Change Management and Organizational Transformation Thesis

Pages: 20 (5634 words)  ·  Style: Chicago  ·  Bibliography Sources: 15  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business - Management

Change Management & Organizational Transformation


The objective of this work is to examine changes in organizations, management and how management and technology are more frequently becoming factors for consideration. This work will select a company and analyze the status of organizational transformation and change management, and identify key organizational transformation and change management issues currently facing the organization, providing recommendations as to how the company should address these change management issues. Selected for the purpose of this study are Federal U.S. Agencies and the Organizational Transformation initiative reported by the Government Accounting Office and specifically relating to the implementation of Chief Operating Officer/Chief Management Officer Positions in Federal Agencies.


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It was reported in 2007 in the report GAO-08-34, a report to the Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce and the District of Columbia, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate that agencies across the federal government were in the process of "embarking on large-scale organizational transformation to address 21st century challenges..." And that one proposed approach for addressing systemic federal government and management challenges involved "the creation of a senior-level position -- a chief operating officer (COO)/chief management officer (CMO) -- in selected federal agencies to help elevate, integrate, and institutionalize responsibility for key management functions and business transformation efforts. GAO was asked to develop criteria and strategies for establishing and implementing COO/CMO positions in federal agencies." (GAO, 2007)

Toward this end the GAO:

TOPIC: Thesis on Change Management & Organizational Transformation Change Management Assignment

(1) Gathered information on the experiences and views of officials at four organizations with COO/CMO-type positions and (2) Convened a forum to gather insights from individuals with experience in business transformation. (GAO, 2007)

It is related that each agency has "its own set of characteristics, challenges and opportunities" therefore the determination of an approach should be specifically "within the context of the agency's specific facts and circumstances." (GAO, 2007)


CAO: chief acquisition officer

CFO: chief financial officer

CHCO: chief human capital officer

CIO: chief information officer

CMO: chief management officer

COO: chief operating officer

DHS: Department of Homeland Security

DOD: Department of Defense

FAA: Federal Aviation Administration

IRS: Internal Revenue Service

MIT: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

OMB: Office of Management and Budget

OPM: Office of Personnel Management

PBO: performance-based organization

PMA: President's Management Agenda

SES: Senior Executive Service (GAO, 2007)


Change management has evolved over the last century beginning with early works such as Arnold Van Gennep (1907) entitled "The Rites of Passage" and Kurt Lewin (1947) entitled: "Resolving Social Conflict & Field Theory in Social Science" as well as the work of William Bridges (1979) entitled: "Transitions" which explored how change was experienced by individuals. Over the past few years change management has been emergent and a requirement for organizational transformation initiatives and in fact, change management has become a business discipline that is acknowledged for successfully implementing changes. Changes occur in all industries whether the organization is publicly or privately owned. Trends in change management for 2009 include the following stated trends:

1. A greater recognition of the need for change management

2. Change management competency building

3. Dedication of resources for change management

4. Use of methodology and tools

5. Application on projects

6. Integration with project management

7. Change saturation

8. Standard change management approach

9. Establishment of a change management group

10. Management of the portfolio of change. (the Change Management Learning Center, 2009)


Change management issues at focus in this specific study include those as follows:

Greater recognition of the need for change management;

More structured and formal processes

Better understanding of what change management really is;

Integration with project management;

Recognition of change management as a new competency;

Creation of formal job roles and titles;

Earlier application on projects. (the Change Management Learning Center, 2009)

However, even with the noted difference in both 2007 and 2009 there was a "greater recognition of the need for change management" which has moved "from a 'nice to have' to a 'must have' for major organizational change." (the Change Management Learning Center, 2009)

Reasons that change management has been emergent over the past ten years include the following stated reasons:

1. New value systems

2. Legacy of past failures

3. Velocity of change

4. Structure and formalization of change management. (the Change Management Learning Center, 2009)


The work of Welbourne (1995) entitled: "Fear: The Misunderstood Component of Organizational Transformation" states that corporate transformations "are now being implemented by many organizations; however, successes are remarkably rare. A contributing factor might be the ineffective use of fear in employees' communications."

Welbourne states that organizations should "enhance the transformation process by harnessing fear to quickly change behavior." (1995)

Welbourne states that protection motivation theory has been applied by marketing researchers to suggest that fear appeals containing strong threats and information on coping strategies can be successful in changing behavior." (1995)

The work of Poole, and Van de Ven (2004)

entitled: "Handbook of Organizational Change and Innovation" states that "many scholars in many disciplines have sought to explain how and why organizations change and innovate." Change is stated to be defined as "...a difference in form, quality, or state over time in an organizational entity." (Poole and Van de Ven, 2004)

Furthermore, "change can take many forms; it can be planned or unplanned, incremental or radical, and recurrent or unprecedented. Trends in the process or sequence of changes can be observed over time. These trends can be accelerating or decelerating in time and they can move toward equilibrium, oscillation, chaos, or randomness in the behavior of the organizational entity being examined." (Poole, and Van de Ven, 2004)

Therefore, it is stated that the basic concept of organization change involves three ideas. Those three ideas are stated as:

(1) Difference;

(2) at different temporal moments; and (3) Between states of an organizational unit or system. (Poole, and Van de Ven, 2004)

The GAO report states that there are five criteria upon which there could be several types of COO/CMO positions developed and which include those as follows:

(1) the existing deputy position could carry out the integration and business transformation role -- this type of COO/CMO might be appropriate in a relatively stable or small organization;

(2) a senior-level executive who reports to the deputy, such as a principal under secretary for management, could be designated to integrate key management functions and lead business transformation efforts in the agency -- this type of COO/CMO might be appropriate for a larger organization; and (3) a second deputy position could be created to bring strong focus to the integration and business transformation of the agency -- this might be the most appropriate type of COO/CMO for a large and complex organization undergoing a significant transformation to reform long-standing management problems. (GAO, 2007)

Stated as key strategies for the implementation of the COO/CMO positions are those in the following table labeled Figure 1 in this study.

Figure 1

Key Strategies for Implementation of COO/CMO Positions

Source: (GAO, 2007)

The guidelines for the development and implementation of COO/CMO positions in Federal Agencies and MHS Pre-Certification Authority Designation are reported in the work entitled: "Defense Business Transformation (DBT) Update" and the following facts are stated in the comptroller, David M. Walker's testimony:

(1) as agencies across the federal government embark on large-scale organizational change needed to address 21st century challenges, there is a compelling need for leadership to provide the continuing, focused attention essential to completing these multiyear business-related transformations.

(2) at the same time, many agencies are suffering from a range of long-standing management problems that are undermining their ability to efficiently, economically, and effectively accomplish their missions and achieve results.

(3) New leadership models are needed to help elevate, integrate, and institutionalize these business transformation and management reform efforts. (Dejewski, 2007)

The GAO is stated to have studied organizations with COO/CMO positions to develop guidance/best practices for implementation. Information was gathered by the GAO on the "experiences and view of officials at four organizations with COO/CMO-type positions in place:

(1) Department of the Treasury;

(2) Internal Revenue Services;

(3) Department of Justice; and (4) Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (GAO, 2008)

The GAO is stated to have convened a forum on April 24, 2007, for the purpose of gaining insights from those who had experience and expertise in the transformation of business as well as in federal and private sector management and most specifically change management. (Dejewski, 2007)

It is reported that since each agency has its "own set of characteristics, challenges and opportunities, the type of COO/CMO to be established in a federal agency should be determined within the context of the specific facts and circumstances surrounding that agency." (GAO, 2008)

The criteria stated for use in determining the type of COO/CMO position for an agency:

(1) History of organizational performance;

(2) Degree of organizational change needed;

(3) Nature and complexity of mission;

(4) Organizational size and structure; and (5) Current leadership talent and… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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APA Style

Change Management and Organizational Transformation.  (2009, September 20).  Retrieved October 24, 2021, from

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"Change Management and Organizational Transformation."  September 20, 2009.  Accessed October 24, 2021.