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An analysis of the evolution of the Hydro-Electric Corporation in Tasmania : a case study in organisational change

posted on 2023-05-26, 16:46 authored by Nelson, LG
The Hydro Electric Corporation (HEC) in Tasmania experienced transformational change (Dunphy & Stace, 1992) which has provided an opportunity to examine the context and processes of change. It has been argued that contextual analyses provide for a greater understanding and explanation of change than other approaches, including those based on organisational development (OD) and contingency theory (Pettigrew, 1985; Dawson, 1996). Processes of change focus on why and how organisational changes unfold, rather than the content of what changes are actually made (Pettigrew, 1990; Pettigrew & Whipp, 1991). As organisations struggle to achieve a competitive advantage in environments that are constantly in a state of flux, a comprehensive understanding of the complex issues involved is required so that a smooth transition may be negotiated from one state to another. The two broad themes for this thesis are analysis of change strategy and theory development. First, analysis of change involves investigation of longitudinal factors associated with the contextualist approach developed by Pettigrew (1985) and widely recognised by others (Collins, 1998). The research approach adopted by this thesis is aimed to permit contextualisation of the findings particularly with regard to the strategic management of change (Dunphy, 1996). Second, this thesis aims to operationalise and extend the theoretical advancement of organisational change theory. In order to analyse the development of change theory, the contingency model of Dunphy and Stace (1990) is examined as a precursor to the processual model of Dawson (1994), which can be regarded, along with the work of Pettigrew (1985) as establishing dynamic, rather than static, models of change. Two major research questions were identified for investigation. Employing a qualitative methodology, the case study used NUD‚ÄöIST software (Richards & Richards, 1991) to analyse interview transcripts and provide categories of subject matter for analysis. Careful attention was given to the historical antecedents leading up to the commercialisation changes, in keeping with the contextual approach adopted for this investigation. Key findings relate to implementation strategies and processes. It was found that the management team responsible for implementing change ignored the significance of the historical context, the effects of restructuring and the control and coordination of change. The discussion and analysis of the findings lead to conclusions with respect to implications for organisations undertaking major transformational change. The research holds a number of implications for models of change which do not take into account the dynamic environment in which organisational change takes place.


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Copyright 2001 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). For consultation only. No loan or photocopying permitted until 23 April 2003. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Tasmania, 2001. Includes bibliographical references

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