Considerations for dealing with significant organizational change
Business enterprises are being challenged to confront change where there is impact on the enterprise due to some radical, financial, and/or organizational adjustment (significant change). By utilizing both a quantitative and qualitative research methodology and focusing on a single case study dealing with a Decision Support System (significant change), the critical success factors of previous research are confirmed, and two additional critical factors are revealed: (1) Flexible curriculum---the need for a comprehensive action plan, and (2) Perception of Personal Gain---the need to present a clear understanding addressing the aspirations of those involved and affected by the change initiative.;Learning to deal with change transformation can be enabled either by internal education and/or seeking external expertise. The focus of additional research is to explore the role of the external expert (consultant) and to affirm the benefits of using such expertise. Utilizing grounded theory research, five (5) stages of consultant/client interaction are identified to establish the prerequisite partnership. In addition to these stages, the optimization of the consultant/client relationship is reviewed through three (3) propositions: (1) an organization employing a consultant can expect to reduce the time going through the change transformation and regain productivity faster, (2) the consultant must become intimately involved with the organization to be effective, and (3) in order to be an effective consultant within the organization, experience is important, but not necessarily as a formal teacher/educator. The findings show that to optimize the client-consultant relationship and maximize the chances of success, there needs to be not only intimate interactions between the two parties, but experiences and the ability to teach. The need for the consultant to have formal credentials is found to be less important.;Regardless of the learning method and the actual change initiative, organizations that go through a significant change transformation need to look beyond the critical factors for success and implement a strategy to continue their quality efforts. It is recommended that an organization identify a methodology that develops a change management Philosophy; Towards this end, development of a framework based on the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Criteria for Performance Excellence is explored in-depth.