Organization Development Steps
Organization development is an effort (1) planned, (2) organizationwide, and (3) managed from the top, to (4) increase organization effectiveness and health through (5) planned interventions in the organization’s “processes,” using behavioral-science knowledge – Richard Beckhand Organization development (OD) is a response to change, a complex
educational strategy intended to change the beliefs, attitudes, values, and structure of organizations so that they can better adapt to new technologies, markets and challenges, and the dizzying rate of change itself. Organization renewal is the process of initiating, creating and confronting needed changes so as to make it possible for organizations to
become or remain viable, to adapt to new conditions, to solve problems, to learn from experiences, and to move toward greater organizational maturity.
Organization development (OD) is a prescription for a process of planned change in organizations in which the key prescriptive elements relate to (1) the nature of the effort or program (it is a long-range, planned, systemwide process); (2) the nature of the change activities (they utilize behavioral science interventions of an educational, reflexive, self-examining, learn-to-do it-yourself nature); (3) the targets of the change activities (they are directed toward the human and social processes of organizations, specifically individuals’ beliefs, attitudes, and values, the culture and processes of work groups-viewed as basic
building blocks of the organization (4) desired outcomes of the change activeities (the goals are needed changes in the target of the interventions that cause the organization to be better able to adapt, cope, solve its problems, and renew itself). Organization development thus represents a unique strategy for system change, a strategy largely based in the theory and research of the behavioural sciences, and a strategy having a substantial prescriptive character. There are eight characteristics of organization development interventions
from more traditional interventions:
1. An emphasis, although not exclusively so, on group and organizational processes in contrast to substantive content.
2. An emphasis on the work team as the key unit for learning more effective modes of organizational behavior.
3. An emphasis on the collaborative management of work-team culture.
4. An emphasis on the management of the culture of the total system.
5. Attention to the management of system ramifications.
6. The use of the action research model.
7. The use of a behavioral scientist-change agent, sometimes referred to
as a “catalyst” or “facilitator.”
8. A view of the change effort as an ongoing process.
Another characteristic, number9, a primary emphasis on human and social relationships, does not necessarily differentiate OD from other change efforts, but it is nevertheless an important feature
Emerging concept: Organization Transformation (OT)
Over the years the practice of OD has evolved and matured, clarifying its values, theories, methods, and interventions, as well as adding new values, theories, and so forth. These paradigm-shifting changes were referred to as “organization transformation” or Organizational Transformation.” Some authors believe OT is an extension of OD; others believe OT represents a new discipline in its own right. It is too early to categorize organization transformation; for now, we see it as an extension of OD. Some forces leading to the emergence of OT can be identified. Organization transformations can occur in response to or in anticipation of major changes in the organization’s environment or technology. In addition, these changes are often associated with significant alterations in the firm’s business strategy, which, in turn, may require modifying corporate culture as well as internal structures and processes to support the new direction. Such fundamental change entails a new paradigm for organizing and managing organizations. It involves qualitatively different ways of perceiving, thinking, and behaving in organizations
The Laboratory Training Stem
Laboratory training, essentially unstructured small-group situations in which participants learn from their own actions. It began to develop about 1946 from various experiments in using discussion groups to achieve changes in behavior in back-home situations. In particular, an Inter-Group Relations workshop held at the State Teachers College in New Britain, Connecticut, in the summer of 1946 influenced the emergence of laboratory training. This workshop was sponsored by the Connecticut Interracial Commission and the Research
Center for Group Dynamics, then at MIT.
Survey Research and Feedback
Survey research and feedback, a specialized form of action research constitutes the second major stem in the history of organization development. It revolves around the techniques and approach developed over a period of years by staff members at the Survey Research Center (SRC) of University of Michigan. The results of this experimental study lend support to the idea that an intensive, group discussion procedure for utilizing the results of an employee
questionnaire survey can be an effective tool for introducing positive change in a business organization. It deals with the system of human relationships as a whole (superior and subordinate can change together) and it deals with each manager, supervisor, and employee in the context of his own job, his own problems, and his own work relationships.
Action Research Stem
Participant action research, is used with the most frequency in OD. The laboratory training stem in the history of OD has a heavy component of action research; the survey feedback stem is the history of a specialized form of action research; and Tavistock projects have had a strong action research thrust, William F.Whyte and Edith L.Hamilton used action research in their work with Chicago’s Tremont Hotel in 1945 publication; Kurt Lewin and his students
conducted numerous action research projects in the mid-1940s and early 1950s.the work of these and other scholars and practitioners in inventing and utilizing action research was basic in the evolution of OD.
Sociotechnical and Socioclinical Stem
A fourth stem in the history of OD is the evolution of socioclinical and sociotechnical approaches to helping groups and organizations. The clinic was founded in 1920 as an outpatient facility to provide psychotherapy and insights from the treatment of battle neurosis in World War I. A group focus emerged early in the work of Tavistock in the context of family therapy in which the child and the parent received treatment simultaneously. The action research mode also emerged at Tavistock in attempts to give practical help to families,
organizations, and communities.
Practitioners and researchers are giving consider able attention to emerging concepts, interventions, and areas of application that might be called second-generation OD. Each, to some extent, overlaps with some or all of the others. Second generation OD, in particular, has focus on organizational transformation. Increasingly, OD professionals distinguish between the more modest, or evolutionary, efforts toward organization improvement and those that are massive and, in a sense, revolutionary. Smith, and Wilemon differentiate “incremental” change strategies and “fundamental” change strategies. Organizational transformation is seen as requiring more demands on top leadership, more visioning, more experimenting, more time, and the simultaneous management of many additional variables.
Managed teams and cross-functional teams get started. In addition, as selfmanaged
teams have assumed many functions previously performed by management, supervisors and middle managers have used team-building approaches within their own ranks to help reconceptualize their own roles.