Who is the Change Manager?

  • Anat Hassner-Nahmias

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


There are endless possibilities for how to go about changing organisations, and there are just as many people who can, or may think they can, initiate, promote and implement organisational changes. Most literature to do with organisational change deals with the ‘how’, i.e., how is organisational change achieved? This research study looks at the ‘who’, i.e., who manages organisational change projects and what competencies they need to manage them effectively. Additionally, the study researches the factors contributing to the requirement for organisational changes that both influence and are influenced by the project. The questions being asked in this study are: 1. What do Change Managers do and what are their competencies on an organisational change project that is different from what Project Managers and Program Managers do and what their competencies are? 2. What are the organisational factors that influence decisions about how a change project should be managed? Three case studies of organisational project change were studied in three different organisations. The three organisations were a telecommunication organisation, a bank and a university. Interviews were conducted with various project members as well as affected staff to address the research questions. The interviews were then analysed using grounded theory with the support of NVivo software for analysing data. The major findings of this study are that there is a requirement for an individual to manage changes on organisational change projects. Whether this is the Program/Project Managers or a dedicated Change Manager depends on two main elements. The first is organisational factors such as culture and leadership. The second element is the degree of behavioural change required such as degree of resistance to the change, or the extent of changes to jobs. Organisational factors can also assist projects in achieving their goals, if the culture and leadership is supportive of the project. However, it is unlikely that these factors will eliminate the requirement for change management activities.
Date of Award14 Feb 2009
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorLynn Crawford (Supervisor)

Cite this