Reframing requires an ability to understand and use multiple perspectives, to think the same thing n more
than one way. There are four frames: structural, human resource, political, and symbolic. They help
capture a comprehensive picture of what’s wrong and what might be done.
Frames: mental models, maps, mind-sets, schema, and cognitive lenses. Referred to as windows, maps,
tools, lenses, orientations, and perspectives because all of those images capture part of the ecumenical
ideal we want to convey.
A good frame makes it easier to know what you are up against and what you
can do about it. Our goal is usable knowledge. (Bolman and Deal)
, emphasizes goals, specialized roles, and formal relationships. Structures – commonly
depicted by organization charts – are designed to fit an organization’s environment and technology.
(Division of labor) Architecture of the org. – design of units and subunits, rules and roles, goals and
Human Resource frame,
based particularly on ideas from psychology, sees an organization much like an
extended family, made up of individuals with needs, feelings, prejudices, skills, and limitations. Key
challenge is to tailor organizations to individuals – to find a way for people to get the job done while
feeling good about what they are doing. Emphasizes understanding of people, their strengths and foibles,
reason and emotion, desires and fears.
, rooted in the work of political scientists. Organizations are arenas, contests, or jungles.
Compete for power and scarce resources. Conflict is rampant because of enduring differences in needs,
perspectives, and lifestyles among competing individuals and groups. Competitive arena characterized by
scarce resources, competing interests, and struggles for power and advantage.
, drawing on social and cultural anthropology, treats organizations as tribes, theaters, or
carnivals. Abandons assumptions of rationality more prominent in other frames. Organization is a culture,
propelled by rituals, ceremonies, stories, heroes, and myths rather than by rules, policies and managerial
authority. Issues of meaning and faith. Puts ritual, ceremony, story, play and culture at the heart of org.
Successful managers reframe until they understand the situation at hand. They do this by using more than
one from, or perspective to develop both a diagnosis of what they are up against and strategies for moving
Two Ways to Approach management and leadership:
Rational-technical; emphasizing certainty and control. (managers: technicians)
Expressive, artistic conception encouraging flexibility, creativity and interpretation.