization, there are a number of changes that are vital at one point or another. The changes can be provoked or necessitated by different factors. Again, different situations call for different types of change. One thing to note is to note is that an organization should be flexible enough to allow for changes.
Incremental change can be defined as a process that adds new features, new properties, or new functionability to an organization, or whatever subject in question[ CITATION Ewa96 \l 1033 ]. It facilitates development and so is highly recommended. However, implementing incremental change can be very challenging and expensive.
Strategic change means changing the basic planning of an organization; the goals, objectives, mission, strategy of achievement, and anything else in relation to the structure of the organization[ CITATION Joh05 \l 1033 ]. These elements contribute immensely to the way an organization relates to its external environment.
Differences between Incremental change and Strategic change
1. Incremental change is known to be evolutionary in nature while strategic change is revolutionary. This means that for the effect or impact of incremental change to be felt, the process must have taken a number of stages. For strategic change, the impact is felt immediately since it a total change from one to another[ CITATION Wil05 \l 1033 ].
2. The focus of incremental change is on the day to day operations of the organization. Strategic change is more focused on the future existence and well being of the organization.
3. The process of strategic change creates a desired future while that of incremental change seeks to identify a problem and rectifying it[ CITATION Wil10 \l 1033 ].
4. Incremental change is action oriented, since it only involves some slight changes or readjustments. For the strategic change, the orientation is somewhat a step back. This is because it is a whole new setting that everyone involved has to learn and adapt to whatever changes[ CITATION Joh05 \l 1033 ]. All these take time.
5. Incremental change yields business processes that have been amended. This is in contrast to strategic change that yields a whole new business paradigm[ CITATION Wil05 \l 1033 ].
The above are the main differences between the two types of organizational change; incremental change and strategic change. Below are some additional differences between the two types of change.
6. Incremental change does not alter the organizational culture. It only adds to what is in existence. In contrast to that, strategic change completely alters the existing organizational culture[ CITATION Wil10 \l 1033 ].
7. Incremental change is more frequent and is commonly experienced in organizations while strategic change is not frequently implemented (Rune, 2005).
8. Strategic change is generally very expensive since it involves putting in place a new set up. Incremental change does not incur as much costs.
In as much as the two types of organizational change have a number of differences, it is good to note that the two are equally important. For starters, change is very important in every organization. Change gives an organization the opportunity to make amendments, or react to factors in the environment. Incremental change makes better, or improves on the existing structure. This is a very important aspect since the changes are made according to the environment at the moment. On the other hand, strategic change gives the organization a whole new face. This is very important in the chance that the company had made some mistakes in the past, and in a bid to rectify the bad image, strategic change comes in handy.
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