With almost eight years of experience working in a traditionally hierarchical organization, I was intrigued by the ideas presented by Allen and Cherrey. In the opening paragraphs, the authors suggest that familiar change strategies used in a hierarchical organization have become less effective due to the "web-likeâ€? functioning of current organizations. However, as our world becomes more flattened via the connection of technology and network structures, is it possible that hierarchical organizations will become extinct? If the majority of organizations become network-based, and they are ultimately able to adopt the ideal organic change approach, what role would hierarchies play in the organizations of the future?
Due to the economy, several organizationsâ€”from retail businesses to non-profit organizationsâ€”have been forced to adopt a survivalist approach to external changes brought upon them. In order to not only survive, but to flourish and prosper, it seems necessary for organizations to make the progression to organic change tactics. If most organizations must adapt and embrace organic change, will hierarchical organizational structure become obsolete?
It could be said that the order of change approaches are arranged in a hierarchy all their ownâ€”similar to Maslowâ€™s hierarchy of needs. "Making changeâ€? is a basic approach to change that involves force; an organization may progress from forced change to "surviving change,â€? if external forces require it. The next level leads organizations to the most evolved (and perhaps most effective in the long-term) style for creating change, which is "organic change.â€? Is organic change the ideal change approach for all organizations, or does each unique organization require its own blend of change tactics that includes elements of making change, surviving change and organic change? Why?