Lee Bolman

Lee Bolman
University of Missouri - Kansas City | UMKC · Department of Management

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74
Publications
12,073
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4,279
Citations

Publications

Publications (74)
Chapter
In a career that spanned more than 50 years, Chris Argyris played a unique, pioneering role in the development of our understanding of individuals, organizations, learning, and change. As a teacher and consultant, he was provocative, challenging, polarizing, and memorable. Many prominent scholars and practitioners credit Argyris as one of their mos...
Chapter
Organizations are both arenas for internal politics and political agents with their own agendas, resources, and strategies. In the discussion of organizations as arenas, this chapter examines the political dimensions of organizational change, contrasting directives from the top with pressures from below. It illustrates several forms that ecosystems...
Chapter
This chapter begins with a historical tour of theory and research on leadership, examining quantitative and qualitative strands that have run in parallel to one another. This leads to an exploration of the idea of leadership—what it is, what it is not, and what it can and cannot accomplish. The chapter discusses the differences between leadership a...
Chapter
This chapter seeks to explain why political processes are universal, why they would not go away, and how they can be handled adroitly. It first describes the political frame's basic assumptions and explains how they work. Next, the chapter depicts organizations as freewheeling coalitions rather than as formal hierarchies. Organizations are coalitio...
Chapter
These chapters discusses how organizational complexity intersects with fallacies of human thinking to obscure what is really going on and lead managers into astray. It then describes some of the peculiarities of organizations that make them so difficult to figure out and manage. The chapter also explores how the deeply held and well-guarded mental...
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This chapter begins with the examination of the structural frame by highlighting its core assumptions, origins, and basic forms. It then explains the basic issues in designing an organization's social architecture, describes the major options, and discusses imperatives to consider when designing a structure to fit the challenges of a unique situati...
Chapter
This chapter presents a classic case of a team that achieved a state of transcendence. Tracy Kidder spent a year embedded in a group of engineers, intimately observing it in operation. Kidder's Soul of a New Machine is the dazzling and detailed account of the extensive period of time he spent at the minicomputer firm Data General in the 1970s with...
Chapter
Managers can use frames as scenarios, or scripts, to generate alternative approaches to challenging circumstances. Each of the frames generates its own possibilities, creatively translated into alternative scenarios. They can also be misapplied or misused. Success depends on the skill and artistry of the person following a given script. This chapte...
Chapter
At any given moment, an organization's structure represents its best effort to align internal activities with outside pressures and opportunities. This chapter draws on the work of Henry Mintzberg and Sally Helgesen, and describes two views of the alternatives organizations may consider in aligning structure with mission and environment. It present...
Chapter
This chapter begins by looking at basic sources of effective (or ineffective) interpersonal relations at work. It then describes theories of interpersonal competence and emotional intelligence, and explaining how they influence office relationships and theories of interpersonal competence and emotional intelligence, explaining how they influence of...
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This chapter explores the structural features of small groups and teams to show how restructuring can improve group performance. It begins by describing various design options for teams, accenting the relationship between design and task. Next, using sports as an analogy, it discusses patterns of team configuration, coordination, and interdependenc...
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Dramaturgical and institutional theorists have explored the role of theater in organizations. This chapter begins by discussing their views and then describes structure and other organizational processes as theater. Institutional theory, a fairly recent addition to the management literature, draws on ideas from earlier dramaturgical theories. Insti...
Chapter
Ethics ultimately must be rooted in soul: an organization's commitment to deeply rooted identity, beliefs, and values. Each frame offers a perspective on the ethical responsibilities of organizations and the moral authority of leaders. This chapter argues that ethics must reside in soul, a sense of bedrock character that anchors core beliefs and va...
Chapter
Harmonizing the frames and crafting inventive responses to new circumstances are essential to both management and leadership. This chapter considers questions about using the frames in combination. It begins by visiting the turbulent world of managers, and then explores what happens when people diverge in viewing the same challenge. The chapter als...
Chapter
The symbolic frame forms an umbrella for ideas from several disciplines, including organization theory and sociology. The symbolic frame interprets and illuminates the basic issues of meaning and belief that make symbols so potent. It depicts a world distinct from popular canons of rationality, certainty, and linearity. This chapter discusses symbo...
Chapter
This chapter opens by examining the innovation process at two different companies (Ford Motor Company and Six Sigma). It then discusses a multiframe analysis to show how participation, training, structural realignment, political bargaining, and symbolic rituals of letting go can help achieve more positive outcomes. It further deals with a discussio...
Chapter
This chapter illustrates the process by following a new principal through his first week in a deeply troubled urban high school. Had this been a corporation in crisis, a struggling hospital, or an embattled public agency, the basic leadership issues would have been much the same. The discussed protagonist is familiar with the frames and reframing....
Chapter
In a world of chronic scarcity, diversity, and conflict, the nimble manager walks a tightrope: developing a direction, building a base of support, and cobbling together working relations with both allies and opponents. This chapter discusses why this is vital and then lays out the basic skills of the manager as politician. It also tackles ethical i...
Chapter
This chapter focuses on the human side of organizations. It starts by summarizing the assumptions underlying the human resource view. Next, the chapter examines how people's needs are either satisfied or frustrated at work. Then, it discusses today's changing employment contract and its impact on both people and organizations. The human resource fr...
Chapter
A skilled and motivated work force providing the speed and flexibility required by new market imperatives has increased the importance of human resource management issues at a time when traditional sources of competitive advantage have become easier to imitate. Systematic and interrelated human resource management practices provide a sustainable co...
Article
No abstract is available for this article.
Article
Today's leaders require the proper mental models for our “VUCA (volatile‐uncertain‐complex‐ambiguous)” world, in the estimation of Bolman and Deal. Although mental models are known by a variety of terms (such as paradigms and mind‐sets), here they are called frames. Bolman and Deal write that a “frame is an amalgam of beliefs and assumptions that y...
Article
Bolman and Deal (1984, 1991) have developed four perspectives, or frames, for understanding organizations and leadership: structural, human resource, political, and symbolic. This paper reports two studies that operationalize that model. The first study uses critical incidents written by managers to assess how many and which frames they use. Most i...
Article
The modern business environment is wild, messy, and unpredictable. That's why the two operating frameworks that leaders have typically relied on—the caregiver and the analyst—are no longer enough. Two additional frameworks—the wizard and the warrior—can help leaders make sense of the political and symbolic predicaments that organizations face daily...
Article
Purpose In many companies, executives function as either the analyst or the caregiver. The authors believe there are two more appropriate leadership roles – wizard and warrior. Design/methodology/approach The authors conclude that the responsibilities of the analyst and the caregiver could often successfully be delegated to managers below C‐level....
Article
The experience of Mikhail Gorbachev provides important lessons for leaders in the 1990s. Leadership is a process of mutual influence that produces collective action in the service of shared or compatible goals and values, usually in a context of conflict and uncertainty. The job of the leader is not to control the tides but to know where they are g...
Article
Describes five qualities of effective leaders: Focus, passion, wisdom, courage, and integrity. Asserts that these qualities are rooted in faith and soul. Uses Harry Potter and Beowulf stories to illustrate spiritual development. Describes four gifts leaders can bestow on others: Authorship, love or caring, power, and significance. Authors wrote boo...
Article
Prelude: In Search of Soul and Spirit The Search 1. The Heart of Leadership Lies in the Hearts of Leaders 2. The Human Heart is More than a Pump 3. The Journey of a Soul 4. Discovering New Teachers INTERLUDE: Reclaiming Your Soul Conviction 5. A Place to Start 6. Vicissitudes of the Journey INTERLUDE: Leaning into Your Fear Gifts 7. Gifts of Leader...
Article
This book was designed to help school board members work together to create an effective school board. Guidelines are based on the premise that organizational effectiveness depends on individuals having the ability to recognize others' frames of reference and to utilize multiple frames. The four frames commonly used by leaders include the structura...
Article
Analyzes the case of an engineers' work team outlined by T. Kidder (1981) in terms of the cognitive maps or frames used by the group. It is suggested that with multiple frames each frame can be coherent, parsimonious, and powerful; the collection can be more comprehensive; and leaders are enabled to reframe. In common use are 4 perspectives or dist...
Article
Research suggests four different metaphors of schools as organizations: (1) factory; (2) family; (3) jungle; and (4) cathedral. Each implies a leadership role and an ethical responsibility for board members. Integrating all four images might help provide a better map of the board's governance task and improve the board's ability to make wise decisi...
Article
This document examines the orientations or "frames" that leaders use to guide their understanding of their work. Four distinct frames that characterize ways leaders think about and respond to everyday issues and problems are examined: (1) the structural frame; (2) the human resource frame; (3) the political frame; and (4) the symbolic frame. Leader...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The fostering of increased awareness and use of available resources by aircrews under high workload conditions is becoming a matter of greater concern to the airlines. New research and training programs to enhance aircrew capabilities are being developed , largely independently, by the various organizations involved. The timing appeared appropriate...
Article
Relationships among certain dimensions of T-Group trainer behavior, members' reactions to the trainer, group climate, and participant learning were investigated through questionnaires administered to 118 participants and 20 trainers in a human relations laboratory held at Bethel, Maine, in the summer of 1966. As expected, trainer empathy and securi...
Article
Four different sessions of an educational program for business executives were studied to compare the differential effects of laboratory human relations (T-Group) training versus a lecture-discussion approach to interpersonal relations in organizations. Both types of programs produced equal change in participants' stated beliefs about effective int...

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