Research in Organizational Change and Development: Volume 28

Cover of Research in Organizational Change and Development
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Table of contents

(10 chapters)

Prelims

Pages i-xii
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Abstract

Organization development is often mourned as stagnant or perhaps dead, but most of these declarations seem to be insular, being supported primarily by anecdotal or survey research among organization development scholars and practitioners. This exploratory study seeks a more objective understanding of the state of organization development by examining big data from the social media platform Twitter. Drawn from over 5.7 million tweets extracted through Twitter's Application Program Interface (API) during 2 months in 2018, this research approaches the state of organization development through a quantitative, abductive study utilizing social network analyses. Organization development is examined through its characteristics as a social network on Twitter and how it relates to and interacts with other familial networks from management and organization studies. Findings show that organization development is relatively inactive as a social network on Twitter, as compared to other familial networks, and the relationships between the organization development network and these familial networks tend to be ones of inequality. Organization development references familial networks much more than any of the familial networks reference organization development. This inequality in social media presence is particularly surprising since several of these familial networks were founded from the field and principles of organization development. We locate organization development's generalist status, as compared to familial networks' specialist status, as generating this interaction disparity drawing on recent research that suggests specialized fields fare better in times of rapid change compared to generalist fields. We discuss the potential for greater specialization of organization development with a reemphasis on its process philosophy and focus.

Abstract

Despite the breadth of knowledge on self and identity formation across the study of organizations, the field of organizational development and change has limited research on the construction of professional identity. Much has been written to describe the “self-concepts” of those practicing and researching in the field, but there have been no investigations that have explored how these “self-concepts” form. In addition, although women have contributed to defining the “self” in the field, men have held the dominant perspective on the subject. Thus, in this chapter, we address a disparity in the research by exploring the construction of professional identity in the field of organizational development and change, and we give voice to the renowned women who helped to build the field. Using the profiles of 17 American women included in The Palgrave Handbook of Organizational Change Thinkers, we perform a narrative analysis based upon the concepts and models prevalent in the literature on identity formation. By disentangling professional identity formation of the notable women in the field, we can begin to see the nuance and particularities involved in its construction and gain deeper understandings about effective ways to prepare individuals to work in and advance the field.

Abstract

With increasingly precarious work contracts, more remote work, and additional flexibility in the timing of the workday, the new world of work is creating both relational opportunities and relational challenges for modern workers. In this chapter, we pair recent research on human thriving with trends we observe in organizations' efforts to create and maintain a sense of community. Key in these efforts is a new kind of built environment – the coworking space – which brings together remote and independent workers and, increasingly, traditional employees as well. We show that in curating community, or perhaps even the possibility of community, coworking spaces may support the interpersonal learning and vitality that help workers to thrive.

Abstract

Many attempts to integrate technology in Swedish schools have been initiated over the past 30 years with varying success. Although the use of digital tools has increased along with a general technology development, schools have mainly been using IT in administrative support activities. In recent years, school system reforms and developments in the educational technology sector have both required and enabled schools to digitalize. In this chapter, we follow the implementation of two technologies in a benchmark school in order to understand how technology integration is achieved. We suggest four types of embeddedness resulting from different types of activities that are subject to technology integration, as well as the social and material conditions that guide convergence during the postimplementation phase.

Abstract

This chapter explores the phenomenon of organizational resilience. A comprehensive model was advanced and tested while utilizing a quantitative study conducted in the education system in Israel with 98 schools, involving 1,132 educators. Statistical analysis based on structural equation modeling revealed significant relationships between three antecedents (social capital, team empowerment, goal interdependence) and organizational resilience. In addition, a positive significant relationship was found between organizational resilience and organizational functioning in crisis. Organizational resilience was found to be a mediator between three of the antecedents (social capital, team empowerment, goal interdependence) and organizational functioning in crisis. Furthermore, organizational functioning in crisis was found to mediate the relationship between organizational resilience and organizational innovation. Implications for policymakers, managers, and change leaders in organizations are discussed.

Abstract

We have been working together as husband and wife, as management professor and management consultant, and as coauthors for over 30 years. During that time, we have tailored an operations research–based approach to represent the functional infrastructure of organizations as networks of agreements for the transfer of deliverables, e.g., products, services, and communications, which connect internal organizational units and also their external relations. The network model is useful to understand organizations, support organization change, and develop management practices that improve efficiency, teamwork, and effectiveness. Throughout the application of this approach, we have observed often that “management is missing,” in organizations in general and in organization change management in particular, where managers and change agents may underestimate or fail to recognize the productive relationships at the foundation of performance in organizations, that these relationships are different from authority or social/affinity relationships, and that they require management. In this chapter, we distinguish the network approach that is fundamental to our work and the “missing” elements of management that are recognizable by using that approach. We then examine how “management is missing” in change management and how it might be restored.

Abstract

The literature on organizational change has long acknowledged the need to balance stability and economic efficiency with the need to be flexible and to change. Authors, certainly in the dynamic capabilities tradition but also in other perspectives, have stressed the importance of more open and loosely coupled systems to promote adaption. However, many organizations do not operate on such premises but rather rely on creating efficient business units through tight coupling, building strict social and administrative control, and jointly relying on common systems. In this study, we conduct 46 interviews with employees from three different retail organizations to investigate how units in such tightly coupled systems change within the framework of the set standards. Through contrasting the characteristics of high and low functioning units, we identify three mechanisms that seem to enable the units to successfully and repeatedly realign and establish new configurations. We conclude that the orchestrator of all three realignment mechanisms is the middle manager, and we discuss the middle manager's role and the different activities that enable a successful realignment.

Abstract

The field of organization development is about change and development of organizational systems. One of the major barriers to system change is organizational silence, the fear of lower level to speak truth to power, and senior leaders' reluctance to seek the truth. Consequently, senior leaders whose role is to orchestrate strategic change that will develop the organization's capabilities do not know the whole truth about their system's capabilities to achieve its purpose and strategy and live to its values. Thirty years of enabling leaders to transform their organization through safe honest, collective, and internally public conversations using a structured process called the Strategic Fitness Process (SFP) has led to insights about why such conversations are powerfully transformative. After a brief description of the SFP, this chapter describes insights and supporting grounded data about why honest conversations were transformative when leaders fully embrace the practice and spirit of SFP. These insights were gained from facilitating and observing hundreds of honest conversations in progress. The findings have implications for how leaders aided by consultants can accelerate strategic change that will improve effectiveness and performance while simultaneously transforming trust and commitment.

Content available
Cover of Research in Organizational Change and Development
DOI
10.1108/S0897-3016202028
Publication date
2020-07-31
Book series
Research in Organizational Change and Development
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-83909-084-4
eISBN
978-1-83909-083-7
Book series ISSN
0897-3016