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date: 25 July 2021

Organizational Changelocked

Organizational Changelocked

  • Thomas PackardThomas PackardSan Diego State University


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, 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, are reviewed A research agenda, with particular attention to change tactics, is offered.


  • Administration and Management
  • Social Work Profession

Updated in this version

Article updated to reflect new scholarship and recent references.

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