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Organization 21C: Someday All Organizations Will Lead This Way by Subir Chowdhury

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Jack Welch Fathers the Rebirth of OD

Rebirth Phase (1980s to Present)

In the 1980s, Jack Welch, chairman and CEO of General Electric, fathered the rebirth of OD. How could this statement be true? After all, at the time Welch was known in the press by some as “Neutron Jack,” after having laid off thousands of GE employees. He certainly had never read any OD books as a business leader and certainly not in the course of his PhD study in chemical engineering. Nonetheless, we argue that OD has finally found its place in the mainstream leadership of leading companies because of a series of steps Welch began in the 1980s, and that have since been emulated by other organizations around the world. Through a series of social innovations, Welch was able ...

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