Presents an introduction to the topic of re-imagining change and an overview of articles in the issue. Caution received by practicing managers about change; Five problems with the accounts of change and organizational change management; Need to rethink the problems and processes of change.
This paper is a generalized discussion related to the nature and implications time, story and organizational culture play in corporate decision-making, CEO selection; treatment of long-term employees; the change process and the language used to present andpromote the corporation. The paperprovides a beginning point for revisiting how unrecognized (societal and individual) assumptions affect choice and decision-making. Practically, the paper also provides a starting point for organizations to self assess their external and internal approaches and whether they align superficially or whether the mission and vision are lived in mundane daily activities. The paper is based on qualitative, experiential and anecdotal evidence gathered by the author.
As a boy, summering with his extended family in Kennebunkpoti, Maine, George W. Bush was Boss Cousin: the oidest in a swarm of his own brothers (and sister) and the sons and daughters of his aunts and uncles. They played games all day, from tag to tennis to basketball. George, one of the players told me years later, very much liked to win — and, as oidest sibiings always do, wrote the ruies (or rewrote) them to guarantee it. That's the way he prefers to operate even now. Kart Rove, the president's longtime political consigllere, calls them 'game-changing moves'. Bush tikes to outmaneuver his foes by using his dout to change the game itself It's worked many times. (Fineman, 2002).
This paper takes up the themes of organization as dreamscape, the psychodynamics of everyday organizational performance and organizational rituals and the enactment of death and desire in the context of a longitudinal case study of an academic institution. This case study focuses on the various ways in which the organization has developed and continues to develop neurotic and dysfunctional tendencies. It looks at the ways in which those tendencies are expressed in the culture and structure of the organization and the ways in which the various constituencies of the college are complicit in the enactment of the neurosis of its leadership, as reflected in various dependent and counterdependent dynamics and performances. Of specific interest in this paper are the changes in neurotic patterns over time and the ways in which these changes relate to the changes in leadership. Using Kets de Vries' concepts related to organizational neurosis, we will discuss how the college moved from a compulsive organization to a dramatic organization.
On a theoretical level, complexity theory offers an emergence-based insight into organizing. The unicity of events, the undetermined nature of creative change, and the multifarious nature of circumstances are all honored. But how can (successful or unsuccessful) self-organizing be studied? If organizing really can be self-organizing, how could a researcher perceive it? Either the observer is entirely outside of the change process and is unmoved or unaltered by it -- i.e. only able to see the change from its exterior; or the observer changes with the change process and is part and parcel of it. If one is inside the change, how can one observe it; and if one is outside, how could one experience it? If self-organization really can occur, how could self-organization organize organization without betraying emergence and becoming just another form of control? To examine these issues a case is presented and then interpreted with use of a perspective inspired by (some aspects of) Luhmann, and via Luhmann, Serres (Luhmann, 1997, 2003; Serres, 1982).
Recent theories of technology have argued that in order to take constructivism seriously we need to understand technologies as organizational texts, replacing the study of technological artefacts with an appreciation of the ways in which these ‘texts’ are read, or interpreted, in specific situations. Whilst such approaches offer an effective critique of determinism in explanations of technological change, they also raise some interesting questions around the nature of the human subject which have been given a less comprehensive treatment in the literature. This paper contributes to the development of a thoroughgoing antiessentialism in theories of technology and organization by considering Deleuze and Guattari’s radical constructionist critique of the subject. Placing the technocentric metaphor of ‘the machine’ at the heart of subjectivization, Deleuze and Guattari’s decentring of the human subject offers a fully symmetrical anti-essentialism, capable of accounting for the non-human forces at work in the constitution of human subjectivity.
In this article, we outline our organizational change initiative, our “small experiment,” and our attempt to understand how organizational change is actually accomplished. It is our desire to first change our selves and how we perform gender and through this local initiative, to eventually change how our organization as a whole performs gender. In our effort to accomplish this goal, we began by attempting to understand the issue, our experience, and the performance of gender within our organization. Based upon these understandings and because of this understanding, we will identify initiatives that change our organization's performance of gender. Finally, in an attempt to understand the microprocesses of change, of how organizational change is accomplished - “its dynamic, unfolding, emergent qualities (in short its potential) (Tsoukas & Chia, 2002, 568),” we will document and attempt to understand our experience of change from within.
These articles are about the currencies of sensemaking. Currency has a double meaning. First it means value in interpersonal or interorganizational exchange. For example, stories are the primary sensemaking currency in exchanges. Secondly, currency means currents, as in flows that pull swimmers, boats and debris where the current takes it.
This paper provides an extensive review and categorization of the work-family conflict literature, followed by a discussion of paradigmatic assumptions found within that literature and critical recommendations. The article describes the five most widely utilized theories in the work-family conflict literature: conflict theory, spillover theory, gender role theories, identity theory, and role theory. It concludes by recommending that future research focus on becoming more complex by moving from simple to complex explanations focusing less on hierarchy definitions and more on interactions, less on accounting for singular causality and more on multiple (sometime indeterminate) causalities, use less determinant and more indeterminate language, and adopt a morphogenic view of change.
This is a narrative account of an effort to create a sustainability center at Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts. In addition to describing the genesis and intent of the project, the author considers some past efforts that did not succeed along with one that almost materialized. She is cautiously optimistic about this one in part because the external conditions are more favorable in that there is more interest in grass roots organizing for social, economic, and environmental change. Another reason to hope for success lies in the interest that the Commonwealth has in promoting sustainability at the college as well as the support of the new president and the championship of an associate provost. Beyond describing events leading up to the authority to plan for the opening of a center, the author reflects on the action as well as the approaches to change she and her colleagues have taken, She also engages in some meta analysis, presenting the methodologies that she employs.
Organizational evolution is presented in lieu of the concept of change, revolution, revitalization, etc. in that one can assert that organizations can only evolve, they cannot develop a new structure and paradigm from nonexistent precursors, elements, structures, etc. One year is action science based with the executives diving off of logs into the arms of their vice presidents, the next is playing games and doing puzzles to determine the company's cognitive centre, more recently its not been about expressing feelings and defenses, or understanding perception, but about being appreciated. In short, all of these evangelically based approaches which view an organization through a single lens fail
This special number of Tamara presents paper on transdisciplinarity and organizational change, deriving sense from a mix of approaches. The articles go from experimental pieces to case study. It is worth noticing that for the first time this edition is bilingual.
Patrick Bateman appears to be the incarnation of a proto-typical Empire citizen. He is a Vampire's Empire's dream come true: Maximising his score in the top-of-the-line investment banking league, celebrating his determination to partake and push through the game at maximum speed---to fast to be determined by any reference system---always on the verge of disintegration. Quite literally, he cannot change his mind. Nobody can. Yet, from this point of view, he pursues every option to bring about change. Just like a whole generation of super-hero managers, an attitude change is not feasible because the confession of failure is not an option. Vanity, to please ones mirror image, remains a driving desire.
This article emerged from a personal need to reconcile the duality of my experience as a person working to raise awareness of equity issues, with that of being a female academic of mixed ethnicity. I discuss the formation of my subject as a developing sociologist, my attraction to the pre-reflexive identities of class, gender and ethnicity, and my struggle with the ambiguous nature of cultural cohesion. I move on to discuss how through conscious ways of knowing it is possible to reflexively act in ways that support substantive change. I argue outsiders-within, i.e. people like myself who grapple with such dual experiences, need not become “hot commodities in social institutions that want the illusion of difference without the difficult effort needed to change power relations” (Collins, 1999:88). Rather, I believe outsiders-within can knowingly achieve small but important substantive changes that lead to future systemic change.
Drawing upon the genre of ethnographic fiction, this paper explores the challenges that occur when third- and fourth-tier colleges and universities seek accreditation from AACSB. Deans and change leaders normally see the process of achieving accreditation in terms of bureaucratic and behavioral change. This paper argues that more focus must be placed on understanding how the demands of accreditation challenge faculty members’ self-image. Therefore, achieving accreditation requires individuals to have a change in their self-identity so that behavioral change can follow.
A consultant and lead client discuss the rationale and process for an organization-wide diversity initiative in a national political organization. Approaches and models used to address systemic organization change for racial inclusion in a social justice framework are reviewed. Discussion of initial results, including emerging cultural change and ancillary benefits of the initiative follow. The authors conclude with challenges and expectations for expanding the change into programmatic work and for sustainability.
This article is based on a framework for assessing and working with mental models and utilizing the exploration of ‘dominant’ worldviews to increase individual and organizational competency to identify, assess and shift worldviews to foster social change. The author describes her methodology and results during the data collection, data analysis, data feedback, and intervention phases of a consultation with a client. She reviews literature on white privilege, mental models, power, and cultural competency. The author reflects on implications of the engagement for the client, herself and the discourse on the role of OD as a catalyst for social change.
Organizational evolution is presented in lieu of the concept of change, revolution, revitalization, etc. in that one can assert that organizations can only evolve, they cannot develop a new structure and paradigm from nonexistent precursors, elements, structures, etc. One year is action science based with the executives diving off of logs into the arms of their vice presidents, the next is playing games and doing puzzles to determine the company's cognitive centre, more recently its not been about expressing feelings and defenses, or understanding perception, but about being appreciated. In short, all of these evangelically based approaches which view an organization through a single lens fail.
Many transnational scholars agree that the nation-state is not disappearing because of globalization, but rather is being reorganized, in part, to reflect the interests of a global marketplace. Postmodern perspectives on borders have been critiqued for ignoring, if not obscuring, this point. The idea is that postmodernism’s emphasis on hybridity makes the notion of boundaries defunct and leads to the conclusion that the nation-state is irrelevant as a unit of analysis. This is problematic for those who now see any discussion of power and violence regarding the border as impossible to formulate. This paper aims to assuage some deep concerns regarding a postmodern analysis of globalization, the nation-state, and the border. In addition, the shortcomings of both critics and recent “reformers” of hybridity are examined, along with the far reaching value of using a postmodern approach in U.S.-Mexico border studies. Finally, the implications of postmodernism with regards to social change in this era of lobalization are discussed.