Chapter | Research in Organizational Change and Development | 2011

Developing an Effective Organization: Intervention Method, Empirical Evidence, and Theory

by Michael Beer


The field of organization development is fragmented and lacks a coherent and integrated theory and method for developing an effective organization. A 20-year action research program led to the development and evaluation of the Strategic Fitness Process (SFP)-a platform by which senior leaders, with the help of consultants, can have an honest, collective, and public conversation about their organization's alignment with espoused strategy and values. The research has identified a syndrome of six silent barriers to effectiveness and a dynamic theory of organizational effectiveness. Empirical evidence from the 20-year study demonstrates that SFP always enables truth to speak to power safely, and in a majority of cases enables senior teams to transform silent barriers into strengths, realign their organization's design and strategic management process with strategy and values, and in a few cases employ SFP as an ongoing learning and governance process. Implications for organization and leadership development and corporate governance are discussed.

Keywords: Learning; Corporate Governance; Leadership Development; Growth and Development Strategy; Management Teams; Organizational Design; Performance Effectiveness; Research; Alignment; Theory; Value;


Beer, Michael. "Developing an Effective Organization: Intervention Method, Empirical Evidence, and Theory ." In Research in Organizational Change and Development. Vol. 19, edited by Richard Woodman, William Pasmore, and Abraham B. (Rami) Shani, 1–54. Emerald Group Publishing, 2011.