Organisation development in HRM: a longitudinal study contrasting evolutionary trends between the UK and USA

Anne Clare Gillon, Ashley Braganza, Sharon Williams, Catherine McCauley-Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Organisation development (OD) roles and skills are in demand in practice, yet they receive scant attention in the academic literature. Using the theoretical lens of population ecology, this study examines the evolution of OD through a 40-year empirical study. The paper extends current thinking by contrasting the research of academic scholars on the evolution of the human resources management (HRM) profession in the UK and USA. It also presents implications of the data for the future, in practice, and as an academic subject. The methodology applied in this longitudinal study identifies growth and content analysis of job advertisements in the relevant trade press. A key finding of the study is that whilst it has achieved legitimacy in UK practice, the growth in requirement for OD skills has largely been ignored by scholars. In its current evolutionary phase, the UK form of the profession has been in a stable state, however, a small number of HRM scholarly descriptions of new HRM' indicate that a further evolution in form has commenced. We argue that the most successful trajectory for evolving professional forms of HRM is through a convergence of HRM, OD and human resources development, and that UK scholars need to recognise the presence of OD in HRM.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1002-1023
JournalThe International Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2014


  • human resources
  • human resources development
  • human resources management
  • organisation development
  • population ecology


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