Part IV, “The Political Frame,” views organizations as arenas. Individuals and groups compete to achieve their parochial interests in a world of con”icting viewpoints, scarce resources, and struggles for power. Chapter 9, “Power, Con”ict, and Coalition,” analyzes the tragic loss of the space shuttles Columbia and Challenger, illustrating the in”uence of political dynamics in decision making. It shows how scarcity and diversity lead to con”ict, bargaining, and games of power; the chapter also distinguishes constructive and destructive political dynamics. Chapter 10, “The Manager as Politician,” uses leadership examples from a nonpro!t organization in India and a software development effort at Microsoft to illustrate basic skills of the constructive politician: diagnosing political realities, setting agendas, building networks, negotiating, and making choices that are both effective and ethical. Chapter 11, “Organizations as Political Arenas and Political Agents,” highlights organizations as both arenas for political contests and political actors in”uencing broader social, political, and economic trends. Case examples such as Walmart and Ross Johnson explore political dynamics both inside and outside organizations.
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