Co-opetitive Management and Leadership Methodology for Democratic Organizational Change

Open Access
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Conference Proceedings
Authors: Evangelos MarkopoulosAlisia JordanouHannu VanharantaJussi Kantola

Abstract: If change is constant, then change management is constant, but maintaining successful change management programs and strategies can be challenging, especially if the impact of the change is big or the time between the changes is small, or the frequency of changes is high. Organizational changes can be seen as mandatory route for the adaptation of new markets trends, client expectations or response to social and geopolitical situations and events that demand structural and radical changes for the organization to move on. However organizations are composed of humans and change management tends to be more related with human resource management than operations management. It is the degree of effective human involvement that defines and drives a successful change, even if this change has limited human input such as technological changes, supplier changes, etc.Over the years several change management theories have been evolved and adapted in the market. Some use more aggressive and X type or management practices, such as the Kotter’s model for change, while others use more democratic and Y type of management practices such as the ADKAR model for change. In either case, or in the ones that are more in the middle such as the Lewin’s forces for change, the participation of the employees needs to be secured with their willingness to engage constructively and not disruptively. Change is more likely to be adopted, and last longer, if intentionally or unintentionally is conceived as the right thing to do, with individual benefits. Therefore, the management objectives in a change management strategy can be directed under a new leadership type that integrates the democratic, participative, situational and transformational leadership theories.This paper presents a critical and comparative analysis between the Kotter’s Model for change, the ADKAR Model and the Lewin’s Forces for change. The result of this analysis highlights the leadership type that is primarily used and its distance from other the leadership types. It also indicates the switch of the management and leadership practices during the change management process, and the challenges related to that. The result of these analysis attempt to identify the degree of democracy used in the change management process which is essential for the effective and long lasting implementation of a change strategy. Democratic change programs can be implemented with less resistance regardless the impact of the change or the frequency they are executed. Therefore the paper identifies the change management model that is closer related to the Company Democracy Model used primarily for innovation based organizations strategies, and extends the application of this change management model to such type of organizations which are also characterized from their non-hierarchical structures and organizational cultures. These type of neo-liberal organizations are the most difficult to change as their degree or democracy and freedom to operate does not favour change management strategies driven mostly by logic, order and authority. For this a new leadership type is introduced that promotes co-opetitition instead of competition, an non-competitive collective effort to go through a change.The research conducted for this paper is based on an extensive literature review on change management theories, primary research with surveys and interviews but also analysis of case related studies to indicate the need for the critically analyse the two models studied and set the base for a new change management and leadership theory. Furthermore, the paper presents the pre and post-condition for adopting the new theory, highlights research limitations, and identifies areas of further research to be conducted for the optimization of the new theory and its contribution to the science of management and leadership.

Keywords: Change Management, Leadership, Strategy, Management, Human Resource Management, Company Democracy, Philosophy.

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1003731

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