Leading Change: an investigation of the Role of Leadership when implementing Changes in Small Organisations

Karen Olivia Grandelag Theilmann

Student thesis: Master thesis


Research proves that more than half of all change implementation processes fail to succeed. How come do organisations not have better opportunities to facilitate sustainable change? This assignment goes out to investigate organisational transformation processes as to study, which role leadership plays in facilitating sustainable change and how. The aim is to identify in what way implementers of change can use empowerment as change mechanism for having employees commit and engage in the change implementation process. Much literature point at leadership as primary facilitator of sustainable change, thus this research investigates whether any specific leadership style is more appropriate within an internal organisational transformation. Based on a case study approach to collect empirical data the analysis and further discussion incorporate change mechanisms, organisational readiness for change and organisational context in order to provide a rich explanation of the determinants of a sustainable organisational change process. Studying the leadership shift at the music venue Global provides insight to the process by which the organisation experiences the implications related to the transition of internal structures. The empirical data showed that the concept of empowerment proved most significant to the employees within the experienced change process, thus this notion came to guide the research field. The use of primary data, in the form of qualitative interviews, provides the possibility to comprehend the real-­‐life context in depth. Furthermore, conducting two rounds of interviews with the same participants within one month interval, revealed a shift in employee attitude toward the change process. The method for data collection enabled an investigation and understanding of both the shift in employee attitudes toward the change process and the parameters that have facilitated such shift. Within one month the employees went from being largely committed to the on going change to instead feel demotivated by the way the new leadership worked strategically toward an organisational transformation.The research thus investigates the way leadership within a small organisation goes out to implement change and, which change mechanisms are used as to assure long-­‐term sustainability of the internal transformation. The underlying reasons for such shift in attitudes are investigated as to realise whether current management at Global has managed to match his leadership style to the context by which he practices leadership to facilitate internal change.

EducationsMSocSc in Service Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2015
Number of pages84