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Organization Development and Management History: A Tale of Changing Seasons

PAQ, Vol. 41 No. 2, (2017)

This article situates organization development (OD) in public administration history as a case study in understanding how the popularity of interventions to enhance agency performance rise and decline in academic literature. Using Barley and Kunda’s (1992) tripartite historical analysis of management paradigms it discusses OD’s surge, its rhetoric, and the challenges it confronted, especially from the alternative intervention of total quality management. The article shows how the rise and relative decline of OD within the PA literature coincided with important public administration theory developments in the mid and late twentieth century.

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