This paper seeks to critically examine the principles, mechanisms, and critical success factors of developmental peer review as a way to promote reflection and change in…
This paper seeks to critically examine the principles, mechanisms, and critical success factors of developmental peer review as a way to promote reflection and change in organizations.
This paper calls developmental peer review the structured, managed, and collaborative process whereby reputable others are invited into an organisation to provide feedback and offer guidance on organisational change and improvement. In the paper, the authors use the example of developmental peer review in UK local government both to foreground some of the distinctive aspects of the methodology and to identify some of its critical conditions of use.
The paper argues that this type of initiative often co‐exists with a more judgemental inspection‐oriented double. The institutional framework that surrounds developmental peer review makes it therefore both a powerful and delicate tool. There is a need in this initiative to maintain a dynamic balance to avoid either coercion or collusion in review.
In order to achieve its potential, peer review needs to be clearly framed and constructed as a developmental initiative. In the paper, a number of suggestions of how to do so are offered. If doubts exist on the nature of the exercise, it is likely that people will interpret it as a form of inspection and react defensively, reducing its capacity to trigger learning and transformation.
This paper advances knowledge and understanding about developmental peer review, by drawing on the relevant literature and also analysing a prevalent form of such review in current use in local government organizations in England and Wales.
The purpose of this paper is to introduce the special issue, positioning the articles in relation to the current “turn to practice” within organisation and management studies.
The paper introduces a schematic classification of ways of putting practice at the centre of the concern of social scientists depending on the interest of the researcher and his/her position with regard to the object of the research.
The paper finds that turning to practice does not necessarily, or simply, equate with becoming more engaged, or with making social science relevant, or with moving social science closer to the practical concerns of separate practitioners. It is argued that the effort should be concentrated on developing a type of theory that helps practitioners articulate what they already do, and therefore somehow know. The model for this way of theorising would therefore be not physics or astronomy but rather grammar – a discipline that although just as old, has been based traditionally on a very different relationship between knower and known.
The paper argues that when conceived after a grammatical model, “theory” may become a resource to be used in action and for action to produce emancipatory awareness and trigger change through critical reflection.
The papers in this special issue constitute an initial contribution in this direction as they indicate different ways in which theory, when developed “with” and “amid” and not “for” or even “about” practitioners, may become a powerful trigger of change and transformation.