Making Sense of Revolutionary Change Essay

7602 WordsApr 3, 201431 Pages
Making sense of revolutionary change: differences in members' stories Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA Keywords Organizational change, Stories, Perception Abstract Members of an organization that had undergone revolutionary, punctuated equilibrium type change were asked to tell the story of that change. Senior managers tended to make sense of the change as discontinuous, while individual contributors tended to make sense of the change as incremental. Three theories of individual sense-making; individual agency, personal relevance, and strategic perspective are developed to suggest why individuals made sense of these changes differently. Steven S. Taylor Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 12 No. 6, 1999, pp. 524-539. # MCB University Press, 0953-4814 The difference between incremental and discontinuous organizational change has been discussed at length by Tushman and Romanelli (1985) as part of their theory of punctuated equilibrium. They suggest that firms go through periods of convergence and reorientation. The periods of convergence include incremental change which moves the firm towards greater internal consistency. The periods of reorientation include simultaneous discontinuous shifts in strategy, the distribution of power, structures, and control systems. They further define a special case of reorientation, called a recreation that also includes a discontinuous shift in the firm's core values and beliefs. A discontinuous change in strategy could mean the firm is introducing or abandoning new product lines, or new market segments. Structure changes could mean an announced general reorganization. Power distribution changes could mean a high turnover of senior executives, or significant additions being made to the executive team that represented a functional shift in the organization (Romanelli and Tushman, 1994). A

More about Making Sense of Revolutionary Change Essay

Open Document