Cycles of Organizational Change

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Authors: F. Westley, H. Mintzberg

Publication Year: 1992


Journal: Strategic Management Journal

Volume: 13

Issue: S2

Categories: Change Management, Organizational Behavior, Flexibility, Organizational Change, Change Management, Flexibility, Organizational Behavior


Much of the theory and research about change in organizations, by being presented free of rich context, creates a certain amount of confusion in the literature. This paper seeks to help remedy that situation by developing a comprehensive framework of change by organizations, built on various cycles: concentric to represent the contents and levels of change, circumferential to represent the means and processes of change, tangential to represent the episodes and stages of change, and spiraling to represent the sequences and patterns of change. This framework is fleshed out in conclusion by developing three models of change experienced by major world religions, labeled enclaving, cloning, and uprooting.