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THE MANAGEMENT OF CHANGE IN EDUCATION

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Change management is the process of continually renewing an organization's direction, structure, and capabilities to serve the ever-changing needs of external and internal customers. It is clear that more theory and research are needed for a better understanding of the process of change in organizations. The purpose of this paper is to discuss a variety of theoretical approaches to the management of the change process within organizations and contribute to the field in this area by presenting an integrated model of change management in educational field. This paper has discussed a variety of theoretical approaches to the management of the change process within organizations. Based on the theoretical approaches to the management of the change process within organizations described, from educational perspective organisational leaders in schools should take steps for change management initiatives for each of organization's subsystems and should plan and implement this change management process integrated and congruent. 1. REVIEW OF THE THEORETICAL LITERATURE Change management has been defined as 'the process of continually renewing an organization's direction, structure, and capabilities to serve the ever-changing needs of external and internal customers (Moran & Brightman 2001). It is clear that more theory and research are needed for a better understanding of the process of change in organizations. The purpose of this paper is to discuss a variety of theoretical approaches to the management of the change process within organizations and contribute to the field in this area by presenting an integrated model of change management in educational field. Balogun and Hope Hailey (2004) report a failure rate of around 70 per cent of all change programmes initiated. It may be suggested that this poor success rate indicates a fundamental lack of a valid framework of how to implement and manage organizational change as what is currently available to academics and practitioners is a wide range of contradictory and confusing theories and approaches (Todnem 2005).
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Educational Alternatives
Journal of International Scientific Publications
www.scientific-publications.net
THE MANAGEMENT OF CHANGE IN EDUCATION
Albena Gayef
Istanbul Bilim University School of Medicine Department of Medical Education and Informatics,
Istanbul, Turkey
Abstract
Change management is the process of continually renewing an organization’s direction, structure, and
capabilities to serve the ever-changing needs of external and internal customers. It is clear that more
theory and research are needed for a better understanding of the process of change in organizations.
The purpose of this paper is to discuss a variety of theoretical approaches to the management of the
change process within organizations and contribute to the field in this area by presenting an
integrated model of change management in educational field. This paper has discussed a variety of
theoretical approaches to the management of the change process within organizations. Based on the
theoretical approaches to the management of the change process within organizations described, from
educational perspective organisational leaders in schools should take steps for change management
initiatives for each of organization’s subsystems and should plan and implement this change
management process integrated and congruent.
Key words: Change, management, education
1. REVIEW OF THE THEORETICAL LITERATURE
Change management has been defined as ‘the process of continually renewing an organization’s
direction, structure, and capabilities to serve the ever-changing needs of external and internal
customers (Moran & Brightman 2001). It is clear that more theory and research are needed for a better
understanding of the process of change in organizations. The purpose of this paper is to discuss a
variety of theoretical approaches to the management of the change process within organizations and
contribute to the field in this area by presenting an integrated model of change management in
educational field.
Balogun and Hope Hailey (2004) report a failure rate of around 70 per cent of all change programmes
initiated. It may be suggested that this poor success rate indicates a fundamental lack of a valid
framework of how to implement and manage organizational change as what is currently available to
academics and practitioners is a wide range of contradictory and confusing theories and approaches
(Todnem 2005).
Motivation is very important for management these barriers and patways of change in education
described above. Without motivation, people won’t help, and the effort goes nowhere. Compared with
other steps in the change process, phase one can sound easy. It is not. Well over 50% of the companies
fail in this first phase. What are the reasons for that failure? Sometimes executives underestimate how
hard it can be to drive people out of their comfort zones. Sometimes they grossly overestimate how
successful they have already been in increasing urgency. Sometimes they lack patience. In many cases,
executives become paralyzed by the downside possibilities. They worry that employees with seniority
will become defensive, that morale will drop, that events will spin out of control, that short-term
results will be jeopardized, that the stock will sink, and that they will be blamed for creating a crisis. A
paralyzed senior management often comes from having too many managers and not enough leaders.
Management’s mandate is to minimize risk and to keep the current system operating. Change, by
definition, requires creating a new system, which in turn always demands leadership. Phase one in a
renewal process typically goes nowhere until enough real leaders are promoted (Davis & Harden
2002).
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In literature there are two main change management models. One of these models is the planning
approach to the change management. Planning is a process of finding answers to future questions such
as what, why, when, how, where, by who, for how long and at what cost and making decision ahead of
time about any matter. Purposes of planned organizational change are to maintain organizational
intregrity, ensure sustainability, growth and development of the organization, increase efficiency,
productivity, motivation and satisfaction levels, and in addition it has purposes such as preparation to
change and future, development of trust and mutual support among members of the group, provide
solutions for issues and arguments, improve communication, ensure competency based authority
rather than position based authority and create synergy effect (Sabuncuoglu & Tuz 1998).
According to Hanson (1996), there are at least three major cornerstones which constitute the change
design when a planned change is attempted. These cornerstones are full understanding of
technological innovation, having comprehensive information on pressure in and around school, and a
change strategy.
Various change management models were introduced by those who are among advocates of planned
change. These models were designed to meet certain requirements of organizations or emerged out of
a special thought of school. However, most of the literature on the planned change approach was
derived from organizational development applications (Burnes 1996). Certain number of important
theoreticians and practitioners in the field of organization development has contributed to change
management with their models and techniques (French & Bell 1984). These change models are as
follows (Burnes 1996):
1.1. Action Research Model
In the literature, following approaches are also emphasized among the planned change approaches.
The action research is based on the logic of “Solving organizational problems must be ensured by an
effective approach in such a way that incorporates rational and systematic analysis”. This approach
must thoroughly determine the information, hypothesis and action in all sections as well as assessment
of the actions performed for solving the problem. Change process should occur in the self-learning
condition (Burnes 1996).
The main phases of the action research cycle are described below (James & Connolly 2000):
Definiton of the problem: This phase covers the problem condition and formulization. The
problem may be stated in direct sentence or question sentence format. In this phase, it would be
very beneficial to visualize solution of the problem.
Change planning: This phase constitutes development of a solution to the problem. In this phase,
nature of the matter is described accurately and clearly.
Application of the plan: In this phase, solution of the problem is put into operation.
Assessment of the solution: Comparing actual results of application against the objectives set
initially will be good for application purposes.
Changing or keeping the application in the light of the assessment: Importance of developing a
vision for change.
1.2. Lewin’s Three Step Model
Lewin (1958) presents a fundamental description of change that has been incorporated into many
organizational consultants’ and managers’ emergent models of organizations in their attempts to
understand and direct the process of systemic change. Lewin’s perspective describes three basic steps
that are inherent in any change process. The first step involves unfreezing the present level of
behaviour. An example of this unfreezing would be a series of management training sessions in which
the need for change is incontrovertibly revealed. The second step is called movement and involves
taking action to change the organization’s social system (Katz & Kahn 1978) from its original level of
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behaviour or operation to a new level. Finally, the third step is called refreezing. This involves
establishing a process that ensures the new levels of behaviour will be relatively secure against
reversion to prior modes of operation (Siegal et al. 1996).
Schein (1987) provides an example of a contemporary approach to organizational change that
develops from Lewin’s three-stage process. For him, unfreezing is the process of creating motivation
and readiness for change. In general, there are three ways of accomplishing this: (Siegal et al. 1996)
(1) disconfirmation, when members of the organization experience a need for change which, in turn,
motivates them to embrace change;
(2) induction of guilt or anxiety involving the establishment of a perceived gap between what is not
currently working well and a desired future state; and
(3) creation of psychological safety, providing an environment in which people feel safe enough to
experience disconfirmation and induction. The second step for Schein is changing (or cognitive
restructuring), which is akin to movement in Lewin’s model. This is the process of helping people to
see things differently and react differently in the future. Changing can be accomplished by
identification with a new role model, mentor, boss or consultant, which enables one to see things from
another’s viewpoint, or by scanning the environment for new and relevant information. The third step,
refreezing, involves integrating the change process through personal refreezing, which involves taking
the new, changed way of doing things and fitting it comfortably into one’s total self-concept, and
relational refreezing which involves successfully integrating the new behaviour in interactions with
significant others.
Even though this three-step model was adopted as a general framework for understanding the process
of organisational change. Several authors have, therefore, developed Lewin’s work in an attempt to
make it more practical (Bamford & Forrester 2003). Bullock and Batten (1985) developed a four-
phase model of planned change that splits the process into exploration, planning, action and
integration. Although the planned approach to change is long established and held to be highly
effective (Bamford & Forrester 2003), it has come under increasing criticism since the early 1980s
(Burnes 1996). Firstly, it is suggested that the approach’s emphasis is on small-scale and incremental
change, and it is, therefore, not applicable to situations that require rapid and transformational change
(Burnes 1996). Secondly, the planned approach is based on the assumptions that organisations operate
under constant conditions, and that they can move in a pre-planned manner from one stable state to
another (Bamford & Forrester 2003). These assumptions are, however, questioned by several authors
(Burnes 1996; Wilson 1992) who argue that the current fast-changing environment increasingly
weakens this theory. Moreover, it is suggested that organizational change is more an open-ended and
continuous process than a set of pre-identified set of discrete and self-contained events (Burnes 1996).
Thirdly, the approach of planned change ignores situations where more directive approaches are
required. This can be a situation of crisis, which requires major and rapid change, and does not allow
scope for widespread consultation or involvement (Burnes 1996). Finally, the critics argue that the
planned approach to change presumes that all stakeholders in a change project are willing and
interested in implementing it, and that a common agreement can be reached (Bamford & Forrester
2003). This presumption clearly ignores organisational politics and conflict, and assumes these can be
easily identified and resolved (Todnem 2005).
In response to this criticism the emergent approach has gained ground. Rather than seeing change to
be topdown driven, the emergent approach tends to see change driven from the bottom up (Burnes
1996; Bamford & Forrester 2003). Emergent change approach emphasizes the fact that nature of the
change can not be improved and determined in advance. Emergent change advocates underline that
successful management of organizational transition has no simple prescription due to temporary and
contextual factors. Change can not be described as a series of logical decision making activities or a
single reaction to counterpart situational conditions. Therefore, a successful change is less dependent
on detailed plans and designs; and understanding complexity of the relevant conditions and defining a
series of valid options are more important. (Burnes 1996). The approach suggests change to be so
rapid that it is impossible for senior managers effectively to identify, plan and implement the
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necessary organisational responses (Kanter et al. 1992). The emergent approach to change emphasises
that change should not be perceived as a series of linear events within a given period of time, but as a
continuous, open-ended process of adaptation to changing circumstances and conditions (Dawson
1994; Burnes 1996). The emergent approach stresses the unpredictable nature of change, and views it
as a process that develops through the relationship of a multitude of variables within an organisation.
Apart from only being a method of changing organisational practices and structures, change is also
perceived as a process of learning (Dunphy & Stace 1993; Altman & Iles 1998; Davidson & De Marco
1999). According to the advocates of the emergent approach to change it is the uncertainty of both the
external and internal environment that makes this approach more pertinent than the planned approach
(Bamford & Forrester 2003). To cope with the complexity and uncertainty of the environment it is
suggested that organisations need to become open learning systems where strategy development and
change emerges from the way a company as a whole acquires, interprets and processes information
about the environment (Dunphy & Stace 1993). The approach stresses a promotion of ‘extensive and
in-depth understanding of strategy, structure, systems, people, style and culture, and how these can
function either as sources of inertia that can block change, or alternatively, as levers to encourage an
effective change process’ (Burnes 1996). Furthermore, Burnes (1996) argues, ‘successful change is
less dependent on detailed plans and projections than on reaching an understanding of the complexity
of the issues concerned and identifying the range of available options. It can, therefore, be suggested
that the emergent approach to change is more concerned with change readiness and facilitating for
change than to provide specific pre-planned steps for each change project and initiative (Todnem
2005).
There are some authors who offer more practical guidance to organisations and managers. Three of
these authors are Kanter (1983, 1989), Kanter et al. (1992), Kotter (1996) and Luecke (2003). Table 1
combines Kanter’s (Kanter et al. 1992) Ten Commandments for Executing Change, Kotter’s (1996)
Eight-Stage Process for Successful Organisational Transformation, and Luecke’s (2003) suggested
Seven Steps in order to identify similarities and differences between these models. (Siegal et al. 1996;
Todnem 2005).
Table: A comparison of three models of change management
Kanter et al.’s Ten
Commandments for Executing
Change (1992)
Kotter’s Eight-Stage Process
for Successful Organisational
Transformation (1996)
Luecke’s Seven Steps (2003)
1) Analyse the organization and
its need for change 1) Establishing a
sense of
urgency 1) Mobilise energy and
commitment through joint
identification of business
problems and their solutions
2) Create a vision and a
common direction 2) Creating a guiding coalition 2) Develop a shared vision of
how to organise and manage
for competitiviness
3) Separate from the past
3) Developing a vision and
strategy
3) Identify the leadership
4) Create a sense of urgency
4) Communicating the change
vision 4) Focus on results, not on
activities
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5) Support a strong leader role 5) Empowering a broad-based
action 5) Start change at the
periphery, then let it spread to
other units without pushing it
from the top
6) Line up a political sponsorship
6) Generating short term wins 6) Institutionalise success
through formal policies,
systems, and structures
7) Craft an implementation plan
7) Consolidating gains and
producing more change 7) Monitor and adjust
strategies in response to
problems in the change
process
8) Develop enabling structures 8) Anchoring new approaches in
the culture
9) Communicate, involve people
and be honest
10) Reinforce and institutionalise
change
However, these perspectives do not provide a comprehensive or integrated understanding of the
organizational change process. The Managing Change model offers just such a perspective (see Figure
1). This framework integrates the strengths of the theoretical perspectives presented above and
incorporates important issues involved in evaluating the overall effectiveness of the change process.
The model consists of the following dimensions (Siegal et al. 1996):
Individual response to change: concerning the nature, prevalence, and utility of resistance to
change.
The general nature of change: concerning whether effective large system change is evolutionary or
revolutionary in nature and the characteristic patterns that typify change efforts in organizations.
Planning change: concerning the causes of change in organizations, articulation of the vision, how
to get from the present to the future, and barriers to effective transitions.
Managing the people side of change: concerning how, when and how much to communicate about
change within the organization, and psychological issues related to transition.
Managing the organizational side of change: concerning the design and structural issues of
systemic and long-term change efforts.
Evaluating the change effort: concerning indicators of a change effort’s effectiveness.
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Figure 1.The Managing Change model
Application of any model for carrying out the change is a very difficult process. Context and content
of change vary considerably; it may be hard to figure out what to do and where to start. As a response
to this difficulty, there are suggestions in the literature for managers and leaders (Yukl 1994; James &
Connolly 2000). Yukl has listed these principles as follows (Yukl 1994):
Determine the factors which oppose or facilitate change: This principle is very important in the
planning any change.
Build a broad coalition for the change: Carrying out change is major task and requires broad
support. Fill key positions with competent change agents: During change process, key positions in
the institution must be committed to the change. If these positions are not committed, process of
change will be slow, difficult and blocked alltogether.
Use task forces to guide implementation: If the change is substantial, using Project teams to work
may help the change, process. Make dramatic (striking), symbolic changes: Illustration of
significant changes as descriptive and symbolic examples can have effect on the way the change is
perceived and understood.
Implement change initially on a small scale: Making a change in a small part of the system can
provide tangible evidence of the feasibility and benefits of a change.
Change relevant aspects of the organizational structure: Usually an organizational change requires
a change in the structure of the institution. But, this suggestion is not confused to be restructuring
instead of implementing change.
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Monitor the progress of change: Monitoring change is important for many reasons. Monitoring
enables optimisation, coordination of different aspects of the change, collection of all information
about the effects on all aspects of the organization.
Generate a sense of urgency about the need for a change: The perception of the need for change
can fade in time. Creating a sense of urgency can energize those who participate in the change and
help to recreate the desire for the change. Prepare people who are within the scope of the change
must be prepared for change process. The most important preparation activity must be made on
emotional aspects of change.
Help people cope with the emotional pain of change: Many of our responses to change is
emotional and therefore change process can cause grief and pain. The sense of loosing existing
values and the feeling of bereavement at the loss of the old methods are emotional pains that
people face during change process.
Inform people about the progress which occur during change process: In order to help maintain
commitment to change, experinces and events at all levels of change process, especially those
which take place behind the scenes must be told to people who are within the scope of the change,
and such people must be informed. This can also significantly reduce fantasies that may be the
result of the fantasies created by not knowing what is going on.
Show continued to commitment to the change at all stages: It is an essential task for the leaders of
change to continually express their sense of commitment to change and to emphasize their
commitment to the change by various means.
Empower people during implementation process of the change: Where the change is imposed by
the top management of the organization, it is likely that implementation of the change in all
sections of the organization will fail. Empowering members of the organization to implement the
change will release the beneficial energy within the organization. These guidelines provide major
contributions to more efficient management of change and control the change.
Pugh (1993) also sets out six rules for managing organizational change successfully. These rules are as
follows: Establish a work order which is necessary for change, think through the change and anticipate
issues and problems; create informal discussion settings in order to receive feedback for teaching
principles of the processes and contents of the change; encourage and develop the participants;
welcome the objections of those who participate in the change; be open and prepared to change; and
monitor, support and reinforce the change.
According to Morrison (1998), change management includes the following actions and procedures:
Define internal and external pressures which push for change,
Identify and clarify purposes and plans,
Carefully integrate existing and the new situations,
Operate within the existing and changing organization culture,
Manage transitions effectively,
Lead micro policies of the organization,
Provide best support in matters such as risk taking and learning,
Ensure participation of participants and ownership of the change event,
Develop self confidence and motivation of participants,
Provide feedback and manage stress,
Change the organization and move it towards learning organizations.
These key elements described above are very important for change of management in education.
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2. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
This paper has discussed a variety of theoretical approaches to the management of the change process
within organizations. Based on the theoretical approaches to the management of the change process
within organizations described above, from educational perspective organisational leaders in schools
should take steps for change management initiatives for each of organization’s subsystems and should
plan and implement this change management process integrated and congruent.
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French, WL. & Bell, CH 1984, Organization Development, Englewood:Prentice Hall Inc.
Hanson, EM 1996, Educational Administration and Organizational Behavior, USA.
James, C. & Connolly, U. 2000, Effective Change in Schools . London and New York, Curran
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Moran, JW & Brightman, BK 2001, Leading organizational change, Career Development
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Morrison, K. 1998, Management Theories for Educational Change, Paul Chapman Publishing Ltd.
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London (UK), Paul Chapman Publishing Ltd in association with The Open University, 108-112.
Sabuncuoglu, Z & Tuz, M 1998, Örgütsel Psikoloji, Bursa, Alfa Yayınları.
Siegal, W, Church, AH, Javitch, M, Waclawski, J, Burd, S, Bazigos, M, Yang, T, Rudolph, KA &
Burke, WW 1996, Understanding the management of change An overview of managers’ perspectives
and assumptions in the 1990s’, Journal of Organizational Change Management, 9(6), 54-80.
Todnem, R 2005, Organisational change management: A critical review, Journal of Change
Management, 5:4,369-380.
Yukl, G 1994, Leadership in Organizations, Englewood Cliffs, N.Y: Prentice Hall.
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... The mission: Explained (Kanter et al., 1992) pointed to the need to consider the task of re-change as a continuous, open and adaptable process to changing circumstances arising from the unexpected nature, which in turn requires an understanding of the nature of these tasks and what needs change in the organization's strategy to enable it to receive relevant information On the environment (both internal and external) and its interpretation and treatment [4]. ...
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