n South African Journal of Labour Relations - The development of a change agent identification framework for South African change agents

Volume 38, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0379-8410
  • E-ISSN: 2520-3223



The main aim of this research project was to develop a theoretical change agent identification framework that could enable organisational change management specialists to identify change agents more effectively in large organisations that are undergoing change. To date, little research has been conducted into the best way to identify change agents. Change agents can play a significant role in effectively assisting co-employees to adapt to change and in eliminating resistance. The sample of change agents utilised in this research project comprised employees at a large South African utility organisation who were affected by change themselves but nevertheless helped to communicate key messages to other affected employees and supported them throughout the change process. These change agents played a significant role in helping to develop a comprehensive change agent identification framework that focuses on those elements to be taken into account when selecting individuals in an organisation to serve as change agents. A thorough 12-step empirical research process which included both a qualitative and a quantitative approach was followed. The qualitative process and results constitute the focus of this article.

The literature findings contributed towards a comprehensive understanding of the role of change agents, as well as of the elements that should form part of a change agent identification framework to be used as a basis for selecting change agents.

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