Evidence-Based Organizational Change and Development: Organizational Understanding, Analysis, and Evaluation

Evidence-Based Organizational Change and Development: Organizational Understanding, Analysis, and Evaluation

Robert G. Hamlin (University of Wolverhampton, UK) and Darlene F. Russ-Eft (Oregon State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6155-2.ch002


The chapter first provides an overview of “best practice” and conventional “received wisdom” relating to OCD and emphasizes the importance of adopting more evidence-based approaches to develop in-depth understanding of the organization prior to planning and instigating an OCD initiative. The authors then discuss a range of historical and contemporary theoretical perspectives for analyzing and making sense of the interacting relationships between an organization's structure, function, and culture, and of the complexities, contradictions, and paradoxes of organizational life. Additionally, they identify various approaches, tools, techniques, and desirable attributes, competencies, and political skills for developing and evaluating the effectiveness of EBOCD strategies and change agency practice.
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The Challenge For Ebocd Practitioners

As already implied, this chapter aims to emphasize for line managers, and for those various stakeholders such as colleague HRD professional practitioners, external OD professionals, management consultants, and/or executive coaches who support them in their role as change leader or change agent, that the quality of their decisions concerning the effective management of change will increasingly be of crucial importance within the context of rapidly changing organizational environments. We suggest that a fuller understanding of their role as change agents requires them to adopt a stance, if they have not already done so, which can be best understood as that of the ‘critically reflective, research-informed/evidence-based practitioner' (see Hamlin, 2002: 2007). This means becoming familiar with or extending their knowledge of current theory and research concerning strategic thinking, organizational change, organization development and the role of the evidence-based change agent, and then using their understanding to inform and subsequently critically reflect upon and evaluate their change agency practice (Hamlin, 2016; Hamlin & Davies, 2001).

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