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Wednesday, November 21, 2012


       The word change has two meanings. The verb change is defined as the process of becoming different or to make something different. It also means to replace or to alter something, as well as to substitute something or to bestow in an exchange. Change in the form of a noun and in the financial sense is defined as the money given back when a customer gives more money than an item is worth, as well as money of a small denomination given in exchange for a larger denomination.

       Change, in the form of a noun, originated in 1200 from the old French word, change. The first recorded use of the word change was in 1620. Change, the verb, originated in the early 13th century from the Old French word changier, meaning to make different or alter. The word is also of Celtic origin, from the word kamb, meaning to bend or crook. It also originated from the Proto-Indo-European word kamb meaning crooked. The word crooked, synonymous to the word turn, evolved into the word change. The word was first used in English in the 13th century.

       The primary usage of the word change is the process of becoming different. Change often occurs with the means to adapt or to improve, however change is also associated with negative outcomes which often causes the resistance for change. Change is often brought upon by technology, politics, competition, social trends and nature. It is pervasive as it involves people, services, policies, nature and technology. It is the departure from the status quo, causing disturbance in normality. The word change is correlated to the Organisational Theory, which is the study that attempts to create enhancements in a work environment to identify themes for purpose or solving problems in order to maximize efficiency and productivity. The organizational theory was developed in the 18th century when Britain experienced major changes after the first and second Industrial Revolution during which the development of technology and the economy grew. Britain, as a result, changed into a profit making industry. The term was devised by Fredrick Taylor who determined that organizational design helps to improve a workplace in being more efficient, increase innovation, and competitive advantage. Change is inescapable and is especially prevalent in the business world where competition between companies calls for change in order to be successful or profitable. Poor economic conditions and globalisation creates worldwide competition creating a need for constant change. Change can be classified into incremental and radical change. Incremental change refers change occurring slowly and in increments causing little disturbance. This kind of change is most preferred by companies looking for improvement creating little risk and higher chance of success. Radical change occurs within a short period of time causing a greater disturbance within a company which must be adapted to over time. Because change is often ineffective in bringing positive outcomes, change is often regarded negatively. A social psychologist, Kurt Lewin developed a theory to encourage change and make change effective. Lewin believed that the negative attitude towards change must first be eliminated by dealing with people’s fears of change, then providing them with information making them aware that current conditions are unacceptable and requires change.

       The term change is most often used in regards to policies and the law. Change is protested, forced, and often necessary in order to create equality or human rights for people of different races, sexual orientation, and religion. Change, either for the better or worse, will always create both positive and negative responses such as legalization or banning of abortion, death penalties and euthanasia. The main objective for creating change is to design a world in which people and their environment can function in harmony, although in fact, this goal is unattainable.

[1] Oxford English Dictionary, "Change, n." Last modified 2007. Accessed November 19, 2012. http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/30467?rskey=GU2HYN&result=1&isAdvanced=false#eid

[2] Oxford English Dictionary, "Change, v." Last modified 2009. Accessed November 19, 2012. http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/30468?rskey=GU2HYN&result=2&isAdvanced=false#eid

            [3] Forbes.com, "Thoughts on Change" Last modified 2010. Accessed November 19, 2012. http://thoughts.forbes.com/thoughts/quotes/change

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