The Problems of Managing Change

The Problems of Managing Change

Enid Mumford (Manchester University, UK)
Copyright: © 2003 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-118-6.ch001
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Abstract

Managing change of any kind requires effective problem solving. This is especially the case when the change involves designing and implementing new work systems or rethinking current organizational structures. We know that problem solving is a difficult and complex process, yet too often it seems to be limited to a fast decision to do something followed by a series of actions which intuition suggests will achieve the desired result. This is very similar to shooting in the dark. There is no way of knowing that the proposed actions will lead to a solution or even that the problem can be solved. The alternative, whenever possible, is to create a well thought-out, logical path to a desired result. Effective problem solving requires the control of “entropy.” Entropy is a term used by physicists to describe energy that exists but is unavailable for productive use. When applied to problem solving it can be described as energy that is time-wasting because it is not being used to good effect. The word covers inappropriate strategies and actions that make little or no contribution to solving the problem. Energy of this kind can lead to chaos. The problem becomes increasingly confused and insoluble and ideas on how to deal with it become more and more clouded and uncertain (Mumford, 1999). The first message of this book is that effective problem solving requires an avoidance of inappropriate or redundant activity and its replacement by efficient and ethical strategies so that appropriate goals are both set and met (Mumford, 1999).

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Table of Contents
Chapter 1
Enid Mumford
Managing change of any kind requires effective problem solving. This is especially the case when the change involves designing and implementing new... Sample PDF
The Problems of Managing Change
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Chapter 2
Enid Mumford
In order to understand the present and predict the future we need to learn from the past. A major part of this book will examine how ideas derived... Sample PDF
Socio-technical Design: Its Early History
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Chapter 3
Enid Mumford
As the case studies in the chapters that follow are all examples of participative organizational and systems design, I will now describe the... Sample PDF
Participation in Practice
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Chapter 4
Enid Mumford
The book now introduces some case studies on organizational design and asks you to think what you would do if you were a manager, researcher or... Sample PDF
Analysing Problem Situations: The Dock Workers of Liverpool
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Chapter 5
Enid Mumford
Once you have obtained a reasonably good understanding of the problem to be tackled, the next step is to decide what to do and how to do it. This... Sample PDF
Work Design in the Coal Industry
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Chapter 6
Enid Mumford
The last two case studies showed the importance of understanding a problem before embarking on its solution and the need to develop an appropriate... Sample PDF
Considering Structure: Different Organizational Solutions in Automobiles
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Chapter 7
New Problems in Banking  (pages 109-129)
Enid Mumford
In the last three case studies there has been a logical progression through the management of change, considering first the definition of the... Sample PDF
New Problems in Banking
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Chapter 8
Enid Mumford
This chapter moves away from a concentration on the “what” to do and focuses on the “how” to do it. An important strategic decision at the start of... Sample PDF
Involving Employees in Design: Rolls Royce
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Chapter 9
Enid Mumford
This chapter and case study address two important design problems. The first is the challenge presented by the task of developing systems that... Sample PDF
Designing an Expert System
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Chapter 10
Enid Mumford
One very important group we have not discussed in detail before is senior management. It is they who take the important company decisions on what to... Sample PDF
Senior Management, Decision-Making and Design
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Chapter 11
Enid Mumford
Most socio-technical system design has been used to create participative, high quality, people-friendly systems for specific projects or parts of... Sample PDF
Company-Wide Participation in Air Products
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Chapter 12
Enid Mumford
Shell provides an excellent example of an international group that for many years has used socio-technical values and approaches to help the... Sample PDF
Quality and Environmental Issues in Shell International
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Chapter 13
Enid Mumford
Participative systems design has, in the past, been seen as a positive group process of thinking through needs and problems and arriving at... Sample PDF
Designing for Problem Prevention
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Chapter 14
Enid Mumford
The philosophy of this book is that problem solving and the management of change will be facilitated by participation. By participation is meant... Sample PDF
Designing for an Uncertain Future
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Methods and Tools
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