Managing organizational change:A philosophies of change approach

Fiona Graetz, Aaron C.T. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

95 Citations (Scopus)


The underlying assumption of the classical, linear approach to organizational change is that it involves a series of predictable, reducible steps that enable senior management to establish a new work order and routines. This article confronts the conventional assumption that change is a finite, one-off phenomenon, representing the exception rather than the rule. Beginning with the rational change model as an exemplar, and subsequently by examining 10 organizational change philosophies, this article reviews the fundamental assumptions governing different change management approaches. In revealing the biases and uni-dimensional nature of theoretical philosophies of organizational change, this article argues for a multi-philosophy approach that applies an interactive mix of continuity and change. Managing the continuity-change continuum helps to guard against complacency and inertia, and underpins an organization's capacity both to exploit and explore.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-154
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Change Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes


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