Ironies of Organizational Change


Ironies of Organizational Change

Introduction to Change Management and Organizational Theory 

9781035329144 Edward Elgar Publishing
Richard J. Badham, Honorary Professor, University of Sydney and University of Technology Sydney and Brenda M. Santiago, Principal, Inspiring Change, Sydney, Australia
Publication Date: 2023 ISBN: 978 1 03532 914 4 Extent: 390 pp
This unique book provides a novel and challenging framework for understanding and influencing organizational change. It reimagines managing and leading change as the mindful mobilisation of maps, masks and mirrors.

Author Website - Reimagining Change

Copyright & permissions

Recommend to librarian

Your Details

Privacy Policy

Librarian Details

Download leaflet

Print page

More Information
Critical Acclaim
More Information
This unique book provides a novel and challenging framework for understanding and influencing organizational change. It reimagines managing and leading change as the mindful mobilization of maps, masks and mirrors.

The book challenges overly rational views of change management and leadership. Addressing the gaps, paradoxes and ironies of organizational change, it exposes how deep the faults of traditional change management lie. The authors successfully bridge the divide between scholarly treatises and textbooks on leading change. Summarizing and integrating the diverse literatures on change, this dynamic book is an invaluable resource for change researchers and specialists.

Abundant with popular imagery, stories, case studies and reflective activities, Ironies of Organizational Change is the perfect companion and guide for lecturers and advanced students of business and organization studies. It also serves as a research based pragmatic handbook for practitioners looking to manage change more effectively.
Critical Acclaim
‘Many writings and much thinking on organizational change are optimistic and simplistic. In this book the authors brilliantly point at ironies, difficulties and dilemmas, at the same time they provide the reader with an excellent overview of what to consider in change work. The book offers a very good balance between advice-giving and awareness of problems and obstacles in organizations seldom adaptive to plans rarely fully working when confronted with reality. The book is original, very accessible and at times also entertaining to read. It should be read by practitioners, students and scholars interested in change work.’
– Mats Alvesson, University of Bath, UK and University of Queensland, Australia

‘If change is illusive, how do we manage it? Badham and Santiago peel back the curtain on organizations to offer a view into and tools to live with change management’s irrationality. Their approach – filled with metaphors, stories, images, and pop culture – models the way, delighting the reader in the treacherous journey of managing change management. It is like the Turkish candy of change management – serious sweets presented with enchanting elegance. Leaders across the world will value this book!’
– Wendy Smith, Dana J. Johnson Professor of Management, University of Delaware, US

‘Badham and Santiago’s Ironies of Organizational Change presents an inspired, creative and practical way of addressing a practice that has confounded managers for generations. The book challenges us to reimagine the myths about change that we have held onto for too long, providing a fresh perspective on what can be done to get it right. An essential guide for today’s and tomorrow’s leaders.’
– Carl Rhodes, University of Technology Sydney, Australia

‘This is a remarkable and highly entertaining overview of “change models” because it does what so few of us have either the bandwidth or the motivation to actually compare lots of models and research claims and theories in this field of change practice. This book makes it quite clear that not only do we differ in our structural theories but we are all over the map in our practices. It is high time that someone points this out and invites us to look at the ironies that our own efforts produce when our practices don''t match our theories.’
– Edgar H. Schein, Professor Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and co-author of Humble Inquiry (2021)

‘Planned change often fails. Here is an innovative approach to getting it right. Richard and Brenda develop a novel framework involving maps, mirrors and masks – as executing change is a performance. Their creative onboard and online resources, including movies, will help you to reimagine the process, and reimagine yourself.’
– David A. Buchanan, Emeritus Professor of Organizational Behaviour, Cranfield University School of Management, UK

‘Ironies of Organizational Change is a welcome perspective on the complexities and ironies of change, while at the same time providing actionable frameworks for change agents and leaders. The book outlines several reasons for which rationalist change approaches may not hit the mark, while providing ways to appreciate the subtleties of organizations and change in a way that can lead to more effective change processes.’
– Loizos Heracleous, University of Warwick, UK

‘I often listen to Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan. One of his many memorable lines is “that he is not busy being born is busy dying”. It is not only life that is a process of constant change and shifts in performative identity in the presentation of self; the same is also true of the frameworks in which lives are led. Organizations provide frameworks for work, rest and play and they change performatively as do we. All is in process. Organizations and the individuals within them may seem to be managing change but the gap between aspirations and reality can always ironically undermine the stable sense of identity as being in control. In the space of organizational life’s coming into being and passing away, ironic performativity makes the process of change humanly manageable, in insights which this engaging book channels to creative purpose.’
– Stewart Clegg, University of Sydney, Australia

‘Buy this book! It is an important, erudite, insightful, and entertaining look at management and change. The book is based on decades of successfully teaching and advising managers, and of researching change in organizations. The book’s basic argument is very simple and highly difficult: in order to change our world, we have to change ourselves. To do that, we have to see the world and ourselves in a different light. Richard Badham and Brenda Santiago show us how to do this and I can’t think of anyone better equipped to do so. Whether you are a manager, practitioner, lecturer, or student, this book is for you.’
– Bernard Burnes, University of Stirling, UK

‘Thinking change, go no further. This book not only challenges us with thought provoking ideas and concepts but also grounds the contradictions, dilemmas, and ironies of change through exercises and cases that offer practical advice. A novel and excellent read for those who wish to reflect, reimagine and reinvent.’
– Patrick Dawson, Emeritus Professor, University of Aberdeen, UK

‘Sooner or later, somebody had to say – loudly and openly – that without understanding the role of paradoxes and irony, it is impossible to understand the functioning of contemporary organizations. Richard Badham and Brenda Santiago did just that. It is therefore of utmost importance that students and young scholars acquaint themselves with this provocative but correct image of organizational change.’
– Barbara Czarniawska, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

‘This book is a tour de force of scholarly practice. It is up to date academically and engaging and inspirational in its writing, its examples, its links to new sources of information, and its invitations to readers, regardless of the degree of our academic, manager, or consultant orientations. It encourages us all to imagine and act on organizational change in new ways and to recognize and appreciate the ironies in approaches to change that insist it is failing when it’s actually providing valuable learning experiences.’
– Jean M. Bartunek, Ferris Chair, Boston College, US

‘Maps, masks, mirrors – Professor Badham and Brenda Santiago conjure up marvellous metaphors that do not just describe change, but work as change agents in classrooms and boardrooms. A helpful resource, a powerful reactant, insightful research: a must read.’
– Martin Kornberger, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria

Contents: Prologue ACT I RE-IMAGINING CHANGE 1. The change problem 2. Re-imagining change, re-inventing yourself ACT II THE CYCLE OF CHANGE 3. Maps and orientation 4. Masks and performance 5. Mirrors and reflection ACT III LEADERSHIP OF CHANGE 6. Knowing–doing gaps 7. Paraurther reading 8. Ironies of change Epilogue Bibliography Index
eBook for individuals
978 1 78643 772 3
From £30.36
Click here for options
eBook for library purchase
978 1 78643 772 3
View sample chapter and check access on:
eBook options

Available for individuals to buy from these websites

Or recommend to your institution to acquire on Elgaronline
  • Buy as part of an eBook subject collection - flexible options available
  • Downloading and printing allowed
  • No limits on concurrent user access, ideal for course use
My Cart