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Dialogic Organization Development

How do Organizations 'develop' ?Gervase Bushe & Robert Marshak, Eds., (2015).  Dialogic Organization Development . The Theory and Practice of Transformational Change. Berrett-Koehler

In change management and OD we traditionally approached issues with a 'diagnostic' mindset, meaning that a consultant diagnoses the organization, defines the problem and then proposes solutions and processes to implement those solutions.  That supposes that there is something as an 'objectif problem' and that you can 'plug in' a solution or methodology. But you can also approach change in organizations with a 'dialogic mindset' as an alternative for 'planned change'. The idea is that shared ambition, organizational practices and solutions for issues emerge from the qualitative dialogue between all stakeholders.  And the consultant is facilitating that dialogue and supporting the process in which those stakeholders engage in that meaningful dialogue. "Dialogic Organization Development is a compelling alternative to the classical action research approach to planned change. Organizations are seen as fluid, socially constructed realities that are continuously created through conversations and images—change happens when those conversations and images change. Leaders and consultants can help foster, support, or accelerate the emergence of transformational possibilities by encouraging disruptions to taken-for-granted ways of thinking and acting and the use of generative images to stimulate new organizational conversations and narratives. Dialogic OD is a different mindset, but it’s also the previously unrecognized underpinning of a diverse array of change methods, such as Appreciative Inquiry, the Art of Convening, Open Space Technology, and many more". (from Editor's Website)


Dialogic OD

In this edition of the OD Practitioner, Gervase Bushe and Robert Marshak, together with a number of renouned OD practitioners draw a status of our current thinking in OD and more particularely the evolution of a DIAGNOSTIC towards a DIALOGIC approach.  That dobushe-marshakesn't mean that gathering data, or analysing issues suddenly became 'not done' anymore, but that we realize that it's not an objective analysis done by a team of experts or consultants but that it is the result of 'meaning-making' and the relational practice of all those involved in the organization.  Not an OD consultant, not a management team, but the whole social system of the organization is involved in meaning-making and creating the future functioning of that organization as a relational system.  Appreciative Inquiry is one of the possible methodologies used in Dialogic OD together with Large Group Interventions such as Open Space and Future Search.

Source : Gervase Bushe & Robert Marshak (eds.), (2013).  Advances in Dialogic OD.  OD Practitioner. Journal of the Organization Development Network. Vol. 45, n° 1.

A few more articles on the concept of Dialogic OD are listed below :diagnostic dialogic od




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