chapter  3
32 Pages

After Lewin, after modernism: rethinking change agency

The idea of ‘change agency’ within the organizational development (OD) and action research traditions has its origins in the pioneering work of Kurt Lewin (1890-1947), the polymorphous founding father of experimental social psychology and small group research (1946, 1947, 1951). It was Lewin who first strongly advocated a new activist agenda for the researcher as a facilitator or consultant of group processes of rational persuasion and reflective practice, although the idea has gone through numerous transmutations within the various traditions of organizational development, action research and management consultancy practice (Tichy 1974; Armenakis and Bedeian 1999; Fincham 2001; Reason and Bradbury 2001; Kipping and Engwell 2002).