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Culture, cognitive dissonance and the management of change

Burnes B & James H (1995) Culture, cognitive dissonance and the management of change. International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 15 (8), pp. 14-33.

In the 1980s it became increasingly apparent that the management of change is a crucial factor in organizational performance. However, it became equally apparent that many organizations found great difficulty in successfully planning and implementing change. One oft‐quoted reason for this was the lack of involvement of those affected by the change in its planning and implementation. Consequently it now appears to be the received wisdom that employee involvement in change projects is "a good thing". However, this blanket injunction to "involve" ignores both the context in which particular change projects take place and the varying degrees of involvement which are possible. In an attempt to rectify this, examines how an organization′s culture and the degree of cognitive dissonance generated by proposals for change influence the depth and type of employee involvement required to create a positive climate for change. Concludes by arguing that these factors are crucial not only in identifying the best approach to managing change in a particular situation but also in determining whether such a project should be undertaken in the first place.

Corporate culture; Management; Organizational change; Participation

International Journal of Operations and Production Management: Volume 15, Issue 8

Author(s)Burnes, Bernard; James, Hakeem
Publication date31/12/1995
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