Those tasked with running large organisations sometimes have to make major changes to achieve organisational goals. What can be done to help ensure that these changes are effective? One strategy – proposed by professor Dennis A. Gioia and colleagues at the Department of Management and Organization of Penn State University, is to deliberately introduce a degree of ‘vagueness’ into the organisation’s vision statements.
“We draw on organizational and political concepts to make the case that ambiguity in the expression of future aspirations enables a sense of alignment between local and larger organizational goals that eases the political path to successful chvange [sic]”.
And, going further :
“We also explore the paradox that, occasionally, the path out of ambiguity involves the initial injection of even more ambiguity into an already ambiguous situation.”
The paper: ‘Visionary Ambiguity and Strategic Change: The Virtue of Vagueness in Launching Major Organizational Change‘ is scheduled for future publication in the Journal of Management Inquiry.