Student-led Project

Towards Re-Imagining the Role of the Change Agent from a Critical Complexity Perspective: A Co-Operative Inquiry Approach

Project Leader(s):

Research on the theoretical conceptualisations and research methods informing current change agency theory and practice in the field of Organisation Theory (OT) in general, and Organisational Change and Development (OCD) in particular, are deficient to engage with the inherent complex nature of business organisations. The dominant paradigm that has been applied in organisational change interventions assumes that change happens through linear cause and effect approaches that can be enhanced by technological skills with the aim of maximising optimisation strategies.

This project explores whether a re-thinking of the role of the change agent from a critical complexity perspective can be facilitated effectively through facilitating deep dialogue amongst change practitioners by employing the method of co-operative inquiry. The following framings are explored: new avenues for providing complexity-informed interpretations of change, organisational structure and function in general, but more specifically alternative change agency as informed by identity and spirituality in OCD interventions.

A critical complexity lens is adopted for exploring and re-thinking the interactional nature of both identity and spirituality of change agents. The project highlights these notions as possible entry points for reflecting on novel change agency praxis. It is argued that the notion of ‘spiritual identity praxis’ (ways of being-becoming) enables the co-exploration and co-creation of complexity-informed theoretical and methodological contributions to organisational change agency and mainstream debates on OCD.

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