Find information about a range of approaches to managing organisational change – from Action Learning Sets, to the 7s model.
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- t Number of entries: 4
Theory of change (TsoC)
Initially developed as an evaluative methodology, the approach is increasingly used to support the development of social change interventions as well as evaluate their implementation. In developmental applications, the focus in on facilitating stakeholders to identify long-term programme objectives and then working back through the sequence of events (‘causal pathway’) required to reach the goals, planning changes accordingly. These sequences are mapped diagrammatically to show the logical relationships between each step. The distinctive elements of the approach lie in the requirement of participants to explicitly model the desired outcomes of an intervention, and enabling explicit comparisons between planned effects and those actually achieved following implementation.
The technique is used in many settings and sectors, with analysis typically following the steps below:
Stages in the TsoC approach:
- Identify long-term goals (and the assumptions behind them);
- Map backwards from these goals, identifying the preconditions required for the goals to be realised;
- Explain the rationale linking the preconditions to outcomes;
- Consider and identify the optimal interventions required to bring about the required changes;
- Identify performance indicators to measure required outcomes (and so assess the initiative’s performance);
- Write a narrative which summarises the logic of the initiative.
Strengths and limitations
The approach is very flexible and may be used at any point of programme implementation. From the outset, it may be used to inform the development of interventions consistent with planned outcomes. Alternatively, it may be used following implementation to assess the extent to which changes were implemented as planned and the degree to which anticipated benefits were realised. Implementation and evaluation are kept transparent to stakeholders, so that participants are always aware of what is happening and why. There is some concern that the linear logic of ‘cause and effect’ may be too simple to capture the recursive nature of causation within complex social systems; however, this may be offset to an extent by feedback cycles to inform ongoing changes to implementation (as in action research).
In relation to social care, the explicitly participatory planning phase is helpful in involving a wide range of partners in reaching agreement over anticipated outcomes, revealing the logic of how a planned change will yield anticipated benefits, and planning the stages required to achieve these outcomes.
- Weiss, C. (1995) Nothing as Practical as Good Theory: Exploring Theory-Based Evaluation for Comprehensive Community Initiatives for Children and Families (Connell, J, Kubisch, A, Schorr, L, and Weiss, C. (Eds.) ‘New Approaches to Evaluating Community Initiatives’ ed.). Washington, DC: Aspen Institute.
- Chris, C. et. al (2011) "A Systematic Review of Theory-Driven Evaluation Practice from 1990 to 2009". American Journal of Evaluation. 32 (2): 199–226
- Stein, D., and Valters, C. (2012) Understanding Theory of Change in International Development. London: The Justice and Security Research Programme, London School of Economics.
- Organisational Research Services (2004) Theory of Change: A Practical Tool For Action, Results and Learning Prepared for the Annie Casey Foundation,
Thomas-Kilmann conflict mode instrument (TKI)
The TKI is designed to explore preferences for behaviour in conflict situations. It uses two axes, assertiveness on the vertical and cooperation on the horizontal, to differentiate five different conflict modes: competing, avoiding, collaborating, accommodating and compromising. The tool consists of thirty pairs of statements and respondents select the extent to which each statement accords with their preferred style of dealing with conflict.
Available to purchase as a self completion questionnaire, the TKI is useful for exploring preferences for behaviour in situations of conflict. It is commercially available form Kilmann Diagnostics by following the web link in ‘further reading’ below.
Strengths and limitations
Widely used, quick to administer and available in English, French and Spanish versions, the tool affords respondents insights into their conflict preferences for further discussion within coaching / mentoring situations. Concerns have been expressed over cultural bias in its use in non-western contexts. In relation to social care change it can support those engaged in the process to more positively respond to conflict and be an opportunity for individuals to learn about their own and other’s approach to different perspectives.
- Overview Thomas Kilmann conflict Mode Instrument:
- Womack, D.F. (1988) Assessing the Thomas-Kilmann conflict mode survey, Management Communication Quarterly, 1(3): 321-49
- Kilmann, R.H. and Thomas, K.W. (1977) Developing a forced-choice measure of conflict-handling behaviour: the “MODE” instrument, Educational and Psychological Measurement, 37(2): 309-25
- Overview Thomas Kilmann conflict Mode Instrument:
Tichy’s technical political cultural framework
Tichy offers an open system model of organisational change management, consisting of inputs (environment, history and resources), throughputs or change leavers (mission /strategy, tasks, people, processes and networks), and outputs (performance). The focal point is the output variable, performance, which is dependent on the effects of the input and throughput variables. These are considered to be interdependent, but some are considered to have stronger effects than others.
In the model above, mission is understood as the approach adopted to meeting organisational goals; tasks as the means by which work is accomplished; prescribed networks the ‘formal’ organisational structure of departments and governance relationships; people the characteristics of organisational members; processes the mechanisms by which formal organisational structures are discharged including rewards and sanctions; and informal processes those emergent relationships between members. Crucially, Tichy overlays the technical, political and cultural (TPC) dynamics operating within each of the variables to generate four diagnistic questions:
- How well are the parts of the organisation aligned with each other for solving the organisation’s technical problems?
- How well are the parts of the organisation aligned with each other for solving the organisation’s political problems?
- How well are the parts of the organisation aligned with each other for solving the organisation’s cultural problems?
- How well aligned are the three subsystems of the organisation, the technical, political, and cultural?
The model posits that each of these three systems (TPC) must be aligned with each other in order for change to be effective.
The model is intended to be used to facilitate discussion and to diagnose areas requiring improvement from a predetermined set of factors including coordination of tasks, staff relationships and organisational processes. It was initially envisioned that it would be used by an external organisational development consultant. They would collect data relevant to the four questions for each variable in the model, through document analysis, interviews and / or questionnaires. Summary data is be displayed in a matrix and analyzed for alignment to inform action planning.
Strengths and limitations
The approach has been praised for its combination of ‘oft’ organisational components (staff, style, shared values and skills) as well as ‘hard’ factors (strategy, structure and systems), and its emphasis on the importance of organisational culture in enabling people to agree on what behaviour is acceptable. However, its usefulness has been challenged by others who argue that different viewpoints are important and if managed properly conflict and disagreement can lead to an organisation being stronger.
In relation to social care change it will be primarily be of help in discussions with internal stakeholders in an organisation but could be adapted to have a broader view which incorporates the perspectives of external stakeholders include people accessing services.
- Tichy NM. 1983. Managing Strategic Change: Technical Political and Cultural Dynamics. Wiley: New York.
- Tichy NM. 1993. Revolutionize your company. Fortune. 128(15): 114–116.
- Tichy NM, Devanna M. 1986. The Transformational Leader. Wiley: New York.
- Tichy NM, Sherman S. 1993. Control your Destiny or Someone Else Will. Doubleday: New York.
Total quality management (TQM)
Also known as Continuous Quality improvement (CQI), TQM aims for wide-ranging employee involvement in continuous change process designed to exceed customer expectations of services. The focus is explicitly on processes, and management support is directed at providing employees with the necessary training and coaching required for them to undertake this work. Employees’s knowledge of change processes is increased, autonomy and decision-making responsibility given to frontline staff, and process improvements incentivised by linking rewards to performance improvements. Originally implemented to boost the quality of post-war Japanese industry, the approach became popular in the west in the early 1990s during a period of economic downturn. Iles and Sutherland (2001) distil four underlying principles from the authors most closely associated with the approach:
- Success requires organisations to continuously meet the needs of internal and external customers;
- Quality results from the implantation of the connected tasks, processes and interaction – these may be understood and modified to yield higher quality;
- Most employees aspire to do a good job and this motivation may be supported , enhanced and harnessed to further improve processes; and
- Insights into the causes of variation in quality within processes may be made with the application of simple statistical methods if the data is reflective
TQM is typically implemented in five stages:
- Gain long-term senior management commitment: – their role is to give direction and support through long-term implementation over multiple years, especially in enabling the workforce to make changes to support systems (e.g. human resources, finance, customer services) and in the allocation of significant resources to training.
- Train the workforce in TQM methods:– Extensive training is required in Statistical Process Control (SPC) techniques, brainstorming, histograms, flowcharts, scatter diagrams, Pareto charts and control charts. These techniques are used to understand variations in processes, identify avoidable costs, select and prioritise improvement projects, and monitor the impact of changes made. Many TQM projects require considerable facilitation and support, and consequently many companies develop internal consultants with knowledge and experience of TQM to guide teams through specific improvement programs.
- Start improvement projects: – work groups apply the methods to identify projects with the largest potential quality gains. TQM is concerned with variations in process as well as output. Quality improvement projects apply statistical analysis to identify the causes of variation and then run pilot programmes to assess which changes to processes cause variations to fall and quality to rise. These are then adopted throughout the organisation.
- Measure progress: – this concerns measurement of organisational processes against quality standards; identifying world-class performance by competitors and setting targets (benchmarks) for organisational achievement that surpass them.
- Reward achievement: – reward systems are linked to process-oriented improvements, such as increased customer satisfaction, on-time delivery and meeting of outcome standards, not outputs (number of units produced). This reinforces the importance of continuous improvement within TQM.
(Adapted from Cummings and Whorley, 2009: pp 361-3)
Strengths and limitations
Applications of TQM approaches in care settings (health) have typically been disappointing, with little evidence of a relationship between TQM implementation and quality indicators such as length of stay, or clinical impact, or of staff empowerment. This is considered to be primarily due to the piecemeal implementation of the limited number of interventions and lack of focus on core organisational processes as required in the model. However care professionals appear to be reluctant to commit to the approach as its philosophy is perceived to be alien to their cultural expectations of work.
In relation to social care change, the language connected with this TQM may be unfamiliar to stakeholders and the gathering and analysis of quantitative data may require new systems and training. The principles behind TQM are though a good fit with the principles of social care change.
- Berwick, D., Enthoven, A. And Bunker, JP (1992) Quality management in the NHS: The doctor’s role, British Medical Journal, 304, 235-9
- Berwick, D. (1998) Developing and testing changes in the delivery of care, Annals of Internal Medicine, 8(8), 651-6
- Crosby, P. (1989) Let’s talk quality, New York: McGraw-Hill
- Deming, WE (1986) Out of the crisis, Massachusetts: MIT Press
- Ishikawa, K. (1985) What is quality control? The Japanese way, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall
- Joss, R. And Kogan, M. (1995) Advancing quality: Total Quality Management in the NHS, Buckingham: Open University Press
- Shortell, S., Levin, DZ, Obrien, JL and Hughes, EFX (1995) Assessing the evidence on CQI – is the glass half empty or half full? Hospital and Health Services Administration, 40, 1, 4-24