Do big organizations actually learn from their colossal social change mistakes and attempt to profit from them? This paper presents a massive strategic organizational change effort gone astray. It both describes and analyzes the change from the reflective perspective of an insider. Offering a non-traditional description of the various phases of the social change process, this work showcases the counter-cultural nature of the effort. It also discusses the Zeitgeist or situational context, the relevant history of the affected organization, and provides insights into the various parties impacted by the change. Additionally, this piece notes the limits of power, rationality and education as strategic change approaches and exposes some of the tactical methods employed to implement institutional change. Brief discussions of risks, problems and barriers as well as a number of lessons learned are also provided. Principal conclusions relate to the difficulty of sustaining broad scale organizational change over time, obtaining multi-level support and the necessity to identify measures for success before the effort begins. Perhaps the most important social change skill of all may be to know when to end the effort early to avoid significant sunk costs.
College of Arts, Sciences and Technology
Publication or Event Title
Journal of Advances in Social Sciences and Humanities
Forbes, R. L. (2015). Organizational Lessons from Social Change Gone Awry. Journal of Advances in Social Sciences and Humanities, 1 (5) https://doi.org/10.15520/jassh151