Rethinking Organizational Change: The Role of Dialogue, Dialectic & Polyphony in the Organization, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Rethinking Organizational Change

The Role of Dialogue, Dialectic & Polyphony in the Organization, 1st Edition

By Muayyad Jabri


180 pages

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Rethinking Organizational Change: The Role of Dialogue, Dialectic & Polyphony in the Organization makes an important scholarly contribution to our understanding of dialogue applied to the management of change. Muayyad Jabri offers an involved assessment of the differences between 'dialogue’ and ‘dialectic’ and an intriguing invitation to rely on both for managing creative interventions into the change process. The book provides a surplus of new insights that will help to promote scholarly work in the area of managing change and to develop a more creative practice associated with the processes of managing change.

The call for polyphony facilitates a crossover from sameness to diversity and from univocal to multivocal representations. In reading patterns of managing change, whether from within or across organizational borders, it is found that a vital part of the reading is, at present, ‘unreadable’ because we lack involved knowledge of how diversity and polyphony are interrelated. This book seeks to change this; based on a rendition of Mikhail Bakhtin’s anthropological concept of polyphony applied to organizational change. The reader is treated to a cutting-edge discussion of a variety of contemporary ontological and epistemological themes centered on process, dialectic, dialogue and social construction.


"Muayyad Jabri has written an interesting and important review which explores polyphony as a significant concept in the generation and understanding of meaning in everyday converse. Students and practicing managers alike will find this a fascinating and insightful read."Julian Randall, University of Aberdeen, UK

"This is a must-read for those in the field of change management that want to develop a relational dialogue approach. Rethinking Organizational Change is well written and can help scholars and managers alike."David Boje, New Mexico State University, USA

Table of Contents

1. Managing Change and the Role of Polyphony 2. The Role of Utterances in Communicating Change 3. The Role of Dialogue in Managing Change 4. The Role of Dialectic in Managing Change 5. Styles of Engagement: Dialogue with Dialectic 6. Polyphony and Organizational Learning 7. The Verdict: Embodying Change through Polyphony

About the Author

Muayyad Jabri is an Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Business University of New England Business School, Australia.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Organizational Change & Development

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:

  • What are the emerging themes in the field of organizational change?
  • Which theories and approaches to change have stood the test of time?
  • What are the key debates within the field?
  • How has the field been influenced by and incorporated newer approaches to organizational life, such as postmodernism, social constructionism, critical realism, and complexity theories?
  • What is the current status of OD (organization development)?
  • To what extent have countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and South America developed their own distinct approaches to change?
  • How are developments such as social media and virtual organizations affecting the way organizations perceive and carry out change?
  • Do successful organizations adopt different approaches to change than unsuccessful ones, or do they use the same approaches but more effectively?

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Organizational Behavior
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Organizational Development