The imperative need for social change today has made almost everyone an agent of change, in one capacity or another. There are, however, two basic facts of life involved in planned social change which need to be recognized. First, relatively little is known about how to achieve predictable change. Second, much of what is known will not work.
With these facts in mind, Mr. Schaller advocates a systematic and anticipatory approach to planned social change which would emphasize the need for the change agent to know the potentials and the pitfalls of instituitional change and to build in a supporting group to carry it out.
The author considers all aspects of the process of change, including styles, tactics, and the nature of change, the place of power, the possible points of conflict, and the avoidance of polarization. Mr. Schaller also offers an introduction to the skills of organization development, teaching the effective change agent to identify and evaluate alternative courses of action so new purposes can be formed and effected.
For anyone who is striving for progress in human relations - community leaders, ministers, social workers, et al. - this lively and readable book provides a knowledgeable approach to the dynamics of change.