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Developmental Magic? Two Takes on a Dialogue Conference

Publiceringsår: 2007
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 8-25
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: The Journal of Organizational Change Management
Volym: 20
Nummer: 1
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift


This paper draws on the metaphor of ‘magic’ to explore the role of dialogue conferences and subsequent activities as a tool for organizational development and change. It is argued that the magic metaphor is a useful means for critically assessing the role of dialogue conferences in developmental processes, as magic is essentially double-edged in nature. On the one hand, magic is an activity wherein the seemingly impossible is made to happen; on the other it is an activity of simple illusion whereby appearance is at odds with reality. In the empirical setting of a change project in a regional health authority in Sweden, the action research ambitions of development, participation and dialogue in the change effort are critically assessed. Against a backdrop of change fatigue and scepticism towards change, the unfolding of developmental processes set in train by an initial dialogue conference are assessed as a dynamic process of magic.


  • Business Administration
  • Organizational change
  • organizational development
  • magic
  • participation
  • dialogue
  • action research
  • integrated care



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