Accounting for organizational history is essential to any change process. We argue, however, that the intentional revision of that history also can be important. We treat history as malleable, because events and actions from the past are susceptible to reinterpretation as organizations try to align with the way they see themselves in the present and want to see themselves in the future. Because change is a prospective, future-oriented process, whereas sensemaking is a retrospective, past-oriented process, making sense of the future requires an ability to envision the future as having already occurred, i.e. to think in the future perfect tense. We offer an initial conceptual exploration of organizational change from a revisionist history perspective that turns on future perfect thinking, a view that enlarges our conceptualization of the ways in which history affects organizational adaptation and change.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Decision Sciences(all)
- Strategy and Management
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
- Management of Technology and Innovation