So, where have we been, what have we seen and heard along the way, and where, if anywhere, have we got to at the end of this journey through organizational change and its management?
Let us first review where we started out. Our own ‘journey’ (perhaps the inverted commas are unnecessary, for besides this metaphorical journey, we did spend a lot of time travelling around the UK in search of data, that is, visiting hostelries and Head and regional offices) as authors can be seen as having been paralleled by the ‘journey’ Bass Taverns has made over the same period of time—indeed our journey would not have taken place if the company had not been setting out on its own change journey back in the early 1990s. So let us talk simultaneously about the two journeys, for ours was certainly very much in the ‘slipstream’ of the Bass journey, and sometimes one of the authors was in the vehicle itself.
We said in chapter 1 that in studying organizational change and its management in Bass Taverns we would look at a number of aspects of this matter throughout the book: management and managing, organizational restructuring, teamworking, gender and management, technical change, performance, and change management. We also said that we would take a processual-contextual approach to the analysis of change and that the core themes of the book are the management of change, its reception and outcomes. It can reasonably be claimed that we have done all this. Let us recapitulate.
Chapter 2 reviewed the changing external contexts facing the company at the end of the 1980s, in particular the DTI Beer Orders of 1989, but also the changing socio-economic context, changes in market size and trends, and consumer preferences. When the implications of all these changes and developments were put together, it added up to the emergence of a period of radical challenges for the companies within the sector at the time. To put it bluntly, it was recognized that it would be very difficult for them to continue as if ‘nothing has really changed’; if they did take this sort of view, they might well not survive too long into the 1990s. There was a need for a response, and a strategic, considered one at that. What would they do, how would they react to the Beer Orders and the other contextual changes? We have not attempted to answer this question at a sectoral level, but rather, through concentrating upon one of the main players, have focused upon inner-contextual behaviour and responses (in fact, there were a range of different