The Acropolis of Change: The Socratically Reflective Employee?

International Journal of Applied Management (ISSN: 1742-2590) Volume 2 Issue 3

Rosemary Skordoulis and Patrick Dawson
University of Aberdeen


This article analyses the use of the Socratic dialogue for making sense of complex change processes and for securing greater employee involvement in decision-making that affects their work. Empirical evidence from two qualitative case accounts – collected from two higher education institutions in the UK whilst in the process of restructuring their operations - is used to corroborate the authors’ view that managing change often demonstrates just how little one does know and highlights the necessity for constant examination and dialogue, especially if our intention is to secure overall employee commitment to change. The paper concludes by calling for further empirical research into the application of the Socratic dialogue as a practical tool to facilitate ‘participative’ change in organisations and as a qualitative research instrument in probing interviews to investigate the inner processes of changing organisations.

Keywords: Socratic dialogue, organisational change, reflective practice, participative change, employee commitment

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