Planned organisational change management: Forward to the past? An exploratory literature review

David Rosenbaum, Elizabeth More, Peter Steane

(Published in Journal of Organizational Change Management / Vol. 31 No.2, 2018 pp. 286-303)




The purpose of this paper is to identify the development of planned organisational change models (POCMs) since Lewin’s three step model and to highlight key linkages between them.

David Rosenbaum, A. M. Elizabeth More, and Peter Steane
Sage Open, October-December 2016, pp 1-11 DOI: 10.1177/2158244016679209


Grounded theory is well supported as a qualitative research method that historically responded to the epistemological challenges of defining knowledge and determining how it has been acquired. While its historical and unique methodological underpinnings remain consistent, its ongoing application and methods of execution continue to expand its use. The consideration of using grounded theory by researchers embodies the need to explore the methodology and thereafter seek to develop the method that reflects the researcher’s skills, the research setting, and the research aims. This article sets out a particular method of applying it to the study of change management using a rich single case study in the nonprofit sector. Key findings are that nonprofit specific change management models may need to incorporate a focus on formal reflection for change agents and change recipients, development of trust and confidence in the organization prior to the actual change, focusing on the individual experience of change, and recognizing the sequencing of events from a planning perspective.

Suggesting A New Approach to the Management of Change

David Rosenbaum, Elizabeth More, Peter Steane

(Published in Journal of Management & Organization / March 2016, pp 1-18)


Existing change management models have been developed from research undertaken largely within the for-profit sector, with little reference to the unique challenges of the nonprofit sector. This article identifies a number of characteristics of change management that may be unique to the nonprofit sector. The research sought to understand change from the perspective of those within the sector who experienced it using Grounded Theory in a rich single case study as the methodology, applying an inductive reasoning approach to the development of theory. Results point to the impact of four key characteristics that require a more substantial focus in planned change models when applied to nonprofits. These include formal reflection for change agents and change recipients, development of trust and confidence in the organisation prior to the actual change, focusing on the individual experience of change, and the sequencing of events from a planning perspective.

'New Directions'

An NDIS Readiness Project Undertaken by NADO Inc.

Report Authors: David Rosenbaum- Principal, OPTIMUM NFP Denise Heath- CEO, NADO Inc.

Executive Summary

NADO's successful application for 4th Round Funding from the National Disability Service ("NDS") NSW Organisation Transition Fund Grants in late 2014 drove the design,development and introduction ofthe 'New Directions Pilot Program'. The Pilot saw the introduction of four programs that were developed as part of an overall National Disability Insurance Scheme ("NDIS") readiness project by the NDS that sought to support disability service providers extending their readiness to offer flexible, high quality services in preparation for the full rollout of the NDIS.

Four programs were initially developed, including 'Chalk and Talk','Bits n Bytes', 'My Body My Choice', and 'Wheels in Motion'. Through an extensive program trial process that involved temporary organisational changes,internal and external consultations,community involvement, program design and development, and followed by extensive post-pilot program analysis based on internal and external

feedback, much was learned with regard both program design and delivery as well as organisational efficiency and culture.

These learnings were considered in the context of NADO's overall organisational structure as well as its existing service delivery program. What evolved, was a full suite of seven flexible programs that spoke directly to the needs of people with a disability seeking, under the existing NDIS funding model,appropriate services that respond to their needs and aspirations. In this manner,the process involved in envisaging the pilot program from its origins as a grant funding application, through to pilot program development and execution, through to evaluation and program redevelopment and launch, has provided NADO with the opportunity to better position itself in a post-NDIS environment.

In the process,the outcomes of the NADO pilot project reinforces one of the key objectives of the NDIS,namely to help participants achieve goals in many aspects of their lives including independence,involvement in community, education, employment and health and wellbeing.


  • An anonymous online survey of CEOs and senior leaders (‘leaders’) in the Australian Not For Profit (‘NFP’) Sector was conducted 2013 to identify the current issues of concern for leaders. 45 CEOs and senior leaders responded to the survey.
  • Key findings include:
    • More than half the leaders surveyed believe they are challenged by the ineffectiveness of their leadership team
    • Just over half are concerned about their organisation’s change ability
    • More than half see their leadership team’s lacking the required leadership skills
    • Three quarters of leaders feel they have a Board that adds value
    • The majority of leaders see effective teamwork in their organisation
    • Two thirds feel that the management team rely too heavily on the CEO to initiate change
  • Comments highlighted that the amount of change and the challenges in seeing through the complexities and ambiguities was their greatest worry.
  • There was a clear indication in the results that NFP organisations are going through significant change and rapid growth at present and need to adapt their approach using strategic and change management skills more.
  • As a result more CEOs are looking to recruit leaders with those skills rather than just the technical skills they looked for in the past.
  • Leaders see a need for more leadership development, including building change management skills.
  • The Disability Care sector has begun to provide resources and funding for up skilling organisations and leaders, but there is clearly a need to ensure all organisations can
    access these resources.

– A Case Study

David Rosenbaum, Elizabeth More and Peter Steane
(Rosenbaum, D., More, E., & Steane, P. (2013). ALAR: Action Learning and Action Research Journal, 18(2), 7.)


The not-for-profit disability services sector faces many challenges. The shift in funding arrangements from a supply-model, to a demand-model, has triggered the reassessment of organisational activity. This paper analyses these challenges, and seeks to study the application of Action Learning as a management tool for dealing with transformational change in this sector. The Action Learning approach implemented in this case study focused on the unique organisational characteristics with regard culture, structure, and the organisational response to the depth of the challenge. In so doing, the organisation recognised the requirements to respond decisively as a result of the shifting funding paradigm. Evidence was obtained regarding successful intervention outcomes, organisationally and personnel-wise. The former being a wide array of organisational and business initiatives, and the latter through the qualitative assessment of participant feedback. This paper provides insight into the development of an Action Learning intervention that can be applied to organisations in this sector, to facilitate such change challenges.

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