logoDialogic Organization Development


Pre-Publication Praise for Dialogic Organization Development: Theory and Practice  (Reviews at bottom)

Dialogic Organization Development is an absolute ‘must read’ book for academics, practitioners and students who claim to have an interest in processes of planned organizational change.  The elaboration of dialogic OD offered in this edited collection is accessible, engaging and comprehensive.  The editors and contributors pull off the rather rare feat of presenting thoughtful and thought-provoking insights which are both conceptually-rich and pragmatically-grounded.  Writing an endorsement is easy when a book is this good!

Cliff Oswick  
Professor of Organization Theory and Deputy Dean
Cass Business School
City University London

Gervase Bushe and Bob Marshak are a kind of next OD generation Bennis-Schein tandem—gifted thinkers each in their own right, but together even more daring as they are leading the new OD to its next major stage. Imagine what early OD would have been without the exciting union of academic rigor and powerful practice that the Schein-Bennis team so aptly perfected. Well the Bushe-Marshak collaboration, together with an amazing collection of other leaders in the field, has done the same and more: they’ve challenged much in our past and have somehow also achieved a joyous homecoming to what matters most in OD—it’s the democratic, dialogic, jointly created design of the fully human organization.

David Cooperrider  
Fairmount | David L. Cooperrider Professor of Appreciative Inquiry
Department of Organizational Behavior
Case Western Reserve University

OD is back, thanks to Gervase Bushe and Bob Marshak.   Bushe and Marshak have conceptualized OD in a way that is both novel and integrates crucial foundational principles of OD as they have evolved over time.  It is the first truly “new” approach to OD in many years.   The claims made are not, however, solely “theoretical”.  The book is based on considerable successful practice.  Many of its chapter authors are recognized experts in the topics being discussed.  In some cases these chapter authors have helped to create the scholarly foundations of a dialogic mindset; in other cases they have developed the practices that embody such a mindset.

This book is more than welcome.  It will be central to the scholarship and practice of OD for years to come. 

Jean M. Bartunek  
Robert A. and Evelyn J. Ferris Chair
Professor of Management and Organization
Boston College

The wisdom and experience captured between the covers of this book is truly impressive and the authors bring the insights of our age to bear on the questions at hand with a useful and powerful effect. Definitely a good read and also a warm invitation to address the questions at new and deeper levels.

Harrison Owen  
Creator of Open Space Technology

In this first comprehensive treatment of Dialogic OD, Bushe and Marshak have brought greater clarity to how this new form of OD is both different and related to foundational OD and assembled an outstanding collection of theories and practices to ground this work for the future.  In this book, one gets a clear sense that ‘dialogic’ is bringing OD into the new, contemporary contexts, so real today, and so different from the contexts in which foundational OD was developed. This is an essential work for graduate OD education and advanced understanding of the evolving field.

David W. Jamieson  
Professor, Organization Learning & Development
University of St Thomas
President, Jamieson Consulting Group, Inc.

In this insightful compendium, Dialogic Organization Development honors and builds on the values of the founders of the field with more recent understandings drawn from complexity theory, social construction, and cognitive sciences.  Dialogic OD takes our field into exciting new territory, rich with possibility for enlivening organizations and communities through the lived experience of being able to change the conversation, and thus, change the future.  May this important book find a wide and receptive audience!

Juanita Brown   
Co-author,The World Cafe: Shaping our Futures Through Conversations That Matter

Dialogic Organization Development will prove to be a milestone in the evolution of organization development as both a conceptual heritage and a process consultation practice.  The chapters in this volume enrich current understandings of organization development and push boundaries .

Loizos Heracleous   
Professor of Strategy and Organization
Warwick Business School, UK

and Associate Fellow, Oxford University

Gervase Bushe and Bob Marshak offer a comprehensive approach to organizational change that reinvigorates our conversation about OD and helps us re-imagine the theories and approaches that inform our consulting practices. This is a valuable resource for both graduate OD courses and OD practitioners. 

John Vogelsang   
Editor-in-Chief, 
OD Practitioner

OD is in the midst of its own transformation.  Bushe and Marshak's Dialogic Organization Development, with its A-list of authors and contributors, is the much needed book that puts the stake in the ground upon which that transformed future will be built.

 Ian Palmer  
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Business) and Vice President
RMIT University, Australia

Dialogic Organization Development promises to further energize and advance the field of OD during a time in the evolution of organizations when we need all the help we can get in terms of designing and effectively managing complex social systems.  The collection of papers in this volume represents a significant contribution to the literature of the field.   

Richard W. Woodman  
Fouraker Professor of Business and Professor of Management, Texas A & M University,
former editor of the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science,

and Research in Organizational Change and Development. 

Dialogic Organizational Development moves beyond the stability biased assumptions of social science and allows us to feel, see, think and act in new ways.  It is a key contribution.

Robert E. Quinn  
Margaret Elliott Tracy Collegiate Professor in Business
Ross School of Business, University of Michigan


Gervase Bushe and Bob Marshak have done a commendable job in contributing to the field of OD. By inviting a number of gifted people to co-create this book, they have come out with an outstanding product. Looking back at the past with an introspective eye, sharing deep insights from contemporary work and stimulating new questions for the future- this is a rich tapestry of learning that is bound to create much joy and excitement amongst researchers, students, teachers and practitioners.
  I strongly endorse this book and pray that it touches many people all over the world.
Anil Sachdev  
Founder & CEO, Grow Talent
and School of Inspired Leadership
Gurgaon, India

Dialogic Organization Development, as so masterfully presented in this book, provides a “must have” travelling mind set and guide book for organisations wishing to constructively and sustainably engage and embed themselves in emerging economies that are in the throes of undergoing radical transformation.
Theo H. Veldsman  
Professor and Chair,
Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management,
 University of Johannesburg, South Africa  
 

This is an exciting and much needed book! Bushe and Marshak with the help of a global team of scholar-practitioners have brought us a comprehensive discussion that pulls together the latest thinking and practices shaping the field of Organization Development. Offering a compelling and integrative framework called the Dialogic OD Mindset they provide clarity and integrity to dialogic ways of working with leaders and organizations. This is a book you will return to many times!

Dr. Mee-Yan Cheung-Judge   

Director of Quality & Equality, LTD, United Kingdom

Senior Fellow, Roffey Park Management Institute and Singapore Civil Service College.

The revival of the theoretical traditions of OD has been pending for a long time. At last, this very remarkable book by Gervase Bushe and Bob Marshak provides an up-to-date conceptual framework and a corresponding mindset for the further development of the OD approach.  Dialogic Organization Development is about to close a painful gap in the scientific community and among practitioners. It will certainly be a valuable contribution to important research in the field of applied sciences. I hope this new volume, with its rich variety of contributions, will find a broad reception, especially in Europe.

Rudolf Wimmer    
Prof. for Leadership & Organization
Vice-President, University Witten/Herdecke, Germany

As OD has developed over the past 55 or so years, one aspect has become predominant – an “allopathic” approach of diagnosing symptoms and prescribing treatment. From the beginning, there have also been more implicit, less tangible, more subjective and emergent OD processes that, until recently, have been given less attention over the decades by most mainstream practitioners.  Dialogic Organization Development brings a much-needed focus on, and strengthening of, these less rational and mechanistic processes that honor the emergence of new meaning, new thinking, and new understanding of the systems we work and live in.

By focusing more attention on what is trying to emerge, and by providing a different narrative about what is essential to successful OD practice in this age of increasing turbulence and complexity, this unusually well integrated anthology will certainly disrupt the status quo of prevailing contemporary OD practices.

John D. Adams   
Emeritus Professor and Program Chair
Organizational Systems Ph.D. Program, Saybrook University

Dialogic Organization Development connects the theory and practice worlds through a compelling and accessible explanation of a different way of doing OD, which, as Ed Schein says in the Forward “could not have arrived at a better time”. The book is full of rich resources for existing and potential dialogic OD consultants and researchers. 

Ann L Cunliffe  
Professor of Organization Studies
University of Leeds, UK

This book is a most compelling and much needed resource to further substantiate Dialogic Organization Development as a historically mindful, yet revitalized OD approach to understand and orchestrate organizational change. Utterly solid in its theoretical foundations, the book offers most useful practical advice for OD scholars and practitioners alike. Pertinence and comprehensiveness of the volume hold promise to make it an OD classic right from the start!

Claus D. Jacobs   
Professor of Strategic Management and Organization,
Berne University of Applied Sciences and University of St. Gallen, Switzerland.
Associate Fellow, University of Oxford, UK

Companies, their cultures, their markets and the people involved are so dramatically different, that developmental change cannot be copied or implemented from a template.  Organization development needs to emerge from the real engagement of organizational members.  This book describes the necessary processes for people who are willing to take on the challenge of transformational change, in a way that maintains the dignity of the human spirit.

Dr. Bernd Schmid  
CEO isb GmbH,Germany
author, Systemische Organisationsentwicklung.

Dialogic OD provides a central resource for students interested in how to intervene in organizations based on a social-constructivist understanding and for change agents looking for an opportunity to reflect on their practice and expand their conceptual and practical toolbox to deal with the challenges of contemporary organizations.

Andreas Werr 
Professor of Management
Director of the Center for HRM and Knowledge Work
Stockholm School of Economics

Dialogic Organization Development is a truly pioneering work that puts the focus back on the heart of OD – the spirit of inquiry. It is widely recognized that organizations today operate in an environment that is referred to as VUCA – volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. This edited volume is, therefore very timely because there is increasing need for stimulating alternative or generative images, shaping how people think about things, and coming to terms with adaptive problems that involve changing mindsets.

S. Ramnarayan, Ph.D. 
Clinical Professor of Organizational Behavior
Indian School of Business, Hyderabad

Dialogic Organization Development is influencing how we understand and practice OD. Now it can influence how we can design and conduct OD research. This book provides the framework for retrieving core OD values of researching with people rather than researching on or about them. 

  David Coghlan  
Trinity College, Dublin Ireland
Editor of Fundamentals of Organization Development


The shift from Diagnostic to Dialogic OD reveals the essence of organization development.   This book makes it easy to understand and apply and creates the possibility of combining many new approaches.  I found it enriching, provocative, and challenging.  I fully resonated with the theory and practice of this approach and endorse it completely.

Sushma Sharma 
Founder and CEO, Resonate Consulting
Past President, Indian Society for Applied Behavioral Sciences

Dialogic OD, a mindset about organizational change conceptualized by the two editors of this book, provides a beacon to new directions and possibilities in the field of Organization Development and Change.   This is an excellent book for students of OD, experienced consultants, change leaders, and anyone working to improve organizations based on democratic, humanistic and collaborative inquiry values.