Digging the dirt: An archaeology of stories of change, history and identity in a transforming organisation

Evans, Susanne Michelle (2020). Digging the dirt: An archaeology of stories of change, history and identity in a transforming organisation. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Change management theory suggests that taking a planned approach to change in organisations is a successful route to take. However, even the most planned of change programmes fail to achieve their objectives in practice. Some visible factors that can impact on change success, such as culture, leadership and structure, are well recognised. This thesis suggests that hidden aspects of organisations are equally important and employee stories of change provide insight into what lies beneath the surface.

The research reported here was undertaken over 3 years in a mutual insurance company, UK Mutual, as the company underwent significant change. Employee change stories were gathered using appreciative inquiry in semi structured interviews and action research groups. These stories were analysed to develop two key arguments: first, that organisation history frames change programmes and second, that employee identity interacts with history to influence how change is enacted or resisted. Crucially, I show that these factors were also dynamic during the change programme, challenging assumptions within change theory that organisations are ahistorical and that employee identity is static. Finally, this research recommends a new, more reflective approach to change management consulting based on these arguments.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: Birmingham Business School
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/10937


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