Organizational Development(OD):Definition and Process

Organizational development is a technique used for bringing change in the entire aspect of the organization, rather than focusing attention on the individuals. So that change is readily absorbed.

Definition of Organizational Development

According to French and Bell__Organizational development is a long range effort to improve an organization’s problem-solving and renewal processes, particularly, through a more effective and collaborative management of organization culture with special emphasis on the culture of formal work teams with the assistance of a change agent or catalyst and the use of the theory and technology of applied behaviour science, including action research”.

According to Burke__“Organizational development is a planned process of change in an organization’s culture through the utilization of behavioural science, technology, research and theory”.

Important of Organizational Development

  • To encourage sense of ownership and pride in the organization.
  • To decentralize decision making close to the source of activity.
  • To emphasize on feedback, self-control, and self-direction.
  • To develop the spirit of cooperation, mutual trust, and confidence.
  • To change structure and roles inconsistent with accomplishment of goals.

Objectives of Organizational Development

  • Boosting the members’ level of commitment and satisfaction.
  • Promoting confrontation and fixing of problems instead of postponing and neglecting them.
  • Handling conflicts in an effective way.
  • Increasing the collaboration and cooperation among employees within the working environment.
  • Promoting a problem-solving approach within the organization.
  • Increasing awareness of the organization’s vision among its members. Organizational Development aims to align the employees’ vision with the firm’s.
  • Smoothing the transition from formal authority to personal skills and knowledge.
  • Achieving a trustworthy working environment that enables new implementations.

Organizational Development Process

Identifying and diagnosing the problem:

Required changes in relation to various units in the organization should be identified and diagnosed, duly examining the feedback from employees. Effective identification and diagnosis of the problem should be preceded by an employee survey.

Developing strategy:

While developing appropriate strategy, it is necessary to study people, sub-systems, and organization as a total system. Strategy is the direction and scope of an organization in the long run, matching the resources and the changing environment.

Implementing the programme:

OD programme should be implemented in a phased manner, that is, it should be tried at the outset only in a small part of the organization and only on getting positive results should it gradually be implemented in the total organization. Since total organizational change precedes attitudinal changes, changes in values, and beliefs of the people, the initial thrust should be given to training of employees, improvement of their skills, developing self-awareness, improving inter-personal relationships, reducing conflict, etc.

Reviewing the progress of the programme:

A qualified person who is not involved in designing and developing the OD programme should preferably do the review of the OD programme to give an unbiased opinion.