Change in organisations is inevitable, especially in challenging economic times. Recognising that
we need to engage our people in change initiatives not only facilitates buy in, it can also enable us
to use the knowledge and insights that our people have to identify and embrace new ideas for
transformation leading to long term viability.
The literature is awash with models and theories of change, but few explain how to create and
embed the conditions for change that enable stakeholder engagement, coordination of initiatives
and sustainability of the management of change within organisations. Managerial cybernetics is
the science of effective organisation, but little work has been undertaken to utilise managerial
cybernetics in the design of change intervention which both engages those affected or embraces
creativity techniques as part of the cybernetic change framework.
Using action research, this thesis explores a number of organisational situations and the framework
for cybernetic participatory intervention that engages stakeholders both in the design and
implementation of change. The framework is refined and used within increasingly complex
situations involving multiple change initiatives, multi company initiatives and cross industry
initiatives. The framework embeds creativity tools to both engage stakeholders and enhance
understanding of the situational context, allowing for new and enhanced situations to emerge.
The thesis describes the application of the cybernetic participatory intervention framework in five
specific contexts and goes on to present the framework as a model for others to use for the design
of change interventions for their own situation.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.