Edited by Laura Anna Costanzo and Robert Bradley MacKay
Chapter 14: Agency in Management of Change: Bringing in Relationality, Situatedness and Foresight
Ahu Tatli and Mustafa F. Özbilgin Introduction There is an overwhelming preoccupation in the management literature with predicting the future and capitalizing on the opportunities that such a vision may oﬀer. This is due to a recognition of the primacy of foresight in economic development (Harper and Georghiou, 2005). Decades of unprecedented growth of the literatures on foresight (Costanzo, 2004; Tsoukas and Shepherd, 2004), forecasting (Chuls, 2003) and intuition (Simon, 1987; Agor, 1986) in management is indicative of this preoccupation. However, we contend that this very literature is littered with conceptions of foresight which do not attend to interplay of foresight and change agency. Indeed, foresight is often considered as an organizational and strategic issue, rather than a phenomenon which essentially resides at the level of the individual, as an essential part of individual agency. We focus on foresight as an aspect of change agency in the management of change literature and explore: (i) what deems framing of change agency weak in the management of change literature and (ii) whether it is possible to address inadequacies of the change agency literature through reframing of foresight. Finally, we call for a framework which captures the multidimensional nature of change agency, and which refers to change agency in contextual, relational and temporal terms. Agency is a central theme in change management scholarship. However, we demonstrate in this chapter that change management literature’s portrayal of agency does not do justice to the complexity of the concept. We try to disentangle the concept...
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