Document Type

Thesis

Publication details

Jackson, CRA 2006, 'The human face of organisational change', DBA thesis, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW.

Copyright CRA Jackson 2006

Abstract

This current study investigated a possible extension to existing transformational leadership models used during organisational change programs. Researching the literature provided some preliminary evidence there was a need to include a potential extension to transformational leadership models.

The original models of transformational leadership involved looking at the staff members from an organisational perspective, whereas the potential extension, concerns the human aspects of organisational change. The potential new extension consists of four components: communication, team building, stress and coping and inter-group conflict. This possible extension to the transformational leadership models appeared to be an exciting addition as it addresses important human resource issues experienced during organisational change. The present study sought to further investigate whether these four components indeed were warranted and whether its components actually contributed to successful organisational change.

The research methodology was exploratory, qualitative and based on a grounded theory approach (Glaser & Strauss 1967). Using an embedded case study method, in-depth convergent interviews were undertaken in four hospitals undergoing considerable organisational change. Twenty-six managers, executives and staff were interviewed.

It was found that the change managers themselves were enthusiastic about implementing change but were unable to offer effective support for staff. Staff and managers said that communication within the hospitals during the period of change was poor. Similarly there was a paucity of accurate information being disseminated. Managers and staff also revealed that they had experienced considerable stress during the period of change and they needed help in order to cope effectively. Varying levels of inter-group conflict were reported in all the hospitals studied and managers reported that changes were not being implemented appropriately. However, efforts at team building were non-existent in two of the hospitals studied.

These findings provide strong support for managers and leaders to pay increased attention to communication, team building, dealing with conflict and managing stress during times of increased change. This study suggests that a potential extension of the four components could be added to, and thereby strengthen, the transformational leadership models of organisational change.

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