Review of the Dunphy-Stace’s contingency model of change implementation

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Dexter Dunphy and Doug State (1993) based on a research of 20 Australian organizations had proposed a contingency model of change implementation, in the model they claimed that managers and change agents should differentiate their change strategies based on the different external environments. Obviously, like many other contingency theories, there are no perfect, one option for all situations, adaption makes the best choices. The two authors of this model, as illustrated in the figure above, suggested that the strategy for managing change should based on the degree of change that is required to introduce an organization back into fit with the external conditions and on the leadership required to achieve this depth of change (Murray, Poole & Jones 2006 p.380).

 Figure 2

Figure 1 The Dunphy-Stace’s contingency model of change implementation

Source: Dunphy, D. & Stace, D. A. 1993, The strategic management of corporate change. Human Relations, vol. 46, no.8, p.908

In term of the different scale of changes, the model identifies four major kinds: fine tuning, incremental adjustment, modular transformation and corporate transformation. Fine tuning refers to the process of making small modifications to improve or optimize the outcome; incremental change as when individual parts of an organization deal increasingly and separately with one problem and one objective at a time (Burnes 2004); modular transformation refers to major organizational changes to the components of an organization rather than the whole firm and corporate transformation refers to strategic whole-of-organization change. Such change may include major changes in organizational structure, systems, and processes and reformed organizational mission ( 2011). And in term of the style of change which include of collaborative, consultative, directive, or coercive styles of change.  In this approach they are stating that collaborative, consultative, directive or coercive style of change as well as fine-tuning, incremental adjustment, modular transformation, or corporate transformation scale of change has to matched with an organizational needs ( 2009). These change styles and scale of changes fit into the four major widely used generic change programs which include developmental transitions, task-focused transitions, charismatic transformations and turnarounds.

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