Handbook of Organizational Consultation

Handbook of Organizational Consultation

Handbook of Organizational Consultation

Handbook of Organizational Consultation


It has again been rewarding to assemble some of the best practitioners and researchers to pick their minds, in effect, in front of a worldwide audience on topics that are gaining increasingly global attention. The sum of all of us working together has generated a useful second edition of the Handbook of Organizational Consultation, which I believe justly deserves even more attention than accorded to the first edition.

From an elemental point of view, this second edition rests on an obvious rationale. Consultation remains one of the fastest-expanding areas of application, inquiry, and experimentation, and this second edition of the handbook attempts to stay abreast of those yeasty developments, In addition, in selected particulars, this second edition endeavors to join in inducing some of those future developments, as contrasted with keeping up with them, which of course is a reasonable challenge in itself. This edition appears seven years after the publication of its predecessor. That short interval suggests a noteworthy acceptance of the approach of the handbook, and an audience that is asking for even more of the same.

Particularly satisfying has been the acceptance of this volume outside of North America, especially since the “emerging” management theory and practice will clearly be global, if they are to be successful. Hence, I am gratified by the substantial numbers of non-U.S. consultants and scholars who appear in this second edition. In fact, about 20% (more or less) of the authors in this second edition come from outside the United States.

This handbook is at the center of work to which I have assigned a growing priority over the years. To explain, I have been involved in several other efforts to make “management” what its founders intended-a broad-ranging set of interests, methods, and values thrusting toward the generalizable, if not universal. Under the entrepreneurial leadership of M. Afzal Rahim, for example, I have been fortunate enough to help in the worldwide efforts under the flag of the International Conference of Advances in Management (ICAM). In addition to a now-yearly professional meeting, ICAM has for several years published a book a year on the theme current topics in management, * and also publishes two quarterly journals-the International Journal of Organizational Analysis and the International Journal of Conflict, both of which are nearing the end of their first decade of publication.

This handbook is also consistent with the growing international thrust of the Organization Development Institute, which is a major organization development (OD) or organization development and change (ODC) membership group. Don Cole has been a persevering advocate of testing the generalizability of the methods and values of OD and ODC; and he has been especially keen on

*See, e.g., Rahim, M.A., Golembiewski, R.T., Lundberg, C., eds. Current Topics in Management Greenwich, CT: JAI, 1998.

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