Forandringskynisme i roganisationer - når den ene forandringsbølge tager den anden ... Organizational Change Cynicism - When the waves of change are rapidly succeeding each other ...

Henrik Arnfeldt Bang & Henrik Feld

Studenteropgave: Masterprojekt


Organizational Change Cynicism – When the waves of change are rapidly succeeding each other … In today’s business life change seems to be inevitable. Change is partly driven by technological progress and partly it is the result of a rapid evolution of management techniques most companies’ decision makers feel obliged to follow to some extend or other. This study sets out to investigate the effect on employees of such (fashion?) waves of new management techniques. Based on results from e.g. (Connell & Waring 2002) and (Brown & Cregan 2008) it can be assumed that employees will develop a cynical attitude to such changes, and corresponding behaviour (also referred to as BOHICA – Bend Over, Here It Comes Again) if they will be considered as “yet another management technique” or if the implementation of the change fails to include the employees in the change efforts. By investigating an organization that has first introduced Coaching in a large scale change effort, and then subsequently chose to focus next on Performance Management, it is the aim to determine how a prospective change manager can limit the change cynicism that would potentially arise as a result of such consecutive alterations in management techniques – or from the implementation of changes in general. The study is performed by interviewing both the leaders of the latter change in the organization, and experienced middle managers who have been involved in both the implementation of Coaching and in the successive implementation of Performance Management. It is being investigated if the seemingly quite different nature of these techniques does indeed increase the level of change cynicism in the organization or if such a relationship cannot be found. The investigation is performed as a series of qualitative interviews with the managers. The questions asked are both related to the experiences with the latest implementation and lessons learned from this. The recommendations from these affected managers with respect to impeding such change cynicism are also extracted. The results from the interviews are evaluated in a reference interview with a middle manager from an organization in a different political and business context. A surprising finding from the interviews is that Coaching and Performance Management are in no way felt to be contradictory, nor that it is a problem to implement and use these techniques in parallel. This is attributed to the skilled translation of these concepts, when applied in the actual organizational context. Nevertheless the study eventually leads to the following points to be considered by a prospective change manager, when asked to manage the implementation of the “next” change: 1. Limit the number of change initiatives that are implemented in the organization in parallel. If too many initiatives are run in parallel, the “cynical” employees will make the selection/prioritization for you, per se; by ignoring such initiatives that they believe will fail anyway. The change manager should ensure that such a prioritization has indeed been performed 2. For the change initiatives that are prioritized it is imperative that they are fully implemented, and not abandoned half way through the implementation. Failed implementations are almost guaranteed to lead to increased change cynicism 3. It is important to adapt the change implementation to the characteristics of the change. If the change involves detailed prescriptions of how it must be applied, it will require a much more controlled implementation, including precise communication to all involved. While other types of changes may allow for a less controlled diffusion, with the option of some adaptation and translation in the process An innovative model is presented that can assist the change manager in assessing the characteristics of a proposed change initiative with the objective of determining the best implementation strategy, labelling of the change and the needed effort in implementation of the change. The new model can also be used by the change manager to ensure that the necessary effort is realized by the senior management requesting the change, and thus also provides an opportunity to refuse to accept the responsibility for the change effort, should these prerequisites not be fulfilled. The report is concluded with suggestions for further research and an article aimed at presenting the results of the study to a broader audience of project managers.

UddannelserMaster i Projektledelse og Procesforbedring (MPF), (Masteruddannelse) Master
Udgivelsesdato17 jun. 2013
VejlederePeter Hagedorn-Rasmussen


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