Higgs, Malcolm and Rowland, Deborah
What does it take to implement change successfully? A study of the behavior of successful change leaders
Journal of Applied Behavioural Science, 47, (3), . (doi:10.1177/0021886311404556).
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This article seeks to explore the impact of leaders’ behaviors on the successful implementation of change. A qualitative empirical study of change leader behaviors based on interviews with leaders from 33 organizations is presented. Analyses of the data indicated that leader-centric behaviors have an adverse impact on change implementation. In contrast, behaviors that may be described as being more facilitating and engaging are positively related to change success. Four critical behavior sets are identified. It was evident that leaders who experienced the highest levels of success deployed all four of the behavior sets and minimal presence of leader-centric behaviors. The study findings provide support for some of the recent research into change leadership. However, they provide a more detailed picture of the nature of behaviors associated with successful change implementation. The article concludes with a brief discussion of limitations and areas for further research
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