Steven Cady, Ph.D


Steven Cady, Ph.D.

Position: Professor, Director Institute of Organizational Effectiveness
Phone: 419-372-9388
Address: 358E Maurer Center

Faculty Spotlight

Dr. Cady is world renowned for his expertise in Organizational Behavior and Development, specifically with a focus on Whole System Change and motivation.  His current research involves a study of Whole System Change, defining the field, which is a collection of collaborative methods from around the world and an examination of their impact on organizations and communities.  Dr. Cady is also conducting research in motivation and performance, with a specific focus on passion, and publishing his newest book “Stepping Stones to Success”and his Life Inspired” DVD with WBGU-PBS.

His work centers on ways to empower all participants, both at the individual and collective levels, in the change processes connected to OD.  This includes collaborating with others to create online forums as well as blending contexts to develop the best of both online and in-person learning environments.  Together these goals and activities help him stay on the cutting edge and passionately contribute his work to support the BGSU community in being the best it can be.

The professional accomplishments he is most proud of include developing and teaching the first online course for the Schmidthorst College of Business, holding the first “Nexus for Change” conference at BGSU, and publishing “The Change Handbook” the definitive resource on today’s best methods for engaging whole systems.  He has also developed the first graduate course of its kind related to the book titled, “Engaging Whole Systems for Change” and delivered the first White Belt Certification in South Africa.

Dr. Cady became a professor because he “wanted to be in the world of exploration and research, education and teaching, and the world of practice and dealing with real issues.  For me, the great thing about being a professor in business has been the opportunities to be in all those worlds and have them inform each other.  It’s a continuous learning and personal growth experience.” 

According to Dr. Cady, the key experiences he brings to the classroom is his work in personal development and growth, speaking in workshops and conferences, facilitating events, and working in large-scale change initiatives helping them to develop strategy for their community or organization.

Dr. Cady says his most memorable experience is “less about the place as it is about a moment in a place and time.” 

“The moment I was sitting with the top 150+ leaders of ConAgra in an open space forum when they began to have a real conversation with each other, where the senior leadership team was  asked a pivotal question and they answered with such honesty that the room broke out in applause.

Meeting with a group of people in South Africa saying ‘We have something to offer the world; the world keeps coming here to share with us what they know as if we have nothing to share in return.  We want to create a gathering here in which the world can come and learn about what we know…and what we can offer the world.’

…Sitting on the side of Big Bald Mountain when the sun rises watching people reflect on their future.  Then come back from that activity into the group and share a poem that really captured the essence of doing work that matters to the world.”


Ph.D., Florida State University, 1996
M.B.A., University of Central Florida, 1992
B.A., University of Central Florida, 1987


IDEAL Certified (2002)–Interactive Distance Education for All Learners, Distance Education Design & Delivery


Director, Institute for Organizational Effectiveness, Bowling Green State University, 2000 – 2002, & 2006 – Present

Graduate Faculty, Master of Organization Development Program, Bowling Green State University

Associate Professor of Management

Director, Master of Organization Development Program (Executive and Full-Time), Bowling Green State University, 2002 – 2004


Cady, S.H. & Fleshman, K. “Amazing Change: Stories from Around the World.” Organization Development Practitioner. 44(1), 2012, pp. 3-9.

Oelofse, E. & Cady, S.H. “The World Café in South America: A Case Study on Improving Performance & Commitment,” Organization Development Journal, 30(1), 2012, pp. 79-89.

Cady, S.H., Wheeler, J.V., Dewolf, J., & Brodke, M. “Mission, vision, and values: What do they say?” Organizational Development Journal, 29(1), 2011, pp. 63-78.Holman, P., Devane, T., & Cady, S. H. (2007). The Change Handbook (Eds. Holman, P., Devane, T., & Cady, S.H.). San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Kohler.

Cady, S. H., Matthews, J. A., & Matthews, T. A. (2007). Mastering change. OD Practitioner. 39(3): 28-33.

Neubert, M. J., Tagger, S., & Cady, S. H. (2006). The role of conscientiousness and extraversion in affecting the relationship between perceptions of group potency and volunteer group member selling behavior: An interactionist perspective. Human Relations. 59(9): 1239-1260.

Young, A., Cady, S. H., & Foxon, M. (2006). Demystifying gender differences in mentoring: Theoretical perspectives and challenges for future research on gender and mentoring. Human Resource Development Review. 5(2). 148-175.

Cady, S. H. & Dannemiller, K. D. (2005). Whole system transformation: The five truths of change. Practicing Organization Development: A Guide for Consultants (Eds. Rothwell, W. J. et al). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. 440-455.

McLean, G. N. & Cady, S. H. (2005). Evaluation. Practicing Organization Development: A Guide for Consultants (Eds. Rothwell, W. J. et al). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. 327-353.

Cady, S. H. (2004). Integrating critical thinking into daily life. Inquiry. 23(3): 33-36.

Cady, S. H. (2004). Live with passion: Following your first best alternative in life. OD Practitioner. 36(4). 16-21.