Brian R. Low

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Daniel T. Holt, PhD


Today's organizations are continually undergoing changes to make improvements in their efficiency and effectiveness. The ability of organizations to effectively implement and sustain successful change, however, has been limited, with most change initiatives failing to attain the desired success. To counter this trend, researchers across several disciplines have worked to provide practitioners better insight into how to facilitate change within their organizations. This research has resulted in many theories as to what constitutes change and how best to implement it, but it lacks a unifying theory that encompasses all aspects of change research. This effort takes a step toward a better understanding of the change management field and its nature. Using a co-citation methodology, 141 influential authors from the field of change management were identified. Their works were then categorized into identifiable sub-groups within the field and mapped, providing insight into the level of integration that has occurred within the field and across the disciplines that have explored change. Also, the extent to which the existing theories have begun to converge toward a unifying theory is observed. The purpose of this effort is to point future researchers in a direction that will lead to a unifying theory of change management. This unifying theory can then be translated into practices that will enable organizations to successfully transition through needed change initiatives.

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