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Practicing Organization Development: Leading Transformation and Change, 4th Edition by Roland L. Sullivan, Jacqueline M. Stavros, William J. Rothwell

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Chapter ElevenEvaluating Organizational Transformation

A Situational Approach

Steve H. Cady and Sheryl A. Milz

How does one evaluate organizational change, particularly when the change is transformative in nature? Within the field of organization development (OD), change initiatives are considered intentional interventions, which may be proactive or reactive, and can come in a variety of forms: training sessions, social programs, policy creation, projects or initiatives, strategic planning, organizational redesign or restructuring, cost-cutting programs, new product development, succession planning, implementing or upgrading technology, and more. When considering what's at stake with undertaking a change initiative, a question you will often hear from leaders, participants, and observers is, “Was the initiative worth the resources, the time, and money expended?” Another question often raised is, “Did it work and how do you know?” (Cady, Auger, and Foxon 2010).

In this chapter, we provide you with a way to navigate the myriad evaluation tools and choose the best combination for assessing the effectiveness of OD interventions from small-scale incremental change to large-scale transformation. The reason we address the full spectrum from small to large is that all change initiatives are comprised of a series of interventions woven together into a comprehensive whole. The chapter begins with a review of organizational change. Then, the paradox of competing demands is discussed. Finally, ...

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