Abstracts: September 4th, 2000

Beer M, Nohria NHarvard Business Review, (USA), May-Jun 2000 Vol 78 No 3

Start page: 133. No of pages: 9

Introduces two archetypes of corporate change, ‘Theory E’ and ‘Theory O’, comparing them on the key dimensions of corporate change: goals, leadership, focus, process, reward system and use of consultants. Notes that ‘E’-type change takes shareholder value as its goal, taking a top-down approach and stressing structure, systems, planning and financial incentives, using consultants to analyse problems and offer solutions. Contrasts the ‘O’ type change as participative, experimental, emphasizing corporate culture and motivating through commitment, with the intention of developing organizational capabilities and using consultants to support management in arriving at their own solutions. Gives comparative examples of companies which have used each theory to manage change and shows how the turnround of Asda in the UK combined the two theories. Notes that combination requires ‘E’ to precede ‘O’ to enable tough restructuring decisions and avoid a sense of betrayal.


Database: TMA: Top Management Abstracts OC: Organizational Change EB: European Business PS: Public Sector Management

Style: Case study, Comparative/evaluation

ISSN: 0017-8012. Reference: 29AP387

Reproduced by permission of Anbar Management Intelligence http://www.anbar.co.uk/management/home.htm