Reframing Organizations (Bolman and Deal)

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Reframing Organizations (Bolman and Deal)
Sivakumar, Member
I would like to know about Framing/Reframing in organizations.
What is the model and what are advantages, disadvantages, and challenges in simple terms.

Four-Frame Model, Reframing Organisation Processes (Bolman & Deal)
Jaap de Jonge, Editor
Bolman & Deal describe 4 distinctive 'frames' (lenses, filters, view points) from which people view the world and from which organizations can be seen or constructed:
- Structural Frame: sees organizations as structures with responsibilities, rules, prelacies and procedures. Origin: sociology, management science. The main challenge is to make the structure fit to the situation.
- Human Resource Frame: sees organizations as an extended family. How to tailor organizations to satisfy human needs, improve Human Resource Management, and build positive interpersonal and group dynamics. Origin: psychology. The main challenge is to tailor the organization to people while still get he job done.
- Political Frame: sees organizations as arena, contests or jungles. How to cope with power and conflict, build coalitions, hone political skills, and deal with internal and external politics. Origin: political science. The main challenge is to avoid situations where the power is in the wrong hands or too broadly dispersed.
- Symbolic Frame: sees organizations as tribes theaters or carnivals. 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. Origin: social and cultural anthropology. The main challenge is avoiding that the actors play their part badly, that symbols, ceremonies and rituals lose their meaning.

Source: Lee G. Bolman, Terrence E. Deal (2008) "Reframing Organisations, Artistry, Choice and Leadership"

Implementing Bolman and Deal's Four Frame approach
Once you have a model chosen you might look for a method to put in practice. Prof. Michael Porter introduced PROCESS FLOW MAPPING and it is widely used around the world.
Depending on the size of the company, the task will ask for effort and resources. The bigger the company, the harder the implementation.

Based on @Jaap de Jonge (Editor)'s post I would like to add you should find a way to correlate the four perspectives given by Bolman and Deal's Four Frame approach to assemble a strong organization which uses a living hood model, based on COOPERATION RATHER THAN ON SUBORDINATION. Subordination models like organigrams typically work against workforce creativeness and innovation, while both are key to improve the enterprise's competitiveness.

Reframing Organisations
Alex Har, Member
The framework provides useful vocabulary to describe a company situation (situation analysis).
It is not normative in nature, i.e. telling people what to do. A company can be a Jungle and choose to remain a Jungle, but it may all decide to attempt to become more Structured or Symbolic in some aspects of its process management.


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