Essays on Change and Leadership Essay

Download free paperFile format: .doc, available for editing

The paper 'Change and Leadership' is a worthy example of an essay on management. Change seems to be a common characteristic of organizational life and most especially in the 21st century. The 21st century seems to be already symbolized by how the different world seems to be operating as compared to the previous eras. The business environment seems to be uncertain, volatile, ambiguous and complex. Change seems to be here to stay and for organizations to survive they need to understand, embrace and learn to take use it to their advantage. The employees and the change management strategies seem to have a significant role in an organization and therefore organizations need to ensure that their workforce is flexible enough and responsive so as to be at par with the changes in the market and in the business. Planned and emergent approaches to change   According to Burnes (2009), change is a result of a planned approach in an organization and it is a core aspect of the strategic process.

Planned change is termed as a top-down transformational process that entails certain organizational steps (Katter, 1996 cited in Michael, 2001).   Planned change is also viewed as being a deliberate process that takes place so as to evaluate the current situation in an organization and make considerable decisions of whether or not change is required (Burnes, 2009).

On the other hand, emergent change is not planned for and it presents itself with time as the business environment changes. A major distinction of change is based on the views that exist in relation to the nurture and nature of change. In instances when one thinks of change as a movement from one state to another in a planned manner it is more likely that a model that depicts a structured set of steps and is what is commonly referred to as planned change and the steps will be followed in the implementation of the change (Bottery, 2004). Another alternative is to view change as emerging.

By taking these views it is likely that change will be managed as a part of the aspects that happen naturally in the organizations and thus the interventions are seen as iterative or cyclical (Bolman & Deal, 2008).

And this is what is commonly referred to as emergent change. In this kind of change, nothing is planned for and all the merging issues are solved as they arise. In essence planned change seems to lay a lot of emphasis on the assumptions that the organizational environment is well known. And based on this aspect change is then planned with the aim of facilitating movement from one state to another. Emergent change, on the other hand, tends to lay a lot of emphasis on the need to be both adaptive and responsive and based on this change is therefore viewed as being constantly around us (Cammock, 2003).

Thus some changes in organizations can be seen as being more stable and predictable in nature since they move from one state to another, while the other changes seem to be more fluid-like and thus they are ongoing in nature. The emergent change also enables an organization to operate as living systems in that the organizations tend to be more flexible, open, balanced, and creative and also they are able to respond effectively to any changes in the environment.

Emergent changes also make organizations be more caring since they put a lot of emphasis on maintaining healthy relationships with various groups of people who could in a way be influenced by their organization or which may influence their organization (Yukl, 2006). In planned change, there is no flexibility since there is a clearly stated outline of what changes need to be done and thus in a way, they are not able to respond to any emerging changes in the environment and if they were to be responded to the earlier changes need to be implemented first.

  While emergent change views change as a continuous process through which learning and experimentation take place so as to align and adapt to the turbulent environments planned changes do not. Planned change view change as being a systematic process which ought to be followed and thus it limits learning and experimentation in the organization (Giles & Morrison, 2010). In regard to the small changes which takes place in emergent changes there is ultimately larger changes in an organization and based on these the managers in organizations need to create a conducive environment that enables risk-taking and empowering the employees and this can be achieved through participative management of all employees in the change process in the organization (Wheatley, 2005).

On the other hand planned change does not entail risk-taking and empowering of employees and thus a great number of employees are not likely to take part in the change process in the organization. Based on the above discussion change is best described as being both planned and emergent (Giles & Smith, 2012).

  A great number of organizations tend to apply a combination of both the planned and emergent approaches when it comes to change management in their organizations and this is based on their core objectives and circumstances.   Kinds of leadership that lends itself to change process Every organization tends to experience change despite its size, industry, and geography. Leaders in organization who can respond to business changes that are derived from the external and internal sources tend to have leadership styles that are adaptable in they tend to be more willing to try new things and at the same time they are more open to any potential risk that they are likely to face (Wheatley, 2005). Leadership styles that are applied by managers usually play a major and crucial role in the implementation of change in an organization.

If the wrong leadership style is applied the employees are more likely to resist the planned as well as the emergent changes in the organization (Giles & Smith, 2012). Though there exist a great number of leadership styles, not all styles are well suited in managing change in the organization.

In this regard, I will focus more on two leadership styles that are situational leadership so as to deal with emergent change and transformational leadership to deal with planned change. Situational leadership is one of the leadership styles which can be effectively applied so as to deal with planned change in an organization. Situational leadership is more related to the fact that the leader or the manager of the organization needs to adjust this leadership style with the aim of fitting in the development level of his followers that is the employees (Fullan, 2005).

Transformational leadership, on the other hand, can be applied effectively so as to deal with emerging change. This is based on the fact that through transformational leadership leaders are able to make incredibly strong arguments as to why change should happen in organizations, promote a common vision and also lead change in a consistent and organized manner and also successfully integrates into any emerging change in the organization(Giles & Morrison, 2010). Conclusion Based on the above discussion change is seen as being an ever-present element that has some influence on all organizations.

Based on this there seems to be an urgent need for change management for all managers. Managers ought to apply different leadership styles based on them whether they are applying the emergent or planned change in their organization. Emergent change seems to be appropriate in the unstable environment where changes tend to affect all the organizations and the focus is more oriented to human resources in the organization.


Bolman, L., & Deal, T. (2008). Reframing Organizations. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Bottery, M. (2004). Challenges of educational leadership: values in a globalized age. London: Open University in association with P. Chapman Pub. pp. 174-83.

Burnes, B. (2009). Managing Change (5th Ed.). Harlow: Prentice-Hall.

Cammock, P. (2003). Dance of leadership: the call for soul in 21st-century leadership.Aukland, NZ: Prentice-Hall.

Fullan, M. (2005). Leading in a culture of change. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Giles, D. L., & Morrison, M. (2010). Exploring Leadership as a Phenomenon in an Educational Leadership Paper: An Innovative Pedagogical Approach Opens the Unexpected. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 22(1), 64-70.

Giles, D.L., & Smith, R. J. (2012). Negotiating and constructing an educationally relevant leadership program. Journal of Educational Administration, 50(2), 231 – 242.

Wheatley, M. (2005). Finding our way: leadership for an uncertain time. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler.

Yukl, G. (2006). Leadership in organizations. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.

Download free paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
Contact Us