12 Common Types of Organizational Change





A useful one-page poster that helps all your stakeholders understand the most common types of large scale organizational change.



Use it to promote a better understanding of:

  • the changing nature of organizational changes
  • the fact that change is a normal part of organizational development


1. TRANSFORMATIONAL/RADICAL CHANGE

Large scale transition to a different state of operation affecting the entire organization. To maximize engagement, encourage staff to consider what things about their organization are intrinsic regardless of its structure. Also known as ‘fundamental change’.


2. INCREMENTAL CHANGE

Continuous, small improvements to an organization made in an on-going manner. This may be the result of a continuous improvement program such as Total Quality Management.


3. DEVELOPMENTAL CHANGE

Designed to increase the capacity of the organization without incurring significant shifts in operating structures or process re-engineering. To maximize engagement, emphasize the stabilizing nature of the improvements being made to the organization.


4. REMEDIAL CHANGE

Occurs in reaction to a problem, threat or challenge faced by an organization. Effectiveness of change efforts can be gauged relatively by judging whether the problem has been resolved. Sometimes also known as unplanned changes.


5. TRANSFORMATIONAL CHANGE

Involves a re-imagining of an organization’s vision, organizing principles, processes, way of working, products & services. Requires significant buy-in from all levels of staff and is typically led in a top-down manner. To maximize engagement, ensure communications about the transformation are clear coherent and consistent.


6. PROCESS & SYSTEM CHANGE

Shifts to workflows, information pathways, resource allocation, and production systems designed to optimize how an organization creates and captures value. Such changes may also require significant behavior changes from individuals affected.


7. PEOPLE & CULTURE CHANGE

Activities designed to influence the the values, norms, roles assumptions, & leadership style that form the organization’s culture to align with its mission, vision and strategy. Designed to influence the way in which people communicate, motivate each other, approach problems and work in teams. Typically a long-term project.


8. STRUCTURAL CHANGE

Changes to an organization’s hierarchy of authority and structural characteristics such as the organization of its business units or internal groups.


9. MERGER/ACQUISITION CHANGE

The integration of two (or more) organizations, with different cultures, systems, values and work practices. Change management efforts typically concentrate on maintaining workplace stability and morale in order to minimize employee attrition.


10. DE-MERGER CHANGE

Involves developing new leadership capacities, processes and competences in order to allow two or more business units that once acted as a single entity to act independently. May result from strategic planning or transformational change efforts. Often involves a strategic reevaluation by senior management of resulting entities.


11. DOWNSIZING CHANGE

Involves an intentional reduction in the workforce size of an organization in response to an environmental pressure with the aim to improve efficiency and effectiveness. Change management initiatives focus both on minimizing negative impacts to morale, trust and productivity, assisting the restructuring of work processes and supporting remaining staff through training and coaching efforts.


12. RELOCATION CHANGE

Change management initiatives focus on creating clarity around the reasons for the move, what to expect at the new site and communicating the what specific behaviors are required from individuals and groups to ensure uninterrupted service to internal & external customers.


Sharing & copyright information

This resource is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. It may be freely used and shared for commercial & non-commercial purposes provided it remains attributed to Better Business Learning Pty Ltd (trading as ‘Change Activation’), is not modified or displayed in part, and is not re-sold. For further information contact info@changeactivation.com.