The Impact of Transformational Management on Organizational Structure

Author Biography

Mohammad Heydari is an Iranian associate professor, scientist, and author. He was born on August 14, 1992, in Tehran, Iran. He published more than 13 books and over 81 scientific papers with famous authors and high-level research groups in his research fields; Currently, his papers are published and accepted by 37 different countries.

Mohammad Heydari is currently working at Business College, Southwest University, one of the country’s 100 key national universities. In August 2020, Dr. Heydari was accepted as the youngest associate professor and faculty member of Management Science and Engineering (MS&E) at Business College, Southwest University, Chongqing, China. At the same time, he was nominated for the “National Young Talent Program” title, one of the highest awards for foreigners working in academia.

In 2019, he received the Chinese Government Ministry Award Education Scholarship for outstanding research and academic activities at the national level. In 2017, Dr. Heydari received the (Nanjing Municipal Government) scholarship in (MS&E). Dr. Heydari earned his DSc., Ph.D. from the School of Economics and Management, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, China. Dr. Heydari’s research is in the areas of (1) Human Resources and Business Administration, Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior and Organizational Studies; (2) Applied Mathematics, Optimization Algorithm & Operation, Supply Chain Management, and Decision Analysis; (3) Entrepreneurship Management and Psychological Entrepreneurship Research.

Author Email:

The Impact of Transformational Management on Organizational Structure


In today’s competitive environment, modern organisations face several external socials, political, and economic challenges. Along with dealing with the pressures of such factors, businesses must also contend with the challenges posed by globalization, technological innovation, lifestyle changes, changes in consumer preferences and acute skill shortages and workforce challenges, international legislative changes, and financial forces. Based on Macredi & Sandom (1999), successfully managing change has become a vital asset for organisations in today’s unstable environment to stay competitive. Transformational change refers to changes in particular areas caused via interactions with environmental factors that necessitate the adoption of new behaviours or changes in the behaviours of organisational employees. Organisational reorientation is the term utilized by Peiperl (2003) to explain a transformation. Transformational change was defined by (Verwey & Du Plooy-Cilliers, 2003; Cummings & Worley, 2001) as paradigm shifts at both the organisational and individual levels. They both saw transformational change as a major task for today’s leaders, where the term “transformational leaders” comes from.

Keywords: Transformational Management; Organisational Structure; Strategic Planning; Macro-Planning; Operational Planning.

1. Fundamentals of Transformational Management

Although transformation management is a new theory in management, its patterns and trends have undergone rapid changes over the past two decades. In particular, the 1980s can be seen as a period of innovation for transformational management. The emergence of these new trends in organisational culture, organisational structure, and general organisational management and the relatively brilliant results of management methods in Japan, Europe, and some American organisations in the last two decades are consequences of applying this new theory. This theory shows the increasing importance of organising and prioritizing the group process based on participatory methods. Kurt Lewin’s Change Management Model (Figure 1), says that even though there are many different approaches to understanding and managing change, much of the thought and experience in this field can be broken down into three basic aspects:

Based on Lewin, change for any individual or an rganization is a complicated journey that may or may not be very simple and mostly involves several stages of transitions or misunderstandings before attaining the stage of stability or equilibrium. In describing the process of rganizational change, he utilizes the analogy of how an ice block changes its shape to transform into a cone of ice through the process of unfreezing.

Figure 1. Kurt Lewin’s Change Management Model

1.1 Unfreezing

This is the first stage of transition and one of the most crucial stages in the entire process of change management. It involves improving the readiness as well as the willingness of people to change by fostering a realization that they need to move from their existing comfort zone to a transformed situation. It involves making people aware of the need for change and improving their motivation to accept the new ways of working for better results. At this stage, effective communication plays a critical role in obtaining the desired support and involvement of the people in the change process.

1.2 Change

This step can also be considered a step of transition or the step of actual implementation of change. It involves the acceptance of new ways of doing things. This is the stage at which the people are unfrozen and the actual change is implemented. During this phase, effective communication, careful planning, and encouraging the involvement of individuals in endorsing the change are necessary. It is believed that this phase of transition is not that easy due to the uncertainties or because people are fearful of the consequences of adopting a change process.

1.3 Freeze (Refreezing)

During this phase, people move from the phase of transition (change) to a much more stable state, which we can consider the state of equilibrium. The phase of refreezing is the ultimate step in which people adopt or internalise the new ways of working or changing, adopting them as a part of their lives and establishing new relationships. For strengthening and reinforcing the new behavior or changes in the way of working, the employees should be rewarded, recognised, and provided positive reinforcement. Supporting policies or structures can help in reinforcing the transformed ways of working.

2. Importance of a Manager in the Transformation Process

Every employee in a business has a specific role in the transformation process. While many employees may be capable of completing a significant amount of work, senior leaders with more experience may have different objectives. The responsibilities of managers and leaders differ even within management.

Leaders must, for example, take calculated risks. They must consider the big picture and communicate the high-level change to the rest of the organisation, explaining why it is occurring and motivating employees to assist. To be an effective leader, you must be perceptive and know who to entrust with changing things.

Managers are more concerned with successfully implementing business changes. They concentrate on bringing about change by determining the discrete actions that must be taken and in what order. Managers are also accountable for allocating sources, such as personnel, and determining how success will be measured. Although leaders shall ideally be managers, the primary responsibility is to design, direct, and shape change processes.

Managers must possess a diverse set of abilities to succeed, including:

  • Ability to communicate clearly and effectively and actively listen to colleagues and team members.
  • Emotional intelligence that has matured
  • Outstanding organisational skills
  • An acute sense of observation Problem-solving and decision-making abilities
  • Micromanaging without delegation is a recipe for disaster.

3. Implementing Transformational Management

For change management to be effective, the company must be able to create and implement a well-thought-out change management strategy. This strategy should provide staff with a clear and usable blueprint that explains what, why, when, how, and what to expect next in the transformation process. Although individual sensitivities and political difficulties must always be addressed in any strategy, one of the most common traps that many organisations and managers fall into is the fear of over-communicating. As a result, employees are frequently kept in the dark for an excessive amount of time and regarding an excessive amount of information, which generates resentment and opposition to planned change attempts. The ultimate irony here, of course, is that many changes that employees would have accepted as “positive things” are now perceived as senior management’s continuing machinations due to a poor change management strategy.

Finally, managing change is never simple. However, having the correct content, leadership, and strategy in place can go a long way toward ensuring that the change management process is successful.

According to studies, a lack of adequate organisational change management in an information technology modernisation project leads to a higher failure rate. Based on a 2005 Gartner poll titled “The User’s View on Why IT Projects Fail,” organisational change management deficiencies were the cause of failure in 31percentof cases. This highlights the significance of incorporating organisational change management principles into every information technology modernisation or business transformation project stage.

3.1 Getting a Glimpse of the Change Process

Designing and implementing a change process can assist a company in identifying and documenting the tasks that shall be managed during the transition. These recommendations will assist you in achieving effective, long-run, and long-lasting results. The necessary transformational changes are illustrated, understood, tested, and accepted as a company progresses through the transition phase, allowing people to let go of old habits and attitudes while learning new skills to help the company achieve its goals.

Before completing the change procedure for a particular program or project, organisations frequently lose sight of their goals or start new initiatives. It is critical for the success of a transformation program that the organisation understands this and is prepared to remain focused throughout the process. Your commitment to completing the change procedure is critical to its success.

3.2 The Change Framework

These variables range from the organisation’s culture and to the attitude and behaviour of the lowest-ranking employee. Social scholars use the Burke Litwin Model1 of change and organisational performance, or other strategies in line with the sponsor’s environment and culture, to evaluate readiness and plan to implement change. The Burke Litwin approach recognizes transactional and critical transformational factors that may influence the successful acceptance of the planned change. In most government transformation efforts, the external environment (like leadership, strategy, and culture) can be the most powerful driver for organisational change.

4. Transformational Management and Resistance

Organizational change operations must deal with resistance. Resistance could be a unifying organisational force that helps address the tensions from organizational change. There are three types of resistance feedback:

  • Cognitive resistance emerges when a unit or individual sees how the change will impair their ability to articulate ideas regarding the organisational change. Cognitive resistance manifests itself as a lack of or unwillingness to talk about or participate in reform initiatives (those involving planning, sources, or implementation).
  • Emotional resistance happens when a community or individual tries to maintain emotional equilibrium during an organizational change. The values, beliefs, and cultural symbols are imbued with change-related emotions. Emotional histories limit the change process. Symbols of emotional resistance contain a high emotional commitment leading to chaos or low emotional commitment to change leading to inertia.
  • Behavior resistance to organisational change is a mixture of cognitive and emotional resistance shown in less evident and subtle activities. Behavioural resistance manifests itself in the propagation of rumors and other informal or habitual forms of resistance by units or individuals.

Resistance is typically considered a negative force during change initiatives. When properly understood, it can be a constructive and integrating force. It catalyzes the resolution of divergent and convergent currents among change leaders and responders and establishes agreement within a system.


Cummings, T. G., & Worley, C. G. (2001). Essentials of organization development and change. South-Western College Publ..

Flint, David, 2005, “The User’s View of Why IT Projects Fail,” Gartner Report.

Macredie, R. D., & Sandom, C. (1999). IT-enabled change: evaluating an improvisational perspective. European Journal of Information Systems8(4), 247-259.

Peiperl, M. (2003). Managing change: cases and concepts. McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

Verwey, S., & Du Plooy-Cilliers, F. (2003). Strategic organisational communication: Paradigms and paradoxes. Sandown: Heinemann Publishers (Pty) Ltd.

1 The Burke Litwin Model of Organizational Change is all about defining and establishing a cause-and-effect relationship. The model assumes 12 organizational elements that determine a change within an organisation. The model derives its name from two organizational change consultants and was developed in the 60’s by W.