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
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
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: