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Chapter 5

Diagnosis and Intervention

Organizational diagnosis is an
exercise attempted to make an
analysis of organization.
And analysis of its structure, sub
systems and processes in order to
identify the strengths and
weaknesses of its structural
components and processes and use
it as a basic for developing plans to
improve and /or maximize the
dynamism and effectiveness of the
Organizational Analysis:
Analyzing the organization in terms of
its components and their functioning
is the first step in a comprehensive
In addition the various processes that
contribute to the effective functioning
of the organization as a whole need
to be examined.
The development of a strategy for
systematic improvement of an
organization demands an
examination of present state of
things. Such an analysis usually looks
at two broad areas.
 One is diagnosis of various
second area is the organizational
processes that are occurring;

Thus organizational analysis may

either focus on the

Structural aspects (sub systems,

various components etc.) or

List of Organizational Subsystems:
 Various levels in organization
 Geographic units
 Functional Background based subsystem.
 Experience and education based
 Division based subsystems
 Personnel and HRD policies
 Research and development
 Stake holders and their contribution
 Financial Management
 Marketing Management
Organizational Analysis perspective
Organizations can be analyzed with
different perspectives in the mind.
The perspectives depend on
The purpose for which the analysis is
being done
And the profession background of the
people doing organizational analysis
Perspectives could used for
analyzing organizations:

Economics Perspective
Political Science Perspective
Sociology and social Psychology
Applied behavioral Science or OD
Economic Analysis of Organizations:
This primarily focuses on the use of
money, allocation of resources, distribution
and consumption patterns, pricing
decisions etc.
Sample questions asked for Economic
analysis of an Organization:
 How are the resources allocated?
 What is the market structure?
 What is the organization’s market and its
 Are the products and services in the industry
homogeneous or differentiated?
 What is the nature of demand for organization’s
 What is the cost of making the product or

Economic analysis of organizations is

also helpful in
streamlining the organizational
eliminating wastes and
gives insight while planning for
growth, diversification etc.
Political analysis
Political analysis deals with the tactics and
strategies employed by the individuals and
groups in the organization as well as
organization itself in the quest of power.
Sample questions:
 Who is most influential in the organization?
 What is the power base of each categories of
people in the organization?
 How is the power distributed among individuals,
groups, and departments? What strategies do
people use in influencing or controlling each
 How is power used? How much for organizational
purposes and for expanding one’s power base?
Political analysis is useful for
understanding the organizations,
many softer and strategic dimensions
of an organization.
However it has limitations in
providing guidelines for the planning
of growth and diversification of an
Sociological and social Psychology
based analysis:

Sociological and social Psychological

perspective focuses on the social
behavior of individuals and groups in
the organization.
The formation of groups, habits,
norms and values of organization, the
process of socialization, conflicts,
strikes, protest behavior etc. these
issues are studied.
The influence of the society on the
organization is also focused.
Sample questions:

What is the nature of work force and different

categories of employees? where do they come
from and what personality , attitudes and values
do they bring with them that influence
organizational functioning?
What are the groups? What interest do they
serve? what binds them together/
What are formal, informal sources of socialization?
how are people being socialized? How is this
affecting the organization?
What is the distribution of power and authority?
What are the attitudes of people to work?
Is there any alienation? what seems to contribute
to it if it is there?

Sociological and social Psychology

based analysis helps in
understanding organizations for
research and study purposes for
planning growth and expansion and
for organizational problem solving.
Professional Management perspective
in Organizational analysis:
This perspective focuses on various
management dimensions of organizational
Each branch of management can analyze
a significant part of organization’s
The branches normally include Business
Policy and strategy management,
production and operations management,
personnel management, marketing, finance
and accounting, organization’s structures
and dynamics and managerial economics.
Sample questions;

What are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and

threats facing the organizations with respect to its business
and its functioning?
What are the business goals? Is there any long term plan?
Is the structure best suited for its goals?
What is the technology being used? are better technology
Hoe is the production planned? what is the capacity
utilization? how it will be increased How are people
recruited? How are they trained?
What attracts them? What retains them?
What is financial position of the organization? What are the
sources of the finance?
How bare products priced? What are the marketing are
being used? How much of competition exists for the
organization’s products and services?
Is the structure functional , divisional or matrix? Does it suit
organizational requirements?
It helps in thorough analysis of
organization, useful for overall
improvements in organization and for
demonstrable results in terms of
output, cost reduction, profits and the
It helps besides for problem solving
in designing organizations for future
growth and diversification.
OD or Applied behavioral Science
The OD perspective focuses on the human
process dimensions of organization’s
These human process dimensions deal
with the individual per se, the individual in
relation to the role he is expected to
perform, the team work, inter team
collaboration, organizational culture and
The OD perspective primarily focuses on
examining the attitudes, norms, values,
systems, processes etc. that exists in the
Sample questions:
What is the extent openness, collaboration, trust,
autonomy, pro-action, authenticity, confrontation
characterizing the organization structure?
What is the profile of people who join the
organization? What values do they have? What is
view of the human being?
What is the level of organizational health as
reflected in communications, conflicts, role clarity,
job satisfaction, work motivation team work,
participative decision making , goal setting
discipline, management of mistakes etc.
What is valued by most people in the
How much of creativity is there and is
Are jobs defined clearly?
Do people experience a sense of growth?
The OD perspective is essentially
useful for organizational problem
solving and organizational renewal.
It is useful to every organization to
undertake periodic renewal exercises
so that they can examine various
organizational processes and
strengthen the functioning of an
Diagnostic methods

 Quantitative and

 Qualitative methods of organizational


There are many ways of analyzing and

diagnosing organizations and their
The frequently used methods are:

 Questionnaires
 Interviews
 Observation
 Analysis of records, circulars, appraisal
reports and other organizational literature
 Analysis of hard data of organizations and
various units
 task forces and task groups
 problem identification/problem solving work
 Seminars, symposia and training program
 recording and examining critical incidents,
The purpose of analysis is
‘Organizational diagnosis”.

Diagnosis gives the state of the

organization or one or more of its sub
systems and points out the scope for
improvements that could be made for
achieving organizational
Dimensions diagnosed through
The following is the list of the dimensions could be
studied through questionnaire for diagnostic
General organizational health
Organizational Culture
Motivational Climate
Role oriented variables
HRD Climate
Leadership and supervisory styles
Job Satisfaction, work Motivation and work
Specific Variables
General organizational health:

The general organizational health is

indicated by a comprehensive index
obtained through the measurement of
perceptions of the employees of the
The comprehensive index deals with
the health of the organization on all
possible variables that affect the
functioning of the organization.
These include the
 feelings of security,
 need fulfillment,
 job satisfaction,
 scope for self actualization,
 extent of happiness with the organization,
 power distribution,
 working of groups,
 distortion of communications,
 trust leadership,
 team spirit,
 convenience of working hours and
 work atmosphere.
Organizational Culture:

The commonly shared attitudes,

values, beliefs, norms and behavior
of employees in the organization
constitutes its culture.
Motivational Climate:

Organizations could be diagnosed in

terms of the prevailing motives that
characterize the organization’s
Role oriented variables:

There are many role related variables

that influence the organization’s
These include Role Efficacy, Role
Ambiguity, Role Overload, Role
Erosion, Inter role linkages.
HRD Climate:
HRD climate questionnaire deal with the
extent to which a development oriented
climate or learning climate exists in an
organization. Openness, collaboration,
trust, pro-action, authenticity, confrontation,
risk taking etc. are normally characterized
as facilitating development culture.
Performance appraisals, Trainings,
feedback, counseling, job-rotation etc. are
considered as instruments to facilitate
Leadership and supervisory styles;
The human resources management
philosophy as believed and practices by
supervisory and management staff
determine also to a large extent the
motivation and morale of people and
thereby influences the organizational
The variables measured may include
Theory X versus Theory Y Orientation; task
centered and people-centered supervision
or authoritive versus participative
Job Satisfaction, work Motivation and
work Commitment:
 In many organizations, many
diagnostic efforts are being focused
on studies on job satisfaction, work
motivation, job involvement, and the
The variables measured give insights
into the existing patterns as well as
sources giving rise to dysfunctional
Specific Variables:
In addition to these variables the
diagnostic questionnaire may focus
on specific variables depending on
the need of the organization.
How to construct a questionnaire?
Some considerations that could be kept in
mind while preparing the questionnaire:
 This measures the perception of
employees or participants in an
organization. It is the aggregate of these
perceptions that indicates the
organizational strength and short comings.
 The participants of an organization
sometimes are in a good position to
provide dimensions or variables on which
questionnaire can be framed.
 Another form of developing an
questionnaire is to sample test any
standardized questionnaire on a group of
respondents. The respondents could be
asked to indicate variables/ items that
should be used for diagnosis.
 In preparing a questionnaire, structured
questionnaire are more easy to analyze
data and for providing statistical
Administering and using questionnaire:
 In giving their perception the employees
give sensitive data so care should be taken
to prevent distortion in data collection.
 The points to be considered while
collecting the data:
 When the respondent knows the purpose
the quality of data he gives will be better.
hence it is important to explain the
 IF the respondent trust the person
collecting data and subscribes to the
purpose for which data are being collected,
the quality of information he supplies may
be better.
 If the respondent have any fear of
identification they are not likely to express
opinions freely. Hence it is useful to collect
data without the respondent having to
reveal his identity.
 However the designer of the questionnaire
has to give sufficient thought before
deciding on what information to collect. It is
useful to test out the thoughts of some
employees to ensure that no identity data
is obtained that distorts responses.
 Another dimension that affects the quality
of data is the length of the questionnaire. It
is useful to have questionnaire that could
be completed by respondent before fatigue
sets in.
 The administration of questionnaire
becomes easy in groups than individually.
 Timing of administering the questionnaire
is another factor to consider. If
questionnaire are administered
immediately after a significant event has
occurred in the organization, to some
extent the perceptions may get distorted. It
is useful to administer the questionnaires
after their impact settles down.
 Use of diagnostic data obtained from
questionnaire also requires some skills.
 In analyzing and presenting data it is useful
to focus on every single item of
questionnaire rather than aggregate score.
Total score often conceal a lot than reveal.
Hence item wise analysis is more useful.
 Whenever qualitative responses are sought
content analysis and categorization of
responses is necessary.
Interview methods of data collection for
organizational diagnosis purposes is used
mostly when an organization engages
outside consultant for diagnostic and
development purposes.
Sometimes it is also used by internal
teams. Interviews have the major
advantage of providing an opportunity for
face to face interaction with the participants
of the organization.
They could be exploratory interviews,
hypotheses testing interviews, change
inducing interviews.
There could be individual interview or
group interviews.
Purposes of interviews:
Sensing the organization and identifying
general areas of strengths and
weaknesses for further diagnosis.
Probing for details and getting deeper
insights into a given problem or issue
bothering an organization.
Testing out the success potential of new
ideas/actions/decision and assessing
organizational preparedness.
Generation of ideas for strengthening the
existing systems and processes.
Assessing the general level of health and
climate of the organization using structured
or semi-structured interview/questionnaire.
How to conduct interviews for
organizational diagnosis:
In it is very important for interviewer to
establish credibility and build rapport.
Before starting the interviews, it is useful
and even necessary for the top
management to legitimize the diagnostic
study by informing all those who are to
participate in it.
The interviewers should clarify once again
the purposes and assure the confidentiality
of responses.
Starting with general and non threatening
issues, talking about the background of the
interviewer himself, getting to know each
other etc. helps in establishing the rapport.
Using open ended questions, information
seeking questions and suggestive
questions helps in probing and discovering
many unknowns.
It is useful to conduct diagnostic interviews
in settings which are free from noise and
other disturbances. A peaceful atmosphere
always enhances the quality of data
How to analyze and use
interview data:
Interview data are more difficult to code and
analyze as compare to questionnaire data.
Since interview data is qualitative data, after
completion of few interviews it may be useful
to develop a coding or analysis scheme.
It is useful to categorize all responses into
those coding categories. No of persons giving
a particular response, pointing out a particular
weakness or suggesting a particular
hypothesis etc. can be indicated.
The greatest advantage of interviews is the
amount of insight it can provide into
organizational processes.
Work shops, Task Forces and
other Methods:
In the recent past work shops and internal-task forces
becoming popular since there is greater involvement,
team work as compared to questionnaire.

Diagnostic workshop methodology:

In this the participants of the organization are

assembled in groups for purposes of diagnosis.
They are further divided into smaller groups and then
ask to discuss a particular issue and diagnose the
SWOT analysis or Force field Analysis or symptoms-
sources-solution-action plans analysis are conducted
by the small groups with respect to a given
issue/problem/dimension needing the study.
Procedure followed in Workshop
Defining the problem or issue for
First it is important to clearly state the
problem or issue taking the decision
to use work shop methodology. The
problem may be general or specific.
Preparatory work:
 In addition to developing clarity about the
problem it is necessary to plan for the work
shop in terms of the composition of groups,
introducing the problem, presentations,
class room facilities etc.
 The participants called should be
concerned with the problem/issue and
contribution to the diagnosis and
subsequent improvements.
 The participants should be selected in such
a way that there should not be too many
levels of hierarchy present in the same
 The workshop may begin with an introduction by
head, however should be left for the facilitator to
conduct the session.
 The workshop itself would consist of four groups of
Legitimization by the top management in terms of
introducing the study, facilitators, plans for use of
diagnostic data etc.
Rapport building by facilitators in the form of explaining
the meaning of diagnosis.
Group work where the groups will use Force Field
Analysis, SWOT Analysis or symptoms-sources-
solution-action plans analysis
Presentation by groups consolidation of data and
prioritization of variables for action etc. and closing.

The atmosphere in the workshop should be free,

open and informal. The facilitator has to play major
role in creating this atmosphere
When to use workshop methodology:
 If the problem or issue to be discussed is
believed to be amenable for improvements,
 The decision makers or the top
management of organization are
committed to bring about change or
improvements in the situation and are
willing to invest some resources for it.
 The organization values participative
processes and there is some amount of
openness or willingness to participate and
share organizational concerns.
 Involvement of employees becomes
important for solving the problem.
Task forces and internal teams:
 Organizational designers and OD
consultants make it compulsory to an
organization to appoint an internal task
force to assist the facilitator in the change
 A task force is a group of employees of an
organization constituted by the top
management and charged with the
responsibility of working on a specific task
or assignment in addition to their formally
assigned job.
 Each task force has a convener, a
secretary and a set of resources to
complete the task.
The terms of reference should
contain the details of the purpose
 why the task force is constituted ,
 the methodology they can use,
 the flexibility they can have in
reformulating or redefining the job given
to them,
 the resources they have,
 the assistance they need/ expect from
other employees,
 the time frame and office bearers
 The task forces may work independently or
under the general direction/guidance of the
chief executive to a top level manager.

 The work of the task force is time-bound.

Thus an organization can use any number
of task forces depending on the
problems/issues are willing to take up.

 Normally, the task forces are constituted

for diagnosis of specific problems and
working on specific issues.
Initial Meetings: The task force had a few
initial meetings to clarify their own role and
list various activities they need to
undertake. They decoded to commission a
quick study of attitudes of employees to the
existing appraisal system and their
preferences for what should be included in
the new system.
Evolving a format and objectives after the
survey was conducted the task force had a
series of meetings and identified the main
and sub-objectives of the appraisal system.
They have also identified the components
and prepared a format incorporating these
Testing out the format: The task force then
identified a representative sample of executives
and contacted them individually for testing out the
format. Each member interviewed a few
executives. The interview consisted of explaining
the objectives and format to each executive and
taking their views and reactions to it.
Preparing a manual: On the basis of this
preliminary try out the task force prepared an
accompanying manual and also finalized the
performance appraisal system.
Preliminary try-out: The task force then
conducted a series of orientation-cum-trial
workshops to introduce the new system .after this
again the views and opinions of executive were
obtained. S Another series of interviews were
conducted to diagnose the difficulties experienced
by executives in implementing the system.
Reporting to OD Group:

Periodically the task force went on

reporting to the OD Group. After first
rounds of trials decision was taken to
implement the new system and the
task force was dissolved and other
monitoring mechanisms were worked.
Other Methods:
Other methods which can be used for
organizational analysis are:

Observation and
Analysis of factual information
Observational Methods:
This method is most useful when an
outside consultant is used for
Secondary data and Unobtrusive
Records maintained by organizations
are more useful source.
Intervention in Organizational
Six tactics suggested in dealing
with resistance to change:
Education and communication
resistance can be reduced through
communicating with employees to
help them.
Communication can be achieved
through one to one discussions,
memos, group presentations or
 It is difficult for individual to resist a change
decision in which they participated.
 Prior making a change those opposed can
be brought into the decision process.
Assuming they will contribute and get
involved, which can reduce resistance.

Facilitation and support:

 Change agent can offer a range of
supportive efforts to reduce resistance.
 When employee fear and anxiety are high,
employee counseling and therapy, new
skills training or short period leave of
absence may facilitate adjustment.
Manipulation :
 refers to convert influence attempts.
 Twisting and distorting facts to make them appear
more attractive, withholding undesirable
information, and creating false rumors to get
employees to accept a change are all examples of
Co potation :
 on the other hand is a form of both manipulation
and participation.
 It seeks “buy off” the leaders of a resistance group
by giving them key role in the change decision.
 The leader’s advice is sought not to seek a better
decision but to get their endorsement.
 Is the application of the direct threat or force
upon the resisters.
The End