Agency and Change

Rethinking Change Agency in Organizations

By Raymond Caldwell

© 2005 – Routledge

192 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415326773
pub: 2005-11-17
US Dollars$68.95
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Hardback: 9780415326766
pub: 2005-11-24
US Dollars$185.00
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e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

This excellent book remaps the limits and possibilities of change, clearly shifting the focus from outmoded debates on agency and structure to new practice-based discourses on agency and change. Offering readers a selective and critical review of key literature and empirical research, it will help students contextualize this complex subject area and independently evaluate future prospects for effective change agent roles in organizations

Presenting an interdisciplinary exploration of competing discourses, the book uses two overarching conceptual continua: centred agency-decentred agency and systems-processes, thereby allowing a more intensive focus on agency and change. Well-written with challenging content, this book is essential reading for those interested in the origins, development and future prospects for change agency in an organizational world characterized by increasing complexity, risk and uncertainty.

Reviews

'Agency and Change remains an important critical analysis of organizational change theory as it faces up to new, complex organizational realities.' - Robert Wapshott for Work, Employment and Society

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. The Rise of the Change Agent 3. Change Leaders 4. The Manager as Change Agent 5. Management Consultants as Change Agents 6. The Emergence of Change Teams 7. The Learning Organization and Change Agency 8. Four Models of Change Agency 9. The Future of Change Agency 10. Conclusions

About the Author

Raymond Caldwell is Reader in Organizational Change at Birkbeck College, University of London. His research interests include organizational change theories, change agency and leadership, and the role of the HR function in the management of change.

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?

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUS000000
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / General
BUS085000
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Organizational Behavior