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What are the Different Categories of Organisational Change?

In business, change is inevitable and businesses in all industries will go through some form of change in order to survive and succeed. There are many different reasons why a business might go through change and different types of change, but each will bring its own unique challenges and can be difficult to manage. So, what are the main types of organisational change?


Main Categories

When talking about business change, there are two main categories that change can fall in to. The first is planned change which is any change which has been pre-planned and designed to help the business succeed, such as a merger, acquisition or expanding overseas. The second type of change is called a reactive change and this is change which has been thrust upon the business due to unforeseen and usually external events. The coronavirus pandemic is an excellent and highly relevant example of a reactive change and businesses in all industries have had to change this year in one way or another.



There are then three main levels where change occurs in a business setting. Individual change is the first and refers to change such as job assignments, transfers and promotions. Team or group is a level which refers to changes as a result of issues like a lack of communication and not hitting targets, while organisational are changes including restructuring, relocations, mergers etc. Change can affect one or all levels and you always need to consider how it will impact each level.


Further Categories

There are then four further categories that change falls into:

Strategic: Change involving the overall goals and purpose of the business.

Structural: Changes involving organisational hierarchy, chain of command, management systems etc.

Process-orientated: Implementing new technologies, skills and operating processes.

People-orientated: Changes related to performance, skills, attitudes, relationships etc.


Managing Change

No matter the reason or type of change that a business is going through, there will always be challenges and it can be disruptive. Proper planning is essential and you must consider how change could affect each level, but many businesses find it beneficial to seek external help in the form of an interim manager through interim recruitment agencies. This allows you to temporarily bring in a specialist that can oversee the change process and make sure that it is successfully implemented while minimising disruption.


Change is common in all industries and can be both good and bad. No matter the reason for the change, there is a lot to consider and it will always be a challenge for everyone involved. You need to consider the key challenges involved with the change and how you can keep the business afloat during this process and often this will require the services of an experienced interim manager that will be able to help.