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Title: The heuristics of breakthrough : the living experience of transformation and its implications for organisational innovation and development
Author: Francis, Tyrone John
ISNI:       0000 0004 2738 8025
Awarding Body: University of the West of England, Bristol
Current Institution: University of the West of England, Bristol
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis confronts the question: what supports breakthrough? From my practice base as an Organisational Development (OD) consultant, I question sanitised assumptions at the heart of OD that leadership, management and corporate transformation is necessarily about "upward curves" and that development is experienced positively. I show how received, techno-rational notions of "on demand" corporate innovation and cultural transformation often neglect the central human experience of breakthrough, including issues of encounter, catharsis and collapse which - far from being manifestations of psychopathology - might well have their place in individual and corporate revitalisation and renewal. To explore what I believe to be neglected issues concerning the living experience of breakthrough and transformation, I situate my enquiry in the tradition of Heuristic Action Research. Enquiring across personal, organisational and social boundaries, I undertake critically-reflexive self-study in both professional and personal domains of my life; I undertake "insider" action research with colleagues in the innovation consultancy I eo- founded and eo-led: and I engage in networked, participative enquiry with a number of colleagues and clients. I explore the implications for my work as an OD consultant that breakthrough and transformation require a disruption and reorganisation of the self. Exploring hidden dynamics in change processes, I describe how working with field-relational, eo-creative, embodied and aesthetic dimensions of experience has become central to my own theory of practice, which has been challenged and changed through this research process. While this is predominantly a first-person enquiry, I suggest that these guiding heuristics might also have applications for other OD practitioners whose work encourages them to break new ground.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available