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Reflection – Max Eichbaum

by on December 1, 2007

I was glad to hear that we could write a reflection on the course itself. This was the first change management course that I have taken and it opened my eyes to a whole different way of thinking.
Change management is an interesting topic for a class. It is one of those topics that is ubiquitous but not at all agreed upon. For that reason, I believe that a successful change management course should present many views of the subject to the students. Also, it is good to have lots of discussion and debates because that is eventually how the concepts that we learn will be applied.
This course in particular was made of many different parts, some of which I believe lent themselves to the topic and some of which could have been better. The in class discussions and debates were fantastic. In particular, the discussions centered on a specific case were very stimulating. I think that this is because management of any kind, especially change management, is not a science. It is way too complicated to ever be handled with the absoluteness of science and there is no way to isolate specific events to test a hypothesis. Instead, it is a debate with good points and bad points, strengths and weaknesses.
The blogging aspect of the course was definitely a step in the right direction, though it did have its failings. One failing was the architecture of the tool itself. There are many different blogging softwares out there that would have handed the issue of overload much more elegantly. For example, WordPress would have enabled posts to be categorized by keywords and provided a more meaningful navigational structure that the current one. Another failing was that there ended up being too much content on it and not enough of a dialog between users. Though I believe that this was the initial intention, it did not work out this way.
The book review was a good idea but not executed to its full potential, it just died off after they were completed. I hope that these reviews are reused in later classes because they do provide a fairly useful review of the literature in the area.
The research paper was interesting because I liked my topic, but I don’t think that it was the most productive way to use time in the class. In relation to the debates and the case studies, I got much less out of the experience. Furthermore, I don’t think that really good research can be done in the amount of time that the quarter system provides. In the future, I would consider rethinking that part of the course.
Finally, I think that the two books outlined decent approaches to the subject matter, but I think that there is something to be said for diversity of resources with respect to change management. The reason I say this is because there is little agreement in the subject and individual authors often have limited scopes or perspectives. Therefore, the important thing to take from a course like this is informed perspective and not just from one or two source. I would recommend that in the future, a survey approach be used for the literature. I would recommend the book that I reviewed because it contained many well throughout and supported concepts that often conflicted.
Over all, I would say that I definitely gained a great deal of insight into the complexity of change management. At the very least, I won’t be walking into any change efforts blindly.

One Comment
  1. As you said, we might have different views of change management. Thus we might have a science view. Kotter explored the change management in the emotional perspective, not the usual management perspective. There are no absolute correct perspectives for thus issues. We might integrate different approaches of different perspectives to make our solution integral. What do you think?

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