Discourse and change in organisations
The purpose of this study is to discuss the relation between a communicative change programme and organisational development — how and to what extent can communicative change programmes be integrated with the change process in the organisation? In this article I present the Steel Plant Corp. (SPC) case, which indicates that if the process of change is legitimate and anchored in a communicative change program, it is possible to achieve comprehensive organisational developments without conflict but with peaceful dissent. I focus on the relation between two parties — the Union and management. I argue that there was a change in the union’s meaning construction during the process — the Union changed its opinion about company strategy and it changed its role and actions from conflict-oriented to constructive co-operation. I argue that perhaps the number and diversity of dialogues and events as such is an important factor in explaining the development from conflict to peaceful dissent. I further argue that if that is the case, we should consider that in order to have successful changes, the focus should not be on the instrumental efficiency of one particular discourse or communicative form, but the unfolding of a complexity of parallel communicative events, many of which will differ in structure. The SPC case indicates that if the process of change is legitimate and anchored in a communicative change program, it is possible to achieve comprehensive organisational developments without conflict but with peaceful dissent.
Cited by 2 other publications
Johnsen, Hans Chr Garmann, James Karlsen, Roger Normann & Jens Kristian Fosse
. The contradictory nature of knowledge: a challenge for understanding innovation in a local context and workplace development and for doing action research
. AI & SOCIETY
pp. 85 ff.
Johnsen, Hans Chr. Garmann, Clare Hildebrandt, Hildegunn Aslaksen, Richard Ennals & Jon P. Knudsen
. The Dialogical Approach to Workplace Innovation
. In The Palgrave Handbook of Workplace Innovation
pp. 155 ff.
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