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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The four-frame model, July 2, 2001
This review is from: Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice, and Leadership (Jossey-Bass Business & Management) (Paperback)
"Managers, consultants, and policymakers draw, formally or otherwise, on a variety of theories in efferts to change or improve organizations. Yet only in the past few decades have social scientists devoted much time or attention to developing ideas about how organizations work (or why they often fail)...Our purpose in this book is to sort through the multiple voices competing for managers' attention. In the process, we have consolidated major schools of organizational thought into four perspectives. There are many ways to label such perspectives. We have schosen the label 'frames.' Frames are both windows on the world and lenses that bring the world into focus. Frames filter out some things while allowing others to pass through easily. Frames help us order experience and decide what to do. Every manager, consultant, or policymaker relies on a personal frame or image to gather information, make judgments, and determine how best to get things done" (from the Introduction).
In this context, Lee G.Bolman and Terrence E.Deal devote four parts of their book to detailed description and discussion of these frames. And they firstly determine basic assumptions behind each frame as following:
1. The Structural Frame: *Organizations exist to achieve established goals and objectives. *Organizations work best when rationality prevails over personal preferences and external pressures. *Structures must be designed to fit an organization's circumstances. *Organizations increase efficiency and enhance performance through specialization and division of labor. *Appropriate forms of coordination and control are essential to ensuring that individuals and units work together in the service of organizational goals. *Problems and performance gaps arise from structural deficiencies and can be remedied through restructuring.
2. The Human Resource Frame: *Organizations exist to serve human needs tarher than the reverse. *People and organizations need each other: organizations need ideas, energy, and talent; people need careers, salaries, and opportunities. *When the fit between individual and system is poor, one or both suffer: individuals will be exploited or will exploit the organization-or both will become victims. *A good fit benefits both: individuals find meaningful and satisfying work, and organizations get the talent and energy they need to succeed.
3. The Political Frame: *Organizations are coalitions of various individuals and interest groups. *There are enduring differences among coalition members in values, beliefs, information, interest, and perceptions of reality. *Most important decisions involve the allocation of scarce resources-who gets what. *Scarce resources and enduring differences give conflict a central role in organizational dynamics and make power the most important resource. *Goals and decisions emerge from bargaining, negotiation, and jockeying for position among different stakeholders.
4. The Symbolic Frame: *What is most important about any event is not what happened but what it means. *Activity and meaning are loosely coupled: events have multiple meanings because people interpret experience differently. *Most of life ambiguous or uncertain-what happened, why it happened, or what will happen next are all puzzles. *High levels of ambiguity and uncertainty undercut rational analysis, problem solving, and decision making. *In the face of uncertainty and ambiguity, people create symbols to resolve confusion, increase predictability, provide direction, and anchor hope and faith. *Many events and processes are more important for what is expressed than what is produced. They form a cultural tapestry of secular myths, rituals, ceremonies, and stories that help people find meaning, purpose, and passion.
Finally, in the last part of the book, they focus on the implications of these frames for central issues in managerial practice, including leadership, change, and ethics.
Highly recommended.
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Location: Istanbul, Turkey

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