Jean M. Bartunek, RSCJ, holder of the Robert A. and Evelyn J. Ferris Chair and professor at the Carroll School of Management, first became interested in the subject of organizational change as a young teacher, when the principal of her school brought in organization development consultants to improve collaboration among the faculty and administration. Although the consultants achieved dismal results, the experience left a strong impression on Bartunek. "I could see the process was powerful because the impact on our school was significant and negative," she says. "I knew there had to be a better way."
An internationally recognized scholar in the field of organization studies, Bartunek has developed her own model for organizational change, one which focuses on the interaction of three components: how the group leading the change identifies itself, the actions they take in relation to their self-identity, and their interactions with stakeholders based on both of these. "There has to be recognition that stakeholders are very important participants in change efforts," she explains.
Now leading a new generation of scholars as director of the PhD program in organization studies at the Carroll School, Bartunek is the inaugural recipient of the Ferris chair. "I was very grateful to be named to the chair; it says that Boston College thinks the work that I'm doing is important," she says.
Given her expertise, Bartunek has had a unique vantage point from which to view the University's evolution since her arrival in 1977. "BC is much more intellectually alive than it was when I came," she says. "Being a Catholic sister [as a member of the Religious of the Sacred Heart] is an important part of my identity, and BC has always been a good place to work from that perspective. At BC, people are encouraged to address serious ethical issues. I think that's important."