Jean M. Bartunek, the 2001-2002 President of the Academy of Management, has written an excellent scholarly book on organizational and educational change. Using a joint insider/outsider approach, this book tells the story of a change agent group--a group of teachers--that was creating change in its organization setting, a Network of Independent Schools. The group's focus was on empowerment and professional development for teachers in the Network. The book describes virtually everything that happened in the group over its first seven years and summarizes what happened during its final two years. It explores the identity, work, and evolution of change agent groups in organizations, with particular emphasis on teachers and educational change. Through the book's extensive quotations and narrative account, the reader is enabled to enter into the world of the teacher group studied over the course of its nine-year history.
In addition, the book includes analysis of the underlying processes involved in the change, focusing on the change agent group's identity, its actions and relationships with stakeholders as they jointly evolved over time, and their impacts on the vitality of the change effort. It contributes a new understanding of fundamental processes involved in organizational change, especially when viewed from the perspective of change agents. In addition, the book provides practical implications for change agents, specifically change agents in schools. As such, this account will be useful for graduate students and researchers in organizational change, educational leadership, and professional development. It is a part of Lawrence Erlbaum Associates growing series in organization management.
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This book is a remarkable achievement...it is an exceptional piece of longitudinal ethnographic research....another strength of the book lies in its rounded organizational and writing style, with an excellent balance between narrative description and theory....All in all, this is a superb piece of work: an exemplar of careful and sensitive ethnographic work that makes a significant contribution to organization studies.
This superb book is essential reading for anyone interested in the formation and maintenance of organizational identity and in the attempt to create and manage change.
Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota
What a rare and wonderful account of a group creating organizational innovation! Using her triangular method of analysis, Jean Bartunek provides a vivid understanding of the life of this group over time. So many are searching for better paths to organizational change. This book offers a valuable base on which to build.
—Jean Baker Miller
Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Boston University Medical School and Wellesley
The work is excellently researched, well documented and theoretically focused on important topics to the field.
University of Akron
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