AuthorFrench, Julianne Alise
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractCorporations spend a huge amount of money every year on implementing changes designed to improve organizational performance. It is well known that effective implementation of organizational change demands effective communication, and effective communication, in turn, relies heavily on the appropriate use of metaphors. Marshak has identified four categories of organizational change metaphors: fix and maintain, build and develop; move and relocate, and liberate and recreate. These four types are assumed to describe gradients in change ranging from a fairly simple change (fix and maintain) to a radical transformative change (liberate and recreate). Marshak has proposed that managers can utilize metaphors to facilitate organizational change and, further, that metaphors can be used to evaluate the degree of alignment of employee and manager understanding of an organizational change. As a preliminary test of Marshak's model, a secondary data analysis was done of 30 interviews conducted with managers in a large urban medical center undergoing a major organizational redesign process. The interviews were done at two points in time, early in the redesign effort and three years later. Fifteen interviews were selected from each of the two points in time for secondary analysis. Using standard content analysis procedures, change metaphors were identified in each interview and categorized either into one of Marshak's four categories or as "other." The results of the analysis showed that the predominant metaphor of change differed at the two points in time, and that the change was in the direction of a more complex change (specifically from "fix and maintain" to "build and develop. ") These findings provide preliminary empirical support for Marshaks' model.
Degree ProgramGraduate College