Top positive review
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If you want to know how to drive change, this is the only book you wil need
on January 18, 2008
French and Bell did an excellent job of compiling the materials for Organizational Development. The book a great resource that provides an excellent description of the discipline, a succinct history of organization development, and an extensive overview of the field and how the various theories interrelate and can be leveraged together, when necessary, for specific initiatives. It is dense with ideas, tools, and tips for interventions and will be indispensible as you work on change or improvement initiatives. I wish I had had a copy of the book during the course of my career.
The book, written in a scholarly manner, covers the spectrum of organizational development and can lead the reader to more research on the topic. The numerous references to articles that appear at the end of each chapter is an invaluable resources to the reader. Another important aspect of the book, is how it lays out the history of the profession, so one can identify specific articles and track down the information threat to the original research by the people who invented the discipline. As apposed to jumping on a tool that looks useful.
As I read the book, I realized that many of the contemporary authors are just repackaging these concepts for a new generation, who have never read these original pieces of research. While some may consider this body of knowledge to be old, because most of it occurred in the 1940s and 50s adn the book was originally writen in the 70s. These are classics!! Fortunately it did not take two thousand years to recognize their value.
The examples and illustrations the authors provide throughout the book are useful, because they tell a story and explain the sequence and steps that were necessary for specific scenarios and demonstrate the complexity that is involved with organization development. These are excellent examples that demonstrate the nuance that is necessary to bring about a significant change initiative, which most people do not fully appreciate and take for granted. It is important to understand the complexity and magnitude of this from the start, so people aren't diluted to thing this will be done over a weeken workshop or in a couple of weeks or months.
Organization Development, like many of the researchers who contributed to the disciple, presents a practical action oriented approach to apply the knowledge. The concepts discussed in Organization Development are all about change and execution, which is what everyone describes as their biggest problem.
If you don't like change... You are really going to hate being irrelevant. The concepts in this book will make your efforts very relevant.