In my opinion, valuable organizational change is a process. It is nothing that comes from one day to the other. It requires the combined efforts of the organization as a whole: Skilled managers and the commitment of an organization's workforce alike.
Discussion of the paper's results: What are the key findings? What does it add to the body of knowledge?
The key findings of the paper are threefold.
First, the current management of organizational change tends to be reactive in its response to the pace of change that has never been greater than today. Second, successful management of change within organizations is a highly required skill. Third, further research into the nature of change management needs to be conducted and a new and pragmatic framework for change management is needed as a critical success factor for the management of change. It adds to the body of knowledge, that managerial skills alone will not be sufficient to successfully change the management of an organization. There is much more needed, including the involvement of all stakeholders including an organization's workforce.
What does it tell us about change?
The article tells us that change is an ever-present element that has an impact on all organizations and that there is a clear consensus in the world of academia that the pace of change has never been greater than in the currently continuously evolving business environment. It furthermore gives indication that today's management of organizational change tends to be reactive, discontinuous, and ad hoc with a reported failure rate of around 70 per cent of all change programs initiated.
Finally, it raises awareness that a lack of empirical research on change management within organizations, and an arguably fundamental lack of a valid framework for organizational change management impede the success rate of change programs in general.
Identication of the research's practical implications (if any)
I do not think that the article has any practical implications as the author limits himself to only providing a critical review of current change management theories and approaches, applying Senior's (2002) three categories of change as the focal structure.
The author -- in his own words -- "… made an attempt to highlight the need for a new and pragmatic framework for change management
." Unfortunately, he leaves the reader alone with the question what particular features should the suggested "new and pragmatic framework for change management" have and which measures would be needed to evaluate its benefits.
Assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the paper
I think the strengths of the paper is in raising awareness that change is inevitable for organizations if they want to be able to meet the manifold challenges of the modern organizational framework and to sketch the advantages and disadvantages of various contemporary approaches to organizational change management. I also find it a big "pro' of the paper that the author stresses the need of aligning workforce strategies with business objectives. I consider it to be the weakness of the paper that the author does not indicate or suggest any model of "new and pragmatic framework for change management" able to better fit the many present challenges to successful organizational change. Only suggesting in the final sentence of the article "that methods of measuring success of organizational change management should be designed in order to evaluate the value of any new frameworks suggested
" does not do much help to improve the current situation.
Burnes, B. (2004) Managing Change: A Strategic Approach to Organizational Dynamics.