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FACULTY OF COMMERCE
MBA PROGRAM-BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
Introduction to OD
Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed Salem
It is a Prepared by: Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed Salem Page 2 .November 6. and administration curricula. although nowadays the Journal of Applied Behavioral Sciences is seen as the leading OD journal. top-down. the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations was important in developing systems theories. Institutionally. From Lewin came the ideas of group dynamics. attitudes. 2009 [INTRODUCTION TO OD] Introduction to OD History of OD Kurt Lewin (1898 . Definitions of OD Organization development (OD) is defined as a planned. In the UK. from which the T-group and group-based OD emerged.1947) is widely recognized as the founding father of OD. team building. Lewin founded the "Research Center for Group Dynamics" at MIT. markets. and reengineering. It is a complex strategy intended to change the beliefs. values. RCGD colleagues were among those who founded the National Training Laboratories (NTL). and structure of organizations so that they can better adapt to new technologies. and challenges. especially when used as the name of a department within an organization. and action research which underpin the basic OD process as well as providing its collaborative consultant/client ethos. Important too was the joint TIHR journal Human Relations. job enrichment. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s organizational development became a more established field with courses and programs being offered in business. although he died before the concept became current in the mid-1950s. which moved to Michigan after his death. organization-wide effort to increase the organization's effectiveness and health. In the 1990s and 2000s organizational development continued to grow and evolve and its influences could be seen in theories and strategies such as total quality management (TQM). but was relatively unknown as a theory of practice and had no common definition among its practitioners. working as close as was possible with Lewin and his colleagues. Organization Development is a growing field that is responsive to many new approaches including Positive Adult Development. education. In the late 1960s organizational development was implemented in organizations via consultants. The term "Organization Development" is often used interchangeably with Organizational effectiveness.
Some Other Definitions of OD Burke (1982) “Planned process of change in an organization’s culture through the utilization of behavioral science technologies. with the assistance of a change agent. systematic process to implement effective change in an organization. Prepared by: Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed Salem Page 3 . psychology. including action research. OD is a long range effort to improve organization's problem solving and renewal processes. and personality. Organization development is a "contractual relationship between a change agent and a sponsoring organization entered into for the purpose of using applied behavioral science in a systems context to improve organizational performance and the capacity of the organization to improve itself." using behavioral science knowledge as well as organizational reflection. . It is interdisciplinary in nature and draws on sociology. particularly through a more effective and collaborative management of an organization culture . . Margulies & “A value-based process of self-assessment and Raia (1972) planned change. research. and the use of the theory and technology of applied behavioral science. aimed at improving the overall effectiveness of an organizational system. learning. involving specific strategies and technology. or catalyst. Organization development is known as both a field of applied behavioral science focused on understanding and managing organizational change and as a field of scientific study and inquiry. and self-analysis.November 6. and theories of motivation. particularly through more effective and collaborative management of organizational culture. and theory. French & Bell “A long-range effort to improve an organization’s (1978) problem solving and renewal processes. OD can involve interventions in the organization's "processes. 2009 [INTRODUCTION TO OD] particular kind of change process designed to bring about a particular kind of end result. Organization development is an ongoing. often with the assistance of a change agent or catalyst and the use of the theory and technology of applied behavioral science. system improvement. planning.
Finally.November 6. Organization development is a planned process of promoting positive humanistically oriented large-system change and improvement in organizations through the use of social science theory. whereas others explicitly mention top management support. Given the nature of these definitions and the experience in and exposure to others in the field over the past decade. problems. Warrick (1984) “Planned. long-range systems and primarily behavioral science strategy for understanding. as well Prepared by: Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed Salem Page 4 . the OD model represents a total systems approach to organizational change in which this change is a formal and planned response to targeted organization-wide issues. 1994). some focus on the importance of technology in the change process. action research. & Kur technology. it is believed that values represent a third key component to the field. although this component is controversial and by no means universally accepted as yet (Church. OD is (or should be) a normative and humanistic values-based approach to organizational improvement. Kallick. OD work should be focused on and conducted for the good of the individual. planned changes in the culture. and behaviorally based data collection and feedback techniques. 2009 [INTRODUCTION TO OD] Porras & “Planned. OD is fundamentally a data-driven process. Bach “Long-term. Jamieson. and surveys) collected through a process known as action research. behavioral science-based interventions in Robertson work settings for the purpose of improving (1992) organizational functioning and individual development. the OD should be conceptualized as representing three essential components. & Van Eynde. In short. and changing organizations to improve their present and future effectiveness and health. assessments. and challenges. First and perhaps foremost. Regardless of the definition that one subscribes to. it should be apparent when reviewing these definitions that although they differ on several important dimensions—for example. developing. however. and still others reference values explicitly—they share common components as well. Second. Burke. diagnosis and intervention are based on some form of behaviorally relevant data (such as observations. and management of a total (1984) organization or at least a significant part of the total organization.
to ensure that changes are real. it is argued that an OD approach does not prioritize these concerns over the human perspective. Change Agent: It involves change agent–there is a distinct role for an active facilitator and ombudsmen of the process. organizational development is diagnostic and prescriptive. Performance: OD programs include an emphasis on ways to improve and enhance performance and quality. Change: OD is a planned strategy to bring about organizational change. he stimulate. seeking measurable results. Collaborative: OD is typically involves a collaborative approach to change that includes involvement and participation of the organization members most affected by the changes. facilitate. Although balancing issues of effectiveness and profitability are certainly important for economic success and survival. Action oriented: It’s action-oriented–instead of being descriptive of necessary changes. Managers who embrace organizational development must be Prepared by: Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed Salem Page 5 . The change effort aims at specific objectives and is based on a diagnosis of problem areas.November 6. Learning: It involves learning principles–individuals. Characteristics of OD Long term plane: It is planned and long-term–the process is based on gathering data and planned with the expectation of changes taking years. 2009 [INTRODUCTION TO OD] as the good of the organization. groups and managers at all levels of the organization must re-learn how to function together. and coordinate change.
Problem Solving: It is problem-oriented–a multidisciplinary approach is taken to apply theory and research to effect solutions. Contingency Orientation: Actions are selected and adapted to fit the need. must work together. The training should NOT be all theory and lecture. progress is assessed. problems are identified. Humanistic Values: Positive beliefs about the potential of employees. Systems orientation: OD represents a system approach concerned with the interrelationship of divisions. corrective action is taken. and adjustments in the problem solving process are made as needed. This process is known as Action Research. and individuals as interdependent subsystems of the total organization. The learners' experiences in the training environment should be the kind of human problems they encounter at work. 2009 [INTRODUCTION TO OD] committed to effecting fundamental changes in the organization. data is gathered. groups.November 6. Scientific: OD is based upon scientific approaches to increase organization effectiveness. 2) The organization itself. Prepared by: Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed Salem Page 6 . Levels of Interventions: Problems can occur at one or more level in the organization so the strategy will require one or more interventions. departments. Key features of successful OD 1) The organization's environment.
223–229. N. Mass. Training and Development in Australia 2.J. Organization development: behavioral science interventions for organization improvement. and who possess assessment-prescriptive skills is most evident in the successful organizations. OCLC 39328. Researches indicated an absence of single dimensions that are either essential or sufficient to distinguish between the successful and unsuccessful organizations. Co. Internal change agents who are more carefully selected did not receive training prior to the current OD efforts. pp.: Prentice-Hall. ISBN 0876205406 9780876205402. and 8) Exit procedures. and society : an introduction. Wendell L French. 3. (2007)..W. Reinventing Organization Development. Organizational Development Journal. Bradford. 6. Richard Arvid Johnson. 5) data-gathering activities. W.: Goodyear Pub.L. Calif. Pacific Palisades. 2005. 4. 2009 [INTRODUCTION TO OD] 3) Initial contact for the OD projects. More specific interest in and greater commitment to the OD projects are associated with successful change.(eds). 49-56. Co. Richard Arvid Johnson (1976). Organization development: strategies and models.. however. & Burke. Prepared by: Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed Salem Page 7 . Cecil Bell. 4) Formal entry procedures and commitment. systems. deKler. p261. 2. Healing emotional trauma in organizations: An O. Englewood Cliffs.November 6. San Francisco: Pfeiffer. References 1. systems. pp. Framework and case study. 7. OCLC 2299496.: Addison-Wesley. 6) Internal and 7) External change agent characteristics. 5. 3. Richard Beckhard (1969). M. Reading.D. Calif. 114. did serve to differentiate organizations in the two categories: 1.: Goodyear Pub. Pacific Palisades. Smith. 25(2). ISBN 0876205406 9780876205402. and society: an introduction. Three general areas. Organizations that are more open to and involved in adjusting to change are more likely to be successful in their OD effort than are those that are more stable and status-quo oriented. 1998. D. Management. Management.
Jr.H. N.. Group Decision and Social Change.M. OCLC 314258. Co. MA: Irwin. Vol. Management. Cecil Bell (1973).L. Calif. pp. 224–226. Richard Arvid Johnson (1976). and society: an introduction. 10. Pacific Palisades. J. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science.November 6. & Donnelly. 471-492 (1976) DOI: 10.1177/002188637601200402 12. 201. pp. structure. (1994).: Goodyear Pub. OCLC 2299496.. ISBN 0876205406 9780876205402. New York: Holt. processes (8th ed. systems. Prepared by: Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed Salem Page 8 . Organization development: behavioral science interventions for organization improvement. J. Rinehart and Winston. No. Organizations: Behavior. ISBN 0136416624 9780136416623 0136416543 9780136416548. 2009 [INTRODUCTION TO OD] 8. Gibson. 11.J. 9.. Kurt Lewin (1958). J. 12. chapter 8. Boston. 4.). Ivancevich.. Englewood Cliffs. Wendell L French.: Prentice-Hall.
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