The Top Seven (7) Books on Organisational Development

The Top Seven (7) Books on Organisational Development
Last Updated: June 5, 2023

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Learning never ends. We learn a new lesson every day and this is true for workplaces too. In the modern workplace, things change constantly, the staff changes, and the direction of the company changes. Moreover, technology is evolving rapidly. As a result, it is critical to learn continuously and keep up the pace. It has become increasingly important for HR Practitioners and Business executives to learn how to drive business performance in the face of constant change.


In this article, I have given a brief review of seven (7) books that I think every HR Practitioner should read. 

Work Rules! Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead

by Laszlo Bock



From the visionary head of Google's innovative People Operations comes a groundbreaking inquiry into the philosophy of work-and a blueprint for attracting the most spectacular talent to your business and ensuring that they succeed. This is a must-read for any leader in modern business. Google has done a lot of things right both in their products and also in how they run their company and build their culture, and this is a fairly detailed account of how they have built an impressive culture and is written by someone who knows - their head of HR. This book is recommended to three types of readers: First, managers, who will find it useful for developing talent and getting more value and productivity from their existing teams. Second, any HR professional who will find great insights about hiring, interviewing and empowering people, and lastly, any employee who wants to grow and achieve a meaningful impact with their work.



Organizational Culture and Leadership by Edgar H. Schein



Regarded as one of the most influential management books of all time, Edgar Schein's Organizational Culture and Leadership focuses on today's complex business realities and draws on a wide range of contemporary research to demonstrate the crucial role of leaders in applying the principles of culture to achieve their organizational goals. Edgar Schein explores how leadership and culture are fundamentally intertwined, and reveals key findings of leadership and culture.



Capitalizing on Conflict: Strategies and Practices for Turning Conflict to Synergy in Organizations Manager's Handbook, by Kirk Blackard and James W. Gibson.



The key theme is to capitalize on the positive, synergistic aspects of the conflict. The authors take the view that divergent interests and some counterproductive behavior is inevitable and suggest that management and its systems are key factors causing or minimizing conflict. Each situation is different and calls for working with employees to resolve issues. This book provides a systematic conflict management model with four components: minimize conflict, surface conflicts that occur, resolve it, and learn from the experience to further minimize conflict. Offers strategies and techniques for creating trust; identifying policies that ignite conflict; encourage effective supervision; expose suppressed conflict; engage with the parties; reach an optimal resolution, and foster organizational learning. A very thoughtful, in-depth work offering many important insights.


Change Is Everybody's Business: Claim Your Change Power, by Pat McLagan. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.



It provides a powerful foundation that anyone can use to make the process of change positive and rewarding. The author takes a conversational approach and uses stories, examples, and illustrations to drive home the message that everybody in an organization has the power to make changes for the better. The book includes questionnaires that enable the reader to evaluate how ready they are to make the most of change. The book explores four vital and exhilarating messages and actions to take:

  1. View yourself as a business.
  2. Develop your skills.
  3. Be your human resource manager.
  4. Take charge of change.




Value Leadership: The 7 Principles That Drive Corporate Value in Any Economy, by Peter S. Cohan.



The premise of this book is that superior profits flow to companies that outperform competitors by creating value for employees, customers, and communities. The seven principles that constitute Value Leadership correlate with such success criteria as market share. These principles are:

  1. Value human relationships.
  2. Foster teamwork.
  3. Experiment frugally.
  4. Fulfill your commitments.
  5. Fight complacency.
  6. Win through multiple means (use strategy to sustain market leadership);

Chapters include worksheets (an assessment questionnaire or Value Quotient [VQ] Tool) for measuring how well an organization adheres to Value Leadership principles. Guidelines are provided for implementing change. Includes a VQ selection interview guide and some examples from successful companies. Excellent ideas, very well presented.


The Change Leader's Roadmap: How to Navigate Your Organization's Transformation, by Linda Ackerman Anderson and Dean Anderson. Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer.



This practical manual provides a way to build an integrated change strategy for transformation as well as detailed change plans. It features a nine-phase change process model that integrates organizational, cultural, behavioral and mindset changes. The book provides detailed phase-by-phase guidance at both the conceptual and operational levels. It is informative about the speed and sequence of change activities and guides how to design the infrastructure and conditions necessary for the change effort to be successful. Each chapter focuses on a phase, beginning with an overview and list of task deliverables; each ends with questions to help the reader apply the work of the phase.







A collection of essays of changing the way change agents go about their challenges. The topics covered are self-directed learning; employee involvement; roles and competencies for successful change agency; the changing roles and responsibilities of change agents; multicultural organizational development; change management methods in B2B commerce and consulting firms; an examination of the current status and changing role of IT; and the balanced scorecard applied to B2B commerce. The final four chapters concern new approaches and models for change including changing from the inside out, making change a constant process or function (like quality), a consultant's role, and a discussion of organizational life as a story and OD as the means of changing that story. In-depth, informative and well written.


Carl Tapi is a Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a management and human resources consulting firm. Phone +263 (242) 481946-48/481950 or cell number +263 772 469 680 or email:  or visit our website at 


Carl Tapi

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