Is Problem Driven Iterative Adaptation (PDIA) a Re-Statement of Organization Development (OD)?

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Abstract

This study examines the emergence of Problem Driven Iterative Adaptation (pdia) and asks whether or not it is a representation of Organization Development (od). It starts by considering pdia as a political science phenomenon, and then moves on to consider it from an organizational point of view in light of the disciplinary backgrounds, the preferred strategies of intervention, and the role of change agents of both approaches. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with five senior development officials utilizing pdia at their work to gain a detailed explanation of pdia in practice. In addition, the author corresponded with the co-originator of pdia, Matt Andrews, for further analysis. During the course of the study it emerged that pdia does constitute a new approach—in its focus on the gradual discovery of solutions for locally-led problems and broad engagement of multi-agent leadership groups. In addition, pdia’s emphasis on iteration facilitates learning and adjustment. Although these elements have their roots in od and other earlier approaches, the combination is genuinely innovative.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)696–715
Number of pages20
JournalPerspectives on Global Development and Technology
Volume15
Issue number6
Early online date29 Nov 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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