Managers have always been concerned with change.

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What’s different nowadays is the length of time between changes.

Today, change is an ongoing activity for most managers. The concept of continuous improvement, for instance, implies constant change.

In the past, managing could be characterized by long periods of stability, interrupted occasionally by short periods of change.

Today, long periods of ongoing change are interrupted occasionally by short periods of stability!

Permanent temporariness

The actual jobs that workers perform are in a permanent state of flux, so workers need to continually update their knowledge and skills to perform new job requirements.

Example, production employees at companies such as Caterpillar, Chrysler, and Reynolds Metals

Work groups are also increasingly in a state of flux.

Predictability has been replaced by temporary work groups, teams that include members from different departments and whose members change all the time, and the increased use of employee rotation to fill constantly changing work assignments.

Organizations themselves are in a state of flux.

Reorganize their various divisions, sell off poor-performing businesses, downsize operations, subcontract noncritical services and operations to other organizations, and replace permanent employees with temporaries.

Today’s managers and employees must learn to cope with temporariness.

The study of OB can provide important insights into helping you better understand a work world of continual change.

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