• Maxim Ugleholdt
4. term, Psychology, Master (Master Programme)
Abstract Organizational Development (OD) is a field of research, theory and practice. It is a field of many branches, approaches and attitutes with various rationales on what it means to help when dealing with organizational change. As a field of applied academic study, OD has since its inception been challenged and on its rigour and relevance. Since its ideological Lewinian roots it has also come a long way. The ambition in this project is two-fold. First, I examine the discipline by reviewing the avaiable research and history reviews, articles and handbooks driven by the ambition to uncover the major patterns in the transition of the field through the last 55 plus years. In a search for the sifnificant patterns, I dwell on the foundation and rationale, the uncovering of the promise of OD’s contribution and the reality of the field through the years until now. I examine the justifications for why OD may be applied and how the different scholars have legitimized the application of OD. I track the major discussions, controversies and arguments within and without OD concerning the driving forces, scientific base, interests, power, values and ethics. At last, I examine the current status of OD now. These insights provide the theoretical foundation for examining one of the currently applied OD approaches - process consultancy (PC). As a helping philosophy and role, an expertise and intervention PC might need examining. Since 1979 (Kaplan) challenged on its scientific foundation and remains to be questioned on its effectiveness (Cummings & Worley, 2014). At the same time it is widely applied by management consultants, taught at universities and written about in handbooks. Major ressources are being poured into a field, which very well may lack academic rigor. By asking experienced management consultants, who apply PC in their professional work, I endeavour to have a look into this approach. In five qualitative semi-structured interviews with vignettes, I research the rationale and justification of the practitioners for applying the approach. Furthermore, I delve into the challenges and pitfalls, and inquire about the interest, values, conflicts and ethics in PC. In doing the above, I most of all hope to strengthen the foundation of practical and rigorous knowledge about PC for students, academics, consultants, managers and all those who are interested in Organizational Development.
Publication date3 Jun 2015
Number of pages79
ID: 213578362