Influence of the Capability for Change on the Explanatory Processes of Change: Proposal of a Model

Influence of the Capability for Change on the Explanatory Processes of Change: Proposal of a Model

Amira Sghari (Laboratory PRISME (LR18ES24), Faculty of Economics and Management, University of Sfax, Tunisia), Jamil Chaabouni (SESAME University, Tunisia) and Serge Baile (Toulouse Business School, University of Toulouse, France)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1934-9.ch006
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Early research on organizational change emphasizes the importance of change management. They offer a range of managerial practices that allow the organization to carry out its changes, which is more in line with a planned process. Such an approach overlooks the fact that organizational change can be explained by other processes such as the political process, the interpretative process, the incremental process and the complex process. Each of these processes offers particular characteristics of change. The observed change was marked by the different characteristics falling within the various explanatory processes of change. Results differ according to the context in which change evolved. Through this paper we seek to understand and explain the results related to the existence of different characteristics that are part of the different explanatory change processes (political, interpretative, incremental and complex processes) in a change planned by the senior management of a company.
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Theoretical Framework

The theoretical framework of this research is structured in two sections. In the first the different explanatory processes of change are presented. The second is devoted to defining the capability for change.

Explanatory Processes of Change

A review of the literature shows the existence of five explanatory processes, each presenting the particular characteristics of change (Vas, 2005; Vas and Jaspart, 2010; Pichault, 2013):

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    The planned process is characterized by the succession of phases, the setting of objectives and the foreseeable results;

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    The political process is characterized by continuous negotiation between the various influential actors within the organization in order to ensure a certain convergence of interests;

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    The interpretative process is characterized by taking into consideration the actors' interpretations during the change;

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    According to the incremental process, the organizational change underway is influenced by past change experiences within the company;

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    The complex process is characterized by the appearance of unexpected results and unpredictable consequences.

The examination of some empirical results shows that the change is marked by the different characteristics of the five explanatory processes of change (Beldi, 2004; Vas and Jaspart, 2010; Pichaut, 2013). In order to understand what determines the coexistence of these processes in the explanation of the same change, the contribution of works dealing with the capability for change has been mobilised.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Political Process of Change: change is marked by power struggles and continuing negotiations between the interests of different stakeholders within the organization.

Explanatory Process of Change: the modeling of the progression of change.

Interpretative Process of Change: change is marked by a consideration of the actors’ perceptions.

Complex Process of Change: change is marked by unexpected phenomena, stops and blocking.

Planned Process of Change: change is marked by a succession of phases, monitoring of procedures and setting of objectives.

Capability for Change: ability to adapt to changes and / or initiate them.

Incremental Process of Change: change is marked by building on previously developed choice.

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