Implementation and Transformation

The key area of implementation & transformation focuses on the work that is needed after the design work has been completed. How can the design be translated to new roles, new ways of working and perhaps even a new culture?


Naomi Stanford
Organisation Design: Engaging with Change (Second Edition)
Routledge, 2014

This updated Economist Guide demonstrates how managers and leaders should think about and implement the design of a organisation, using five easy-to-use guiding principles: (1) design a organisation around its strategy and the operating context; (2) think holistically; (3) consider future markets, customers and trends; (4) invest time and resources; and (5) go back to the basics of how the organisation operates and its market position.

Edgar H. Schein
Organizational Culture and Leadership (Fourth Edition)
Wiley, 2010

Considered as one of the most influential management books of all time, Edgar Schien transforms the abstract concept of culture into a tool that can be used to better shape the dynamics of organisation and change.

John P. Kotter & Dan S. Cohen
The Heart of Change: Real-Life Stories of How People Change Their Organizations
Harvard Business School Press, 2002

One of the most influential books on change management, based on interviews within over 100 organisations in the midst of large-scale change, Kotter and Cohen argue that the key to managing change lies in making employees feel differently. The dynamic “see-feel-change” approach encourages action by showing people potent reasons for change that spark their emotions.

Russell L. Ackoff
Re-Creating the Corporation: A Design of Organizations For the 21st Century
Oxford University Press, 1999

For corporations to survive each division must work with the others to create an effective system. Russell Ackoff’s seminal book outlines five organisational goals of successful corporate systems: (1) plan effectively; (2) learn and adapt rapidly; (3) democratise; (4) introduce internal market economies; (5) and employ a flexible structure that will minimise the need for future restructuring.

Peter Senge
The Dance of Change: The Challenges to Sustaining Momentum in a Learning Organization
Currency/Doubleday, 1999

A readable and sensible look at methods of helping organisations develop by providing the conditions for individuals to develop.


G.P. Hodgkinson & M.P. Healey (2008), ‘Toward a (Pragmatic) Science of Strategic Intervention: Design Propositions for Scenario Planning’, Organization Studies, 29, 435-457.

A persistent problem facing design science is the question of how to incorporate design principles and propositions in contexts where only limited evidence has accrued directly in connection with the design problem at hand. This article illustrates how researchers can address this challenge by turning to well-established bodies of basic theory and research in the wider social and organisational sciences that suggest robust design options. It outlines the benefits of adopting a pragmatic science approach to the design of processes that promote organisational change and development, therefore adding to the growing design science movement.

A. Osterwalder & Y. Pigneur (2013), ‘Designing Business Models and Similar Strategic Objects: The Contribution of IS’, Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 14, 237-244.

This article argues that information systems (IS) research has the potential to contribute to improving strategic planning. Based on work and experience in the field of business models, it outlines how IS research can help strategic management researchers study the design of business models and other similar strategic notions. It suggests that the current research focus in strategic management could be improved and enlightened by some of the more conceptual and design-oriented research in IS.

B. D. Parrish (2010), ‘Sustainability-Driven Entrepreneurship: Principles of Organization Design’, Journal of Business Venturing, 25, 5, 510–523.

In the early 21st century, sustainability has risen to the forefront of thinking in almost every subject within business and management. As a dynamic force for change, entrepreneurship is increasingly expected to contribute to this goal. This article reports on the results of an intensive empirical study investigating the organisation design expertise necessary for sustainability-driven entrepreneurs to succeed in a competitive market context.

R. F. Zammuto, T. L., Griffith, A. Majchrzak, D. J., Dougherty, & S. Faraj (2007), ‘Information Technology and the Changing Fabric of Organization’, Organization Science, 18, 5, 749–762.

Technology has long been an important theme in the study of organisation design. The adoption of innovations in information technology (IT) and organisational practices since the 1990s now make it possible to organise around what can be done with information. These changes are not the result of information technologies by itself, but of the combination of their features with organisational arrangements and practices that support their use. This article outlines five uses – (1) visualizing entire work processes; (2) real-time/flexible product and service innovation; (3) virtual collaboration; (4) mass collaboration; (5) and simulation/synthetic reality – that can result from the intersection of technology and organisational features.

Y. M. Zhou (2012), ‘Designing for Complexity: Using Divisions and Hierarchy to Manage Complex Tasks’, Organization Science, 24, 2, 339–355.

This article tackles the thorny issue of organisational hierarchy. It examines the impact of task complexity and decomposability on the degree of organisational divisionalisation and hierarchy within firms. Drawing upon the team theory and modularity literature, it argues that the degree of divisionalisation is not only predicated on the extent of interdependence (complexity) amongst tasks, but also on the extent to which those interdependent relationships are decomposable.

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