Master of Science in Organizational Dynamics Theses

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Submitted to the Program of Organizational Dynamics in the Graduate Division of the School of Arts and Sciences in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Organizational Dynamics at the University of Pennsylvania

Advisor: Nancie Zane


As organizations face rapidly changing and increasingly complex issues, it is critical they take advantage of potential opportunities to maintain their impact over time. This paper explores the discursive methods that support the co-construction, evolution, and transmission of organizational values and vision. It was theorized that if Large Group Design (LGD) principles are applied as an organization goes about its everyday work, it would be possible to develop a shared understanding and generational enculturation of organizational values and vision. Two large-scale interventions were conducted with the Bureau of Autism Services, PA Department of Public Welfare, through an action research project designed to test the effectiveness of the approach. It was determined that consistently applying large-scale principles throughout the planning and implementation process has an impact on the outcome of an intervention effort. Even when implemented imperfectly, the application of large-scale intervention principles to an organization’s everyday work is an effective approach for systems looking to inculcate values and maintain their impact over time. This research has considerations for organizations designing Large Scale Meetings (LSM) for their own unique purposes.



Date Posted: 01 July 2011