Looks beneath the surface of much of the rhetoric and “ought to be”s of organizational change ‐ a world of learners and change masters ‐ to a “real” perceived and experienced world where managers are struggling with ‐ what for them are ‐ the experienced traumas of change. This is a world where individual managers are attempting to survive the trauma which is more usually associated with disasters or catastrophes, and even abuse. Sets out to clarify the meaning of such terms as trauma, catastrophe, abuse, victim and survivor and their significance in the context of organizational change. Urges the instigators, initiators, implementors and facilitators of change in organizations to face up to and consider the implications of managers’ experienced trauma. Although not arguing against the need for organizations to embark on significant and continuing change attempts, prompts a calculation of the real costs of such changes in terms of their short‐ and long‐term consequences.
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