The social construction of reality

1.One of the books I have on OD consulting has an interesting article by Susan Barnes (2004) on the social construction of reality.

Here are a few brief paragraphs:

“As OD practitioners, we often run into situations in which people seem to be having trouble understanding one another. One of the causes of this problem is that different people are operating under different assumptions, and are therefore living in different realities” (p. 1).

“According to Eisen (2003), one reason we have a social construction of reality is that people need to have a set of values, attitudes, and beliefs that we count on and which we share with others around us…. These things become taken for granted, and are part of our culture….in the absence of knowledge about other people’s worlds, we quickly fill the void with our stories about them. We create our myths about their motives, their competencies. And we don’t see ourselves making up stories, we see our stories as truth. This truth that we make up is our own construct of reality” (p. 1).

How might one’s own reality, which might be different from others’ reality, impact the success or failure of an OD intervention? Explain

2. This week, we have discussed several OD interventions, but those aren’t the only ones available. For instance, Manning and Binzagr (1996) proposes participative design, open space and at least four others.

As an HR OD practitioner, how would you go about selecting the appropriate intervention to implement? And how would you evaluate whether or not the process was working?

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