Change Agent - Meaning, Importance & Example

Published by MBA Skool Team, Last Updated: July 12, 2022

What is Change Agent?

Change agent is a person (or a team) who may be internal or external to the organization whose main objective is to help bring about organizational transformation and provide change management through focus on organizational effectiveness, improvement and development. A change agent is entrusted with the responsibility of managing changes in processes, structures, technologies and interpersonal and group relationships in the organization. The ultimate goal is to create a renewed organization.

Importance of Change Agent Role

Change agents help derailed organizations get back on track by redesigning processes to adapt to the rapidly changing environment.

A change agent plays multiple roles on the basis of organizational requirements. An organization unable to adapt to new technology needs a change agent who will play the role of a trainer or a teacher. An organization in search of new breakthroughs will need a change agent who is a researcher. A change agent can also serve as a line manager. The agent need not specialize in a single role; some cases would need change agents who can play multiple roles.

Core competencies & Characteristics of Change Agent

a) Broad Knowledge - Knowledge about the industry as well as knowledge about multiple domains. Conceptual knowledge, diagnostic knowledge, evaluative knowledge, knowledge about change methods, and ethical knowledge is extremely important for a change agent.

b) Relationship orientation - Having knowledge is not the only requirement for a change agent. It is also important for an agent to have a relationship orientation because he would need to listen to, trust, observe, identify, and report his findings to the people in the organization.

c) Sensitivity and Maturity

d) Authenticity - Practice what you preach. A change agent should inspire people in the organization to become an active part of the change.

It is necessary for a change agent to have a clear vision and be able to communicate the vision clearly with others. A change agent is not a ‘one man army’. He needs the support and knowledge of the people and he directs this support and knowledge towards achieving a common purpose. For this, it is extremely important for a change agent to be patient yet persistent. Change does not happen overnight and it is crucial that all the people stay connected and confident about their endeavor to achieve the change. Asking the right questions to get the right answers is a characteristic of a change agent.

Example of Change Agent

When Marissa Mayer became the CEO of Yahoo, Yahoo’s business improved dramatically and stocks increased. Marissa directed her efforts towards managing talent in the company and making employees understand how important they are to the organization. The rise in the number of employee-focused initiatives bolstered their morale and increased their productivity.

Hence, this concludes the definition of Change Agent along with its overview.

This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

Browse the definition and meaning of more similar terms. The Management Dictionary covers over 2000 business concepts from 5 categories.

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