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Change initiatives 'need competent managers'
The importance of competent and trustworthy executives in leading change management has been highlighted by researchers in the US.
A blog article from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) cited a study led by Stanford University's Charles O'Reilly, who examined the effect of leadership on change by analysing Kaiser Permanente, a California-based healthcare provider with more than 8.6 million members.
The company implemented a major change initiative in 2002, when the new chief executive decided it should focus on providing a more personal and high-quality service.
To evaluate the success of the plan, the researchers conducted surveys involving roughly 50,000 patients and over 300 doctors.
They discovered that doctors who viewed their immediate manager as capable were supportive of the change in strategy, while those who thought their manager to be incompetent responded more negatively to the new approach.
However, the transformative agenda set out by the chief executive was the same across the organisation.
"If you want to significantly change an organisational culture, it is essential that managers at all levels are competent and respected by the people they are leading," the CMI concluded.
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