Strategic Organizational Change Implementation and Models

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This chapter explains how the research was conducted. In doing so, the research problem, as it implies the logic behind the research methodology applied in the present research, is encapsulated followed by the paradigmatic orientation underpinned in the overall study. The specific design of the research and associated strategies are also described together with the data type and sources as well as methods of data collection and analyses. Methodological rigor and ethical considerations are also discussed.

The Research Problem and its Methodological Implication

As stated in the first chapter, the present research intends to develop an implementation model for strategic organizational change in the context of commercial banking sector in Ethiopia. The inquiry was triggered by leanness of salient discussions in the extant literature about an implementation model and the quest for one with a clear contextual domain instead of taking the western (especially American) context as an assumed context (Hempel & Martinsons, 2009; Pettigrew et al., 2001). As a contribution towards accounting contextual influences (Woodside, 2010) into implementation of organizational changes in line with Pettigrew et al.’s (2001), this study takes Ethiopian context as an emerging economy case. George Corbishley, Khayesi, Haas and Tihanyi, (2016) called for future research on the area to focus on Africa in the Academy of Management Journal’s from the editor’s series. Their specific call for scholars has been to “examine how phenomena of relevance to management in Africa extend, or modify our existing management theories [or to] explore how such phenomena enable us to generate theory and frameworks that can shed new light on pressing problems” (George et al., 2016:386).
Within Ethiopia, the context of the financial sector is taken as a typical case (Yin, 2003) since it is a fully regulated sector wherein foreign operators are not allowed to enter as per article 9 of the new Ethiopian Banking Business Proclamation number 592/2008. This makes the selected sector a purely domestic environment resulting from the regulation’s control of confounding influences of foreign companies operating in the domestic market. This adds to the extent of variation which increases the chance to encounter anomalies which will help to improve existing theories (Carlile & Christensen, 2004; Christensen & Carlile, 2009).
In other words, in the explanation of what guides organizational changes, the approach of the present research should overcome (1) the dearth of literature on the issue of implementation model which could guide initiatives for strategic organizational change in general and (2) the bias towards the western (especially the American) context by disregarding the context of developing economies such as Africa in particular. Hence, for the investigation of this type of situation, an inductive logic which is underpinned by a “bottom-up” or data-driven approach is preferred to the theory-driven hypothetico-deductive approach (Eisenhardt, 1989; Corbin & Strauss, 1990; Miles & Huberman, 1994; Yin, 2009).
This approach helps to address the need to conduct an in-depth examination of cases (Creswell, 2003; Nelson, 2003) which allows the investigation of contextual realities that can be thickly described and richly explained by addressing “how” and “why” questions of instances in the selected context that unfolds during an initiated organizational change in a selected case (Yin, 2009, 2003; Woodside, 2010). Hence, in order to develop an implementation model for strategic organizational change, an investigation of how and why a strategic organizational change unfolds within the selected context is central to the present research. Such a research requires the use of qualitative Case Study Research (CSR) as several scholars agree (e.g. Woodside, 2010; Yin, 2009; Eisenhardt, 1989).

Paradigmatic Inclination

Paradigmatic orientations convey the framework within which a research is designed and executed; the results are computed and interpreted. Therefore, the assumptions and inclinations that have possible connections to the present research are highlighted in this section. The attempt is not, however, to claim a strict adherence to a specific paradigm.
As explained by Van de Ven and Poole (2005), research in organizational change is dominated by the variance method which has roots in an ontological assumption of considering organization as a “thing” which can epistemologically be addressed based on a deterministic model which relates a set of independent variables to dependent variable(s). Referring to the variance method as paradigmatically functionalist, Gioia and Pitre (1990) argue that the variance method alone is not sufficient to fully unleash how and why organizational change unfolds. Gioia and Pitre (1990:587) also explain that all organizational phenomena are not suited to the dominant functionalist paradigm and hence force-fitted “functionalist theory-building techniques” should be reconsidered.
Excessive reliance on variance method, as Van de Ven and Poole (2005) explain, has limitations especially when the problem does not need to be addressed that way. They asserted; …researchers tend to conceptualize process problems in variance terms. One can see the « law of the hammer » in operation here: Give a child a hammer, and everything seems made to be hit; give a social scientist variables and the general linear model and everything seems made to be factored, regressed, and fit (p. 13).
On the other hand, the process ontology considers organization as a “process” which can epistemologically be addressed by employing the process approach. The process approach, as posited by Van de Ven and Poole (2005) applies to a research which tries to study “how” and “why” change unfolds.
As organizational change is by default an indication of dynamism, deterministic approaches fall short of capturing the complex flux in modern organizational systems. It is less logical, thus; to force the naturally fluid phenomena to a deterministic variance model. Therefore, the study of organizational change can be better captured by a more dynamic, flexible and relatively more ambiguity tolerant method—implying an inclination towards process study. However, in the present study, there is no strict adherence to a specific paradigm. As it is fleshed out in the upcoming paragraphs, the connection is pragmatically limited to paradigms which have features that allow the development of theory from empirical data.
Moreover, as (Van de Ven & Poole, 2005) assert, the term “process” has ontological and epistemological meanings as explained in chapter two (Rescher, 1996). As such, variance and process are epistemic typologies within the process ontology (Van de Ven & Poole, 2005; Langley et al., 2013; Langley, 1999; Chiles, 2003). This is the other reason not to dare rejecting variance for ontological rather than epistemological reasons.


1.1. Introduction
1.2. Background of the Study
1.3. Statement of the Problem
1.4. Aims and Objectives of the Study
1.5. Rationale of the Study
1.6. Significance of the Study
1.7. Scope and Delimitations of the Study
1.8. Limitations of the Study
1.9. Organization of the Thesis
2.1. Introduction
2.2. Fundamental Concepts of Organizational Change
2.3. Theoretical Underpinnings behind Organizational Change
2.4. Common Dimensions of Organizational Change
2.5. Historical Background about Change Management
2.6. Strategic Organizational Change Implementation and Models
2.7. Conclusion
2.8. Chapter Summary
3.1. Introduction
3.2. The Research Problem and its Methodological Implication
3.3. Paradigmatic Inclination
3.4. Research Design
3.5. Data Sources, Collection and Analyses Methods
3.6. Methodological Rigor
3.7. Chapter Summary
4.1. Introduction
4.2. General Background of Cases
4.3. Case Description: Bank A
4.4. Case Description: Bank B
4.5. Chapter Summary
5.1. Introduction
5.2. Results of First Cycle Coding
5.3. Major Categories that Emerged from Bank A’s Data
5.4. Summary of Strategic Change Implementation Experience of Bank A
5.5. Major Categories that Emerged from Bank B’s Data
5.6. Summary of Strategic Change Implementation Practices in Bank B
5.7. Chapter Summary
6.1. Introduction
6.2. Themes Extracted from Bank A’s Data
6.3. Proposed Implementation Model for bank A
6.4. Strategic Organizational Change Implementation in Bank B
6.5. Interlink among Major Themes from Bank B’s Data
6.6. Proposed Implementation Model based on Bank B’s Data
6.7. Chapter Summary
7.1. Introduction
7.2. Comparison of the final concepts extracted from the two cases’ data
7.3. Cross-Case Themes Taken Forward
7.4. Final Propositions
7.5. Proposed Implementation Model for Strategic Organizational Change
7.6. Enfolding Literature
7.7. Definition of Key Terms
7.8. Chapter Summary
8.1. Introduction
8.2. Conclusions
8.3. Recommendations
8.4. Recommendations for Further Research
8.5. Chapter Summary
An Implementation Model For Strategic Organizational Change in Ethiopian Commercial Banks

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