Authors: Nol Groot; Thijs H. Homan
Addresses: Open University, PO Box 2960, 6401 DL, Heerlen, The Netherlands. ' Open University, PO Box 2960, 6401 DL, Heerlen, The Netherlands
Abstract: This paper, based on a narrative of one of the authors, explores management reality where a chosen strategy developed into a different direction than expected. The authors offer an insight in a manager's daily struggle, where power, gossip and conflict can influence the strategising process. The plans and strategic ambitions chosen at the outset did not seem to work, yet a strategic organisational change was highly necessary due to new governmental regulations. The story follows unpredictable turns and surprises, becoming an example of real political life in organisations. We propose that the kind of leadership practice that takes seriously the unpredictable responsive processes of spontaneously changing circumstances described here can enhance the possibilities of successful outcomes.
Keywords: strategies; unpredictability; surprise; power; complexity; gossip; strategising; complex processes; responsive leadership; management reality; managers; plans; strategic ambitions; organisational change; governmental regulations; organisational politics; unpredictable processes; responsive processes; changing circumstances; spontaneous change; successful outcomes; local conversation; paradox; Nederlandse Spoorwegen; Dutch Railways; rail transport; Netherlands; Holland; security personnel; learning; strategic change.
International Journal of Learning and Change, 2012 Vol.6 No.3/4, pp.156 - 170
Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021
Published online: 06 Dec 2012 *