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Organizational development

Organizational development is a deliberate and systematic process adopted to enhance the ability of an organization to identify, understand and accept changes and to benefit from such changes.

Definition of OD

Today's organizations operate in a rapidly changing environment. Consequently, one of the most important assets for an organization is the ability to manage change -- and for people to remain healthy and authentic. Consider the following definition of OD: Organization Development is the attempt to influence the members of an organization to expand their candidness with each other about their views of the organization and their experience in it, and to take greater responsibility for their own actions as organization members. The assumption behind OD is that when people pursue both of these objectives simultaneously, they are likely to discover new ways of working together that they experience as more effective for achieving their own and their shared (organizational) goals. And that when this does not happen, such activity helps them to understand why and to make meaningful choices about what to do in light of this understanding. -- Neilsen, Becoming an OD Practitioner, Englewood Cliffs, CA: Prentice-Hall, 1984, pp. 2-3.

"Organization development is a system-wide application of behavioral science knowledge to the planned development and reinforcement of organizational strategies, structures, and processes for improving an organization's effectiveness." -- Cummings and Worley, "Organization Development and Change", Sixth Edition, South-Western Publishing, 1997, p.2. "Organization Development is a body of knowledge and practice that enhances organizational performance and individual development, viewing the organization as a complex system of systems that exist within a larger system, each of which has its own attributes and degrees of alignment. OD interventions in these systems are inclusive methodologies and approaches to strategic planning, organization design, leadership development, change management, performance management, coaching, diversity, and work/life balance." -- Matt Minahan, MM & Associates, Silver Spring, Maryland

Organization Development is a dynamic values-based approach to systems change in organizations and communities; it strives to build the capacity to achieve and sustain a new desired state that benefits the organization or community and the world around them.

The field of OD was established to help leaders address and embrace change External forces like regulators, competitors, market forces, customers, technology. Internal forces like increasingly diverse workforce.

2 major goals of OD
Improve the functioning of individuals, teams, and Organizations. Teach organization members how to continuously improve their functioning

Organization Development is an effort (1) planned, (2) organization wide, and (3) managed from the top, to (4) increase organization effectiveness and health through (5) planned interventions in the organizations processes using behavioral-science knowledge. (Beckhard,1969)

Focus on culture & processes Collaboration between leaders and members in managing culture & processes Teams are important for accomplishing tasks Focus on human and social side of organization Participation & involvement

Total system change & views organization as social system To make clients able to solve problems on its own Win-win solution

OD Values
Humanistic Optimistic Democratic

Humanistic values
Proclaim the importance of individual Respect the whole person Treat people with respect & dignity Assume that everyone has intrinsic worth View all people as having the potential for growth & development

Optimistic values
Posit people are basically good . Progress is possible & desirable in human affairs . Rationality, reason and goodwill are tools for making progress.

Democratic values
Sanctity of individual. The right of people to be free from arbitrary misuse of power . Importance of fair and equitable treatment for all. Need for justice through the rule of law.


1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Preliminary diagnosis Data gathering from client group Data feedback to client Exploration of data by client Action plan by client Action taken by client Evaluation & assessment of results of action-with an od practitioner acting as facilitator all throughout

Objectives of organizational development

To improve the ability of the organization to plan and manage changes. To identify and allocate the precious resources of the organization in the most productive manner.

Objectives of organizational development (contd.)

To improve the organizational and individual efficiency for effective accomplishment of organizational goals. To achieve improved efficiency in the teambuilding process.

Objectives of organizational development (contd.)

To develop efficient leadership styles and better decision-making processes. To obtain the employees trust, cooperation and commitment. To restructure the organizational missions, objectives and tasks in a judicious and welltimed manner continuously.

Objectives of organizational development (contd.)

To identify and resolve the potential conflicts among individuals. To ensure the long-term growth and health of the organization.

Approaches to the study of organizational development

The approaches to OD are Data-driven approach System design approach Contingency approach

Data-driven approach
In this method, the data collected about the environment largely drive the OD process. The four general forms of data used in this approach are Interview data Focus group data Organizational survey data Multiple survey feedback

System design approach

In this approach, the entire organization is viewed as a complex system composed of inter-related and interdependent subsystems. These sub-systems are unified by appropriate designs to achieve the organizational goals or objectives.

Contingency approach
In an uncertain situation, the contingency approach attempts to study the different possible scenarios in the environment and assess their implications for the organization. It identifies the ifthen relationship and proposes changes in the goals, strategies and direction of the organization, if necessary.

Contingency approach (contd.)

It helps the organizations in developing plans and counter-plans continually on the basis of their understanding of the emerging situation.

Types of OD intervention programmes

Team-building Survey feedback Training and development Leadership development Process consultation interventions

Types of OD intervention programmes (contd.)

Force-field analysis Third-party peacemaking Human resource management Total quality management

Types of OD intervention programmes (contd.)

Benefits of OD intervention programmes

Better interaction among the members of the organization. Employees skills enhancement in the changing environment. Systematization of the change management process. Employee evaluation and feedback. Prevention rather than correction.