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Polytechnic University of the Philippines Open University

Organizational Development and Leadership Effectiveness (MEM 643)

Organizational Development and Training


According to one theory, OD emerged from four major backgrounds (Cummings, & Huse, 1989):

Laboratory Training: The National Training laboratories (NTL) development of training groups known as sensitivity training or T-groups. Laboratory Training began in 1946 when Kurt Lewin and his staff at the Research Center for Group Dynamics at MIT were asked by the Connect Interracial Commission and the Committee on Community Interrelations of the American Jewish Congress for help on training community leaders. Survey Research Feedback: Kurt Lewin formed the Research Center for Group Dynamics at MIT in 1945. After he died in 1947, his staff moved to the University of Michigan to join the Survey Research Center as part of the Institute for Social Research. It was headed by Rensis Likert, a pioneer in developing scientific approaches to attitude surveys (five-point Likert scale). Action Research: In the 1940s John Collier, Kurt Lewin, and William Whyte discovered that research needed to be closely linked to action if organizational members were to use it to manage change. Action research has two results: 1) organizational members use research on themselves to guide action and change, while 2) researchers were able to study the process to gain new information. Two noted action research studies was the work of Lewin and his students at the Hardwood Manufacturing Company (Marrow, Bowers & Seashore, 1967) and the Lester Coch and John Frenchs classic research on overcoming resistance to change (Coch & French, 1948). Productivity and Quality-of-Work-Life (QWL): This was originally developed in Europe during the 1950s and is based on the work of Eric Trist and his colleagues at the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations in London. This approach examined both the technical and the human sides of organizations and how they are interrelated.

French (Varney 1967) describes the history of OD as emerging about 1957 and having at least three origins:

Douglas McGregor's work with Union Carbide in an effort to apply some of the concepts from laboratory training (see above) to a large system. A human relations group at the Esso Company that began to view itself as an internal consulting group offering services to field managers, rather than as a research group writing reports for top managers. With help from Robert Blake and Herb Shepard, the group began to offer laboratory training in the refineries of Esso. The Survey Research Center started using attitude surveys.


According to Richard Beckhard

Organizational Development is defined as:
A planned effort Organization-wide Managed from the top To increase organization effectiveness and health Through planned interventions in the organizations processes, using behavioralscience knowledge

According to Cummings & Huse

Organization development is a process by which behavioral science knowledge and practices are used to help organizations achieve greater effectiveness, including improved quality of work life and increased productivity.

According to Matt Minahan

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.

According to Warren Bennis

Organization Development is a complex strategy intended to change the beliefs, attitudes, values, and structure of organizations so that they can better adapt to new technologies, markets, and challenges.

According to Warner Burke

Organization Development is not just anything done to better an organization; it is a particular kind of change process designed to bring about a particular kind of result. OD involves organizational reflection, system improvement, planning, and self-analysis.


Several Main Conditions That Made OD Necessary

Human resources Changing nature of the workplace. Global markets. Accelerated rate of change

When is an organization organizational development?

ready for

There is a formula, attributed to David Gleicher , which we can use to decide if an organization is ready for change:
Dissatisfaction x Vision x First Steps > Resistance to Change

Organizational development efforts basically entails two groups of activities:

action research is a process of systematically collecting data on a specific organization, feeding them back for action planning, and evaluating results.
interventions A few of the more popular interventions are group interventions, intergroup interventions, comprehensive interventions and total quality management.

The Steps in Action Research

Entry. Start-up and contracting Assessment and diagnosis. Feedback. Action planning. Intervention. Evaluation. Adoption. Separation.




Contigency Orientation

Team Building


Humanistics Values

Experiential Learning

Systems Orientation

Problem Solving

Use of a Change Agent

1. Systems Orientation

OD is a comprehensive program that is concerned with interactions of various parts of the organizations as they affect each other. It is concerned with working relationships as well as personal ones.

2. Use of A Change Agent

OD uses one or more change agents, who are people with the role of simulating and coordinating change within a group. Change agents are often outside consultants with experience managing OD programs, although companies sometimes utilize inside managers.

3. Problem Solving

Employees are learning how to learn from their experiences, so they can solve new problems in the future.

4. Feedback

OD relies heavily on feedback from participants so that they have useful data on which to base decisions. Feedback encourages them to understand how they are seen by others and take self-correcting action.

5. Contingency Orientation

OD usually is said to be situational and contingency-oriented. Unlike many other training approaches that emphasize only one right way to deal with a problem, OD is flexible and pragmatic, adapting actions to fit particular needs.

6. Experiential Learning

Experiential Learning means that participants learn by experiencing in the training environment the kinds of human problems they face on the job.

7. Humanistic Values

OD program typically are bases on humanistic values, which are positive beliefs about the potential and desire for growth among employees.

8. Team Building

The general goal of OD is to build better teamwork throughout the organization. Both small and large group teams are emphasized. OD tries to resolve differences in an organization so that they can cooperate.


Any organizational development process starts with identification of problems that can be solved within the organization. This process progresses through different stages and determines satisfactory progress made for additional involvement. The procedure is cyclic and terminates only when desired result is obtained. It can also be a series of trial and error and a discovery of the best practices that can be implemented in the organization.



Decision by management to use OD, selection of consultant.

Diagnosis of needs by management and consultant.

Collection of appropriate data.

Data feedback and confrontation

Action planning and problem solving

Team Building

Inter group development

Evaluation and follow-up


your organization have an organizational process? Has it improved the overall productivity and situation of your organization?


Classification of Training Methods

Conventional Training Methods these include coaching, lecture and discussion, films and the case methods.
Laboratory Training Methods include role playing, behavior modeling, gaming and encounter groups.

Laboratory Training


It just like acting out a given role as in a stage play. In this method of training, the trainees are required to enact defined roles on the basis of oral or written description of a particular situation. Focus on interpersonal responses. Outcomes depend on the emotional and reactions of the other trainees. The more meaningful the exercise, the higher the level of particular focus and intensity

Laboratory Training


Uses the innate inclination for people to observe others to discover how to do something new. Based on the principles of social learning theory. Provides trainees opportunity to practice the key behavior. It is teaching by actual demonstration with acted-out ways to handle commonly encountered behavioral problems.

Laboratory Training


It is defined as spirited activity or exercise in which trainees compete with each other according to the defined set of rules. This method is not used extensively in OD, yet, it does have some application. It resembles roleplaying but differ from it in sense that gaming focuses more on administrative problems. This provides a better balance of organizational and emotional issues on the job.

Laboratory Training


It is a group exercise in sequential decision making under simulated organizational conditions. This can show how leadership evolves, what kinds of communication are effective, the disastrous market results of internal group conflict, human factors influencing decisions, and the effect of success upon group cohesion.

Laboratory Training


Encounter groups involve unstructured smallgroup interaction under stress in a situation that requires people to become sensitive to one anothers feelings in order to develop reasonable group activity. This training seeks to improve understanding of self, others, groups process, culture and general behavior skills.