Research in Organizational Change and Development: Volume 26

Cover of Research in Organizational Change and Development
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Table of contents

(12 chapters)

Prelims

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Abstract

We argue that in order to address the contemporary challenges that organizations and societies are facing, the field of organization development (OD) requires frameworks and skills to focus on the eco-system as the level of analysis. In a world that has become economically, socially, and technologically highly connected, approaches that foster the optimization of specific actors in the eco-system, such as individual corporations, result in sub-optimization of the sustainability of the natural and social system because there is insufficient offset to the ego-centric purposes of the focal organization. We discuss the need for OD to broaden focus to deal with technological advances that enable new ways of organizing at the eco-system level, and to deal with the challenges to sustainable development. Case examples from healthcare and the agri-foods industry illustrate the kinds of development approaches that are required for the development of healthy eco-systems. We do not suggest fundamental changes in the identity of the field of organizational development. In fact, we demonstrate the need to dig deeply into the open systems and socio-technical roots of the field, and to translate the traditional values and approaches of OD to continue to be relevant in today’s dynamic interdependent world.

Abstract

Benchmark surveys regarding talent management assessment practices and interventions of choice for organization development (OD) practitioners have shown 360-degree feedback to be a popular tool for both development and decision-making in the field today. Although much has been written about implementing 360-degree feedback since its inception in the 1990s, few longitudinal case examples exist where interventions have been applied and their impact measured successfully. This chapter closes the gap by providing research findings and key learnings from five different implementation strategies for enhancing 360-degree feedback in a large multi-national organization. Recommendations and implications for future research are discussed.

Abstract

The literature on innovation/change predicts that entrepreneurial initiatives will be killed by the established organizational system. The general answer is to put innovations in separate units. This is not possible for corporate entrepreneurship initiatives, however. In this action research study, we focus on corporate entrepreneurship initiatives’ strategies for survival. We collected data by following 11 corporate entrepreneurship initiatives as they were pursued. We summarize their effort in three transformation mechanisms: aligning with purpose, creating trust, and creating attachment with autonomy. The data indicate that these factors not only contributed to the success of the initiatives but also to renewing the organizational system.

Abstract

Organizational Development and Change (ODC) has been called to aid organizational greening goals. Carbon labeling of products by organizations is a common greening strategy. However, its effectiveness is dependent on supportive consumer behavior. The Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) is used to explain actor choice in buying low carbon products (LCPs). Actual buying behavior of 873 subjects in China, a country new to carbon labeling, demonstrated that Declarative norms, Attitude, and Perceived behavioral control explained significant variance in actual buying behavior of LCPs. The TPB model may be better served by observing actual behavior versus behavioral intention. Revisions to the TPB model for diagnosis and interventions in behavioral change are indicated. ODC should revert to theoretically informed practice versus the increasing reliance on A-theoretical tools and techniques.

Abstract

The colors of change is an overview of change paradigms, created about two decades ago, that has been intensively used, tested, refined, shared, and elaborated by practitioners and academics alike. Here, the “color theory” is presented as it is now, and is situated within the literature. Its four main applications are described as well as rules of thumb that have been derived from reflective practice. This chapter illustrates that the color theory is clearly not one thing to all people, as it is understood in very different ways, both in terms of its theoretical foundations as well as the complexity of its applications. This probably adds to the versatility of the theory. Bringing together key insights about the color theory for academics and practitioners, this chapter strives both to give a concise overview and to explore its richness.

Abstract

Working to improve organizations is the mainstay of organization development (OD) practice and includes figuring out the sources of workplace disruptions and dysfunctions. Casting aside the focus of most change-management initiatives, the organization, organizing intelligence (OQ) relies on paying attention to what people actually do, making meaning of complex, messy human-social organizing activities, in the interests of fostering productive workplaces. Resting on dialog with and among participants “feeling their way” as they organize their work, OQ is an exercise in synthesis rather than analysis. A holistic understanding of organizing activities is helped by exploring the roles of a triad of closely interwoven factors – organizing structures, work-practices, and relationships – in how people get things done, while understanding how these are interconnected. This chapter examines why the capacity for OQ matters, why and how OQ differs from widely practiced, technically framed, organizational analysis, and what distinguishes people with OQ from those with a more conventional interest in organizational change. A case study of the Dutch home-nursing organization, Buurtzorg, illustrates OQ in practice. With small groups of nurses who self-organize, this is a structure that changes both the way people work and their relationships, to the benefit of nurses and the quality of life and care of their patients, while reducing costs; clearly an example of a more productive workplace.

Abstract

Contemporary organizations are facing an operating environment characterized by volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous, and “permanent whitewater.” To sustain high performance in this context, organizations must be able to change and develop as efficiently and effectively as possible. Within organizations, there are actors who catalyze and advance change in this manner; these actors are known as “champions.” Yet the scholar who wishes to conduct research concerning champions of change and organizational development is likely to be met by a highly fragmented literature. Varying notions of champions are scattered throughout extant research, where authors of articles cite different sources when conceptualizing champions; often superficially. Furthermore, many types of highly specific and nuanced non-generalizable champions have proliferated, making it difficult for practitioners and researchers to discover useful findings on how to go about making meaningful changes in their context. The purpose of this study was to address these problems for practitioners and researchers by engendering thoroughness, clarity, and coherence within champion scholarship. This was done by conducting the first comprehensive, critical yet insightful review of the champion literature within the organizational sciences using content analysis to re-conceptualize champions and develop a meaningful typology from which the field can be advanced. The chapter first suggests a return to Schön (1963) as the basis from which to conceptualize champions and, second, offers a typology consisting of 10 meta-champions of organizational change and development – Collaboration, Human Rights, Innovation, Product, Project, Service, Strategic, Sustainability, Technology, and Venture Champions – from which change practice and future research can benefit.

Abstract

In the context of organizational change, identifying, and organizing the various roles of change agents remains a challenge for practitioners and scholars alike. This chapter examines how different agents can enable an effective change process. Empirical evidence from three hospitals illustrates the process of transformation and its underlying arrangements to identify agents and their roles. The findings underline the importance of designing a coherent system of agents, determining where they come from, their role during the process, and how this may change throughout the change process. Managerial choices in the cases are discussed, leading to implications for theory and practice.

Abstract

The authors discuss a large system transformation project they designed and implemented in Slovenia at the start of its independence in the early 1990s. Post-mortem insights are useful for practitioners who embark on similarly broad transformation processes. Design issues are discussed such as structuring the pre-contracting phase to guarantee inclusive stakeholder representation and participation throughout the transformation process and how intervention design needs to allow for experimentation and multi-stakeholder alliance building. Application of action research and action learning in a risk-averse environment typical of central governments helped create a sense of ownership, control, and collective accountability in the partner country.

Abstract

Since the late 1980s we’ve been inspired by feminist theorizing to interrogate our field of organization studies, looking critically at the questions it asks, at the underlying premises of the theories allowing for such questions, and by articulating alternative premises as a way of suggesting other theories and thus other questions the field may need to ask. In so doing, our collaborative work has applied insights from feminist theorizing and cultural studies to topics such as leadership, entrepreneurship, globalization, business ethics, issues of work and family, and more recently to sustainability. This text is a retrospective on our attempts at intervening in our field, where we sought to make it more fundamentally responsive to problems in the world we live in and, from this reflective position, considering how and why our field’s conventional theories and practices – despite good intentions – may be unable to do so.

Cover of Research in Organizational Change and Development
DOI
10.1108/S0897-3016201826
Publication date
2018-08-10
Book series
Research in Organizational Change and Development
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-78756-352-0
eISBN
978-1-78756-351-3
Book series ISSN
0897-3016