Change is inevitable

This week’s lecture and assigned resources provide us with six images of managing change and each of the images is based on differing assumptions. Select two of the images. Evaluate each image and then compare and contrast the role that the images play within the change process.

Week One Lecture

Change is inevitable. Without change we would become static and non–progressive. We face change in our personal lives, our professional lives, and within our communities. Change can be based on need, or change of environment, or the changing level of our maturity and knowledge.

Change within our organizations carries with it a dynamic that evolves as the process progresses. The change stories shared during this week’s lessons helps us to view the variables involved through the stages of change. Why are the change stories important? The stories of change provide us with a look at the dimensions, challenges, and opportunities presented within a certain format. The variables within each change story provide us with tools, techniques, and experience to assist with the development and design of change concepts.

There are many concepts to be mindful of through this first week, but perhaps the most pertinent to our discussions and story review are the variables that define the image of the change manager. Palmer, Dunford, and Akin (2009) define the first variable as the image of managing. Controlling is seen as the representative of the dominant views associated with top-down management. It is based on controlling the activities of the organization. The second image of managing is described as Shaping. Shaping illustrates a more participative style of management. This variable focuses on the players within the organization and the attempt to have them involved in the various stages of change.

The next group of variables focuses on the images of change outcomes of which there are three: intended, partially intended, and unintended. Of course, we are all happy when the intended change is the outcome. Intended change suggests that planned action is prompted by the change manager through defined strategies.

Partially intended change is that gray area between the intended and unintended change processes. It also deals with the intended outcomes of change that require some modification during the implementation process, thus resulting and partially intended change.

And of course, unintended change involves the challenges beyond the control of the change manager that affect the outcome. The challenges can be internal or external, produce success or failure, and may or may not change of scope of the overall project.

Change is something that is either endured or embraced. By understanding the strategies and components of change, the change leader has a better view of the implication of change initiatives for the overall organization. While change is occurring at a single point in time the impact of the change process is ongoing and defines success or failure.

The study of change allows us to understand the variables of success and failure within the change effort. Leemann (2002) explains that managing the chaos of change requires a template of project management techniques to move smoothly through the change process. While this image of change holds a certain expectation of chaos, developing the template will help bridge the gap between setting the goal and achieving the goal.

Forbes School of Business Faculty


Leeman, T. (2002) Project management: Managing the chaos of change. Journal of Business Strategy, 23(5), 11-15. doi: 10.1108/eb040268

Palmer, I., Dunford, R., & Akin, G. (2009) Managing organizational change: A multiple perspectives approach (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw Hill.

Required Resources


Palmer, I., Dunford, R., & Buchanan, D. (2017). Managing organizational change: A multiple perspectives approach (3rd ed.). Retrieved from

Recommended Resources


Kotter, J. P. (2012, November). Accelerate! (cover story). Harvard Business Review, 90(11), 43-58. Retrieved from the EBSCOhost database

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