Evolutionary and Revolutionary Change Models

Subject: Organizational Management
Pages: 1
Words: 377
Reading time:
2 min
Study level: College

Organizational change is the movement from one state of affairs to another and can be evolutionary or revolutionary. Evolutionary change occurs slowly and gradually where the managers adapt to the new processes and procedures to change the external environment. The revolutionary change model involves a complete change such as renovation and reconstruction accompanied by major activities, including the change in products and activities.

Planned changes can be both evolutionary and revolutionary, and these two types of models consist of different features. The evolutionary model of change occurs when the managers adopt new processes and designs to change the external environment. These changes occur gradually in bits that amount to complete change over time. This process begins by creating a need for change, convincing the agents involved to see the opportunity and understand it, and eventually moving the organization toward that change (Haveman, 2000).

The revolutionary model includes eruptive and radical changes that involve outbursts of major activities that affect many parts of an organization to seek the right amount of stability. It consists of three concepts: equilibrium, where the organization shifts towards its goals and missions steadily, deep structures such as culture, designs, and relationships with external environments that affect the organization’s success, and revolutionary periods (Haveman, 2000). Revolutionary change happens by mandate under strong leadership, which realigns and reshapes the strategic goals leading to radical breakthroughs.

The manager follows the evolutionary model when facing outside pressure, trying to keep up with technology, or addressing the stakeholders’ needs. Revolutionary changes occur when the company is dissatisfied with its performance and when the managers sense a need for change. I have experienced a revolutionary model of change while working in a bank. A new CEO was hired, and he changed the rules, drafted new goals, departments, and changed the company’s culture.

Organizational change can either be planned or unplanned. Planned changes occur in both evolutionary and revolutionary change models. Evolutionary involves adopting new processes in bits over time, while revolutionary consists of a burst into major activities under the radical influence. Organization change can be radical and alter the organization processes and operations or it may gradually change how things are done. Planned change affects the organization’s decision processes, culture and design in a fast pace or gradually.


Haveman, H. (2000). The future of organizational sociology: Forging ties among paradigms. Contemporary Sociology, 29(3), 476-486. Web.