Assessing Bob’s Power as Change Agent

Assessing Bob’s Power as Change Agent


A change agent plays a very crucial role in the process of change management and it is necessary that there is the presence of change agents when the change management actions are required to be taken. The change agent has the responsibility to make sure that the process of change management is initiated, thus acting as a catalyst for the change. The change agent has the ability to trigger growth in the organization. Individuals that act as the catalyst in bringing upon change in the organization possess some sources of power and have some characteristics that enable them to bring growth in the organization (Williams, Champion & Hall, 2011).

Bob’s Power as a change agent

According to the following figure, three sources of power are present on individual basis that the change agent possesses. The change agent can use each source of power by applying related power strategies:
(Source: Cummings, 2009)
According to the case study, Bob possess knowledge and expertise in terms of having a clear vision for being a change agent. He wants to bring the strategic change in all the departments of the organization. For this, he has the clear vision of importing superior management culture of Bushwhacker and applying that subsequently to all the divisions of CRL. Bringing about any significant change in large and complex organizations is, however, a difficult task. The transformation process is a crucial part of the change management plan. Interaction among key organizational components is essential. It is a straightforward approach to use own knowledge and expertise by the change agent. In the case study, Bob knows well about the feelings of the senior management team of Bushwhacker. As a change agent, he has to convince the stakeholders that the current work culture of CRL is not competitive enough to survive in the market. It needs quick and innovative culture like that of Bushwhacker. As Bob is aware of the importance of having an open and innovative work culture, he establishes his suitability as the change agent. Because he is clear in his vision, he can use facts and data to convince the stakeholders of CRL for adopting the superior culture of Bushwhacker. Bob is relying only on his own awareness of the view of management of Bushwhacker (Mabey&Mayon-White, 1993).
The second source of power is support of other people. In the case, Bob can be an effective change agent as he can use the social network and the rapport he has built with the senior management team of Bushwhacker. Individuals form an important component of the transformation process. They have to do the task, therefore, possess the ability to bring upon the change. One of the major characteristics of the change agent is that he builds strong and solid relationships with the people. Positive change is not just the responsibility of any kind of position. The leaders acting as change agents may possess all these qualities but they are not the only one who has to execute the change management plan. In regard to the case study, Bob has well applied this strategy. He has used his social relationships such as personal rapport with the senior management team members of Bushwhacker in order to form strong coalitions for bringing upon change in CRL. (Mabey&Mayon-White, 1993).
The third source of power is personality of the change agents. The power strategy that they use is the going around the formal system of management. Bob possesses this source of power. Change agents are extremely approachable and reliable. People in the organization would not want to grow if they do not trust the individual who is pushing the change in the organization. In this context, the source of power of Bob in relation to the personality is strong. He has informal and friendly relations with the senior management team of Bushwhacker whom he has known since the time when they were in CRL. Thus, suitability of Bob as change agent is effective for the change initiative (Burke, Lake & Paine, 2008).
He has the clear vision that CRL can work effectively by becoming quick and approachable to new ideas and creativity as what the Bushwhacker does. However, CRL has long remained an authoritarian and domineering organization with rigid culture owing to which it is not easy to bring upon the change in such deep-rooted culture of the organization. It is essential to work around the blocks and barriers. Bob has clearly used this power strategy to go around the formal domineering culture of CRL. He does not intend to replace such deep-rooted culture at once. Instead, he plans to implement the practices and culture of Bushwhacker in just one department of CRL at the initial level. It is suitable for CRL as Bob would be able to reduce the likelihood of facing resistance to change through his reputation and well-planned strategy of bringing upon gradual change. The quality of the change agent makes him able to turn around the set rules and regulations by turning the organization into a learning organization (Williams et al, 2011).


It is the responsibility of the change agent that he gathers the information about the related problem and then gains commitment to efforts regarding the change with clear action plan. Bob has all the three sources of power, namely knowledge, other’s support and knowledge. He has envisioned well the results of adopting the superior management culture of Bushwhacker and removing the traditional domineering culture of CRL in a gradual manner. His strategy to implement the change in culture in a gradual manner makes proves him suitable to act as the change agent for CRL because he is able to integrate all the three power strategies in his vision. If Bob can make the use of his communication and persuasion skills along-with other sources of power effectively, it can be said that he is an effective change agent.


Burke, W. W., Lake, D.G. & Paine, J.W. (2008). Organization Change: A Comprehensive Reader. John Wiley & Sons.
Cummings, T. G. (2009).Organization Development and Change. London: Cengage Learning.
Mabey, C. &Mayon-White, B. (1993). Managing Change. SAGE.
Williams, C., Champion, T. & Hall, I. (2011).MGMT. Cengage Learning.