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To what extent do you agree or disagree with Abrahamson's argument and suggestions?

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Introduction

To what extent do you agree or disagree with Abrahamson's argument and suggestions? Change in today's environment is everywhere. Gone are the days of lifelong job security and steady growth. Today we are faced with work force casualisation, high unemployment, rapidly changing technology, traditional skills being made redundant, downsizing and the ever-growing conflict between our work life and our family life (Organizational longevity and technological change by Terence C. Krell, Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol 13 Issue 1 Date 2000, pp. 8-14). The whole world is becoming a tougher and more cutthroat environment for all organizations and the employees within them. However despite all this change, Abrahamson leads us to believe that change doesn't always have to create anguish within the organization. That in itself is a noble notion, however it is also an unrealistic expectation that rarely occurs in today's global competitive environment. To ascertain what Abrahamson is trying to put forward we must first understand what type of change he is talking about and why it is happening. We must also identify and further clarify the steps that are a part of organisational change if we are to properly evaluate and critique Abrahamson's approach; i.e. we must explain why we make such a big fuss of the change process and why it is beneficial to us. Only then can we judge the merits of Dynamic stability as a whole entity and individual parts within it. ...read more.

Middle

Barnholt adopted HP's values of innovation and contribution, trust and respect for individuals, and uncompromising integrity, but he added three new values: speed, focus, and accountability. Barnholt also wanted to improve the company's efficiency in terms of shared services. In mid-2001, the Agilent team faced a series of unexpected challenges. On April 5, 2001, Barnholt announced that business conditions had worsened further than previously expected. Barnholt wondered whether he and his team had gone too far in the organizational and cultural changes they had tried to implement. He wondered whether his vision of speed, focus, and accountability would be compatible with HP's legacy values and culture, and if so, how would he integrate the two (Agilent Technologies: Organizational Change (A), by Glenn R. Carroll, William P. Barnett, Victoria Chang; Published at Stanford university on 21st September 2001). This conclusively proves that dynamic change is not without its pains and tribulations. Even Abrahamson seems to aware of that since he claims that dynamic stability allows change without fatal pain, which is a clear contradiction of the heading that states "Change without Pain". After evaluating tinkering and kludging we must now look at the pacing within the theory of dynamic stability. Abrahamson claims that most proponents of change management argue that you have to change as much as possible as quickly as you can to stay ahead of competition. He claims that this is not always the case since organizations have different needs for change. ...read more.

Conclusion

Employees are not as cynical towards change that is implemented internally as opposed to changes, which are brought about from the external environment. This find is the real strength of dynamic stability, and is the key to Abrahamson's concept of change without pain. Finally Abrahamson claims that in order for dynamic stability to work one must hire generalists. The purpose of these generalists is to combine all the ideas from all the different areas of expertise. In short they are the ones who kludge and tinker with all the different components. Abrahamson seems to romanticise a bit here. There is no real need for generalists as long as there is a clear viewpoint as what has to be changed, by whom and by when. Dynamic Stability's key is to put internal sources to better use. Al employees within the organization should be generalists in one shape or form. Because the more multi-skilled the employees are the better and easier it is to kludge and tinker. To sum it up everyone should be a generalist, however there is no need for special recognition of generalists within the workplace. In conclusion dynamic stability is a different approach to change. However change without pain is impossible. There will always be some friction whenever the word change is mentioned inside an organisation. As mentioned earlier Dynamic stability does have it short falls however it is a useful tool for organisations that need to pace their change and are not in a need of a drastic overhaul. ...read more.

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