Change is a crucial and inescapable process for many organisations. It remains a constant challenge for managers and many change management initiatives fail. Burns and Stalker’s seminal text on managing change, The Management of Innovation, has often been used as a basis for research in mainstream management journals and has been represented as an important theory in popular and long-established management textbooks. The issues raised in that book are still being grappled with by academics and practitioners today.
Miriam Green provides a critical analysis of the mainstream construction of knowledge on change management through an examination of representations of that text. The main thesis of her book is that this literature, though valuable, does not provide a full picture. Its objectivist approach ignores the role of other factors raised in the original study. These factors include the effects of power, politics, resistance and employee influence on the outcomes of managerial change strategies and on other organisational processes, with important consequences for the understanding of change initiatives by both academics and practitioners. This is part of an ongoing debate in management studies and more widely in the social sciences about theoretical approaches and research methods.
The originality of this book lies in its in-depth comparison of an entire monograph on organisations facing technological and commercial change, with an equally in-depth analysis of the ways this work has been represented and used as a basis for teaching and research. It highlights the limitations of the exclusive use of one approach to explain the complications arising from organisational change. It challenges the scientific justification offered for that approach and supports arguments for more inclusive and sustainable scholarship, of greater relevance to academics, managers and other organisational stakeholders.
Chapter 1: Introduction
1.1 Introduction, 1.2 Rationale, 1.3 Background to Contingency Theory, 1.3.1 Burns and Stalker’s Contingency Theory, 1.4 Management of change, 1.5 Critiques of mainstream scholarship, 1.6 Critiques of research methodologies, 1.7 Spur to this study, 1.8 Dialectical contradictions, 1.9 Analytical framework, 1.10 Contents of the book
Chapter 2: Meanings of texts
2.1 Introduction, 2.2 Interpretations of texts, 2.3 Interpretations of Burns and Stalker’s book, 2.4 Alternative interpretations of Burns and Stalker’s book, 2.5 Meanings of texts, 2.6 Poststructuralists on the meanings of texts, 2.7 Applications to Burns and Stalker’s text, 2.8 Conclusion
Chapter 3: Representations of texts
3.1 Introduction, 3.2 Representation, 3.3 Representations of texts, 3.4 Representations of The Management of Innovation, 3.5 Alternative approaches: management, 3.6 Critiques of contingency research, 3.7 Alternative approaches: management accounting, 3.8 Alternative approaches of The Management of Innovation, 3.9 Conclusion
Chapter 4: Textual analysis
4.1 Introduction, 4.2 Textual analysis, 4.3 Themes in The Management of Innovation, 4.4 Main thesis, 4.5 Support by other writers, 4.6 The selected textbooks, 4.7 Critical discourse analysis, 4.8 Conclusion
Chapter 5: Paradigm commensurabilities
5.1 Introduction, 5.2 Paradigms, 5.3 Paradigm similarities and differences, 5.4 Burrell and Morgan’s sociological paradigms, 5.5 The functionalist paradigm, 5.6 Burns and Stalker’s book, 5.7 The Interpretive paradigm, 5.8 Conclusion
Chapter 6: The academy
6.1 Introduction, 6.2 Explanations for mainstream representations of The Management of Innovation, 6.3 The academy, 6.4 Journals, 6.5 The Administrative Science Quarterly, 6.6 Journal rankings, 6.7 Academic networks, 6.8 Universities, 6.9 Technology and curricular developments, 6.10 Disciplinary influences, 6.11 Tropes, 6.12 Conclusion
Chapter 7: Science versus scientificity
7.1 Introduction, 7.2 Objectivist knowledge, 7.3 Subjectivist knowledge, 7.4 Scientific knowledge, 7.5 Positivism, 7.6 Implications, 7.7 Incommensurability: the natural sciences, 7.8 Incommensurability: the social sciences, 7.9 Commensurability: the social sciences, 7.10 Incommensurability: organisation/management studies, 7.11 Commensurability: organisation/management studies, 7.12 Conclusion
Chapter 8: Dialectical oppositions
8.1 Introduction, 8.2 Simons (1987), 8.3 Abernethy and Brownell (1999), 8.4 Simons’ research: implications, 8.5 Abernethy and Brownell’s research: implications, 8.6 Dissenting voices: organisation/management, 8.7 Dissenting voices: management accounting, 8.8 Chenhall and Euske (2007), 8.9 Chenhall and Euske’s research: implications, 8.10 Conclusion
Chapter 9: Conclusions
9.1 Purpose of this study, 9.2 Similarities and differences, 9.3 Findings, 9.4 Explanations, 9.5 Commensurability and incommensurability, 9.6 Contingency theory as a model and benchmark, 9.7 Significance for practice, 9.8 One interpretation, 9.9 Limitations of the book, 9.10 Scope for further research, 9.11 Conclusion
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