Using my consulting experience, I offer a practical perspective to problem solving in organization development (OD) interventions, defined as “habitus-oriented consulting” (HOC). Building on Bourdieu’s action theory, HOC frames organizational problems neither only as psychological phenomena derived from individuals’ psychological dispositions, nor only as structural phenomena derived from the social context (defined here as individual and systemic orientations), as mainstream OD often defines them. Instead, HOC frames organizational problems as sociological phenomena, derived from individuals’ social dispositions, or habitus, produced by the organization’s social structure. Using the example of conflict among members of a highly skilled surgical unit in a hospital in Israel, I show how HOC can be used by OD consultants to intervene in organizations by exploring and understanding social structure, participant agency, patterns of habitus, relations between objective positions, and the whole of the organization.
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© 2017, © The Author(s) 2017.
- organization development
- sociological perspective