Organizing reflexivity in designed change: The ethnoventionist approach

Emerald Group Publishing
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Organizational Change Management, 2010, 23 (3), pp. 212 - 229
Issue Date:
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to reflect upon the role of intervention-oriented scientists in the process of organisation development. The paper seeks to contribute to the growing interest in design studies for organisation development and argues that a focus on reflexivity is missing in current debate. The aim of the paper to develop critical reflexiveness for organization design studies by introducing the ethnoventionist approach. Design/methodology/approach The paper discusses the ideal forms of clinical inquiry, participative action research, ethnography, and the ethnoventionist approach. The ethnoventionist approach is described by its central aspects: a focus on reflexivity, a management (but not managerialist) orientation, commitment to obtaining a deep understanding, connecting the multi-layered context, and studying in pre-arranged longitudinal intervals. Findings The ethnoventionist approach uses organisational ethnographies to facilitate intervention strategies intended to improve organisations. An example of such an approach in the design of new collaborative practices in the Dutch construction sector is drawn on.
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