Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Key Concepts of Organizational Change - A Bibliometric Network Analysis
by Unger, Cai, D.B.A., University of South Alabama, 2017, 64; 10643261
Abstract (Summary)

The field of Organizational Change has seen a proliferation of publications of all sorts over the past two decades. In view of the emerging breadth of the field, it is becoming increasingly difficult for practitioners and researchers alike to separate the wheat from the chaff. At the same time, research suggests the majority of Organizational Change efforts are not successful. It is therefore my intent to map the nomological structure of the field of Organizational Change, determine the most dominating concepts, and identify any patterns or trends.

For that purpose I have collected bibliometric data from 1948 to 2016 and conduct a network analysis based on co-occurrence of keywords of Organizational Change.

My network analysis suggests five major findings. First, the field of Organizational Change has reached a level of maturity, which reduces the likelihood of breakthrough innovations. Second, only five concepts are dominating the field of Organizational Change today, which I label the “Top Five”: Change management, leadership, organizational culture, organizational learning, and innovation. Third, we are barking up the wrong tree, which means there is an inherent inconsistency between the topicality of the field, i.e. the dominance of very few topics, and the low success rate of Organizational Change projects. Fourth, it is still unclear how to exactly define and reliably measure change. Finally fifth, there seems to be too much focus on the paradigm that change is always preferably over an equilibrium.

I therefore propose three suggestions for further research. First, look beyond the Top Five concepts and create more dissonant discussion within the field, including a critical review of established paradigms. Second, revisit the established definitions and measurements of change, which includes questioning the widespread assumption that the majority of change efforts are failing. Finally third, conduct a network analysis based on a network of social actors of the field of organizational change, i.e. authors of organizational change.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Mosley, Donald C.
Commitee: Gillis, William E., Howard, Matt C., Maes, Jeanne D.
School: University of South Alabama
Department: Mitchell College of Business
School Location: United States -- Alabama
Source: DAI-A 79/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Management, Organization Theory, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Bibliometric analysis, Change management, Network analysis, Organizational change
Publication Number: 10643261
ISBN: 978-0-355-48861-6
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