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Robert Marshak Distinguished Scholar in Residence Department of Public Administration and Policy

Ph.D. Public Administration, American University

M.P.A., Public Administration, American University

B.A., Political Science, Duke University

Dr. Marshak has taught organization dynamics and change leadership in SPA since 1977. His areas of expertise include: organizational change and development, dialogic organization development, organizational discourse, and organization theory and behavior. Dr. Marshak has served on the Boards of NTL Institute and the Organization Development Network, and was Acting Editor of the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science. He received the OD Network’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the Organization Development and Change Division of the Academy of Management's Distinguished Educator Award,and is the author or co-editor of 4 books and more than 100 publications on consulting and change. Dr. Marshak also held senior executive level positions in policy and management analysis in the US Government.
For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

Partnerships & Affiliations

  • Journal of Applied Behavioral Science
    Editorial Board

  • Journal of Change Management
    Editorial Board

  • NTL Institute
    Emeritus Member

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Selected Publications

  • Marshak, R. J. (2020). Dialogic Process Consulting: Generative Meaning-Making in Action. North Vancouver, BC, Canada: BMI Publishing.
  • Bushe, G. R., & Marshak, R. J. (Eds.)(2015). Dialogic Organization Development: The Theory and Practice of Transformational Change. Oakland, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
  • Marshak, R. J. (2009) Organizational Change: Views from the Edge. Bethel, ME: The Lewin Center.
  • Bushe, G. R., & Marshak, R. J. (2009) “Revisioning Organization Development: Diagnostic and Dialogic Premises and Patterns of Practice,” Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Vol. 45, No. 3.
  • Marshak, R. J., & Grant, D. (2008) “Organizational Discourse and New Organization Development Practices,” British Journal of Management, Vol. 19, pp.S7-S19.
  • Marshak, R. J. (2006) Covert Processes at Work: Managing the Five Hidden Dimensions of Organizational Change. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Honors, Awards, and Fellowships

  • Distinguished Educator Award, Organization Development and Change Division, Academy of Managemnt, 2017.
  • Most Outstanding Article Award for "Anxiety and Change in Contemporary Organization Development", OD Practitioner, 2017.
  • Best Article Award for "The Dialogic Mindset: Leading Emergent Change in a Complex World." With G. R. Bushe, Organization Development Journal, 2017.
  • Douglas McGregor Memorial Award for "Revisioning Organization Development: Diagnostic and Dialogic Premises and Patterns of Practice," with G. R. Bushe, Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Best Article of 2009.
  • Best Paper Award for “A Discourse-based Theory of Organizational Change.” With D. Grant, OD&C Division, Academy of Management, 2009
  • Visiting Fellowship awarded by the Institute of Advanced Study, University of Warwick, Coventry, England, May 2008
  • University Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching in an Adjunct Appointment, American University, 2001
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Organization Development Network, 2000  

Professional Presentations

  • Marshak, R.J. (2015) “Thoughts on Transformational Change in Government Systems.” Presentation for British Civil Service Organisation Development and Design Summit Conference, London, January 27, 2015.
  • Marshak, R. J. (2013) “Covert Processes: Exploring the Hidden Barriers to Organizational Change.” Invited one-week seminar, Cape Cod Institute, Eastham, MA, July 29-August 2, 2013. 
  • Marshak, R. J. (2011) “Organization Development in the USA: Past, Present, Future.” Keynote presentation for the Organization Development Network-Japan Conference, Tokyo, Japan, January 31, 2011.
  • Marshak, R. J. (2010). "Organization Development Approaches to Change." Invited presentation to members of the British Civil Service at the National School of Government, London, UK  March 29, 2010. 
  • Marshak, R. J. (2010). “OD Morphogenesis: New Premises, Permutations and Possibilities.” Keynote Address, NTL Conference on the New OD, National Labor College, MD, March 19, 2010.
  • Marshak, R. J. (2010). “The Hidden Dimensions of Organizational Change.” Guest Speaker, Change Management Distinguished Speaker Series, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University, March 17, 2010.
  • Marshak, R. J. "Organization Development and Post Confucian Countries." Invited lecture at University of Pennsylvania, 2009.
  • Marshak, R. J. “The Hidden Barriers to Organizational Change.” Invited lecture at the Graduate School of Global Human Resource Development, Chung Ang University, Seoul, Korea, 2008.
  • Marshak, R. J. “The Power of Conceptual Metaphors to Shape Organization Strategy and Change.” Keynote address for the Metaphor in Strategy and Organization Workshop, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, Coventry, England, 2008.

AU Experts

Area of Expertise

Organizational change, change leadership, covert processes in organizations, how language (talk) influences change

Additional Information

Robert J. Marshak has more than 35 years of experience consulting with public and private corporations globally and is the author of Organizational Change: Views from the Edge (the Lewin Center, 2009) and Covert Processes at Work: Managing the Five Hidden Dimensions of Organizational Change (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2006).

For the Media

To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

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