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Strategic thinking in organizational change management refers to the restructuring of an organization's business strategy in order to realign its efficiency and achieve a competitive edge. Strategic creativity can take a variety of forms, some of which are discussed in the sections below.
In the process of achieving systemic transition, incremental change refers to the introduction of minor changes at any given moment in order to accomplish a desired goal within the organization. According to Cameron and Green (2015), using gradual transition in an organization reduces the effect of the reform process on internal organizational frameworks. Incremental change seems to localize rather than generalize the process of change in an organization. The approach is based on the recognition of small wins at a time, emphasizing on maintaining the overall operational structures and methods. As a strategy, the incremental change method involves continuous improvement.
Radical change on the other hand involves the introduction of disruptive processes that confer a significant impact on the operations of the organization in question. This strategy is premised on innovation and seeks to introduce change in the general, as opposed to specific, processes and functions of an organization. In the view of Cummings & Worley (2014), radical change is disruptive in nature, uprooting and overhauling the overall methods and processes in an organization; it therefore focuses on bigger wins at a time. The strategy, of radical change involves sudden improvements and changes in an effort to improve the operational efficiencies of organizations.
Incremental change would be a better solution for an organization seeking to modify its operational strategies and policies in a cautious and continuous manner that involves lower risks and smaller disruptions to the overall functioning of the organization. Incremental change also maintains the existing operational structures within the organization. On the other hand radical change would be a better option where organizations need to employ abrupt change to their policies and strategies in order to realign their operations. Radical change as a strategy helps organizations hasten the process of change and allowing organizations to take advantage of innovations and gain a competitive advantage.
Push & Pull Innovation
Involving the twin effects of technology and demand, the push and pull innovation refers to a strategy adopted by firms, as DiStefano, Gambardella & Verona (2012) note, in which research and development efforts result in the development of new products and the subsequent demand pull helps in the marketing of such product. The innovation of a new product (through research and development efforts) essentially creates the demand (which was hitherto non-existent) for the product. In this strategy, change is pushed through the innovation of new products and services. Such change is then pulled (encouraged) by the demand for the products of such innovation.
Push and pull innovation would provide competitive advantage for firms, in the view of Urbancova (2013), operating in a free market with perfect competition (where industry entry and exit is free) and where innovation can be patented, such as in the pharmaceutical sector. In such a scenario, with little difference in products and services, innovation (protected by patent) would provide a competitive advantage for the responsible firm. Demand from the market would also entice the firm to carry out even more research and development in order to have more innovations.
Entrepreneurs should follow an innovation strategy in order to succeed in their business endeavors. For one, innovation strategies such as the cycle time reduction strategy help entrepreneurs create a competitive advantage for their firms by allowing such firms to create products, as a result of research and development of products and processes (and hence innovation), and therefore market such products and services ahead of the competition. In the view of Meihami & Meihami (2014), innovation strategies (such as the co-creation strategy that involves firms working with consumers) help entrepreneurs realign their organizations’ operational processes in the event that a change is needed, allowing such organization to be sustainable over time. Innovation strategies (such as the competitive leadership strategy) also help entrepreneurs and their firms stay ahead of the competition by encouraging the innovation of products and services (as a result of research and development efforts).
In order to identify the right solution for their innovation strategies, organizations need to consider the needs of their customers especially in light of the goals and objectives of the firm. The organization might also consider its strategies in so far as technology and innovation are concerned; this would help determine the right solution for the organization in considering the need for strategic innovation.
Cameron, E., & Green, M. (2015). Making Sense of Change Management: A Complete Guide to the Models, Tools and Techniques of Organizational Change. Kogan Page Publishers.
Cummings, T. G., & Worley, C. G. (2014). Organization Development and Change. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
Di Stefano, G., Gambardella, A., & Verona, G. (2012). Technology Push and Demand Pull Perspectives in Innovation Studies: Current Findings and Future Research Directions. Research Policy, 41(8), 1283-1295.
Meihami, B., & Meihami, H. (2014). Knowledge Management a way to Gain a Competitive Advantage in Firms (Evidence of Manufacturing Companies). International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences, 3, 80-91.
Urbancova, H. (2013). Competitive Advantage achievement through Innovation and Knowledge. Journal of Competitiveness, 5(1).
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