A Curricular reform viewed through Bolman and Deal’s organizational frames

Lucinda J Lyon, Nader A Nadersahi, Anders Nattestad, Parag Kachalia, Daniel Hammer


Professions exist to serve the needs of society, communities and, in the case of the dental profession, patients.  Academic dental institutions strive to help meet these needs by educating and developing future practitioners, educators, researchers, and citizen leaders who serve the community and shape the changing environment in which they practice and provide care. The American Dental Association Commission on Change and Innovation affirms, “If dental educators are to meet these purposes, change and innovation in dental education must be responsive to evolving societal needs, practice patterns, scientific developments, and economic conditions”(Haden, et al., 2006). Guiding any institution through such authentic reform requires a number of strategies. Lee Bolman and Terrance Deal suggest four organizational constructs, or frames, through which to view a complex organization:  Structural, Human Resource, Political and Symbolic (Bolman and Deal, 1997).“Like maps, frames are both windows on a territory and tools for navigation” (Bolman and Deal, 1997). This reflective case study examines a major curricular reform initiative in a North American school of dentistry through Bolman and Deal’s organizational frames.


organizational behavior; organizational change; curricular reform; change management; leadership.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14434/josotl.v14i3.4940

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ISSN 1527-9316