Dimensions of Organizational Change

  • Organization-wide vs. Subsystem Change
  • Transformational vs. Incremental Change
  • Remedial vs. Developmental Change
  • Reactive vs. Proactive Change

Organization-wide vs. Subsystem Change

Organization-wide change involves major restructuring or new collaboration

Subsystem change may include adding or removing a product or service, or expanded clinic hours.

Transformational vs. Incremental Change

Transformation or radical change involves changing an organizations' fundamental structure and culture
e.g., moving from a top-down, hierarchical structure to self-directing teams

Incremental change is a series of small, often planned steps that take place over time
e.g., implementation of a new computer system to increase efficiency

Remedial vs. Developmental Change

Remedial change is planned to remedy current situations such as increasing efficiency or reducing burnout.
Remedial change is more focused, urgent and visible because it addresses current major problems

Developmental change is more general and intended to make an effective organization more successful
Developmental change examples include expanding services of products or number of patients served

Reactive vs. Proactive Change

Reactive or unplanned change occurs when a major, sudden event in the organization causes its members to respond in highly disorganized ways.
e.g., a leader's resignation or a major public relations problem

Proactive change occurs when leaders in the organization recognize the need for a major change and organize to accomplish the change
e.g., engaging in strategic planning