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JOCM - Call for Paper 2014 : Journal of Organizational Change Management - Special issue on Barriers to innovation and organizational change: theories, methods, practices


When N/A
Where N/A
Submission Deadline Mar 31, 2014
Categories    management   barriers   innovation   change

Call For Papers

Article Type: Call for papers
From: Journal of Organizational Change Management, Volume 26, Issue 6
Guest Editors: Professor Dr Edeltraud Guenther, TU Dresden, Germany
Associate Professor Dr Peter Kesting, Aarhus University, Denmark

Scholarly discussions on organization change focus mostly on critical success factors. Approximately 70 percent of planned organizational change initiatives fail, but they attract less research attention than the remaining success stories. In this special issue, we shall try to answer the question of why organizational change initiatives fail. Barriers to innovation and organizational change have been widely discussed in research literature, but they tend to be either very abstract (fear of change) or very local (immediate context). The barriers which are mentioned most frequently include employees’ and managers’ resistance to change, communication barriers, and organizational and decision-making structures. Lack of resources, such as qualified staff, time, and financial reserves, can also contribute to failure. From a systematic point of view, barriers to innovation shape the conditions for critical success factors, and thus should be adequately acknowledged in theoretical constructs.

A systematic review of more than 100 empirical studies on barriers to change resulted in two major findings. First, we have discovered a gap – lack of scholarly discussion of the phenomenon of endemic failure of change projects and the parallel lack of a theoretical foundation for potential explanations. In order to address this problem and to try to close the gap, two Academy of Management Professional DevelopmentWorkshops, in 2009 and 2010, and one Caucus, in 2011, were held. We had tried to bring together researchers willing to discuss the state of the art and the future theoretical and methodological challenges of barrier research. The aim was to enhance scholarly discussion of failure and breakdown of change processes. We had also hoped for cross-fertilization among specializations and among representatives of different methodologies. The discussions raised some interesting theoretical and methodological issues on how to identify, measure and overcome barriers to a successful organizational change. The discussions further confirmed the results of the systematic review of empirical studies on barriers: there is no general and accepted barrier theory to explain the occurrence of barriers to change/innovation in contemporary organizations.

The aim of this Special Call for Papers is to attract research papers which address these issues in more depth. There is a need for rigorous theoretical explanations as well as for collecting solid empirical evidence for barriers to change/innovation. This Special Issue will thus be dedicated to high-quality research on this critical knowledge gap in existing management innovation and change theory. Let us undermine the old saying that success has many parents, but a failure is an orphan.

Subject coverage

For this Special Issue, we invite researchers to contribute conceptual papers, review, and methodological papers, and case studies that include, but are not restricted to, the following questions:
- What types of barriers to an organizational innovation and change do exist in contemporary professional organizations?
- Which theoretical lenses can be (have been, should have been) used to explain the abovementioned barriers?
- How can barriers to change be observed, categorized, measured, analysed and compared?
- How can the different levels of barriers to change (individual, group, organization, external environment) be addressed and linked in an overall explanation?
- Which methods (multi-level, multi-disciplinary, quantitative, qualitative) can be applied to investigate barriers?
- How can barriers be overcome and what should researchers and practitioners do to overcome them?

Notes for prospective authors:

Submitted papers should not be previously published or under consideration for publication elsewhere (N.B. Conference papers may only be submitted if the paper was not originally copyrighted and if it has been completely re-written.)

All papers are refereed through a double-blind peer review process. A guide for authors, sample copies and other relevant information for submitting papers are available on the Author Guidelines page.

Important dates:

Paper submission: March 31, 2014
Reviewer reports: June 30, 2014
Revised paper submission: September 30, 2014
Final manuscript submission to publishers: December 2014
Editors and notes

Professor Dr Edeltraud Guenther, TU Dresden, Germany (
Associate Professor Dr Peter Kesting, Aarhus University, Denmark (

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