Publication Details

This article was originally published as: Badham, R & Garrety, K, Living in the Blender of Change: The Carnival of Control in a Culture of Culture, Tamara: Journal of Critical Postmodern Organization Science, 2003, 2(4), 22-38. Copyright 2003 Tamara. The Tamara website can be found here.


Traditional structural-functional approaches to organisational change, as well as critics of those approaches , often offer overly structured and rationalised views of how change occurs. This paper attempts to build upon processual studies of change and critiques of overly hegemonic views of managerial control by seeking to capture the complex, emotive and fluid character of organisational ‘changing’. In pursuit of this aim, the paper documents these characteristics of change through a personalised ethnography of a micro-incident – a critical change meeting – in an Australian steelmaking plant undergoing cultural change. In conclusion, it is argued that even the more sophisticated studies of the emergent process-like character of organisational change fail to fully capture the ambiguous, ironic, emotional, and uncertain character of events in the ‘blender’ of change.