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Advice to Practitioners: A Review of the Popular Press Literature on Planned Change Communication
Unformatted Document Text:  Advice to Practitioners - 8 disagreement with those authors who say that change is something that just happens in an organization and asserts that the focus of his book is on change that organizations “fully intend to manage” (p. 30). Role of Change Agent In looking at how change happens in organizations, a number of authors address the role of the change agent in the overall change process. These books typically define change agents by their official role in the organizational. Upper or middle managers specifically are most often identified as being change agents. Davidson says that “if you were hired as a manager, or are a manager or want to be a manager that will mean you must be a manager of change” (p. 6). In our analyses revealed three themes describing what change agents do (Table 3). Creators of Vision. The most prominent activity identified for change agents to engage in is maintaining or establishing a vision for the change. Kotter (1996) posits that change agents are leaders and that leadership consists of establishing direction, aligning people – communicating direction in words and deeds – motivating and inspiring. Senge et al. (1999) state that for managers and leaders to build commitment, they must achieve a great deal of clarity about their values and aims associated with change. Without this reflection, there exists a reflection gap that limits commitment and excitement about the change effort. Oakley and Krug (1991) note that the change agent is brought in to help decide what to change and to sell and implement the change. Johnson (1998) says that leaders “paint a picture of new cheese” (p. 85) or reveal a vision of the future to get others to change. Facilitators. A second theme to emerge from the literature is the role of the change agent as facilitator of the change process. This behavior can be manifested either by guiding specific steps in the change process or by delegating responsibility to oversee that element to another individual. Holman and Devane (1996) note that in most cases the change agent is a facilitator of a participatory process. Chan Allen (2002) gives change agents the responsibility for conducting team meetings, communicating, training, and goal-setting (p. 20). Miller (2002) says change agents should oversee chartering the team, orienting the team, training the team and conducting the first meeting.

Authors: Lewis, Laurie., Stephens, Keri., Schmisseur, Amy. and Weir, Kathleen.
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Advice to Practitioners - 8
disagreement with those authors who say that change is something that just happens in an organization
and asserts that the focus of his book is on change that organizations “fully intend to manage” (p. 30).
Role of Change Agent
In looking at how change happens in organizations, a number of authors address the role of the
change agent in the overall change process. These books typically define change agents by their official
role in the organizational. Upper or middle managers specifically are most often identified as being
change agents. Davidson says that “if you were hired as a manager, or are a manager or want to be a
manager that will mean you must be a manager of change” (p. 6). In our analyses revealed three themes
describing what change agents do (Table 3).
Creators of Vision. The most prominent activity identified for change agents to engage in is
maintaining or establishing a vision for the change. Kotter (1996) posits that change agents are leaders
and that leadership consists of establishing direction, aligning people – communicating direction in words
and deeds – motivating and inspiring. Senge et al. (1999) state that for managers and leaders to build
commitment, they must achieve a great deal of clarity about their values and aims associated with change.
Without this reflection, there exists a reflection gap that limits commitment and excitement about the
change effort. Oakley and Krug (1991) note that the change agent is brought in to help decide what to
change and to sell and implement the change. Johnson (1998) says that leaders “paint a picture of new
cheese” (p. 85) or reveal a vision of the future to get others to change.
Facilitators. A second theme to emerge from the literature is the role of the change agent as
facilitator of the change process. This behavior can be manifested either by guiding specific steps in the
change process or by delegating responsibility to oversee that element to another individual. Holman and
Devane (1996) note that in most cases the change agent is a facilitator of a participatory process. Chan
Allen (2002) gives change agents the responsibility for conducting team meetings, communicating,
training, and goal-setting (p. 20). Miller (2002) says change agents should oversee chartering the team,
orienting the team, training the team and conducting the first meeting.


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