The Four-Frame Model By Bolman & Deal

Deal .Reframing Organizations Lee G. Bolman & Terrence E.

Frames Lenses –focus. . filter some things and allow others to pass through. help us order experience.

Frames Tools –strengths and limitations. . right tool makes the job easier. Possess a tool— but know how to use it well. Wrong tool gets in the way.

•Responsibilities. procedures. . specialized roles. rules. policies. and formal relationships. •Structures (Organization charts) fit organization’s environment and technology.Structural Frame •From sociology and management science. •Emphasizes goals.

Structural Frame Problems arise when the structure does not fit the situation. .

skills. •Capacity to learn—and capacity to defend old attitudes and belief. feelings. . •Organization as an extended family.Human Resource Frame •From psychology. prejudices. and limitations. •Individuals with needs.

.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.

contests.Political Frame •Rooted in political science. •Different interests competing for power and resources. and lifestyles. •Bargaining. •Rampant conflict— differences in needs. coalitions. negotiation. perspectives. or jungles. compromise. •Organizations as arenas. coercion. .

Political Resource Frame Problems arise when power is concentrated in the wrong places or is too broadly dispersed. Solutions: political skill. .

or carnivals.Symbolic Frame •Draws from social and cultural anthropology. theaters. heroes. •Culture—rituals. and myths. ceremonies. •Organizations as tribes. stories. . •Organization is theater— actors play role while audiences form impressions.

when ceremonies and rituals lose their potency. when symbols lose their meaning. and magic. myth. . Rebuild the expressive or spiritual side of organization through the use of symbol.Symbolic Frame Problems arise when actors play their parts badly.

relationships Power. meaning. environment Excellence Authorship Human Resource Family Political Jungle Symbolic Carnival. technology. goals. meaning Needs. policies. metaphor. competition. beauty. theater Culture. stories. ceremony.Overview of the Four-Frame Model Frame Structural Metaphor for Organization Central Concepts Factory or Machine Rules. 344 . roles. temple. 15 & p. conflict. p. skills. technology. environment Social architecture Attune structure to task. heroes Inspiration Create faith. ritual. organizational politics Advocacy Develop agenda and power base Image of Leadership Basic Leadership Challenge Organization al Ethic Leadership Contribution Empowerment Align organizational and human needs Caring Love Justice Power Faith Significance Source: Bolman & Deal (1997).

Symbolic Structural. Symbolic Source: Bolman & Deal (1997). 271 Are there high levels of Political.Choosing a Frame Question Are individual commitment and motivation essential to success? Is the technical quality of the decision important? Frame if answer is Yes Frame if answer is No Human Resource. Symbolic Structural. Symbolic Political . Political. p. Human Resource Structural. Human Resource. Human Resource Structural. Political Structural Human Resource. Symbolic ambiguity and uncertainty? Are conflict and scarce resources significant? Are you working from the bottom up? Political.

negotiator Advocacy. pushover Abdication Con artist. poet Inspiration. framing experience Ineffective Leader Ineffective Leadership Process Petty tyrant Management by detail and fiat Weakling. empowerment Political Advocate.Reframing Leadership Frame Structural Effective Leader Effective Leadership Process Analyst. coalition building Symbolic Prophet. 303 . fool Mirage. servant Support. architect Analysis. thug Manipulation. p. fraud Fanatic. smoke & mirrors Source: Bolman & Deal (1997). design Human Resources Catalyst.

realigning and renegotiating formal patterns and policies Human Resources Anxiety. celebrating the future Essential Strategies Source: Bolman & Deal (1997).Reframing Change Frame Structural Barriers to Change Loss of clarity and stability. clinging to the past Creating transition rituals: mourning the past. uncertainty. neediness Training to develop new skills. 321 . participation and involvement. confusion. feelings of incompetence. chaos Communicating. p. conflict between winners and losers Creating arenas where issues can be renegotiated and new coalitions formed Symbolic Loss of meaning and purpose. psychological support Political Disempowerment.

How do you see the four frames in your school and/or work environment? .

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