This article focuses on a case study in revolutionary change. A private school in Mexico City that had functioned for 49 years under the educational arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints underwent a change in mission, purpose, structure, function, and administration in eight months. Research about organizational change contains many conceptual models and principles intended to guide an organization through large-scale change. However, this change occurred without any strict reliance on a specific change model. This qualitative study is directed at empirically discovering what main factors led to success rather than relying on anecdotal assumptions. The change is separated into three major phases: a five-month announcement and planning period, the three-month start-up phase, and a year-long stabilizing period. Data sources included 14 interviews with people who participated in the change, a focus group with managers, and archival documents related to the functioning of the organization during these phases. Six prominent themes came from the data analysis related to change success factors. The most salient was that individual employee attitude's, beliefs and efforts were the main perceived contributing success factor. Others include continuous planning at multiple levels in the organization, the major difficulty yet positive feeling about the change, how different work teams formed and worked together; the role of experienced leaders, the support given to employees in their responsibilities, and sufficient resourcing. Future research should look at the effect of culture clashes when multiple teams are combined under a new vision and purpose and how these cultural differences are moderated by the relationship between organizational factors and employee factors.
College and Department
David O. McKay School of Education; Educational Leadership and Foundations
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Cates, Shawn R., "A Case Study in Revolutionary Change: From High School to Missionary Training Center" (2020). Theses and Dissertations. 8666.
organizational change, culture, change models, employee attitude