Summary of Reframing Organizations

Artistry, Choice, and Leadership

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Reframing Organizations book summary
Organizational behavior experts Lee G. Bolman and Terrence E. Deal offer four frames for analyzing organizations, procedures and work dynamics.


8 Overall

9 Applicability

8 Innovation

8 Style


Picture yourself in the optician’s chair, looking through the refractor and trying to decipher the test chart on the wall. At first, the chart seems a blur. The optician changes the lens and large letters in the top rows become visible. Lens after lens, your vision improves and you make sense of the chart. Organizational behavior experts Lee G. Bolman and Terrence E. Deal support you in a similar way by offering four “frames” through which to analyze organizations, procedures and dynamics at work. Their 500-page volume – a standard industry textbook in its fifth edition – may not be a “one-minute-manager” breeze, but it’s a rich, readable, applicable reference with cogent examples. getAbstract finds that executives in planning roles as well as business students, entrepreneurs, executives, managers, small-business owners and anyone wanting to understand organizational life will refer to it again and again.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How an organizational frame works,
  • How to use four “distinct frames” and
  • How switching among frames helps you as a leader.


As a manager and leader, how do you know if you fully grasp what’s going on around you? “Cluelessness” is widespread in many organizations, and even smart people like Steve Jobs sometimes fail to understand their company and its dynamics. The late Apple CEO didn’t comprehend...
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About the Authors

Lee G. Bolman works in leadership at the Bloch School of Business and Public Administration at the University of Missouri–Kansas City. Terrence E. Deal co-authored 23 organization and leadership books.

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