Management Concepts and the Navigation of Interessement Devices: The Key Role of Interessement Devices in the Creation of Agency and the Enablement of Organizational Change

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Abstract

Management concepts are increasingly defining the way we perceive the needs, possibilities and potential outcomes of organizational change. While management concepts such as business process reengineering (BPR), lean manufacturing and
stage gate models have been subject to study and debate, keyconcerns centre on outcomes (or the lack thereof) and the translation of concepts as they are spread and adopted. However, their role in shaping actual organizational change is poorly understood. Very little has been said about how management concepts are used in organizations, and what managers actually do with them. In this paper, we argue that the effectiveness of management concepts would benefit from being understood as
part of a network of configurators for organizational change. To this end, we analyse two empirical cases of management concept implementation (i.e. BPR and the 80/20 Pareto principle) and how the concepts configured change in mutual learning processes characterized by conflict, trial and error. This paper contributes to a new understanding of the role of management concepts in change informed by actor-network theory and the concept of interessement devices, and how management concepts configure schemes of network interactions in the hands of key actors.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of Change Management
Volume17
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)344-366
ISSN1469-7017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Management concepts
  • Interessement devices
  • Organisational change
  • No-human actors
  • Agency

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