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Change Without Pain: How Managers Can Overcome Initiative Overload, Organizational Chaos, and Employee Burnout
Eric Abrahamson

Retail Price: $29.95
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Format: Hardcover, 288pp.
ISBN: 9781578518272
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Pub. Date: December 2003

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

For more than two decades, businesses have been warned to "change or perish." Yet a growing number of companies are perishing because of change. What's going on?

Columbia Business School professor Eric Abrahamson argues that while change is necessary for companies to grow and prosper, many organizations have blindly taken the mandate too far. The "creative destruction" advocated by change champions has resulted in a painful cycle of initiative overload, change-related chaos, and widespread employee cynicism.

To reverse this cycle, Abrahamson says, companies must learn to change how they change. Drawing on a decade of research and dozens of company examples, this book offers a positive new approach to change called "creative recombination." Rather than obliterating and then reinventing anew, creative recombination seeks sustainable, repeatable transformation by reconfiguring the people, structures, culture, processes, and networks the company already has. Abrahamson offers a broad toolkit of techniques for achieving smoother, more cost-efficient, less painful organizational change-and helpful guidance for how and when to implement each tool.

A refreshing paradigm for change has arrived-and companies don't need anything new, revolutionary, or radical to make it happen. The inspiring result: Change will actually work, for a change.


"In Change Without Pain, Abrahamson calmly reminds us that more often than not we can build what we need for the future out of the various bits and pieces we have accumulated in the past. And we can do so with greater success and with far less pain, dislocation, and waste."
—Alan Kantrow, Chief Knowledge Officer, Monitor Group and Dean of Faculty, Monitor University

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About the Author

Eric Abrahamson is Professor of Management at Columbia Business School in New York City and an internationally recognized expert on change management.

Table of Contents
1Organizational Change and Its Discontents1
2Creative Recombination21
3Redeploying Talent Rather Than Downsizing39
4Leveraging Social Networks Rather Than IT Networks63
5Reviving Values, Not Inventing Them89
6Salvaging Good Processes Rather Than Reengineering Them113
7Reusing Structures Rather Than Reorganizing131
8Large-Sacle Recombination151
9The Fine Art of Pacing167
10Becoming a Better Recombiner189
About the Author219

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