'Planets aligning' and 'lightbulb moments': a realist evaluation of how OD interventions do and do not work

Crawford-Docherty, Anne (2015). 'Planets aligning' and 'lightbulb moments': a realist evaluation of how OD interventions do and do not work. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Organisational development claims to improve an organisation’s functioning through enhancing its members’ performance. OD achieves this through deploying talk and text to trigger ideational change and so produce new sense-making and behaviours in organisational members. This thesis makes this explicit through a realist evaluation of three cases of OD practice.

OD literature highlights inconsistent outcomes, failure to produce transformational change and an absence of studies exploring the means by which interventions actually succeed or fail to produce change. Although the influence of context is regarded as a source of explanation for these shortcomings, OD has not resolved the issue of how to theorise and integrate it into practice. This thesis addresses these shortcomings through the proposal of an alternative theory of change upon which the field’s theory and practice could be based. Neo-Durkheimian institutional theory articulates an inter-relationship between ideation and institution. It points to ways of developing culturally-specific OD practice. It provides an explanation for the need for different interventions for transformational and transactional change, and for the success of OD interventions within different cultural forms. NDIT’s potential contribution to a richer understanding and explanation of OD is highlighted through an NDIT-driven realist evaluation of three OD cases.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Medical & Dental Sciences
School or Department: Health Services Management Centre
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/6271


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