chapter  11
Organization as Communication and Strategic Change: The Dynamics of Distanciation
ByAnne Marie Lohuis, Mark van Vuuren
Pages 22

Anne Marie Lohuis and Mark van Vuuren Organizational change is daily routine nowadays. That is to say, managerially

initiated, intentionally disruptive, and programmatically planned change is part of the business of today’s organizations. This change brings about an unavoidable period of discomfort, which organizations endure only because of a promised new state of stability in which things will be better than before. Several organizational scholars have problematized the twin concepts of change and stability for-among other issuesthe ontological assumption of (misplaced) concreteness of an organization (Tsoukas & Chia, 2002; Van de Ven & Poole, 2005). The perspective of a communicative constitution of organizations (CCO) offers an alternative theoretical framework for looking at organizational change. It treats organizations as “ongoing and precarious accomplishments realized, experienced, and identified primarily in communication processes” (Cooren, Kuhn, Cornelissen, & Clark, 2011, p. 1150). While organizational change is traditionally depicted as an unpleasant temporary period between two states of equilibrium, the CCO perspective sees change as the norm and moments of stability as temporal outcomes of a continuous process of complex interactions. In the following, we describe the implementation of planned change in terms of

the constitutive view of organizations. We specifically rely on the concepts of text, conversation, and distanciation as put forth by the Montréal School (Brummans, Cooren, Robichaud, & Taylor, 2014). We then illustrate the dynamics of distanciation in a planned change within Tameij, a [pseudonym for a] Dutch healthcare organization that takes care of intellectually disabled people. We finally discuss and evaluate questions raised by the case that may be relevant to further research and practice.