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Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice, and Leadership
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Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice, and Leadership

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  2,029 ratings  ·  112 reviews
Thoroughly updated, this fifth edition of the classic book outlines its four-frame model that examines organizations as factories, families, jungles, and theaters or temples: The Structural Frame: organize and structure groups and teams; The Human Resource Frame: tailor organizations to satisfy human needs, improve HRM, and build positive personal and group dynamics; The P ...more
Paperback, 544 pages
Published August 5th 2013 by Jossey-Bass (first published December 31st 1990)
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Lau No, organisational theory and practice is complex regardless of the simplification. The framing concept is useful because it provides a stable and…moreNo, organisational theory and practice is complex regardless of the simplification. The framing concept is useful because it provides a stable and memorable backdrop for synthesis and action as a leader in motion.(less)
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3.89  · 
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 ·  2,029 ratings  ·  112 reviews

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Sulaiman ALR
Dec 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is a great book that looks at the need to change your perception of things. It teaches you how to break your mental frames and construct new ones. It mainly talks about organizations, yet the techniques can be useful in personal life.

Although organizations start with a simple idea, they are complex and there is not one direct cause to a problem. People interpret different situations differently because there are different languages, different perspectives (frames), and different alternative w
Jul 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book not only because contains an extremely useful model to understand organizations but because in the process of explain how it works, summarizes many of the best business books on organizational behavior, change and leadership. So you are reading one book but referring to many other excellent literature on this topic as you advance.

The four frames (structural, human resources, political and symbolic) are a great resource to understand organizational "reality" from very differ
Mar 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my grad school texts that I kept and still go back to. I find org theory fascinating, and likewise this book. It is accessible, interesting, and relevant to what we all do every day.
Jan 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a school text, however, it is a keeper. If you forget how to put things into perspective at work or in other organizations, this will help guide you to broaden your view.
Rick Mcgarry
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a lovely postmodern take on management and leadership. They have tried and succeeded to create a fun resource that presents relevant useful information clearly and simply, without being simplistic. They deliberately integrate major organizational theories, focusing on practical implications. Their perception is that each major theoretical tradition of organizational leadership is true and helpful. Each has blind spots. The ability to shift from one viewpoint to another helps make organiz ...more
Danielle Gawronski
This is a great book for anyone in a leadership position. It is current with today's issues and industry. The book is presented in a more narrative style using relevant examples. This is not a technical how-to book, but rather a presentation of tools to help facilitate change, implement vision, and be a diverse leader.
Ben Chapman
Feb 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed the #Leadership steps!
Jason Evans
May 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Why am I reading books on organizational theory and leadership? Well, the convenient answer is that they are required for a class at Fuller. But to be frank, I'm faced with leadership and organizational challenges in my work just like everyone else. Honestly, I was bit surprised at how helpful I found this one in particular. It's a whopper of a book at almost 500 pages long. But below I'd like to do my best to offer a review of this tome and how I found it beneficial to my work in Christian mini ...more
Chanh Nguyen
The key message in these blinks:

Companies are complex entities that function in a complex world, so it’s no wonder decision-making is no easy task. However, by applying a number of simple structures and methods, companies can be well placed to weather the inevitable storms and continue to grow. These structures include self-managing teams, the development of a strong company culture and a commitment to ethical behavior.

Actionable advice:

Blame the structure, not the people.

Within an organization,
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, marketing
This book was given to me by one of my mentors, when I asked what her favorite books on leadership were. We agree that a lot of leadership and business books are junk, but she felt that this book was really worth the time and had a dog-eared copy to prove it. It outlines four "frames" for looking at organization and its issues: structural, human resource, political, and symbolic. It then shows you the benefit of approaching each issue/organization with intentionality, looking through each of the ...more
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grad-school
For a textbook in my Ed.D. program, this one was a decent read. There is strong voice in the descriptions and several interesting examples that span a variety of organizations. My favorite was the symbolic frame, especially the concept of dramaturgy. I recently worked in a public school for five years that was toxic and caused me PTSD when I left. Since it was the organization I "knew" the best, I had to analyze it for a course I was in this semester, and it brought forth a lot of negative emoti ...more
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a really great textbook that I'm using for Communication Theory & Organizational Dynamics. The course focuses on understanding organizations from various perspectives and acting within those organizations using frameworks/theories. The text is perfect for this: it's well-researched, relevant, and interesting. I also listened to the audio version, and it held my attention from start to finish.
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fantastic book and the principles taught are applicable to all organizations, not just schools. The frameworks provide a clear and concise lens to consider change in organizations with. The new edition is full of detailed and up to date examples of the frameworks at play, including a look at the 2016 election. Although the book is in-depth and a deep read, the principles taught are logical and relatively easy to apply in real life organizations.
Jeni Enjaian
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, teaching
I read this book as the official text book for my first educational leadership class. Bolman and Deal have engaging relatable styles which make it easy to understand the text. This text has also been frequently updated and includes relevant, recent examples throughout the entire book. For anyone wanting to get a deeper understanding on the basics of organization both as a leader and as a subordinate, I recommend this book.
Felipe CZ
A book on how to structure organizations to simplify tasks, since companies are complex entities which often lead to hard decision-making. But by applying self-managing teams, and developing a strong company culture, companies can continue to grow. It is not always the fault of the employees but rather on the structures that cause the problems, because guidelines are not clear about tasks and positions.
Rachel Robins
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm reading this for a graduate class for educational leadership. It's more of an HR/business book for me, but I do see the applications. It's pretty dense material--let's be real, textbooks aren't a thrill a minute--but it had good formatting/organization and just enough narrative embedded to keep me awake! I actually liked reading about all the businesses and real life examples. Not too shabby for a textbook.
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a management specialist but this was still very easy to read. A lot of great examples. This will be the perfect guide in my future career. Good techniques and ways to analyze and handle many problems. A bit repetitive though, hence the 4 stars.
Mr. Smidl
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
This is a very involved text, but it is an excellent guide for those interested in becoming leaders in their field. After reading this book, I have a better understanding of myself as a potential leader, where I need to be more flexible in other areas, and how I can continue to grow.
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: work
This is a helpful book to (1) remind you that there are many perspectives to any given situation or organization, and (2) equip you with additional tools to observe and respond to needs in your organization.
Charles Cohen
THOROUGH. And despite its length, relatively easy to read. All of the other books you've read about business and leadership? Odds are they make an appearance in here. In a fantastically useful, easily usable format.
Lisa Hillord
Feel good vignettes mixed with watching paint dry.
Feb 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A classic on organizational structure. The four frames are very helpful when thinking about leadership.
Great concepts, way too long
Nina Morel
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Actually read the 5th edition. Organization of the book around the various frames of leadership was very effective.
Feb 24, 2019 rated it liked it
I really liked the examples the book used.
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mpa
Textbook for Organizational Behavior - definitely a keeper. Easy to read and understand the four frames. Written with a business slant but easily applicable to public sector as well.
Dave Moyer
Thought provoking at times.
Dec 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Awesome book. Easy to read and comprehend.
May 25, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very dense, but it had excellent stories that made it quite entertaining.
Emma Que
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent primer on understanding the nature of organizations and the ways that they function.
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“Significance is built through the use of many expressive and symbolic forms: rituals, ceremonies, stories, and music. An organization without a rich symbolic life grows empty and barren. The magic of special occasions is vital in building significance into collective life. Moments of ecstasy are parentheses that mark life’s major passages. Without ritual and ceremony, transition remains incomplete, a clutter of comings and goings; “life becomes an endless set of Wednesdays” (Campbell, 1983, p. 5).” 0 likes
“Learning is relatively easy when the link between cause and effect is clear. But complex systems often sever that connection: causes remote from effects, solutions detached from problems, and feedback delayed or misleading (Cyert and March, 1963; Senge, 1990).” 0 likes
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