A CEO's influence on a "large scale" change process: A case study of a midsized for profit organization

by Geer-Frazier, Brenda L., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2014, 182 pages; 3670191


More than half of all large-scale change initiatives fail. Research has found that between 50 and 70% of change efforts fail to achieve at least in part or fully their objectives (Choi & Ruona, 2011; Smith, 2011). The participants of this study believed that the change initiative has had about a 50% success rate. The purpose of this qualitative exploratory single case study was to explore what influence, as described by lower level management, the CEO of an organization has on his/her organization's ability to successfully implement and maintain a change process. The sample frame included a population of participants from one organization; specifically from different management levels within the organization. These levels were; top executives, middle management, and frontline supervisors, using a purposive sampling method and small sample size. The seminal works of Burns's (1978/1979) transformational/transactional leadership theories and Lewin's (1947/1951) force field or change theory were used as a base for this study. Due to the large rate of change failure, change theories were examined. This study uncovered the fact that the higher the level of management someone was to the CEO, the greater influence the CEO had on him or her. Three major reasons were found for the 50% failure rate of the change initiative: (a) lack of involvement from all levels of the organization, (b) lack of an implementation plan, and (c) the employees are suffering from change fatigue. This meant the organization needed: (a) to involve other members in the development stage, (b) top level management, after they have developed the change initiative, should develop an implementation plan that increases its succeed, and (c) organizations need to add an implementation plan strategy that will help their employees cope with the change.

AdviserSteven Jeddeloh
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Organizational behavior
Publication Number3670191

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