Richard W. Woodman: Creativity and change

Tomas G. Thundiyil, Michael R. Manning

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Richard (Dick) W. Woodman is a unique contemplative scholar who built his name in the field with his scholarship as well as his charming personality and satirical nature. The following chapter covers Dick's personal history starting with growing up in rural Oklahoma, followed by his service in the US Army, and then his extended contributions to the profession. We discuss his life experiences and some of his lasting influences on the field. Early in his career, Dick helped popularize the concept of creativity in the field of management and organizational behavior by publishing one of the most highly cited and still actively researched theories on organizational creativity (Woodman, Sawyer, & Griffin, Acad Manag Rev 18:293-321, 1993). This was followed with several other important streams of scholarship including an emphasis on bridging scholars and practitioners as well as a focus on strengthening methodologies in organizational change research. In addition to this scholarship, Dick has also directly shaped the direction of research and practice in organizational change and development over the last 30 years as editor of two of the most influential publications: The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science and Research in Organizational Change and Development. We end this essay with a discussion of his lasting legacy in the change arena. Although recently retiring from a 38-year career as an endowed professor at Texas A&M, Dick continues to write and contribute to change scholarship. He encourages us to strengthen change research methodology, and his legacy of scholarship on creativity and change provides the conceptual basis for ongoing research with the interactionist model of creativity.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Organizational Change Thinkers
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9783319528786
ISBN (Print)9783319528779
StatePublished - Jul 20 2017


  • Change research methods
  • Creativity and change
  • Individual changeability
  • Organizational creativity
  • Temporality and change


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