Management and Change

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Journal of Change Management Vol. 5, No. 4, 369 –380, December 2005

Organisational Change Management: A Critical Review
Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh, UK

ABSTRACT It can be argued that the successful management of change is crucial to any organisation in order to survive and succeed in the present highly competitive and continuously evolving business environment. However, theories and approaches to change management currently available to academics and practitioners are often contradictory, mostly lacking empirical evidence and supported by unchallenged hypotheses concerning the nature of contemporary organisational change management. The purpose of this article is, therefore, to provide a critical review of
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Secondly, there is a consensus that change, being triggered by internal or external factors, comes in all shapes, forms and sizes (Balogun and Hope Hailey, 2004; Burnes, 2004; Carnall, 2003; Kotter, 1996; Luecke, 2003), and, therefore, affects all organisations in all industries. While there is an ever-growing generic literature emphasising the importance of change and suggesting ways to approach it, very little empirical evidence has been provided in support of the different theories and approaches suggested (Guimaraes and Armstrong, 1998). The purpose of this article is, therefore, to provide a critical review of theories and approaches currently available in a bid to encourage further research into the nature of organisational change with the aim of constructing a new and pragmatic framework for the management of it. In order to do so the article has adopted Senior’s (2002) three categories of change as a structure with which to link other main theories and approaches. These three categories have been identified as change characterised by the rate of occurrence, by how it comes about, and by scale. Although total quality management (TQM), business process re-engineering (BPR) and other change initiatives embrace

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