CHAPTER 31

The Postmodern Turn in OD

Gervase Bushe and Robert J. Marshak

RECENT YEARS have witnessed an emerging set of OD practices based on premises that are different from key assumptions of the founders. In this article we want to identify this new form of OD and bring the underlying assumptions into the mainstream of theory and practice.

Different Forms of OD

Many of the premises underlying the original or classical formulation of OD are based in modernist science. Classical OD assumes that a team or organization can be studied using empirical methods before intervening. Starting with Lewin the commitment to scientific inquiry may well be why OD is one of the few fields of consulting practice to also be recognized as a scholarly discipline. ...

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