On the Change and Development in Organizations: A Critical Review of Van De Ven & Poole, 1995
Wesam Mohamed Habib
The University of Business and Technology
I review Change and Development in organizations within the framework that Van De Ven and Poole (1995) put forth. (Van De Ven and Poole, 1995) is instrumental in many respects. While emphasizing that organizational change processes can be driven differently and so can possibly be observed at different organizational levels, (Van De Ven, and Poole; 1995) is built upon four basic theories for explaining Change and Development in organizations. The four ideal-type theories are Life Cycle, Teleology, Dialectics, and Evolution. Van De Ven and Poole (1995) also presented a typology that helped identifying the circumstances under which each of the four theories applies. (Van De Ven, and Poole; 1995) is concluded with a number of possible combinations of one or more of the four basic theories in an attempt to produce a wide variety of more compound theories of change and development in organizations. While abiding by the theoretical framework of (Van De Ven & Poole, 1995), I base this review on three parts. Part I is an introduction where I give a practical insight into the nature of Change and Development in organizations by presenting and analyzing the real-life case of Harley-Davidson Motor Company. In part II, I critically analyze (Van De Ven & Poole, 1995) in terms of the maintained hypotheses, the four ideal-type theories, and the proposed composite theoretical structures. Regarding the composite theoretical structures Van De Ven and Poole (1995) proposed, I argue that a permutation rather than a combination over the set of the four basic theories provides more logically consistent opportunities for a universal parsimonious representation of Change and Development in organizations. I conclude this review in part III while highlighting possible research opportunities concerning Change and Development in organizations. Special attention has been paid to consistency of terminology throughout the paper.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 22
Keywords: Change, Development, Organizations, Van De Ven & Poole, Life-Cycle, Teleology, Dialectics, Evolution, Combination, Permutation
JEL Classification: L20, L21, L22, L23, L29
Date posted: March 18, 2008