Change Management & It’s Types

According to Prosci, change management is described as an application of a structured process and a set of tools which are designed for leading the people’s side of change to achieve a desired outcome. Whereas according to Kotter J., ‘change management is as an approach to transitioning individuals, teams and organizations to a desired future state’. (Kotter, 2011)

Change Management is further divided into two types of change – first order change and second order change. First order change is incremental i.e. it involves improving or correcting a previously known skill and doesn’t involve any radical changes in the organization & can easily take place with the people’s consensus as it involves old skills that they already possess. The National Academy for Academic Leadership describes the difference between first order and second order change as reversible versus irreversible, non-transformational versus transformational.

On the other hand, second-order change is more intense and complex and involves people learning new skills and applying new knowledge to organizational processes. This change is comparatively difficult for organizations to achieve as it involves them changing their focus for the system to the people i.e. to switch from high levels of efficiency to high levels of effectiveness. (Waters et al., 2004). First order change is easily acceptable within the organization and its people while second order change is not that easily accepted and whatever the case cannot be forced on the employees, it has to be accepted by them.

People usually resist change as they see it as devaluation of their skills as well as their knowledge. They start to see themselves as getting obsolete. Secondly, everyone is scared of the unknown. Other reasons include loss of control, poor communication, low trust in management & fear of being laid off work. Workers often associate change with extra work and no rewards.

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