Collateral Organization: A New Change Strategy

Fundamentals of Organization Development

Dale Z

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  • Many organization development specialists who emphasize behavioral rather than structural or technical change contend that free-form organizations, participative leadership, and humanistic values should – indeed, will – displace hierarchical organizations, directive leadership, and mechanistic values (Argyris, 1970; Bennis, 1965, 1966; Golembiewski, 1972; Likert, 1961, 1967; McGregor, 1960; Margulies & Raia, 1972; Slater & Bennis, 1964; Tannenbaum & Davis, 1969). It is their view that knowledge rather than level of authority should (or will) determine decisions, and that environmental complexity and turbulence should (or will) cause one-man decision making to give way to group decision making. These assertions have merit and are especially attractive to social scientists, but they are controversial to managers. Indeed, the idea of totally displacing existing systems may well have diverted managers into choosing sides, and thereby seriously interfered with their learning to improve their organization's adaptability and effectiveness. There is increasing evidence of a need for flexibility in structure and leadership style across different tasks and individuals; the superiority of any one approach above all others cannot be defended (Fiedler, 1967; Lawrence & Lorsch, 1967). The key issue is: How can OD specialists help managers design creative, problem-solving organizations and use them flexibly? This article seeks…

    Collateral Organization: A New Change Strategy’, DaleE.ZandThe Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 10 (1) (1974): 63–89. Published by Sage Publications, Inc. Reprinted with permission.

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