Change Management Diagnostic Models – Case Study “Jamie’s Food Revolution”
This essay presents three different diagnostic models that serve as a change management guidance for organizations by helping them in considering what factors are important for this change and how these factors are interrelated together (Nadler and Tushman 1980). The main purpose of these models is to help in reducing the complexity of the change situation by identifying what change variables require attention by the organization, what sequence of activities to adopt in dealing with the change situation, and how the various organizational properties are interconnected (Ian Palmer 2009). The essay compares and contrasts Burke-Litwin, Six-Box Weisbord, and Congruence models, pinpoints their strengths and weaknesses, and then applies one of these models to the case study “Jamie’s Food Revolution”.
The first organizational and causal model to be discussed is the Burke-Litwin model. The strength of this model lies on the fact that it consists of twelve key variables, at three different organizational levels (external environment, leadership, strategy, and culture at the total system level; structure, management practices, systems and climate at the group or work unit level; and tasks, motivation, needs, and values at the individual level)(Burke and Litwin 1992). The variables on the top have a stronger influence on systems than the bottom variables (Leadersphere 2008). The model is based on an open systems principle whereby it considers the external environment as an input and the organization performance as output with a bidirectional feedback between them (Jackie Alexander Di 2002). What makes this model unique is that it houses almost all of the variables considered in the 7-S, Six-Box Weisbord and Congruence models (Burke and Litwin 1992) and it also stresses on the point that changes can lead to transformational organization-wide (leadership, strategy, and mission) as well as internal transactional (management, structure, system, individual needs, tasks) dynamics which altogether affect individual and organization performance (Jackie Alexander Di 2002). Burke and Jackson (1991) demonstrated the scenario of a successful merge between two companies, SmithKline and Beecham, which concentrated on establishing a unique culture with a loose-tight behavioral leadership, and on adopting a customized Burke-Litwin model to increase its performance. This model however may impose some complexity in its usage. Dana (2004), in her study to apply this model to a quality management system, has limited her research to specific variables for this model because of the big amount of information required to be gathered on each variable. Also, a quantitative study done by Jackie Alexander Di (2002) on the model’s variables failed to reveal the hidden communication variable, which shows that this model may not foresee all organizational problems.
The second model to be discussed is the one developed by David Nadler and Michael Tushman, the Congruence model. Like the Burke-Litwin model, the pragmatic Congruence model is based on the open system’s principle (input environment, transformation, output)(Nadler 1982) and deals with the organization as a whole dynamic and social system where the purpose lies in realizing the state of congruence among the various subparts or components of the organization (Nadler and Tushman 1980). The measure of organizational effectiveness depends on the total degree of congruence as a normative approach to ensure fit among these components (Hatton and Raymond 1994). Nevertheless adopting this model is dynamic (should be changed with time) and poses a lot of challenges including the management of political dynamics, the anxiety created by the change, and the control of the transition state (Nadler and Tushman 1989). Additionally, it requires special care to ensure appropriate fit between strategy and environmental conditions, as well as among the four organizational components (work, people, formal structures and process, and informal structures and processes). Burke & Litwin (1992) state that the number of items to be matched for congruence is great and the Congruence model fails to provide a mechanism for determining which of these items are important and what level of congruence yields desirable results. For further help, several studies have presented major efforts to discuss strategies to attain the maximum congruence. Hatton and Raymond (1994) concluded with several postulates that describe how congruence can be achieved by interrelating together specific dimensions of these key variables (environment, strategy, technology, task, structure, and individual). Also, Nadler and Tushman (1989), in their view of organizations as political systems, posit that there is no general way for dealing with change. They stressed that managers should understand these political dynamics of change by diagnosing the organization’s strengths and weaknesses, developing a clear vision, creating energy within teams, and possessing active leadership, thus achieving the congruence between strategy and environmental conditions, as well as among the four organizational components.
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