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Participant experiences of transformational change in large-scale organization development interventions (LODIs)

Yabome Gilpin-Jackson (Organization Development in Healthcare, British Columbia, Canada)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 2 May 2017




The purpose of this paper is to present a qualitative understanding of participants’ experiences in an exemplar large-scale organization development intervention (LODI). The purpose was to understand what contributes to the success of LODIs from participant experiences.


The research design was a qualitative study of one-on-one interview findings (n=23) from participants involved in LODIs that spanned over four years in a complex healthcare system. Participants involved in the process represented clinical, operational, and support service staff as well as all levels from frontline to senior leaders. The 23 participants consisted of 13 women and ten men.


The qualitative analysis showed that participants reported experiences of transformational change, where contextual conditions as well as personal and organizational transformation processes existed in the LODIs. Contextual conditions were shown to have a multiplier effect on the attainment of transformation in what was considered a successful large-scale change, where desired business outcomes were also achieved. Further, access to shared transformational experience is what created context for the sense of community, responsibility, and accountability that spurred change agents into action.


Prior theory and research shows that large-scale and similar organization development interventions result in transformational change, deepened relationships, and successful outcomes as a result of organizational change processes such as emergence and generativity. This study provides new insight into why LODIs work from participants’ perspectives. These findings may be used to design successful LODI processes and expands research to include and be informed by participants’ experiences, in a field predicated on stakeholder involvement to begin with.



Gilpin-Jackson, Y. (2017), "Participant experiences of transformational change in large-scale organization development interventions (LODIs)", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 38 No. 3, pp. 419-432.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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