Duality and Organizing Forms in Change Management

International Journal of Applied Management of Change (ISSN: 1744-8190) Volume 1 Issue 2

Fiona Graetz
Deakin University

Aaron Smith
La Trobe University


Although the fervour proclaiming new forms of organizing as the latest management panacea has not yet subsided, the calls for caution and further investigation have been bolstered by empirical findings. A common outcome of studies concerned with new organizing forms has been a greater awareness of the tensions or dualities between traditional and new forms. In particular, the conventional assumption that the two forms represent contradictory, incompatible forces is coming under increasing scrutiny. The resulting either/or approach to organizing form may be viewed as an inappropriate perspective for researching organizational change as it ignores the complexity and subtlety of organizing form. The reality is that, as new forms of organizing are introduced, they are more likely to supplement rather than supplant existing forms (Sanchez-Runde and Pettigrew 2003). The way forward therefore is to learn how to work with, rather than eliminate, dualities in organizing forms. This paper contends that dualities represent a superior perspective for interpreting organizing forms, and perhaps, foreshadows the direction of a future organizational change research paradigm.

Key words: organizing, dualities,innovative forms, change management, paradigm

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