Alternative approaches for studying organizational change

Andrew H. Van De Ven, Marshall Scott Poole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

629 Scopus citations


Scholars hold different views about whether organizations consist of things or processes and about variance or process methods for conducting research. By combining these two dimensions, we develop a typology of four approaches for studying organizational change. Although the four approaches may be viewed as opposing or competing views, we see them as being complementary. Each approach focuses on different questions and provides a different - but partial - understanding of organizational change. We argue that coordinating the pluralistic insights from the four approaches provides a richer understanding of organization change than any one approach provides by itself.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1377-1404
Number of pages28
JournalOrganization Studies
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2005


  • Organization change
  • Organization ontology
  • Process theory
  • Research methods
  • Time
  • Variance theory


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