Devising context sensitive approaches to change: The example of Glaxo Wellcome

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


There is a growing awareness of the need for designers of organisational change to develop context sensitive approaches to implementation if change is to be successful. Existing change literature indicates that there are many aspects of an organisation’s change context that need to be considered, and a wide range of different implementation options open to those designing change. However, these contextual aspects and design options are not currently pulled together in a comprehensive manner, or in a form that makes them easily accessible to practitioners. This paper builds a framework, called the change kaleidoscope, which aims to achieve this. It illustrates the applicability of this framework in practice as an aid to managers in the development of context sensitive implementation approaches via a case study on the changes undertaken at Glaxo Wellcome UK since the early 1990s. This is an interesting case of a successful organisation that managed to change in a pro-active manner rather than in a crisis driven re-active manner. The paper concludes with the lessons for practitioners on the impact of certain contextual features and design choices during change as illustrated by the Glaxo Wellcome case, and a discussion on the use of the kaleidoscope in practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-178
Number of pages26
JournalLong Range Planning
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2002


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