Gervase R. Bushe and co-authour Robert J. Marshak of American University, Washington DC, have had their paper “Revisioning Organization Development: Diagnostic and Dialogic Premises and Patterns of Practice” accepted for publication in the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science. In this provocative paper, they argue that organization development (OD) has undergone a shift in practice that is under-recognized by academics and practitioners, and develop an outline for a new theory and practice of “Dialogic OD”. Richard Woodman, editor of the journal, said “I … think (your paper) represents a significant contribution to the literature. The ‘diagnostic and dialogic’ dichotomy could well become ingrained in the change literature.” Commentaries on the article from leading organizational change scholars have been invited and will be co-published with the article.
“Revisioning Organization Development” identifies a bifurcation in the practice of OD that is not fully acknowledged or discussed in OD textbooks or journal articles; forms of organization development practice that do not adhere to key assumptions and prescriptions; “dialogical” forms of organization development practice are described; contrasts and similarities with the original, “diagnostic”, form of OD are analyzed. Practices that define dialogical forms of OD are identified with a call for increased acknowledgment of this bifurcation in OD research, practice and teaching.
The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, established in 1964, is widely recognized as the leading scholarly journal in the field of organization development. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science was founded on the compelling observation that human beings and social systems undergo planned and unplanned change. Recognizing that individuals and groups may differ in how they create and evaluate change, the journal contributes to the body of knowledge about both change processes and outcomes.