Human based processes

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Chapter 2 - EGM

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Welcome to the Human-based processes page

We introduce human-based processes - contrary to established theories - to co-create and construct your enterprise for the future, starting from patterns and principles.


We can't change the parts. But, we can transform the system they are in, and the parts will slowly adapt to the new situattion.

My grandchildren are starting to read, cut and paste. C, A, T. CAT. The C alone, neither the A nor the T lead to the animal. Only pasting them in the correct relationship leads towards result. Production cannot do without a supplier. A company can do nothing without a customer. It is never the parts that produce results. Relationships bring results.

Result emerge from relations. We can never directly influence results, but we can steer towards them.



In her seminal article, "Bad management theories are destroying good management practices", Sumantra Ghoshal of the London Business School argued that "negative assumption about people become real through excessive truth-claims based on partial analysis and unbalanced assumptions caused by denial of any role of human choice and intention."

A theory of subatomic particles or of the universe - right or wrong - does not change the behaviors of those particles or of the universe. If a theory assumes that the sun goes round the earth, it does not change what the sun actually does. So, if the theory is wrong, the truth is preserved for discovery by someone else. In contrast, a management theory - if it gains sufficient currency - changes the behaviors of managers who start acting in accordance with the theory. A theory that assumes that people can behave opportunistically and draws its conclusions for managing people based on that assumption can induce managerial actions that are likely to enhance opportunistic behavior among people (Ghoshal & Moran, 1996).

Strategic change involves a shift in an organization’s purpose, priorities and goals (Gioia et al. 1994). Change of this magnitude requires a “cognitive reorientation” (Gioia & Chittipeddi 1991), a shift in the interpretive schemes of organization members (Bartunek 1984), to support appropriate action. This recognition has led research to focus on processes of meaning construction during strategic change, in particular how senior managers, as the “prime movers” of change (Michel 2014), through their sensemaking and sensegiving, redirect the understanding of lower level organizational employees towards a new desired organizational reality (cf. Corley & Gioia 2004, Gioia & Chittipeddi 1991, Gioia et al. 1994, Gioia & Thomas 1996, Labianca et al. 2000). (1)
Taking seriously the notion of realized strategy has important implications. First, it suggests that the micro-activities and practices that people engage in as part of their everyday work are central to understanding strategy (Johnson, Melin & Whittington, 2003; Balogun, Jacobs, Jarzabkowski, Mantere & Vaara, 2014; Whittington, 2006) and thus invites study of the dynamic activities enacted by individuals (Balogun & Floyd, 2010; Lê & Jarzabkowski, forthcoming). Second, it extends the definition of strategists beyond the top management team (Balogun & Johnson, 2004; Jarzabkowski, Balogun & Seidl, 2007), introducing the role of others into the strategy process. Third, it suggests that realized strategy is critically affected by the material issues of context (Dameron, Lê & LeBaron, 2015) and human interaction (Lê & Jarzabkowski, forthcoming). (2)
(1) Senior Managers’ Sensemaking and Responses to Strategic Change - Julia Balogun - School of Management - University of Bath
(2) Selling the object of strategy: How frontline workers realize strategy through their daily work - Julia Balogun - School of Management - University of Bath



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