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Organizational Restructuring and Middle Manager Sensemaking

Published on Aug 1, 2004in Academy of Management Journal7.191
· DOI :10.2307/20159600
Julia Balogun21
Estimated H-index: 21
,
Gerry Johnson32
Estimated H-index: 32
(University of Strathclyde)
Abstract
This longitudinal, qualitative study examined “sensemaking” during an imposed shift from hierarchical to decentralized organization. We identified a “replacement” pattern of schema development in w...
  • References (45)
  • Citations (768)
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A strongly identified workforce presents a paradox during times of radical organizational change. Though it may bind people together behind the change initiative, strong organizationwide identification often blinds and potentially blocks the view of new possibilities. Prior research on identity change has tended to either ignore the paradox or resolve it by advocating some middle ground such as hybrid organizational identities or group-level identifications. This paper presents an identity trans...
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#1Melissa A. Schilling (NYU: New York University)H-Index: 27
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In many industries, integrated hierarchical organizations have been replaced by nonhierarchical entities that are permeable, interconnected, and modular. Other industries, however, maintain relatively high levels of integration. We use the logic of general systems modularity to explain why in some industries there is a greater use of modular organizational forms, including contract manufacturing, alternative work arrangements, and alliances, than in other industries. This model was tested using ...
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Middle managers have often been cast as dinosaurs. Has-beens. Mediocre managers and intermediaries who defend the status quo instead of supporting others' attempts to change organizations for the better. An INSEAD professor has examined this interesting breed of manager--in particular, middle managers' roles during periods of radical organizational change. His findings will surprise many. Middle managers, it turns out, make valuable contributions to the realization of radical change at companies...
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The authors conceptualize discourse as a duality of communicative actions and deep structures, mediated by the modality of interpretive schemes, and develop a discourse analysis methodology based on the fields of hermeneutics and rhetoric. They then explore the role of discourse in shaping organizational change processes through its influence on actors' interpretations and actions, using a longitudinal field study of electronic trading implementation in the London Insurance Market. The authors c...
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#1Karl E. WeickH-Index: 66
Acknowledgments. Introduction. Part I: Organizations as Contexts for Sensemaking:. Introduction. 1. Sensemaking in Organizations: Small Structures with Large Consequences. 2. Sources of Order in Underorganized Systems: Themes in Recent Organizational Theory. 3. Organizational Redesign as Improvisation. Part II: Components of Sensemaking:. Introduction. Ecological Change. 4. The Collapse of Sensemaking in Organizations: The Mann Gulch Disaster. 5. The Vulnerable System: An Analysis of the Tenerif...
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Conceptualizing privatization as the shift from one institutional template to another, we draw on the related literature of institutional theory and script development to explore the interactive effects of actors' behavioral scripts and institutional templates. In so doing, we address microlevel aspects of the macroinstitutional change of privatization and advance our understanding of the role of public sector managers in the privatization process.
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#1Jeffrey D. FordH-Index: 21
In the network of conversations that constitute the realities called organizations, the focus and unit of work in producing and managing change is conversation. This means that change agents work with, through, and on conversations to generate, sustain, and complete new conversations in order to bring about an altered network of conversations that results in the accomplishment of specific commitments. This chapter proposes that bringing about this alteration is an infective process in which chan...
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This article explores producing and managing change within conversationally constructed realities. Conversations are proposed as both the medium and product of reality construction within which change is a process of shifting conversations in the network of conversations that constitute organizations. In this context, change entails bringing new conversations into a sustained existence and the job of change managers is to create the conversational realities that produce effective action rather t...
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Research summary In this qualitative study of strategic renewal at a North American news organization we reveal that the treatment of occupational members as resources in strategy literature is necessary, but insufficient. Their activities are critical for organizational survival and competition but also the work needed to maintain their occupational identity. Furthermore, the prevailing research evidence that occupational members impede strategic renewal is incomplete. Our study challenges the ...
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#1Alexander Engelmann (WU: Vienna University of Economics and Business)
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Abstract In the 2015 petroleum regulations update, the Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA-N) modified the risk definition, by highlighting uncertainty instead of probability as one of the core components of risk. Although much work has been conducted on how to assess and manage risk using an uncertainty-based risk perspective, the specific implications of such a risk perspective for a regulatory context have not been given equally attention. The paper seeks to bring new insights to this i...
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Research Summary This paper examines how strategy-makers attempt to reconcile change initiatives with organizational values and principles laid out long before, still encased in strategic identity statements such as corporate mottos and philosophies. It reveals three discursive strategies that strategy-makers use to establish a sense of continuity in time of change: elaborating (transferring part of the content of the historical statement into a new one), recovering (forging a new statement base...
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