Article critique: Cracking the code of changeThis article authored by Michael Beer and Nitin Nohrin is basically a preparatory tool for executives across organizations within all sectors of the economy anticipating any form of change within their respective organizations. By presenting the article in the Harvard Business Review, the authors target audiences are managers and business people who are bound to experience change in their day to day running of business. At the beginning of the article the authors contend that change within organizations is inevitable with the current outburst of technological knowhow, industrial revolution and globalization.
Even though most companies have concurred with this argument, one issue is still pertinent; managing the process of change is difficult. Low rates of success have been reported in the attempt to implement certain initiatives such as change of corporate culture, restructuring, downsizing and introduction of new technology. With enough experience in the field, the authors conclusively state that the reason why change is hard to implement is due lack of proper preparation for the change. Failure of adequate information regarding basic as well as complex requirements for the change is the leading cause of failure of implementation.
In order to achieve the goals of change, executives need to have wide knowledge and understanding of issues underlying the change process; in other words, crack the code of change. This article clearly relates to other articles that tackle on issues of change management. Apparently, all these articles have based their argument the on unconscious assumptions made by managers concerning change which are basically founded on the questions of why and how the change should be made.
Beer and Nohria have analytically evaluated the use of Theory O and E of change management. Although many companies prefer to use the E change strategies, majority of others have been torn in between the choices of theory E and O since even E change strategies have their own share of shortcoming. As such, they have resorted to using a mix of both notwithstanding the tension that develops due to simultaneous applications of both strategies. The purpose of this article is to advice change managers on ways to resolve the tension between E and O strategies.
It makes reference to a particular company that successfully implemented both strategies. The authors of the article are explicit about their position regarding the issues underlying the use of E and O theories. The article is not biased but rather gives factual arguments. For instance it states that theory E change strategies make headlines which inherently shows the authors have explored a wide range of literature in order to come to this conclusion. By providing specific examples such as the one on General Dynamics indicates that the arguments brought out in the article are not mere assumptions but instead evidence-based.
The research conducted by Beer and Nohria revealed that a vast majority of companies prefer to use a mix of the E and O theories even with the inherent tension that is created. Even so, Beer and Nohria are positive that companies can successfully implement both theories based on their research findings. The major assumption derived from this argument is that there are significant differences between the two theories; which is the reason for development of tension during simultaneous application of both.