David A. Nadler

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David A. Nadler (1948 – 2015) was an American business executive, and organizational theorist, known for his work with Michael L. Tushman on organizational design and organizational architecture.


  • One can avoid misinterpreting information or jumping to false conclusions by cross checking important pieces of information through other methods of data collection. For example, if a questionnaire indicates major problems around supervision in one department, it may be useful to interview some supervisors and nonsupervisory personnel in the specific department for more detailed information. It also may be valuable to spend some time in the department observing the interactions between supervisors and subordinates. The most effective data collection strategy, therefore, is one that uses multiple measures and multiple methods of data collection. It is by combining data from interviews, questionnaires, observations, and archival sources that the consultant is able to triangulate and thus discard the data that may be distorted or biased.
    • David A Nadler, Feedback and Organizational Development Using Data-Based Methods. Reading, Mass Addison-Wesley, 1977, p. 140; Cited in: Arthur G. Bedeian (1980). Organizations: Theory and Analysis : Text and Cases. p. 43.
  • When a broad and significant change occurs in the organization, the first question many people ask is “What's in it for me?” or “What's going to happen to me? This is an indication of the anxiety that occurs when people are faced with the uncertainty associated with organizational change.
    • David A Nadler (2010), "Techniques for the management of change," Robert Golembiewski (ed.) Handbook of Organizational Consultation, p. 1067; Quoted in: Diane Dormant, ‎Joe Lee (2011). The Chocolate Model of Change.

"Information Processing as an Integrating Concept in Organizational Design." 1978


Michael L. Tushman and David A. Nadler. "Information Processing as an Integrating Concept in Organizational Design." Academy of management review 3.3 (1978): 613-624.

  • Concepts of uncertainty and information processing are used to integrate the diverse organization design/structure literatures. This approach more fully explicates the concept of congruence which lies at the heart of contingency ideas. The review suggests a contingency approach to design which develops a feasible set of structural alternatives from which the organization can choose.
    • p. 613: Abstract
  • [Information processing is] the gathering, interpreting and synthesis of information in the context of organisational decision making.
    • p. 614
  • Organization structure must perform the major functions of facilitating the collection of information from external areas as well as permitting effective processing of information within and between subunits which make up the organization.
    • p. 615
  • [Synchronization increases the] opportunity for feedback and error correction and synthesis of different points of view.
    • p. 618
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