Complexity of change and its relationship with the levels of cooperation needed during a change process


  • Ágnes Pulinka Auchan Retail Hungary



change management, change management theories, dialogue, partnership, cooperation


Change, and the capacity for change is an organic and necessary part of the life of organisations, and this organisational phenomenon has been the topic of countless researches and publications. The decisive majority of change management approaches are basically functionalist and look for the tool(kit)s of managers to bring the change process to success. The focus is on managers (leaders); if they look at the employee perspective at all, they do so to identify clues for the leaders. They want to understand employee behaviour to upgrade the change management tools of managers so that the latter can achieve their goals as effectively as possible. This study follows a different approach: identifying what relationship, what type of cooperation/co-action is assumed or recommended for change processes by existing and well-known change management schools. This paper reviews the basic change types along two dimensions to identify the most popular change management theories and the change types they discuss. One fault line dividing the theories
concerned into two major groups is whether they consider the relationship between change and the quasi-steady state typical of organisations to be discontinuous, incremental or continuous. Another fault line concerns control being exercised over the change process, i.e. the extent to which the initiators and/or leaders of the change can and/or want to assert their intents during the process. The nature of this paper is a narrative or integrative review, which is based on a more idiosyncratic engagement with the literature. That is, the author considered the mainstream approaches and theories as my starting basis. This paper comes to the conclusion that the more complex the changes a theory aspires to solve, the more central the partnership, cooperation and dialogue between management and employees are in the model. The deeper the changes it operates with, the more it affects the deepest cultural layers of organisations, and
the more essential the dialogue component is for the model.


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Author Biography

Ágnes Pulinka, Auchan Retail Hungary

OD Director


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How to Cite

Pulinka, Ágnes. (2020). Complexity of change and its relationship with the levels of cooperation needed during a change process. Vezetéstudomány Budapest Management Review, 51(5), 15–26.