Bolman and Deal’s Four Frames and the Quality Standards Academic Committee: An Analysis of Select Past and Future Leadership Decisions

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  • This paper considers Bolman and Deal’s four frames, as developed in Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice, and Leadership (2017), in the context of an academic advisory committee, the Quality Standards Assurance Committee (QSAC), at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The background of the committee is discussed, as are the attributes and central premises of each frame. The frames are then applied to select aspects of the committee as a means of reflecting on decisions made to date and to inform improvements moving forward. Application of the Structural Frame affirms the authoritative style of the QSAC that is used by many academic advisory committees. Application of the Human Resources Frame reveals potential for optimizing member engagement and satisfaction. Application of the Political Frame prompts consideration of power relations and absence of overlooked members. The use of the Symbolic Frame invites thinking about alternate ways of leading and decision-making to more genuinely engage Indigenous cultures, as well as other cultures. Finally, criticism of the frame centred on 1) a need for greater evidence that the model impacts leadership, 2) whether the frames can be voluntarily learned chosen and learned; and 3) are representative of male-dominant leadership thinking discussed and largely dispelled

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    Research Material
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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International