Internal change agents: boundaries spanned and the implications for change agency

Julian Randall, Bernard Burnes, Patrick Dawson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Academic focus on change events has often featured the work of external consultants and comments have sometimes been less than favourable on their operations and the outcomes for the organizations concerned. More recently the work of the internal change agent has been mentioned as a more focused approach to the management of change. We have sought to place our research in the context of the work of boundary spanners. In this paper we have researched the accounts of eighteen internal change agents in organizations both in the UK and Australia. Our findings suggest that the varied previous experience of internal change agents gives them credibility with the people they work with; it requires careful political management; draws on personal and professional confidence and is time-limited. We also contribute to the debate about change agents’ influence on organizational effectiveness and individual development.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBAM2019 Conference Proceedings 2019
PublisherBritish Academy of Management
ISBN (Print)9780995641327
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019
EventBritish Academy of Management Conference 2019 - In the cloud, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 2 Sept 20204 Sept 2020


ConferenceBritish Academy of Management Conference 2019
Abbreviated titleBAM 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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