In an increasingly VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) environment, organisations are being subjected to a tremendous amount of change. The need for leaders to develop a competency in organisational change management is critical for the competitiveness of their organisations. Despite extensive academic research, the failure rate of change initiatives remains extremely high.
Purpose and methodology
The study contributes towards the field of organisational change management. The purpose of the research questions was to understand factors that contribute towards successful change outcomes to enhance organisational change models. An exploratory qualitative case study of a large South African manufacturer was the platform for the research. Data was collected from 15 semi-structured interviews of change agents and change recipients within the organisation. The change model adopted by this research was Kotter’s eight-step change model.
Findings and practical implications
The first contribution recommends for leadership behaviours to be adapted to the change context. The case study found that an authoritative leadership style can be effective within specific circumstances, which is contrary to existing theory. It is thus proposed for leadership to shift between a transformative and authoritative style as demanded by the change context. Secondly, the adoption of the right organisational structures to support the change and enable the organisation to exercise ambidexterity are key to enabling successful change outcomes. Lastly, the inclusion of more practical steps an organisational change models helps contribute towards reducing the gap between theory and the practice of organisational change.
The outcome of the research resulted in the development of an enhanced organisational change model that brings together concepts of contextual leadership, ambidexterity, and contributes practical steps to Kotter’s established eight-step change model.
Mini Dissertation (MBA)--University of Pretoria, 2020.