From the Physics of Change to Realpolitik: Improvisational Relations of Power and Resistance

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Sustainability and Organizational Change Management, 2016, pp. 79 - 95 (17)
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Change and resistance to change constitute a long-lasting couple in the organizational literature. We problematize the mechanistic action-reaction types of analyses, uncover some fragilities in the current debates, and offer minimal structures and the improvisations they favour as possibilities for reconsidering the roles attached to the participants in change processes beyond the established separation between agents and recipients. Improvisation is a space where the established orders of organizing are challenged and alternative orders are allowed to flourish. We suggest that structural interventions, such as minimizing structure, shifting roles and combining paradoxical requirements, help to diffuse resistance to change and to recreate the nature of change in organizations.
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