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Organisational Change. Chapter 6 Leading Change. Introduction. Leadership is a familiar topic, and you may remember some concepts that you have studied on previous courses such as Managing Behaviour at Work

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organisational change

Organisational Change

Chapter 6

Leading Change

  • Leadership is a familiar topic, and you may remember some concepts that you have studied on previous courses such as Managing Behaviour at Work
  • The chapter focuses on a particular application of. leadership which is the leadership of change.
  • Leaders influence, and exert influence through, the informal subsystems of organisations.
  • Inevitably, some material in the chapter re-iterates some familiar theoretical concepts.
  • Ask yourself, ‘What are the implications for change?’
objectives 1
Objectives (1)


  • identify those characteristics which distinguish leadership from management;
  • discuss whether there is ‘one best way’ of leading or whether leadership style and behaviour should vary according to the circumstances;
  • explain the possible relationship between organisational life-cycle theories and different leadership styles and behaviours;
objectives 2
Objectives (2)


  • assess the compatibility of different leadership approaches with different types of change situations;
  • discuss the issue of resistance to change in terms of its implications for leading the processes of planning and implementing change.
management and leadership
Management and Leadership


  • Inter-personal roles
    • Figurehead (rep., symbol)
    • Leader (relational, motivator)
    • Liaison (network-related)
  • Informational roles
    • Monitor (scanning)
    • Disseminator
    • Spokesperson
  • Decisional roles
    • Entrepreneur (innovator)
    • Disturbance handler (conflict resolution)
    • Resource allocator
    • Negotiator



Source: Mintzberg, H. (1973), The Nature of Managerial Work, Harper & Row.

management and leadership6
Management and Leadership

Can someone be a manager

but not a leader?

Can someone be a leader

but not a manager?



  • takes place within a structured organisational setting and with prescribed roles;
  • is directed towards the attainment of aims and objectives;
  • is achieved through the efforts of other people; and...
  • uses formal systems and procedures.

Source: Mullins, L. Management and Organisational Behaviour, 5th edn., London, Financial Times, Prentice Hall Publishing.


  • A leader shapes and shares a vision which gives pointers and direction to the work of others.
  • Leadership involves unleashing energy, freeing, growing, and building.
  • Leaders influence the direction of a group through:
    • structuring (framing) the situation.
    • controlling group behaviour.
    • personifying the group.
    • helping the group achieve its goal and potential.
  • Leaders need willing co-operation of the followers.

Source: Coleman, J.C. (1969) quoted in Smith M. (1991) Analysing Organisational Behaviour,

approaches to theorising leadership
Approaches to Theorising Leadership

Two main approaches

“One best way”


one best way traits of leadership i
“One best way” - traits of leadership (i)
  • Intelligence *
  • Having an extrovert personality
  • Dominance *
  • Masculinity
  • Conservatism

(Lord, De Vader & Allier, 1986)

one best way traits of leadership ii
“One best way” - traits of leadership (ii)
  • Drive * (achievement, ambition, energy, tenacity, initiative)
  • Leadership motivation (personalised or socialised)
  • Honesty and integrity
  • Self-confidence * (including emotional stability)
  • Cognitive ability (the ability to marshal and interpret a wide variety of information)
  • Knowledge of the business

(Kirkpatrick & Locke, 1991)

one best way traits of leadership iii
“One best way” - traits of leadership (iii)
  • Risk-taking *
  • Assertiveness and decisiveness
  • Achievement orientation
  • Motivation
  • Competitiveness

(Dulewicz and Herbert 1996)

one best way traits of leadership iv
“One best way” - traits of leadership (iv)

Leadership traits relating in some ways to risk taking include:

  • ability to cope with change and uncertainty
  • creative thinking
    • drawing on intuition,
      • right brain thinking
      • good use of tacit knowledge
      • the‘intuitive-thinking’type
      • ‘arts-based thinking’
      • imagination
    • able to handle ‘messes’ or ‘soft problems’
one best way traits of leadership v
“One best way” - traits of leadership (v)

Components of emotional intelligence

  • self awareness
  • self-regulation
  • motivation
  • empathy
  • social skills

(Goleman, 1998)

Attributes of hero leaders, change masters

  • ‘Kaleidoscope thinking’
  • Imagination
  • Foresight
a bad way unethical leadership
A Bad Way - unethical leadership
  • Narcissistic
  • Controlling
  • Manipulative
  • Self-promoting
one best way leader behaviour
“One Best Way” ? - leader behaviour

Wright (1996) found that leader styles are typically a blend of the following 4 components. Is there an optimal mix?

  • Concern for task (production-centred)
  • Concern for people (person -centred)
  • Directive leadership (autocratic)
  • Participative leadership (democratic)
university of michigan studies
University of Michigan Studies

This style seemed to work best

the managerial grid
The Managerial Grid

Country ClubManagement

Team Management

Organisation Man Management

9,9 style

is often


Impoverished Management


one best way transformational leaders
“One-best-way” - transformational leaders

Transformational Leaders

  • Make major changes to
    • organisational mission
    • organisational structure
    • political and cultural systems of the organisation

(Source: Bass, B.M. (1990) From transactional to transformational leadership: learning the vision. Organizational Dynamics, Winter, p.22)

one best way transactional transformational leaders
“One-best-way” - transactional & ‘transformational leaders

Transactional Leader

  • Management by exception (active)
    • Contingent reward
      • Management by exception (passive)
        • Laissez-faire

Transformational Leader

  • Charisma
    • Inspiration
      • Intellectual stimulation
        • Individualised consideration

(Source: Bass, B.M. (1990) From transactional to transformational leadership: learning the vision. Organizational Dynamics, Winter, p.22)




Current state of expected subordinate effort

Heightened motivation to attain designed outcome (extra effort)



Normal expected subordinate performance

Subordinate performance beyond normal expectations

one best way a third dimension of leadership behaviour
“One-best-way” - A third dimension of leadership behaviour

For a changing world

Andrea Jung, CEO of Avon Cosmetics

contingency theories
Contingency theories

These take account of the great variety of situational influences on leader effectiveness

  • Tannenbaum and Schmidt
  • Fiedler
  • Hersey and Blanchard
  • Path-goal
  • Quinn
contingency theory 1 tannenbaum and schmidt
Contingency Theory 1:Tannenbaum and Schmidt
  • A continuum from ‘boss centred’ to ‘subordinate centred’
  • Appropriate position on the continuum depends on
    • Forces in the manager
    • Forces in the subordinate
    • Forces in the situation
      • Nature of task/problem
      • Organisational context
jayne has little room to manoeuvre
Jayne has little room to manoeuvre

Directive Participative

style of style of

leadership leadership

Jayne’s preferences

Jayne’s room for manoeuvre

Subordinates’ preferences

Task stucture



2. Fiedler’s contingency theory of leadership

Fiedler believes leaders must be chosen to fit the situation

contingency theory 3 hersey blanchard s situational leadership
Contingency Theory 3: Hersey & Blanchard’s Situational Leadership

Follower readiness: ability and willingness

Leader: decreasing need for support and supervision


Situational Leadership (cont.)

(Hersey and Blanchard)

  • Two Orientations
    • task behavior
    • relationship behavior
  • Four Styles
    • tell
    • sell
    • participate
    • delegate

Situational Leadership (cont.)

(Hersey and Blanchard)

  • Two Follower Readiness factors
    • ability (job knowledge, experience, and skills)
    • willingness (psychological readiness- confidence, commitment, and motivation)
  • Four Levels of Follower Readiness
    • unable, unwilling
    • unable, willing
    • able, unwilling
    • able and willing
situational leadership cont
Situational Leadership (cont.)

Effect of (Follower Readiness: Willingness and Ability)










Subordinates’ Ability

path goal factors between effort results
Path-Goal: factors between effort & results


Expectations that effort will bring desired rewards)

locus of control





job design

goal clarity


(tools, materials, information etc.)



path goal leadership styles
Path-Goal Leadership Styles

1. Directive

  • Clarifies job duties, clarifies performance standards, ensures that procedures are followed
  • Same as task-oriented leadership

2. Supportive

  • Friendly, approachable, shows concern, respect
  • Same as people-oriented leadership

3. Participative

  • Consults with employees, solicits suggestions
  • Related to employee involvement practices

4. Achievement-oriented

  • Sets challenging goals, high confidence in employees, expects improvement
  • Applies goal setting, positive self-fulfilling prophecy
path goal contingencies summary
Skill/Experience lowlowhigh high

Locus of Control externalexternalinternal internal



Directive Supportive Participative Achievement

Path-Goal Contingencies (summary)



DirectiveSupportive Participative Achievement

Task Structure ambiguousroutine non-routine ambiguous

Team Dynamicsneg. normslow cohesionpos. norms ?

contingency theory 5 quinn s competing values
Contingency Theory 5: Quinn’s Competing Values

The basic idea is that leadership styles should fit the overall organisational model.

The organisational models are:

  • The team: flexible but inward looking.
    • Leader is a supporter, facilitator.
  • The adhocracy: flexible and outward looking.
    • Leader is an innovator, broker.
  • The firm: stable but outward looking.
    • Leader is task oriented, directive.
  • The hierarchy: stable and inward looking.
    • Leader is a monitor, co-ordinator.
leadership in times of change
Leadership in times of change
  • Leadership and the organisational life-cycle. (Greiner, 1972; Clarke & Pratt, 1985).
  • Leadership and the nature of change.

(Dunphy & Stace, 1993).

  • Leadership and resistance to change.

(Clarke, 1994).

  • Analysing and managing resistance to change. (Strebel, 1996; Beer, Eisenstat & Spector, 1990; Kotter, 1995).
can one leader take the organisation through all its phases
Can one leader take the organisation through all its phases?
  • Styles will likely need to change as the organisation develops through the various phases.
  • Some contingency theorists would say that it is theoretically possible for one leader to take the organisation through various phases..
  • Others (e.g. Fiedler) would say it is not possible.
forces for and against change
Forces for and against change

Leading change will inevitably also be concerned with overcoming resistance to change

  • Driving forces for change
    • external forces (e.g. constraints from suppliers, customer needs)
    • internal forces (e.g. org growth, office politics, restructuring)
  • Driving forces against change
    • Individual resistance
    • organisational resistance
resistance to change
Resistance to Change

‘The most likely response to a change proposal is a series of outraged objections, some relevant (for no proposer of change can have thought out all the implications), some irrelevant (just waiting for an opportunity to surface and using this one).’

  • (Pugh, D. (1993) Understanding and Managing Change, in Mabey C, and Mayon-White, B. (eds.) Managing change, second edition, PCP).
individuals reactions to change
Individuals’ reactions to change

+ Positives





New skills

New knowledge




New start

Creates options

Learning experience


- Negatives












Loss of self-esteem

Loss of identity

- Negatives

Loss of peer group

Letting go

Saying goodbye


Family disruption





Critical reactions




reasons for adverse reactions to change
Reasons for Adverse Reactions to Change
  • Loss of job
  • Reduction of career prospects
  • Down grading of work
  • Effects in pay
  • Loss of status - “empires”
  • Reduction in responsibility or job interest
  • Need to learn new skills
  • New and unknown bosses
  • New and known (!) bosses
  • Break up of established work groups
  • Transfer to new, unknown (known!) locations or departments

Underlying Reasons Why Individuals Resist Change

Perceived lack of

new skills,

loss of old

Loss of power


Dislike of



Fear of

the Unknown

Loss of rewards

how people resist change
How People Resist Change

Individual responses to threats and unknown dangers

  • rigidity
  • doing more of the same but harder
  • greater inadequacy
  • aggression
  • aggressive rigidity

Sources of Organisational Resistance

Group Norm Inertia

Threat to

Existing Group

Power Bases




Threat to




Cultural, mindset inertia



why organisations resist change
Why Organisations Resist Change

Organisations are coalitions of interest groups in tension

  • balance (ultra-stability, equilibrium) of forces hammered out over a period
  • Change upsets this balance

Lewin’s Force-Field Theory of Change

  • Organisational change occurs when:
  • forces for change strengthen
  • restraining forces lessen, or
  • both processes occur simultaneously
steps in force field analysis
Steps in Force Field Analysis

1. Define problem (current state) and target situation (target state).

2. List forces working for and against the desired changes.

3. Rate the strength of each force.

4. Draw diagram (length of line denotes strength of the force).

5. Indicate how important each force is.

6. How to strengthen each important supporting force?

7. How to weaken each important resisting force?

8. Identify resources needed.

9. Make action plan: timings, milestones, responsibilities.

assessing resistance to change strebel
Assessing resistance to change - Strebel
  • Look for closed attitudes.
  • Look for an entrenched culture.
  • Look for rigid structures and systems.
  • Look for counterproductive change dynamics.
  • Assess the overall resistance to change by:
    • examining to what extent the various forces of resistance are correlated with one another.
    • describing the resistance threshold in terms of power and resources needed to deal with the resistance.
responding to resistance to change
Responding to resistance to change
  • Strebel’s contrasting change paths
  • Beer, Eisenstat and Spector’s six steps to effective change
  • Kotter & Schlesinger
beer et al s six steps to effective change
Beer et al’s six steps to effective change
  • Mobilise commitment to change through joint diagnosis of business problems.
  • Develop a shared vision of how to organise and manage for competitiveness.
  • Foster consensus for the new vision, competence to enact it, and cohesion to move it along.
  • Spread revitalisation to all departments without pushing it from the top.
  • Institutionalise revitalisation through formal policies, systems and structures.
  • Monitor and adjust strategies in response to problems in the process.

Source: Beer, M., Eisenstat, R.A. and Spector, B. (1993) Why change programs don’t produce change, IN Mabey, C. and Mayon-White, B. (eds) Managing Change, London, P.C.P.

possible ways of dealing with resistance kotter schlesinger
Possible ways of dealing with resistance (Kotter & Schlesinger)
  • education & communication
  • participation & involvement
  • facilitation & support
  • negotiation & agreement
  • manipulation & co-optation
  • explicit and implicit coercion
e economic vs o organisational capability approaches to change
E (Economic) vs O (organisational capability) approaches to change


  • Shareholder oriented
  • Money incentives
  • Layoffs
  • Downsizing
  • Restructuring

Organisational Capability

  • Softer
  • Culture change
  • Emphasis on individual & organisational learning