The change capacity of organisations: general assessment and five configurations

K.M. Bennebroek Gravenhorst, R.A. Werkman, J.J. Boonstra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Realizing major organisational change and innovation is a complex process and many organisations do not obtain the outcomes they desire. The purpose of this study is to investigate which factors hinder or contribute to far-reaching change. These factors are sought in characteristics of organisations, and in the design and management of change processes. Altogether, we evaluate 16 aspects when assessing the change capacity of organisations. In addition, we explore underlying patterns in the change capacity of organisations. General results suggest that the change capacity of organisations is neither low nor high. This is counterintuitive and opposite to what we know about differences between changing organisations. Additional cluster analyses revealed a limited number of con- Þgurations in the change capacity of organisations. Five conÞgurations show distinct patterns in factors that frustrate or contribute to change. We interpreted the conÞgurations as the innovative organisation, the longing organisation, the organisation with aged technology, the organisation with a clumsy change approach, and the cynical organisation. The conÞgurations demonstrate that focusing on multiple aspects of organisations and change processes is important to fully comprehend what hinders and helps organisations change. Furthermore, results from this study suggest that a sense of urgency is not needed for change to take place, that resistance to change is related to the management of the change process, that each conÞguration requires speciÞc interventions, and that con- Þgurations may be related to organisational variables as sector and size.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-105
JournalApplied Psychology : an international Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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