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Strategic cultural change and local discourses: The importance of being different

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Frank Mueller


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This paper analyses a strategic change implementation at call centre operations of an insurance company in Australia. The empirical findings illustrate how the macro-discourse of the culture change programme was in dialogue with alternative local discourses that organizational members drew upon to make sense of the organizational "reality". This meant that the strategic change was slowly watered down and had almost no impact on the daily life in the lower end of the organization. Still, management expressed it as a success, because there was limited overt resistance. The paper contributes to the development of a more nuanced understanding of strategic change programmes in which discourses are treated as dialogical and non-deterministic, rather than omnipotent or mono-logic. Non-participation or resistance towards change initiatives are then not necessarily ideological movements for or against the change, but rather locally specific constructions of the event based on available locally produced discourses.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Nyberg D, Mueller F

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Scandinavian Journal of Management

Year: 2009

Volume: 25

Issue: 2

Pages: 146-156

Print publication date: 01/06/2009

ISSN (print): 0956-5221

ISSN (electronic): 1873-3387

Publisher: Elsevier Ltd.


DOI: 10.1016/j.scaman.2009.02.002


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