Change Management the Objective of This Study Literature Review

Excerpt from Literature Review :

Change Management

The objective of this study is to examine the evolution of change management. The work of Hiatt states that the field of change management is a confusing and often complicating field for study as change management "is the application of many different ideas from the engineering, business. And psychology fields." (2011, p.1) The body of knowledge which has become known as 'change management' is such that has expanded to "encompass more skills and knowledge from each of these fields of study." (Hiatt, 2011, p.1)

History of Change Management

Change management today is the result of "two converging and predominant fields of thought "an engineer's approach to improving business performance and a psychologists' approach to managing the human side of change." (Hiatt, 2011, p.1) Historically and traditionally, companies that embraced what Hiatt refers to as a "mechanical approach to business improvement" failed to accept change management concepts until they experienced some type of resistance or met with challenges during implementation of the change. Hiatt reports that even after they came to this conclusion many organizations way to approaching change management was "ad hoc and lacked a solid framework for actively managing change through the process" since the engineers' view was such that isolated the problem focused on people and then sought to rid the problem or formulate a solution for what was perceived as a problem in the initiative for improvement. From the view of psychologists, the focus has been on the way that the individual "thinks and behaves in a particular situation." (Hiatt, 2011, p.1)

II. Merging of the Fields

The result is the merging of the two schools of thought. Hiatt writes that the key differences in the two approaches may be viewed as shown in the following table which lists the focus of both the engineer and psychologists, the business practices, starting point, measure of success and perspective of change.

Figure 1

Engineer Psychologist

Focus Processes, systems, structure People

Business Practices BPR, TQM, ISO 9000. Quality Human Resources, OD

Starting Point Business issues or opportunities Human resources, OD

Measures of Success Business performance, financial Personal change, employee

Financial and statistical metrics resistance

Perspective of change Shoot the stragglers, carry the Help individuals make sense…

Sources Used in Document:


Eight Commons Misconceptions about the Management of Change (2013) Reliable Plant. Retrieved from:

Hiatt, J. (2012) The Definition and History of Change Management. Change Management Tutorial Series. Retrieved from:

Is the Next Evolution of Change Management Better Integration with Project Management? (2011) Changing Mindset. Retrieved from:

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