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Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice, and Leadership Paperback – August 27, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0787964276 ISBN-10: 0787964271 Edition: 3rd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 3 edition (August 27, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0787964271
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787964276
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,338 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Become a More Versatile Manager and a More Artistic Leader

In this third edition of their best-selling classic, authors Lee Bolman and Terrence Deal explain the powerful tool of "reframing." The authors have distilled the organizational literature into a comprehensive approach for looking at situations from more than one angle. Their four frames view organizations as factories, families, jungles, and theaters or temples:

  • The Structural Frame: how to organize and structure groups and teams to get results
  • The Human Resource Frame: how to tailor organizations to satisfy human needs, improve human resource management, and build positive interpersonal and group dynamics
  • The Political Frame: how to cope with power and conflict, build coalitions, hone political skills, and deal with internal and external politics
  • The Symbolic Frame: how to shape a culture that gives purpose and meaning to work, stage organizational drama for internal and external audiences, and build team spirit through ritual, ceremony, and story

The core of the book is reframing, a tool for finding new opportunities and options in confusing and troubling organizational situations. The authors show how multiple frames give leaders an edge in decoding organizational complexity. The new edition highlights current developments in organizational and leadership research. It presents new case examples from organizations such as eBay, Enron, Harley-Davidson, the New York City Fire Department, and the U.S. Marine Corps. The book also introduces "Organizational Theory’s Greatest Hits," text boxes that ground the book in the most influential scholarly work. The new edition also offers a rich mix of geographic, cultural, and gender diversity throughout.

Includes on-line instructor’s guide available at www.wiley.com/college/bolman

About the Author

Lee G. Bolman and Terrence E. Deal are the best-selling authors of Leading with Soul. Bolman holds the Marion Bloch Chair in Leadership at the Bloch School of Business, University of Missouri—Kansas City. He consults worldwide to corporations, public agencies, universities, and schools. Deal is the Irving R. Melbo Professor of Education at the Rossier School, University of Southern California, and an international consultant to business, health care, military, educational, and religious organizations.

More About the Author

Lee Bolman's most recent books include the 5th edition of Reframing Organizations, the 3rd edition of Leading With Soul (both with Terry Deal) and Reframing Academic Leadership (with Joan V. Gallos). Lee holds the Marion Bloch/Missouri Chair in Leadership at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Bolman and Deal's books have been translated into more than ten languages. Bolman lectures world-wide on topics of leadership, change, and spirituality at work. He holds a B.A. and Ph.D. from Yale. Born in Brooklyn, New York, to Midwestern parents, Lee is the father of six, and currently lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Visit his website at www.leebolman.com

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 22 customer reviews
This book is an excellent source for research.
Red Head
This is an outstanding book for people who want to figure out what is really going on in the organizations in which they work.
Timothy P. Schweizer
This should be a must read for all new managers.
Huntsville Born

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on February 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
Without a doubt, this book is the authoritative source for applications of psychological motivations and group behavior analyses to how an organization views and reacts to change attempts. It also analyzes different change initiative styles and presents guidelines on how to see them through the eyes of each of the different frames.

The low rating on this book is because it's more useful as a reference than an immediate how-to guide or problem-diagnosis. To apply it, read cover to cover, perform an in-depth observation of your organization and your own skills, and then come up with a plan. So, like I said, it's comprehensive, but neither reads smoothly nor is it immediately applicable for most people.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael Dieckmann on November 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
The fact that Reframing Organizations is often used as a university textbook should be a subtle warning that this is not a quick-read or how-to book. However, it is THE overview of the broad practice of organizational theory. Bolman and Deal utilize models based on four different views of the organization to show how to analyse and comprehend the dynamics of organizational structure and function. As a software engineer I found this "multi-model view to understanding" similar to how we model software systems from a variety of perspectives.

While comprehensive, the book is yet readable and accessible to the layperson, and quickly gives the reader a broad understanding of organizational dynamics and structures viewed through the lenses of the four "frames." This book won't give you quick practical fixes for your organizational problems - but it will give you a broad base of understanding for thinking about the problems you face in organizational life and understanding why your organization functions (or dysfunctions!) the way it does.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dennis DeWilde on September 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
Often when a book focuses on two distinct audiences (in this case, managers and students - future leaders as the authors say) it fails to satisfy either. Not the case with this classic, as it does a good job of providing a large body of theory and it makes the reading interesting and useful for a practitioner. The four organizational viewing frames - Structural, Human Resources, Political, & Symbolic - help the process of making a textbook readable, but the straightforward writing style, story examples, and real-life illustrations keep it alive, and maybe even keep the student reader awake.

Constantly reminding the reader of the need to `reframe' - look at the situation from a different window frame or pane - may be a useful way to understand a particular problem, but (and there is one but, besides the +430 pages of reading) because the book covers everything from structure to ethics you may not find it as useful to solve the particular problem you identify. The book is recommended for anyone interested in learning about organizations and how and why they function or dysfunction, as the case may be. Dennis DeWilde, author of The Performance Connection
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Timothy P. Schweizer on May 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is an outstanding book for people who want to figure out what is really going on in the organizations in which they work. If you cannot make sense of things at work these days, read this book. It is an excellent book on organizational reality.
This book should also be required reading for all "managers." If you are trying to "run an organization," do yourself, and the people who work for you, a favor. Read this book!
Finally, college and university professors should consider this book for their organizational behavior courses.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Meyer on February 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
I bought this book for a masters course in 1996. In ten years, this is the book I return to more than any other. Indeed, it is perhaps the only book out of all the books in the management coursework I return to again and again. I have bought it for friends going into their first jobs where they have to think about leadership and team-building, power and the drama of the workplace. It has value for me in that it goes beyond the content per se and invites and entrains my mind to stay flexible, because it asks the reader to see "reality" through multiple perspectives which are well-researched, critiqued and articulated in this book. Congratulations and thank you to the authors.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Shafter on January 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
I just started management school and this is the first book I had to read. I must say that if nothing else, this book was enlightening! I really liked the way the author broke down any given corporate scenario in 4 different viewpoints.

Personally, I really liked the HR Frame, followed by Political Frame. Those two were the ones I really thought helped me at my work place. The Structural frame, I thought was kind of boring.....nothing to really look forward to. The Symbolic frame really talks about corporate culture; something half the corporate world never thinks about any more!

Wont be bad if you have to read it for your MBA!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ymd on June 5, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My prof used it as a required text in the course I took. It's great! Through this book I can understand why things didn't work at my previous work experience at a higher ed. institution. I definitely recommend the book to everyone, including those who work at the social sectors as you'll understand why you need to use politics, pay attention to human resource and organization structure!
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