This chapter describes the main features of social construction applied to change management. The world scene today is dominated by a drive for social representation and a growing recognition of the fact that the task of changing, in itself, belongs to no one and that change needs to be driven by communication. Ford and Ford (1995: 542) noted that change as an organizational phenomenon ‘occurs and is driven by communication rather than the reverse’. Change communication is, therefore, about social co-construction and multiple points of view. Ford and Ford (1995) believed that communication is, in fact, the medium within which change occurs. We start by defining social construction and its role in constituting the realities of change. Under the social construction model, communication is an act – a sort of a deed, or an achievement. It involves a realization achieved through ongoing talk and conversation. Every round of interaction could lead to some new co-construction. Cunliffe (2004: 410) notes: ‘This reality-constituting process is ongoing … it emerges in the spontaneous, taken-for granted, nonverbal/verbal, subjective, un/conscious ways in which we respond, react, and negotiate meaning with others.’ If conversation is the basis for creating change, then it has to be two-way conversation, not a communication sent down one way. Having defined the notion of social construction, we then consider the pivotal role that conversations play in co-constructing the realities of change.
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