Theories E and O and employee performance appraisals: A study of organizational development and transformational change

by Chism, Shirley B., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2007, 220 pages; 3264283


The focus of this study is on the body of work created by Beer and Nohria, which suggests that archetypes can be compared along several dimensions of corporate transformation. Theory E's dimensions support a stable, bureaucratically controlled environment through the use of rigid rules, policies, and procedures, including a single looped learning process such as employee performance appraisals. Theory O's organizational dimensions of change support a transformational change of the fundamental assumptions and systems thinking that require controlling organizational processes and not people supports a double looped self-controlling learning system, a system that is flexible and prepared to self organize in response to changes in the external environment. The foundation of this research is a case study consisting of two real estate organizations that subscribes to and exemplifies theories E and O archetypes. A comparative analysis was performed to explore the relationships between theories E and O change dimensions and control systems. A mixed method design including both qualitative and quantitative data was used. Qualitative analysis consisted of semistructured interviews and survey comments, the quantitative analysis consisted of survey descriptive statistics and correlation analysis based on survey results using a 4 point Likert scale. The paper finds that Theory O and Theory E influence is limited to archetypal change dimensions while behaviors are emergent characteristic of the organization. Research has indicated that organizations with Theory O's archetype use single looped control system-employee performance appraisals. This case study consisted of two small companies within specific markets, the results from this case study does not statistically represents organizations with Theory E and O archetypes therefore, the findings of the research is not generalizable to other organizations, although the results of this research may shed some light on management processes which support organizational development.

AdviserJohn Whitlock
Source TypeDissertation
Publication Number3264283

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