What Makes Z, Od? Dissertation


Dr . David W. Jamieson

Organization development (OD) is far more than 50 years old. In answer to existing organizational values-in-operation that were somewhat a function of the times, Z offered a much more holistic watch of people and organizations, with an focus on humanistic and democratic principles, and the belief that this different perspective had not been only better for people, but in addition for organization efficiency. Prior to Ww ii, organizations commonly operated in principles of mechanistic and bureaucratic systems, including authority-obedience, division of labor, hierarchical oversight, formalized techniques and guidelines, and impersonality (and various still do! ). But following the war, increasing interest in cultural change, perceptions about democracy, and self-actualization, brought forwards distinctly different values that had been a counter-force to extant organizational points of views. French and Bell's (1999) history of Z stated, " We think most organization advancement practitioners organised these humanistic and democratic values with their implications several and ‘better' ways to manage organizations and deal with people. ” [italics added]

As being a social and organization change movement, Z was carefully associated with practice, from its start. For example , the action exploration methodology (as created by simply Lewin (1948) was associated with real-world problems and the application of group process knowledge to address contemporary concerns. The earliest beliefs, philosophy, and methods of practice were motivated by findings from the behavioral sciences and leading managing researchers. For example , OD transform methodologies had been clearly influenced by

• early leadership work that brought capacity to participative and democratic methods (Follett 1941, Lewin and Lippitt, 1938; Likert, 1961, Tannenbaum and Schmidt, 1973)

• early human relationships work that highlighted the primacy of social elements attitudes, and feelings in organization habit, influencing efficiency and well-being (Maya, 1945, Roethlisberger and Dickson, 1939; Homans, 1950)

• early work with group mechanics and lab training getting attention to group behavior, sociable relations, and self-awareness (Bradford, Gibb, and Benne, 1964; Cartwright and Zander, 1954; Bennis and Shepard, 1956, Schein and Bennis; 1965)

• changing views of the person, determination, and interpersonal communication (Rogers, 1961; Maslow, 1954; Argyris, 1965; McGregor, 1960)

• early on work on surroundings, structures, and systems helping bring design and style and method into the picture (Trist and Bamforth, 51; Burns and Stalker, 61, Lawrence and Lorsch, 1967; Katz and Kahn, 1966)

Over the years, Z has had a number of definitions and conceptualizations (Jamieson and Worley, 2006), but most share the same commonalities and only seem to differ for the scope of change objectives and the best intention of change.

Such as most spotlight:

• a planned process intended to result in change

• through the use of different interventions

• using behavioral science understanding (theory, study, technology) • having an organization or system-wide focus

• typically including a third-party change agent

And most believe a certain value base, often without indicating the values. Ironically, many lists of OD principles captured within the last 50 years have got a high amount of commonality (Jamieson and Gellermann, 2005).

The sole differences occur in: a) the language used around the breadth of targets (behavioral and cultural processes, group and intergroup, organization procedures, alignment amongst strategy, framework, culture, systems and people, etc) and b) the change intention (improved organization functionality, effectiveness, potential, learning/development or all of these).

The commonalities reflect the shared worldview of creators and early pioneers. The differences reflect the evolution of the...

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