Professor Cliff Oswick (Chair of THIR) presented recently at one our Food for Thought lunchtime talks on the changing forms of Organisational Development.
The field of Organisation Development (OD) is clearly evolved and developed over the years. The proposed talk considers the changing nature of OD and distinguish between: traditional OD (i.e. diagnostic approaches); contemporary OD (i.e. dialogic approaches); and, emerging OD (i.e. post-dialogic approaches). It is posited that the very latest strands of OD activity are radically different to earlier incarnations in terms of style, focus and content. They are less structured and hierarchical and more ‘networked’ and ‘bottom-up’ in orientation. Moreover, and unlike diagnostic OD (which focuses on a ‘punctuated past’) or dialogic OD (which focuses on a relatively ‘predictable future’), emerging forms of OD tend to ‘unfold-in-the-present’. And, as such, they are far more dynamic in nature (i.e. emerging via spontaneous, unpredictable and improvised forms of talk and action that develop in real-time).
The session concluded with a discussion of the implications for management, organisations and society-as-a-whole, of a wave of radically different forms of OD intervention.
Recording of the talk
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Professor Cliff Oswick is a Professor in Organisational Behaviour at Cass Business School, City University of London. He is also chair of the board of trustees at the THIR.
‘Dialogic OD and Beyond: Towards New Forms of Organisational Change’ was presented by Professor Cliff Oswick as part of the Tavistock Institute’s Food For Thought series.