Revival of 'The Reforming Organization'
Johan P. Olsen’s ‘The Reforming Organization’ has been published in a new edition by Routledge. The book is increasingly relevant, following a revived interest in formal reform and their impact on practical organizational outcomes.
The four different versions of 'The Reforming Organization' by Johan P. Olsen. Photo: Mads A. Danielsen
‘The Reforming Organization: Making Sense of Administrative Change’ by Nils Brunsson and Johan P. Olsen, originally published in 1993, has after 25 years been published in a new edition by Routledge. Furthermore, it has been included in the prestigious ‘Routledge Library Editions: Management’. We congratulate professor emeritus and founder of ARENA Johan P. Olsen.
It is rare for a book to maintain interest over such a long duration of time. The first version was published as part of the study ‘Power and democracy in Sweden’ (Makten att Reformera, Carlsons Forlag 1990). The book was published in English in 1993 by Routledge and a revised version was published at Fagbokforlaget in Bergen in 1993.
'The Reforming Organization' is per June 2018 cited an impressive 1251 times in total, according to Google Scholar.
About the book
Organizations have become larger, more professionalized, more differentiated, and wealthier. At the same time, they are often subject to large-scale changes: either as a result of mergers and acquisitions, or simply in response to changed market conditions or new technologies. In this climate the people who run organizations frequently find themselves acting as "reformers".
The central concern of this study is to analyze the reforming process within organizations and assess its impact. Brunsson and Olsen define reform as the process by which individuals seek to achieve desired goals by changing the structure of their organization: the administrative procedures, chains of command and lines of communication. Drawing on empirical case studies from a range of different sectors, 'The Reforming Organization' questions the relationship between the changes that can be seen occurring in organizations all the time and these conscious internal attempts at reform.