Four-Frame Model, Reframing Organisation Processes (Bolman & Deal)
Jaap de Jonge, Innovation Consultant, Netherlands
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"