The genesis of the book can be traced to a telephone call from Gordon Steven to David Preece, during late 1992. At the time Gordon was working for Bass Taverns, and was about to become a leading member of the Change Team which the company was establishing; David Preece was (and, indeed, still is) a lecturer at the University of Portsmouth. It went something like this (after the usual pleasantries):
GORDON: Dave, I think you might be interested in getting involved in researching a change initiative which is about to begin in the company. I’m on the Change Team, and you would be able to work with me as the project develops…
DAVID: You’ve got my interest, please tell me more.
GORDON: Well, it’s very early days at the moment, but it looks like BPR (Business Process Re-engineering), organizational restructuring, technical change and quality management will be all part of it.
DAVID: What sort of access will I have?
GORDON: Well, of course, you would get excellent access through me and other people I know, and it will definitely be necessary to spend a lot of time in the pubs, interviewing managers and other staff…
DAVID: Count me in (draught Bass had always been one of my favourite beers in the Midlands).
The third member of the research team, Valerie Steven, was quickly enrolled for her expertise in Employee Resourcing/Development and Gender and Organizations. And the first meeting of what we later came to call the ‘PINT (People, Innovation and Technology) Group’ took place at the Wheel, Oadby, shortly thereafter. We have more to say towards the end of the chapter about the research design and methodology which emerged, but it is important to provide first of all an overview of the book and its theoretical orientation and focus.
This is a book about organizational change. Connected to an overview and analysis of this phenomenon, it also has things to report and say about such matters as