Ray, K. W., & Goppelt, J. (2011). Understanding the effects of leadership development on the creation of organizational culture change: a research approach. International Journal of Training and Development, 15(1), 58-75.
Many leadership development programs are intended to improve individual leadersâ€™ skills and abilities to perform. Methods for measuring the affect of such programs range from simple meta-cognitive self-report surveys to 360-degree feedback, to instrumentation of psychological phenomena. However, the outcomes of some leadership development programs are aimed at affecting larger systemic issues facing the organization. Methods for a researcher to measure and understand the linkage between a developing leader and the resulting affect on an organization are difficult due to the social complexity of that organization. Organization development (OD) practitioners can find it equally challenging to help people in the organization learn what is happening and facilitate new ways of organizing.
The authors propose that in order to understand the relationship between leadership development and organizational culture change, methods that take a social constructionist perspective combined with social complexity theories of change is useful. Such methods might conceive the organization as a network of conversations where systemic change emerges from the network interacting with other networks of conversation. Both researchers and practitioners can benefit from capturing emerging narratives and enlisting organizational actors in collaborative sensemaking.