Understanding Organizational Reality: Concepts for the Change Leader




Owen, Keith O.
Dietz, A. Steven

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Sage Open


To achieve their purposes, organizations must constantly learn, adapt, and grow, a process typically referred to as change. Research shows that only a relatively few change efforts achieve great success—most just get by while the majority fail to reach predefined performance goals and objectives. That the success of planned change is relatively rare led to the following questions: (a) What facilitates or inhibits the change process? (b) How do these facilitators and inhibitors evolve within an organization? and (c) What are the implications of understanding this evolutionary process relative to achieving a more sustainable level of performance? This article addresses these questions and presents a holistic model for creating an open, fully transparent environment in which the many differences of potential relevance to a change are put in the open for analysis. The approach, the Full Dimensional Systems Model, assumes there are multiple, interrelated domains of influence that affect change and that these must each be appreciated and addressed simultaneously to achieve sustainable performance improvement.



complex adaptive systems, organizational change, organizational transparency, open systems, organizational health, self-organizing processes, emergence, systems theory, Organization, Workforce, and Leadership Studies


Owen, K. O., & Dietz, A. S. (2012). Understanding organizational reality: Concepts for the change leader. SAGE Open, 2(4), pp. 1-14.


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