Reactive vs. Proactive Change :
Very few organisations adopt any change in a smooth and orderly way. Most of the organisations attempt to stick to old practices and procedures rather than planning change. For instance, workers in a factory have a long standing demand of profit sharing and they go on strike to press their demand. The change would be reactive if a profit-sharing plan is introduced because of pressure of the trade unions. Reactive change is brought by the management grudgingly since the survival of the organisation is in danger. But, if on the other hand, the management introduces on its own a profit-sharing plan to enhance productivity and motivation of employees, such change would be called proactive or planned change.
Proactive change is a change that is initiated by an organisation because it is identified as desirable whereas reactive change is the change implemented by an organisation under pressure from environmental factors. Planned change is a proactive approach. Proactive management tries to anticipate the future and to see the organisation as it should be if it is to be effective in the future. Management will never be able to anticipate the future with total accuracy, but proactive planning can reduce those out-of-step periods that characterise reactive organisations.
Evolutionary, Revolutionary and Planned Changes :
Evolutionary changes are slow and there is a fear that organisation may not cope with the future. Revolutionary changes result in totally changing the status quo and these are dangerous except where situation becomes highly intolerable. Planned changes are systematically introduced by the management.
Planned Change :
A planned change is brought by an organisation with the purpose of achieving something that might otherwise be unattainable or attainable with great difficulty. This approach represents the planned alteration in the existing organisational system. It is a means of dealing with those changes that may be crucial for survival. It involves a greater commitment of time and resources; requires more skills and knowledge for successful implementation; and can lead to more problems if implementation is unsuccessful.