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Lect. univ. dr.

Ivona Orzea Faculty of Business Administration The Bucharest University of Economic Studies

Change agent Catalyst Inhibitor Trigger Critical mass Direction Speed & Acceleration Destination / No-destination Driving forces Inertial forces Residual stress


Any individual who assumes the responsibility for managing the change process is called a change agent. Any manager can be a change agent. Also, a group of people can assume this role of change agent.


A change process can be accelerated if there is a help from other people, able to contribute with their knowledge to change. They are called catalysts. A change process can be de-accelerated by people who oppose the change. They are called inhibitors. Catalysts and inhibitors can be from within or from outside organization. They contribute to change, but they do not assume the responsibility of change.

Trigger is that part of a gun that you press in order to fire it of. In our view, the trigger is that mechanism able to start a change process. This trigger may differ as a function of the nature of the change process: - spontaneous change - planned change In spontaneous change the trigger is usually unknown, but it could be helpful for management to identify it. In planned change the trigger is designed by the management.

Critical mass = the minimum amount of people in an organization able to start and to sustain a change.

Thus, critical mass is related to the chain change process which is irreversible.
When the change process is bottom-up, the critical mass is considered to represent approx. 30% of the total number of employees. Examples: Implementing strategic management and quality assurance in our university system.

Managing change can be done only if we know the direction of the change process and the target. Usually the direction is given by the target. When the change is spontaneous we must identify this direction. A change process can have only one direction, that means to converge towards the target, or two directions at a certain moment. When there are two directions at a certain moment we call this change a bifurcation process.


A change process may have an initial state and a final (destination) state.
Transition = a change process characterized by an initial state, a final state and a time duration. Both initial state and the final state must be well known. This is the case of the planned change When there is just a change process without any destination we consider the process to be open Examples:
transition any planned change Open process the weather, our transition


Any organization has a given capacity of accepting change.
This capacity may be called changeability. How much change can be absorbed? This absorption is done in time.

Speed = Variation of change/ Time Acceleration = Variation of speed / Time

Internal forces - management - employees - organizational culture
External forces - political - economical - social - technological

Internal forces - management - employees - organizational culture
External forces - political - economical - social - technological

Residual stress is the integrated result of all fields of forces after the change process.
It is the stress resulted from all frustrations of people who lost some privileges during to change. It is also due to the extra effort some people may have made for the change success. Residual stress is very dangerous since it represents by definition a strong inertial force, for any future change.

I demolished his argument! Time is money!

Examples of this include when we talk and think about
life in terms of journeys, about arguments in terms of war, about love also in terms of journeys, about theories in terms of buildings, about ideas in terms of food, about social organizations in terms of plants


You are wasting my time This gadget will save you hours I dont have the time to give you How do you spend your time these days? That flat tire cost me an hour You need to budget your time You dont use your time profitably I lost a lot of time when I got sick You are running out of time

Calm waters metaphor

The organization is envisioned as a large ship crossing a calm sea, to a well known destination. The trip is predictable without problems.

White-water rapids metaphor

The organization is envisioned as a small raft navigating a raging river with uninterrupted white-water rapids.

The trigger mechanism is important in the change process for:

a. b. c. d. starting it; controlling it; planning it; all of the above.

Critical mass is approx. 30% of the total number of employees, when the change is done:
a. top-down; b. bottom-up; c. horizontal; d. in any way.

Technology can be a/an for change:

a. driving force; b. inertial force; c. accelerating force; d. any of them.

In a change process managers can be:

a. change agents; b. catalysts; c. inhibitors; d. any of them.

Catalysts are individuals able to . the change process:

a. control; b. manage; c. accelerate; d. de-accelerate.