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Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice, and Leadership 3rd Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0787964276
ISBN-10: 0787964271
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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.
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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: 7 x 1.3 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #419,626 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Lars Bergstrom 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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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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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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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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This was a book that was required for one of my Master level courses. It was a terrific learning experience that helped to guide me through all the different ways that leaders can frame and re-frame any issues or problems that they are dealing with so that they can try to work through them and resolve the issues.
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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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If you're new to an organization or just new to the top position, this is a must read. It's straight to the point and very informative. I wish previous managers had read this prior to their promotions. I went through a management change at a previous job. While much of the new management had been well trained, my direct boss, however, was greatly lacking in management skills. This should be a must read for all new managers.
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I had a problem with this order, due to the post office not delivering it to me for almost 2 months. The shipping tag on the item shows that this seller shipped it quickly, but the post office didn't deliver it in a timely manner. I would have received this book within the seller designated timeframe, if the post office had delivered it on time. The book is in good condition and it arrived as described.
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