Dimensions of Change
(Pettigrew and Whipp)

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Content, Process and Context. Explanation of Dimensions of Change of Pettigrew and Whipp. ('91)


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In their book 'Managing Change for Competitive Success' (1991) Andrew Pettigrew and Richard Whipp distinguish between three dimensions of strategic change.

What are the three Dimensions of Strategic Change? Explanation

  1. Content (objectives, purpose and goals) - WHAT
  2. Process (implementation) - HOW
  3. Context (the internal and external environment) - WHERE

Pettigrew and Whipp emphasize the continuous interplay between these change dimensions. The implementation of change is an "iterative, cumulative and reformulation-in-use process." Successful change is a result of the interaction between the content or what of change (objectives, purpose and goals); the process or how of change (implementation); and the organizational context or where of change (the internal and external environment).

Based on substantial empirical research, they also present five central interrelated factors, belonging to successfully managing strategic change.

Five change factors of Pettigrew and Whipp

  1. Environmental assessment. Continuous monitoring of both the internal and external environment [competition] of the organization through open learning systems.
  2. Human resources as assets and liabilities. Employees should know that they are seen as valuable, and they should feel that the organization trusts them.
  3. Linking strategic and operational change. Intentions are implemented through time. Bundling of operational activities is powerful and can lead to new strategic changes.
  4. Leading the change. Move the organization ahead. Creating the right climate for change. Coordinating activities. Steering. Set the agenda not only for the direction of the change, but also for the right vision and values.
  5. Overall coherence. A change strategy should be consistent (clear goals), consonant (with its environment), provide a competitive edge and be feasible.

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Compare with: Causal Model of Organizational Performance and Change  |  Change Management Iceberg  |  DICE Framework  |  Organic Organization  |  Force Field Analysis  |  RACI  |  Change Model Beckhard  |  Change Phases  |  Six Change Approaches  |  Core Group Theory  |  Planned Behavior  |  Business Process Reengineering  |  Kaizen  |  Office of Strategy Management

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