Types of Organizational Change

The various types of organizational changes are;

1. Indidual Level Change

Individual level changes may take place due to changes in job assignment, transfer of an employee to a different location or the changes in the maturity level of a person which occurs over a passage of time. The general opinion is that change at the individual will not have the significant implications for the organization. But this is not correct because individual level changes will have impact on the group which in turn will influence the whole organization. Therefore, a manager should never treat the employees in isolation but he must understand that the individual level change will have repercussions beyond the individual.

2. Group Level Change

Management must consider group factors while implementing any change, because most of the organizational changes have their major effects at the group level. The groups in the organization can be formal groups or informal groups. Formal groups can always resist change for example; the trade unions can very strongly resist the changes proposed by the management. Informal groups can pose a major barrier to change because of the inherent strength they contain. Changes at the group level can affect the work flows, job design, social organization, influence and status systems and communication patterns.

The groups, particularly the informal groups have a lot of influence on the individual members of the group. As such by effective implementing change at the group level, resistance at the individual level can be frequently overcome.

3. Organizational Level Change

The organizational change involves major programmes which affect both the individuals and the groups. Decisions regarding such changes are made by the senior management. These changes occur over long periods of time and require considerable planning for implementation. A few different types of organization level changes are:

  • Strategic change. Strategic change is the change in the very basic objectives or mission of the organization. A simple objective may have to be changed to multiple objectives. For example, a lot of Indian companies are being modified to accommodate various aspects of global culture brought in by the multinational or transnational corporations.
  • Structural change. Organizational structure is the pattern of relationships among various positions and among various position holders. Structural change involves changing the internal structure of the organization. This change may be in the whole set of relationships, work assignments and authority structure. Change in organization structure is required because old relationships and interactions no longer remain valid and useful in the changed circumstances.
  • Process oriented change. These changes relate to the recent technological developments, information processing and automation. This will involve replacing or retraining personnel, heavy capital equipment investment and operational changes. All this will affect the organizational culture and as a result the behaviour pattern of the individuals.
  • People oriented change. People oriented changes are directed towards performance improvement, group cohesion, dedication, and loyalty to the organizations as well as developing a sense of self-actualisation among members. This can be made possible by closer interaction with employees and by special behavioural training and modification sessions.

To conclude, we can say that changes at any level affect the other levels. The strength of the effect will depend on the level or source of change.