Orangizational Change Essay

5585 Words Dec 29th, 2013 23 Pages
The Innovation Journal: The Public Sector Innovation Journal, Volume 13(3), 2008, article 3.
Perspectives on Organizational Change:
Systems and Complexity Theories
Francis Amagoh
Department of Public Administration
Kazakhstan Institute of Management, Economics and Strategic Research (KIMEP)
It is becoming increasingly important for organizations to gain competitive
advantage by being able to manage and survive change. This paper presents two
theoretical paradigms (systems and complexity theories) through which
organizational change processes can be fruitfully examined. Systems and complexity
theories are two valuable perspectives that can equip organizational leaders
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With the ever-increasing complexity of the organizational environment, the
systems concepts no longer seems adequate in dealing with complex phenomena. This
shortcoming, among others, has led to the emergence of complexity theory which focuses on
the use of such terms as entropy, non-equilibrium, instability, and the emergence of new
patterns and structures. In the complexity paradigm, systems are usually considered to be
evolving or self-organizing into something new (Ferlie, 2007: 155; Byeon, 2005: 226;
White, 2000: 167).
The Innovation Journal: The Public Sector Innovation Journal, Volume 13(3), 2008, article 3.
Since the most prevalent trends in contemporary organizations are towards continuous
and pervasive change and increasing interdependencies (White, 2000: 162), close parallels
can be drawn between the private and public sectors where there are broadly similar
environmental challenges. Within this context, public and private organizations are
approaching a turbulent environment characterized by increasing uncertainties. These
uncertainties are due to dramatic changes that have taken place in the political and economic
environment, as well as changes in technology. To help understand change better and
manage the process more effectively, a more dynamic and comprehensive view of change
management has been suggested as a way forward (Cao and McHugh, 2005: 480). By

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