Week 4: Collecting and Analysing Diagnostic Information

Acknowledgement of sources
Text: Waddell, Cummings & Worley (2000).

Learning Objectives
• To understand the importance of diagnostic relationships in the OD process • To describe the methods for diagnosing and collecting data • To understand and utilise techniques for analysing data

Goals of data collection
• To obtain valid information about organisational functioning • To rally energy for constructive organisational change • To develop the collaborative relationship necessary for effecting organisational change

The Diagnostic Relationship
• • • • • • • • Who is the OD Practitioner? Why is the practitioner here? Who does the practitioner work for? What does the practitioner want and why? How will my confidentiality be protected? Who will have access to the data? What’s in it for me? Can the practitioner be trusted?

Data Collection - Feedback Cycle
Core Activities
Planning to Collect Data Collecting Data Analyzing Data Feeding Back Data Following Up

Sampling
• • • • Population vs. Sample Importance of Sample Size Process of Sampling Types of Samples
– Random – Convenience

Questionnaires
• Major Advantages
– Responses can be quantified and summarised – Large samples and large quantities of data – Relatively inexpensive

• Major Potential Problems
– – – – Little opportunity for empathy with subjects Predetermined questions -- no change to change Overinterpretation of data possible Response biases possible

Interviews
• Major Advantages
– – – – – – – – Adaptive -- allows customisation Source of “rich” data Empathic Process builds rapport with subjects Relatively expensive Bias in interviewer responses Coding and interpretation can be difficult Self-report bias possible

• Major Potential Problems

Observations
• Major Advantages
– Collects data on actual behaviour, rather than reports of behaviour – Real time, not retrospective – Adaptive

• Major Potential Problems
– – – – Coding and interpretation difficulties Sampling inconsistencies Observer bias and questionable reliability Can be expensive

Unobtrusive Measures
• Major Advantages
– Non-reactive, no response bias – High face validity – Easily quantified

• Major Potential Problems
– Access and retrieval difficulties – Validity concerns – Coding and interpretation difficulties

Analysis Techniques
• Qualitative Tools
– Content Analysis – Force-field Analysis

• Quantitative Tools
– Descriptive Statistics – Measures of Association (e.g., correlation) – Difference Tests

Force Field Analysis
• Developed by Kurt Lewin • Used to assist in solving problems & planning change • Force is used as a metaphor to describe system influences • ‘equilibrium’ between restraining & driving forces

Force-Field Analysis of Work Group Performance
Forces for Change
New technology

Forces for Status Quo
Group performance norms

Desired Performance

Current Performance

Better raw materials

Fear of change

Competition from other groups

Member complacency

Supervisor pressures

Well-learned skills

Force Field Analysis
• Provides a bird’s eye view of issues around a topic • Simple structured & systemic process of gathering ideas from a group of people, analysing & feeding back results • Good basis for action planning

Feeding Back Diagnostic Information

Learning Objectives
• To understand the importance of data feedback in the OD process • To describe the desired characteristics of feedback content • To describe the desired characteristics of the feedback process

Possible Effects of Feedback
Feedback occurs No Change Energy to deny or fight data What is the direction of the energy? Is energy created by the feedback? Energy to use data to identify and solve problems Do structures and processes turn energy into action?

Anxiety, resistance, no change

Failure, frustration, no change

Change

Determining the Content of Feedback
• • • • • Relevant Understandable Descriptive Verifiable Timely • • • • Limited Significant Comparative Unfinalised

Effective Feedback Meetings
• People are motivated to work with the data • The meeting is appropriately structured • The right people are in attendance
– knowledge – power and influence – interest

• The meeting is facilitated

Survey Feedback Process
• Members involved in designing the survey • The survey is administered to the organisation • The data is analysed and summarised • The data is presented to the stakeholders • The stakeholders work with the data to solve problems or achieve vision

Limitations of Survey Feedback
• • • • Ambiguity of Purpose Distrust Unacceptable Topics Organisational Disturbances

NEXT WEEK
• A practitioner perspective on managing change • Reading: Chapter 10
• Additional reading: French & Bell (1999) Chapter 6; Senior (1997) Chapter 6

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