Research in Organizational Change and Development: Volume 25

Cover of Research in Organizational Change and Development
Subject:

Table of contents

(12 chapters)

Prelims

Pages i-xii
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Abstract

Given the opportunity to reflect on the three decades of research and practice that have passed since the first volume of Research in Organizational Change and Development was published, we note a number of shifts in our world that are causing us to rethink what we know and how we intervene. These shifts, and their attendant effects on individuals, organizations, and society, have opened up exciting possibilities for the advancement of the field. These advances can be achieved through combined research and action, aimed at producing new insights into core topics like motivation, leadership, and organization design. We suggest an ambitious agenda for current and future scholar-practitioners that we hope will stimulate enough thoughtful work to help fill the next three decades of volumes of Research in Organizational Change and Development.

Abstract

The world of management and technology has become accustomed to the notion of “2.0” advancements and transformative innovations. Is the field of Change Management/Organizational Development itself in this story? Not enough! We re-examine the field’s foundational beliefs, practices, focus, research directions, and value add. We conclude that there is strong evidence from the front line and from an IBM Case Study that the field must “reboot” – to rethink our methods and frameworks; the role and skills of change leadership for the future; change practitioner capabilities for the future; the metrics needed to evaluate progress; and the knowledge exchange between Academe and practitioners.

Abstract

It’s been thirty years since the original articulation of “Appreciative Inquiry in Organizational Life” was written in collaboration with my remarkable mentor Suresh Srivastva (Cooperrider & Srivastva, 1987). That article – first published in Research in Organization Development and Change – generated more experimentation in the field, more academic excitement, and more innovation than anything we had ever written. As the passage of time has enabled me to look more closely at what was written, I feel both a deep satisfaction with the seed vision and scholarly logic offered for Appreciative Inquiry, as well as well as the enormous impact and continuing reverberation. Following the tradition of authors such as Carl Rogers who have re-issued their favorite works but have also added brief reflections on key points of emphasis, clarification, or editorial commentary I am presenting the article by David Cooperrider (myself) and the late Suresh Srivastva in its entirety, but also with new horizon insights. In particular I write with excitement and anticipation of a new OD – what my colleagues and I are calling the next “IPOD” that is, innovation-inspired positive OD that brings AI’s gift of new eyes together in common cause with several other movements in the human sciences: the strengths revolution in management; the positive pscyhology and positive organizational scholarship movements; the design thinking explosion; and the biomimicry field which is all about an appreciative eye toward billions of years of nature’s wisdom and innovation inspired by life.

This article presents a conceptual refigurationy of action-research based on a “sociorationalist” view of science. The position that is developed can be summarized as follows: For action-research to reach its potential as a vehicle for social innovation it needs to begin advancing theoretical knowledge of consequence; that good theory may be one of the best means human beings have for affecting change in a postindustrial world; that the discipline’s steadfast commitment to a problem solving view of the world acts as a primary constraint on its imagination and contribution to knowledge; that appreciative inquiry represents a viable complement to conventional forms of action-research; and finally, that through our assumptions and choice of method we largely create the world we later discover.

Abstract

We explore how scholarly understandings of and the practice of organizational transformation have evolved since Bartunek and Louis’s (1988) Research in Organizational Change and Development chapter. While Bartunek and Louis hoped to see strategy scholarship and OD approaches to transformation inform each other, strategy literature has drifted away from transformation toward more continuous change. OD practice has focused on the implementation of its own versions of transformation through Large Group Interventions, Appreciative Inquiry, the new dialogic OD, and Theory U. Based on a discussion of Theory U, we call attention to the importance of individuals as an important source of new ideas in understanding and practicing large-scale change.

Abstract

We review our work as collaborators over nearly 40 years as researchers and OD practitioners on the human, cultural, and organizational aspects of mergers and acquisitions (M&A). This chapter addresses (1) how our thinking, research methods, and practices developed over time, (2) accounts of deriving theory from practice and contrariwise of applying theory to practical matters, (3) how our respective shifts from academe toward scholarly-practice influenced our thinking and how we write, and (4) varieties of scholarly collaboration – ranging from intensive interchange to sequential pitch and catch. Early work covers a study of a “white-knight” acquisition and then advising on post-merger integration in a hostile takeover, revealing the stages of a deal, dynamics of buyers and sellers, and human factors that produce the “merger syndrome.”

Throughout we talk about confronting challenges of the scholar-practitioner divide as it pertains to role definition and boundary management as well to our theorizing, writing, and publication agenda. The chapter concludes with reflections on doing applied research in collaboration with a colleague (and friend).

Abstract

The study of group dynamics was central to the field of organization development at its inception. More recently, there has been a move away from considering irrational and unconscious dynamics in organizational life and more attention focused on rational and observable behavior that can be measured and quantified. We introduce the tool, Beneath the Surface of the Burke-Litwin Model, that invites consideration of how the overt behavior of individuals, groups, and entire systems is linked to covert dynamics. This more comprehensive view of organizational life provides scholar-practitioners with a systemic perspective, a view of covert dynamics by organizational level, and support for the ongoing development of one’s capacity for using self-as-instrument when engaged in organization development and organization change efforts.

Abstract

Performance management can play an important role in the implementation of strategic change, by aligning employees’ mindsets and behavior with organizational goals. However, the ways in which employees react to change efforts aided by performance management practices are far from straight-forward. In this chapter, we develop a conceptual framework for understanding employees’ reactions to strategic change as a consequence of their occupational identities and their performance management outcome. We further apply the framework to an empirical study of a strategic change initiative in a school organization that was supported by a new performance management practice. We show how variations in perceived identity threat translate into four distinct patterns of emotional and behavioral reactions, where only one represents whole-hearted change acceptance. The study contributes to our understanding of individual- and group-level heterogeneity in reactions to strategic change, and also to a more nuanced conception of identity threat.

Abstract

This chapter examines a case study of inter-institutional merger in higher education, and explores the complex challenges institutional leaders may face in pursuing a merger process within a university setting where centuries-old tradition frames the context within which new innovations occur. Using the conceptual lens of organizational ambidexterity, findings uncover seven distinct phases of this merger process and propose a pre-merger Affiliation period as a strategy for establishing trust and mutual respect, aligning institutional cultures, and achieving balance between innovation and preservation in order to achieve full merged status. The chapter concludes with implications for theory and opportunities for practice.

Abstract

This chapter has six sections. I summarize and refine key themes I explored at length during 25 years in three editions of Productive Workplaces. In Flying Lessons section, I describe how the invention of the airplane changed life on earth, not least my own. In Life Lessons section, I discuss how flying influenced my consulting career. In Myths section, I describe beliefs that I abandoned as I learned my trade. In The Future Never Comes section, I explore what it means to encounter the future as having already arrived. In Afterthoughts section, I sum up what learning to fly has to do with learning Organization Development consulting. The section Postscript contains excerpts from my dialogue with Bill Pasmore, a colleague who also flew airplanes and sought to improve workplaces.

Abstract

For 30 years the series, Research in Organizational Change and Development (ROCD) has provided an extensive range of scholarly research and philosophical reflections on the field of organization development and change (ODC). On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the first volume, this chapter poses the question as to how we might learn about the philosophy of ODC research from the 24 published volumes. Taking the author’s explicit pursuit of the question as a process of interiority, it invites readers to engage with the question themselves and thereby enact interiority within ODC itself.

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Cover of Research in Organizational Change and Development
DOI
10.1108/S0897-3016201725
Publication date
2017-06-28
Book series
Research in Organizational Change and Development
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-78714-436-1
eISBN
978-1-78714-435-4
Book series ISSN
0897-3016