Essay on Applying Process of Change Theories

3 pages
581 words
Boston College
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According to the teleological process of change theory, adaptive and purposeful individuals populate an organization. If these kinds of individuals can envision an end state, and take the necessary action to ensure that they achieve the end-state then they satisfy the conditions of the theory. However, for the end-state to be achieved, all the persons involved must have a clear and similar goal in mind (Van de Ven & Poole, 1995). This helps in creating oneness within such an organization. The same can apply in institutions as well as in a community. When members of an institution or community identify an objective and work to achieve it, the situation can also be explained using the teleological theory. Hence, this theory applies well in the article on Causality, Change, and Leadership by Hickman and Couto. This essay aims at explaining why the teleological theory is applicable to Hickman and Coutos article.

In their article, Hickman and Couto tell the story of Barbara Johns and her attempt at fighting racial segregation in one of the public schools in her county. During the 1950s, racial segregation was still prevalent in the country. However, as more and more African Americans became educated, they also became aware of their rights. As a high school student, Johns was capable of understanding that segregation did not necessarily mean equality. In addition, other black people in the school were aware of the fact that they studied in an institution where racial equality was yet to be recognized. Johns initiative was necessary and instrumental in this case. It helped bring to the fore an issue which many did not want to address. At the beginning, Johns actions seem impossible. However, the bravery she exhibits leads her fellow students to admire her even more. Her decision to remove the teachers from the assembly shows that she is not willing to let anyone stop her.

Johns actions also marked the beginning of a revolution for all the African Americans in the county. After being able to bring together the students in her school to help fight against segregation, Johns attracts the attention of other African Americans in the county. Throughout the legal proceedings, she remains adamant (Hickman & Couto, 2010). This encourages all African Americans in the county who are committed to achieving their end-state to continue with the fight. During the same time, other activists around the country were fighting against segregation. Johns actions represented a greater course that was being undertaken nationwide. The same way the African Americans in Virginia were able to speak out as constituents is the same way all the African Americans in all counties were able to speak out as citizens of America.

Identifying a goal or end-state is the primary condition in teleological theory. As seen above, it is evident that Johns helps her fellow African American students in identifying their goal, which is eliminating segregation. John then commences mobilizing students in her school. Later, her campaign attracts other civilians in the county. Using these masses, they are able to take action to ensure they achieve their envisioned end-state. This is the second condition in teleological theory. Their actions are exemplified through demonstrations and protests represent.


Hickman, G. R., & Couto, R. A. (2010). Causality, change, and leadership,[in:] Leading change in multiple contexts. Concepts and practices in organizational, community, political, social, and global change settings, GR Hickman.

Van de Ven, A. H., & Poole, M. S. (1995). Explaining development and change in organizations. Academy of management review, 20(3), 510-540.

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