Dynamics of Organizational Change in Canadian Enterprises between 1998 and 2003

By Inta Cinite and Linda Duxbury.

Published by The Organization Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper explores organizational changes introduced in Canadian enterprises of different industries and sizes between 1998 and 2003. The data come from the annual Workplace and Employee Survey (WES) conducted by Statistics Canada. The study identifies the frequency with which the various changes have been introduced over time, the types of changes organizations consider the most significant (i.e., affecting the greatest number of employees), the key reasons organizations introduce changes, and the impact of size and sector on these processes. Overall, in this period of time, the pace of change gradually decreased. While this trend did not vary significantly across industries, the larger was the organization, the more likely it was to introduce any type of change. Organizations most frequently introduced structural changes such as re-engineering, downsizing, and integration of functional areas which they also considered to be the most significant. In addition, also such non-traditional work arrangements as adoption of flexible working hours and job rotation and multi-skilling were launched quite frequently, but greater reliance on part-time workers was among the most significant changes to work arrangements. Regardless of the year, industry and organizational size, 40-60% of organizations launched changes to achieve three main objectives: to reduce costs, to increase product and service quality, and to raise productivity. Organizations tried to achieve these objectives through a variety of changes and would benefit from a better understanding of the kinds of changes they need to implement if they wish to achieve the desired outcomes. This increased understanding should help organizations remain competitive.

Keywords: Organizational Change, Significant Change, Change Management, Objectives of Change, Canadian Enterprises

The International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 7, Issue 11, pp.9-22. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 723.274KB).

Dr. Inta Cinite

Course instructor, Eric Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Inta Cinite earned her Ph.D. at Carleton University (Management) in 2006 and holds an MBA from State University of New York at Buffalo (1997). Her undergraduate degree is in Linguistics and Literature from the State University of Latvia. She is currently an instructor of organizational behaviour, human resource management, and international and comparative management in the Sprott School of Business, Carleton University. Inta is also a post-doctoral fellow with the Research Centre for Technology Management at Sprott School of Business. Her research interests include change management, resistance to organizational change, cross-cultural management, and e-commerce.

Dr. Linda Duxbury

Professor, Eric Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Linda Duxbury got her Ph.D. in Management Sciences from the University of Waterloo. She is currently a professor in the Sprott School of Business, Carleton University where she is teaching in the area of managing change. Her research interests include work-life balance and managing a changing workforce.

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