MU Receives $1 Million Gift for the Study of Organizational Change

By Brad Fischer

COLUMBIA, Mo. – A $1 million gift to the University of Missouri will provide support to the Center for the Study of Organizational Change (CSOC) in the Truman School of Public Affairs. An associate of the center, Seth Allcorn, pledged the donation to support the study of organizational change in the workplace.

“I have worked with CSOC director Michael Diamond for more than 20 years on the study of organizational change,” Allcorn said. “CSOC represents a conceptual repository for this new field of knowledge and a platform for its continued development.”

The gift primarily will fund doctoral student fellowships in organization studies by establishing a permanent endowment. Students with academic and research interests in psychodynamic theories and understanding the psychological forces that impact organizational change, politics, and culture, will work as doctoral research assistants in the CSOC.” Doctoral students will receive degrees through the Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs with a concentration and expertise in organization change.

CSOC helps public and private entities and governmental organizations understand where they excel and how they can improve. For example, last year CSOC studied the Missouri College Advising Corps (MCAC) to facilitate a strategic planning process. CSOC students completed 364 hours of interviews, observations, document reviews and focus groups, and provided recommendations that MCAC leaders could use to grow and improve the organization. Allcorn’s gift will provide funds to support doctoral students who can complete many more projects like this in the future.

Allcorn is an associate of the CSOC. He has more than 20 years of experience working with physicians, hospitals and academic medical centers. He is the former vice president for business and finance at the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine. In addition, Allcorn has served as a financial and administrative assistant dean at the Texas Tech School of Medicine and associate dean for the Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University Chicago. He has worked for more than 20 years as an organizational consultant specializing in the management of change, strategic planning and organizational restructuring. Allcorn is the author or co-author of a dozen books, half a dozen chapters and more than 75 papers that have appeared in scholarly and practitioner journals. He is a founding member of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organization.

CSOC is an interdisciplinary research center devoted to the theory and practice of psychodynamic approaches to organizational change. CSOC’s method has evolved over 30 years of fieldwork and consultation. CSOC is committed to the advancement of knowledge and understanding of human organizing and the challenges of organizational change in a complex, chaotic, global and cross-cultural context.

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