What Is Planned and Unplanned Change in the Social Sciences?

Planned change, which is a systematic effort to move an organization into a new state, and unplanned change, which is pressure to make change exceeds the efforts of the organization to resist change, are two types of change that happen within an organization from either external or internal factors. Both planned and unplanned change typically involve changes in an organization’s design, tasks, people, information systems and technology practices.

Organizational change often comes through the evolutionary model of organizational change starting with the first phase, which is the need for change. A manager or other power in the company feels that there is a need for change. The second phase occurs when the change agent, such as manager or other power in the company, tries to move the organization into a new state. The third phase involves diagnosing the condition of the company and collecting data so that the consultant can help make a plan for new change. The fourth phase involves organizational development and planning whereas the fifth phase involves choosing the course of action for the organizational change. The third, fourth and fifth phases typically take place with both a consultant and the change agent from the company.

When it comes to creating change in an organization, the change can come about through external or internal factors that create planned change or unplanned change. The external forces of change can be workforce diversity, ethical behavior, globalization, technological advancement and new government laws or rules. The internal forces of change can be internal crisis, poor employee and employer relations, poor financial performance of the company and changes in employee expectations.