Book | Reframing Organizations by Bolman and Deal

51i4Xgfv6KLBolman, Lee G., and Terrence E. Deal. Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice, and Leadership. 4th ed. The Jossey-Bass Business & Management Series. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2008.

The Authors

Lee Bolman

Lee Bolman is an author, scholar, consultant and speaker who currently holds the Marion Bloch Missouri Chair in Leadership at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

bolmanHe has written numerous books on leadership and organizations, including the forthcoming fifth edition of Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice and Leadership, expected in August, 2013, and Reframing Academic Leadership (2011), with Joan Gallos.  His other books with

Terry Deal include The Wizard and the Warrior: Leading with Passion and Power (2006);  Leading with Soul: an Uncommon Journey of Spirit (1995; 2001; 2011);  Reframing the Path to School Leadership (2002; 2010); Escape from Cluelessness: a Guide for the Organizationally-Challenged (2000);  Becoming a Teacher Leader (1994); and Modern Approaches to Understanding and Managing Organizations (1984). Bolman and Deal’s books have been translated into more than ten languages.  His publications also include numerous cases, chapters, and articles in scholarly and professional journals.

Lee consults and lectures worldwide to corporations, public agencies, universities and schools. He holds a B.A. in History and a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from Yale University. Prior to assuming his current position, he taught four years at Carnegie-Mellon University  and more than twenty years at Harvard.  His administrative roles at UMKC have included  Interim Dean of the Bloch School of Business and Public Administration, and chair of the department of Organizations, Leadership and Marketing.  At Harvard he served as director and principal investigator for the National Center for Educational Leadership and for the Harvard School Leadership Academy, with a total of $3 million in external funding.  He was also  educational chair for two Harvard executive programs — the Institute for Educational Management and the Management Development program.

He commutes to Kansas City from his home in Brookline, Massachusetts, where he lives with his wife, Joan Gallos, and an irrepressible Cockapoo, Douglas McGregor.

Terrence Deal

TERRENCEE.DEAL,PH.D.Terrence E. Deal, Ph.D., an author, teacher, and consultant, has written seventeen books including the bestselling Corporate Cultures. He has taught at Harvard and Stanford and currently teaches at Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. Deal consults with a wide variety of organizations, including banks, hospitals, and schools, in the United States and abroad.


“A frame is a mental model—a set of ideas and assumptions—that you carry in your head to help you understand and negotiate a particular ‘territory.’”[1]

The Four Frames

  1. Structural Frame – Organization as Factories
  2. Human Resource Frame – Organizations as families
  3. Political Frame – Organizations as jungles
  4. Symbolic Frame – Organizations as temples, theaters, or carnivals




Multiframe Thinking

“Multiframe thinking is challenging and often counterintuitive. To see the same organization as machine, family, jungle, and theater requires the capacity to think in different ways at the same time about the same thing. Like surfers, leaders must ride the waves of change. Too far ahead, they will be crushed. If they fall behind, they will become irrelevant. Success requires artistry, skill, and the ability to see organizations as organic forms in which needs, roles, power, and symbols must be integrated to provide direction and shape behavior. The power to reframe is vital for modern leaders. The ability to see new possibilities and to create new opportunities enables leaders to discover alternatives when options seem severely constrained. It helps them find hope and faith amid fear and despair. Choice is at the heart of freedom, and freedom is essential to achieving the twin goals of commitment and flexibility.”[2]

My Visual Notes






[1] Lee G. Bolman and Terrence E. Deal, Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice, and Leadership, 4th ed., The Jossey-Bass Business & Management Series (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2008), 11.

[2] Ibid.,  437-438.

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