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  • 1.
    Andersen, Jon Aarum
    Växjö University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Management and Economics.
    An organization called Harry2008In: Journal of Organizational Change Management, ISSN 0953-4814, E-ISSN 1758-7816, Vol. 21, no 2, p. 174-187Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human characteristics to gods, plants, animals or inanimate objects (the wind, rocks, etc.). This paper sets out to disprove the association of anthropomorphic characteristics with individual organizations.

    Design/methodology/approach – This paper discusses anthropomorphism in organization theory because many scholars argue that organizations are human or like human beings. Some examples of “An organization called Harry” in organization literature are presented.

    Findings – Three causes of anthropomorphism can be traced. The negative, rather than any positive, consequences of anthropomorphism in organization literature are discussed.

    Originality/value – A new agenda for organizational studies is suggested where anthropomorphism is avoided together with the fallacy of the human metaphor. Anthropomorphism creates confusion rather than advancing the field of organization theory.

  • 2.
    Kostera, Monika
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Business, Economics and Design, Linnaeus School of Business and Economics.
    Obłój, Krzysztof
    Archetypes of Rivalry: Narrative responses of Polish radio station managers to perceived environmental change2010In: Journal of Organizational Change Management, ISSN 0953-4814, E-ISSN 1758-7816, Vol. 23, no 5, p. 564-577Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to show how managers of Polish local radio stations construct their organizations in terms of archetypes of rivalry as a response to perceived changes in the environment.

    Design/methodology/approach – First the central notions are explained, such as market, competition, archetype, and then the findings from a prolonged empirical study are presented.

    Findings – Environmental change is seen as the plot on the managers' narratives, whereas the chosen archetypes of rivalry – as characters in those stories – are supposed to handle the changes.

    Originality/value – The paper explores some aspects of the narrative construction of environmental change.

  • 3.
    Nilsson, Tomas
    Lund University.
    The reluctant rhetorician: Senior managers as rhetoricians in a strategic change context2010In: Journal of Organizational Change Management, ISSN 0953-4814, E-ISSN 1758-7816, Vol. 23, no 2, p. 137-144Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose

    – This paper explores strategic change communication, framed by the idea that managers can be viewed as rhetoricians. The purpose of this paper is to present and discuss senior managers' subjective experiences of rhetorical aspects of change management.

    Design/methodology/approach

    – The paper draws on a case study from ABB Sweden (a power and automation technology company). In‐depth interviews with senior managers, with vast experience of change management, constitute the empirical source.

    Findings

    – The most important finding is the managers' overall reluctance towards rhetoric. According to the managers in this study, a rhetorician is an over‐enthusiastic person who “waves his arms when speaking”. To master the art of rhetoric is not believed to be of particular importance when managing strategic change.

    Research limitations/implications

    – Senior managers' potentially negative attitude concerning rhetoric should be taken into account when researchers situate change management within a rhetorical frame.

    Practical implications

    – Given the large interest in “efficient” communication, generally managers should be encouraged to overcome their reluctance towards rhetoric to improve their ability to “manage meaning” constructively.

    Originality/value

    – This paper contributes to change management communication insofar as it gives voice to the individual manager. This voice indicates; in a time when rhetoric, storytelling, and charismatic leadership are making ground; that the understanding of rhetoric is much more limited than the general impression might suggest.

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