Intentional change theory at the organizational level: a case study



Journal of Management Development/Emerald Group, 7 ed., vol. 25, pp. 707-717, October (4th Quarter/Autumn) 2006



The purpose of this paper is to examine the application of intentional change theory (ICT) at the organizational level through the lens of a case study. This paper is a case study of Roadway Express, a leading transportation provider of industrial and commerical goods throughout North America, which embarked ona journey of cultural transformation in 1999, using a popular change process known as appreciative inquiry (AI). The Roadway case study illustrates both the theory of intentional change and the method of AI in use and provides a platform upon which to observe change at the organizational level. Roadway Express serves as a solid benchmark for organizations considering how to succeed in cultural transformation. The implementation of the philosophy and methodology of appreciative inquiry played a key role in that success. Analysis shows the link between ICT and AI. From this observation, ICT emerges as a stand-alone theory upon which to interpret the success of Roadway's organizational change efforts.

Ellen Van Oosten