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The Application of Change Management Methods at Business Organization Operating in Hungary: Challenges in the Business and Cultural Environment and First Practical Experiences

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  • Janos Feher
  • Martha Szigeti Bonifert

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to review the business and cultural challenges of applying Western change management philosophies and practices and to report about relevant firm level experiences observed within the transition period toward a market economy. The authors identify trends in the actual macro and micro economic and cultural environment, necessitating, driving and/or restraining these behaviorally planned change programs. After introducing the challenges change administrators confront with when planning and implementing change programs, they report on how the change management approaches, strategies and tools found as valuable in other cultures - especially in North America and We-stem Europe - were applied by some foreign and indigenous organizations in a country pioneering recent changes in the CEE region in many respects. The authors group their general observations and hypothetical suggestions about the change management practices of companies they had practical experiences with around the following topics: the organizations' attitude toward managing constant change, the existence of practices pursued on different levels of change processes, and specific change strategies and tools applied for managing change. They suggest that practices like institutionalizing mechanisms for dealing with constant change, Introducing behaviorally based change management programs and using a v2Aety of specific tools for guiding change processes were characteristic more of the change administration of foreign/multinational companies. At the - wholly or partly Hungarian owned. Recently privatized and strategically redirected - companies the change interventions were less targeted to behavioral aspects. Change practices of the latter companies rather aimed at the change focus, and partly, also the related formal subsystems level. The authors suggest hypothetical explanations for the reluctance to use new change management principles and Identify possible patterns of failure in transplanting Western method.

Suggested Citation

  • Janos Feher & Martha Szigeti Bonifert, 1998. "The Application of Change Management Methods at Business Organization Operating in Hungary: Challenges in the Business and Cultural Environment and First Practical Experiences," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 198, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  • Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:1998-198
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