The nature of contemporary Organisation Development (OD) is often written about by both scholars and practitioners, yet there is little evidence of these descriptions (or debates on key issues) having been based on reliably collected data. This book compares academic and practitioner perspectives on the profession of OD in the UK and how it has evolved over four decades. The research which informs this book was designed to investigate similarities and differences in the perspectives between these two communities. Where practitioners and academics views varied in the data, reasons for this are explored in this book, through the theory lens of Institutionalism, Fashions, Fads and the Dissemination of Management Ideas.
The empirical data in how OD has evolved in the UK in the underpinning research to this text was gathered through content analysis of job advertisements from over a four-decade period. This provided information on changes in the magnitude in the take up of the profession in the UK as well as significant developments in the content of the job roles over the period.
It will not come as a surprise to find that American thinking dominates in OD as it does in many other domains of management. What is a surprise is the extent to which OD practice in the UK is so very different from what the academics tell us it is.
This book also identifies the extent to which institutional theory is at play in the development of professions; with agency is a driver in shaping professions. This manifests itself in terms of the perceived interests of what will give leverage for success in practitioner and academic careers.
The Nature of Contemporary Organization Development is key reading for researchers, scholars an practitioners alike of Organizational change and development, organizational studies, management philosophy and related disciplines