Environmental Disturbances and Organizational Transitions and Transformations: Some Alternative Models

  • Laughlin R
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This paper is built on the premise that organizational change can only be understood by tracing the process, track or pathway a disturbance/kick/jolt takes through an organization. Its dominant concern is to build alternative processual models of organizational transitions and transformations which occur following different environmental disturbances. Four models of organizational change are developed (models of 'rebuttal', 'reorientation', 'colonization' and 'evolution') derived from the literature on organizational change and developed using some aspects of Habermas' critical theory. These models are intentionally embryonic and skeletal, requiring detailed case studies to amplify their nature. As a start to this amplification, aspects of two case studies are presented which illustrate respectively 'reorientation' and 'colonization' change pathways. Finally, given the rudimentary stage in our understanding of the dynamics of change, pointers to future research are given in the conclusion.

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  • Richard C. Laughlin

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