Whatever their sector, today’s organizations are operating in a fast-changing marketplace. Change is everywhere (Holbeche, 2006). Change happens at different paces and at different levels. Change involves dissolving existing patterns of behavior, establishing new behaviors and making them the norm (Hayes, 2010).
There are ‘varieties of change’. The first is ‘smooth incremental change’ which is change that evolves slowly in a systematic and predictable way. The second is ‘bumpy incremental change’ which is characterized by periods of relative tranquility punctuated by acceleration in the pace of change. The third is ‘discontinuous change’ which is defined as marked by rapid shifts in strategy, structure or culture or in all three (Senior and Fleming, 2006).
Revolutionary changes tend to be more radical. Revolutionary changes are also known as frame-breaking because they usually make huge changes in existing structures. Transformational change is highly a political process that threatens different interest groups and is characterized by conflict. These changes have a radical character and are discontinuous in nature (Senior and Fleming, 2006).
Reactive and anticipatory changes
Reactive and anticipatory changes are changes that are made in direct response to some external event. Anticipatory changes can occur when organizations believe that change and anticipation of events still to come will generate greater competitive advantage (Dive, 2004). Planned change is a deliberate, intentional change. They take place in the form of improvement projects, such as development of a new product, purchase of new equipment or reorganization of formal structure (Yukl, 2002 and 2006).
Hard and soft changes
Hard changes concerns technical issues that can be analyzed to produce the right answer for the change. Soft changes are more complex because they tend to have more possible viewpoints. Hard changes such as...