Chapter Twenty-Seven

The Global Organization Development* Professional

Therese F. Yaeger and Peter F. Sorensen

A special issue confronting the field of organization development (OD) today is the phenomenon of globalization, as reflected in world markets in which corporations strategize, produce, and market across national boundaries. Countries that once seemed absent on the global stage now have a growing presence in the world of business. African countries and Southeast Asian countries now represent new ways the world does business (Sulamoyo 2012; Yeh 2011). But it is not just globalization in terms of business that is changing rapidly—the world is also changing in beliefs and ideologies, creating implications for peace or conflict. The increased globalization activities provide the needed and expanding role of OD.

Global OD is much broader than in-country OD, where it is often a process in a single local organization to improve organizational effectiveness. Global refers to being cognizant there may be different political, economic, legal, and cultural factors that may influence a change initiative or may alter the OD approach. What a wonderful time to be an OD professional, to be a member of a field dedicated to the implementation of effective change within a set of uncompromising human values when we see changes occurring at an ever-accelerating rate.

In this chapter, we present some important issues for professionals who work globally. We begin and conclude with overarching ...

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