Is There a Divide Between Change Management Theory and Practice?

Academy of Business and Retail Management
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
The Business & Management Review, 2015, 2 (6), pp. 64 - 72
Issue Date:
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This research examines the different emphases that academics and practitioners place on change management to understand whether there is a divide between change management theory and practice. Scientometric research techniques have been used to compare three corpora: one composed of relevant abstracts from the general management literature on change management; one composed of abstracts from the specialist change management literature; and one composed of transcripts of interviews with practitioners who are working in change management. The general management literature on change management showed an emphasis on an abstract understanding of the learning organization and knowledge management, while the specialist change management literature placed greater emphasis on culture, value and social identity. In contrast, the practitioners focused at the individuals, team and project level, emphasising the need for change managers to be able to rapidly identify key drivers within a new context, and to be able to effectively use targeted communication to achieve change program objectives. Finding significant differences between these corpora, supports other researchers’ assertions that there is a divide between change management theory and practice.
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