A review of the success and failure factors for change management

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Dempsey, Mary
Geitner, Lisa
Brennan, Attracta
McAvoy, John
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Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
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In order to stay competitive and relevant in the business environment, companies need to embrace and address internal and external change and understand how to deal with it. It is necessary for them to develop knowledge about the success and failure factors of handling change and how the latter can be resolved. The aim of this study was to identify change management success and failure factors and provide a method dealing with failure factors. In the systematic literature review, 38 success factors and 23 failure factors from 2006 to 2021 were identified. In comparing the frequency of the occurring factors, 4 main success and 3 failure factors emerged. The success factors included: communication, create a vision/change message, early active participation of all individuals and top management commitment. The failure factors included; resistance to change, standardised concepts and viewing change initiatives as short-term. Complementarity and dependency links between failure factors and success factors were highlighted. Solutions for resolving three failure factors were found using Ishikawa-Diagrams and applying root cause analysis. Identifying key factors that affect project success is part of handling change. To support any necessary change a consistent change management framework that is adaptable to individual organisations is also recommended.
Change management , Success factors , Failure factors , Dealing with failure , Organisational change
Dempsey, M., Geitner, L., Brennan, A. and McAvoy, J. (2021) 'A review of the success and failure factors for change management', IEEE Engineering Management Review. doi: 10.1109/EMR.2021.3130989
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