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Change Drivers: Directors Making Sense of Organisational Transitions, a Heuristic Inquiry.

Robinson, Graham Michael. (2004) Change Drivers: Directors Making Sense of Organisational Transitions, a Heuristic Inquiry. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

A qualitative investigation of directors making sense of organisational change processes; the meanings drivers of such change take from its consequences; how they make sense of its intrinsic and extrinsic aspects. The milieu of the company director is relatively little researched. Much of the research that has been undertaken has been quantitative, studied characteristics associated with successful performance or been directed towards issues of corporate governance. This study gives prominence to directors’ experiences as revealed by their ‘stories’. Parallel studies of organisational change highlight the unintended consequences of planned change at various levels, each requiring its own approach. Concern for issues of sensemaking and meaning determined that the study be a qualitative, heuristic inquiry, requiring engagement with the researcher’s biography and involving him in a process of personal change. The nine directors studied tended to define the change processes in which they were engaged in terms of discrete projects. Each experienced the impact of significant ‘discrepant’ events originating outside their project’s boundaries. The manner in which the directors perceived the consequences of such events reflected their personal focus (inwardly or outwardly directed) and their contextual perspective (internal or external to the project and organisation’s boundaries). Parallels were noted between the impact of such events upon the researcher and the experiences of the directors. These included a narrowing of personal focus and a reduced capacity to anticipate the impact of events at the periphery of the change project. The study suggests that directors would benefit from access to a ‘personal sounding board’, a counter-balance to the negative consequences arising from limiting the concept of organisational change management to a finite project. Such reduction renders the director less able to anticipate and to manage positively the negative consequences of discrepant events. Key Words: Change management; director development; executive development; heuristic inquiry; management learning; narrative research; organisational change; organisation development; organisation learning; reflective practice; sensemaking; storytelling;

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Robinson, Graham Michael.
Date : 2004
Additional Information : Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 2004.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 06 May 2020 14:38
Last Modified : 06 May 2020 14:47
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/856358

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