Change management: constraints and impulses on change and development of organization’s structure at SMEs transitioning to large enterprises.

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Small-medium enterprises are overall characterized by their flexibility and adaptability. However, once small-medium enterprises enter the phase of growing towards a large enterprise, a complex and difficult change process unfolds. The increasing size of SMEs eventually tends to chafe with the design of current structure. This implies that the SME has grown operationally, but the internal structure is still behind. The goal of this study is to identify drivers and constraints that affect the change and development of organizational structure within small-medium enterprises that are growing towards large enterprises. The research question of this study is “how does the development and change of organizational structure evolve within SMEs transitioning to large firms?”. The research is conducted within a SME located in the Netherlands. The organization experienced rapid growth over the past twenty years and is taking steps toward becoming a large enterprise. The research aims at theory building; thus, data collection took place inductively, where theoretical statements got derived from the collected qualitative material. The change of structure within SMEs is shaped by two concepts. First, the extent to which the organization has a defined and aligned view on its future state, in this study referred to as the change scope. Second, the strategy by which the organization intends to approach the future state, referred to as change strategy. This study suggests SMEs to validate both concepts to better guarantee establishment of an effective organizational structure, as it increases organization's chances of survival.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen