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Essay Paper on Types of Organizational Change

Organizational change is a very serious process which can be stressful for any employee let alone the management – people who are responsible for the success of the change being implemented. It is known that there can be some types of organizational change, and while some theorists define two types of change which are first-order and second-order changes. First-order changes consist in adjustment to what happens in the environment while second-order changes make some organizations transform and develop fundamentally. Moreover, to be more certain as to the types of change and the possible outcomes of them, even more detailed and distinct typology was developed. It defines changes as fine-tuning, adaptation, reorientation, and re-creation of the organization. And these very types of change will be considered in this paper with the examples.

When we view the first example of organizational change it is supposed to be fine-tuning. This kind of change is incremental ad anticipatory of some changes in the external environment in which the organization operates. The example of this type of change is the change the IBM Inc lived through in 1993 when there was a necessity to revive the company which was struggling in those days. Under the authority of a new Chairman Louis V. Gerstner Jr. the corporation had to adjust to certain changes which happened in the industry. The two large businesses of IBM (developing mainframe and minicomputers) were under threat from newer technologies – microprocessors, and thus IBM had to adjust to the new environment where more developed technologies rule. The way out was fine-tuning – the development and enhancement of the services IBM could offer. It made up server farms and streamlined the management having created the 11-member executive committee which was supposed to help the huge company with different divisions work much more consistently.

One more change type is adaptation of the company which is as well first-order but now reactive change. This change is considered internal in its nature. It is appealed for in cases when there is a much more serious necessity to look for deeper problems in the company and solve them rather than to fix identified problems (the latter is simply technical change – it is not going to help the managers to solve deeper problems of the organizations). The example of this kind of change can be one experienced by Blackboard, Inc., an online learning company. When there appeared the need to adapt the distance learning techniques following the lead for other competitors. But instead of ordering a common platform for this type of learning (which could be a technical change) the management of Blackboard, Inc. ordered customized platform only for its professors to use. “If Blackboard had sought to improve what other companies had already done, they would be ill positioned to become the dominant market player.”

The next change example is reorientation change which is considered the second-order change – anticipatory and discontinuous. The organization is supposed to be reorganized and modified but on the basis of its past strengths and history. This time the organizations which were exposed to the change were health service institutions in New South Wales, Australia. The Core Skills in Health Promotion Project was conducted in order to assure not only health care but also health promotion held by practitioners in the area under discussion. The goal for it was maximizing the health capacity of the community under discussion and it actually was implemented but did not reach the expected results entirely. Perhaps the management did not have enough experience and there was certainly the need for better organizational environment. But the type of change was in evidence…

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