Framing and Tropes in Organizational Change Practice

Framing and Tropes in Organizational Change Practice

Mark Kong Chew Loon (Bath Spa University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6155-2.ch042
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There are two main parts to this reflective case history of evidence-based OCD practice. The first involves the use of framing in enhancing meaning and provoking action from the client, an automotive manufacturer in Malaysia. The second part, largely drawn from organizational change experience in Australia, is a reflection on the use of tropes in change project teams and with clients to facilitate communications and invoke new ways of thinking. Both “evidence” and experience play an important role in the two stories. Through reflection, insights and lessons learned are presented that may help organizational change and development practitioners.
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Framing In The Management Of Change In An It Environment

The Organization

Automobile manufacturer (AM) of Malaysia has been the cornerstone of this South-East Asian country’s ambitions in the automotive sector since its establishment in 1983. From its inception AM had grown steadily, and by the early 2000s it led local car sales. To help manage this growth, AM began to create a portfolio of subsidiaries to enhance the effectiveness of its operations. This included, commencing in the early 2000s, a new marketing and distribution subsidiary to improve the sales of its cars locally and internationally in the UK and Australia. Through its manufacturing arm, AM extended their reach to other firms to externally gain competencies in automobile engineering. AM’s biggest acquisition was of Lotus Cars in the UK. By 2001, the firm had a revenue of roughly equivalent to £1.2 billion, a share capital of £97 million and notably, even stronger aspirations for further growth. Inspired by its robust market growth and performance, AM further expanded as an organization, mostly through mergers and acquisitions. However, non-organic growth can cause problems and issues began to surface internally as its process and systems, particularly its information technology (IT) infrastructure, did not keep up with the pace of the firm’s market growth.

To address this problem, AM hired the consulting firm that employed me to diagnose the issues with the firm’s overall IT environment, namely, Applications, Networking, Operating Systems and Organization (e.g. process and methods). The team was also tasked to provide recommendations that would ensure adequate utilisation of its IT infrastructure and tools, and that there was effective management of the firm’s IT Division. The objectives of the project team were to, i) advise on the rationalisation AM’s current IT hardware and software infrastructure, ii) propose enhancements of the connectivity of systems and the network infrastructure, increase compliance to known standards (e.g. network standards), iii) undertake a gap analysis against trends and best practices, and iv) identify key priorities and solutions.

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