Reshaping Change : A Processual Perspective book cover
2nd Edition

Reshaping Change
A Processual Perspective

ISBN 9781138486508
Published June 10, 2019 by Routledge
298 Pages

USD $74.95

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Book Description

This book views change as an ongoing process that should not be solidified or treated as a series of linear events. In drawing on data collected from over 40 years of research, it highlights the theoretical and practical value of using a processual perspective. Illustrative examples from a range of organizations including: Micro-X, General Motors, Pirelli Cables, BHP Billiton, Royal Dutch Shell, British Rail, British Aerospace, Hewlett Packard, Laubman and Pank and the CSIRO make the approach understandable and accessible to both researchers and practitioners.

In a theoretical exploration of temporal context, sociomaterial relations and power-political processes the dynamics of changing organizations is brought to the fore and the implication for reshaping change examined. On the practice of engaging in longitudinal research, study design, data collection and processual analysis, as well as the write-up and dissemination of findings, are all considered. This is an innovative and highly practical research monograph that captures the truly complex processes of changing organizations and illustrates how these are best understood from a processual perspective.

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables


  1. Introduction
  2. Introduction

    The case for adopting a processual approach

    The temporal dynamics of changing organizations

    Grounding a processual perspective in empirical research

    Main aims of the book

  3. The Development of the Processual Perspective and the Process Turn in Organization Studies
  4. Introduction

    Laying the foundations: The importance of context and process

    Pettigrew’s contribution to the processual-contextualist approach

    The process turn in organization studies

    Empirically grounded processual research and process philosophy: Issues and challenges

    Developing a typology of process research in fieldwork studies

    Processes of narrative change: Stories, sensemaking and dialogue

    Processes of temporal change: Time, temporality and practice


  5. A Processual Framework: The Non-linear Dynamic Processes of Organizational Change
  6. Introduction

    Studying change over time: Analytical distinctions and conceptual considerations

    Type of organizational change

    The before, during and after of organizational change: ‘Catching reality in flight’ through conventional timeframes

    The importance of multiple times and multiple temporalities

    Doing processual research: Approach, commitment and methods

    Digging in the field: The committed researcher

    Longitudinal research designs in collecting processual data

    The processual framework reappraised and developed

    Temporal context

    Beyond contextual boundaries

    Culture and history

    Sensemaking and sensegiving

    Time and temporality

    Stories and narratives for understanding change

    Power-political processes

    Sociomaterial relations

    Assemblages and entanglement: Some early debates

    The concept of sociomateriality reappraised


  7. Miners’ Stories and the Power-Political Processes of Contested Change
  8. Introduction

    The power of stories, storytellers and storying

    The power-political process of contested change at Glenrothes colliery

    Stories and the storying process in changing organizations

    Retrospective stories and prospective storying

    Temporal sensemaking and change: It’s ‘us’ against ‘them’

    Attribution of blame in making sense of performance

    Review and appeal: The power of stories to resist and steer change


  9. Temporal Context and Non-linear Change at General Motors
  10. Introduction

    Context, time and temporality in the study of changing organizations

    Moving context beyond business considerations dominant in mainstream change management models

    Alternative conceptions of time and the concept of temporal context

    Temporal context: The illustrative example of General Motors

    The historical context of General Motors Holden

    Data gathering and the concern with data triangulation

    Stories in temporal context: Narrative in the making and processes in the shaping

    Temporal context and depth of contextual knowledge

    Temporal context and the sociomaterial dynamics of cell design

    Temporal context and power-political process


  11. Sociomaterial Relations in the Emergence and Growth of Micro-X
  12. Introduction

    Ongoing change and sociomateriality at Micro-X

    The concept of sociomateriality and the importance of time

    Micro-X: A high-tech start-up company based in Adelaide

    The birth of a business: From idea generation to marketing and product emergence

    Finding a partner organization for distribution and sales

    Securing finance and building networks

    Prototypes, reliability testing and the core technology

    Establishing a Micro-X facility in South Australia: From design to manufacture

    Drawing on the experience of ex-Holden employees

    Quality supply and manufacture

    Strategy, collaboration and innovation

    Conclusion: Sociomaterial relations and the Micro-X story

  13. The Design of Longitudinal Case Study Research and the Importance of Process and Time
  14. 7. The Design of Longitudinal Case Study Research And The Importance Of Process And Time


    Time and temporality in processual research and the ethnographic case study

    Process ontology and debates on temporality and change

    Temporal practices and temporal awareness in researching workplace change

    A facilitating framework for accommodating time and temporality in extended case study research

    The design and practice of longitudinal research

    Longitudinal design and processual research: Practical constraints and contextual opportunities


  15. Conducting Processual Fieldwork: Data Collection and Analysis
  16. Introduction

    Tacit knowledge: There is no substitute for dirty hands

    Doing it: Processual research and the task of data collection

    Observational methods

    The use of interviews

    Combining observation and in-depth interviewing

    Other data collection techniques and supplementary methods

    Processual analysis: The long vigil

    The essential needs of processual analysis

    The need for contextual richness in accommodating conflicting data


  17. Disseminating Processual Research: Audience and Storyteller
  18. Introduction

    Stories and storytelling

    The anecdotal story as a recipe for success: The popular management literature

    Stories and storytelling in academic study

    The processual case study in written form

    The question of higher levels of output and the constraints of research group pressures

    The case study and the audience: A typology

    Content and style of the case material

    The currency of publications: Challenges, opportunities and constraints


  19. Conclusion


Practical dimensions of processual research

Concluding comments on developments in the processual approach

Appendix I: Some Examples of Interview Schedules and a Supervisor’s Questionnaire


Supervisor’s interview schedule

Yard staff interview schedule

Supervisor’s questionnaire

Appendix II: An Example of a Processual Case Study Write-up for Company Agreement on Publishable Material


The company write-up: Total quality management at Laubman and Pank


Research strategy and methods

Laubman and Pank

Quality management at Laubman and Pank

Senior management assessment of service excellence

Laboratory manufacturing and service excellence

Service excellence and competitive optometric practice

Conclusion: TQM in the Laubman and Pank Group


Appendix III: An Example of a Processual Case Study Used for Teaching Purposes


Guidelines for case study tutorials

A recommended approach

The British Rail case study: Learning from the past?

The computerisation of freight operations control

The implementation problem

The ‘task force’ approach

Creating a culture of change

Technological change and organizational innovation

Case study questions




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Patrick Dawson is a Professor of Change, Creativity and Innovation at the University of Adelaide, Professor of Organizational Change at the University of Northumbria, and an Emeritus Professor of Management at the University of Aberdeen.