What is Remedial Change? Definition, Features, Needs, Strategies, and Pros/Cons

Definition of Remedial Change

Remedial Change is a prompt organizational response to unforeseen challenges or threats, aiming to rectify issues and prevent further negative consequences. It involves the immediate implementation of corrective actions, often in the face of unexpected events impacting the organization’s stability or growth.

Unlike planned changes, which are strategic and deliberate, remedial change is reactive and focuses on resolving specific problems. This type of change is essential for addressing deficiencies, poor performance, or unexpected crises.

It is characterized by its urgency, targeted nature, and the need for quick assessment of success or failure. Remedial organizational change aims to restore organizational health, minimize risks, and swiftly adapt to unplanned disruptions, ensuring the resilience and adaptability of the business.

Characteristics of Remedial Change

Remedial change in the organization consists of the following characteristics:

Immediate Response

Remedial organizational change is characterized by swift and timely actions, responding promptly to unexpected challenges or threats to prevent further negative impacts on the organization.


This type of change is specifically focused on addressing and rectifying identified problems or deficiencies within the organization, often stemming from crises or unforeseen events.

Urgency and Timeliness

Remedial actions require a sense of urgency, emphasizing the need for quick decision-making and implementation to minimize the potential negative consequences of the identified issues.

Targeted Solutions

The corrective actions taken during remedial change are precise and aimed at resolving the root causes of problems, ensuring a focused approach to address the identified issues.

Limited Scope and Time-Bound

It is usually confined to a specific scope, dealing with immediate challenges. It is time-bound, seeking to implement changes quickly and efficiently.

Assessment of Success or Failure

Unlike some planned changes, remedial change requires immediate assessment of its effectiveness. The organization evaluates the success or failure of the implemented solutions promptly.

Adaptability and Flexibility

Organizations must exhibit adaptability and flexibility during remedial change, which involves responding to unforeseen circumstances and adjusting strategies to navigate unexpected challenges effectively.

Read More: What is Transformational Change?

Need For Remedial Change

Here are the six reasons why companies undergo remedial change:

Crisis Management

Companies may initiate remedial action in response to crises such as financial emergencies, product recalls, or reputational damage. The focus is on mitigating immediate risks and stabilizing the organization.

Performance Issues

Persistent poor performance, whether in terms of financial results, operational inefficiencies, or declining market share, can prompt this change approach. It aims to address underlying issues affecting the company’s overall performance.

Market Changes

Shifts in the market landscape, technological advancements, or unexpected competitive pressures may necessitate remedial change. This helps companies adapt swiftly to evolving industry conditions.

Regulatory Compliance

Changes in regulations or legal requirements can compel companies to undergo remedial change to ensure compliance. Failing to adapt may result in legal consequences or financial penalties.

Read More: What is Structural Change?

Reputation Management

Instances of public relations crises, ethical misconduct, or customer dissatisfaction may lead to remedial change. It focuses on restoring and safeguarding the company’s reputation through corrective actions.

Internal Dysfunction

Organizational dysfunction, including issues with leadership, communication breakdowns, or cultural challenges, can be addressed through remedial change. It aims to restore harmony and effectiveness within the internal structure.

Pros and Cons of Remedial Change

Now, let’s explore some advantages and disadvantages of remedial change in the organization:


  1. Crisis Resolution: This approach allows companies to swiftly address crises, minimizing immediate damage and restoring stability. It provides a structured approach to handle unexpected challenges.
  2. Performance Improvement: Companies can use remedial change to rectify performance issues, enhancing operational efficiency, financial health, and overall business performance.
  3. Adaptation to Market Changes: It enables organizations to adapt to evolving market conditions, technological advancements, or competitive pressures, ensuring sustained relevance and competitiveness.
  4. Legal Compliance: Ensuring compliance with regulatory changes through remedial actions helps companies avoid legal consequences, protecting their reputation and financial standing.
  5. Reputation Restoration: Addressing reputation-related issues, such as public relations crises or ethical concerns, allows companies to rebuild trust and safeguard their brand image.

Read More: What is People-Centric Change?


  1. Disruption and Resistance: It often disrupts existing workflows, leading to resistance from employees accustomed to established practices. This resistance can hinder the smooth implementation of changes.
  2. Financial Strain: Implementing remedial actions may incur significant upfront costs, impacting the company’s financial resources. The financial strain can pose challenges, especially if the organization is already facing difficulties.
  3. Time-Consuming Process: Remedial change, particularly in response to crises or market shifts, requires swift yet careful planning and execution. The urgency may compromise thorough analysis, making the process time-consuming and potentially less effective.
  4. Employee Morale Impact: The uncertainty and disruption associated with remedial change can negatively affect employee morale. Communication and change management strategies are crucial to mitigate potential morale issues.

Strategies To Implement Remedial Change

So far discussed remedial change and its features, and the pros/cons. Now, let’s explore some strategies you can use to effectively implement remedial changes in the workplace:

Read More: What is Strategic Organizational Change? 

Immediate Action Plan

Develop a rapid response plan outlining immediate actions to mitigate the crisis. This may include damage control, resource allocation, and initial steps to stabilize the situation before a comprehensive remedial strategy is implemented.

Crisis Communication

Establish effective communication channels to transparently address the crisis with stakeholders. Timely and accurate information can help manage external perceptions, maintain trust, and align internal teams toward the remedial goals.

Root Cause Analysis

Conduct a thorough analysis to identify the root causes of the issue. Understanding the underlying factors contributing to the crisis is essential for developing targeted remedial solutions and preventing future occurrences.

Cross-Functional Collaboration

Foster collaboration among different departments and teams. A unified effort ensures a holistic approach to remedial change, leveraging diverse expertise and resources to address multifaceted challenges comprehensively.

Read More: 10 Importance of Planned Change in the Workplace

Leadership Alignment

Ensure alignment among leadership regarding the severity of the issue, the remedial strategy, and the desired outcomes. Unified leadership facilitates coordinated decision-making and provides a consistent direction for the organization.

Resource Mobilization

Allocate necessary resources, including finances, technology, and skilled personnel, to support the implementation of remedial measures. A well-funded and equipped approach increases the likelihood of successful crisis resolution.

Continuous Monitoring and Adaptation

Implement mechanisms for continuous monitoring of remedial actions and their impact. Be prepared to adapt strategies based on real-time feedback and changing circumstances to optimize the effectiveness of the remedial change process.

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