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Chapter 2: Definitions and

Historical
Overview
of
Organization Development
Meaning of Organizational
Development (OD)
The term organization development
or simply OD is used to represent an
applied, macro-level approach to the
planned change and development of
complex organizations.

Some early definitions of organization


development follow:
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)

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. (Bennis, 1969)

OD can be defined as a planned and


sustained effort to apply behavioral
science for system improvement,
using
reflexive,
self-analytical
methods.( Schmuck and Miles, 1971)

Organization
development
is
a
process of planned changechanges
of an organizations culture from one,
which avoids an examination of social
processes (especially decision making,
planning and communication) to one
which institutionalizes and legitimizes
this
examination.
(Burke
and
Hornstein, 1972)

More recent definitions of organization


development are these.
[The aims of OD are](1) enhancing
congruence
between
organizational
structure, processes, strategy, people, and
culture; (2) develo0ping new and creative
organizational
solutions;
and
(3)
developing
the
organizations
selfrenewing capacity. (Beer, 1980)

Organizational development is a set of


behavioral science-based theories, values,
strategies, and techniques aimed at the
planned change of the organizational work
setting for the purpose of enhancing
individual development and improving
organizational performance, through the
alteration of organizational members onthe-job behaviors. (Porras and Robertson,
1992)

OD is a systematic application of
behavioral science knowledge to the
planned
development
and
reinforcement
of
organizational
strategies, structures and processes
for improving an organizations
effectiveness.
(Cummings
and
Worley, 1993)

Organizational development is a
planned process of change in an
organizations culture through the
utilization of behavioral science,
technologies and theory. (Burke,
1994)

Organizational development is a
long-term effort led and supported
by top management, to improve an
organizations
visioning,
empowerment, learning, problemsolving
processes,
through
an
ongoing, collaborative management
of organization culturewith special
emphasis on the culture of intact
work
teams
and
other
team
configurationsusing
the
consultant
facilitator
role
and
theory and technology of applied
behavioral science, including action
research.

Elements of OD
The further amplification of the
definition of OD reveals the
following essential elements of OD:

Long-term Effort
By long-term effort we mean that
organizational change and development
take timesseveral years in most cases.
It is more accurate to describe
development or improvement as a
never-ending journey of continuous
change. One program or initiative
moves the organization to higher
plateau; then another moves it to yet a
higher plateau of effectiveness.

Top Management Initiative and


Support

Top management must lead and


actively encourage the change effort.
Organizational
change
is
hard,
serious business; it includes pain and
setback as well as successes. Top
management
must
initiate
the
improvement journey and be
committed to seeing it through.

Visioning
Visioning means creating a picture of
desired future that includes salient
features of the human side of the
organization
and
then
working
together to make that picture a
reality. Vision provides a shared
mental framework that gives form to
that future.

Empowerment
By empowerment, we mean involving a large
number of people in building the vision of
tomorrow, building the strategy to get there,
and making it happen. In organizational
development arena, leadership and human
resource practices should play the congenial
role enabling organization members to
develop and use their talents as fully as
possible toward individual growth and
organizational success.

Learning Process
By learning process, we mean those
interacting, listening and self-examining
process that facilitate individual, team, and
organizational sophistication. Peter Senge
describes learning organizations as
organizations where people continually
expand their capability to create the result
they really deserve, where new and
expansive
patterns
of
thinking
are
nurtured, and where collective aspiration is
set free, and where people are continually
learning how to learn together.

Problem-solving Process
Problem-solving process refers to the
ways organization members diagnose
situations, solve problems, make
decisions and take actions on
problem,
opportunities,
and
challenges in the organizations
environment
and
its
internal
functioning. Michael Beers definition
called for developing new and
creative organizational solutions.

Collaborative Management of
the Organizations Culture
By
ongoing
collaborative
management
of
the
organizations culture we mean, first, that one of the most
important things to manage in organizations is the culture:
the prevailing patterns of values, attitudes, beliefs,
assumptions, expectations, activities, interactions and
artifacts.
And second, managing culture should be a collaborative
business, one widespread participation in creating and
managing a culture that satisfies the wants and needs of
individuals at the same time that it fosters the
organizations purposes.
Collaborative management of the culture means that
every one, not just a small group, has a stake in making
the organization work. Just as visioning, empowerment,
learning, and problem-solving processes are opportunities
for collaboration in organization development, so is
managing the culture.

Intact Work Teams and Other


Configurations
The most prevalent form of teams in
organizations is intact work teams
consisting
of
superior
and
subordinates with a specific job to
perform. Team building and role and
goal clarification interventions are
standard activities in OD programs
directed toward intact work teams.

Consultant-Facilitator
Role
The phrase using the consultantfacilitator role conveys our belief that
leaders can benefit from seeking
professional assistance in planning
and implementing OD initiatives. In
the early phases, at least, the
services of a third-party consultantfacilitator are desirables.

Application of Theory and


Knowledge of Behavioral
Sciences:

OD applies knowledge and theory of


behavioral science consisting of
psychology,
social
psychology,
sociology
and so
on,
applied
disciplines such as adult education,
psychotherapy,
social
work,
economics, and political science
make contributions to the practice of
OD.

Action Research
And finally, by action research we mean the
participative model of collaborative and
iterative diagnosis and taking action in
which the leader, organization members,
and OD practitioner work together to define
and resolve problems and opportunities.
Because of the extensive applicability of
this model in OD, another definition of
organization
development
could
be
organization
improvement
through
participation and action research.

1.3 Characteristics of
Organization Development
The primary distinguishing characteristics of
organization development are as follows:
OD focuses on culture and processes.
Specifically,
OD
encourages
collaboration
between organization leaders and members in
managing culture and processes.
Teams of all kinds are particularly important for
accomplishing tasks and are targets for OD
activities.
OD focuses on the human and social side of the
organization and in so doing also intervenes in
the technological and structural sides.

Participation and involvement in problem


solving and decision-making by all levels
of the organization are hallmarks of OD.
OD focuses on total system change and
views organizations as complex social
system.
OD practitioners are facilitators,
collaborators, and co-learners with the
client system.

An overarching goal is to make the client system


able to solve its problems on its own by teaching
the skills and knowledge of continuous learning
through
self-analytical
methods.
OD
views
organization improvement as an ongoing process in
the context of a constantly changing environment.
OD relies on ancient research model with extensive
participation by client system members.
OD takes development view that seeks the
betterment of both individuals and the organization.
Attempting to create win-win solutions is standard
practice in OD program.

A History of Organization
Development
The Laboratory Training Stem

The T-Group

Robert Tannenbaum

Chris Argyris

Douglas McGregor

Herbert Shepard

Robert Blake

Jane Mouton

Richard Backhard

Warren Bennis

Eva Schindler- Raiman

The Survey Research and Feedback


Rensis Likert
Floyd Mann

The Action Research Team

The Sociotechnical and Socioclinical


Stem
W. R. Bion, John Richman, and Others
Eric Trist
Tavistock- US Links

Second-generation OD

Interest in Organizational Transformation


Interest in Organization Culture
Interest in Learning Organization
Intensified Interest in Teams
Intensified Interest in Total Quality
Management
Interest in Visioning and Future Search
Rediscovering Large Meeting and Getting
the whole system in Room
Other Directions and Areas of Interest

Application of OD
1. Problems Solutions in Business
Firms: Organization development deals with the

gamut of people problems and work systems


problems
in
organizations.
These
problems
generally include poor morale, low productivity, poor
quality, interpersonal conflict, intergroup conflict,
unclear or inappropriate goals, inappropriate
leadership
styles,
poor
team
performance,
inappropriate organization structure, poorly designed
tasks, inadequate response to environmental
demands, poor customer relations, inadequate
alignment among the organizations strategy,
structure, culture and processes, and the like.

2. Strategic Planning
Process
OD interventions are used to improve the
strategic planning process of an organization.
Strategic planning process can be defined as
the art of formulation, implementation, and
evaluating
cross-functional
decisions
that
enables an organization to achieve its
objectives.
It
focuses
on
integrating
management, marketing, finance, accounting,
production
or
operations,
research
and
development, and computer information to
achieve organizational success.

3. Organizational
Improvement
Organization
development
is
a
process
that
focuses
on
organizational culture, processes,
and structure. This approach in fact,
is
a
transformation
of
an
organization.

4. Productivity Improvement

Production or output can be increased


dramatically within a short course of OD
program. Productivity is a primary concern
for most of the managers now-a-days.
Productivity implies being effective and
efficient in performing organizational tasks.
A
long
program
of
productivity
improvement can be undertaken by the HR
department to gradually improve the
productivity through group solving process.

5. Continuous Process
Improvement
New plant or unit engaging in
producing finished goods initially can
undertake OD programs to improve
the process flows and efficiency.

The new plant or project organization


generally employs OD program with the
following goals:
To increase the abilities and skills of the
individual mangers;
To build an effective top management team;
To build strong division and department team;
To improve the relations between work
groups, such as between production and
maintenance, and thus reduce the energy
spent in competition;
To change the managerial culture;
To improve the long-range planning process
and decision-making abilities of all managers.

6. Large-Scale System
Change
Large manufacturing or service
organizations
needing
significant
changes in almost all the division and
units can initiate large-scale change
program. Such programs would keep
the organization in state of trouble
free in respect of managing people
and improving profitability.

7. Competitive Advantage through


Self-Directed Teams
Self-directed teams are an organizational
arrangement in which all team members
perform all activities required for team
success with the aid of boss or supervisor,
STDs plan their own work, set production
and performance goals, acquire needed
resources, hire and train team members,
measure their own performance, assume
complete responsibility for a complex task.
These self-directed teams are developed
with the aid of an OD consultant on a longterm basis.

8. Organizational
Transformation

Organization
transformation
becomes a management priority in
crises
ridden
companies.
This
transformation
program
requires
successive OD interventions under
series of stages with each stage
containing specific activities designed
to move the organization toward the
desired state in the long-run.