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Issue of Whether Change Leaders Should Be Internal or External to the Organization

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Analyse the issue of whether change leaders should be internal or external to the organization (i.e.: drawn from the current ranks of leaders and even the current CEO versus drawn from other organizations). Consider the circumstances under which you would recommend internal versus external leadership.

Forces for change in organisation
Nowadays, organizations are shifting from industrial to informational. Sustained competitive advantage is realized through teamwork, flexible structures and global perspectives.

Why organizational changes need to use change leaders
The change leaders have the professional knowledge and skills of the organisation development. The leaders will provide intensive professional help to the organisation by giving the fair point of views on the organisation problems; justify management decisions and learning and competence development of the organisation.

Roles of the change leaders
The roles of the change leaders, also known as change agents, must be able to solve problems in processes, systems, teams, individuals, organizational cultures, structures and designs within the organization. Positive change and to improve organizational performance and effectiveness through diagnosing and interventions are expected from a change leader. A change leader must be expertises in team building, system redesign and other behavioural interventions will raise queries in regard to the working culture of the organization, and analysing problems and facilitating different perspectives before coming up with the changes to the organization.

Skills and competences of ideal change leaders
An ideal change leader must tolerate ambiguity, listen attentively and being empathises, able to influence the organization members so that the change leader would be able to teach or mentor them and have their support to the organizational changes, can confront difficult, conceptualise and analyse problems.

Types of organization development change leaders
First type of organization development change leaders are the Organisation Development professionals, they can be from the organization itself or they are hired to provide professional organization development services to the organization. They promote open communication, humanistic values, employee involvement, personal growth and development. This type of professionals is specializing in organisational development and is experienced and skilled in the social processes of the organization. In recent years, organization effectiveness, competitiveness and bottom-line results, greater attention to the technical, structural and strategic part of organization have been added to the traditional values and expectations. The second type of organisational change leaders is the Organisation Development specialists. They are from other disciplines or departments such as Human Resource and Compensation and Benefits and they are mainly internal consultants, they apply organisation development practices in the organisation.

They gain experiences through doing projects together or attending training with Professionals. Since these internal change leaders specialize respectively in each field such as management consulting, control system and health care, they apply their competence in organisation development process. Usually, professionals and managers plan, design and implement changes to the organisation and the specialists will practice these changes in their specialize areas of work, for examples: compensation practices, work designs, labour relations and planning and strategy. Last type of organisation change leaders is the managers and administrators from the organisation. They will gain competency and experiences from communicating and working with the professionals in the change programs and they attend formal training, workshops from Australian Institute of Management (AIM), Institution of Engineers (IE) and the Australian Human Resource Institute (AHRI) and others. This type of change leaders gains expertise to introduce changes and innovation into the organisation.

Advantages and disadvantages of internal change leaders
Advantages of the internal change leaders are that time can be saved from identifying and to understand the organisational culture, sources of power and problems. The leaders have easy access to a variety to information such as company reports, rumours and through direct observation in the organisation. Acceptance, rapports and trusts can be built faster and easier among the organisation members, as compare with the external change leader. The disadvantages are loss of objectivity due to the strong connection with the organisation, has to be especially cautious when dealing with people that has high authority or power in the organisation and can affect the careers directly. Lacking of experience and professional skills that are required when facilitating organisation changes is also one of the main disadvantages of internal change leaders.

Advantages and disadvantages of external change leaders
The advantages of external change leaders have the experience and profession skills that the internal change leader does not have. The leaders have more objective perspectives in the organisational development process, the ability to probe difficult problems and to improve the current status of the organisation. The external change leaders have also afforded some deference and power in the organisation. The disadvantages of the external change leaders are more time needed to familiarise with the organisation members and the organisation culture. However, some of the organisation members may be wary of outsider as they believe the external change leaders will push the responsibility away if problems arise even though changes have been made to the organisation.

The main role of the change leaders is to bring positive change in an organisation. Strong interpersonal skills, interpersonal skills and consultation skills are very important skills that are needed by the change leaders. The role of the change leaders can be described as a continuum, which means client centred to consultant centred. An ideal change leader must listen to others, conceptualizes and analyses, confronts difficult problems and mobilizes support for changes. Therefore, after reviewing all the points as stated in this report, external change leaders are more suitable for the organisation as they would provide a more firm and fair point of views and changes to the organisation, which would lead it to a greater height and better improvement.

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