Approach to Change Management

Define and compare the change management concept with the contingency approach

Change management defines a procedure for recording, evaluating, determining, implementing, and tracking changes. In other words, change management is a systematic approach to handling the transition from one goal, process, or technology of an organization to another (Palmer, Dunford, & Buchanan, 2022). The primary goal of change management is to implement strategies to manage and control change and help partners, customers, and employees adapt to it. The contingency approach is based on the theory that the best way to manage change depends on the situation or context (Palmer, Dunford, & Buchanan, 2022).

Both the change management concept and contingency approach aim to control the change process and minimize disruptions or obstacles that may inhibit change. Like the contingency approach, the change management concept is based on the understanding that there is no one way to address issues affecting the change process.  What worked in the previous transition may not work in the current one since the transformation is taking place under different contexts or circumstances.

Drawing from this week’s lecture and readings, provide a specific example for either the change management concept or the contingency approach

The contingency approach is based on the idea that change management effectiveness depends on the interplay between the prevailing situation and management behaviors. In other words, the way change managers manage change should vary depending on the context at hand (Palmer, Dunford, & Buchanan, 2022). An example of a contingency approach application is an organization attempting to reduce increasing employee turnover. Relying on a proven approach that worked before to deal with a similar challenge may not work this time round.

Therefore, human resource managers need to assess the current situation to understand why employees are quitting their jobs. For example, they can talk to the employees about why they are not satisfied with their current job and then develop the most effective course of action. The information the human resource managers will obtain from employees will be valuable since it will help them figure out mitigating conditions that can help them solve the problem. In such a case, the contingency approach will enable the employees to be satisfied with their job and save the company from the cost of hiring and training a new workforce.

How might cultural barriers and communication constraints affect the change process?

 Various cultural barriers can affect the change process. These include values and beliefs, cultural ethnocentrism, and incompatibility of a cultural trait with change. Values and beliefs can be related to religion, secular, work ethic, or pride. Beliefs and values differ from one person to another, but they create resistance to change, notwithstanding their nature. Cultural ethnocentrism can occur if one of the change agents sees their culture as superior in response to the recommended change (Zikargae, 2013).

Another common cultural barrier is incompatibility. The obstacle is set whenever the proposed change goes against the cultural norms of an institution or a certain group. As Palmer, Dunford, & Buchanan (2022) state, communication guarantees success. However, if poorly conducted, communication hampers the success of a change process. Top barriers to communicating a vision for change include structural, behavioral, timing, technique, channels, and temperament. Examples of structural communication barriers are tools, processes, systems, silos, and sub-cultures (Gleeson, 2017).


Gleeson, B., (2017). Top Barriers To Communicating A Vision For Change And How To Overcome Them. Forbes. Retrieved from

Palmer, I., Dunford, R., & Buchanan, D. (2022). Managing organizational change: A multiple perspectives approach (4th ed.). McGraw-Hill Education.

 Zikargae, M. H. (2013). The impacts of ethnocentrism and stereotype on inter-cultural relations of Ethiopian higher education students. Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies3(4), 126.