The literature on Change Management works from the premise that management possesses the power to achieve change and this is evident in that resistance is little more than a footnote in most textbooks. This assumption sits uneasily, however, with the high failure rate of Change Management interventions. This book seeks to explain this paradox by providing a critical ‘relational’ approach towards Change Management. What would a book on Change Management look like that takes resistance seriously? This book attempts precisely this by exploring how resistance is as much a part of change as the strategies of those that seek to enact it. The findings are drawn from a qualitative study of organizational transformation in a Local Government Authority in the UK. Its detailed empirical insights enable readers to explore organizational change from many different perspectives considering issues such as the strategic use of metaphor and counter-metaphors; management and employee resistance; organizational politics and cynicism.
It will be of interest to researchers, academics, and students interested in change management, organizational studies, human resource management, and critical management studies.
Chapter One: Introduction
Chapter Two: The Landscape of Change Management
Chapter Three: Towards A Critical ‘Relational’ Perspective on Change Management
Chapter Four: The Contextual Landscape
Chapter Five: Metaphors-As-Power
Chapter Six: Management Resistance
Chapter Seven: Resistance: From Negative To Positive/Productive?
Chapter Eight: Cynicism In Service
Chapter Nine: Making Organizational Politics Political
Chapter Ten: Conclusion
It is often stated that some 70% of all change projects fail. Though this figure can be disputed, it is nevertheless clear that managing change is one of the most difficult tasks facing organizations today. In response to this, writers offer a wide range of theories and advice designed to aid managers and scholars in understanding and managing change, but which seem merely to overwhelm them with a profusion of competing and conflicting advice and approaches. In many respects, change is a field which epitomises the ‘rigor-relevance’ debate. We have many approaches to change which are built on sound research and robust theories, but which appear to lack relevance for managers. We also have a vast array of nostrums, practices and tools which managers use, but which appear to lack methodological or theoretical foundations.
The aim of this series is to cut through the confusion surrounding the study and practice of change by providing comprehensive and in-depth studies of existing and emerging approaches to change. The rationale for the series is that we cannot understand organizational change sufficiently nor implement it effectively unless we can evaluate the various approaches in terms of the evidence which underpins them, what they seek to achieve and how and where they can be applied. In particular, the series seeks to address, but is not limited to, the following questions: