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Book part
Publication date: 31 July 2020

Laurie W. Ford and Jeffrey D. Ford

We have been working together as husband and wife, as management professor and management consultant, and as coauthors for over 30 years. During that time, we have…

Abstract

We have been working together as husband and wife, as management professor and management consultant, and as coauthors for over 30 years. During that time, we have tailored an operations research–based approach to represent the functional infrastructure of organizations as networks of agreements for the transfer of deliverables, e.g., products, services, and communications, which connect internal organizational units and also their external relations. The network model is useful to understand organizations, support organization change, and develop management practices that improve efficiency, teamwork, and effectiveness. Throughout the application of this approach, we have observed often that “management is missing,” in organizations in general and in organization change management in particular, where managers and change agents may underestimate or fail to recognize the productive relationships at the foundation of performance in organizations, that these relationships are different from authority or social/affinity relationships, and that they require management. In this chapter, we distinguish the network approach that is fundamental to our work and the “missing” elements of management that are recognizable by using that approach. We then examine how “management is missing” in change management and how it might be restored.

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Research in Organizational Change and Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-083-7

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Book part
Publication date: 23 September 2009

Jeffrey D. Ford and Laurie W. Ford

As Piderit (2000) points out, much of the work on resistance to change borrows from the field of mechanics, conceptualizing resistance as a force that slows or stops…

Abstract

As Piderit (2000) points out, much of the work on resistance to change borrows from the field of mechanics, conceptualizing resistance as a force that slows or stops motion and increases the energy and work required to alter the rate and magnitude (distance) of movement. These ideas are evident in Lewin's (1947) work on resistance in which he conceptualizes a quasi-stationary equilibrium as a dynamic balance between a field of forces driving for movement in one direction and a field of forces driving for movement in the opposite direction; movement in the equilibrium occurs only through increases and decreases in these forces.

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Research in Organizational Change and Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-547-1

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Book part
Publication date: 25 July 2012

Jeffrey D. Ford and Laurie W. Ford

It has generally been assumed that effective leadership is a key to successful change. But, as some authors have noted, there is a dearth of empirical research regarding…

Abstract

It has generally been assumed that effective leadership is a key to successful change. But, as some authors have noted, there is a dearth of empirical research regarding the impact of leadership on organization change. In this chapter, we review the empirical evidence from the past 20 years in an attempt to determine the impact of leadership on the conduct and outcomes of organizational change. Our conclusions indicate that the leadership of change is more complex than envisioned, involving multiple forms of leadership engaged in different approaches, behaviors, and activities, only some of which are effective.

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Research in Organizational Change and Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-807-6

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2002

Jeffrey D. Ford, Laurie W. Ford and Randall T. McNamara

Resistance to change has generally been understood as a result of personal experiences and assessments about the reliability of others. Accordingly, attempts are made to…

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Abstract

Resistance to change has generally been understood as a result of personal experiences and assessments about the reliability of others. Accordingly, attempts are made to alter these factors in order to win support and overcome resistance. But this understanding ignores resistance as a socially constructed reality in which people are responding more to the background conversations in which the change is being initiated than to the change itself. This paper proposes that resistance to change is a function of the ongoing background conversations that are being spoken and which create the context for both the change initiative and the responses to it. In this context, resistance is not a personal phenomenon, but a social systemic one in which resistance is maintained by the background conversations of the organization. Successfully dealing with this source of resistance requires distinguishing the background conversations and completing the past.

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Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1999

Jeffrey D. Ford

This article explores producing and managing change within conversationally constructed realities. Conversations are proposed as both the medium and product of reality…

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6678

Abstract

This article explores producing and managing change within conversationally constructed realities. Conversations are proposed as both the medium and product of reality construction within which change is a process of shifting conversations in the network of conversations that constitute organizations. In this context, change entails bringing new conversations into a sustained existence and the job of change managers is to create the conversational realities that produce effective action rather than to align organizations with some “true” reality.

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Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 12 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Book part
Publication date: 3 February 2000

Jeffrey D. Ford

In the network of conversations that constitute the realities called organizations, the focus and unit of work in producing and managing change is conversation. This means…

Abstract

In the network of conversations that constitute the realities called organizations, the focus and unit of work in producing and managing change is conversation. This means that change agents work with, through, and on conversations to generate, sustain, and complete new conversations in order to bring about an altered network of conversations that results in the accomplishment of specific commitments. This chapter proposes that bringing about this alteration is an infective process in which change agents “infect” organizations with new conversations. Drawing on the field of epidemiology, it explores the nature of that infective process and the roles infective agents, susceptible hosts, and environmental factors play in it. These factors are then put into a conversational context and their implications for organizational change explored.

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Research in Organizational Change and Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-041-8

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Book part
Publication date: 25 July 2012

Abraham B. (Rami) Shani, William A. Pasmore and Richard W. Woodman

The first annual volume of Research in Organization Change and Development was published in 1987. Since then, ROCD has provided a special platform for scholars and…

Abstract

The first annual volume of Research in Organization Change and Development was published in 1987. Since then, ROCD has provided a special platform for scholars and practitioners to share new research-based insights.

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Research in Organizational Change and Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-807-6

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2003

So how might you describe you and your firm’s attitudes? Complacent? How about resigned or cynical? If you are lucky enough to be part of an organization that has enjoyed…

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So how might you describe you and your firm’s attitudes? Complacent? How about resigned or cynical? If you are lucky enough to be part of an organization that has enjoyed continued success, you would not be blamed for believing things will always continue to work well as they are. On the other hand, if you have had to get through a few failures, you might well be resigned to thinking you will never get it right so why bother. Or, if you have been let down in the past, you are probably a bit pessimistic in your outlook, whether you have noticed it or not. Whichever most applies to you or your firm, chances are you are not keen on the idea of change.

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Strategic Direction, vol. 19 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0258-0543

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Book part
Publication date: 25 July 2012

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Research in Organizational Change and Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-807-6

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Book part
Publication date: 25 July 2012

Allan H. Church is VP of Global Talent Development for PepsiCo, where he is responsible for leading the talent management and people development agenda for the enterprise…

Abstract

Allan H. Church is VP of Global Talent Development for PepsiCo, where he is responsible for leading the talent management and people development agenda for the enterprise. Previously he spent nine years as an external OD consultant working for Warner Burke Associates, and several years at IBM. On the side, he has served as Adjunct Professor at Columbia University, a Visiting Scholar at Benedictine University, and past Chair of the Mayflower Group. Allan received his Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University. He is Fellow of the Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology, the American Psychological Association, and the Association for Psychological Science.

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Research in Organizational Change and Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-807-6

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