The Central Role of Discourse in Large-Scale Change: A Social Construction Perspective
Barrett, Frank J.
Thomas, Gail Fann
Hocevar, Susan P.
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This article reconceptualizes the change process from a rational planning perspective to an interpretive perspective emphasizing the social construction of meaning. Discourse is viewed as the core of the change process through which our basic assumptions about organizing are created, sustained, and transformed. To illustrate the dynamics of meaning systems, examples are provided of organizations shifting from mechanistic assumptions to become more adaptive, responsive, quality-oriented organizations. Implications for researchers and managers are included.