John Ylander has studied the effects of various change processes within a large international group. Through in-depth interviews and workshops with staff, union representatives and some 40 managers at various levels, John Ylander has uncovered what makes certain managers more successful than others in their task of achieving change.
The thesis shows that the managers who achieve the greatest success are the ones that succeed in conveying a comprehensible vision of the objective of the change. This enables them to create understanding in the staff for the environmental change that the business is undergoing.
Ylander uses the term ”Feed forward reflection”. It means that the individual responsible for a change must sympathize with the fact that people at differing levels have different time perspectives. For example, strategic managers look several years ahead in time, at the same time as other staff are involved in their everyday work. If managers are aware of the varying time perspectives and succeed in communicating with staff on the basis of their knowledge, it is easier to implement successful organisational change.
John Ylander’s research demonstrates that good leadership in conjunction with the task of instituting change can deliver major benefits in the form of a better psychosocial environment and less stress-related problems in staff. He considers this to be important knowledge in these times of economic turbulence when many companies are facing severe cutbacks, and says:
– Change management is a central concept today. Successful change is a strategic advantage. Change that fails can be the cause of both personal and organisational crises.
The thesis was presented on 16 December 2008.
Author: John Ylander
Title of the dissertation: “Constructive management – synchronizing relations in change”
Department: Department of Business Administration, School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg; Sweden.