Types of organisational change and how to implement them

No business structure is going to last forever

Occasionally, it becomes necessary for a business to restructure itself. This might mean changing processes, personnel, culture, technology – or a combination of a range of factors. No business structure is going to last forever, and some degree of flexibility is required to adapt to changing economic conditions.

What are the types of organisational change?

Organisational change tends to come in two types. There are planned changes, which are put into place to help a business reach a certain goal, which is determined in advance. For example, a business might launch and new product or service, and put into place structures which allow that product or service to be delivered.

Then there are reactive changes, which help a business to respond to an unanticipated event over which it has no control. The most obvious example here might be a global pandemic which forces a business to make a widespread transition toward working from home practices.

In many cases, a business might find itself unable to implement the required change, because it lacks the experience and expertise at management level. In these cases, interim recruiters might look to hire professionals to oversee the transition.

Levels of Change

Organisational restructuring also varies by scale. In some cases, a minor tweak is needed within a given department; in others, the entire business might need to adapt to a new way of doing things.

Strategic Change

A strategic change concerns the objectives and purpose of the business. This might require that new skills be acquired, through training or through recruitment.

Structural Change

If the hierarchy of the business needs to be adapted, then we might categorise the change as structural. In some cases, roles might need to be consolidated or split – and the same goes for departments. If you’re relocating a business, or expanding the premises to accommodate more staff, or merging with another business, then you’re implementing a form of structural change.

Technological Change

Certain kinds of business might require more frequent technological change than others. But just about every modern business will rely to some extent on technology, and occasionally a technological advance might necessitate a change in organisation. You might decide to outsource your IT infrastructure to a contractor, and rely on a cloud-based storage solution – which would mean dispensing with your on-site server room.

Personnel Change

Finally, we might change the people who actually work within the business, and drive it forward. This might mean recruitment, and redundancies for staff whose services you no longer need. High levels of staff turnover are typically associated with poor working conditions, and signal to other prospective recruits that the business isn’t an enjoyable one to work for – which is a good reason that frequent personnel change is something to be avoided.

The British Institute of Recruiters is the Professional Body operating The Recruitment Certification Scheme

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