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The past, present and future of organization development:taking the long view

Burnes, Bernard and Cooke, Bill (2012) The past, present and future of organization development:taking the long view. Human Relations, 65 (11). pp. 1395-1429. ISSN 0018-7267

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Abstract

Organization development has been, and arguably still is, the major approach to organizational change across the Western world, and increasingly globally. Despite this, there appears to be a great deal of confusion as to its origins, nature, purpose and durability. This article reviews the ‘long’ history of organization development from its origins in the work of Kurt Lewin in the late 1930s to its current state and future prospects. It chronicles and analyses the major stages, disjunctures and controversies in its history and allows these to be seen in a wider context. The article closes by arguing that, although organization development remains the dominant approach to organizational change, there are significant issues that it must address if it is to achieve the ambitious and progressive social and organizational aims of its founders.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Human Relations
Uncontrolled Keywords: organization development ; social change ; management history ; future of management ; rigor-relevance debate ; ethical values ; Kurt Lewin ; T-groups
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Departments: Lancaster University Management School > Organisation, Work & Technology
ID Code: 56161
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 17 Jul 2012 16:37
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2014 09:12
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/56161

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