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Organisational Development Diagnostic Categories: A Clinical Approach

Stan Young (University of Massachusetts)
Joseph Litterer (University of Massachusetts, USA)

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Publication date: 1 April 1991


It is recommended that the OD Community develop a taxonomical diagnostic guide concerning organisational pathologies similar to APA′s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Part of such an effort would be the classification of the subset of organisational maladies that derive from the subconscious dimensions of organisational behaviour. As an example of how such a schemata can be created, a non‐directive psychological depth approach was applied to a decade‐long conflict between the engineering and operating divisions of a Fortune 500 company. It was found that the source of the difficulty was subconscious paradigmatic differences between the two groups; engineers exhibiting a scientific, positivistic world view; operating managers an entrepreneurial one. Symptoms of such a conflict are long term (years) normative, moral rigid disagreements over how the affairs of the company should be conducted. Thus paradigmatic conflict would constitute one type of organisational disorder that could be incorporated into a potential OD diagnostic guide.



Young, S. and Litterer, J. (1991), "Organisational Development Diagnostic Categories: A Clinical Approach", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 4 No. 4, pp. 58-71.




Copyright © 1991, MCB UP Limited