Becoming an Agent of Change

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Social movements are often regarded as the seedbeds of widescale organizational change in western economies. However, we know less about why and how actors take on the insurgent identities that motivate and enable them to play dramatic roles in the movements that facilitate such change. One argument is that actors become agents of change through some kind of common conversion experience. But such an explanation struggles to address the character and nature of the motive forces that embolden and stabilize oppositional insurgent identities that then reshape incumbent interests, systems and structures. Drawing on aspects of narrative and psychoanalytic traditions, which have both made compelling contributions to the European study of organizational change, our chapter suggests a pattern of unconscious drives, traumatic experiences and socialized narratives that aid the formation of insurgent organizational change agents.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

The Oxford Handbook of Organizational Change and Innovation