Defining Change

The literature surrounding organizational change often uses the terms “change” and “innovation” interchangeably. When organizations deploy innovations, the leaders and members adopt new tools, follow new procedures, and are driven to meet new purposes. Scholars and practitioners in the field also recognize change can affect different levels within the organization and also the purpose of the change. Change can be address limited parts of the organizational or the entire system, and it can address small changes or wide-spread changes. The strategies used to implement the change depend on the nature of the change leaders seek to make. There are several types of change that leaders recognize:

  • Procedural change seeks to improve the efficiency of the methods whereby a logistic goal is improved. These are often undertaken in isolation as the inputs into the subsystem responsible for the logistic goal and the outputs from it are unchanged.
  • Systemic change seeks to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of many procedures at one time. Rather that addressing procedural change as isolated activities, systemic change considers the complex of procedures and especially the interactions between procedures as the important units of change.
  • Transitional change is recognized as that change which is designed to accomplish new goals. Whereas the same strategic and logistic goals can motivate and drive procedural and systemic changes, transitional change find the procedures and systems changed so that new strategic goals are achieved.