Dr Lucia Garcia-Lorenzo BA, MSc (Universidad del Pais Vasco, Spain); PhD (LSE); PgCert in Group Analysis (IGA)
Director of the MSc in Organisational and Social Psychology
Coordinator of: Organisational Research Group (ORG)
My main interest is to understand how people get organised in a variety of contexts and situations. So far I have examined this process during instances of change, crisis or during interruptions when we have to question our taken for granted social, cultural and ideological frameworks in order to make sense of our changing situation. It is then that the steps in the process of organising become visible, explicit and therefore observable.
Traditional organisational research tends to emphasise either a micro approach, very individual in focus or a macro approach that tends to leave behind the individual's experiences. I take a distinctive social psychological approach to the study of organizations in that I argue that micro and macro organisational processes cannot be understood in isolation from one another. I argue for a relational perspective to provide a framework for studying organisational phenomena in dynamic and processual terms
Taking a critical approach to research, my efforts concentrate on three interrelated tasks: to investigate the nature of these phenomena at local levels (in-depth qualitative empirical focus); to explore taken-for-granted assumptions underpinning current organisational and managerial practices; and to develop both the relevant knowledge and the practical understanding that enables change and indicates better ways of working.
I trained as a Psychologist at the Basque Country University, in northern Spain before coming to London to conduct research towards a PhD.
I obtained my PhD in Organisational Social Psychology at the LSE, specialising on cultural change in organisations after a major transition. I have taken part in a number of research and consultancy projects focused on change in organisations in different contexts: from the changes in health promotion and innovation structures in a network of European cities (WHO Healthy Cities) ; to the communication strategies for information sharing developed within a telecommunications network in the US (SRDI Network) and more recently to the new ways of organising and knowledge strategies emerging after a take-over; a restructuring process or the spinning off of a new business within multinational organisations (Complexity Research Group LSE)
I have also looked at knowledge transfer and inter-organizational collaboration among Voluntary Sector Organisations in the UK, Greece and Spain as well as within Small and Medium Size enterprises in a number of EU countries.
Currently I am also looking at the particularly difficult transitions between work, unemployment and entrepreneurship in different EU countries.
My research is located within the tradition of the social psychology of work and organizations but benefits from 'contamination' from a number of related disciplines such as organization studies and the sociology and anthropology of work and organizations. The focus of my research is on change processes in work contexts with a particular emphasis on changes in organizational and work culture. In this regard, I am particularly interested in the construction of (social) boundaries, transitions, liminal processes and temporary work conditions.
I explore the micro-dynamics of organizational changes and therefore use classic qualitative, ethnographic methodologies (e.g. interviews, focus groups, observations as well as thematic, narrative, discourse and working practices analysis) but I am also interested in using new emerging research methodologies such as digital ethnography.
During the last few years my research has focused on exploring the impact of fragmented and temporary working conditions inside organizations on employees and working practices. I have looked at project teams, temporary inter-organizational partnerships and constant organizational restructuring and changes (link). I have also explored changes in the world of work after the 2008 financial crisis especially the increase in precarious employment and unemployment as well as in self-employment and entrepreneurship. Specific areas of research include:
1. ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE AND PSYCHO-SOCIAL TRANSITIONS
I understand organisational change as the normal condition of organizational life. It is through continuous interactions inside and outside organizations that our beliefs, routines and actions are reshaped in our effort to accommodate new experiences. This process becomes especially visible during major change episodes. It is then that the steps in the process of organizing become explicit and observable. I have studied these psycho-social transitions in contexts ranging from traditional organisational changes such as take-overs, mergers and acquisitions to more recent developments relating to the growing role of alliances, joint-ventures and collaborative arrangements highlight and link to: , the introduction of virtuality and social networking technologies at work or the increasing shift in work conditions between employment, un(der) employment and entrepreneurship across a number of EU countries
2. ORGANIZATIONAL KNOWLEDGE AND COLLABORATIVE WORK
A relational approach to organising as outlined above, is clearly a contribution when studying knowledge capabilities in alliances/partnerships or the processes underlying the development of (inter)organizational networks). I have built up this approach in different research projects working with organizations such as the National Children’s Bureau partnership,the Fraunhofer Institute Berlin and the Universidad Politecnica de Catalunya, Spain in the InCaS (Intellectual Capital Statement in Europe project and the Children's Centre Project looking at the way knowledge is used, transferred, maintained and changed within partner organisations.
3. DEVELOPING STORYTELLING KNOWLEDGE
My research is directed to the development of a relational social psychology of organisational processes. Central to this programme is the use of language (discourse, narratives and storytelling) which figure prominently in my research both as tools for understanding the process of organising and as scientific research methods
Research in organisational storytelling has produced in the last decade an array of richly-detailed, nuanced and insightful expositions of organisational life; what it is as yet less clear and my current research aims to address is what type of knowledge is obtained through storytelling research/practice and what it entails.
Teaching is an experience that I value greatly and I am very enthusiastic about. I do enjoy the contact with our very international group of students and derive great pleasure (and learning !) from our interchanges. My objective when teaching is not so much to 'train' or even 'educate' the students in a particular field but rather to help them think and engage with it critically. I am a very passionate about the topics I teach, especially in relation to organisational social psychology and I do try to transmit this passion. Students seem to appreciate the passion and recently I was awarded a teaching prize in recognition of my teaching at the LSE. Read more
Currently, the majority of my teaching commitments are around the MSc in Organisational and Social Psychology. I am the director of this research-led program. I also convene the specialist graduate option, Knowledge processes in organizations (PS428) where most of my research is presented and discussed. This is a very popular course with graduate students from different departments at the LSE interested in looking at how people work together in different situations. I also contribute regularly to a number of other courses within the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science (DPBS.
I also supervise graduate (Msc and PhD) students working in a diversity of areas related to organisations and organisational life. I expect my PhD students especially to engage with my research interests and to become active members of the Organisational Research Group.
Dr Ai Yu (finished 2011)
Lecturer in Management Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London. http://www.gold.ac.uk/institute-management-studies/
Facilitating organisational change and innovation: activating intellectual capital within a learning paradigm. http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/147/ (Co-supervised with Patrick Humphreys).
Dr Thorsten Roser (finished 2012)
Director at Syntony Venture.https://www.linkedin.com/pub/dr-thorsten-roser/0/24a/325
Enablers and inhibitors to collaborating and organizational partnership in the UK voluntary and community sector: a longitudinal case study. (Co-supervised with Saadi Lahlou). Managing
Dr Isidora Kourti (finished 2013)
Senior Lecturer in Organisational Behaviour and Research Methods. http://www.regents.ac.uk/about/who-we-are/our-staff/isidora-kourti.aspx
Between planned and emergent collaboration: boundary activation and identity development in the psychosocial space of a Greek educational partnership.
Dr Satkeen Azzizadeh (finished 2015)
Teaching Fellow, Management Department LSE. http://www.lse.ac.uk/management/home.aspx
And Who Gets the Job? Narratives, Dialogical
Perspectives and Practices on implementing positive discrimination in financial institutions
Mobilising collective action within large organisations: The NHS Change Day social movement.
The everyday life of innovation: A qualitative study on how intrapreneurs drive organisational change in the technology sector
Future PhD supervision
If you are interested in working with me on a PhD, you can contact me in advance of making a formal application or send me an informal message with a focused idea including your CV.
Garcia-Lorenzo, L. ; Kourti, I. and Yu, A. (Review and Resubmit) How project teams cope with temporary organizing: The role of boundary management strategies.
Moskovitz, L and Garcia-Lorenzo, L (Review and Resubmit) Changing the NHS a Day at a Time: The Role of Enactment in the Mobilisation and Prefiguration of Change.
Yu, A.; Garcia-Lorenzo, L. and Kourti, I. (Review and Resubmit) Strategy and Intellectual Capital Accounting - A Becoming Practice Perspective: A case study of implementing an IC statement in a European context
Garcia-Lorenzo, L and Latham, S . (Under Review) Organizational remembering as a trigger for cultural change: Exploring the episodic memories of a financial scandal.
Kourti, I.; Garcia-Lorenzo, L. and Yu, A. (Under Review) Between me and us: Managing the tension between collaborative identity and multiple identifications to accomplishing inter-organizational collaborative work.
Garcia-Lorenzo, L; Donnelly, P , Sell-Trujillo, L and Imas, M. Generating spaces for exploration: The creative transitions of EU necessity entrepreneurs.
OTHER SELECTED PUBLICATIONS
Garcia-Lorenzo, L; Sell, L, and Donnelly, P. (2015) 'I just want a job: The untold stories of entrepreneurship'. http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/60148/In: Izak, M, Hitchen, L. & Anderson, D. (Eds.) Untold Stories in Organisations. London: Routledge
Sell, L and Garcia-Lorenzo, L. (2014) Evitar rumores en los medios. ttp://eprints.lse.ac.uk/56379/ In: Nunez, T (Ed) Competencias psicosociales pra los profesionales de los medios. Madrid: Piramide.pp 99-112.
Howarth, C.; Campbell, C.; Cornish, F.; Franks, B.; Garcia-Lorenzo, L.; Gillespie, A.; Gleibs, I. H.; Goncalves-Portelinha, I.; Jovchelovitch, S.; Lahlou, S; Mannell, J.; Reader, T.W. and Tennant, C. (2013) Insights from societal psychology: a contextual politics of societal change Journal of Social and Political Psychology, 1 (1). 364-384. ISSN 2195-3325
Ball, D. and Garcia-Lorenzo, L. (2013) A very personal process: dealing with post-merger cultural change in a financial services institutionChange Management, 12 (1). 1-16. ISSN 2327-798X Garcia-Lorenzo, L. and Ball, D.. (2012) ‘A very personal process: Dealing with Post-Merger Cultural Change in a Financial Services Institution’. Change Management.Vol 12 (1) pp1 -16.
Kourti, I. and Garcia-Lorenzo, L. (2012) Partnership Strategies to Support Children with Special Educational Needs in Greece: The KDAY Challenge http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/46601/In: Patelis, T. (Ed.) (2012) Research Studies and Perspectives in Psychological Science. Athens: Athens Institute for Education and Research. Pp 81-95.
Garcia-Lorenzo, L. (2010) Framing uncertainty: narratives, change and digital technologies. http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/29362/ Social science information, 49 (3). pp. 329-350.
Liebhart, M. and Garcia-Lorenzo, L.(2010) Between Planned and Emergent Change: Decision Maker's Perceptions of Managing Change in Organisations. http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/29866/International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change management. Vol. 10, 214-225.
McKenna, S.; Garcia-Lorenzo, L. and Bridgman, T. (2010) Managing, managerial control and managerial identity in the post-bureaucratic world. http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/29868/ Journal of Management Development, 29 (2) pp: 128-137.
L. Garcia-Lorenzo; L. Nolas, M and de Zeeuw, G. (2008) Telling stories and the practice of collaboration. http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/29869/ International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy. Vol. 28 (1&2):9-19.
Garcia-Lorenzo, L. (2008) Storying collective decision-making: Supporting collective action after a major organisational change. http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/29873/ Journal of Decision Systems. Vol. 17, parts 3&4 (double issue).
Garcia-Lorenzo, L., Nolas, S. and de Zeeuw, G.(2007) Stories and the acquisition of knowledge Systemica Vol 15 (6): 177-191.
Garcia-Lorenzo, L. (2006) ‘Networking in organizations: developing a social practice perspective for innovation and knowledge sharing in emerging work contexts’http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/16057/ World futures: the journal of general evolution, 62 (3). pp. 171-192. ‘
Garcia-Lorenzo, L. (2006) ‘Collaboration or independence: the sharing of organisational knowledge in a voluntary sector partnership’. In: Gould, N., (ed.) Engagement. Short Run Press, London, UK, pp. 183-194. ‘
Garcia-Lorenzo, L. (2006) ‘Innovation and knowledge processes in an inter-organisational collaboration’. http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/53876/ In: Adam, Frederic Frederic, (ed.) Creativity and innovation in decision making and decision support. Ludic Publishing, London, UK, pp. 83-104. ‘
Garcia-Lorenzo, L. (2005) ‘From networks to networking: implications of a social practice for organising and knowledge sharing’. In: Gossling, T. and Jansen, R. T. G. and Oerlemans, L. A. G., (eds.) Coalitions and collisions. Van der Wolf, The Netherlands, pp. 285-297.
Garcia-Lorenzo, L. and Nolas, M. (2005) ‘Post-merger concerns: cultural integration in a multinational corporation’http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/15326/ International journal of knowledge, culture and change management, 4 pp. 289-298.
Garcia-Lorenzo, Lucia (2004) ‘(Re)producing the organization through narratives : the case of a multinational’. Intervention research, 1 (1). pp. 43-60.
Garcia-Lorenzo, L. and Nolas, M. (2004) ‘The semantic dynamics of a post-merger situation: linking organisational change, culture and narratives’. In: Combes, C., (ed.) Organizational discourse: artefacts, archetypes and architexts. KMCP, London, UK, pp. 92-99.
Garcia-Lorenzo, L. and Mitleton-Kelly, E and Galliers, R.D. (2003) Organisational complexity : organising through the generation and sharing of knowledge. http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/2342 International journal of knowledge, culture and change management, 3 (1). pp. 275-293.
Nocker, M.O. and Garcia-Lorenzo, L. (2003) Teaming-in-action: stories of knowledge creation and sharing in project teams. International journal of knowledge, culture and change management, 3 pp. 208-235.