14. Organization Development and the Future

With the publication of this third edition of our book devoted to an explanation and examination of a field that is now some 56 years of age, organization development (OD) is well beyond adolescence. Considering all of the criticism thrown at OD regarding its relevance, squishiness, growing departure from its scholarly and value-based roots, and lack of innovation in recent times (Burke, 2011a), it is a wonder that the field remains in existence. For example, in the book coedited by Bradford and Burke (2005), a critique of OD, a chapter by Jerry Harvey is entitled “The Future of OD, or Why Don’t They Take the Tubes Out of Grandma?” Grandma seems to have survived. And there are now grandchildren active ...

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