What is an OD Intervention?

The term Intervention refers to a set of sequenced, planned actions or events intended to help an organization to increase its effectiveness. Interventions purposely disrupt the status quo; they are deliberate attempts to change an organization or sub-unit toward a different and more effective state. Criteria for Effective Interventions In OD three major criteria define the effectiveness of an intervention: 1. The Extent to Which it (the Intervention) fits the needs of the organization. 2. The degree to which it is based on causal knowledge of intended outcomes 3. The extent to which the OD intervention transfers change-management competence to organization members. Factors That Impact the Success of OD Interventions I. Factors relating to Change Situation: These relate to the environment of the organization and include the physical and human environment. 1. Readiness for Change: Intervention success depends heavily on the organization being ready for planned change. 2. Capability to Change: Managing planned change requires particular knowledge and skills including the ability to motivate change, to lead change, to develop political support, to manage transition, and to sustain momentum. 3. Cultural Context: The national culture within which an organization is embedded can exert a powerful influence on members’ reactions to change, and so intervention design must account for the cultural values and assumptions held by organization members. 4. Capabilities of the Change Agent (OD Consultant): The success of OD interventions depend to a great extent on the expertise, experience and talents of the consultant. II. Factors Related to the Target of Change: These relate to the specific targets at which OD interventions are targeted. The targets of change can be different issues of the organization and at different levels. A. Organizational Issues

4. and group dynamics. such as communication. Team Building: This intervention helps work groups become more effective in accomplishing tasks. group. setting goals for them. The following interventions deal with interpersonal relationships and group dynamics. Organization Confrontation Meeting: This change method mobilizes organization members to identify problems.1. B. 2. set action targets. Technology and Structure Issues: These refer to issues relating to how organizations divide their work amongst departments and how they coordinate between departments. 1. Human Resource Issues: These issues are concerned with attracting competent people to the organization. etc. expansions. customers. appraising and rewarding their performance. 4. Third Party Interventions: This change method is a form of process consultation aimed at dysfunctional interpersonal relations in organizations. which markets to serve. 1. 2. T Groups: The basic T Group brings ten to fifteen strangers together with a professional trainer to examine the social dynamics that emerge from their interactions. and begin . Organizational Levels OD interventions are aimed at different levels of the organization: individual. Process Consultation: This intervention focuses on interpersonal relations and social dynamics occurring in work groups. or between organization and its suppliers. and ensuring that they develop their careers and manage stress. leadership. etc. Strategic Issues: Strategic issues refer to major decisions of organizations such as what products or services to offer. 3. decision-making. 3. The following Interventions deal with human processes that are more system wide than individualistic or small-group oriented. organization and trans-organization (for example different offices of the organization around the globe. B. Human Process Issues: These issues have to do with social processes occurring among organization members. acquisitions. mergers.) INTERVENTION CATEGORIES Human Process Interventions A.

Performance Appraisal: This intervention is a systematic process of jointly . Downsizing: This intervention reduces costs and bureaucracy by decreasing the size of the organization through personnel layoffs. or to solve pressing organizational problems. These interventions are rooted in the disciplines of engineering. organization redesign. Human Resource Management Interventions 1. 3. 3. and work groups that generate high levels of employee fulfillment and productivity. division of labor and hierarchy). 2.working on problems. 2. Intergroup Relations: These interventions are designed to improve interactions among different groups or departments in organizations. 1. Work design: This refers to OD interventions aimed at creating jobs. Grid Organization Development: This normative intervention specifies a particular way to manage an organization. Re-engineering: This recent intervention radically redesigns the organization’s core work processes to create tighter linkage and coordination among the different tasks 4. Parallel Structures 5. technologies. and outsourcing. It attempts to improve organization effectiveness by establishing a better fit between personal and organizational objectives. sociology. Diagnostic guidelines exist to determine which structure is appropriate for particular organizational environments. Consultants place emphasis both on productivity and human fulfillment. 4. to articulate a new vision for the organization. High-involvement Organizations (HIO’s) 6. Structural Design: This change process concerns the organization’s division of labor – how to specialize task performances. Techno-Structural Interventions These interventions deal with an organization’s technology (for examples its task methods and job design) and structure (for example. and conditions. to develop new ways of working. Large-group Interventions: These interventions involve getting abroad variety of stakeholders into a large meeting to clarify important values. Total Quality Management 7. 2. Goal Setting: This change program involves setting clear and challenging goals. and psychology and in the applied fields of socio-technical systems and organization design.

require a more flexible set of policies and practices. Reward Systems: This intervention involves the design of organizational rewards to improve employee satisfaction and performance. beliefs and norms) appropriate to their strategies and environments. . Organization learning and knowledge management. 6. 2. 3.assessing work-related achievements. Managing workforce diversity: Important trends. 1. Merger and Acquisition Integration: This intervention describes how OD practitioners can assist two or more organizations to form a new entity. ethnic minorities. It is a highly participative process. 4. A strategic change plan helps members manage the transition between a current strategy and organization design and the desired future strategic orientation. partnerships and joint ventures to perform tasks or solve problems that are too complex for single organizations to resolve 3. Trans organization development: This intervention helps organizations to enter into alliances. such as the increasing number of women. 4. 6. and physically and mentally challenged people in the workforce. Career Planning and development: It generally focuses on managers and professional staff and is seen as a way of improving the quality of their work life. Employee Wellness: These interventions include employee assistance programs (EAPs) and stress management. Strategic Interventions These interventions link the internal functioning of the organization to the larger environment and transform the organization to keep pace with changing conditions. strengths and weaknesses. Culture Change: This intervention helps organizations to develop cultures (behaviors. 5. 5. involving multiple stakeholders in setting strategic directions and designing and implementing appropriate structures and processes. values. Self-designing organizations: This change program helps organizations gain the capacity to alter themselves fundamentally. Integrated Strategic Change: It argues that business strategies and organizational systems must be changed together in response to external and internal disruptions.

OD differs from traditional organizational change techniques in that it typically embraces a more holistic approach that is aimed at transforming thought and behavior throughout an entity. while OD focuses on developing the structures. whereby managers and employees at different levels of the hierarchy cooperate to solve problems. and processes within the organization to improve organizational effectiveness. OD initiatives focus on identifying the behavioral interactions and patterns that cause and sustain problems. It encompasses a wide array of theories. traditional group change systems have focused on identifying problems in an organization and then trying to alter the behavior that creates the problem. processes." -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Organizational Development Basics Although the field of OD is broad. OD efforts are aimed at creating a behaviorally healthy organization that will naturally anticipate and prevent (or quickly solve) problems. OD stresses collaborative management. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------"Organization development is the planned process of developing an organization to be more effective in accomplishing its desired goals. but they are all predicated on the notion of improving organizational performance through proactive activities and techniques. OD also recognizes that every organization is unique and that the same solutions cannot necessarily be applied at different companies—this assumption is reflected in an OD focus on research and feedback. Another common trait of OD programs is an emphasis on the value of teamwork and small groups. It is also worth noting that organizational development. they are considered long-term efforts of at least one to three years in most cases. Definitions of OD abound. OD programs usually share several basic characteristics. Then. In fact." "It is distinguished from human resource development in that HRD focuses on the personal growth of individuals within organizations. systems. all of which are oriented toward the goal of improving individual organizations. though concerned with improving workforce performance. Indeed. In addition. rather than simply changing isolated behaviors. however. should not be mistaken for human resource development. Generally speaking. For instance. it can be differentiated from other systems of organizational change by its emphasis on process rather than problems. most OD systems use small teams—or even individuals—as a vehicle to . and activities.Second WHAT IS Organizational Development Organizational development (OD) is an application of behavioral science to organizational change.

implement broad organizational changes. The point is that the role of the change agent is necessary for organizational development to occur. managers. The OD effort has to be connected to other parts of the organization. we can appreciate the necessity of someone to play the role of change agent. if used." ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Managing Change Through Organizational Development Organization development initiatives do not automatically succeed. Owners and managers should show their commitment to OD at all stages of the effort. outside change agents may have trouble securing the trust and cooperation of key players in the organization. implementation. But who should play the role? Existing managers? New managers? Or individuals hired specifically for that purpose? Depending upon the situation. "Are change agents necessary for organizational development to take place?" "Once we recognize that organizational development involves substantial changes in how individuals think. any of these can be called upon to orchestrate the organizational development process. Several conditions that had to be present if an OD intervention could have any meaningful chance of bringing about the desired change: Ownership and all involved personnel needed to be genuinely and visibly committed to the effort. The benefits of effective OD programs are myriad. and business owners will attest. although companies sometimes utilize inside managers. this is especially true of such areas as the evaluation and reward systems. believe. The catalyst—whether a group or individual—that facilitates the OD process is known as the "change agent. and evaluation. some companies employ an external-internal team approach. In addition." Change agents are often outside consultants with experience managing OD programs. The primary drawback associated with outside change agents is that they may lack an in-depth understanding of key issues particular to the company. . But OD interventions that are pursued in a sloppy. and act. Evaluation is key to success. People involved in OD have to be informed in advance of the nature of the intervention and the nature of their involvement in it. The advantage of bringing in outside OD consultants is that they often provide a different perspective and have a less biased view of the organization's problems and needs. half-hearted. The effort has to be directed by appropriate managers and guided by change agents (which. which seeks to combine the advantages of internal and external change agents while minimizing the drawbacks associated with the two approaches. and should consist of more than asking people how they felt about the effort. For these reasons. must be competent). as many executives. including the diagnosis. The intervention should be based on accurate diagnosis of organizational conditions. or otherwise faulty manner are far less likely to bring about meaningful change than those that have the full support of the people involved.

the intervention process can be considered a facet of action research. Numerous interventions have been developed over the years to address different problems or create various results. Thus. applying interventions targeted primarily toward operating policies. the results of actions are measured and evaluated and new action plans are devised to effect new changes. they all are geared toward the goal of improving the entire organization through change. knowledge. Data gathering techniques include everything from surveys and questionnaires to interviews. group members gain a greater awareness of . But it also encompasses the intervention component. Typically. and effectiveness. This type of program utilizes group dynamics by gathering individuals together in loosely structured meetings. management structures. Subject matter is determined by the group. within the context of basic goals stipulated by a facilitator. OD interventions are plans or programs comprised of specific activities designed to effect change in some facet of an organization. The data is often evaluated and interpreted using advanced statistical analysis techniques. Action research is a process of systematically collecting data on a specific organization. as discussed below. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------INTERPERSONAL INTERVENTIONS. 2.Owners and managers need to show employees how the OD effort relates to the organization's goals and overriding mission Implementing OD Programs OD efforts basically entail two groups of activities: [1] "action research" and [ 2 ]"interventions. feeding it back for action planning. organizations that wish to achieve a high degree of organizational change will employ a full range of interventions. and evaluating results by collecting and reflecting on more data. whereby the change agent uses action plans to intervene in the organization and make changes. and personnel policies." 1. However. In general. organization development programs will simultaneously integrate more than one of these interventions. Entities attempting smaller changes will stop short of those goals. and tests. Action research can be thought of as the diagnostic component of the OD process. worker skills. collages. As group members try to exert structure on fellow members. In a continuous process. Interpersonal interventions in an OD program are designed to enhance individual skills. drawings. including those designed to transform individual and group behavior and attitudes. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------A few of the more popular interventions are briefly described below.

Group diagnostic interventions are simply meetings wherein members of a team analyze their unit's performance. OD group interventions are designed to help teams and groups within organizations become more effective. RAT interventions help people to reduce role confusion. Such interventions usually assume that the most effective groups communicate well. The benefit of such interventions is that members often communicate problems of which their coworkers were unaware. departmental interaction often deteriorates in larger organizations as different units battle for limited resources or become detached from the needs of other units. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------GROUP INTERVENTIONS. Then the groups meet and share their lists. help workers identify their true wants and set complementary career goals. Role analysis technique (RAT) is used to help employees get a better grasp on their role in an organization. Rotating membership interventions are used by OD change agents to minimize the negative effects of intergroup rivalry that arise from employee allegiances to groups or divisions. Ideally. and how they define his or her expectations. and function by consensus as opposed to autocracy or majority rule. This type of intervention. ask questions about what the team needs to do to improve. the individual and the group examine ways in which the employee relies on others in the company. Group members then provide feedback to more clearly define the role. Other types of interpersonal interventions include those designed to improve the performance review process. A popular intervention similar to RAT is responsibility charting. and resolve conflict. facilitate a healthy balance between both personal and group needs. which utilizes a matrix system to assign decision and task responsibilities. the teams meet separately to make a list of their feelings about the other group(s). such communication will spur problem-solving and improved group dynamics. and discuss potential solutions to problems. For instance. people define their perception of their role and contribution to the overall company effort in front of a group of coworkers. The intervention basically entails temporarily putting group . which can result in either conflict or the perception that some people are not doing their job. Intergroup interventions are integrated into OD programs to facilitate cooperation and efficiency between different groups within an organization. create better training programs. Conflict resolution meetings are one common intergroup intervention. First. different group leaders are brought together to secure their commitment to the intervention. say supporters. motivations. Next. the teams meet to discuss the problems and to try to develop solutions that will help both parties. In the second phase. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------INTERGROUP INTERVENTIONS. helps to gradually diffuse tension between groups that has arisen because of faulty communication. In the first step of a RAT intervention. and behaviors.their own and other's feelings. Finally.

A fourth OD intervention that became extremely popular during the 1980s and early 1990s is total quality management (TQM). TQM interventions utilize established quality techniques and programs that emphasize quality processes. Sociotechnical system design interventions are similar to structural change techniques. The important concept of continuous improvement embodied by TQM has carried over into other OD interventions. The basic goal is to create independent groups throughout the company that supervise themselves. This technique basically entails surveying employee attitudes at all levels of the company and then disseminating a report that details those findings. Similarly. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------COMPREHENSIVE INTERVENTIONS. and other cornerstones of the business.members into their rival groups. and economic conditions. Structural change interventions are used by OD change agents to implement organizational alterations related to departmentalization. As more people interact in the different groups. work policies. . Examples of common enemies targeted in such programs include competitors. greater understanding results. government regulation. OD comprehensive interventions are used to directly create change throughout an entire organization. common enemy interventions achieve the same results by finding an adversary common to two or more groups and then getting members of the groups to work together to overcome the threat. The employees then use the data in feedback sessions to create solutions to perceived problems. but these involve melding members of different groups to work together toward a common goal. Often. rather than achieving quality by inspecting products and services after processes have been completed. but they typically emphasize the reorganization of work teams. OD joint activity interventions serve the same basic function as the rotating membership approach. This administration may include such aspects as monitoring quality or disciplining team members. One benefit of change interventions is that companies can often realize an immediate and very significant impact in productivity and profitability (provided the changes are warranted and implemented appropriately). One of the most popular comprehensive interventions is survey feedback. management hierarchy. A number of questionnaires developed specifically for such interventions have been developed. the implemented changes emanate from feedback from other interventions. The theoretic benefit of sociotechnical system design interventions is that worker and group productivity and quality is increased because workers have more control over (and subsequent satisfaction from) the process in which they participate. rather than focusing on organizational change through subgroup interventions. compensation and benefit incentives programs.

working conditions)..g. output value + cost with constant quality).. Internal System State Efficiency and costs : Efficiency measures (e. openness. Output Goals Goal attainment: Achievement of main objectives IN STRATEGIC PLANNING -------------------------------------------------------------------------Outputs-quantity: Productivity (number or value of sales. reputation (customer satisfaction.================================================== ========= WHAT TO MEASURE Approach and Domains Criteria 1. institutional standards (e. adequacy and quality of information. cohesion (mutual attraction and identification with work group and organization). returns). organizational image. Information between units. multidirectional flows -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Interpersonal relations: Trust. flights) -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------Work and information flows:Work coordination (smooth flow of products. employee health and safety. profits. moderation of status differences (reduced prominence of status symbols and executive perks). citizenship behavior -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Consensus/conflict:Goal and procedural consensus. approval by quality assurance body) ================================================ 2. protests. revenues -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Outputs-quality: Reliability (e. rejects.. work effort and commitment (low absenteeism. cooperation within and between units.g. expert ratings). turnover). few delays and snags). wastage.g. honesty of interpersonal communication. costs per unit of output --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Human outcomes: Quality of work life (satisfaction with pay. motivation. services sometimes per unit or cost of labor). conflict behavior (work stoppages. acceptance of diverse backgrounds and orientations ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- .

regulators. physical.g. components. entrepreneurialism Innovativeness: Technological and administrative innovation. experience of work force).Employee involvement: Empowerment. complianre with legal. demand). regulatory standards Competitive position : standing compared to competitors (e. participation in decision making -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Fits : Alignment of internal system.g. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------3. and Features. Multiple Stakeholder Assessments Standards : Effectiveness domains and criteria selected and defined by stakeholders Satisfaction : Satisfaction with organization on standards specified by . desirability of clients (e.. suppliers.. professional. market share). college selectivity) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Adaptation: Ability to cope with external change and uncertainty. implementation of new techniques and ideas Legitimacy : Support by community and by public agencies or regulators. System Resources and Adaptation Resources-quantity: Size (employees. competitors.g. financial. resource flows (sales. crisis management capabilities -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Proactiveness: Impact on environment-clients (e. capital assets). reputation for leadership in industry or sector Fit : Alignment of internal system with environment -----------------------------------------------------------------------4. knowledge base.. subcomponents. budget allocations) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Resources-quality: Human capital (training. staff reputation.

BY USING Evaluate organizational performance Assess organizational culture Conduct employee 360 evaluations Assess leadership strengths and weaknesses Assess employee satisfaction levels Evaluate organizational effectiveness Analyze and evaluate companies SURVEY METHODS FOCUS GROUPS INTERVIEWS SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS --QUANTITATIVE PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS-QUALITATIVE DISCUSSION ON LESSONS/ APPLICATIONS LEARNT PRESENTATION ANALYSIS THEORETICAL QUESTIONS/ ANSWERS TESTS CASE STUDY DISCUSSIONS PRESENTATION OF SOLUTION MODELS SYSTEMS STUDY PROCESS STUDY CUSTOMER SATISFACTION SURVEY TECHNOLOGY USAGE SURVEY EMPLOYEE SATISFACTION SURVEY ======================================== The choice of the method lies on a number of factors like -objectives of the exercise -choice of interventions . HOW DO WE EVALUATE THE OD PROGRAMS EFFECTIVENESS. =========================================== 5. stakeholders' overall level of satisfaction with organization. ================================================== ========== AS PER YOUR QUESTION. ORGANIZATION CULTURE CHANGE PLUS ANY OTHER FACTORS LISTED IN YOUR COMPANY STRATEGIC PLANS.stakeholders.

3.Be clear about what you are trying to accomplish. resources. These issues need to be dealt with early on and revisited continually throughout an evaluation. is often a very useful formative evaluation task in itself since it helps identify gaps among resources. The evaluators can help the program staff determine how important these alliances are in producing the desired program outcomes. 5. as well as monitor the resources and activities devoted to them. the relationships among their assumptions. This is a compelling need in nearly every organizational setting. In this way.Pay attention to stakeholders. 1. The process is likely to be a cyclical one since goals are refined through evaluation of progress. and a skill that evaluation and OD professionals should share. especially when the program is externally supported.Evaluators need good diagnostic skills to work on this task prior to any discussion of assessment. . 4. activities and outcomes. Evaluators can start by asking stakeholders what challenges or dilemmas they are facing in their work.-length of the program -frequency of evaluations -resource available -time constraint etc etc ============================================= . or logic models as they are sometimes called. It is important that key stakeholders are involved in the process .Setting the stage properly. 2. It is important to clarify why the evaluation is being done at a particular point of time and how that information will be used. Good evaluation will also look for goals from various stakeholders as well as unintended consequences.that is.to determine the important questions that need to be addressed and how success will be measured.Link theory of the intervention to outcomes. evaluation has a higher likelihood that the stakeholders will cooperate with the evaluation and that the results will be used. EVALUATION THAT CONTRIBUTES TO ORGANIZATION DEVELOPMENT The following ten FACTORS ARE USEFUL. but formal goals are a necessity. Evaluators need to help define theories of change that underlie their operations . program activities and expected results. The evaluator needs good brokering skills to work interested parties to regularly clarify expectations about the purposes of evaluation. Explicating these theories of change. This is a first step toward building a shared understanding in the organization and provides a framework for dialogue about evaluation findings and continuous improvement of the project.

7. 8. learning organizations in the nonprofit sector. 10. Too often. would be used to accomplish several critical goals . This shift in emphasis. Stakeholders and staff get more out of the evaluation process than its final report. but other conditions are also essential.Identify just a few things to evaluate. Methods other than written reports. As documented from the field of OD. LET THE ACTION BEGIN we have pushed on the field of OD program evaluation to embrace the OD practitioner's skills as a means of creating more dynamic. 9. the thought for evaluation comes once a program is finished with the result that useful baseline data and resources are missing to make evaluation meaningful and reliable.Integrate evaluation into the program. Findings need to be presented on a timely basis to inform learning and action and throughout a program's life . Do evaluation only when an organization is ready.Use evaluation as a process not simply as a report. Evaluation activities can be integrated into routine work such as assessing needs at staff level. such as video. evaluation is truly useful when there is a commitment to and resources for candid feedback. Evaluators need skills in understanding organizational power. although the information processing demands on employees represent a significant challenge to keep in mind. Pick the fewest indicators that provide the most information about program assumptions. Evaluators who are knowledgeable about information overload in organizations will obviously be helpful in this process. as will well developed theories of change to identify key information needs. Evaluators who are sensitive to workload and workplace dynamics can be helpful in this process. decision-making and culture that will attune them to how and when findings can be useful. The point here is to take advantage of relevant and accessible data rather than requiring additional work for information gathering.6. resources. Clear goals and theories of change are important for effective evaluation. photos. Regular feedback and opportunities for varied interpretations of findings strengthen a program as well as any evaluation of it.not just at the end. can serve as effective communications tools within the program as well as with stakeholders. and human-interest stories.Coordinate evaluation reports with internal decision-making. while still requiring technical and methodological expertise. activities and outcomes.Integrate evaluation into daily work. The stakeholders need to build in at the outset the expectation that evaluation should be done and also the resources to do it well. budgeting.

assessment tools. ACTION Research Continuously reexamines. including applied behavioral and physical sciences SYSTEMS Focused Approaches stakeholders and organizations as open systems. focus groups. PROCESS Focused Intervenes in organizational processes to help bring about positive change and help the STAFF work toward desired outcomes INFORMED by Data Involves proactive inquiry and assessment of the internal environment in order to discover and create a compelling need for change and the achievement of a desired future state of the organization . story telling. SUCH AS SUPPORTING Theories Draws from multiple disciplines that inform an understanding of human systems. team building. Some methods include survey feedback. that is. STAFF Centered Focuses on the needs of the STAFF in order to continually promote STAFF ownership of all phases of the work and support the STAFF’s ability to sustain change after the consultant engagement ends. and change in one area cannot be sustained without supporting changes in other areas of the system. acts with the knowledge that change in one area of a system always results in changes in other areas. negotiation. are common to the OD field but new to the evaluation field. such as group process. ============================================== OD PROGRAMS ARE ALSO ASSESSED BY.including: Surfacing multiple points of view Helping to make hidden agendas visible Contributing to building a sense of community and connection Facilitating individual. interviewing. and interpersonal communications. team and organizational reflection and learning Creating the capacity for adaptation and change The skills that are needed to accomplish these goals. In this way. . the staff members are involved both in doing their work. process consultation and observation. and in dialogue about their reflection and learning in order to apply them to achieve shared results. reflects and integrates discoveries throughout the process of change in order to achieve desired outcomes.

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