Change narratives in the context of organization development


The relentless push for change in organizations has resulted in new kind of research on development and consultancy in recent years.

This research is based on my work as an organization consultant dealing with development processes. It belongs to the tradition of action research. On the one hand I will interpret and make transparent the "unofficial work talk", which is the part that often remains unacknowledged, even if it crucially influences organizational identity building and change. Parallel I will illustrate a consultancy approach that acknowledges the unofficial organization, and is based upon process consultation, social constructionism, narrativeness and philosophical hermeneutics.

The research material is collected from organizational development processes in Finland and Hungary. The material consists of video tapings from trainings and coaching-sessions, ethnography, researcher-consultants learning diary and interviews of participants.

The aim of the analysis is not to generate a "typical" story, but rather to focus on the richness of individual change stories. Marginal stories challenge the descriptions of management-books about change implementation, change resistance and change management. By re-evaluating these terms there will be implications for alternative ways of working in development and leadership/management.

The results of the study should be in use in 2009.