Caldwell's Conception of Agency

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Caldwell developed four models of agency. These models are leadership model, management model, consultancy model and team model. He argued that senior executives and leaders in an organization are agents of change since they are responsible for envisioning, initiating and sponsoring strategic changes in an organization. Furthermore, he argued that middle level managers are agents of change since they are responsible for adopting, implementing and supporting strategic change within a business (Caldwell, 2003). He also added that consultants are agents of change since they are responsible for providing advice, expertise, program coordination and skills for managing change. Team members are important agents for change since if all employees, managers, functional specialists and internal and external consultants co-ordinate in a change process, the process would be faster and more effective (Caldwell, 2003). This essay focuses on which agency is likely to be generated by Van de Ven and Poole, Gioia and Chittipeddi, Weick and Quinn and Dooley models of change. It also proposes which model gives most agencies to employees and which gives the least.

Van de Ven Poole proposed four models of change. These models are life cycle, dialectic, teleology and evolution. According to the lifecycle model, change is imminent to an organization and it follows a given program, logic and code that regulates the process of change in an organization from a given point to a subsequent point that is predetermined in the present state (Van de Ven and Poole, 1995). The teleology model argues that an entity is purposeful and adaptive and by interacting with other organizations, it constructs an envisioned end state, takes an action to reach it and monitors how it is progressing towards attaining the goal. Dialectical model argues that organization change is caused by the balance of power between opposing entities. It argues that change occurs when opposing values or events gain sufficient power to confront and engage the status quo of an organization. Evolution theory argues that change is a recurrent, probabilistic and cumulative progression of variation selection and retention of organizational entities. Caldwell’s team agency is likely to be generated by Vand de Ven poole’s model of change. This is because teleology model requires an organization to be adaptive in to attain a set goal and thus all the members of the organization needs co-ordinate in order to adapt to organizational change (Caldwell, 2003).

Gioia and Chittipeddi proposed the model of sense making and sense giving. In the sense-making model, they proposed that before change takes place in an organization, the C. E. O. needs to first develop a sense of the organization’s internal and external environment in order to define the revised conception of an organization (Gioia and Chittipeddi, 1991). After he makes sense of the environment for change, he needs to disseminate this information to the people who would be affected by this change and this process known as sense giving. Caldwell’s leadership agency is likely to be generated by sense making and sense giving model. This is because the top management and the C. E. O. of an organization are the ones responsible for carrying out a research on factors that they need to consider before making change and they are also responsible for convincing shareholders and employees why the change is necessary (Caldwell, 2003).

Dooley composed a theory of change known as complexity theory. In this theory, he suggested that change does not occur in a consistent pattern. This is because it may accumulate linearly or non-linearly, may be consistent or have bursts and it may consume little or much of organization’s resources. He also argued that changes cause the system’s performance in an organization into stable, periodic, chaotic and random trajectories (Dooley, 1997). Consultancy agency is most likely to be generated by Dooley’s complexity model. This is because consultants have more expertise in providing advice regarding complex organization’s changes and managing complex projects (Caldwell, 2003).

Weick and Quinn proposed the theory of episodic and continuous change. Episodic changes take place during the periods of divergence when organizations move from their equilibrium conditions. Examples of divergence include technological changes or key personnel changes. Continuous changes are changes that continue to evolve, ongoing and cumulative (Weick and Quinn, 1999). Management agency is likely to be generated by Weick and Quinn theory of episodic and continuous change. This is because middle level managers deal with continuous change in the organization since they are the people who manage to obtain support from other employees on how to adopt strategic measures to curb continuous change.

Gioia and Chittipeddi’s model and sense making and sense giving gives most agency to employees. This is because in this model, before a C. E. O. makes changes in an organization, he needs to investigate first whether the changes are necessary in the organization. After he identifies the items in an organization that need change, he explains and seeks the opinion of other employees whether the changes are necessary (Gioia and Chittipeddi, 1991). This proves that in this model, the employees are more involved in the changes of an organization. Van de Ven and Poole’s model of change gives the least agency to employees. This is because teleology theory in this model argues that organization entity proceeds towards an end state and thus employees cannot stop organization change.

To conclude, Van de Ven Poole model of change generates Caldwell’s team agency. Gioia and Chittipeddi model of sense making and sense giving generates Caldwell’s leadership agency. Moreover, Dooley’s complexity theory generates consultancy agency. Weick and Quinn theory of episodic and continuous change generates management agency. The model of sense making and sense giving gives most agencies to employees since employees are more involved in organizational change in this model. Van de Ven and Poole’s model of change gives least agency to employees since this model argues that organizational change has to occur and thus employees cannot stop the change.

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