Describes research into managers′ experiences of significant organizational change attempts. The research project was aimed at developing frameworks which: describe, illuminate and enable a better understanding of managers′ journeys through organizational change; serve as a template for bringing together the very diverse and fragmented literature relating to individuals experiencing change; highlight issues and pointers for the design and facilitation of effective organizational change initiatives. The first part describes the context, spirit, intentions, sample and methodology of the research. Also, reviews a broad range of literature which can inform our understanding of individuals in change. Propounds the need to open up the “real world” of organizational change, as perceived and experienced by managers, rather than any “ideal” view of how that world is desired or supposed to be. Presents and discusses research findings on the sensed and initiating “primary” triggers for change‐that is, the formal and communicated organizational change objectives; and the perceived and felt “secondary” triggers for change‐that is, the issues raised by, and the implications of, the organizational changes for individual managers. The second part presents a framework depicting the phases and components of managers′ journeys through organizational change. On the framework, the experience of managers can be located, in terms of their thoughts, feelings and behaviours, as the processes of change unfold. While each manager′s journey was found to be unique, the framework proved to be ubiquitous in enabling the mapping of all the managers′ journeys, and it also accommodates literature on phenomena as diverse as learning, personal transition, catastrophe and survival, trauma and stress, loss and “death”, and worry and grief. The findings emphasize the profoundness and deeply felt emotionality of many managers′ experiencing of change in organizations. Finally, identifies the outcomes of managers′ journeys through significant attempts at organizational change. Also presents the reported helping and hindering factors to those journeys. Implications of these findings are pursued, particularly in terms of the leadership and development roles and behaviours required, if the organization and its management are to move beyond simply requiring change towards actively facilitating its achievement.
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