Systemic Practice and Action Research

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 85–109 | Cite as

Applying Interactive Planning at DuPont: The Case of Transforming a Safety, Health, and Environmental Function to Deliver Business Value

  • James E. Leemann


Organizational transformation is a dynamic process that astounds those who attempt to create better work environments. Corporations often use transformations to downsize and/or outsource functions. Although the Safety, Health, and Environmental (SHE) function has experienced little change in the past 25 years, pressure is increasing to reduce costs and deliver business value. Often, cost reduction means downsizing and memory loss. Delivering business value means moving the SHE function into the business, with modest attention given to integrating the work. Four major findings resulted in the transformation of a SHE function in DuPont using Interactive Planning: (1) SHE professionals transformed from independent to interdependent knowledge workers, (2) SHE performance improved by almost 50%, (3) enabling factors were participation and personal commitment and disabling factors were organizational turbulence and lack of recognition, and (4) organizational learning flourished among SHE professionals and tacit SHE knowledge became explicit on the factory floor.

Ackoff Interactive Planning transformation DuPont safety health environment 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • James E. Leemann
    • 1
  1. 1.Tulane University. The Leemann GroupScottsdale

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