Change management: The need for a systems approach

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3 Citations (Scopus)


The rate with which change occurs has increased dramatically over the years. At the same time, the change management literature is full of claims about the high failure rate of change implementation programmes in organisations. In this position paper a case is made that change initiatives frequently fail because they are not holistic in nature. The paper argues that change can be managed more effectively if the various interconnected and interacting elements of the system are identified, the divergent interests of the various stakeholders are recognised, and the entire change process is managed systemically. As the failures of change efforts are commonly related to human issues, as opposed to technical factors, involving all stakeholders in the change process is expected to reduce resistance and to create a higher level of psychological commitment among employees towards the proposed change. The paper then looks into the implications that this holistic way of thinking has for information systems development and argues that information systems should not be implemented as a means to solving a problem but instead be treated as a significant tool to help address a complex mix of organisational issues. Information system strategy must be in line with the organizations' corporate strategic plan and information systems must be related to a continually changing organisational context and a turbulent business environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Information Technologies and Systems Approach
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Complexity
  • Information systems
  • Organizational change
  • System approach
  • Systems thinking

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