Background Note | HBS Case Collection | June 1989

Mastering the Art of Change: Managing Convergence and Upheaval

by Rosabeth M. Kanter and Leonard A. Schlesinger

Abstract

Outlines the differences between convergent change, which is a process of incremental innovation and continuous improvement, and divergent change, which involves revolutionary changes. Discusses how to manage each type of change and the consequences associated with each. Organizational evolution typically involves longer periods of convergent change that are punctuated by short periods of divergent change in which managers realign the firm and react to external opportunities and challenges.

Keywords: Change Management; Change;

Citation:

Kanter, Rosabeth M., and Leonard A. Schlesinger. "Mastering the Art of Change: Managing Convergence and Upheaval." Harvard Business School Background Note 389-168, June 1989.