Paradox, defense and attachment: Accessing and working with emotions and relations underlying organizational change

Russ Vince, Michael Broussine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

219 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Our intention in this article is to add to the different ways of looking at and working with change in organizations. We suggest a set of working propositions that move away from problem-solving or planning-based approaches to change, towards a method which focuses primarily on organizational members' emotions and relations, and on forces of uncertainty and defensiveness. We attempt both to highlight the dynamic nature of change, and to point towards some key issues, often avoided, for engaging with aspects of change. We then describe a participative research process we have employed to access and act on organizational members' emotional responses to change. In this instance, drawings were used with managers in six public service organizations as the catalyst to enable managers to bring out often paradoxical emotions, and to work with these as part of the process of the management of change. While our research is set in the context of enormous changes in U.K. public services, we feel that our methodology is applicable to any organizational setting which is characterized by uncertainty and defensiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalOrganization Studies
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1996

Keywords

  • Emotion
  • Organizational behaviour
  • Organizational change
  • Relatedness
  • Visual data

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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