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Substantial revisions made, including key theories in organizational change, new developments and perspectives on organizational change, and assessments & strategies.

Updated on 4 March 2014. The previous version of this content can be found here.
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date: 05 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article presents an overview of the field of organizational change as it applies to human service organizations (HSOs). It offers definitions, conceptual models, and perspectives for looking at organizational change, and notes common reasons that organizational change efforts fail. The article takes the perspective of an agency executive or manager who has the responsibility for initiating and implementing a planned organizational change initiative. It offers a comprehensive, evidence-based model for tactics to use and steps to take, from assessing change readiness and change capacity to institutionalizing and evaluating change outcomes within the organization. Common change methods are reviewed, including those particularly relevant to HSOs, such as implementation science; the use of consultants; and change efforts, which can be initiated by lower-level employees. A research agenda, with particular attention to change tactics, is offered.

Keywords: organizational change, organization development, organizational performance, implementation science, evidence-based practice, leadership, continuous quality improvement, process consultation, action research, planned change, employee attitude surveys, change leadership

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