Citation Burnes B & Randall J (eds.) (2016) Perspectives on change: What academics, consultants and managers really think about change. Routledge Studies in Organizational Change and Development, 13. London: Routledge. https://www.routledge.com/Perspectives-on-Change-What-Academics-Consultants-and-Managers-Really/Burnes-Randall/p/book/9781138930124
Abstract Despite the plethora of books on change, there appears is a notable gap in the field; rarely is the authentic and candid voice of change practitioners heard. Seldom are those most closely involved in the management of change given (or seek) the opportunity to write about their personal experiences and reflexiveness. Nor is this just a case of practicing managers not being given a voice, or feeling that they cannot be frank and open about what they do. How often do academics candidly state what they actually do when they are faced with managing change in their own institutions or when they are called on in a consultancy capacity? Similarly, it is rare for full-time consultants to be candid about what it is they actually do: instead they tend to have a well-honed sales pitch which lays out a logical change process directed at helping the client to achieve success. Yet, when academics, consultants and practicing managers are prepared to speak candidly about what they really do, a richer, messier but more illuminating picture of change emerges.
The aim of Perspectives on Change is to move beyond the ‘do as I say’ approach of most change books and to encourage academics, consultants and managers to say candidly what it is they really do and what they really think about change and how it should be managed. The Editors of this book, Burnes and Randall, have over 60 years of experience between them of studying and teaching change management, acting as consultants and actually managing change projects. They are, therefore, well aware of the differences and contradictions between what academics, consultants and managers say about change in public and what they say in private and do in practice.
Perspectives on Change will offer students and practitioners of change a unique opportunity to understand change in practice. In addition, it will also contribute to the Rigour-Relevance debate by giving a different and perhaps more realistic perspective on the nature of the gap between theory and practice.
Professor Bernard Burnes
Title of series
Routledge Studies in Organizational Change and Development