A journey to learn about journeys : a practical examination of the nature of the relationship between the change manager and his change project
This research is concerned with finding out about the nature of the relationship between the change manager and the change project. An action learning approach to the investigation and analysis was adopted throughout in order to achieve a 'practitioner's perspective' in a range of inter-related learning environments. The research tracks the progress of six change managers. To attempt to minimise the variables, six smaller organisations (i.e. those employing fewer than 250 employees) from the manufacturing and production sector were recruited; all were based within a 20 mile radius; and all were attempting to change to meet the key indicators of a national performance standard from a similar starting point. Please see Table 1 below for further details. From the work with the change managers and the action learning set, all of whom acted as co-researchers during the analysis phase, some conclusions were drawn. The most significant being that the relationship between the change manager and the change project could be described as being essentially symbiotic in its nature, insofar as the change project impacted directly and indirectly upon the change manager, and the change manager's direct and indirect actions influenced the degree of success of the change project. From the conclusions drawn, and as might be considered to befit an action learning approach to research, a practical solution was proposed for achieving more successful organisational change outcomes - a framework to enable the change manager to develop, within the context of the demands of the change project. The framework was not intended to be a constant, but rather a guide for action. Some conclusions were also drawn about the form of the development which might be required by those advising on change, as a consequence of the findings.