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Organizational Change: Creating Change Through Strategic Communication, 2nd Edition




Organizational Change: Creating Change Through Strategic Communication, 2nd Edition

Laurie Lewis

ISBN: 978-1-119-43131-2 December 2018 Wiley-Blackwell 336 Pages


A comprehensive guide to essential theories and practices of change creation and implementation

Organizational Change provides an essential overview to implementing deliberate and focused change through effective communication strategies. Author Laurie Lewis integrates academic rigor with real-world case studies to provide a comprehensive examination of both theoretical and pragmatic approaches to alterations and modifications of organizational structures. Emphasizing the importance of formal and informal communication in implementation of change, this text investigates methods of information dissemination and examines various channels for communicating change. Coverage of stakeholder relationships, concepts of uncertainty and resistance, assessing change outcomes, and more provides readers with a solid foundational knowledge of change dynamics in organizations.

Extensively revised and updated, this second edition provides new case studies on topics such as design of input solicitation, and current research in areas including the persuasive effects of sidedness or inoculation, and socially supportive communication. Improved pedagogical tools, streamlined organization of topics, and additional charts, graphs, and images reinforce efficient presentation of material and increase reader retention and comprehension. 

  • Examines empirical, theoretical, and conceptual approaches to strategic communication during organization change
  • Explores key elements of change, appropriate communication strategies, and outcome evaluation methods
  • Presents adaptive and programmatic strategic implementation models
  • Provides studies of real-world companies and actual research on organizational change
  • Debunks popular myths and clarifies misunderstandings of research and theory on implementation of change
  • Demonstrates how Individuals, groups, and entire organizations can create change and influence implementation.

Organizational Change provides a thorough survey of the communication and implementation strategies, methods, and conceptual foundations of change in public and private sector organizations, suitable for undergraduate and graduate study and practitioners with interest in complex change implementation. 

Introduction 1

State of the Art 3

Weaknesses in Current Approaches to Change Implementation 4

A Stakeholder Theory Perspective 7

Highlight Box 1: Hershey Builds a Community 9

A Communication Perspective 12

Cases of Organizational Change 14

Ingredients Incorporated 14

Spellings Commission on Higher Education 15

Conclusion 18

1 Defining Organizational Change 20

The Role of Communication in Triggering Change 21

Failure in Change 24

What Is Organizational Change? 25

Drive‐thru Diffusion 27

Communication, Social Pressure, and Diffusion 28

Highlight Box 1.1: The Malcolm Baldrige Award 30

Implementation 31

Understanding Key Terms 32

A Complex Model of Innovation, Diffusion, Adoption,and Implementation 34

Case Box 1.1: Ingredients Inc. Experiences Overlapping Changes 37

Types of Organizational Change 37

Complexity of Change Within Organizations 42

Interdependence 42

Structures 44

Politics 46

Case Box 1.2: Spellings Commission Political Positions Play a Role 48

Conclusion 49

2 Processes of Communication During Change 53

Formal Communication 54

Case Box 2.1: Spellings Commission – Responses to Change Announcement 55

Informal Communication 55

Importance of Communication 56

Communication Processes 57

Information Dissemination and Uncertainty 58

Common Practice Advice for Information Dissemination 62

Selecting Channels for Communicating Change 64

Case Box 2.2: Ingredients Inc. – Information Dissemination Campaigns 65

Informal Information Dissemination 66

Case Box 2.3: Spellings Commission – Stakeholders’ Informational Campaign 67

Creating Knowledge 68

Soliciting Input 69

Practice Advice for Seeking Input 70

Voice and Empowerment 70

Design of Input Solicitation 73

Categorizing Approaches to Input Solicitation 76

Perspectives of Input Providers 79

Stakeholders’ Input Solicitation 81

Case Box 2.4: Spellings Stakeholders Solicit Input from Each Other 82

Socialization 83

Case Box 2.5: Homeless Net Resists Altering Role Schema 87

Conclusion 88

3 A Stakeholder Communication Model of Change 94

Stakeholder Theory 95

Highlight Box 3.1: HUD As a Definitive Stakeholder for Agencies Serving Homeless Populations 99

Case Box 3.1: Homeless Net Implementation of Listserv Increases Awareness of Stakeholders 100

Complicating Stakeholder Relationships 102

Multiple Stakeholder Identities 104

Highlight Box 3.2: IT Reskilling Case Study – How Stakeholder Groups View Change Differently 107

Stakeholder Interactions 108

Highlight Box 3.3: Upton Sinclair Sets off Stakeholder Advocacy to Clean up Meat Packing Factories 109

Roles Stakeholders Play in Change 110

Opinion Leaders 110

Connectors 111

Counselors 112

Journalists 114

Highlight Box 3.4: Examples of “Alt” US Government 115

Stakeholder Model of Implementation of Change 115

Outcomes 116

Stakeholders’ Concerns, Assessments, and Interactions 117

Communication Strategies 117

Antecedents 119

Model Overview 119

Conclusion 120

4 Outcomes of Change Processes 126

The Importance of Goals 127

Assessing Change Outcomes 128

Timing of Assessing Outcomes 129

Assessing Outcomes from Multiple Perspectives 129

Difficulty of Metrics of Success 131

Case Box 4.1: Homeless Net Struggles to Assess a Large Mission 132

Attribution Errors 133

Documenting Failure 135

Highlight Box 4.1: March of Dimes Succeeds to the Brink of Organizational Death 136

Assessing Change Outcomes 137

Fidelity and Uniformity 138

Organizational Goals 141

Authenticity 141

Assessing Results of Change 143

Case Box 4.2: Ingredients Inc. – Foreknowledge and Change Burnout 145

Causes for Implementation Failures and Successes 146

Conclusion 150

5 Communication Approaches and Strategies 156

Uniformity, Fidelity, and Models of Implementation 159

Communication Strategy Dimensions 162

Dissemination/Soliciting Input 162

Highlight Box 5.1: Gap’s Campaign for Cultural Transformation 163

Highlight Box 5.2: CEO of Lego Transforms Co.Through Widespread Empowerment Strategy 165

Case Box 5.1: Spellings Stakeholders Solicit Input and Disseminate Information 167

Sidedness 168

Case Box 5.2: One‐ and Two‐Sided Messages from Spellings Stakeholders 171

Reluctance to Acknowledge Negatives 172

Highlight Box 5.3: Companies Use Euphemisms to Avoid Saying “Layoffs” 173

Gain or Loss Frame 175

Targeted or Blanket Messages 177

Case Box 5.3: Memo to Ingredients Inc. 178

Case Box 5.4: Official Statement by the Department of Education on Spellings Commission Report 179

Discrepancy and Efficacy 181

Channels for Communicating 183

Conclusion 185

6 Power and Resistance 191

Power During Organizational Change 192

Case Box 6.1: Spellings Commission’s Latent Power Recognized 195

Bases of Power 196

Case Box 6.2: Homeless Net Recognizes Expertise Power of Implementers 197

Meaning‐Centered Approach to Power 198

Balances of Power 199

Highlight Box 6.1: JAR Technologies Experiences Concertive Control 202

Resistance During Change 202

Thinking Patterns that Explain Managers’ “Resistance” Focus 203

Highlight Box 6.2: Defensive Routines in Implementing Strategy 205

What Is Resistance? 205

Forms of Resistance 208

Highlight Box 6.3: Mice Don’t Overanalyze Change 210

Dispositional Resistance 216

Value of Resistance 218

The Facebook Example 219

Highlight Box 6.4: Moving Cheese Might Require Thoughtful Consideration 221

Conclusion 221

7 Antecedents to Strategies, Assessments,and Interactions 227

Institutional Factors 229

Implementers’ Perceptions of Change Context 232

Assessing Stakeholders and Stakeholder Values 232

Case Box 7.1: Reactions of Powerful Stakeholders 235

Assessing Needs for Consensus‐Building 236

Assessing Needs for Efficiency 237

Assessing Individual and Organizational Change History and Readiness 238

Case Box 7.2: History as Prologue? Spellings Report Triggers Comparisons to NCLB 239

Assessing Goals for Change 240

Case Box 7.3: Flip‐Flopping on Anticipation of Change 241

Stakeholders’ Perceptions of Change Context 242

Case Box 7.4: Discrepancy Messages Overplayed 244

Case Box 7.5: Supporting Stakeholders through Change 246

Conclusion 248

8 Stakeholder Interactions: Storying and Framing 253

Creating Stories and Storylines That Make Sense 255

Highlight Box 8.1: How We Make Stories 255

Case Box 8.1: Threads of Merger Stories 257

Highlight Box 8.2: Story of Bad Treatment 258

Making Stories 258

Case Box 8.2: Varying Stories About What Was Announced as Change 259

Framing 260

Frames Tell Stories from a Perspective 260

Interactional Frames 261

Contesting and Resisting Stories and Frames 262

Highlight Box 8.3: Attempts at Framing 263

“Managing Meaning” 264

How Non‐Managerial Stakeholders “Manage Meaning” 265

Stories and Frames Create, Maintain, and Resolve Concerns 265

Concerns about Process or Substance of Change 268

Creating and Resolving Alliances, Rivalries, and Schisms 270

Highlight Box 8.4: Terse Telling 271

Highlight Box 8.5: “We Don’t Want It Either” 272

Highlight Box 8.6: Reframing and Resistance 273

Which Stories and Frames Matter? 274

Highlight Box 8.7: Social Sensemaking Sets Up Material Disappointment 276

Conclusion 277

9 Applying the Model in Practice 281

Activity Tracks 282

Managing Meaning 283

Managing Networks 283

Managing Practice 284

Keeping Track of the “Tracks” 284

Stakeholders Must Manage Activity Tracks 285

Preview of Chapter and Case Introduction 286

Tools for Managing Activity Tracks 286

Monitoring and Articulating Goals 286

Highlight Box 9.1: Virtual Problems 287

Developing Strategic Messages and Strategic Communication Plan 291

Analysis of Input 294

Influencing Implementation Climate 297

Myths about Implementing Planned Change 299

Conclusion 302

Glossary 304

Index 315