Purpose – As founding editors of the Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance, this paper welcomes the beginnings of a new academic community. The purpose of this paper is to outline why both academic researchers and organizational practitioners need to enter into and be guided by a new debate and new set of expertise. It signals the sorts of research agendas that need to be addressed in this field.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper establishes the future research agenda for organizational effectiveness. It reviews historic literature and traces the development of the field of organizational effectiveness from: early analysis of political judgements about effectiveness; systemic analysis of the intersection of profitability, employee satisfaction and societal value; debates over stakeholder, power, social justice and organizational fitness, resilience and evolution; the importance of mental models of senior managers; how organizations use changes in work system design and business process to modify employee's mental, emotional and attitudinal states; and the use of an architectural metaphor to highlight the locus of value creation perspectives.
Findings – There are many echoes of the debates and concerns today in the past. The paper shows how current concerns over strategic and business model change, organization design, talent management, agile and resilient organization, balanced scorecard, employee engagement, advocacy and reputation can be informed, and better contextualized, by drawing upon frameworks that have previously arisen.
Research limitations/implications – The paper argues that the authors must adopt a broad definition of performance, and examine how the achievement of important strategic outcomes, such as innovation, customer centricity, operational excellence, globalization, become dependent on people and organization issues. It signals the need to focus on the intermediate performance outcomes that are necessary to achieve these strategic outcomes, and to examine these performance issues across several levels of analysis such as the individual, team, function, organization and societal (policy) level.
Practical implications – The audience for this paper and the journal as a whole is academics who work on cross-disciplinary research problems, the leading human resource (HR), strategy or performance research centres, and finally senior managers and specialists (not just HR) from the internal centres of expertise inside organizations who wish to keep abreast of leading thinking.
Originality/value – The paper argues the need to combine human resource management perspectives with those from decision sciences, supply chain management, operations management, consumer behaviour, innovation, management cognition, strategic management and its attention to the resource-based view of the firm, dynamic capabilities, business models and strategy as practice. It argues for a broadening of analysis beyond human capital into related interests in social capital, intellectual capital and political/reputational capital, and for linkage of the analysis across time, to place the novelties and contexts of today into the structures of the past.