The Nature of Contemporary Organization Development  book cover
1st Edition

The Nature of Contemporary Organization Development

ISBN 9780367734480
Published December 18, 2020 by Routledge
186 Pages

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Book Description

The nature of contemporary Organisation Development (OD) is often written about by both scholars and practitioners, yet there is little evidence of these descriptions (or debates on key issues) having been based on reliably collected data. This book compares academic and practitioner perspectives on the profession of OD in the UK and how it has evolved over four decades. The research which informs this book was designed to investigate similarities and differences in the perspectives between these two communities. Where practitioners and academics views varied in the data, reasons for this are explored in this book, through the theory lens of Institutionalism, Fashions, Fads and the Dissemination of Management Ideas.

The empirical data in how OD has evolved in the UK in the underpinning research to this text was gathered through content analysis of job advertisements from over a four-decade period. This provided information on changes in the magnitude in the take up of the profession in the UK as well as significant developments in the content of the job roles over the period.

It will not come as a surprise to find that American thinking dominates in OD as it does in many other domains of management. What is a surprise is the extent to which OD practice in the UK is so very different from what the academics tell us it is.

This book also identifies the extent to which institutional theory is at play in the development of professions; with agency is a driver in shaping professions. This manifests itself in terms of the perceived interests of what will give leverage for success in practitioner and academic careers.

The Nature of Contemporary Organization Development is key reading for researchers, scholars an practitioners alike of Organizational change and development, organizational studies, management philosophy and related disciplines

Table of Contents

List of Tables


What Exactly is Organization Development?


Chapter 1: The Beginnings of a Puzzle

Chapter 2: Academic Perspectives of Od

Chapter 3: Evidence on The Nature of Practitioner Od

Chapter 4: The Evolution of Published Work on Od

Chapter 5: Subject Expert Views

Chapter 6: Comparing the Literature on Od with The Evidence

Chapter 7: A Puzzle Solved but Not Resolved



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Anne Clare Gillon is a Senior Lecturer in Management at the University of the West of Scotland, a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD and a Senior Fellow of the HEA. Prior to her academic career, she worked at a senior level in HR roles in the private and public sector. Anne Clare has held several active roles in the British Academy of Management (BAM), including as a member of the BAM Council and as a Vice Chair of The Academy.