Is OD Dead?


As part of the celebration of 50 years of The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Philip H. Mirvis looks back at The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science’s role in the development of the applied behavioral sciences and organization development (OD) in his article “JABS at 50: Applied Behavioral Science and Something More?”

The abstract:

A sampling of fifty years of articles published in the Journal of Applied Behavioral Sciences highlights the integration of theory and practice from JABS’ founding years to the mid-1980s, then a steady shift toward scholarship on “change knowing” and away from “change doing”. This review anchors JABS in JABS_v50_72ppiRGB_powerpointthe development of the applied behavioral sciences and organization development (OD) and reports on the author’s personal experiences as a budding practical scholar. JABS turn away from application is traced to the normalization of scientific progress in this arena and routinization of practice as change management. The paper then takes up the long-debated question “Is OD dead?” and considers how “something more”—concepts extending beyond conventional behavioral science—has led to revolutionary advances in the practice of change these past two decades. It then highlights how ideas from the arts, spirituality, and chaos-and-complexity sciences have added new dimensions to scholarly practice for the field (and for me) and today beckon sharper theorizing. JABS has of late stretched into these subjects but could do more so. The paper concludes with a call for more artsy, spiritual, and/or off-the-wall publications in JABS’ next fifty years.

Click here to read the rest of “JABS at 50: Applied Behavioral Science and Something More?” from The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science. Want to keep up-to-date on all the latest news and research from The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

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