Organizations experience two kinds of change: unplanned, or crescive change, and planned, or deliberate change. (Stojkovic et al., 2008) This essay will focus on the fundamental elements of planned organizational change. We will provide an example of how a police agency undergoing deliberate change could follow these steps.
Planned change involves 5 general steps: planning, identification of problems, forecasting, and generating appropriate alternative solutions to problems. The final stage is choosing the appropriate solution and embarking upon the implementation process. Each will be explained further, below.
Organizational change can occur due to the result of pressures from the external environment (such as new legislation, or community pressure), or from an internal conflict within the agency. In either case, a performance gap, due to external or environmental change, external repercussions to the agency’s actions, internal technical or structural changes , or extensive employee turnover, is recognized. (Stojkovic et al, 2008). Administrators do not choose to begin organizational change randomly. Once a performance gap is made apparent to the agency administrator, she will be motivated to modify the internal workings of the agency to adapt to these pressures. Planned organizational change is a bridge that links the organization with its environment (lecture notes, P. Smith, 2010). Criminal justice agencies embark upon organizational change in an effort to adapt to changing environments (political support, legislative changes, etc). Our example will focus on an administrator changing a police agency from a traditional patrol-centric model to a professional, problem-solving model. In many large cities the performance gap has been an apparent lack of trust between police and the communities they serve. Community hostility toward the police exacerbates the problem, and has resulted in witnesses refusing to come forward to assist police in solving crimes. Milwaukee, San Jose, and New York were cities in which this has occurred.
Stojkovic et al., (2008) note that Henry observed that government agencies over-react to small changes in the task environment, making planned changes difficult (Stojkovic, et al., 2008, p. 369). Resistance to change can occur at the individual level, the organizational level, and the structural level. The larger the scope of the planned organizational change, the more critical the planning process becomes. (Stojkovic et al., 2008).
During the planning phase agency goals and missions are reviewed, this is crucial for the organization, because it will help to focus the efforts and solidify the organizational values. This is an important stage in the process, and can provide much needed clarification for members, as well as focus for their work activities. Even if the process for planned change were to end at this point, the organization could benefit tremendously from this phase: workers with...