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ERIC Number: ED420080
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Pages: 7
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
A Fissure in the Second Order: A New Look at Change and School Reform.
Zimmerman, Diane P.
The subject of this theoretical study emerges from the identification of a gap in the theories of first, second, and third order change. Through synthesis and critique of existing theory (Bateson, 1972; Watzlawick, Weakland, and Fisch, 1974; and Bartunek and Moch, 1987), an integrated three-part theory of change is proposed to include continuous inquiries into mental maps, reflexive practices, and authoring. Grouping these themes together in a process of continuous inquiry opens up the possibilities for a third order of change. In organizational development literature, second order change has been most often defined by changing mental maps, in contrast to first order change, which is defined as working with existing mental maps. On closer inspection, this singular definition cannot sustain second order change, for once a new mental map has been adopted the process reverts to a first order change. This raises the dilemma that to sustain second order change the mental maps must be continuously challenged. In the reflexive application of this theory for organizational change, issues of co-authorship become critical. Power and manipulation create barriers to reflexivity and limit the expansion of authoring. To achieve third order change, collaborative choices must be part of the process requiring that the change agents and the recipients work together to author options for change. Combining the three concepts--mental mapping, reflexivity, and authoring--as an integrated theory for change suggests the definition of a third order that is significantly distinct from second order change. (Contains a 16-item bibliography.) (Author/NKA)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A