Management Organization Development and Change
by
Jean M. Bartunek
  • LAST REVIEWED: 19 October 2016
  • LAST MODIFIED: 28 January 2013
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199846740-0009

Introduction

Organization development and change (ODC) is a term used to refer to organization development (OD) as it emerged in the 1950s and 1960s as a discrete area of inquiry. The term also refers to subsequent developments in planned organizational change and broader labels (such as change management) since the mid-20th century. ODC originally focused on humanistically oriented process interventions within comparatively small groups of organizational members aimed at improving their functioning. Its scope has expanded considerably over the decades to include many more types of interventions, a much wider array of participants, and a much broader scope of activity.

Textbooks

There are two types of ODC textbooks. One more academic type is based primarily on descriptions of different types of ODC, often including a few cases that illustrate the points. The more academic books typically include a history of OD, discussion of its key values, and discussions of the ODC process from the perspective of consultants. Books that are more practice oriented primarily include experiential exercises and cases. Both types of books tend to focus on more “micro” approaches to ODC rather than on the more global approaches that developed in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. The books with a more academic focus are Cummings and Worley 2009, Burke 2011, and Anderson 2011b. Anderson 2011a and Brown 2011 are more experientially oriented.

Book Series

A small number of book series or annual journals provide up-to-date information on developments in ODC. The Addison-Wesley Organizational Development Series and the Research in Organizational Change and Development series focus exclusively on ODC. The Annual Review of Psychology and the Academy of Management Annals carry occasional materials.

Handbooks

Some handbooks include multiple chapters dealing with dimensions of ODC. Bennis, et al. 1985 was one of the first handbooks published, and it addresses planned change broadly. Cummings 2008; Gallos 2006; and Burke, et al. 2009 are handbooks that cover a wide range of ODC processes and philosophy. Reason and Bradbury 2008 presents a comprehensive approach to action research in its many forms. Bunker and Alban 2006 and Holman, et al. 2007 are handbooks that discuss multiple types of large group interventions.

  • Bennis, Warren G., Kenneth D. Benne, and Robert Chin, eds. The Planning of Change. 4th ed. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1985.

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    This book, whose first edition was published in 1961, was one of the earliest handbooks that addressed ODC processes and planned change more generally. It had a significant impact on both scholars and practitioners.

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  • Bunker, Barbara Benedict, and Billie T. Alban. The Handbook of Large Group Methods: Creating Systemic Change in Organizations and Communities. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2006.

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    Bunker and Alban present a number of large group interventions and discuss explicitly how these are being used to address important contemporary issues, such as settings where there are diverse, contradictory, and polarized interests. They also provide several resources for those facilitating large group interventions.

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  • Burke, W. Warner, Dale G. Lake, and Jill Waymire Paine, eds. Organization Change: A Comprehensive Reader. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2009.

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    The book contains seventy-five chapters, all reprints of what the editors consider key readings in organization development and change.

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  • Cummings, Thomas G., ed. Handbook of Organization Development. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2008.

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    This is a comprehensive scholarly volume including thirty-five chapters that summarize many of the ways that ODC has grown and developed since its founding in the 1950s.

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  • Gallos, Joan V., ed. Organization Development: A Jossey-Bass Reader. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2006.

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    This book includes forty-seven chapters, all reprints of previously published articles that summarize much of the history of ODC. Some readings discuss contemporary directions for ODC.

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  • Holman, Peggy, Tom Devane, and Steven Cady. The Change Handbook: The Definitive Resource on Today’s Best Methods for Engaging Whole Systems. 2d ed. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2007.

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    Holman and colleagues describe sixty-one large group interventions, some in considerable depth and some in thumbnail sketches. They also discuss how and when to choose particular methods, how to combine them, and the responsibilities of those leading such interventions.

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  • Reason, Peter, and Hilary Bradbury, eds. The SAGE Handbook of Action Research: Participative Inquiry and Practice. 2d ed. London: SAGE, 2008.

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    This handbook includes some historical development of action research and comprehensive coverage of ways that action research is being carried out, including the venues in which it is being used. It also includes skills, models, and examples of ways of carrying out action research.

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Journals

Journals are common reference sources in ODC. The leading journal is the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, published by the National Training Laboratories Institute. In addition the Journal of Organizational Change Management, published by Emerald, often includes articles about ODC, as does the Journal of Change Management, published by Taylor and Francis. There are also journals devoted to action research whose work is pertinent for ODC. These include in particular Action Research, published by SAGE, and the International Journal of Action Research, published by Rainer Hampp Verlag. Some practitioner journals focus on ODC. Two prominent examples are the Organization Development Journal, published by the International Society for Organization Development (formerly the Organization Development Institute), and the OD Practitioner, published by the Organization Development Network. Many of the early groundbreaking ODC-related articles were published in Human Relations. All of these journals are available online. In some cases, interested readers may need to pay for membership in the sponsoring organization to have access to them.

Early Roots of Organization Development and Change

The roots of ODC can be traced back to several events in the 1940s. One was the beginning of action research (Collier 1945, Lewin 1951). A second was the inadvertent invention of sensitivity training during the conduct of training to improve interracial relationships (Marrow 1969). A third was the beginning of work on sociotechnical systems based on the discovery of some methods of coal mining (Trist and Bamforth 1951). A fourth was the first formal use of survey feedback (Mann 1962). The major summary of all these events is in French and Bell 1999. Action research, sensitivity training, sociotechnical systems interventions, and survey feedback all continued to develop, and their developments are discussed further in other sections.

Organization Development

During the late 1950s and early 1960s the term organization development first appeared and began to be widely used (Burke 2011). Among the many definitions of OD that emerged, the most influential is in Beckhard 1969, which describes OD as an organization-wide planned effort managed from the top to increase organization effectiveness and health through interventions in the organization’s “processes” using behavioral science knowledge. Several works (e.g., Schein 1990) also emphasize the importance of working to change an organization’s culture, and early approaches placed considerable emphasis on individual and group development within the organization (e.g., Harrison 1970).

Philosophical Foundations

OD was heavily influenced by Douglas McGregor’s theory Y (see McGregor 1960), the idea that people will be self-directed and responsible if conditions are present that reward them for taking initiative. It was also based on Warren G. Bennis’s argument (in Bennis 1966) that bureaucracy was no longer viable and that an emphasis on democratic values is crucial. OD’s founding values were humanist, focusing on improving the conditions of people’s lives, and Burnes 2009 argues that it is necessary to emphasize those values again. Beer and Nohria 2000 includes OD within the category of capacity building interventions in organizations. For Likert 1967, OD embodies the values of system 4, which include rapport, trust, open communication, participation, and collaboration, as well as Kurt Lewin’s three-step model of change, which comprises unfreezing, changing, and refreezing (Lewin 1947). Weick and Quinn 1999 question this three-step model and suggest other temporal approaches to considering planned change.

Resistance and the Experiences of Recipients of Change

Coch and French 1948 discusses forces that restrained operators in a manufacturing factory from learning new skills to respond to changes in job design. Watson 1971, taking a Lewinian perspective, discusses multiple forces that might lead to resistance to change. While these early works discuss resistance as part of a normal course of change, later works focus on resistance as something that subordinates do of their own accord and that needs to be overcome by managers (Furst and Cable 2008). Oreg 2003 develops a measure of individuals’ predisposition to resist change. There has been push back against notions of resistance to change, however. Dent and Goldberg 1999 challenges the construct, while Piderit 2000 emphasizes the multidimensional, ambivalent, and evolving components of responses to change. Ford, et al. 2008 argues that apparent resistance may be due to actions of change agents. Oreg, et al. 2011 focuses on the multiple experiences of recipients of organizational change.

Emphases of Organization Development and Change from Its Beginnings

Building on its roots, the initial processes of ODC centered strongly on action research and sensitivity training (French and Bell 1999), but sensitivity training soon encountered problems with regard to its use in organizations (Boss and McConkie 2008). Other components of action research, such as diagnosis, survey feedback, and a number of discrete interventions, are developed in considerable detail.

Sensitivity Training

Sensitivity training, or “T-groups,” refers to a method initiated by Kurt Lewin (see Highhouse 2002) and developed by Leland P. Bradford (see Bradford 1964) and others that encompass experiential methods aimed at helping participants develop their human potential. Argyris 1964 describes its early use in organizations, and McGill 1974 describes the development and use of sensitivity groups as they evolved into ODC. T-groups were later used primarily for personal growth but not so much to enhance organizations (Mix 2006). Golembiewski and Carrigan 1970 assesses their effectiveness. Highhouse 2002 describes the history of T-groups in the United States.

Action Research

The initial intent of action research was that consultants and researchers should (1) work collaboratively with organizational members to solve immediate, practical problems and (2) make a scholarly contribution based on the outcome (Rapoport 1970). From the beginnings of ODC, action research has been considered a generic process that includes several elements in sequence: identification of a problem, data gathering, feedback to a client group, work by a client group, action planning, action, and evaluation of the action. Dickens and Watkins 1999 reviews action research since its beginnings. The best-known illustration of action research within ODC is in Pasmore and Friedlander 1982. Coghlan 2011 summarizes its use and argues that its potential has not been realized.

Diagnosing

An integral aspect of much OD work is diagnosis, which French and Bell 1999 describes as a means of collecting data to see things accurately. Levinson, et al. 1972 is likely the first source to suggest how much organizational diagnosis should formally precede OD intervention. Seashore, et al. 1983 includes a number of scales and measures that can be used to diagnose multiple organizational dimensions in quality of work life interventions. Burke 1992 discusses several models and processes that might be used in diagnosis. Harrison 2005 presents multiple diagnostic methods and tools along with related processes and models. Lundberg 2008 describes some common characteristics of diagnosis as well as diagnostic processes and challenges. Cameron and Quinn 2011 describes a comprehensive method for diagnosing organizational culture. Alderfer 2011 is a book on organizational diagnosis based on a theory of embedded intergroup relations.

  • Alderfer, Clayton P. The Practice of Organizational Diagnosis: Theory and Methods. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.

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    This book provides discussions of several ODC-related approaches to diagnosis and then focuses on diagnostic approaches based on Alderfer’s embedded intergroup relations theory.

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  • Burke, W. Warner. Organization Development: A Process of Learning and Changing. 2d ed. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1992.

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    Burke presents a number of models and processes that might be used in organizational diagnosis.

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  • Cameron, Kim S., and Robert E. Quinn. Diagnosing and Changing Organizational Culture: Based on the Competing Values Framework. 3d ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2011.

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    Cameron and Quinn present a detailed approach based on the competing values model for diagnosing organizational culture as a step toward creating cultural change.

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  • French, Wendell L., and Cecil H. Bell. Organization Development: Behavioral Science Interventions for Organization Improvement. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1999.

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    This book summarizes several approaches to collecting data as part of organizational diagnosis with the assumption that it is possible for such data to provide an accurate picture of an organization.

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  • Harrison, Michael I. Diagnosing Organizations: Methods, Models, and Processes. 3d ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2005.

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    Provides researchers and consultants with models for framing issues and for gathering and analyzing data, and a process for reviewing results with clients.

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  • Levinson, Harry, Janice Molinari, and Andrew Spohn. Organizational Diagnosis. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1972.

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    This book describes processes of organizational diagnosis, including a case study, in considerable depth. It focuses in particular on diagnosis from a psychoanalytic perspective and teaches readers ways of gaining diagnostic information.

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  • Lundberg, Craig C. “Organization Development Diagnosis.” In Handbook of Organization Development. Edited by Thomas G. Cummings, 137–150. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2008.

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    Lundberg presents a thoughtful reflection on various meanings of diagnosis and diagnostic processes and challenges in the context of ODC.

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  • Seashore, Stanley, Philip Mirvis, Edward Lawler, and Cortlandt Cammann, eds. Assessing Organizational Change. New York: Wiley, 1983.

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    This book presents multiple scales and descriptions of how to assess a range of organizational characteristics, both quantitatively and qualitatively, as an integral element of quality of work life programs.

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Survey Feedback

Survey feedback is also a cornerstone of ODC (Friedlander and Brown 1974). It includes two steps: data are gathered and then fed back in a participative way that enables discussion among supervisors and their subordinates about the implications of the survey results. During the early 1970s some thought that survey feedback was the most effective intervention strategy in ODC (Bowers 1973). Nadler 1977 suggests that survey feedback is successful because it generates energy and describes several steps to carry it out well. More recently Boss, et al. 2010 reports that survey feedback was crucial to the success of a multidecade ODC project in the public sector.

Intervening

The key process in ODC subsequent to data collection and feedback is intervening (Blake and Mouton 1972). Interventions will be more likely to be successful if the organization is “ready” for them (Armenakis, et al. 1993). Argyris 1970 provides an influential depiction of intervening as entering into an ongoing system of relationships for the purpose of helping them. There are many different categories of interventions, as depicted in Lau and Ngo 2001 (cited under Assessing Organizational Change) and Cummings 2008 (cited under Handbooks), for example. Porras and Robertson 1987 distinguishes between implementation theory (the activities necessary to intervene in organizations) and change process theory (the dynamics through which an organization changes in response to interventions).

Human Process Interventions

Much early ODC (and a good deal of it still) focused on interventions specifically geared to improving processes, especially within teams or groups but sometimes extending to intergroup relationships (Blake, et al. 1965). Process interventions include consensus building, intragroup conflict resolution strategies, role analysis techniques, role negotiation strategies, and grid team development, to name just a few (Lundberg 1985). Edgar H. Schein developed process consultation, a model in which a consultant works with a client system to develop effective processes for resolving important issues (see Schein 1999). Team building incorporates a wide variety of methods to improve processes and relationships in organizational groups and is sometimes considered the type of intervention by which OD is best known (Beckhard 1972, Dyer 1995). Process interventions are often used after mergers and acquisitions, when members of newly merged organizations need to learn to work together (Burke and Jackson 1991). Team building is often used with newly forming groups, and it often includes some type of outdoor challenge through which group members learn to rely on each other (Mirvis 1990).

Sociotechnical Systems and Organizational Design Interventions

Sociotechnical systems (STS) theory assumes that an organization is simultaneously a social and a technical system, both of which must be designed and optimized for successful organizational change (Pasmore 1988). STS thinking led to the development of quality of work life programs (discussed in this section) and the open systems thinking that underlies contemporary large group interventions (Emery and Trist 1972). STS, along with Herbert A. Simon’s consideration of social science as a design as opposed to an explanatory science (see Simon 1996), is also a forerunner of several widely varying approaches to design as an ODC intervention. These include Jay R. Galbraith’s work on designing organizations so that strategy and structure fit with each other (see Galbraith 2002) and the development of design science as a type of intervention (van Aken 2004, Boland and Collopy 2004).

  • Boland, Richard J., and Fred Collopy, eds. Managing as Designing. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2004.

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    This book builds on Simon’s work and reflection on the design of a new university building to develop creative ways managers can be designers as well as decision makers.

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  • Emery, Fred, and Eric Trist. Towards a Social Ecology: Contextual Appreciation of the Future in the Present. London: Plenum, 1972.

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    This book builds on STS theory to develop an understanding of relationships between people and environments as “social ecology,” a term that has become very influential. The book laid the foundation for later intervention in organizations.

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  • Galbraith, Jay R. Designing Organizations: An Executive Guide to Strategy, Structure, and Process. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2002.

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    Galbraith, an expert in organization design, analyzes forces affecting contemporary organizations and describes tools that executives and managers can use to create effective designs that result in successful performance.

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  • Pasmore, William A. Designing Effective Organizations: The Sociotechnical Systems Perspective. New York: Wiley, 1988.

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    This book provides a careful description of STS and describes how organizations need to pay attention to the interdependence of their technology and their environment in making decisions and taking action.

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  • Simon, Herbert A. The Sciences of the Artificial. 3d ed. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1996.

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    This influential book distinguishes between sciences that can only be explanatory (e.g., natural sciences) and sciences that can affect the areas they study. Simon refers to these as design, or artificial sciences, and suggests some approaches they might take.

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  • van Aken, Joan E. “Management Research Based on the Paradigm of the Design Sciences: The Quest for Field-Tested and Grounded Technological Rules.” Journal of Management Studies 41.2 (2004): 219–246.

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    This paper combines Simon’s notion of design sciences with one of Chris Argyris’s components of action science and suggests an approach to creating “rules” for effective action in organizations.

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Approaches to Organization Development and Change Beginning Primarily in the 1970s

There have been multiple generations of ODC (see French and Bell 1999), and the emphases of ODC have evolved over time (Seo, et al. 2004). Mirvis 1988 and Mirvis 1990 suggest that in the 1960s ODC was primarily a philosophy, in the 1970s it was primarily a technology, and in the 1980s it was primarily an organizational strategy with some hint of transformation.

  • French, Wendell L., and Cecil H. Bell. Organization Development: Behavioral Science Interventions for Organization Improvement. 6th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1999.

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    French and Bell describe two generations of ODC, with the second generation focusing in particular on transformation.

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  • Mirvis, Philip H. “Organizational Development, Part I: An Evolutionary Perspective.” In Research in Organizational Change and Development. Vol. 2. Edited by Richard W. Woodman and William A. Pasmore, 1–57. Greenwich, CT: JAI, 1988.

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    This chapter provides definitions and information about the context and content of ODC during its first three decades.

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  • Mirvis, Philip H. “Organizational Development, Part II: A Revolutionary Perspective.” In Research in Organizational Change and Development. Vol. 4. Edited by Richard W. Woodman and William A. Pasmore, 1–66. Greenwich, CT: JAI, 1990.

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    This chapter compares evolutionary and revolutionary perspectives on ODC and suggests that it must change radically to be relevant to contemporary currents.

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  • Seo, Myeong-Gu, Linda Putnam, and Jean M. Bartunek. “Dualities and Tensions of Planned Organizational Change.” In Handbook of Organizational Change and Innovation. Edited by Marshall S. Poole and Andrew H. Van de Ven, 73–109. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.

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    This chapter provides an extensive summary of intervention strategies and explains distinctions in characteristics of different generations in ODC interventions over the course of the decades.

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Quality of Work Life Interventions

Quality of work life (QWL) programs emerged in northern Europe in the 1960s and moved to the United States in the late 1960s and early 1970s (US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare 1973). They involved joint participation by unions and management, assisted by consultants, in the design of work and resulted in work designs giving employees high levels of discretion, task variety, and feedback about the results (Hackman and Suttle 1977) with the expectation that higher productivity and satisfaction would result. QWL programs also focused on issues such as adequate and fair compensation, a safe and healthy working environment, personal growth and development, satisfaction of social needs in the workplace, personal rights, compatibility between work and non-work activities, and the social relevance of work life (Walton 1974). Quality of work life experiments took place in a variety of venues, including the Ruston Coal Mine (Goodman 1979) and the Tennessee Valley Authority (Nurick 1985). Macy and Izuma 1993 is a meta-analysis of studies of QWL and related organizational change initiatives, and the authors find that they generally had positive impacts. QWL programs in their original guise are no longer widely used, but they led to high-involvement organizations, as discussed under High-Involvement Workplaces.

  • Goodman, Paul S. Assessing Organizational Change: The Rushton Quality of Work Experiment. New York: Wiley, 1979.

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    This is the first of many books about QWL experiments. It assesses the QWL experiment at the Rushton Coal Mine in Pennsylvania.

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  • Hackman, J. Richard, and J. Lloyd Suttle, eds. Improving Life at Work: Behavioral Science Approaches to Organizational Change. Santa Monica, CA: Goodyear, 1977.

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    This book contains a comprehensive discussion of multiple meanings of QWL and approaches to implementing it successfully.

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  • Macy, Barry A., and Hiroaki Izumi. “Organizational Change, Design, and Work Innovation: A Meta-analysis of 131 North American Field Studies, 1961–1991.” In Research in Organizational Change and Development. Vol. 7. Edited by Richard W. Woodman and William A. Pasmore, 235–313. Greenwich, CT: JAI, 1993.

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    This chapter presents the largely positive results of a meta-analysis of outcomes in 131 North American field studies, many of which were QWL interventions.

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  • Nurick, Aaron. Participation in Organizational Change: The TVA Experiment. New York: Praeger, 1985.

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    This book details the QWL experiment carried out in one division of the Tennessee Valley Authority. The account describes the assessment of the QWL program as a field experiment that used a nonequivalent control group design.

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  • US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Work in America: Report of a Special Task Force to the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1973.

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    This important report describes several of the problems being experienced by many employees in the United States in the early 1970s and stimulated efforts to create more satisfactory workplaces.

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  • Walton, Richard E. “Quality of Working Life: What Is It?” Sloan Management Review 15.1 (1974): 11–21.

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    This is the first published and a very influential description of the constituent components of a high QWL.

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High Involvement Workplaces

High-involvement organizations (Lawler 1986) are those in which employees have considerable influence over major decisions and in which knowledge, information, and rewards for performance are all decentralized to contribute to structures (perhaps self-designing ones; see Mohrman and Cummings 1989) that enable high performance. One characteristic (and expected outcome) of high-involvement workplaces is employee empowerment. Spreitzer and Doneson 2008 suggests that (psychologically at least) empowerment is present when employees experience meaning, competence, self-determination, and impact at work. One frequent manifestation of high involvement is self-managed work teams (Stewart and Manz 1995), or groups of employees who are organized into teams and who have considerable autonomy in and control over their jobs, including many of the responsibilities often left for supervisors. Although many consider self-managed teams particularly democratic, some concerns have been raised (Barker 1993) that they may sometimes exert more control over members than supervisors do. Contemporary discussions of empowerment sometimes use the language of engagement (Axelrod 2010).

  • Axelrod, Richard H. Terms of Engagement: New Ways of Leading and Changing Organizations. 2d ed. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2010.

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    Axelrod describes engagement as a wide form of involvement and suggests ways of creating enhanced engagement.

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  • Barker, James R. “Tightening the Iron Cage: Concertive Control in Self-Managing Teams.” Administrative Science Quarterly 38.3 (1993): 408–437.

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    This well-known study provides an ethnographic account of how normative controls in a self-managing work group were more stringent than had been the case under the former hierarchical arrangement.

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  • Lawler, Edward E., III. High-Involvement Management: Participative Strategies for Improving Organizational Performance. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1986.

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    This book presents a number of approaches to participative management in organizations and characteristics necessary for such participation and employee involvement to succeed.

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  • Mohrman, Susan A., and Thomas G. Cummings. Self-Designing Organizations: Learning How to Create High Performance. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1989.

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    This book describes how high involvement might include employees helping to design (parts of) their organizations.

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  • Spreitzer, Gretchen M., and David Doneson. “Musings on the Past and Future of Employee Empowerment.” In Handbook of Organization Development. Edited by Thomas G. Cummings, 311–324. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2008.

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    Spreitzer is the primary theorist of empowerment. In this chapter she and Doneson discuss the early-21st-century state of empowerment and appropriate future directions.

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  • Stewart, Greg L., and Charles C. Manz. “Leadership for Self-Managing Work Teams: A Typology and Integrative Model.” Human Relations 48.7 (1995): 747–770.

    DOI: 10.1177/001872679504800702Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Stewart and Manz develop a model and typology for understanding leadership approaches in self-managing work teams. The typology is based on leader involvement and leader power orientation.

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Strategic Interventions and Organizational Transformation

In the 1980s scholars started to distinguish between incremental change and transformational change (Tushman and Romanelli 1985) or between first- and second-order change (Bartunek and Moch 1987). Nadler, et al. 1995 builds the incremental-transformational distinction for intervening in organizations and emphasizes that transformational changes have to take account of strategy initiated at the highest organizational level. White 1992 shows the leadership of British Petroleum’s CEO in a transformational change effort. There is also agreement that transformation requires a new vision for the future to which the CEO subscribes as well as ways of dealing with disagreements among organization members and groups to accomplish this vision (e.g., Nutt and Backoff 1997). Burke and Litwin 1992 presents a model suggesting that transformational and more incremental change can complement each other.

Next Generation Developments of Action Research

Several variants of action research have been developed. Argyris and Schön 1974 develops ways for individuals and groups to uncover and modify underlying norms and objectives. Building on this, Argyris, et al. 1985 creates action science, a type of action research especially aimed at helping participants maximize valid information, make free and informed choices, and foster profound (double-loop) learning and organizational change. William Foote Whyte and his colleagues created “participatory action research” (Whyte 1991), an approach that emphasizes the participation of organization members as full partners and coresearchers in the entire action research process (e.g., Greenwood, et al. 1993). The fundamental concern of cooperative inquiry (Reason and Heron 1995) is to enable participants to learn to research with other people rather than on others. It emphasizes that all active participants are fully involved in learning processes as coresearchers. Participatory research focuses on oppressed groups and their empowerment and self-reliance, which create conflicts between such groups and dominant forces (Brown and Tandon 1983). Action inquiry (Torbert 2004) focuses on helping people develop ongoing interaction between their actions and reflection in ways that lead to much more conscious living.

  • Argyris, Chris, Robert Putnam, and Diane McLain Smith. Action Science: Concepts, Methods, and Skills for Research and Intervention. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1985.

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    This is the major sourcebook for those interested in the action science approach, through which individuals and groups not only take action but also open themselves nondefensively to learning about their actions in ways that foster their effectiveness.

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  • Argyris, Chris, and Donald Schön. Theory in Practice: Increasing Professional Effectiveness. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1974.

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    This book distinguishes between espoused theory and theory in use and between single-loop and double-loop learning. It presents several methods (e.g., left-hand column) that can be used to develop the capacity for double-loop learning.

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  • Brown, L. David, and Rajesh Tandon. “Ideology and Political Economy in Inquiry: Action Research and Participatory Research.” Journal of Applied Behavioral Science 19.3 (1983): 277–294.

    DOI: 10.1177/002188638301900306Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This paper makes careful distinctions between participatory research and action research. It also describes stages of participatory research projects.

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  • Greenwood, Davydd J., William Foote Whyte, and Ira Harkavy. “Participatory Action Research as a Process and as a Goal.” Human Relations 46.2 (1993): 175–192.

    DOI: 10.1177/001872679304600203Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Greenwood and his collaborators distinguish participatory action research as fully collaborative between outside researchers and members of organizations. It is intended to create organizational transformation and to enable colearning to occur over the course of the research.

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  • Reason, Peter, and John Heron. “Co-operative Inquiry.” In Rethinking Psychology. Edited by R. Harre, J. Smith, and L. Van Langenhove, 122–142. London: SAGE, 1995.

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    Reason and Heron describe cooperative inquiry as a way of working with others in a group setting to develop new understandings of ourselves and our world and to learn how to act more effectively.

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  • Torbert, William R. Action Inquiry: The Secret of Timely and Transforming Leadership. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2004.

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    Action inquiry focuses on creating effective action by helping people increase their own awareness, especially of their values, creating such awareness and shared vision in a community of inquiry and acting in an “objectively timely” manner in their larger settings.

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  • Whyte, William Foote, ed. Participatory Action Research. Newbury Park, CA: SAGE, 1991.

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    This is an important overall presentation of participatory action research and its use in industry and agriculture. It includes examples of ways that members of an organization being studied may have very different views of an action research project than outside researchers have.

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Learning Organizations

Based on Chris Argyris and Donald A. Schön’s application of their model of learning to organizations (in Argyris and Schön 1978), Senge 1990 develops the learning organization as one that continually creates and expands its ability to create its future. Learning organizations are characterized by five core disciplines: systems thinking, personal mastery, awareness of mental models, building shared vision, and team learning. Senge, et al. 1994 is a “field book” designed to help foster organizations’ capacities for developing these five disciplines. Peter Senge and his colleagues’ emphasis in Senge, et al. 2004 on learning organizations has extended to “theory U,” attempts to help individuals and groups learn to be fully present to situations and develop capacities to bring their deepest selves to these situations. There are other approaches to learning in organizations as well. For example, Sessa and London 2006 discusses ways individuals, groups, and organizations might engage in continuous learning. Lipshitz, et al. 2002 distinguishes learning by organizations from learning within organizations.

  • Argyris, Chris, and Donald A. Schön. Organizational Learning: A Theory of Action Perspective. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1978.

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    This book applies Argyris and Schön’s model of learning in an organizational context, especially addressing how to create double-loop (model II) learning as opposed to single-loop (model I) learning within organizations.

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  • Lipshitz, Raanan, Micha Popper, and Victor J. Friedman. “A Multifacet Model of Organizational Learning.” Journal of Applied Behavioral Science 38.1 (2002): 78–98.

    DOI: 10.1177/0021886302381005Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Lipshitz, Popper, and Friedman distinguish between learning by and in organizations and describe several learning mechanisms, or structural facets, that are required for learning by organizations to happen.

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  • Senge, Peter. The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization. New York: Doubleday/Currency, 1990.

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    This classic book fleshes out the five disciplines Senge described as constituent characteristics of learning organizations. It has had major impacts on practice and theorizing.

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  • Senge, Peter, Art Kleiner, Charlotte Roberts, Rick Ross, and Bryan Smith. The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook: Strategies for Building a Learning Organization. New York: Doubleday, 1994.

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    In this book Senge and his coauthors describe methods that can be used to build capacity in each of the five disciplines of learning.

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  • Senge, Peter, C. Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworski, and Betty Sue Flowers. Presence: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future. Cambridge, MA: Society for Organizational Learning, 2004.

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    This book offers deep conversations whose theoretical underpinning is Scharmer’s theory U, a way of probing understandings at very deep levels.

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  • Sessa, Valerie I., and Manuel London. Continuous Learning in Organizations: Individual, Group, and Organizational Perspectives. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 2006.

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    Sessa and London discuss the need for continuous learning and processes for acquiring new skills, knowledge, and perspectives at the individual, group, and organization levels.

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Emphases of Organization Development and Change Beginning in the 1980s through the 2000s

In the late 20th and early 21st centuries ODC has expanded into “change management” more broadly conceived, although this expansion continues to emphasize humanist values (Worren, et al. 1999). Most importantly, starting in the 1980s there has been considerably more emphasis than before on taking positive, future-oriented approaches to organizational change (Cameron 2008). This shift began with Lindaman and Lippitt 1979, which posits that starting with problems caused organization members to lose energy and that it was more effective to focus on preferred futures. Weisbord 1987 is the first work to discuss the importance of bringing the “whole system” together to plan a positive future.

  • Cameron, Kim S. “Paradox in Positive Organizational Change.” Journal of Applied Behavioral Science 44.1 (2008): 7–24.

    DOI: 10.1177/0021886308314703Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article introduces a special issue of the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science on positive organizational change and describes important connotations of “positive.”

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  • Lindaman, Edward B., and Ronald O. Lippitt. Choosing the Future You Prefer: A Goal Setting Guide. Washington, DC: Development Publications, 1979.

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    This report describes the results of Lippitt bringing city stakeholders together to create and plan their future. His positive approach was revolutionary at the time it was carried out.

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  • Weisbord, Marvin R. Productive Workplaces: Organizing and Managing for Dignity, Meaning, and Community. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1987.

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    In this very influential book Weisbord reexamines the contributions of early organization scholars in combination with his own consulting experience to suggest, for the first time, how members of a “whole system” can work together in planning.

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  • Worren, Nicolay A. M., Keith Ruddle, and Karl Moore. “From Organizational Development to Change Management: The Emergence of a New Profession.” Journal of Applied Behavioral Science 35.3 (1999): 273–286.

    DOI: 10.1177/0021886399353002Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This influential article suggests that ODC, as typically understood, had become irrelevant and been replaced in many ways by broader notions of change management. However, these broader notions continue to stress ODC’s original emphasis on humanist values.

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Positive Approaches to Organizing and Organization Development and Change

In the late 20th and early 21st centuries the focus on the positive has increased substantially, led by those emphasizing positive organization scholarship (e.g., Cameron, et al. 2003). In terms of interventions, this focus has been most fully reflected in appreciative inquiry (Cooperrider and Srivastva 1987), which Cooperrider and Whitney 2005 describes as involving systematic discovery of what gives “life” to an organization or community. Ludema, et al. 2003 develops the appreciative inquiry summit and ways of conducting appreciative inquiry as a large group intervention. Other positive approaches to organizing include the reflected best self (Roberts, et al. 2005) and job crafting as a way of creating positive meaning at work (Wrzesniewski and Dutton 2001).

  • Cameron, Kim, Jane E. Dutton, and Robert E. Quinn. Positive Organizational Scholarship. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2003.

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    This book introduces positive organizational scholarship as a coherent and systematic approach to understanding organizations. It provides strong support for the importance of several of ODC’s main values.

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  • Cooperrider, David L., and Suresh Srivastva. “Appreciative Inquiry in Organizational Life.” In Research in Organizational Change and Development. Vol. 1. Edited by Richard W. Woodman and William A. Pasmore, 129–169. Greenwich, CT: JAl, 1987.

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    This classic chapter was the first to introduce appreciative inquiry and its underlying philosophy as a new approach to intervention.

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  • Cooperrider, David L., and Diana Whitney. Appreciative Inquiry: A Positive Revolution in Change. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2005.

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    This book presents a comprehensive description of appreciative inquiry and its components and shows some of the evolution in the method since its introduction.

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  • Ludema, James D., Diana Whitney, Bernard J. Mohr, and Thomas J. Griffin. The Appreciative Inquiry Summit: A Practitioner’s Guide for Leading Large-Group Change. San Francisco: Berrett- Koehler, 2003.

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    This book describes a summit as a means of conducting appreciate inquiry in a large group intervention setting and condensed time frame. Many uses of appreciative inquiry are now based on a summit format.

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  • Roberts, Laura Morgan, Jane E. Dutton, Gretchen M. Spreitzer, Emily D. Heaphy, and Robert E. Quinn. “Composing the Reflected Best-Self Portrait: Building Pathways for Becoming Extraordinary in Work Organizations.” Academy of Management Review 30.4 (2005): 712–736.

    DOI: 10.5465/AMR.2005.18378874Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This paper develops a conceptual model of how people compose their images of themselves as what they are like when they are at their best. The paper accompanies an exercise on the reflected best self that may be used in ODC activities.

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  • Wrzesniewski, Amy, and Jane E. Dutton. “Crafting a Job: Revisioning Employees as Active Crafters of Their Work.” Academy of Management Review 26.2 (2001): 179–201.

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    This paper suggests ways that employees “craft” their jobs through changing boundaries that shape their interactions and relationships with others at their work place. These initiatives lead to changes in the environments of jobs, which then lead to changes in the meanings of work.

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Dialogic and Narrative Approaches

In the late 20th and early 21st centuries the movement away from focusing on problems has been reflected in the development of a dialogic approach to “meaning making” in organizations (Bushe and Marshak 2009) as opposed to diagnosis. Dialogic models suggest that when data are collected they represent sense making about organizations (Weick 1995) based on a social constructivist perspective (Gergen and Thatchenkery 2004). Consistent with this approach, there has been much more focus on the importance of conversations in creating change (Ford and Ford 1995) and on how organization members create both their own past and their potential future through stories that may generate a continuous “becoming” in organizations (Peirano-Vejo and Stablein 2009).

  • Bushe, Gervase R., and Robert J. Marshak. “Revisioning Organization Development: Diagnostic and Dialogic Premises and Patterns of Practice.” Journal of Applied Behavioral Science 45.3 (2009): 348–368.

    DOI: 10.1177/0021886309335070Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This award-winning paper distinguishes between diagnostic and dialogic approaches to ODC. It emphasizes the importance of dialogic premises that center on conversations and that foster interventions that build on the positive and are oriented toward the future.

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  • Ford, Jeffrey D., and Laurie W. Ford. “The Role of Conversations in Producing Intentional Change in Organizations.” Academy of Management Review 20.3 (1995): 541–570.

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    This article describes how narrative and conversations are performative and argues that how conversations take place has substantial impacts on how change processes unfold.

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  • Gergen, Kenneth J., and Tojo Joseph Thatchenkery. “Organization Science as Social Construction: Postmodern Potentials.” Journal of Applied Behavioral Science 40.2 (2004): 228–249.

    DOI: 10.1177/0021886304263860Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Contrary to early assumptions of ODC that it is possible to determine “accurate” information through diagnosis, this article provides a conceptual basis for understanding events and data associated with ODC from a social constructionist perspective.

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  • Peirano-Vejo, Maria Elisa, and Ralph E. Stablein. “Constituting Change and Stability: Sense-Making Stories in a Farming Organization.” Organization 16.3 (2009): 443–462.

    DOI: 10.1177/1350508409102306Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article starts with an assumption of organizational change as normal and describes how sense-giving and sense-making stories play important roles in creating stability in organizations and thus in fostering long-term “becoming.”

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  • Weick, Karl E. Sensemaking in Organizations. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 1995.

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    This classic book presents a comprehensive discussion of sense making in organizations. It has had major impacts on how scholars and practitioners understand data gathering and interaction processes associated with ODC.

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Large Group Interventions

A primary basis for ODC has been action research, which customarily begins by searching out problems to be addressed. But starting in the 1980s optimism about focusing on the future, coupled with the open systems work presented in Emery and Trist 1972 (cited under Sociotechnical Systems and Organizational Design Interventions) and Weisbord and Janoff 2010, the way was opened for large group interventions that get members of the “whole system” together to work to create their desired future. Bunker and Alban 2006 and Holman, et al. 2007 present comprehensive overviews of multiple large group interventions. Some particularly influential large group interventions have been Open Space Technology (Owen 1992), the Search Conference (Emery and Purser 1996), Future Search (Weisbord and Janoff 2010), Whole-Scale Change (Dannemiller Tyson Associates 1999) and The World Café (Brown and Isaacs 2005). Worley, et al. 2011 describes a complex relationship between the composition of a “whole system” and successful outcomes of large group interventions.

  • Brown, Juanita, and David Isaacs. The World Café: Shaping Our Futures through Conversations That Matter. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2005.

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    This is a comprehensive introduction to The World Café, a large group process based on conversations that presents structured means that help groups explore important issues.

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  • Bunker, Barbara Benedict, and Billie T. Alban. The Handbook of Large Group Methods: Creating Systemic Change in Organizations and Communities. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2006.

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    This book describes how a number of important large-scale interventions are being used to address important contemporary challenges.

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  • Dannemiller Tyson Associates. Whole-Scale Change: Unleashing the Magic in Organizations. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 1999.

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    Whole-Scale Change uses structured methods to enable thousands of people to participate together to consult on a preferred future for their setting.

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  • Emery, Merrelyn, and Ronald E. Purser. The Search Conference: A Powerful Method for Planning Organizational Change and Community Action. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1996.

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    This large group approach is derived from Emery and Trist’s discussion of social ecology. It is a means of helping groups scan the current environment, examine their history as a system, and create a shared vision.

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  • Holman, Perry, Tom Devane, and Steven Cady. The Change Handbook: The Definitive Resource on Today’s Best Methods for Engaging Whole Systems. San Francisco: Berrett-Kohler, 2007.

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    This is a comprehensive listing and description of virtually all of the large-scale interventions in use at the time the book was written.

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  • Owen, Harrison. Open Space Technology: A User’s Guide. Potomac, MD: Abbott, 1992.

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    This book describes one of the early large group interventions, a means of enabling participants in a meeting to create and carry out their own agenda for the meeting.

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  • Weisbord, Marvin, and Sandra Janoff. Future Search: Getting the Whole System in the Room for Vision, Commitment, and Action. 3d ed. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2010.

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    Future Search, one of the most prominent large group methods, creates means by which participants can examine their past at multiple levels, analyze the present, and use creative methods to help imagine common grounds for future work.

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  • Worley, Christopher G., Susan A. Mohrman, and Jennifer A. Nevitt. “Large Group Interventions: An Empirical Field Study of Their Composition, Process, and Outcomes.” Journal of Applied Behavioral Science 47.4 (2011): 404–431.

    DOI: 10.1177/0021886311410837Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This is a comparative case analysis, one of the first rigorous studies of multiple large group interventions. Its findings suggest that the combination of stakeholders participating in a large group intervention is important to the success or failure of the intervention.

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Organization Development and Change Beyond Individual Organizations

In the early 21st century there has been considerable expansion in the expectation that ODC can and should play a major role in accomplishing positive societal change. Mirvis, et al. 2003 describes a major transformation of Unilever, based in part on participants’ learning from sites around the world. Brown, et al. 2008 describes ways ODC can help foster social change, especially in the developing world. Senge, et al. 2008 describes the importance of sustainability for enabling organizational learning. Based in part on an appreciative inquiry philosophy, Piderit, et al. 2007 describes ways businesses can collaborate with many other types of organizations around the world for societal benefit. Golden-Biddle and Dutton 2012 describes the application of positive change processes to a wide range of social change issues.

  • Brown, L. David, Mark Leach, and Jane G. Covey. “Organization Development for Social Change.” In Handbook of Organization Development. Edited by Thomas G. Cummings, 593–614. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2008.

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    This chapter describes a number of ways ODC can contribute to positive social change efforts around the world.

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  • Golden-Biddle, Karen, and Jane E. Dutton, eds. Using a Positive Lens to Explore Social Change and Organizations: Building a Theoretical and Research Foundation. New York: Routledge, 2012.

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    This book builds on and expands a positive approach to ODC to broader social change. It suggests ways some ODC processes and social change may overlap in important ways.

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  • Mirvis, Philip H., Karen Ayas, and George Roth. To the Desert and Back: The Story of One of the Most Dramatic Business Transformations on Record. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003.

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    This book presents a dramatic story of the transformation of Unilever based in part on ODC interventions in many of the countries where Unilever is headquartered.

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  • Piderit, Sandy Kristin, Ronald E. Fry, and David L. Cooperrider, eds. A Handbook of Transformative Cooperation: New Designs and Dynamics. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2007.

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    Building on an appreciative inquiry approach, this book presents many examples of cooperation across organizational boundaries that can help businesses and other organizations serve as agents of social benefit.

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  • Senge, Peter M., Bryan Smith, Nina Kruschwitz, Joe Laur, and Sara Schley. The Necessary Revolution: How Individuals and Organizations Are Working Together to Create a Sustainable World. New York: Doubleday, 2008.

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    Based on the learning organization, this book describes fundamental shifts in mental models on the part of individuals concerned about creating a sustainable world. It describes the business case for sustainability and provides multiple examples of business initiatives that foster sustainability.

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Assessing Organizational Change

Of course ODC requires assessment. Golembiewski, et al. 1976, a classic article, distinguishes three ways to measure organizational change as a result of change efforts. Woodman and Wayne 1985 compares results of studies of ODC based on the rigor of the approach. Woodman, et al. 2008 presents a comprehensive summary of ways of assessing ODC interventions. Rousseau, et al. 2008 suggests how evaluations may be accumulated to enable evidence-based approaches. Lau and Ngo 2001 stresses the importance of sensitivity to national culture. Further, there has been considerable discussion of ways academics and practitioners may collaborate in studying ODC. Mohrman and Mohrman 2011 describes how such assessment may be carried out collaboratively with academics and practitioners, and Shani, et al. 2007 presents a comprehensive approach to such collaboration.

  • Golembiewski, Robert T., Keith Billingsley, and Samuel Yeager. “Measuring Change and Persistence in Human Affairs: Types of Change Generated by OD Designs.” Journal of Applied Behavioral Science 12.2 (1976): 133–157.

    DOI: 10.1177/002188637601200201Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article makes important distinctions between alpha, beta, and gamma change as a result of OD interventions, and it shows the serious implications of misunderstanding the distinctions in assessments of change.

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  • Lau, Chung-Ming, and Hang-Yue Ngo. “Organization Development and Firm Performance: A Comparison of Multinational and Local Firms.” Journal of International Business Studies 32 (2001): 95–114.

    DOI: 10.1057/palgrave.jibs.8490940Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This paper stresses the importance of attention to national culture in the determination of whether interventions in one setting are successful in another, and it demonstrates the complexity of local adaptation of OD interventions.

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  • Mohrman, Susan Albers, and Allen M. Mohrman Jr. “Collaborative Organization Design Research at the Center for Effective Organizations.” In Useful Research: Advancing Theory and Practice. Edited by Susan Albers Mohrman and Edward E. Lawler III, 57–79. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2011.

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    This chapter describes the ways the Center for Effective Organizations collaborates with practitioners in conducting research that assesses ODC efforts.

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  • Rousseau, Denise M., Joshua Manning, and David Denyer. “Evidence in Management and Organizational Science: Assembling the Field’s Full Weight of Scientific Knowledge through Syntheses.” In Academy of Management Annals. Vol. 2. Edited by James P. Walsh and Arthur P. Brief, 475–515. Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2008.

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    In this important paper the authors describe how to compile evidence from multiple studies to enable syntheses that form the basis for evidence-based approaches.

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  • Shani, Abraham B., Susan Albers Mohrman, William A. Pasmore, Bengt Stymne, and Niclas Adler, eds. Handbook of Collaborative Management Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2007.

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    This handbook presents state-of-the-art knowledge and a comprehensive description of collaborative methods involving academics and practitioners that can be used to conduct ODC and related types of organizational research.

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  • Woodman, Richard W., John B. Bingham, and Feirong Yuan. “Assessing Organization Development and Change Interventions.” In Handbook of Organization Development. Edited by Thomas G. Cummings, 187–215. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2008.

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    This chapter presents a comprehensive discussion of constraints on assessments of ODC interventions as well as a number of methods that might be used for such assessments.

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  • Woodman, Richard W., and Sandy J. Wayne. “An Investigation of Positive-Findings Bias in Evaluation of Organization Development Interventions.” Academy of Management Journal 28 (1985): 889–913.

    DOI: 10.2307/256243Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This study investigates the possibility that positive results in studies of ODC are due to lack of rigor in the studies. On the whole, the results did not support a positive findings bias, though there was some possibility of such a bias in studies of process interventions.

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The Future Practice of Organization Development and Change

As indicated in Greiner and Cummings 2004 and Burke 2011, academics involved with ODC often express concern about its current state and future prospects. Works dealing with ODC from a practice orientation, however, such as Jamieson and Worley 2008, while acknowledging concerns, also focus more on what ODC practice can accomplish if done well. Bartunek and Woodman 2012 suggests in fact that despite academics’ concerns about ODC, its practitioners continually breathe new life into it. Cummings and Worley 2009 suggests how the practice of ODC will likely manifest itself in the future.

  • Bartunek, Jean M., and Richard W. Woodman. “The Spirits of Organization Development; or, Why OD Lives Despite Its Pronounced Death.” In The Oxford Handbook of Positive Organizational Scholarship. Edited by Kim S. Cameron and Gretchen M. Spreitzer, 727–736. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.

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    Bartunek and Woodman argue that despite dire predictions about ODC’s likely demise, it will continue to live, because it deals with core issues of organizing, because practitioners continue to use it, because it bridges the scholar-practitioner gap, and because it engages paradox.

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  • Burke, W. Warner. “A Perspective on the Field of Organization Development and Change: The Zeigarnik Effect.” Journal of Applied Behavioral Science 47.2 (2011): 143–167.

    DOI: 10.1177/0021886310388161Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Burke argues that there has not been any new innovation in social technology associated with ODC since the 1980s, and he discusses four domains of unfinished business in the field, work with loosely coupled systems, culture change dealing effectively with perceived resistance to change, and getting leadership development right.

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  • Cummings, Thomas G., and Christopher G. Worley. Organization Development and Change. 9th ed. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning, 2009.

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    In the final chapter of their text, Cummings and Worley suggest that in the future ODC will be more embedded in organizational operations, more technologically enabled, shorter, more interdisciplinary, more diverse, more cross-cultural, and more concerned about sustainability.

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  • Greiner, Larry E., and Thomas G. Cummings. “Wanted: OD More Alive Than Dead!” Journal of Applied Behavioral Science 40 (2004): 374–391.

    DOI: 10.1177/0021886304270284Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article warns that ODC might be in crisis and will need to be revitalized if it is not to become obsolete.

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  • Jamieson, David W., and Christopher G. Worley. “The Practice of Organization Development.” In Handbook of Organization Development. Edited by Thomas G. Cummings, 99–120. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2008.

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    Jamieson and Worley present a theory of practice for ODC, including processes, action cycles, and outcomes. They also describe ways of educating for ODC practice.

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