Philosophies of Organizational Change

Philosophies of Organizational Change

Aaron C.T. Smith and Fiona M. Sutherland

Philosophies of Organizational Change explains the assumptions that drive different perspectives on organizational change management. The book describes and examines the myriad philosophical interpretations of change, revealing how and why managers confront change using so many competing methods. Each philosophy introduces the reader to the key theories used to diagnose organizations and prescribe change interventions. The book critically evaluates the arguments underpinning organizational change approaches and shows how they lead to different techniques and tools for practical change.

Chapter 6: The resource philosophy: 'changing opportunities'

Aaron C.T. Smith and Fiona M. Sutherland

Subjects: business and management, organisational behaviour


6. The resource philosophy: ‘changing opportunities’ INTRODUCTION The resource philosophy proposes that an organization’s ability to acquire and leverage valuable resources will determine its ongoing competitive success and survival. From a resource perspective, change depends not only upon how an organization or firm’s resources coalesce and evolve, but also on the way in which they are reconfigured and redeployed over time. This chapter begins by defining and exploring what constitutes resources and a resource-based perspective. It considers how the resource perspective evolved and its place in the fields of strategic and change management. While a firm must acquire and build strategically valuable resources and capabilities, value creation relies on how these resources are used. The way in which an organization structures, bundles and leverages its resources will impact profoundly upon their effectiveness. This underlines the importance of a focused, strategic approach to resource management in order to create value and provide novel opportunities for organizational change and development. We next examine the resource-based view of the firm and its contribution to the resource philosophy. The acquisition and deployment of resources occupies a central place in strategic management. Earlier theories, such as Porter’s (1980) competitive forces model, focused on the dictates of external market forces and industry players in determining a firm’s competitive strategy and resource acquisition. In contrast, firm-level factors represent the primary concern of the resource-based view. The focus thus shifted dramatically from the external environment to an organization’s internal dynamics and how it goes about using its resources....

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