Continuous Change in Educational Organizations

Continuous Change in Educational Organizations

Yasar Kondakci (Middle East Technical University, Turkey), Merve Zayim (Middle East Technical University, Turkey) and Kadir Beycioglu (Dokuz Eylul University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6591-0.ch014


This chapter elaborates on the conceptual and empirical bases of continuous change, a newly developing perspective of organizational change, and brings this new perspective of organizational change to the attention of change scholars and practitioners in educational organizations. Rather than conceptualizing change as a macro-level discrete set of actions, continuous change suggests that change is a micro-level process embedded in daily practices of organizational members. However, continuous change and planned change should not be considered as alternatives to each other in the practice of change, since the former represents the informal, unstructured, and emergent side, and the latter represents the formal, structured, and intentional side of change in organizational context. This chapter argues that the success of change largely depends on the artful interplay between continuous change and planned change rather than focusing on the superiority of one perspective over another.
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Organizational change (OC) scholars have developed a rich theoretical background (Langley, Smallman, Tsoukas, & Van de Ven, 2013; Oreg, Vakola, & Armenakis, 2011; Porras & Robertson, 1992; Van de Ven & Poole 1995) and identified content, context, and process factors impacting the effectiveness of change interventions (Armenakis & Bedian, 1999). Nevertheless, conceptualizing and practicing change in organizations is still a controversial topic mainly because of the high failure rate of change interventions and the high human and financial cost that comes along with the failure of change (Beer & Nohria, 2000). Indeed, various scholars agreed that although change interventions are common, the majority of these interventions end up with limited or no success (e.g., Cheng & Walker, 2008; Clegg & Walsh, 2004; Payne, 2008). Ineffective change interventions result in a variety of organizational pathologies such as customer dissatisfaction, low morale, loss of motivation, job dissatisfaction, lack of organizational commitment, cynicism, high turnover, interrupted operations, increased stress, and wasted resources (Dahl, 2011; Jansson, 2013; Lewis, 2000; Mohrman, Tenkasi, & Mohrman, 2003; Reichers, Wanous, & Austin, 1997) and harm organizational capacity for future change attempts. These problems suggest that there exists an important gap in the current conceptualization and practice of OC.

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