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A Critical Review of Theories of Organisational Change

Publication & Dissemination

Alberto Bindi Scoponi

on 10 May 2015

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Transcript of A Critical Review of Theories of Organisational Change

Publication & Dissemination
Thanks for your kind attention.

DBA Class 2014-2014
Portsmouth cohort
University of Portsmouth
designed by Péter Puklus for Prezi
Undertake a presentation (15-20 mins) in order to communicate the main features of your prototype academic paper. Make sure to:

A. Introduce the field and outline the aims of your paper

B. Describe the grounding of your paper within the scholarly literature

C. Discuss the contribution to theory and to practice that your paper sets out to achieve
A. Introduce the field
*organisational change
*change management

under the subject fields of
>strategic management and
>organisational studies

What is organisational change?
There more than 40 ranked scholarly journals by ABS Academic Journal Quality:

11 journals in the
strategic management
field of which one has the specific title of
Journal of Change Management

in the area of
organisation studies
ABS ranks 30 journals of which one has the title of
Journal of Organizational Change Management
A Critical Review of Theories of
Organisational Change
Alberto Bindi Scoponi, DBA, ID UP752988
Outline aims of the paper
Literature review with a critical approach - Looking for alternative / innovative / "unorthodox" paradigm for further practical researches
Target Journal
Journal of Change Management

1. Coherent with my research project;
2. Cited by Academic Journal Quality Guide with Grade One (apparently, as a beginner this seems an ambitious but attainable goal);
3. It publishes some interesting qualitative research with case studies.

B. Describe the grounding of your paper within the scholarly literature
Start from the most recent "meta-analysis" / systematic literature reviews ....
Wetzel, R. & Van Gorp, L. (2014). Eighteen shades of grey? An explorative literature review into the theoretical flavours of organizational change research.
Journal of Organizational Change Management
C. Discuss the contribution to theory and to practice that your paper sets out to achieve
"My argument is that there is a need for less normative and more theoretically imaginative approaches to researching and understanding change" (quoting Valerie's comments)
Collect & organise previous reviewing articles
Orthodox vs. Unorthodox
Theoretical background: organisation theory as an exploding space
(Wetzel, R. & Van Gorp, L., 2014, pp. 188-121)

Action (agency) vs. structure
Micro vs. macro focus
Volition vs. evolution (voluntarism vs. determination)
From engineering rationalism to social symbolism
From managerial to critical
From enlightenment to storytelling
Orthodox vs. Unorthodox
"...strongly rationalistic vision to organisations, dominant at time of its inception and now relegated to a mere source for repetition and boredom" (Wetzel, R. & Van Gorp, L., 2014, p. 116). (for origins see for example Taylor, Fayol & Lewin)

Pro-change ("totalitarianism of change")
Focusing on the object of the organisation, through one perspective (mono-vocal with focus on one object, classical linear approach)
Drive to make change steerable and controllable
(Sturdy, A. & Grey, C., 2003, p. 655)

Selection of theories from Wetzel, R. & Van Gorp, L., 2014, p.123
The six interconnected analytical challenges from Pettigrew et al.(2001).
Multiple Contexts and Levels of Analysis
Time, History, Process and Action
Change Processes and Organizational Performance Outcomes
International Comparative Research on Organizational Change
Receptivity, Customization, Sequencing Pace, and Episodic versus Continuous Change
Engagement between Scholars and Practitioners

An illuminating paper > Buchanan, D. & Dawson, P. (2007). Discourse and Audience: Organizational Change as Multi-Story Process.
Journal of Management Studies

(provided by Prof. McCalman)
Polyvocal narratives from many different standpoints (i.e. "winners & losers") as a multi-story process, multi-layer and multi-methods contextual analysis of change

"...do not directly generate hypothesis, but ... provide instead lenses which reveal the contextualized, complex, iterative and politicized nature of change. A narrative perspective offers a complementary lens, emphasizing the contextual, temporal, sequential, and multi-authored properties of change..." (p. 683).

An alternative approach with the paradoxical theory of change
“Change occurs when one becomes what he is, not when he tries to become what he is not”. Beisser, A.,1970, p. 1, The Paradoxical Theory of Change.
International Gestalt Journal.
Smith, W. K., & Lewis, M. W. (2011). Toward a theory of paradox: A dynamic equilibrium model of organizing.
Academy of Management Review
Jay, J. (2013). Navigating paradox as a mechanism of change and innovation in hybrid organizations.
Academy of Management Journal.
There is a potential richness of theories in organisational change research that should be fully exploited on the practitioner's side.
For example, polyvocal narratives from many different standpoints or navigating through a process model of paradoxes.
A selection of reviewing articles
Journal of Change Management

Instructions for authors
General guidelines
Style guidelines
Orthodox vs. Unorthodox
Philosophies, visions and approaches contrary to the incumbent linear and rational paradigm.

Given the complexity of the modern organisations, a multi-facet method with multiple philosophical perspectives, in order to understand and “...to cope with the ambiguity, ambivalence and contradiction of organizations” and to learn “...to manage the paradoxical tensions between continuity and change” (Graetz, F. & Smith, A. C. T., 2010, pp.150-151)

Multiple context, level of analysis and philosophical perspectives
Change could be evolutionary and self-steering
Ten different philosophies of change from Graetz, F. & Smith, A.C.T., 2010, pp.140-148
Biological Philosophy
Rational Philosophy
Institutional Philosophy
Resource Philosophy
Contingency Perspective
Psychological Philosophy
Political Philosophy
Cultural Philosophy
Systems Philosophy
Postmodern Philosophy

Is it orthodox or unorthodox?
Journal of Change
"Paradoxfying Organisational Change: Cynism and Resistance in the Swedish Armed Forces"

"Organisational Diagnosis: An Evidence-based Approach"
From Theory to Practice
From Theory to PracticE
From Theory
to Practice
Philosophies of Change

Theoretical Background

Modern/Classical Organisational Theories

Analytical Challenges

Social Sciences Theories
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