Through the eyes of others: Using developmental peer review to promote reflection and change in organizations

Nicolini, D; Hartley, Jean; Stansfield, A and Hurcombe, J (2011). Through the eyes of others: Using developmental peer review to promote reflection and change in organizations. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 24(2) pp. 211–228.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/09534811111119771

Abstract

Purpose – This paper seeks to critically examine the principles, mechanisms, and critical success factors of developmental peer review as a way to promote reflection and change in organizations.

Design/methodology/approach – This paper calls developmental peer review the structured, managed, and collaborative process whereby reputable others are invited into an organisation to provide feedback and offer guidance on organisational change and improvement. In the paper, the authors use the example of developmental peer review in UK local government both to foreground some of the distinctive aspects of the methodology and to identify some of its critical conditions of use.

Findings – The paper argues that this type of initiative often co-exists with a more judgemental inspection-oriented double. The institutional framework that surrounds developmental peer review makes it therefore both a powerful and delicate tool. There is a need in this initiative to maintain a dynamic balance to avoid either coercion or collusion in review.

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