Part V explores the symbolic frame. Chapter 12, “Organizational Symbols and Culture,” spells out basic symbolic elements in organizations: myths, heroes, metaphors, stories, humor, play, rituals, and ceremonies. It de!nes organizational culture and shows its central role in shaping performance. The power of symbol and culture is illustrated in cases as diverse as the U.S. Congress, Nordstrom department stores, the U.S. Air Force, Zappos, and a unique horse race in Italy. Chapter 13, “Culture in Action,” uses the case of a computer development team to show what leaders and group members can do collectively to build a culture that bonds people in pursuit of a shared mission. Initiation rituals, specialized language, group stories, humor and play, and ceremonies all combine to transform diverse individuals into a cohesive team with purpose, spirit, and soul. Chapter 14, “Organization as Theater,” draws on dramaturgical and institutional theory to reveal how organizational structures, activities, and events serve as secular dramas, expressing our fears and joys, arousing our emotions, and kindling our spirit. It also shows how organizational structures and processes—such as planning, evaluation, and decision making—are often more important for what they express than for what they accomplish.
Part VI, “Improving Leadership Practice,” focuses on the implications of the frames for central issues in managerial practice, including leadership, change, and ethics. Chapter 15, “Integrating Frames for Effective Practice,” shows how managers can blend the frames to improve their effectiveness. It looks at organizations as multiple realities and gives guide- lines for aligning frames with situations. Chapter 16, “Reframing in Action,” presents four
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scenarios, or scripts, derived from the frames. It applies the scenarios to the harrowing experience of a young manager whose !rst day in a new job turns out to be far more challenging than she expected. The discussion illustrates how leaders can expand their options and enhance their effectiveness by considering alternative approaches. Chapter 17, “Reframing Leadership,” discusses limitations in traditional views of leadership and proposes a more comprehensive view of how leadership works in organizations. It summarizes and critiques current knowledge on the characteristics of leaders, including the relationship of leadership to culture and gender. It shows how frames generate distinctive images of effective leaders as architects, servants, advocates, and prophets.
Chapter 18, “Reframing Change in Organizations,” describes four fundamental issues that arise in any change effort: individual needs, structural alignment, political con”ict, and existential loss. It uses cases of successful and unsuccessful change to document key strategies, such as training, realigning, creating arenas, and using symbol and ceremony. Chapter 19, “Reframing Ethics and Spirit,” discusses four ethical mandates that emerge from the frames: excellence, caring, justice, and faith. It argues that leaders can build more ethical organizations through gifts of authorship, love, power, and signi!cance. Chapter 20, “Bringing It All Together,” is an integrative treatment of the reframing process. It takes a troubled school administrator through a weekend of re”ection on critical dif!culties he faces. The chapter shows how reframing can help managers move from feeling confused and stuck to discovering a renewed sense of clarity and con!dence. The Epilogue describes strategies and characteristics needed in future leaders. It explains why they will need an artistic combination of conceptual “exibility and commitment to core values. Efforts to prepare future leaders have to focus as much on spiritual as on intellectual development.
Lee G. Bolman Brookline, Massachusetts
Terrence E. Deal San Luis Obispo, California
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We noted in our !rst edition, “Book writing often feels like a lonely process, even when an odd couple is doing the writing.” This odd
couple keeps getting older (ancient, to be more precise) and—some would say—even odder and grumpier. It seems like only yesterday we were young, vibrant new authors, but that was 40 years ago. To our amazement, we’re still at it and have remained close friends. The best thing about teaching and book writing is that you learn somuch from your readers and students, and we have been blessed to have so many of both.
Students at Stanford, Harvard, Vanderbilt, the University of Missouri–Kansas City, the University of La Verne, and the University of Southern California have given us invaluable criticism, challenge, and support over the years. We’re grateful to the many readers who have responded to our open invitation to write and ask questions or share comments. They have helped us write a better book. (The invitation is still open—our contact information is in “The Authors.”) We wish we could personally thank all of the leaders and managers who helped us learn in seminars, workshops, and consultations. Their knowledge and wisdom are the foundation and touchstone for our work.
We want to thank all the colleagues and readers in the United States and around the world who have offered valuable comments and suggestions, but the list is very long and our memories keep getting shorter. Bob Marx, of the University of Massachusetts, deserves special mention as a charter member of the frames family. Bob’s interest in the frames, creativity in developing teaching designs, and eye for video material have aided our thinking and teaching immensely. Conversations with Dick Scott and John Meyer of Stanford University have helped us explore the nuances of institutional theory. Ellen Harris, of
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Harvard and Outward Bound, provided many thoughtful comments on the manuscript. Susan Griggs, of the University of Denver, offered a provocative critique of our handling of issues related to gender and leadership. Elena Granell de Aldaz, of the Institute for Advanced Study of Management in Caracas, collaborated with us on developing a Spanish-language adaptation of Reframing Organizations as well as on a more recent project that studied frame orientations among managers in Venezuela. We are proud to consider her a valued colleague and wonderful friend. Azarm Ghareman, a clinical psychologist, deepened our understanding of Carl Jung’s view of the important role symbols play in human experience. Captain Gary Deal, USN, at the Eisenhower School, National Defense Institute, teaches leadership and the frames to high-ranking of!cers from all branches of the military and government services. Dr. Peter Minich, a transplant surgeon, now brings the world of leadership to physicians. Major Kevin Reed, of the United States Air Force, and Jan and Ron Haynes, of FzioMed, all provided valuable case material. Richard and Sharon Pescatore have been a valuable source for insights into Hewlett- Packard. The irrepressible Charlie Alfano and co-owner Audrey of Alfano Motorcars (San Luis Obispo) have provided us a glimpse of key ingredients for success in a sales organization (the Alfanos also own a dealership in Phoenix). Angela Schmiede of Menlo College has broadened our views of the ways the frames can contribute to undergraduate education.
A number of friends and colleagues at the Organizational Behavior Teaching Confer- ence have given us many helpful ideas and suggestions. We apologize for any omissions, but we want to thank Anke Arnaud, Carole K. Barnett, Max Elden, Kent Fair!eld, Cindi Fukami, Olivier Hermanus, Jim Hodge, Earlene Holland, Scott Johnson, Mark Kriger, Hyoungbae Lee, Larry Levine, Mark Maier, Magid Mazen, Thomas P. Nydegger, Dave O’Connell, Lynda St. Clair, Mabel Tinjacá, Susan Twombly, and Pat Villeneuve. We can only wish to have succeeded in implementing all the wonderful ideas we received from these and other colleagues.
Lee is grateful to all his Bloch School colleagues and particularly to Nancy Day, Pam Dobies, Dave Donnelly, Doranne Hudson, Jae Jung, Tusha Kimber, Sandra Kruse-Smith, RongMa, Brent Never, Roger Pick, Stephen Pruitt, Laura Rees, David Renz, Marilyn Taylor, and Bob Waris. Terry’s colleagues Carl Cohn, Stu Gothald, and Gib Hentschke, of the University of Southern California, have offered both intellectual stimulation and moral support. Sharon Conley, Professor at the University of Santa Barbara, is a constant source of ideas and feedback. Her work keeps us attuned closely to the world of education. Terry’s recent (2013) team-teaching venture with President Devorah Lieberman and Professor Jack Meek of the University of La Verne showed what’s possible when conventional boundaries
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are trespassed in a class of aspiring undergraduate leaders. This experience led to the founding of the Terrence E. Deal Leadership Institute.
Others to whom our debt is particularly clear are the late Chris Argyris, Sam Bacharach, Cliff Baden, Margaret Bene!el, Estella Bensimon, Bud Bilanich, Bob Birnbaum, Barbara Bunker, Tom Burks, Ellen Castro, Carlos Cortés, Linton Deck, Patrick Faverty, Dave Fuller, Jim Honan, Tom Johnson, Bob Kegan, James March, Grady McGonagill, Judy McLaughlin, John Meyer, Kevin Nichols, Harrison Owen, Regina Pacheco, Donna Redman, Peggy Redman, Michael Sales, Joan Vydra, Karl Weick, Jilie Wheeler, Roy Williams, and Joe Zolner. Thanks again to Dave Brown, Phil Mirvis, Barry Oshry, Tim Hall, Bill Kahn, and Todd Jick of the Brookline Circle, now in its fourth decade of searching for joy and meaning in those lives devoted to the study of organizations.
Outside the United States, we are grateful to Poul Erik Mouritzen in Denmark; Rolf Kaelin, Cüno Pumpin, and Peter Weisman in Switzerland; Ilpo Linko in Finland; Tom Case in Brazil; Einar Plyhn and Haakon Gran in Norway; Peter Normark and Dag Bjorkegren in Sweden; Ching-Shiun Chung in Taiwan; Helen Gluzdakova and Anastasia Vitkovskaya in Russia; and H.R.H. Prince Philipp von und zu Lichtenstein.
Closer to home, Lee also owes more than he can say to the recently retired Bruce Kay, whose genial and un”appable approach to work, coupled with high levels of organization and follow-through, had a wonderfully positive impact while he took on the challenge of bringing a modicum of order and sanity to Lee’s professional functioning. We also continue to be grateful for the enduring support and friendship of Linda Corey, our long-time resident representative at Harvard, and Homa Aminmadani, a delightful character and irreplaceable assistant, who now splits her time between Nashville and Teheran.
The couples of the Edna Ranch Vintners Guild—the Pecatores, Donners, Hayneses, Alfanos, and Andersons—link efforts with Terry in exploring the ups, downs, and mysteries of the art and science of wine making. Three professional winemakers, Romeo “Meo” Zuech of Piedra CreekWinery, Brett Escalera of Consilience and TresAnelli, and Bob Shiebelhut of Tolosa offer advice that applies to leadership as well as winemaking. Meo reminds us, “Never overmanage your grapes,” and Brett prefaces answers to all questions with “It all depends.”
We’re delighted to be well into the fourth decade of our partnership with Jossey-Bass and Wiley. We’re grateful to the many friends who have helped us over the years, including Bill Henry, Steve Piersanti, Lynn Luckow, Bill Hicks, Debra Hunter, Cedric Crocker, Byron Schneider, Kathe Sweeney, and many others. In recent years, Jeanenne Ray has been a wonderful editor and friend. Jenny Ng and Lauren Freestone of Wiley have done vital and
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much-appreciated work backstage in helping to get all the pieces of this edition together and keep the process moving forward.
Lee’s six children—Edward, Shelley, Lori, Scott, Christopher, and Bradley—and three grandchildren—James, Jazmyne, and Foster—all continue to enrich his life and contribute to his growth. Terry’s daughter Janie, a chef, has a rare talent of almost magically transforming simple ingredients into !ne cuisine. Special mention also goes to Terry’s deceased parents, Bob and Dorothy Deal. Both lived long enough to be pleasantly surprised that their oft-wayward son could write a book. Equal mention is due to Lee’s parents, Eldred and Florence Bolman.
We again dedicate this book to our wives, who have more than earned all the credit and appreciation that we can give them. Joan Gallos, Lee’s spouse and closest colleague, combines intellectual challenge and critique with support and love. She has been an active collaborator in developing our ideas, and her teaching manual for previous editions has been a frame-breaking model for the genre. Her contributions have become so integrated into our own thinking that we are no longer able to thank her for all the ways that the book has gained from her wisdom and insights.
Sandy Deal’s psychological training enables her to approach the !eld of organizations with a distinctive and illuminating slant. Her successful practice produces examples that have helped us make some even stronger connections to the concepts of clinical psychology. She is one of the most gifted diagnosticians in the !eld, as well as a delightful partner whose love and support over the long run have made all the difference. She is a rare combination of courage and caring, intimacy and independence, responsibility and playfulness.
To Joan and Sandy, thanks again. As the years accumulate (rapidly), we love you even more.
Lee G. Bolman Brookline, Massachusetts
Terrence E. Deal San Luis Obispo, California
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Making Sense of Organizations
Sit no longer at your dusty window I urge you to break the gaze from your oh so cherished glass
—Gian Torrano Jacobs Journeys through the Windows of Perception
Reprinted by permission of the poet, Gian Torrano Jacobs.
Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice, and Leadership, Sixth Edition. Lee G. Bolman and Terrence E. Deal. ! 2017 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Published 2017 by Jossey-Bass.
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1 c h a p t e r
Introduction The Power of Reframing
By the second decade of the twenty-!rst century, the German carmaker Volkswagen and the U.S. bank Wells Fargo were among the world’s
largest, most successful, and most admired !rms. Then both trashed their own brand by following the same script. It’s a drama in three acts:
Act I: Set daunting standards for employees to improve performance.
Act II: Look the other way when employees cheat because they think it’s the only way to meet the targets.
Act III:When the cheating leads to amedia!restormandpublic outrage, blame the workers and paint top managers as blameless.
In Wells Fargo’s case, the bank !red more than 5,000 lower-level employees but offered an exit bonus of $125 million to the executive who oversaw them (Sorkin, 2016).
Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn was known as an eagle-eyed micromanager but pleaded ignorance when his company admitted in 2015 that it had been cheating for years on emissions tests of its “clean” diesels. He was quickly replaced by Matthias Müller, who claimed that he didn’t know anything about VW’s cheating either. Müller also explained why VW wasn’t exactly guilty: “It was a technical problem. We had not