(OD) is dead. OD died as we moved from the modern to late modern postindustrial
life modes of the 1970s and most recently from post-Fordist production
and consumption to postmodern capitalism of the 1990s.
A pluralistic assembly of Transorganizational
Development (TD) consultants attended OD's wake. There was Samuel A. Culbert,
J. Max Elden, Will McWhinney, Warren Schmidt and Bob Tannenbaum acting
as OD pole bearers in their 1972 call for Transorganizational praxis to
go beyond the now dead OD. Transorganizational Networking is defined as
planned change in the collective relationships of a variety of stakeholders
to accomplish something beyond the capability of any single organization
or individual (e.g. Culbert et. al., 1972). Despite Thayer's (1973) similar
call, the ghost of OD walked the earth until the late 1970s and early 1980s
without knowing it was dead. In 1978, Kurt Motamedi sent a wake up call
for the evolution from interorganizational design into TD. In 1979 and
1981, I called for activist TD interventions into networks of organizations.
Motomedi and Cummings (1981) did the same. Our work got little notice among
the ghosts of OD, except for Tom Cummings who in 1984 reconstructed Motomedi's
and my work into his revitalization of sociotechnical systems (STS), a
sort of STS/TD. I tried again in 1989 (with Wolfe) to call for TD to replace
OD. Finally, the call for TD got heard, not by reading Culbert et al.,
(1972), Thayer (1973), Motomedi (1978), Boje (1979), Cummings (1984), or
Boje and Wolfe (1989) but from awakening to the realities of global economic
restructuration of corporate work life. The burgeoning field of large systems
change or TD, as I prefer to call it, is today a jungle of contending epistemologies
and ontologies that seek to be successor to OD throne. And succession to
the throne means big consulting bucks.
I want to be clear about this. There are many fine consultants doing great OD process consultation to effect better conditions. However, as most of the process consultation is rooted in philosophies of unitary, isolated organization change, it may do more harm than good. I am calling for OD to rebirth itself as TD in order to move beyond the open system model of an organization embedded in a "target model." A target model places the one organization at the center, draws a circle around it and puts supplier, customer, subcontract, and collaborator relations around it. Grace Ann Rosile and I call it the pre-Galileo model, where the Sun is the center or Galileo model where the Earth is the center and all the other planets revolve around it. But we know that centered-models do not explain the patterns of cosmology any more than target or ice-cube (unfreeze, move, refreeze) models explain the collective dynamics of large system, multi-organization change. When I say OD is dead, I am not saying there is no more OD. I am saying that it is time for a paradigm shift to polycentered (many centers), polyvocal (many voices), and polysemous (many meanings) transorganizational praxis. In this practice that Mary Parker Follett wrote about in the 1920s, the consultant works across systems, across organizations, across the divide of management and labor to bring about multiorganizational collaboration. The consultant is not tied to one CEO or one firm, but networking to changes in a transorganization system within systems orbiting fragmented global contexts. In sum, OD is dead even though thousands of sleep walking OD consultants bill and get paid for their target model services. When will the sleepwalkers awaken?
Right now, sleepwalking OD is highly profitable. Most of the big consultation dollars in the hundred plus billion dollar large system change industry still goes to the social engineers and reengineers like Mike Hammer and to Tom Peters who reinvented himself as a social engineer in the Tom Peters Seminar (1994a) and Wow (1994b) books (Boje, 1999c). A sizable portion goes to the MIT learning organization consulting ventures of Senge and Schein as well as Harvard's Argyris. Next there are the various forms of action research, and different approaches to sociotechnical systems consulting (the Emerys, Lou Davis and Marvin Weisbord). Cummings (1984) STS-TD did not catch on. These four (Emerys, Davis, Weisbord, & Cummings) are all quite different. Most of all Fred and Merrelyn Emery call for participative democracy with a focus on ecocentric and pragmatist reasoning differs from the more managerialist approach of Cummings, the labor-management joint committee work of Davis, and the social constructionists search events of Weisbord [(press here) for Emerys and compare it the others (press here)]. In the last decade Appreciative Inquiry (AI) has gained an impressive following, including doctorate consultant training at Case Western, Benedictine and Pepperdine university programs. The trendy work is in knowledge organization (KO) and knowledge workers (KW) and knowledge management (KM) or its joining as KWKOKM. And there are fledging approaches ranging from deconstructive narrative therapy and emancipation work of the neo-Marxist critical theorists and postmodern theatrics and storytelling work. These last three have very few billings in comparison to the restructuration work of the reengineers. KWKOKM is the new buzzword of TD consultation with legions of consultants signing up for the latest conferences (press here). Each new TD approach is a way to declare that your consulting firm has the "Holy Grail," the absolutist latest in TD technologies. I say this is TD gaming at its finest. The new approaches to TD tap into techno-centric information theories of networks, virtual networks of knowledge transfer, Cyber-War Game Theory, and migrants from the ever popular social construction of knowledge epistemology.
The purpose of this article is therefore to help you the buyer or consultant sort through this jungle of TD approaches by looking carefully at the underlying epistemological and ontological positions of the contenders. What may rhetorically seem empowering can be disempowering, what seems efficient reengineering in the long run can spell long term disaster. What appears postmodern, can be just another post-industrial thesis. Winsor (1992), for example, points out that a good deal of postmodern organization writing is post-Fordist versions of the postindustrial Third Wave variety. and what passes for TD can just be they same warmed over ice-cube unfreeze-change-refreeze metaphor of OD.
Why did OD die and get succeeded by TD? In late modern there was a significant turn in large system change praxis from modern to late modern assumptions. Modern Fordism forms of capitalist production relied on mass production and consumption and paid high wages for union support including reluctant support of the welfare state. "Fordism involved a period of stable economic growth and capital accumulation that lasted until the late 1960s in the United States" (Otero, 1996: 4). After World War II, the economy of capitalist nations transformed from a centered Fordist massive economy to a decentered postindustrial service economy of flexible and lean production. In the 1960s transnational corporations (TNC) began to perceive a crisis in growth combined with excess capacity. By the 1970s it became increasingly obvious that U.S. worker output had fallen behind Japan and Germany. So TNCs began to locate manufacture and assembly to "less unionized parts of the United States or to Third World countries" (Otero, 1996: 4). A neo-liberalism philosophy of "Post-Fordism" began to take hold that stressed linking national production and markets to global ones, de-unionizing, decreased regulation by the State, and free market economics. As firms left capitalist, union-countries in droves, the State promised everyone cushy jobs at slightly lower salaries in the service industry (now called KW). This late modern (Post-Fordist and Post-industrial) trend accelerated with the end of the Cold War. Patterns of global commerce also began to combine the polar opposites of standardized centrist mass production with the flexible and fragmented production.
The rhetoric was stronger than the statistics. For example Otero (1996: 5-6) reports about the results of late capitalism and KW:
here) for World Hunger map - it updates before your eyes.
And in the 1990s, some countervailing positions began to be heard. Concerns about over-work, falling wages, over-consumption, and limits to sustainable business practices as usual were voiced. Critical theory gained in popularity, as did postmodern theories. Postmodernists raised the issue that people belong to many organizations and fragment their identity into temporary life mode cultures. Some critical theorists called for a redefinition of OD from Sociology (Collins, 1998) while others questions guru consultant wisdom (Alvesson & Willmott, 1996). Commenting on the feminist movements in Mexico (Stephen, 1996: 169) asserts "The fact that not all members of an organization think identically or necessarily share the same [gender] identity is also important in understanding variation within one organization. " In short transorganization ontologies have overtaken OD thinking.
The assumptions of TD are different from OD, including
shared fate in the natural world, fluid organizing contexts, embeddedness
in multiple transorganizational systems, and various assumptions about
collective multi-organization processes defining the TD worldview.
Insert Table 1: Transorganization Theory and Assumptions (press here).
Organizations died as a construct when the perspective of the collective embedded in webs of holons replaced the "organization and environment" vantage point. A "holon" is Greek for "whole/parts" meaning literally the whole that is simultaneously a part, and vice versa. The Greek word "holon" became popularized in Arthur Koestler's (1967) book, The Ghost in the Machine. Ken Wilber (1996a, 1996b) has also applied holon in numerous ways we will soon explore. "We exist in fields within fields, patterns within patterns, contexts within contexts, endlessly" (1996b: 65). Here I am concerned with people in their whole/part relation to organizations that are whole/parts of mechanistic networks, organic communities, organizations, nations and the bios-universe, and the formistic ideal types our theories and metaphors (even these) impose on the world. While postmodernists and poststructuralists are critical of Grand narratives (Lyotard, 1984) that violently aggregate it all into universal histories. Yet most of postmodernists take a less radical stance that says, "you can not just toss all grand narratives" because some are humane and they just keep being constructed all about us (Best, 1995; Best & Kellner, 1991, 1997). A middle ground is to see the relation of micro and macro story as part/whole or holon. Microstories are embedded within macrostories within Grand narratives, and contexts within contexts. It is without foundation and without end.
Proclaiming the death of OD is a postmodern move. Not only are organizations dead, but from a holon perspective part/wholes are fragmented and dispersed across different geographic locations so that no convergence of "organization" exists. We have lived through the death of the author and the subject. We have seen how writing is a corporate project, especially in academia where reviewers and journal editors and the discipline of the Academy have made single-author writing an illusion. Gender and race fragments as women and minorities want economic justice, social justice (e.g. women's control over their body), and an end to white male superiority. OD went through its cycle of development from group and within organization models in closed systems frameworks to recognition of an organization situated in an uncertain, ambiguous, turbulent, and now chaotic environment. But, with the death of single organizations people became aware that they were embedded in transpersonal and transorganizational relationships, and no longer embedded in or wedded to an organization for life. And TNCs began to worry that temporary employees would not feel any commitment or loyalty.
Several approaches (e.g. Emery-Search Conference,
AI, Future Search, Learning Organization, etc.) involve storytelling and
TD. For example, Michael Jones of UCLA folklore and mythology helped me
extend the storytelling aspects into the ICEND model of consultation to
large interorganizational network for TD change. ICEND is a term that Michael
Jones and I coined in 1982 to develop a story-based model of TD to give
to the federal government, unions, and auto firms for retraining autoworkers
displaced by the layoffs of the late 1970s and early 1980s
C- Communicative - Stories of the collective
Subsystem One: Outside Process Consultation Cycle
III. Active Intervention
Subsystem Two: Internal Problem Solving & Networking Cycle
II. Locate Stakeholders
III. Expanded Stakeholder Involvement
IV. Search Conferences & Focus Group Intervention
V. Convene Temporary Organization
VI. Withdrawal of Temporary Organization (before bureaucracy sets in)
VII. Assessment & Evaluation
Subsystem Three: Extended Network Involvement Cycle
II. Initial Organizational Involvement beyond Temporary Organization
III. Discovery of Under-employed Resources
IV. Breakdown of Status Quo Response Patterns (Subsystem II Interventions in Extended Field)
V. Demand Builds for Greater Organizational Involvement
VI. Breakdown of Status Quo Responses
I view TD as collective storytelling work, "shaped and co-constructed among the network of [organizational] participants. Each stakeholder [organization] is negotiating the meaning of the collective story. Each story is a fragment, a perspective on the whole. Some are problem based, issue based, solution based or just fantasy based. Each is a candidate to become the dominant collective story" (Boje, 1979, 1981). It is the stories that construct and reconstruct the exchange relations of the transorganizational network over time.
Ideal Types of TD - With the five late modern shifts described above, the death of OD thinking requires a new cosmology to take shape. In fact I will argue that there are two transorganizational development (TD) cosmologies, I will call TD1 and TD2.
TD2 – Type Two Transorganization Network – Seeks to resist or modify
the behavior of TD1 networks by forming an alternative TD2 network to conduct
campaigns of resistance and power realignment (Boje, 1999: 14-18).
2. Domains or divisions of labor are created as stakeholders identify their special interests in these issues. Natural tendency is to create bureaucratic hierarchy.
3. Resource exchanges link participants together in interdependent relations. The collective interests define the relationships and the ongoing relationships reflect those issues.
4. Both TD1 and TD2 processes interpenetrate the same systems. This is not a choice or some kind of transformative function (See Boje & Dennehy, 1999, Chap 2 for more on Mary Parker Follett's work on "interpenetration" as a way around duality. I do not mean TD1/TD2 as a duality. Two Types of TDs interact to link Ying and Yang around problem-saturated domains of interorganizational action.
I would like to extend the ontological roots of TD1 and TD2 (see Table 3) in the rest of this paper. TD1 and TD2 are ideal type ontologies (views of the world).
TD1 Ontology - TD1 is the ideal
type of "individualism" and "free market" combined with "instrumental calculus"
thinking. The TD1 theory of democracy is that it is the right of individuals
and individual organizations to exploit and transform the natural world
into their productive capital advantage. The self-steering Invisible hand"
of the market will work effectively through creative destruction if government
plays a "service role" to the market instead of interfering with regulations
which always makes more of a mess of things. For Lehman (1996: 2) this
is the "service station" just give us service and do not interfere with
the self-steering market ontology. The approach is rooted in what Lyotard
(1984) calls performativity and others calls "managerialism" and "functionalism."
In the performative/functionaist discourse, the rhetoric is all about being
"empowered," working in "self-managed teams" and engaging in acts of "speed"
and TQM "continuous improvement" and "Kaizen." Organizations do a lot of
Tayloristic, reengineering, lean manufacturing, TQM, Malcolm Baldrige Award
criteria adopters, and other social engineering approaches to "restructure"
with the newest functionality/performative. Most companies do not do a
pilot study or engage in some action research, they just seem to adopt
the fad of the bench-markers in their industry, rumored "most excellent"
company practices, or the favorite guru of the CEO that particular week.
Now that reengineering is out of fashion, there are more "humane" approaches
at every turn, all promising the nouveau futuristic, even virtual knowledge
organization (KO) for the knowldege work (KW) revolution in knowledge management
(KM), or KWKOKM. In all these TD approaches, the point is to socially
engineer or entice employees to voluntarily police their own work to be
better at customer service, quality, and self-managed team work (Boje &
Rosile, 1996) - (press
From a critical postmodern perspective, TD1 networks tell the "good story" of progress through business without interference and masquerades its social and ecological exploitation behaviors behind Greenwash advertising, public relations, and token efforts to elevate world poverty and environmental degradation. TD1 networks seek to recombine the community or global division of labor such that fragments of the self, social, and market can put the status quo back together (Boje, 199: 14-189). At they same time these network players define any misery as the consequence of the creative destruction of market forces which will make it all come out well in the end.
The logic of TD1 consultation is the ontology of utility maximization neo-classical (neo-liberal) economics where the maximizing of human pleasure and wants without taking any responsibility for social and ecological limits is the legitimating narrative (Lehman, 1996). The reigning gurus of the TD1 model are Michael Porter, Kevin Kelly (New Rules for New Economy), Freidman, Hayek, Watts, Zimmerman & Wildavsky (See Lehman, 1996). In their models market competitive self-interest forces re the answer to social problems as government programs fade away and admit their ineptitude. This is similar to Taylor's (1980) proposal that a just and fair society can be constructed as free market forces achieve libertarian philanthropic aims. The social and ecological domains are simply parts of an overall integrated system of exchanges that the market forces of demand and supply ameliorate in integrated systems of self interested organizations. Through corporate "good will" social and ecological problems will solve themselves through long term techno-rational solutions.
Boje, D. M., Rosile, G., Dennehy, R. & Summers, D. J. (1997) did a restorying study of reengineering discourse (press here). Michael Hammer, uses stories and metaphors of medicine, warfare and revolution, which script the fate of disposable workers. Through Hammer's books and speeches, downsizing is storied as a "managerial revolution" which justifies "leg-breaking," "putting hands on the blasters," "trimming the fat," and other metaphors allowing senior executives to "not feel any guilt about what they do." TD1 can be very lucrative and very expensive. Ironically, reengineering revenues sustained a billion dollar consulting industry from 1993 to 1997 (then the business reengineers switched to government and university reengineering) despite the fact that 65% or more of the reengineering efforts were not successful. The reengineering industry in search of a new characterization and a new storyline switched labels to become human systems engineering or the new buzz work KWKOKM. And those that survive the down-sizing and reengineering continue to become subject's of Barker's (1999) generative managerial control system in interventions that are over-priced and do not deliver beyond short-term CEO-stock maximizing results.
We deconstructed reengineering storytelling and rhetoric. Hammer and Champy repeat and rescript the moves they critique, and reauthor themselves as new authors. We contend that reengineering undermines the core message it asserts; it reverses itself and becomes the other. What our study asserts is that organizations are more bureaucratic after reengineering than before, less adaptive to changes in market force, and have sold away their institutional memory, the older workers and managers who knew what, where, when, and how. Re-engineering is re-bureaucratization, but done to put the workers in the iron cage of generative discipline and self-gaze instead of Weber's administrator hierarchy.
In sum TD1 is an individual rights of organizations networking in efficient markets ontology. Any damaging effects of corporate exploitation at the community or global is explained as one part of the market maturing while another self-destructs to become manure for the next market. As Lehman's (1996: 5) critical reading argues it is "a systems approach [that] maintains a commitment to the present exploitative and unjust system." Or as Barker (1999) asserts a "transorganizational" rationality that has negative social consequences that must be explored. Both authors point to an instrumental democratic ontology in which the market is assumed capable of solving human centered problems and creating happiness. It is a romantic plotline that Barker and Lehman, among others, want to counter with tragic consequence analysis. The "ontology of market theorists is reliant on a narrow vision of the self and is supported by the well rehearsed view that the state exists to facilitate the market" (Lehman, 1996: 6). Peter Senge (1990) for example that a LO based in team-learing dialogues will facilitate continuous organizational improvement and resolve key social problems. This romantic narrative is also part of the new environmental LO models. For example, in narratives of environmental sustainable business practices, the TD1 ontology asserts that business will find Total Quality Environment Management (TQEM) and Learning Organization solutions to environmental problems. Corporations can save money by recycling, reducing waste, and reusing in environmental life cycle models of corporate resources tracked by environmental accounting methods. Yet, this is still an anthropocentric ontology, one centered on the individuation and free market self steering abilities of corporations to provide for social and ecological needs. Critics say it ignores the mean-spirited consequences of wealth generation in which the poor continue to get poor and the riches accumulate into fewer and fewer corporate conglomerations of TD1.
TD2 Ontology - TD2 is defined as seeking and actively organizing networks to change/resist or be beyond the status quo relations of a dominating and sometimes predatory free-market individualistic and utilitarian TD1 system (Boje, 1979; Boje & Wolfe, 1986). There are multiple ontologies in these approaches as portrayed in Table 4. These range for Dewey's pragmatic call for social improvements in the living conditions of the masses through education and democracy; Habermas' pro-modernist Enlightenment call for speech communities operating on rational rules of consensus, Frankfurt critical theorists who call for emancipation from technocratic socially engineered TD, to the Emerys' application of pragmatist work by Charles Sanders Peirce.
TD2 networks seeks to attain greater democratic control and local community accountability over multinational corporations by appealing to communitarian and ecocentric theory and praxis rather than narrow engineering and market forces models. With decreasing worker wages, rising CEO wages, increasing temporary employment, decline in species diversity, fewer benefits, massive layoffs, etc. there are calls for democratic control over corporate behavior, economic and ecological justice. TD2 – seeks to resist or modify the behavior of TD1 networks by forming an alternative TD2 network to conduct campaigns of resistance and power realignment (Boje, 1999: 14-18). Here are some examples.
The Association for Accountancy & Business Affairs (AABA) theme is
"WORKING FOR AN OPEN AND DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY." The AABA (click
here) asks these questions: "Are you concerned about the narrowness
of public choices? Are you concerned about the way organized interests
have colonized the public space to advance their narrow interests? Are
you concerned about the excesses of insolvency practitioners, audit failures,
lack of democracy at work, poverty wages. Are you concerned about the 'visible
hand' of accountancy practices in losses of jobs, investments, savings,
pensions and environmental degradation? Do you wish that someone would
challenge the prevailing orthodoxies, disseminate competing views and develop
alternative policies?" As an example of TD2, the AABA takes an advocacy
position. AABAs patron is the Rt. Hon. The Lord Paul of Marylebone.
AABA trustees are: Professor Christine Cooper, Mr. Jim Cousins MP, Professor
Colin Haslam, Professor Richard Laughlin, Dr. Austin Mitchell MP, Professor
Prem Sikka and Professor Hugh
Willmott. IT has a campaign of reforms it seeks in accounting
firms, employer associations, and employer organizations. As such this
TD2 network seeks to make changes in TD1 relations. For example, "ACCA
officialdom claims that ACCA Council elects the leaders, but it has failed
to give anyone any sight of the alleged ballot paper" (press
here). In the area of auditing, "Auditors claiming that company accounts
are 'true and fair' and the public discovers that
the same accounts would have easily won the Booker Prize" (press
here). Mitchell, Sikka & Willmott (1998) argue that the work by
AAB is helping to raise auditing standards. For example, "Money laundering,
described as the ‘mother of all crimes’, is on the increase. The amounts
laundered through Western financial markets are estimated to be anywhere
between US$ 750 billion
NAFTA is a complex interaction between TD1 neo-liberal free market policies and TD2 grassroots activist ontologies. NAFTA promised to increase the number of service jobs for U.S. workers and to aid the Mexican economy. However, according to the Campaign for Labor Rights, "more than 200,000 U.S.. workers have qualified for a special NAFTA retraining program for people who lose their jobs because their employer moved production to Mexico or Canada or was hurt by import competition from those countries." I observe the impact on El Paso and other border communities where apparel and electronics industries collapsed. According to the U.S. Bureau of labor statistics (as cited in Wall street Journal 8/28/98) unemployment rate in U.S. counties bordering Mexico went from 10.4% in 1994 to 13.5% in 1998. In Mexico, "more than a decade of frenzied neo-liberalism - privatization, deregulation of the economy, the demolition of populist traditions and attempts to roll back the 'strong state' - was designed to encourage and placate domestic and, especially, foreign capital" (Carr, 1996: 209). Carr and others recommend increased grassroots activism in ways that go beyond the radical grand narratives of neo-Marxism and the Post-Fordist Capitalism. The number of Mexicans living in "severe" poverty (surviving on less than $2 per day) has grown by four million since NAFTA began (Campaign for Labor Rights, 1999). And wages in the Mexican manufacturing sector have dropped 23%. With the rise in misery, there is a reemergence of transborder labor internationalization as a response to predatory TNC globalization practices. This means reestablishing transborder sister locals, horizontal relations among rank-and-file workers in different countries, international boycotts, and other transnational campaigns. Such actions were frequent from 1913 o the mid-1920s, but are now on the rebound. This revitalizes a focus on radical, transformative, and emancipatory politics, but without the grand narratives of inevitable worker revolution or progress through technology and global trade. Can TD2 go beyond the romantic hero, grand narratives of Marxism and capitalism? With more transborder labor links and exchanges, Carr (1996: 238-240) is optimistic that solidarity networks may from that do not trot out the old grand narrative mythologies. He sees "the argument that internationalization of capital… finally laying the material framework for an end to national fragmentation of works and their organizations [as] … excessively economistic" (p. 219). Rather than one political or ideological grand narrative of history and future, there are multiple storylines and agendas competing for workers' attention. The Internet age may allow for coordinated transborder actions. A new form of citizen politics may emerge from the fragmented and sectional interests of labor, and adds, "there are still many dangers ahead" (p. 226). These include change Mexico labor laws, mass migration of peasants to the cities, and attaining more equitable income distribution.
TD2 is an ecocentric and communitarian ontology that recognizes the primacy of "hyper-goods." A hyper-good is incommensurate with the price/use instrumental calculations of other goods (Taylor, 1989: 63). The question for TD2 system debate is which goods become socially defined as "hyper-goods." Taylor (1989) argues that it is those goods that are important to community and species survival. Hyper-goods are natural resources that once exhausted in transorganizational transactions are non-renewable. When the forest of Redwoods is harvested it is gone. When water and air are so contaminated they can not be reclaimed beyond mortal lifetime they are gone. When various species of plant and animal life are extinct, that is all there is. Hyper-good are scarce resources and the source of deep social conflict between TD1 and TD2 networks. TD2 system from communitarian ontology argues that corporations mush comply with demands of the community or lose their corporate charters (Korten, 1996; Lehman, 1996). There are two paths to dampen TD1 social and ecological effects (1) by state regulation and (2) by learning volunteeristic civility (Lehman, 1996: 4-6). Corporations one way or they other are morally compelled to comply with community stakeholder demands and to heed entropic hyper-good limits.
Lehman (1996: 8), for example argues that the "purpose of social and environmental accounting is to articulate hyper-goods that are fundamentally import in the choices determined by the community." And it is the community to which TD2 serves its praxis. TD2 is based upon the "axiom of connectedness" that ecosystem and the health and viability of the human world are interconnected. From ecocentric ontology, humans are one of a multitude of species that co-evolve on this planet. TD2 narratives point to the community of organizations impact upon the social and ecological. TD praxis is the open and transparent transformation of community life style within the entropic limits of our ecosystem. From a communitarian ontology there is a web of relations between political, economic and techno systems that requires transorganizational democratic forums in which human and biotic stakeholders are represented. The good of the transorganizational and biotic community transcends narrow market forces ontologies.
Instead of fixed, short-term linear time ontologies, TD2 focuses upon long term cyclical time ontologies where the ecosystem is a collective hyper-good. TD praxis models enact democratic participation where the whole population and all species act to dampen the effects of predatory capitalism. TD2 transformations of production and consumption networks aim for "green" life styles.
In sum, TD2 is collectivist and communitarian ontology stressing an ecocentric worldview and an advocacy praxis. Consulting praxis consists of clarifying collective norms and roles, training in ecocentric democratic processes and moral reasoning. It is assumed that TD1 systems entrench in transorganizational practices particular norms and beliefs about social and ecological rights. From communitarian ontology the individual person or organization is subordinate to the whole community of stakeholders. It is as (Lehman, 1996) observes an advocacy model of stakeholder involvement, social and ecological action.
Middle Range Ontologies of TD - There are many middle-range constructivist approaches to TD that try to compromise or integrate TD1 individualistic, self-steering, free-market and TD2 collectivist, communitarian, ecocentric advocacy ontologies. Radical advocacy TD2 models argue that the middle ground ontologies do not provide a critical theory, postmodern theory critique of predatory practice, thereby enabling TD1 apologetics to spin stories of sustainability and democratic accountability without enactments in praxis. Middle range TD models try to operate between extreme ideal typifications of transorganizational relations and praxis. The middle range approaches do not favor government regulation of markets or corporate behavior and attempt to change life practices through value and discourse training in democratic action and consensus seeking (e.g. Habermas). The middle range approaches do not advocate to the point of demanding local community stakeholder or ecological representative control over trans-corporate behavior.
Recently I set up a TD Gameboard on the web (press here) to compare and contrast the ontology and praxis of large system change models. I organized these into 14 approaches that were combinations of TD1, TD2, and mid-range approaches. These are summarized in Table 4.
Insert Table 4 Contrasts of TD Ontologies and Praxis (press here).
In TD1 ontologies are rooted in social engineering (neo-Taylorism and reengineering) and in free market individualism, self-steering markets with a shrinking State role. TD2 ontologies include the labor organizing approaches rooted in the trade union movement. This is where Saul Alinsky and Ted Watkins got their training. It also includes pragmatist, poststructuralist, and critical postmodern approaches. Between these two extremes that seek are more middle-range positions. These include structural functionalist and a preponderance of social constructionist and the affirmative postmodern ontology of appreciative inquiry. For more on each of these approaches, please check TD Gameboard web site (press here).
OD is dead and a jungle of TD approaches are ready to succeed. However, the approaches are based on incommensurate ontological and epistemological positions. The good news is that you have a variety of positions to choose from. The bad news is that those more polemic TD approaches that dogmatically claim they have found the "Holy Grail" are unappreciative of the convergence with other approaches. I therefore call for comparative TD research to assess the costs and benefits, differences and similarities of the approaches listed in Table four.
Since OD is dead, the way in which TD is being taught in universities and training programs needs to be visited. Right now, there appear to be too many programs teaching a one best way approach to TD, be it AI, AR, PDPD, STS, KWKOKM, LO, OR, ICEND or some other approach. I contend that TD needs to be taught from a variety of ontological perspectives such as pragmatism, critical theory, social construction, poststructuralism, and postmodern theory. It may be time to heed Collins' call for sociology of OD, make that TD. We are just beginning to compare and contrast for example restorying, AI, and the PDPD (Boje, Alvarez, & Schooling, 1999).
Enter any TD context and you will find a contesting set of consulting firms offering services based in widely variant ontologies. It seems appropriate therefore to call for interdisciplinary theory and research. For example Boje, Alvarez and Schooling (1999) are comparing several interdisciplinary approaches to TD that use storytelling. I am also working with Luhman (1999) to link pragmatist and narrative approaches. I do not run across many cross-TD comparative studies.
Finally it seems sensible to suggest that interdisciplinary
TD praxis approaches be initiated. This could mean "transperspectival" approaches
that cut across the disciplinary boundaries of TD1 and TD2 or between middle-range
and TD2 approaches, etc. It could also mean combining approaches within
TD2, since there are so many ontologies represented. This is not like to
happen in the immediate future because training programs, publishing houses,
consulting firms, and university departments have adopted particularistic
perspectives based on a favored ontology.
1999 The Discipline of Teamwork" participation and concertive Control. CA: Sage.
Best, Steven and Kellner, Douglas
1997 The Postmodern Turn. NY/London: The Guilford
1981 "Organization Lore in Transorganizational Praxis," Invited Paper for the Academy of Folklore Meetings," in San Antonio, Texas, October 22-24.
1982 "A Networking approach to the problem of securing Hi Tech jobs for unemployed minority autoworkers" This paper contends my first write up of ICEND model. December 31.
1997 "Radical transorganizational development theory and praxis: From Weber and Durkheim to Postmodern." Research Monograph (September).
1999a "Holon and Transorganizational Theory" (September 30th). (press here).
1999c "Who Rules Large System Transorganizational
1999d "Storytelling and the Collective Dynamics of
Boje, David M., Alvarez. Rossana C, and Schooling,
1999 "Narrativism: A 5th World Hypothesis for Organization Theory." In review.
Boje, David M. & Rosile, Grace Ann
Boje, D. M., Rosile, G., Dennehy, R. &
Summers, D. J. 1997 “Restorying reengineering: Some
Boje, D. and Winsor, Robert
Boje, D. M. and Wolfe, T.
Culbert, Samuel A., James Max Elden, Will McWhinney,
Warren Schmidt & Bob Tannenbaum.
Crosby, P. B..
Cummings, Thomas G.
Deming, W. E.
Mitchell, Austin, Prem Sikka and Hugh Willmott
Motamedi, Kurt & Tom Cummings
Peters, Tom J.
1994b The Pursuit of Wow!: Every Person’s Guide to
Steingard, D. s. & Fitzgibbons, D.
1989 Liberalism and the Moral Life, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1989, pp. 159-182.
1996b "Transpersonal art and literary theory." The
Journal of Transpersonal Psychology.
Womack, J., Jones, D. & Roos, D.
TD ICEND© DIAGNOSIS, PROCESS CONSULTATION AND EVALUATION TOOLS:
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