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Organizational diagnosis: the role of contagion groups

Byron L. Bissell (University of Arizona, Sierra Vista, USA)
Jeanmarie Keim (The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA)

International Journal of Organizational Analysis

ISSN: 1934-8835

Article publication date: 4 July 2008




The purpose of this paper is to propose a model for conducting an organizational assessment/diagnosis.


The model provides practitioners with a method to identify the breakdown(s) in the organizational system that is motivating a significant number of individuals to manifest dysfunctional organizational behaviors.


When organizational systems are dysfunction, stress levels increase among employees. Following increased stress, individuals create a contagion group that, if not addressed, can interfere with achieving the organization's mission.

Practical implications

The information is readily applied to real‐world settings for those who are facing dysfunction within organizations and has repeated been successful.


This paper provides a perspective on consulting with dysfunctional organizations that combines the expertise of psychologist and business consultants. It provides information to those in the working in the field and academics seeking new models to test.



Bissell, B.L. and Keim, J. (2008), "Organizational diagnosis: the role of contagion groups", International Journal of Organizational Analysis, Vol. 16 No. 1/2, pp. 7-17.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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