Organization Development and Society: Theory and Practice of Organization Development Consulting, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Organization Development and Society

Theory and Practice of Organization Development Consulting, 1st Edition

By Baruch Shimoni


128 pages

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pub: 2019-03-19
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Organization Development and Society: Theory and Practice of Organization Development Consulting offers a new approach for the practice of organization development (OD). The new approach, a habitus oriented OD (HOOD), sees consultees' thinking and behavior a result of habitus, a cognitive structure developed historically in endless interactions between human behavior and social structures. HOOD has two goals:

The first goal is to redefine the objectives of individually oriented OD. The focus on habitus and social structure allows individually oriented OD scholars and practitioners to keep their subjective approach, which searches for consultees' inner world. However, this subjectivity searches not only for consultees' psychological but their social dispositions. It views the individual level, the habitus, as a site of social dispositions that from within the individual consultees generate thoughts and behaviors in a way that closely corresponds with the organization's social structure; with power relations and social positions and with accepted metaphors and common language. The HOOD links the concept of habitus to the field of OD and in so doing provides an alternative way to incorporate the individual and the social in OD.

HOOD's second goal is to re/position OD between organizations and society and thus to produce a consulting practice that is both pragmatic and human. It is pragmatic since incorporation of habitus enables the consultant to liberate consultees' perspectives and behavior from the organization's social and structural hoops and to use these perspectives in processes of change and development. Considering the habitus as central to consulting projects is human since it enables consultants (and consultees) to identify the responsibility for organizational problems (and other phenomena) not only at the level of the individual but also at the level of the organization and the environment outside the organization.

Table of Contents

List of Tables


Chapter 1 Introduction

  • The book's argument
  • A first glance on the concept of habitus
  • The book's goals
  • The habitus-oriented OD (HOOD) as a helping profession
  • HOOD's dual perspective
  • Wedding of Organization Development (OD) and Critical Management Studies (CMS)
  • Who are the readers of the book?
  • What is not in the book?
  • A few words about methodology
  • The book's chapters

Chapter 2 A short Overview of the OD Field

  • 1940s-1950s: Kurt Lewin and OD's ideological, theoretical and practical foundations
  • 1960s: The psychologists' era and the individualistic orientation
  • 1970s-1980s: The structural orientation and the consultants' era
  • 1990s-2000s: The scholar-practitioners' era and the postmodern constructionist orientation
  • HOOD vs. Appreciative Inquiry and Dialogic OD

Chapter 3 Taking Bourdieu to Practice: Toward a Habitus-Oriented OD (HOOD)

  • Agent Structure theories and the need for the concept of habitus
  • Habitus as a site in which structure and practice meet
  • Notes on the epistemological roots of Bourdieu's theory of action
  • The self as a source of thinking and behavior
  • The habitus as a source of thinking and behavior
  • The hysteresis effect
  • Capital and position
  • Field
  • Strategies and the field's doxa
  • Symbolic violence
  • Social equilibrium and relational theory of practice

Chapter 4 Organization Development and Society

Individualism, blame and control

  • Managerialism
  • OD's humanistic values
  • OD's Managerialist perspective
  • Back to OD's big dilemma: Moral and effective consultancy

OD as a bridge between organizations and society

  • Macro emancipation
  • Micro emancipation


Chapter 5 HOOD and Resistance to Change (RTC)

  • The chapter's argument and goal
  • RTC and the individual
  • RTC and social context
  • RTC and social construction
  • Case study: Kimono
  • RTC and HOOD

Chapter 6 HOOD in Action

  • The chapter's argument and goal
  • Case study: the surgery department
  • HOOD: problem solving and change

Chapter 7 HOOD's Objectives in OD Change Processes

  • Habitus and social continuity
  • Habitus and social change
  • HOOD's objectives
  • HOOD in OD practices

Chapter 8 Concluding discussion

  • Overcoming the personal-social dichotomy
  • Moral and effective consulting
  • Criticizing managerialism is not anti-manager
  • HOOD as a bridge between organizations and society
  • Empowerment, emancipations and social structure
  • The skills required to operate in accordance with HOOD

Chapter 9 Summary and future research

  • Why habitus-oriented OD and not self-oriented OD?
  • Why habitus-oriented OD and not culture-oriented OD?
  • Criticism and the duty to offer an alternative practical approach
  • HOOD in other social fields
  • Future research

Author Biography


About the Author

Baruch Shimoni is a professor of sociology and organization development at Bar-Ilan University Israel. He has a Ph.D. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. During his Ph.D. studies, he spent a year (1999-2000) at Sloan School of Management at MIT. In the 2003-2005, he had a post-doctoral fellowship at the Department of Anthropology at Yale University. In the course of the last 25 years, he has developed a professional career that integrates academic research with practical consulting to organizations. His challenge has been to both enhance his practical engagement with the most current research and theoretical insights and to use this practical engagement for the development of theory in the OD field. In addition to research and teaching, he founded and now serves as the academic head of the M.A. program in Organization Development and consults with organizations outside the university. In his most recent research project, Professor Shimoni uses the concept of habitus to theoretically and practically understand and cope with processes of change and development. Specifically, he links the Bourdieuan concept of habitus to the field of OD and in so doing provides an alternative way to incorporate the individual and the social in OD.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Organizational Change & Development

It is often stated that some 70% of all change projects fail. Though this figure can be disputed, it is nevertheless clear that managing change is one of the most difficult tasks facing organizations today. In response to this, writers offer a wide range of theories and advice designed to aid managers and scholars in understanding and managing change, but which seem merely to overwhelm them with a profusion of competing and conflicting advice and approaches. In many respects, change is a field which epitomises the ‘rigor-relevance’ debate. We have many approaches to change which are built on sound research and robust theories, but which appear to lack relevance for managers. We also have a vast array of nostrums, practices and tools which managers use, but which appear to lack methodological or theoretical foundations.

The aim of this series is to cut through the confusion surrounding the study and practice of change by providing comprehensive and in-depth studies of existing and emerging approaches to change. The rationale for the series is that we cannot understand organizational change sufficiently nor implement it effectively unless we can evaluate the various approaches in terms of the evidence which underpins them, what they seek to achieve and how and where they can be applied. In particular, the series seeks to address, but is not limited to, the following questions:

  • What are the emerging themes in the field of organizational change?
  • Which theories and approaches to change have stood the test of time?
  • What are the key debates within the field?
  • How has the field been influenced by and incorporated newer approaches to organizational life, such as postmodernism, social constructionism, critical realism, and complexity theories?
  • What is the current status of OD (organization development)?
  • To what extent have countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and South America developed their own distinct approaches to change?
  • How are developments such as social media and virtual organizations affecting the way organizations perceive and carry out change?
  • Do successful organizations adopt different approaches to change than unsuccessful ones, or do they use the same approaches but more effectively?

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Organizational Behavior