The "bookends" of the model being organization work settings and members is accurate and pragmatic as well.
In the authors' analysis of the conceptual models for understanding organizational change in chapter 8 illustrates the depth of his expertise in the academic field and his pragmatism at translating theory into results. It must have been the most challenging chapter of the book to write as it moves quickly between the theoretical and the pragmatic. It also shows through examples, both academic and from actual experience, just how capricious, even chaotic organizational change is to manage and make permanent. Clearly the author has reservations about the classical Lewin Model of change and provides a thoughtful analysis using Dr. Edgar Schein's models on corporate culture research to more fully define the three-step Lewin process. What is interesting about the progression of the analysis of the Lewin Model is the inclusion of phases of planned change as defined by Dr. Lippitt. Dr. Burke is trying to show the three-step process as defined by Lewin is too simplistic given the chaotic nature of organizational change. He is also showing that for change strategies anchored on Lewin's theories to be effective, they must also have taken the time to create insightful analysis into how the steps impact a given organization. While this chapter is light on its references to Malcolm Gladwell's the Tipping Point which is otherwise quoted throughout Dr. Burkes' book there are allegorical references in how Dr. Burke illustrates through analysis of organizations just how critical it is to pay attention to the smaller processes if the larger management change strategy is to be effective.
The Burke-Litwin Model for organizational change is also analyzed from the standpoint of Dr. David McClelland's contributions of individual's propensities for motivation to change. The author navigates the next few chapters well, mixing the theoretical models as a means to show the process-based approaches to making organizational change with the pragmatic lessons learned of a practitioner. He completes this analysis with an assessment of how the individual attributes of each model matter far more than the far-reaching, ore environmentally based ones. In this way he communicates that for lasting change to occur in any organization that has got to be an internalization of the goals and objectives they are based on. Without this there is no lasting change, he seems to be implying through the framework and model analysis completed. These points together then form an excellent foundation for the last chapters of the book that center on transformational leadership. These last chapters also form an excellent capstone series that tie together the best and worst practices of organizational change, the core concepts and frameworks and models, and the strategies for overcoming resistance to change. These chapters were the most prescriptive in how to transform management into leadership in the context of organizational change. They were also interesting to see how Dr. Burke analyses the phases of organizational change an how the practical lessons learned made the process more challenging and daunting that it is often made out to be. Throughout the book there is also the common thread of how chaotic change can be over time and how transformational leaders need to create a resiliency and trust to be effective. These chapters define transformational leadership in those contexts and also provide insights into real-world examples of how the authors' process-centricism has made a different. The use of hybrid models of transformational and transactional leadership also is useful for seeing how rewards are defined and fulfilled.
Organizational change is never a one-and-done proposition, and to make change effective and last, there are more complexities than many theorists and managers list in their advice. This book provides a solid foundation that shows just how chaotic change can be and that situational leadership that can transform and reward is crucial. It also shows that worst practices in organizational change happen when plans are too dogmatically adhered to. The author brings a message of organizational agility and the need to listen and respond to the complexities of change, not try to overcome it with an engineered response. Trust as the catalyst of change and the ability to internalize change…