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This report shall go in depth and explain ‘whether planned or emergent change takes a number of different forms, each of which requires a different type of action.’ This explains that as change can take a form of planned or emergent it has various possibilities to how the change will be implemented. Planned and emergent change can take many a form within an organization as every type of change is different and this will be shown in this report. Within this report there will be case study examples and how change management theories have been implanted to make these changes within an organization. By using these examples, it will aid the report to answer the question that is stated above.  The way the report will argue or agree with the question will be by using Toulmin’s model for a good argument (Toulmin et al 1960). The model divided an argument into six sections with two subheading which were argumentation section which included reasoning, argument, rational. And the Claim section which were grounds, warrant and backing (Toulmin et al 1960). By using Toulmin`s model it will help create a fair and warranted argument within this report to whether or not change takes a number of different forms.  

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Planned change can take many a form as can emergent change. Bamford et al (2003) explains that “This approach views organizational?change as a process that moves from one “fixed state” to another through a?series of pre-planned steps and can.” Thus, as a result planned change can be analyzed by models like Lewin’s (1951) “three-step model” (Bamford et al 2003). On the other hand, there is also emergent change, as explained by Weick (2001), emergent changes comprise “ongoing accommodations, adaptions, and alterations that produce fundamental change without a priori intention to do so.” This show`s that emergent change is a type of a change that is forced and can often happen when a change in the market occurs so the product has to adapt.



Planned change


One of the first models for understanding organizational change was created and developed by Kurt Lewin`s 1951 “three step model”. This model developed by Kurt Lewin`s was to highlight how planned change is instated and how it happens. Cummings et al (2015) explains that “Kurt Lewin’s ‘three steps model’ (unfreezingàchangingàrefreezing) is regarded by many as the classic or fundamental approach to managing change”.  Kurt Lewin explained organizational change by using the analogy of changing the shape of a block of ice as the ice can be frozen and unfrozen to change the end shape many time. (Schein, 2004). Thus, highlights that the model has 3 stages of change which all needed to be used to make planned organizational change a success. Liebhart (2010) States that “Lewin suggests in his model a progression through three semi-stable stages to balance inhibiting and enabling environmental forces that call for change.” So below is the breakdown of all three stages of Kurt Lewin`s 1958 three step models (Lewin, K. 1951).


Stage one – Is the unfreeze section of the theory where an organization is preparing to accepting change. Robbins (2003) Explains that “The first step in the process of changing behavior is to unfreeze the existing situation or status quo.” Also, states that unfreezing “is necessary to overcome the strains of individual resistance and group conformity.” In essence, the first when an issue has arisen within a company the first stage of Lewin`s model is highlighting and eradicating the issue over a period and time and creating a new plan going forward.

Stage two – Stage two of Lewin`s theory is the change aspect of the theory. Liebhart (2010) explains “The next stage is change or ‘moving’, where through trial- and-error, research style action the change slowly gets implemented.” The transition of change takes times and has to be embraced by an organization.

Stage three – The final stage is the refreezing section of the plan. When a suitable change has been chosen and implemented within an organization and the new plan is “frozen” into the organization. As a result, an organization has to make sure the changes are used at all times and incorporated in everyday business to be a success. The refreezing stage requires behaviors to be consistent with the personality, behavior, and environment of those involved (Schein, 2004).

An example of when planned change has been implemented was when Greg Dyke became director general at the BBC in January 2000. This case study in particular followed Lewin`s   three stage model with freezing and refreezing technique. Also, it incorporated a type of change that was people centered which is a different type of change. People centered change is when “reference”  Below will be listed as to how Lewin`s three stage model was implemented by Greg Dyke took charge of the BBC to implement change to help BBC be a more successful business and adapt to the modern time.

Stage one – Dyke noticed the “By 2000 morale was extremely low. The organizational changes of recent years had created a BBC that was deeply divided and in Greg’s view over competitive” Thus highlights that BBC was struggling to be successful business so Greg had to start to create a plan to implement changes. Furthermore, Dyke stated that “People were not yellow for more change but they did want some of the previous changes reversed.” So, going forward Dyke had to be careful how many changes were implemented as so many had been done before, he needed to do few changes but ones that would be most successful. So as a result, he unfroze the current way the BBC was ran so he could implement now changes.

Stage two – When Dyke took over at the BBC he inherited over 25,000 full time employees and these employees were divided into three major organization ground which were Broadcast, Production and News (Reference). He noticed that the approach to money was the issue as every division as fighting for the most money to pay for the overhead costs (Reference). The way Dyke went around create change was by meeting with Mark Byford who was in charge of finance and created a plan to lowers BBC overhead cost from 24% to 15% to make the company more successful. (Reference)

Stage three – The final stage which is the refreezing section Dyke frozen the plan to cut the overhead costs to 15% and as a direct result the BBC became a more successful organization as it was saving more money which with extra resources around the BBC (Reference). Also, by saving money on overheads on the 3 sectors within the BBC the money saved was redirected the struggling channel that was BBC1 and BBC2 (Reference).

This section here shows that within planned change there is a different type of change on show. People change has been illustrated within that section as the BBC required a different leader to make sure the organization was a success. By, Greg dyke taking over and implanted tighter saving of overheads it changed the organization around.


Emergent Change.

The common approach to organizational change is planned approach as this approach is often very well research with a tightly reinforced plan process. An alternative approach to organizational change is to treat the change as an emergent process. Wirth, R. (2018) explains that “A more holistic view is taken of organizational change with increased emphasis on building fundamental capabilities that will be available when the organization is facing environmental pressure toward changing.” This shows that Emergent change is often needed when a company is not being success and the change is more natural due to the market instead of a plan change. Taborga, (2018) explains that “If we look back to how social media, like Facebook and Twitter, emerged as a global means of communication, we can see that no one forced us to use them. There was no email or memo that mandated compliance.” Thus, highlights that consumers and organizations adapted to using these forms of communication as it was natural and not forced.


A model that is often used when explaining what emergent change, is the complexity theory. Beginning in the early 1990s, lots of academics and theorists began to link the complexity theory to organizational change. Complexity Theory rejects the idea of organizations as a machine, as well as a planned approach to organizational change. Rather, it agrees with the emergent approach that power and constant change are crucial elements of organizational life. It can also be used to explain the often-paradoxical nature of organizations (Grobman, 2005 and Burnes 2005). Thus, shows that emergent change is very much sudden type of change as you cannot predict it and when the change starts to happen you have to allow it so the organization still stays successful.


A case study example of when the complexity theory is used and emergent chance needs to be adapted is the Holmesafe ltd case study. This case study involves a small business which was set up by George Holmes that makes novel security devices. The company is very small and in its first year of trading with only a handful of full time staff.  At the end of the case study George Holmes is on the phone to his business partner Jackson and client who he sells vast majority of his product to. Jackson explains that “I thought I’d better let you know that I’m coming under increasing pressure to buy security devices from Brown ‘s. They are very similar in performance to yours. Browns have improved their manufacturing methods and are now extremely competitive and very reliable.” This show`s that Holmes is destined to lose a lot of sales to a rival which would be devastating for a small business as it would lose an awful lot of revenue. As a direct result for then Holmesafe needs to adapt to the current market and take on the complexity theory to stay a successful competitor in the market. The company needs to create a product which is cheap to produce and will be competitive against its rival so that it keeps the contract with Jackson.

This case study highlights how change can be sudden and emergent which Holmesafe have to adapt to. A planned change approach would not work for a company like this as this change was sudden so by pre-planning an event like this is near on impossible. Emergent change is required for sudden action for that Holmesafe keep their market share and revenue.  

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