The development of a theoretical framework of organisational rhythm

J. Kielema, Truus Poels, Danielle Tucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop a framework to understand organisational rhythm as a
stimulus for further study into organisational change.
Design/methodology/approach – This paper studies the experiences of the medical discipline colleges in
the Netherlands as they underwent significant reorganisation and transfer of ministerial authority. The data set
consists of correspondence, reports and tapes of the meetings over 14months and interviews with 26 employees.
Findings – This research identified five sub-themes of rhythm (emphasis, intonation, pace, period and
repetition). Putting these together, the authors present a framework to understand organisational rhythm
during organisational change.
Research limitations/implications – This study begins to develop understanding of how rhythms
function but the authors did not compare multiple rhythms in this study.
Practical implications – The authors argue that by unpacking and exploring in more detail the sub-themes
of rhythm (emphasis, intonation, pace, period and repetition), the authors can help to explain why complex
change management initiatives may stall or fail to gain traction. By understanding the concept of rhythm as
movement, the authors can offer recommendations to organisations about how to move forward and
overcome challenges associated with progress.
Originality/value – In this paper, the authors make an important distinction between rhythm in terms of
movement and flow of activity, which has often been overlooked by research, which focusses on the
temporal aspects of organisations, which the authors classify as frequency – relating to the sequencing and
duration of change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)872-887
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Organizational Change Management
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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