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Agents of change in the disability field: bridge‐builders who make a difference

Doris Hamner (Institute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
Allison Cohen Hall (Institute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
Jaimie Ciulla Timmons (Institute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
Heike Boeltzig (Institute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
Sheila Fesko (Institute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Article publication date: 4 April 2008

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to highlight the systemic conditions that facilitate the emergence, longevity, and effectiveness of bridge‐builders across organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

Researchers conducted longitudinal case studies in six One‐Stop Career Centers across the USA over four years. Interviews were conducted with approximately 20 people in various positions at each of the sites visited. The data analyzed spanned the four years of the study.

Findings

Researchers uncovered particular characteristics present in individual bridge‐builders that enabled them to accomplish their goals. This research indicates that, when the right conditions intersected with the right type of person, champions emerged who helped move the organization in new and innovative directions.

Originality/value

This paper provides an outline of the organizational change that can happen in the disability field. By delineating bridge‐builders and the context in which they operate, others can identify the conditions within organizations to help them move forward.

Keywords

Citation

Hamner, D., Cohen Hall, A., Ciulla Timmons, J., Boeltzig, H. and Fesko, S. (2008), "Agents of change in the disability field: bridge‐builders who make a difference", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 21 No. 2, pp. 161-173. https://doi.org/10.1108/09534810810856417

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited