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Change Management-MBA625
The speed at which organization experiences phases of evolution and revolution is closely
related to the market environment of its industry. Different industries have different growth
rates, for example computers, automobiles and banking all have different growth rates.
Evolution can be prolonged, and revolutions can be delayed. Revolution seems too much
more severe and difficult to resolve when the market environment is poor or going down.
Marginal organization seem to do better market environment is good or moving up.
Greiner identified five phases of growth – each phase of growth is marked by evolutionary
progress and a revolutionary period (or crises). Each evolutionary period is characterized
by the dominant management style used to achieve growth, while each revolutionary period
is characterized by the dominant management problem. Companies in faster growing
industries tend to experience all five phases more rapidly while those in slower growing
industries encounter only two or three phases over many years
It is also important to note that each phase is both an effect of the previous phase and a
cause for the next phase. For e.g. Directive management style in one phase may lead to
autonomy crisis (rev.) and eventually followed by delegation
The principal implication of each phase is that management actions are narrowly prescribed
if growth is to occur. So organization experiencing crisis of autonomy cannot return to
directive management style for a solution – it must adopt a new style of delegation in order
to move ahead
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Change Management-MBA625
At birth stage, emphasis is on creating both product and a market. So the characteristic of
the period of creative evolution are:
Founders are usually technically or entrepreneurially driven and disdain
management activities
Communication is frequent and informal
Long hours of work are rewarded by modest salaries
Control – comes from market feedback management acts quickly as the customer reacts
Leadership crisis occur as individualistic and creative activities help organization to
1. Leadership Crisis
As company grows, needs larger production, needs specialized knowledge about the
efficiencies of manufacturing, marketing and finance or capital, therefore needs increased
number of professional people in all functional areas. All this cannot be managed at an
informal level. Formalization, proceduralism and bureaucratization come into play for
better financial and managerial control. Founders found themselves with unwanted
managerial responsibilities. They still try to act it in the past ways. Owners enter into
conflict with managers. This issue is cited as agency theory in corporate governance and
strategic management courses. At this point crisis of leadership occurs – the first
revolution. Founders, often hate to step aside even though they are probably temperament
wise unsuited to be managers. So the developmental choice for founder is to choose strong
manager and step aside for perpetual growth or select week manager and compromise on
@ Copyright St. Paul’s University
Change Management-MBA625
Those who survive by installing strong and capable managers usually embark on a period
of sustained growth under able and directive leadership. The traits of this evolutionary
period are:
Functional org. structure – specialization and division of labour
System and sub-system get developed – Accounting for inventory and purchasing
Budgets and work & Job standards, are adopted
Communication becomes more formal and impersonal as a hierarchy of title and
position builds
Lower and upper level conflict becomes obvious as organization grows and have
more layers of hierarchy
Lower level employees find restricted by a cumbersome procedures and centralized
Lower level managers have more direct knowledge of market and machinery than
do the leaders at the top (office-work & govern through paper).
2. Autonomy Crisis
Thus second revolution is imminent as crisis develops from demand for greater autonomy
on the part of lower-level managers. Yet it is difficult for top-managers who were so
successful in developing system, being directive and stay responsible to give- up authority.
Moreover lower level managers are not accustomed to making decisions for them. As a
result numerous companies flounder during this revolutionary period adhering to
centralized methods while lower level managers get disenchanted and leave the
organization (turn-over rate)
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Change Management-MBA625
Next era of growth evolves from the successful application of decentralized organization
structure which exhibits the following characteristics:
More responsibility is given to the managers of plants and market territories.
Profit centers, incentives and bonuses are used to motivate managers.
Top executives at headquarters restrain themselves to managing by exception based
on periodic reports from the field
Management now focuses on making new acquisitions which can be added to the
corporation as decentralized units
Communication from the top is infrequent, usually by correspondence? Or
telephonic or brief field visits.
Of course now IT has made this communication fast, easier and effective. The delegation
proves useful for gaining expansion through motivation of lower level manager, by giving
them authority and incentives, to penetrate larger markets, respond faster to customers and
develop newer and effective managerial practices
3. Control Crisis
Top executives sense they are losing control over a highly diversified field operations
(owing to power-politics, upward mobility of lower level managers, fear replacement, etc.)
Autonomous managers prefer to run their own shows without coordinating plans,
resources, technology and manpower. The revolution become obvious when top
management seeks to regain control over the total company. One solution is recentralization which usually fails as company’s operation have become diverse and vast.
Other solution is to evolve special coordination techniques.
@ Copyright St. Paul’s University
Change Management-MBA625
@ Copyright St. Paul’s University
Change Management-MBA625
@ Copyright St. Paul’s University