Eighteen Shades of Grey? An Explorative Literature Review into the Theoretical Flavours of Organizational Change Research

Journal of Organizational Change Management, Forthcoming

30 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2013 Last revised: 13 Nov 2013

See all articles by Ralf Wetzel

Ralf Wetzel

Vlerick Business School

Lore Van Gorp

Vlerick Business School - People and Organization

Date Written: August 27, 2012

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to explore, how organization theoretically diverse research on organizational change research (OCR) is actually grounded, since superficially, these theoretical foundations are either diffuse – or repetitively boring. To gain a deeper insights about the selectivity, a selection of 85 articles on organizational change was made, published in top tier journals in 2010. We conducted a reference analysis based on 18 prominent organization theories and their main contributing authors. The findings show firstly a very strong theoretical selectivity in OCR, focussing on cognitive, learning, discursive and neo-institutional theories. Other theories are almost fully neglected. Secondly, our analysis indicate this practice as being a sign that current OCR struggles hard with transforming the cognitive frames of topical OT into own fruitful accesses to its object. The resulting of theory application appears as a dissatisfying escape strategy performed to cover theoretical antagonisms and to avoid a deeper confrontation with the underlying assumptions of the identity and conditions of OCR.

Keywords: organization theory, organizational change, paradigm shift, socuial science

Suggested Citation

Wetzel, Ralf and Van Gorp, Lore, Eighteen Shades of Grey? An Explorative Literature Review into the Theoretical Flavours of Organizational Change Research (August 27, 2012). Journal of Organizational Change Management, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2286098

Ralf Wetzel (Contact Author)

Vlerick Business School ( email )

Vlamingenstraat 83
Leuven, BE-3000
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.vlerick.com

Lore Van Gorp

Vlerick Business School - People and Organization ( email )

Reep 1
Gent, 9000
Belgium

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