Focusing on Organizational Change
William Q. Judge, Old Dominion University
Copyright Year: 2012
ISBN 13: 9781453332887
Publisher: Saylor Foundation
Conditions of Use
I was very pleasantly surprised with the breadth of coverage within the publication and the comprehensive approach to change theories and approaches to change both old and new. The author took an holistic approach to change management recognising... read more
I was very pleasantly surprised with the breadth of coverage within the publication and the comprehensive approach to change theories and approaches to change both old and new. The author took an holistic approach to change management recognising the interconnectedness of various dimensions from leadership to culture and thinking about systems.
The publication provided good, balanced theories and tools to support organisation change. These theories and tools are supported by academic research and practical real life case studies. In our current digital, global society these theories are current and relevant.
The content combines current theories with classic change management thinking in a way which is relevant for today’s organisational change challenges and that can be updated with future case studies and evidence. Whilst there are other aspects of organisation change which could have been include I believe these key concepts are of relevance and will remain relevant to organisational change in the near future.
The content was highly accessible and easy to read. The style was more professional blog than academic paper, yet it was rich with evidence based theory and relevant content. I would say that even though the book was pitched towards executive level readers it would be open for a much wider change practitioner audience too.
I felt the book the be consistent in terminology and was based around a single organising framework referred to as the “eight dimensions of organisational capacity for change”
The book was modular in structure and could conceivably be reading in sections. At the same time there was a unifying consistency across the text which held the sub-sections together.
The flow within the book was clearly signposted and presented in an easy to read, clear narrative.
The interface presented me with no difficulty reading, although I only engaged with the text through PDF. I personally found nothing to distract or confuse me in the formatting or features of the book and it’s interface.
I did not identify any grammatical errors or issues.
I did not find the book to be insensitive or offensive.
I enjoyed the authors position and welcomed the inclusion of many feature of organisational change capability which are often overlooked in similar texts. This was an open read which was enjoyable yet educational at the same time. I would be happy to recommend this to any student or professional practitioner with an interest in organisational change.
This book does cover most of the areas and ideas in the subject area. It provides an overview of leadership, especially the new leadership mandate for the 21st century in delivering results in the short term on one hand and building organisational... read more
This book does cover most of the areas and ideas in the subject area. It provides an overview of leadership, especially the new leadership mandate for the 21st century in delivering results in the short term on one hand and building organisational change capacity for the long term on the other hand in Chapter 1. Then the subsequent chapters are written and organised based on Figure 1.1 - Eight dimensions of organisational capacity for change. I teach a course in this subject area at a postgraduate level. This text would serve me as a supplementary material and strengthen the amount, quality, and applicability of my teaching.
The content is accurate. The author has provided full references at the end of the text. However, there are always rooms for improvement. I am unsure why appendices are considered to be chapters. For example, Appendix C is Chapter 14 and Reference list is Chapter 17 etc. And yet, there is no table of contents in the text.
The subject area is about change and thus in the subject itself it will require certain update at some point. However, the text is written and arranged in a way that should be and can be updated relatively easy and straightforward to implement.
The text is written in a fairly clear approach, especially all the chapters are written and organised around Figure 1.1 in Chapter 1. The quotes at the start of each chapter are interesting and must have taken some careful thoughts before they were adopted.
The text is written in a consistent format, especially all the chapters are written and organised around Figure 1.1 in Chapter 1. This helps the readers to follow.
The text is fairly well organised and easy to read. No enormous blocks appear in the text that may make it difficult for readers to read. It may be better if more Figures, Tables or Charts are used in the chapters.
The text flows fine. It is unclear why appendices are considered as chapters though.
The text is free of significant interface issues.
No significant grammatical error is found in the text.
The book does not include great reference to cultural differences. This may be something to consider in the next update.
No further comments.
Judge's text provides an effective overview of issues and opportunities occurring before and during a period of change in an organization. I would consider assigning this text as a pre-semester read for my students as it would provide a... read more
Judge's text provides an effective overview of issues and opportunities occurring before and during a period of change in an organization. I would consider assigning this text as a pre-semester read for my students as it would provide a structure for our opening discussions and reference points during the course. I would not use this as the primary text in a Change Leadership or Organizational Behavior course as the depth (or "links to more information" at the end of each chapter) is not present.
Judge presents accurate information in explicating his Organizational Capacity for Change (OCC) conceptual framework.
Again, the lack of considerable depth is an asset to this book's relevance and longevity. Whether one supplements Judge's work with Senge, Fullan, Maxwell or others, the straightforward, intuitive framework will hold up.
The text is very accessible to the early graduate student with some organizational (business, non-profit, agency) background, either through undergraduate coursework or experience.
Judge's book consistently aligns with the conceptual framework presented at the outset. The terminology is stable and consistently used.
No subsection is longer than 400-words (+/-) allowing for optimal reflection time after each heading. Any reader will appreciate this.
The overall organization is intuitive, following a logical progression of how leaders must conceive of and lead the change process.
I found no interface issues whatsoever. Additional charts (or at least a consistent return to the original) would be helpful for the reader to see where in the "flow" or process the book is. Hyperlinks within the text itself would be similarly useful.
I found no issues with grammar, syntax, or mechanics. (there is a reference to the Covey text where Judge misses the title, using "successful" instead of "effective.")
A wholly inclusive text.
Again, I would (will) likely use this as a text to help outline a change process, but rely on other sources for the depth and breadth to supplement each chapter/section.
The book provided a unique perspective and comprehensive framework on organizational change. Change capability was defined as a multidimensional interaction between interpersonal, intrapersonal, situational, and organizational factors. ... read more
The book provided a unique perspective and comprehensive framework on organizational change. Change capability was defined as a multidimensional interaction between interpersonal, intrapersonal, situational, and organizational factors. References and citations I expected to see in a book on this topic were included. I reviewed the PDF-version of the book. It did not include a title page, table of contents, index, or glossary. The book began abruptly at chapter 1. A preface would have been helpful to set the stage for the book - for whom is it written, from what perspective was it written, for what purpose was it written, and so forth.
Synthesis and interpretation of cited sources were accurate. I did not detect any errors. Whether this could be considered a bias or a perspective, the vast majority - maybe 75% or more - of the quotes, citations, and examples were by men. Descriptions of how organizations should and do operate reflected a North American model. Therefore, readers looking for insights about international organizations and/or those led by diverse individuals might find this book somewhat limited.
The book contained a good mix of classic and contemporary research. With the exception of classic and seminal works on organizational change, most of the references were published since 2000. This was a huge plus, that readers will benefit from an up-to-date synthesis of the literature. The organizational change framework, as it is explained, lends itself easily to making updates with newly published literature whenever the author chooses to do that. The author might consider updating the organizational examples periodically. Referencing the Enron scandal, for example, might be of limited utility as newer scandals are revealed. I thought it was odd that chapter 16.3 listed teaching cases that mostly were from Harvard Business School. HBS materials are excellent, but an instructor who chose not to assign HBS material would not find the list of teaching cases to be useful.
The writing style is clear, informal, and accessible. Chapter 1 stated that the book was written for organizational leaders. Because the book is light on social science jargon (actually, surprisingly so), individuals in organizations should find the book to be easy to read. The author stated several times in the book that the framework resulted from his own scholarly work. He refers to himself in the first person, not only to refer to his research but also to editorialize on concepts and issues being discussed. If I were to use this textbook in a course on organizational change, I would supplement it with original journal articles written in a scholarly manner. I would want my students to think critically about how the examples in the book could be interpreted differently by individuals with different perspectives. I also would want students to read some of the original studies for insights not included in the book.
The organizational change framework was described clearly at the beginning of the book. Each chapter and section described a concept from the framework and explained how it related to other concepts in the framework.
The modularity of the book was strong. As I stated in my "consistency" comments, the book walks the reader through the organizational change framework in a logical way. I could imagine building a syllabus around the framework and teaching the topic of organizational change largely the way it was unfolded in the book.
The flow of the book is pedagogically sound and practically useful. The way the book unfolds the model - going from micro to macro levels - would make it easy for instructors to teach it and students to grasp it. Each chapter is partitioned into short sections so that a busy executive could read a few sections during a lunch break and pick it up again later without feeling lost.
The book's interface was clear of any clutter that would detract from the conceptual flow. The organizational change model, both in its entirety and in its components, were simple and informative.
I did not detect any grammatical errors.
I did not see any examples of overt cultural insensitivity. However, as I stated earlier in my comments, the research and examples mostly reflected a male, North American perspective on organizational dynamics. So that is a major limitation of the book. That would not necessarily dissuade me from using the book, as the framework is valuable. However, I would have to supplement it with other sources that describe the full range of diversity in leadership styles, organizational settings, and adaptations to change.
This book does cover all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and quite effectively as well. The comprehensive nature of this book lies in the way the author approaches the reader. The book does not begin with a 'table of contents',... read more
This book does cover all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and quite effectively as well. The comprehensive nature of this book lies in the way the author approaches the reader. The book does not begin with a 'table of contents', chapter titles and page numbers. However, after I began reading, what the author does provide is a preface of each chapter, its topic, and an explanation of what will be discussed in the chapter. Each chapter begins with a quote or two that is very effective in helping the reader to link the information provided within a chapter to the overall theme of that particular chapter. The author consistently compares and contrasts the information presented which creates a multidimensional way of thinking about what's being discussed. This is an important element at the undergraduate level of study. Too often material is presented in a particular and appropriate 'order' but there is no linkage in terms of how the reader should 'bundle' the themes discussed into pragmatic and applicable learning. This author 'gets it'. This was a rewarding and timely read for me based on the material provided. My classroom approach has always been to present as much value-added material as possible in the most affordable way possible - the primary issue is always cost to the student and the issues that surface when students need a few weeks after the course begins to acquire the money to buy course material. My current text is good but broad in presentation thus supplementation has been the way I affordably approached the course. This text would serve me well as base material with a reverse supplementation approach which would strengthen the amount, quality, and applicability of the coursework. All at virtually no additional cost which would benefit students greatly and help to keep everyone on pace as well.
The content is accurate and the author's sources are cited at the end of each chapter. I detected no errors in the writing and the material is presented in a manner that depicts multiple ways to consider and utilize the information in the chapters.
The content is up-to-date and essentially timeless in message so the text is not going to face obsolescence easily. Updates would be relatively easy and straightforward to implement. The information is also presented in a way that would allow for classroom examples from different perspectives. The book provides strong foundational material in each chapter. Thus, the instructor would have the freedom to explore and relate the chapter themes as he or she chooses to do so. This to me is one of the most important features - flexibility to relate, link and apply the material to changes in industry and ways of thinking about change at different stages in the 'change' process. Change is occurring in any business from its inception through maturity, and changing operational environments. This overall theme is inherent to a firm's operation and while other factors may come and go, the need for flexibility and adjustment are typically mainstays.
The text is written in clear and accessible prose presented in usable way. The clarity is increased by the overarching quotes that begin each chapter to focus the reader on the broad themes to which a particular chapter's material applied. I feel that this approach would also help the reader to make sense of and connections to the other chapters as well.
The chapters are approached in a logical consistency and similarity in presentation method.
This text would be easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections. Each chapter is a complete thought in terms of the material presented. The chapters are individually supported with appropriate sub-headings and appropriate citing to direct, support and expand on the author's material. The order of presentation would not appear to be a large or disruptive concern for students.
The text flows well. There are no issues here.
The book has only a few charts or graphs but the inclusions are informative and well-placed to summarize and relate the chapter information. The material does lend itself to more illustration that could be approached from the individual instructor's perspective relative to the emphasis and application he or she wishes to place on the subject matter. This book could stand alone, serve as a base, or be used as deeper supplemental information for a broader text more designed for broad perspectives on the subject.
I detected no grammatical errors in the text.
This text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. The book focuses on management actions and reactions to changing and improving an operation relative to its competitive and consumer environments, and the organizations internal capacity to address those environments and other general external forces. As such, race, ethnicity and backgrounds play no part in the material perspective presented by the author. The text focus is centered on actions and reactions to the forces an organization faces during its life cycle rather than any form of social perspective.
The book could be a bit more descriptive in terms of stating chapter learning outcomes and what the reader should be proficient in understanding after completing the readings. Further, the author could utilize more charts to tie chapter elements together. having state these points, the book is pragmatically informative and would be most useful in the classroom setting as a base text, or supplemental information. Additionally, the book provides no testing material, URL links to other information, or Power-points but these could be developed by the course instructor with their choice of emphasis. In all, this book is worth a strong consideration to explore organizational change. I intend to make use of it.
The text is targeted at executives and is written in a more popular voice than an academic text. The chapters appear to cover content related to change for this audience. A figure in the first chapter presents a model for thinking about change and... read more
The text is targeted at executives and is written in a more popular voice than an academic text. The chapters appear to cover content related to change for this audience. A figure in the first chapter presents a model for thinking about change and the chapters each discuss the related 8 factors that relate to organizational change. Thus, the book covers a comprehensive model related to organizational capacity for change. The sections on 'practice' come across as 'preachy' in parts - this section would have benefitted from reflection questions or suggestions for how leaders might practice the named skills.
There is room for a more critical lens. For example in chapter 2 the author mentions CEO salaries are so high because of a belief that 'change agents are rare' and yet the literature shows no connection between high salaries and organizational outcomes. A more critical stance on these and related points would strengthen the work. There are sufficient citations for the content that appear appropriate in most chapters. In other chapters, e.g. chapter 7 there is an over reliance on a few authors for citations (section 7.2) there are popular citations in addition to academic ones throughout.
Each chapter begins with a quote and later chapters have practice exercise to develop different skills related to leading organizational change. These will not be difficult to update. However, the book focuses on the pace of change in today's environment so it will not be as relevant in a few years. Even the author notes that organizational leaders no longer can afford a long planning horizon of years.
The book is clearly written in a readable prose. The quotes at the start of each chapter also make it interesting
The text is written in a consistent format. The chapters are also consistently written and follow a framework of introducing ideas and then suggestions for what items a leader might practice.
Chapters 3 and on could be reordered although he shows the model in each chapter with the factors covered to date - so putting the chapters in a different order might be confusing to a reader unless instructed to ignore the items in the model not yet covered.
An eight factor model presents the framework for the text. It is written in a clear, logical fashion. The addition of cases and other resources in the Appendices are nice additions.
The chapter overviews were helpful and I suggest having a new paragraph for each chapter description - some paragraphs have several chapter descriptions. The figures need to be more clear - they are somewhat blurry, e.g. Figure 1.1.
The text is well written grammatically.
The book does not include great reference to cultural differences per se. The author focuses more on diversity of thought rather than diversity of people.
It is an easy read but I'm not sure I would assign it to a class. To be fair, the author notes the audience is an executive one. Perhaps it would be appropriate for executive programs or MBA students.
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: The Strategic Leader's New Mandate
- Chapter 2: What Is Organizational Capacity for Change?
- Chapter 3: OCC Dimension 1: Trustworthy Leadership
- Chapter 4: OCC Dimension 2: Trusting Followers
- Chapter 5: OCC Dimension 3: Capable Champions
- Chapter 6: OCC Dimension 4: Involved Midmanagement
- Chapter 7: OCC Dimension 5: Systems Thinking
- Chapter 8: OCC Dimension 6: Communication Systems
- Chapter 9: OCC Dimension 7: Accountable Culture
- Chapter 10: OCC Dimension 8: Innovative Culture
- Chapter 11: The Big Picture
About the Book
Never before have strategic leaders been confronted with so much overwhelming change. The traditional approach is to teach the leader or leaders how to direct or control the organizations' reaction on a monthly, weekly, or even daily basis. This approach is stressful and overwhelming for executive leaders, makes middle managers feel torn between honoring their senior leaders and listening to the demands of front line employees, and is alienating for front line employees.
Focusing on Organizational Change offers an alternative to the traditional approach by focusing on building the change capacity of the entire organization in anticipation of future pressures to change. Based on systematic research of more than 5,000 respondents working within more than 200 organization or organizational units conducted during the previous decade, this book offers a clear and proven method for diagnosing your organizational change capacity. While building organizational change capacity is not fast or easy, it is essential for effective leadership and organizational survival in the 21st century.
About the Contributors
William Q. Judge, Jr. is the E.V. Williams Chair of Strategic Leadership and Professor of Strategic Management in the Management Department at the College of Business & Public Administration at Old Dominion University. Dr. Judge’s teaching, research, and consulting expertise is in the area of strategic leadership and organizational change. Dr. Judge currently serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Corporate Governance: An International Review.