Research in Organizational Change and Development: Volume 20


Table of contents

(15 chapters)
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List of Contributors

Pages vii-viii
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Pages ix-xi
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The first annual volume of Research in Organization Change and Development was published in 1987. Since then, ROCD has provided a special platform for scholars and practitioners to share new research-based insights.

It has generally been assumed that effective leadership is a key to successful change. But, as some authors have noted, there is a dearth of empirical research regarding the impact of leadership on organization change. In this chapter, we review the empirical evidence from the past 20 years in an attempt to determine the impact of leadership on the conduct and outcomes of organizational change. Our conclusions indicate that the leadership of change is more complex than envisioned, involving multiple forms of leadership engaged in different approaches, behaviors, and activities, only some of which are effective.

We draw from psychological theories of leadership and literature on computer-mediated communication to challenge the received wisdom of the organization change literature about the need to match communication media richness to the equivocality of the task or change situation. We make the counter intuitive proposition that leaner forms of communication can be linked to higher perceptions of leadership charisma and effectiveness even in equivocal situations, and therefore can be more potent in effecting change than richer forms, under certain conditions. We discuss these conditions and the implications for organization change communications.

Action learning is a term that is used with a wide range of meanings: from an equivalent term for experiential learning to a philosophy of learning. This chapter takes the latter position and focuses on action learning as a scholarly activity. The chapter has two main sections. In the first part the breadth and depth of action learning is introduced: its variations and applications are discussed. The second part explores how action learning is at the cutting edge of engaging practitioners in real change and at the development of scholar–practitioners and actionable knowledge of how organizations change, how it offers a modality of an action-oriented approach to inquiry that accords with contemporary paradigms of useful and relevant research, its contribution to organization and management theory comes through how critical action learning engages with issues of power and social relations and through its critique of management education.

Here is a new conceptual framework for organizational learning (OL) that applies to both planned reform and emergent change. It integrates strategic and operational, micro and macro perspectives. It has three parts: (a) a revised definition and typology of OL, (b) seven reform stories that define stages and tasks, (c) a management and assessment guide demarcating four areas of OL: (i) action learning within core operations; (ii) sharing learning and innovations across the organization; (iii) mission/s-beyond ambidexterity; (iv) integration-managing mission conflicts and other paradoxes, which ensure endogenous change. Dynamic capability is therefore intrinsic to this view of OL that is illustrated from two cases: NYPD and public school reforms.

Although learning is a widely recognized method for building individual skills and capabilities, its impact is often minimized in large-scale organizational change efforts in favor of more visible OD- and HR-related interventions. When conceptualized and applied systemically, however, learning itself can be a critical enabler and even a primary driver of organizational culture change. This chapter focuses on the role that a holistic learning agenda can play in a large-scale organizational change effort using insight developed from an applied case study in a large multinational organization.

The chapter develops a conceptual framework for linking the phenomena included in the field labeled “organizational change” (OC). The objective is to design an OC model that makes selective use of existing theories and creates a premise for further development but avoids proposing a unifying synthesis with a normative value. At the center is the critical circuit of the relationship between the processes of organizational learning, resource development and power management which originates the triple helix of change. The framework explains a variety of change management experiences along a continuum between two poles – “turnaround” and “continuous and fluid transformation.”

Employee surveys are an important tool for communicating messages to employees, measuring cultural and behavioral indicators, and driving organization development and change in the workplace. This chapter expands upon prior research in this area by presenting longitudinal trends in survey action planning efforts over an 11-year period and the impact on employee attitudes at a multinational consumer products company. Results from the Survey Outcome Matrix are analyzed over time, by level, and by content area. Comments from employees are used to explore reasons why action does not occur from surveys in some contexts. The chapter concludes with implications for practice.

The creation of sustainable value has become a key driver of competitive advantage for many companies. The field of organization development and change can assist these companies because it provides the theories, research, models, and tools they need to embed sustainability into their core business practices. In this chapter, we provide a brief history of sustainable value, demonstrate how and why it is an important source of competitive advantage, and describe five core capabilities companies need to embed sustainability throughout their organizations. We use case examples to illustrate these ideas and conclude with implications for research and practice.

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Allan H. Church is VP of Global Talent Development for PepsiCo, where he is responsible for leading the talent management and people development agenda for the enterprise. Previously he spent nine years as an external OD consultant working for Warner Burke Associates, and several years at IBM. On the side, he has served as Adjunct Professor at Columbia University, a Visiting Scholar at Benedictine University, and past Chair of the Mayflower Group. Allan received his Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University. He is Fellow of the Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology, the American Psychological Association, and the Association for Psychological Science.

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Book series
Research in Organizational Change and Development
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
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