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The Four-Frame Model By Bolman & Deal Reframing Organizations Lee G. Bolman & Terrence E. Deal Frames Lenses –focus, filter some things and allow others to pass through, help us order experience. Frames Tools –strengths and limitations. Wrong tool gets in the way; right tool makes the job easier. Possess a tool—but know how to use it well. Structural Frame •From sociology and management science. •Emphasizes goals, specialized roles, and formal relationships. •Structures (Organization charts) fit organization’s environment and technology. •Responsibilities, rules, policies, procedures. Structural Frame Problems arise when the structure does not fit the situation. Human Resource Frame •From psychology. •Organization as an extended family. •Individuals with needs, feelings, prejudices, skills, and limitations. •Capacity to learn—and capacity to defend old attitudes and belief. Human Resource Frame Challenge is to tailor organizations to people—find a way for individuals to get the job done while feeling good about what they are doing. Political Frame •Rooted in political science. •Organizations as arenas, contests, or jungles. •Different interests competing for power and resources. •Rampant conflict— differences in needs, perspectives, and lifestyles. •Bargaining, negotiation, coercion, compromise, coalitions. Political Resource Frame Problems arise when power is concentrated in the wrong places or is too broadly dispersed. Solutions: political skill. Symbolic Frame •Draws from social and cultural anthropology. •Organizations as tribes, theaters, or carnivals. •Culture—rituals, ceremonies, stories, heroes, and myths. •Organization is theater— actors play role while audiences form impressions. Symbolic Frame Problems arise when actors play their parts badly, when symbols lose their meaning, when ceremonies and rituals lose their potency. Rebuild the expressive or spiritual side of organization through the use of symbol, myth, and magic. Overview of the Four-Frame Model Frame Structural Human Political Symbolic Resource Metaphor Factory or Family Jungle Carnival, temple, for Machine theater Organization Central Rules, roles, goals, Needs, skills, Power, conflict, Culture, meaning, Concepts policies, relationships competition, metaphor, ritual, technology, organizational ceremony, stories, environment politics heroes Image of Social Empowerment Advocacy Inspiration Leadership architecture Basic Attune structure Align Develop agenda Create faith, beauty, Leadership to task, organizational and power base meaning Challenge technology, and human environment needs Organization Excellence Caring Justice Faith al Ethic Leadership Authorship Love Power Significance Contribution Source: Bolman & Deal (1997), p. 15 & p. 344 Choosing a Frame Question Frame if answer is Yes Frame if answer is No Are individual Human Resource, Symbolic Structural, Political commitment and motivation essential to success? Is the technical quality Structural Human Resource, of the decision Political, Symbolic important? Are there high levels of Political, Symbolic Structural, Human ambiguity and Resource uncertainty? Are conflict and scarce Political, Symbolic Structural, Human resources significant? Resource Are you working from Political Structural, Human the bottom up? Resource, Symbolic Source: Bolman & Deal (1997), p. 271 Reframing Leadership Frame Structural Human Political Symbolic Resources Effective Analyst, Catalyst, Advocate, Prophet, poet Leader architect servant negotiator Effective Analysis, Support, Advocacy, Inspiration, Leadership design empowerment coalition framing Process building experience Ineffective Petty tyrant Weakling, Con artist, Fanatic, fool Leader pushover thug Ineffective Management Abdication Manipulation, Mirage, smoke & Leadership by detail fraud mirrors Process and fiat Source: Bolman & Deal (1997), p. 303 Reframing Change Frame Structural Human Political Symbolic Resources Barriers to Loss of clarity Anxiety, Disempowerment, Loss of meaning Change and stability, uncertainty, conflict between and purpose, confusion, feelings of winners and clinging to the chaos incompetence, losers past neediness Essential Communicating, Training to Creating arenas Creating Strategies realigning and develop new where issues can transition rituals: renegotiating skills, be renegotiated mourning the formal patterns participation and new coalitions past, celebrating and policies and formed the future involvement, psychological support Source: Bolman & Deal (1997), p. 321 How do you see the four frames in your school and/or work environment?
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