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Managing dualities in organizational change projects

Managing dualities in organizational change projects

Shaw, David ORCID: 0000-0002-8247-6162 (2015) Managing dualities in organizational change projects. Journal of Change Management, 16 (3). pp. 201-222. ISSN 1469-7017 (Print), 1479-1811 (Online) (doi:

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When managers want to change their organisation they often set up a project to do it, in the belief that doing so simplifies and focuses the change initiative and brings greater assurance of success. Case studies of three organisational change projects undertaken by Arts Council England during 2006-2007 are used to examine the notion of project management and change management as a duality. It is argued that the structured, systematic approach associated with project management needs to be balanced with the recognition of the complexities and uncertainties of organisational change associated with change management. Evidence from the case studies suggests the usefulness of this perspective, and indicates three subsidiary dualities that underlie this overarching duality. The first of these is focus and engagement - focusing on project tasks free from the distractions of day-to-day business and engaging with stakeholders to secure adoption of project results in practice. The second is tight governance and wide-ranging change - exercising tight governance of all change projects commissioned and commissioning enough change projects to make a real difference. The third is project management success and project success - achieving project-specific objectives and securing the longer-term and wider benefits that are sought through project-based working.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Journal of Change Management on 15/12/2015, available online:
Uncontrolled Keywords: Organisational change project, Dualities, Stakeholder engagement, Complementarities, Project success
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Department of Human Resources & Organisational Behaviour
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2018 15:16

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