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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 Thirty-Two

The Future of Organization Development, Transformation, and Change

Allan H. Church, Amanda C. Shull, and W. Warner Burke

What is the future of organization development (OD)? What factors and trends are influencing and will influence the evolution of the field for the next 10 to 20 years? As scientist-practitioners, we intend to look to the data. One of the most fundamental principles and differentiators of OD is its emphasis on using data through action research as a catalyst for individual and large-scale change. Whether data are at the individual (micro), group (meso), or organization (macro) level, the basic premise is the same. Although the paradigm continues to evolve with the concept of dialogic OD in the prior chapter (e.g., Bushe and Marshak 2009), at its core, OD is about using data to (a) create a felt need for change through self-awareness and facilitated learning, (b) develop a collaborative diagnosis of the prevailing and underlying issues, and (c) determine and enact an intervention set with full organizational engagement intended to achieve a desired future state (Burke 2011; Shani and Coghlan 2014; Waclawski and Church 2002).

This chapter applies this same logic to the future of the field. Specifically, we will highlight five key themes which have both immediate and long-term implications for the science and practice of OD. These themes are based on several sources including data from a 2012 survey collected with over 400 OD practitioners ...

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