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A Framework for Management of Change in the Fifth Technology Revolution

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A framework for management of change in the fifth technology revolution

Leon Dohmen

January 2010

Translation by William Martin

Theories and concepts concerning the best approach for organisational changes are in abundance. However, changes in organisations are still difficult and lead frequently to insufficient results. The reason for this is that almost all of the existing theories and conceptions concerning management of change have a very limited view.




The term, management of change, has no unambiguous definition. For a good understanding, this article uses the definition: to give optimal steering to change. Steering means: to guide in a certain direction.

In the article 'The irrational side of change management' McKinsey writes that in spite of Kotter, still only 30% of the changes succeed. McKinsey concludes therefore that the rational approach of Kotter does not work. According to McKinsey, changes must be carried out in a more irrational manner. Apart from the fact many organisations now actually change according to the approach of Kotter, it is interesting to look further into the comments of McKinsey. Because, also with McKinsey's approach, only a maximum of 30% of the changes will succeed. If changes are rational or irrationally approached, in both cases it only concerns the domain people as a component of the change. This view is much too limited. There are still two other domains – technology and organisation – which have a considerable influence on the success rate of changes.

The fifth technology revolution

According to Carlota Perez, we are presently in the fifth technology revolution. Changes in this period are especially driven by Information Technology (IT). The five minute long video ‘Did you know' on YouTube - - sums up pieces of information that typify this period. The conclusion of this video is: ‘We are living in exponential times'. In the fifth technology revolution, technology, organisation and people are the most important domains which are involved in changes.


This is the supply of available technology and the possibilities, limitations and the impossibilities that this technology has. Where IT is concerned, the available technology is limited to the IT domain. Even with this limitation, the supply of available technology is enormous. Characteristically, the life cycle of new technology is (still) becoming shorter.


Here it concerns processes and structure (including


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