Types of change agents
R.N. Ottaway i C.L. Cooper proposed a taxonomy of agents of change, including the following types:
- Generators of change (their goal is to provoke a sense of the need for change in the community), including:
- prototypical (creative),
- manifesting (demonstrating) - standing "on the barricade" (in the confrontation between the generators of changes and people opposing change), patrons and supporters.
- implementors of change in the way intended (intentional) - their purpose is to implement change after the diagnosis of the organization's needs. This group can be divided on::
- external (experts form outside of the organization),
- internal (employees of the organization, directly affected by change)
- indirect (employed in another part of the organization, eg. branch, subsidiary).
- unintentional implementers - their goal is the practical implementation of the changes and normalization after this process. This group include:
- front office (line) employees,
- recipient of company's products or services.
In the early studies change agent was defined as a person from the outside, supporting planned changes aimed at improving the system. Today, it is considered that the agent changes might come from the company, or from the outside.
This term therefore refers to people - both inside and outside the organization - which provide technical, specialist or advisory support in the process of change management. With more complex projects, led by a team of people we are often faced with an intermediate solution, ie. the occurrence of mixed teams, including change agents, both internal and external to organization.
- Turner, J. R., Kristoffer, V., & Thurloway, L. (2002). The project manager as change agent. Proceedings of the 2002 Australian Institute of Project Management
- Ottaway, R. N. (1983). The change agent: A taxonomy in relation to the change process. Human relations, 36(4), 361-392