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Title: Organisatieverandering, teams en crisis. Het ontstaan van team-­‐crises bij geplande verandertrajecten.
Authors: Vries, A de
Keywords: Crisis
Team Dynamics
Planned Change
Organisational Change
Issue Date: 29-Mar-2016
Publisher: Open Universiteit Nederland
Abstract: Planned organizational change often leads to disappointing results. Boonstra (2000) shows that more than 70% of planned changes fail. Perhaps this is not surprising because changes, especially those that are planned, bring substantial risk. Under the pressure of planned change the situation become less stable: The “old reality” is no longer acceptable but a “new reality” has often not yet formed, let alone that there is a clear and collective vision of this. This usually leads to different, often more turbulent dynamics in stark contrast with more stable times; dynamics that could develop into a crisis at any moment. A crisis as a result of planned change is not necessarily wrong or something that can always be avoided. Research shows that crises are possibly an inevitable consequence of planned change and that they may be crucial to the actual realization of the change (breakthrough). A crisis is however a “tense” situation because it may resolve in unexpected situations. On the one hand a new stable situation may arise with a new collectively supported image of reality, but on the other hand there may also be a return to the “old situation” or the situation may even descent into chaos. Given the potentially high impact of crises it seems appropriate to be able to predict an approaching crisis and within the dynamics of this crisis gain some insight into possible future scenarios. There is however little research done on how in the lead up to a crisis the dynamics within a team develops and if a possible follow-up scenario can be inferred from this. This research studies the team dynamics (and their development) prior to a crisis. This explorative research is based on a case study consisting of document research and interviews. Within a medium sized university where a crisis can be attributed to change, a number of teams are selected. From each team a number of its members are interviewed about the team dynamics at various stages during the period of change. From this research it appears that prior to a crisis there indeed seems to be evidence of a characteristic development pattern of the team dynamics: In first instance characteristics in the team dynamics can be detected that are typical for planned change, like a growing “opposition” and the development of undercurrents in construed reality. At some point (shortly before the crisis) a number of characteristics also emerge that is less typical for planned change: Instead of one undercurrent becoming dominant, several undercurrents are established independently which leads to increasing uncertainty and inertia among staff. At some point rumours develop that the change will be (or has been) cancelled resulting in the seizure of all change activities (without any formal direction). The fact that these developments and dynamics take place within most of the teams observed shows that it may indeed be possible to obtain timely indication of an impending crisis. It is recommended that similar research take place in more and different organizations. Case comparison may refine the findings and therefore improve the general application of this research. It is also recommended to do empirical and predictive research based on the findings of this research. This may lead to establishing the predictive capability of certain themes found in this study. Change managers are recommended that in addition to conducting the usual progress reviews, to be alert to changes in team dynamics with the aim to potentially gain some insight into a possible impending crisis.
Appears in Collections:MSc Management Science

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