Ethical Issues in OD

White & Wooten see 5 categories of ethical dilemmas in OD:
† Misrepresentation † Misuse

and collusion

of Data † Manipulation and coercion † Value and goal conflicts † Technical Ineptness

1a.Misrepresentation of consultant¶s skills
Distortion or misrepresentation of one¶s training, competencies or experience in vita sheets. To let the client assume that one has certain skills when one does not.

1b.Collusion
Collusion in literal sense refers to ³conspiring´ In OD, it may refer to e.g. consultant agreeing with the key client to schedule a team building workshop when department head, whose team meeting has to be conducted, is scheduled to be on leave.

2.Misuse of data
Misuse of data might be on the part of consultant or client E.g. showing climate survey results from deptt A to head of deptt B without permission from deptt A. So, confidentiality is important (Weisbord¶s guidelines)

3.Manipulation & Coercion
Distorting the data gathered during OD effort or misrepresenting the data. E.g. showing more number of representatives than those who actually attended the workshop Coercion involves forcing the org members into settings where they are required to disclose information about themselves or their units which they prefer to keep private

4.Value and Goal Conflicts
E.g. a company going for major reengineering effort after assurances of job security, may end up laying off a huge part of their workforce. For OD consultant, in such cases, the ethical course of action, would be to press the top management to be completely open with employees about the implications of whatever strategy is being used.

5.Professional/Technical Ineptness
Involves two kind of violations of ethical standards:
an intervention that has a low probability of being helpful, or may be harmful in given situation † Using an intervention that exceeds one¶s expertise (need for ³shadow consultant´)
† Using

Implications of OD for client
OD interventions are a conscious effort on the part of the top management:
† To

enlarge the database for making mgmt decisions † To expand the influence process † To capitalize on strengths of informal system and to make formal and informal system more congruent † To become more responsive

Implications of OD for client
OD interventions are a conscious effort on the part of the top management:
† To

legitimatize conflict as an area of collaborative management † To examine its own leadership style † To legitimatize and encourage the collaborative mgmt of teams, intergroup and organizational cultures. These implications are for top mgmt & must be clear to OD consultant from beginning so as to help top mgmt be clear about them as process unfolds.

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