Adelaide Business School
Faculty of the Professions
Patrick Dawson is a Professor of Change, Innovation and Creativity at the University of Adelaide and an Emeritus Professor at the University of Aberdeen. With an extensive publication list of over 60 refereed journal articles, 12 books, 50 book chapters he is an international leader in management research. His reputation has led to frequent invites to chair conference streams as well as regular keynote speaking appearances and he has worked on the Editorial Board of several learned journals. In 2005, he was awarded the ongoing position of Distinguished Member of the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management and he has held Visiting Professorships at Lund University, Roskilde University and the Danish Technical University, an Adjunct Professorship at Monash University and was holder of the Salvesen Chair of Management at the University of Aberdeen.
Patrick holds a PhD in industrial sociology from the University of Southampton and during his early career worked at the University of Surrey and the University of Edinburgh. He moved to Australia in the 1980s where he took up a position at the University of Adelaide. In studying change in UK, Australian and New Zealand based organizations, Patrick has worked on a number of Australian Research Council (ARC) and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded projects in collaboration with scholars at other universities. He has examined change and innovation in a number of organizations including: Pirelli Cables, BHP Billiton, Royal Dutch Shell, British Rail, British Aerospace, General Motors, Hewlett Packard, TNT and the CSIRO.
My main research interests centre on organizational change, time and temporality, creativity and innovation.
Underpinning my research and theoretical development has been the refinement and elaboration of a process approach to understanding change. This perspective originally formulated in my 1994 book Organizational Change: A Processual Approach promotes the importance of viewing change as a non-linear dynamic rather than as a simple progressive series of stages commonly advocated in the mainstream literature. The approach stresses the importance of examining movements as-they-occur from a current position (when possible at the initial conception of a need to change) through processes of change (the planning and implementation of change) to a period of review and evaluation (a post-change period). Examining changes as-they-happen is central in building knowledge of complex change processes rather than linear models that focus on after-the-event accounts. Data are collected throughout these processes from stakeholders and employees at all levels (not just management) and examined within a broader contextual frame that takes account of the past (historical and retrospective analyses) and the future (analyses of future expectations before and after the event), as well as the current ongoing processes of change (Dawson, 2013: 252). It is based on the assumption that change is complex and at times chaotic (Alvesson & Sveningsson, 2016). It recognizes that the unplanned, unforeseen and unexpected will occur and that consequently, organizational change should not be reduced to a list of simple sequential steps (Dawson, 1994).
This processual perspective highlights the importance of temporality and context (the history and culture of organizations), political processes, power plays and decision-making that engages people in negotiations, in communications that may be misinterpreted or reinterpreted in various ways that create further uncertainties, ambiguities and confusion. It spotlights how forms of ‘equivocality’ (where multiple interpretations exists) may be progressively resolved through collective sensemaking processes, whilst also sustaining conflicting interpretations between different groups that may be further reinforced through processes of change (Dawson, 2003). Attention is given to the temporal reconstitution of practices (management strategy, change interventions and workplace reconfigurations) and how people give and make sense of the way social and material processes, activities and actions unfold over time (Dawson and Skykes, 2016). In short, change is viewed as a complex, dynamic, non-linear, temporal process.
Alvesson, M, & Sveningsson, S. (2016) Changing Organizational Culture: Cultural Change Work in Progress. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. Dawson, P. (1994) Organizational Change: A Processual Approach. London: Paul Chapman Publishing. Dawson, P. (2003) Reshaping Change: A Processual Perspective. London: Routledge. Dawson, P. and Sykes, C. (2016) Organizational Change and Temporality: Bending the Arrow of Time. New York: Routledge.
Date Position Institution name 1997 - 2015 Salvesen Chair of Management University of Aberdeen
Awards and Achievements
Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount 2017 Fellowship Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management University of Adelaide Australia — 2015 Achievement Emeritus Professor of the University of Aberdeen University of Aberdeen United Kingdom — 2005 Distinction Distinguished Member of Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management University of Aberdeen United Kingdom —
Date Institution name Country Title 1981 - 1984 University of Southampton England PhD
Year Citation 2019 Dawson, P., & Sykes, C. (2019). Concepts of Time and Temporality in the Storytelling and Sensemaking Literatures: A Review and Critique. International Journal of Management Reviews, 21(1), 97-114.
2017 McLoughlin, I., & Dawson, P. (2017). ‘Howzat’ - how do artefacts without matter, matter? The case of decision review systems in professional cricket. New Technology, Work and Employment, 32(2), 131-145.
2016 Pattinson, S., Preece, D., & Dawson, P. (2016). In search of innovative capabilities of communities of practice: a systematic review and typology for future research. Management Learning, 47(5), 506-524.
DOI Scopus6 WoS4
2016 Banna, S., Hasan, H., & Dawson, P. (2016). Understanding the diversity of user requirements for interactive online health services. International Journal of Healthcare Technology and Management, 15(3), 253-271.
2015 Dawson, P. (2015). In search of freedom: legacies of management innovations for the experience of work and employment. Employment Relations Record, 15(1), 4-26. 2014 Dawson, P. (2014). Temporal practices: time and ethnographic research in changing organizations. Journal of Organizational Ethnography, 3(2), 130-151.
2014 Dawson, P., Sykes, C., McLean, P., Zanko, M., & Marciano, H. (2014). Stories affording new pathways: bridging the divide between aged and disability care. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 27(5), 819-838.
DOI Scopus3 WoS1
2014 Dawson, P. (2014). Reflections: on time, temporality and change in organizations. Journal of Change Management, 14(3), 285-308.
2013 Dawson, P., & McLean, P. (2013). Miners' tales: stories and the storying process for understanding the collective sensemaking of employees during contested change. Group and Organization Management, 38(2), 198-229.
DOI Scopus11 WoS8
2012 Zanko, M., & Dawson, P. (2012). Occupational health and safety management in organizations: a review. International Journal of Management Reviews, 14(3), 328-344.
DOI Scopus35 WoS29
2012 Oke, A., & Dawson, P. (2012). The role of socio-cultural norms in the experience of workplace stress: an empirical study of bank employees in Nigeria. International Journal of Management, 29(1), 314-331. 2011 Dawson, P., Farmer, J., & Thomson, E. (2011). The power of stories to persuade: the storying of midwives and the financial narratives of central policy makers. Journal of Management and Organization, 17(2), 146-164.
DOI Scopus3 WoS3
2011 Charles, K., & Dawson, P. (2011). Dispersed change agency and the improvisation of strategies during processes of change. Journal of Change Management, 11(3), 329-351.
2011 Daniel, L., & Dawson, P. (2011). The sociology of innovation and new biotechnologies. New Technology Work and Employment, 26(1), 1-16.
DOI Scopus5 WoS4
2010 Dawson, P., & Daniel, L. (2010). Understanding social innovation: A provisional framework. International Journal of Technology Management, 51(1 Sp Iss), 9-21.
DOI Scopus82 WoS47
2010 Dawson, P., & Spedding, T. (2010). Simulation modelling and strategic change: Creating the sustainable enterprise. Australasian Journal of Information Systems, 16(2), 71-80.
2009 Dawson, P. M., & Zanko, M. (2009). Cultural issues in organizational change: the case of the Australian Services Union. Employment Relations Record, 9(1), 19-41. 2008 Baines, T., Ball, P., Cooper, S., Dawson, P., Wilkinson, S., Woods, M., & Kay, J. (2008). An exploration of policies and practices used to showcase production facilities. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture, 222(9), 1181-1188.
2007 Buchanan, D., & Dawson, P. (2007). Discourse and audience: Organizational change as multi-story process. Journal of Management Studies, 44(5), 669-686.
DOI Scopus127 WoS102
2007 Skordoulis, R., & Dawson, P. (2007). Reflective decisions: The use of Socratic dialogue in managing organizational change. Management Decision, 45(6), 991-1007.
DOI Scopus13 WoS14
2007 Farmer, J., Dawson, P., Martin, E., & Tucker, J. (2007). Rurality, remoteness and the change process: Evidence from a study of maternity services in the north of Scotland. Health Services Management Research, 20(1), 59-68.
DOI Scopus9 Europe PMC6
2007 Mahdi, M., & Dawson, P. (2007). The introduction of information technology in the commercial banking sector of developing countries: Voices from Sudan. Information Technology and People, 20(2), 184-204.
2006 Skordoulis, R., & Dawson, P. M. (2006). The Acropolis of change: the Socratically reflective employee?. International Journal of Applied Management, 2(3), 1-21. 2006 Mahdi, M., & Dawson, P. (2006). Technology policy and change in developing economies: advancing a banking strategy for world developments. International Journal of Technology, Policy and Management, 6(3), 256-273.
2005 Dawson, P. (2005). The way it really happened: competing narratives in the political process of technological change. Human Relations, 58(7), 845-864.
DOI Scopus43 WoS36
2005 Dawson, P. (2005). Changing manufacturing practices: An appraisal of the processual approach. Human Factors and Ergonomics In Manufacturing, 15(4), 385-402.
DOI Scopus5 WoS3
2003 Dawson, P., & Huang, J. (2003). Reconfiguration in the context of BPR. International Journal of Internet and Enterprise Management, 1(4), 373.
2003 Dawson, P., Preece, D., & McLoughlin, I. (2003). From Essex to Cyberspace: Virtual Organisational Reality and Real Organisational Virtuality. Labour & Industry: a journal of the social and economic relations of work, 14(1), 73-89.
2003 Dawson, P. (2003). Organisational change stories and management research: Facts or fiction. Journal of Management and Organization, 9(3), 37-49.
2003 Badham, R., Garrety, K., Morrigan, V., Zanko, M., & Dawson, P. (2003). Designer Deviance: Enterprise and Deviance in Culture Change Programmes. Organization, 10(4), 707-730.
DOI Scopus23 WoS16
2002 Dawson, P., & Gunson, N. (2002). Technology and the politics of change at work: The case of Dalebake Bakeries. New Technology, Work and Employment, 17(1), 35-45.
DOI Scopus7 WoS5
2001 Atkins, M., & Dawson, P. (2001). The Virtual Organization: Emerging Forms of ICT-Based Work Arrangements. Journal of General Management, 26(3), 41-52.
2001 Panteli, N., & Dawson, P. (2001). Video conferencing meetings: Changing patterns of business communication. New Technology, Work and Employment, 16(2), 88-99.
DOI Scopus23 WoS18
2001 Dawson, P. (2001). Contextual shaping in the origination, implementation and uptake of manufacturing cells. Integrated Manufacturing Systems, 12(4), 296-305.
2001 Dawson, P., & Jensen, P. (2001). The professional working environment consultant - A new actor in the health and safety arena. Human Factors and Ergonomics In Manufacturing, 11(2), 159-172.
DOI Scopus11 WoS13
2001 Dawson, P., & Jensen, P. (2001). Working environment and technological development: The Danish experience. Human Factors and Ergonomics In Manufacturing, 11(2), 81-87.
DOI Scopus1 WoS1
2000 Dawson, P., Clausen, C., & Nielsen, K. (2000). Political processes in management, organization and the social shaping of technology. Technology Analysis and Strategic Management, 12(1), 13-15.
2000 Dawson, P. (2000). Technology, work restructuring and the orchestration of a rational narrative in the pursuit of 'management objectives': The political process of plant-level change. Technology Analysis and Strategic Management, 12(1), 56-58.
2000 Dawson, P., Drinkwater, R., Gunson, N., & Atkins, M. (2000). Computer-Mediated Communication and the Virtual Workplace: the Social and Political Processes of Change. Labour & Industry: a journal of the social and economic relations of work, 10(3), 17-36.
2000 Dawson, P. M. (2000). Telling tales: Restructuring at General Motors. Human Resource Management International Digest, 8(5), 10-12. 1998 Dawson, P. (1998). The rhetoric and bureaucracy of quality management: A totally questionable method?. Personnel Review, 27(1), 5-19.
DOI Scopus8 WoS4
1998 Dawson, P. (1998). Australian technology meets American manufacturing: A case study of industrial collaboration. Human Factors and Ergonomics In Manufacturing, 8(2), 111-123.
1997 Dawson, P. (1997). From technology research to the practice of group-based manufacturing under multi-partner projects. Human Systems Management, 16(1), 35-42.
1997 Dawson, P. (1997). In at the deep end: Conducting processual research on organisational change. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 13(4), 389-405.
1996 Dawson, P. (1996). Beyond conventional change models: A processual perspective. Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 34(2), 57-70.
1996 Dawson, P. (1996). Advanced technology design, people and organization: Experience of Australian industrial collaboration. Integrated Manufacturing Systems, 7(5), 5-11.
1995 Dawson, P. (1995). Troubles with TQM -Pirelli Cables Australia Limited. Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, 5(6), 18-20.
1995 Dawson, P. (1995). Redefining human resource management: Work restructuring and employee relations at Mobil Adelaide Refinery. International Journal of Manpower, 16(5-6), 47-55.
DOI Scopus2 WoS1
1995 Dawson, P. M. (1995). Implementing quality management: some general lessons on managing change. Asia Pacific Journal of Quality Management, 4(1), 35-46. 1994 Dawson, P. (1994). Quality Management: Beyond the Japanese Model. International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, 11(7), 51-59.
1994 Dawson, P. M. (1994). Quality management. Asia Pacific Journal of Quality Management, 3(2), 55-63. 1994 Bloor, G., & Dawson, P. (1994). Understanding Professional Culture in Organizational Context. Organization Studies, 15(2), 275-295.
DOI Scopus182 WoS128
1993 Dawson, P. M., & Palmer, G. (1993). Total quality management in Australian and New Zealand companies: some emerging themes and issues. International Journal of Employment Studies, 1(1), 115-136. 1991 Dawson, P. (1991). From machine-centered to human-centered manufactured. The International journal of human factors in manufacturing, 1(4), 327-338.
1991 Dawson, P. (1991). Lost Managers or Industrial Dinosaurs? A Reappraisal of Front-line Management. Australian Journal of Management, 16(1), 35-48.
1991 Dawson, P. (1991). The Historical Emergence and Changing Role of the Industrial Supervisor. Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 29(2), 36-50.
1991 Dawson, P., & Patrickson, M. (1991). Total Quality Management in the Australian Banking Industry. International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, 8(5).
1991 Webb, J., & Dawson, P. (1991). MEASURE FOR MEASURE: STRATEGIC CHANGE IN AN ELECTRONIC INSTRUMENTS CORPORATION*. Journal of Management Studies, 28(2), 191-192.
DOI Scopus28 WoS23
1990 Dawson, P., Buckland, S., & Gilbert, N. (1990). Expert systems and the public provision of welfare benefit advice. Policy & Politics, 18(1), 43-54.
DOI Scopus2 WoS2
1989 Buckland, S., & Dawson, P. (1989). Household Claiming Behaviour. Social Policy & Administration, 23(1), 60-71.
DOI Scopus3 WoS4
1989 Dawson, P., & Webb, J. (1989). New Production Arrangements: The Totally Flexible Cage?. Work Employment & Society, 3(2), 221-238.
1988 Dawson, P. (1988). Intelligent knowledge based systems (IKBS): organisational implications. New Technology, Work and Employment, 3(1), 56-65.
1987 Dawson, P. (1987). Computer technology and the job of the First‐Line Supervisor. New Technology, Work and Employment, 2(1), 47-60.
1986 Dawson, P., & McLoughlin, I. (1986). COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY AND THE REDEFINITION OF SUPERVISION: A STUDY OF THE EFFECTS OF COMPUTERIZATION ON RAILWAY FREIGHT SUPERVISORS. Journal of Management Studies, 23(1), 116-132.
DOI Scopus33 WoS24
Year Citation 2017 Dawson, P., & Andriopoulos, C. (2017). Managing Change, Creativity and Innovation. 2016 Dawson, P., & Sykes, C. (2016). Organizational Change and Temporality Bending the Arrow of Time. Routledge. 2014 Dawson, P., & Andriopoulos, C. (2014). Managing Change, Creativity and Innovation (2nd ed.). London UK: SAGE Publications Limited. 2008 Andriopoulos, C., & Dawson, P. (2008). Managing Change, Creativity and Innovation. SAGE Publications Limited. 2003 Dawson, P. (2003). Understanding Organizational Change The Contemporary Experience of People at Work. SAGE. 2003 Dawson, P. (2003). Reshaping change: A processual perspective.
2000 McLoughlin, I., Preece, D., & Dawson, P. (2000). Technology, Organizations and Innovation: The early debates. Taylor & Francis. 2000 McLoughlin, I., Preece, D., & Dawson, P. (2000). Technology, Organizations and Innovation: Theories, concepts and paradigms. Taylor & Francis. 2000 McLoughlin, I., Preece, D., & Dawson, P. (2000). Technology, Organizations and Innovation: Critical empirical studies. Taylor & Francis. 2000 McLoughlin, I., Preece, D., & Dawson, P. (2000). Technology, Organizations and Innovation: Towards 'real virtuality'?. Taylor & Francis. 1996 Dawson, P. M. (1996). Technology and Quality: Change in the Workplace. London: International Thomson Business Press. 1995 Dawson, P., & Palmer, G. (1995). Quality Management The Theory and Practice of Implementing Change. 1994 Dawson, P. (1994). Organizational Change. SAGE Publications Limited.
Year Citation 2017 Scott, J., Dawson, P., & Thompson, J. (2017). Eco-socio innovation: underpinning sustainable entrepreneurship and social innovation. In K. Nicolopoulou, M. Karatas-Ozkan, F. Janssen, & J. Jermier (Eds.), Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation (pp. 40-56). New York: Routledge Research in Sustainability and Business.
2017 McLoughlin, I., & Dawson, P. (2017). 'Not out'? A sociomaterial perspective on decision review systems in professional cricket. In V. Ratten, & J. Ferreira (Eds.), Sport Entrepreneurship and Innovation (pp. 192-208). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
2016 Dawson, P. (2016). Change bites: Stories from the field. In B. Burnes, & J. Randall (Eds.), Perspectives on Change: What Academics, Consultants and Managers Really Think about Change (1 ed., pp. 51-63). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. 2013 Dawson, P. (2013). The use of time in the design, conduct and write-up of longitudinal processual case study research. In M. Hassett, & E. Paavilainen-Mäntymäki (Eds.), Handbook of Longitudinal Research Methods in Organisation and Business Studies (pp. 249-268). Cheltenham, Glos; United Kingdom: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited.
2012 Dawson, P. (2012). The contribution of the processual approach to the theory and practice of organizational change. In D. Boje, B. Burnes, & J. Hassard (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Organizational Change (pp. 119-132). Routledge.
2011 Dawson, P., & Zanko, M. (2011). Social innovation at work: Sustainable OHS in HRM. In M. Clarke (Ed.), Readings in HRM and Sustainability (pp. 82-99). Prahan Victoria: Tilde University Press. 2007 Dawson, P. M. (2007). Change management. In G. Ritzer (Ed.), The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology: Index (pp. 427-431). Blackwell Publisher. 2004 Dawson, P. M. (2004). Company change and human resources: In pursuit of flexibility. In R. Wiesner, & B. Millet (Eds.), Human Resource Management: Challenges and Future Directions. John Wiley & Sons. 2003 Dawson, P. (2003). Managing change: Communication and political process. In Key Issues in Organizational Communication (pp. 60-73).
2003 McLoughlin, I., & Dawson, P. (2003). The mutual shaping of technology and organisation: 'Between Cinema and a Hard Place'. In Technological Change and Organizational Action (pp. 20-36).
2002 Dawson, P. M. (2002). Changing supervisory relations at work: behind the success stories of Quality Management. In A. Jiju, & D. Preece (Eds.), Understanding, Managing, and Implementing Quality Frameworks, Techniques, and Cases (pp. 211-226). London: Routledge. 2001 Dawson, P. M. (2001). Organizational change. In J. Wright, N. Smelser, & P. Baltes (Eds.), International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Oxford: Elsevier Science. 1999 Dawson, P. M. (1999). Quality management: contextual conditions for continuous improvement?. In C. Clegge, K. Legge, & S. Walsh (Eds.), The Experience of Managing; A Skills Guide (pp. 215-225). London: MacMillan. 1998 Dawson, P. M. (1998). The implications of work restructuring and change. In M. Patrickson, & L. Hartmann (Eds.), Managing an Ageing Workforce. Warriewood, NSW: Business & Professional Publishing. 1998 Dawson, P. M., & McLoughlin, I. (1998). Organisational choice in the redesign of supervisory systems. In D. Boddy, J. McCalman, & D. Buchanan (Eds.), The New Management Challenge: Information Systems for Improved Performance. London: Croom Helm. 1998 Dawson, P. M. (1998). Understanding the process of organizational change. In G. O'Neil, & R. Kramer (Eds.), Australian Human Resources Management Current Trends in Management Practice (pp. 125-142). Allen & Unwin. 1997 Dawson, P. M. (1997). Advanced technology and the development of new forms of work organization. In I. McLoughlin, & M. Harris (Eds.), Innovation, Organizational Change and Technology. London: International Thomson Business Press. 1997 Dawson, P. M. (1997). Best practice at Adelaide mobile refinery. In E. Carusa (Ed.), The Best Practice Experience Volume 1: Heavy Manufacturing, Mining and Chemical Industries (Vol. 1). Melbourne: Pitman. 1995 Allan, C., & Dawson, P. M. (1995). The managerial politics of organizational change. In G. Bamber, & M. Patrickson (Eds.), Organizational Change Strategies: Case Studies of Human Resource and Industrial Relations Issues. 1995 Dawson, P. M. (1995). Managing quality in the mutli-cultural workplace. In A. Wilkinson, & H. Willmott (Eds.), Making Quality Critical; New Perspective on Organizational Change (pp. 173-193). London: Routledge. 1994 Dawson, P. M. (1994). Total quality management. In J. Storey (Ed.), New Wave Manufacturing Strategies Organizational and Human Resource Management Dimensions. SAGE. 1991 Dawson, P. M. (1991). The successful management of change: The case of Central Linen Services South Australia. In S. Petzall, & C. Selvarajah (Eds.), Management Case Studies. Melbourne: Longman Cheshire. 1991 Dawson, P. M., & Webb, J. (1991). Information technology and JIT: The case of Silica Tele Test and production planning. In K. Legge, C. Clegg, & N. Kemp (Eds.), Case Studies in Information Technology, People and Organisations. Blackwell Pub. 1991 Dawson, P. M. (1991). Cellular manufacturing in hardware fabrication: The case of General Motor's-Holden's Automotive Limited. In S. Petzall, & C. Selvarajah (Eds.), Management Case Studies. Melbourne: Longman Cheshire. 1988 Dawson, P. M. (1988). Information technology and the control function of supervision. In D. Knights, & H. Willmott (Eds.), New Technology and the Labour Process (pp. 118-142). Basingstoke: MacMilllan Press.
- 2011 (June) - 2014 (July): Awarded an ARC (Australian Research Council) Linkage grant with Professor Trevor Spedding (University of Wollongong), Professor Amrik Sohal (University of Monash), Professor Mike Clements (Swinburne University of Technology), and Dr Lisa Daniel (University of Adelaide). Project entitled: Technological innovation and change in supply chain integration. Funding: $161,676 from the ARC and $70,500 from the three industry partners PLUS $180,000 of in-kind support from the industry partners. Cash funding of $232,176 and total funding of $412,176 (£280,160).
- 2010-2011: Funding for research on story-telling in community service organizations in collaboration with Assoc. Prof. Michael Zanko, Dr Peter McLean and Dr Chris Sykes. Project entitled: Social innovation and health: transitioning developments for the intellectually disabled into aged care, grant of $6,740 from the University of Wollongong, Australia.
At Aberdeen University my responsibilities for taught teaching centred on the coordination and delivery of materials for three courses, namely:
- Management of Change and Innovation (Energy MBA and MBA core module)
- Creativity and Change (MBA elective module)
- Understanding Theory and Research on Organizational Change (Consultancy and Change MSc)
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