Models of Planned Change do not bring about Cultural Change


Modelsof Planned Change do not bring about Cultural Change

Modelsof Planned Change do not Bring About Cultural Change

Organizationalchange is a dynamic concept that encompasses the understanding of theorganization and introducing a desired future state through apredetermined transition from the current state. However,organizational change is limited by the culture of an organizationculture, which is an important element of the organization.Therefore, to successfully introduce change in the organization, theresultant cultural change must be understood. The impact of change inthe organizational culture is determined by the type of change thatis adopted by the organization. The determination depends on whetherthe change is planned change or emergent change. These types ofchange, especially planned change involve various models. Thediscussion in this paper will illustrate that the models of plannedchange do not bring about cultural change.

Aplanned change and emergent change are the two approaches to changeand managing change. Planned change is the approach that clearlyforesees the difference between the state of the organization todayand the desired future state. The planned change approach to changetherefore provides the means to achieve the desired state (Lafta,2009). Therefore, a change that is anticipated by the organizationand worked for through a well organized strategy for achieving thefuture is the planned for change. Planned change involves three mainsteps, strategy formulation as the planning stage, strategyimplementation step and strategy outcome.

Onthe other hand, emergent change is the approach that believes thatnatural factors arise in the implementation processes that were neverforecast earlier. This means that the change that arises withoutbeing anticipated for by the organization constitutes the emergentchange. During the implementation of change, the factors of culturethat arise spark the adoption of strategies that seek to solve thearising issues (Burke, 2011). Therefore, this approach views changeas a dynamic and an unpredictable concept that develops through theinterplay of many variables within and outside the organization.

Whilethe two models are significant to the introduction and implementationof change in the organization, the organizational culture forms acritical aspect of change (Schermerhorn et al, 2011). The change inthe organization must lead to cultural change in the implementationprocess to significantly impact the organizational environment(Burnes, 2004). While each of the two models is consideredappropriate in different situations, they both have different impacton the cultural change in the organization. The planned change doesnot bring about cultural change because of a number of reasons thatrange from the model, organizational setting and the dynamism of thechange process (Schermerhorn et al, 2011).

Oneof the models of planned change is the Lawin’s 3-step model. Thismodel involves three aspects of planned change the freezing, changeand unfreezing (Cameron &amp Green, 2012). Unfreezing stage ensuresthat the employees understand the intended change and are ready forit. The change stage involves the actual implementation of thetransformative processes. After the change process, the refreezingstage involves activities to make sure that the change is permanentin the organization (Cameron &amp Green, 2012). This makes thechange part of the organizational culture. Therefore, failure in thisstage prevents the planned change from bringing about culturalchange.

Theother model of planned change is the Cumins Model of planned changethat involves perception of the problem, consulting and collection offeedback and opinion (Cameron &amp Green, 2012). Through this, therequired change is prepared and acted upon through implementation andthe necessary review procedures. The third model is the Lipitt,Watson and Westley’s Model. This involves the establishment of theneed for change, building the change relationship, diagnosis andplanning for action (Cameron &amp Green, 2012). The actual change isthen followed by the generalization and stabilization of the changesmade. Failure of the planned change in either of the stags leads tofailure of the process to impact on cultural change.

Themodels of planned change do not lead to cultural change because ofthe dynamic nature of the change process. The dynamic nature of thechange process leads to the development of emergent and unexpectedfactors that need attention during the implementation process (Harris&amp Ogbonna, 2002). These factors are part of the emergent issuesthat bring about emergent change, despite having a planned changeapproach to the change process. This explains why some organizationsfail to successfully implement the change process (Burnes, 2004).According to Burnes (2004), over 60 percent of the change projects inbusinesses fail because of the unpredictability of the organizationalenvironment. Therefore, the planned change fails to impact oncultural change because it does not anticipate for the emergentissues that arise from the organizational environment and culture.

Secondly,the models of planned change fail to bring about cultural changebecause the approach competes against the emergent approach tochange. This is because the planned change approach does notaccommodate the unexpected factors that arise due to the interplay ofthe cultural variables in the organization (Harris &amp Ogbonna,2002). The factors are important because of the complex nature of themodern organizational environment. The current organizationalenvironment is difficult for the planned methods of change because ofthe increasingly complex, unpredictable and interconnectedorganizational environment (Burke, 2011). As a result of thiscomplexity, the organizational culture is also complex to understandand anticipate for when planning for change. Organizational cultureis an elusive topic to understand, and leads to the rise ofunintended outcomes during the change process (Harris &amp Ogbonna,2002).

Themodels of planned change fail to lead to cultural change because ofthe psychodynamics associated with change. These include the humanaspects of culture and organizational processes. The approach ofplanned change does not anticipate for the issues that arise from thehuman aspects of the employees such as emotions and culturalconcerns. According to Smollan and Sayers (2009), change invokeselements of emotions and feelings to the employees of anorganization. The organizational transformations that come along withchange affect the culture of an organization through the impact onthe employees (Smollan &amp Sayers, 2009). Therefore, to effectivelychange the culture of the organization through planned change, theapproach must anticipate for a change in the feelings and emotions ofthe employees towards the change. Failure to do this leads to thefailure in bringing about cultural change in the organization, as theplanned approach to change often does.


Theplanned change adopts a number of models that seek to transition anorganization from a current state to a future state that encompassescultural change. While the planned change is implemented withanticipation for a smooth transformation of the organization, theextent of the cultural change from the process is limited. This isbecause of the complexity, unpredictability and dynamic nature of theorganizational environment. In addition, change involves feelings andemotions of employees, which brings the human aspect of theorganizational culture to the change process. Therefore, the modelsof planned change fall short of bringing about cultural change.


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