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Student Centre Canadian Organizational Behaviour
Fourth Edition
Steven L. McShane

Student Centre

Chapter 15: Organizational Change and Development

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    Key Terms and Glossary

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    Action research: A data-based, problem-oriented process that diagnoses the need for change, introduces the OD intervention, and then evaluates and stabilizes the desired changes.

    Appreciative inquiry: An organization development intervention that directs the group's attention away from its own problems and focuses participants on the group's potential and positive elements.

    Change agent: A person who possesses enough knowledge and power to guide and facilitate the change effort.

    Dialogue: A process of conversation among team members in which they learn about each other's mental models and assumptions, and eventually form a common model for thinking within the team.

    Force field analysis: A model that helps change agents diagnose the forces that drive and restrain proposed organizational change.

    Incremental change: An evolutionary approach to change in which existing organizational conditions are fine-tuned and small steps are taken towards the change effort's objectives.

    Organization development (OD): A planned system-wide effort, managed from the top with the assistance of a change agent, that uses behavioural science knowledge to improve organizational effectiveness.

    Parallel learning structures: Highly participative social structures constructed alongside (i.e., parallel to) the formal organization with the purpose of increasing the organization's learning.

    Process consultation: A method of helping the organization solve its own problems by making it aware of organizational processes, the consequences of those processes, and the means by which they can be changed.

    Quantum change: A revolutionary approach to change in which the organization breaks out of its existing ways and moves towards a totally different configuration of systems and structures.

    Refreezing: The latter part of the change process in which systems and conditions are introduced that reinforce and maintain the desired behaviours.

    Search conferences: Large group sessions, usually lasting a few days, in which participants identify environmental trends and establish strategic solutions for those conditions.

    Sensitivity training: An unstructured and agendaless session in which participants become more aware through their interactions of how they affect others and how others affect them.

    Transformational leaders: Individuals who form a vision of the desired future state, communicate that vision in ways that are meaningful to others, behave in ways that are consistent with the vision, and build commitment to the vision.

    Unfreezing: The first part of the change process whereby the change agent produces a disequilibrium between the driving and restraining forces.


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