Bernard Burnes: Choices, Contexts, and Changes

Living reference work entry

Abstract

This chapter sets out the contribution of Bernard Burnes, currently of Stirling University Scotland, as a “great” in the theory of change management. The connection between his personal career, his life experience, and his approach to change management is set out – particularly his commitment to democratic and humanist values in the management of change and the belief that there is no “one best way” when it comes to change management and particularly that top-down change can cause more problems than it solves. Burnes’ particular contributions are discussed. He is “primus inter pares” in Kurt Lewin studies, discovering, reassessing, and integrating Lewin’s work and attempting to complete the Lewinian project. He is the sole author of a leading textbook on change management, over a number of editions, which have seen his text incorporate and expand the major change issues of the day. And his work which draws together and theorizes the relation between leadership and change is set out. Burnes’ influence is considered quantitatively, in terms of citations and downloads – but also intellectually. In key areas of change management, Burnes has been a pathfinder. His ongoing commitments to addressing the major problems of the world, particularly in relation to the environment and sustainability and the approaches to social changes that are required draw the chapter to its conclusion.

Keywords

Managing change Leadership Kurt Lewin History of change management 

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Further Reading

  1. Burnes, B. (1996b). Managing change (2nd ed.). London: Pitman. (396pp).Google Scholar
  2. Burnes, B. (2001). Managing change (3rd ed.). Harlow: Financial Times/Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  3. Burnes, B. (2004). Managing change (4th ed.). Harlow: Financial Times/Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  4. Burnes, B. (2014). Managing change (6th ed.). Harlow: Financial Times/Prentice Hall.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chair in Strategic ManagementUniversity of YorkYorkUK

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