Title: Towards an understanding of the link between environment, discontinuity and volitional strategic change

Authors: George Burt

Addresses: Room 2.22, Centre for Scenario Planning and Future Studies, Graduate School of Business, University of Strathclyde, 199 Cathedral Street, Glasgow G4 0QU, UK

Abstract: Whilst organisations have been confronted with uncertainty in the environment and the need to change, resulting in incremental or radical change, we know very little about volitional strategic change. Volitional strategic change arises when management engage in changing before the need to change is imposed on their organisation. We know very little about how organisations perceive early warning signals of impending change and using the insights from these perceptions to bring about volitional strategic change, with the resulting impact on the operations of the organisation. This paper explores the link between environment, discontinuity and volitional strategic change, using recent empirical evidence, to identity the bases of change – psychological and operational. This paper identifies the role of a |transitional object| as being the key that links the old (existing) world of management to the new (proposed) world of management and therefore facilitating volitional strategic change. The transitional object enables a re-conceptualisation of the organisation|s basis of success to incorporate and integrate wider change proposals.

Keywords: business environment; discontinuity; volitional strategic change; environment; scenario planning; transitional objects; strategic management; volitional change.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBE.2006.010927

International Journal of Business Environment, 2006 Vol.1 No.3, pp.320 - 335

Published online: 18 Sep 2006 *

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