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Shweta Nair

Roll No 29


Organisation development deals with the gamut of “ people problems” and work system
problems” in organisations : poor morale, low productivity, poor quality, interpersonal
conflict, intergroup conflict, unclear or inappropriate goals, inappropriate leadership styles,
poor team performance, inappropriate organisation structure, poorly designed tasks,
inadequate response to environmental demands, poor customers relations, inadequate
alignment among the organisation’s strategy, structure , culture, and processes and the like,
In short, where individuals teams, and organisations are not realizing their potential, OD can
improve the situation.

Organization development (OD) is a planned, organization-wide effort to increase an

organization's effectiveness and viability. Warren Bennis, has referred to OD as a response to
change, a complex educational strategy intended to change the beliefs, attitudes, values, and
structure of organization so that they can better adapt to new technologies, marketing and
challenges, and the dizzying rate of change itself. OD is neither "anything done to better an
organization" nor is it "the training function of the organization"; it is a particular kind of
change process designed to bring about a particular kind of end result. OD can involve
interventions in the organization's "processes," using behavioural science knowledge as well
as organizational reflection, system improvement, planning, and self-analysis.

At the core of OD is the concept of organization, defined as two or more people working
together toward one or more shared goal(s). Development in this context is the notion that an
organization may become more effective over time at achieving its goals.

OD is a long range effort to improve organization's problem solving and renewal processes,
particularly through more effective and collaborative management of organizational culture,
often with the assistance of a change agent or catalyst and the use of the theory and
technology of applied behavioral science. Although behavioral science has provided the basic
foundation for the study and practice of organizational development, new and emerging
fields of study have made their presence known. Experts in systems thinking, leadership
studies, organizational leadership, and organizational learning (to name a few) whose
perspective is not steeped in just the behavioral sciences, but a much more multi-disciplinary
and inter-disciplinary approach have emerged as OD catalysts. These emergent expert
perspectives see the organization as the holistic interplay of a number of systems that impact
the process and outputs of the entire organization. More importantly, the term change agent
or catalyst is synonymous with the notion of a leader who is engaged in doing leadership, a
transformative or effectiveness process as opposed to management, a more incremental or
efficiency based change methodology.

Organization development is a "contractual relationship between a change agent and a

sponsoring organization entered into for the purpose of using applied behavioral science and
or other organizational change perspectives in a systems context to improve organizational
performance and the capacity of the organization to improve itself

Organization development is an ongoing, systematic process to implement effective change

in an organization. Organization development is known as both a field of applied behavioral
science focused on understanding and managing organizational change and as a field of

scientific study and inquiry. It is interdisciplinary in nature and draws on sociology,
psychology, and theories of motivation, learning, and personality.

OD programs are identifiable flows of interrelated events moving over time toward the goals
of organisational improvement and individual development


„ OD focuses on culture and processes

„ OD encourges collaboration between organisation 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 organisation 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 hall marks of OD.
„ OD focuses on total system change and views organizations as complex social
„ OD practitioners are facilitators, collaborators, and co – learners with the client
„ An important goal is to make the client system able to solve its problems on its
own by teaching the skills and knowledge of continuous learing through self –
analytical methods. OD views organization improvement as an ongoing process
in the context of a constantly changing environment.
„ OD takes a developmental view that seeks the betterment of both individuals
and the organisation. Attemption to create “win – win” solutions is standard
practice in OD programs


Warren Bennis proposed that Od practitioners (change agents) share a set of normative goals
based on their humanistic / democratic philosophy. He listed these normative goals as
follows :

1. Improvement in interpersonal competence

2. A shift in values so that human factors and feelings come to be considered legitimate
3. Development of increased understanding between and within working groups in order
to reduce tensions.
4. Development of more effective “ team management”, that is , the capacity for
functional groups to work more competently
5. Development of better methods of conflict resolution. Rather than the usual
bureaucratic methods which rely mainly on suppression, compromise, and
unprincipled power, more rational and open methods of conflict resolution are sought.
6. Development of organic rather than mechanical systems. This is a strong reaction
against the idea of organisations as mechanisms which managers “work on” like
pushing buttons
For eg. Mechanical systems rely on “authority obedience relationships” while organic
systems rely on “mutual confidence and trust”


Implications for dealing with individuals : Two basic assumptions about individuals in
organisations pervade (pass through) organisational development.

First assumption is that most individuals have drives toward personal growth and
development if provided an environment that is both supportive and challenging. Most
people want to develop their potential.

The second assumption is that most people desire to make, and are capable of making, a
greater contribution to attaining organisational goals than most organisational environment
permit. A tremendous amount of constructive energy can be tapped if organisations realize
and act on these assumptions.

The implication of these two assumptions are straightforward: Ask, listen, support, challenge,
encourage risk taking, permit failure, remove obstacles and barriers, give autonomy, give
responsibility, set high standards and reward success.


Traditional hierarchical forms of organisation – fairly steep pyramid, emphasis on top –

down directives.

A key assumption in od is that the needs and aspirations of human beings are the reason for
organised effort in society.

This notion suggests it is good to have a developmental outlook and seek opportunities in
which people can experience personal and professional growth. The belief that people are
important tends to result in their being important.

The belief that people can grow and develop in terms of personal and organisational
competency tends to produce that results. By implication, an optimistic, developmental set of
assumptions about people is likely to reap rewards beneficial to both the organisation and its

Finally, it is possible to create organisations that on the one hand are human, developmental
and empowering, and on the other hand are high performing in terms of productivity, quality
of output, and profitability.

Evidence from this assumption comes from numerous examples where “ putting people first”
paid off handsomely in profits and performance. The implication is that people are an
organisation’s most important resource, they are the source of productivity and profits and
should be treated with care.


Several assumptions related to the importance of work teams and the collaborative
management of team culture. First, one of the most psychologically relevant reference group
for most people is the work group, including peers and boss. What occurs in work groups, at
both the formal and informal levels, greatly influences feelings of satisfaction and

Second, most people wish to b e accepted and to interact cooperatively with at least one
small reference group, and usually with more than one group\, such as a work group, the
family, a church or club group, and so on.

Thirdly, most people are capable of making greater contributions to a group’s effectiveness
and development.

Implications of these assumptions are several

„ Let team flourish because they are often the best way to get work done and in
addition are the best way to satisfy social and emotional needs at work.

„ Also, leaders should invest in groups.

„ Invest the time in group development, invest training time and money to
increase group member’s skills, invest energy and intelligence in creating a
positive climate.

„ Leaders should adopt a team leadership style not a one – on – one leadership.
To do this leader should give important work to teams, not individuals.


In the early 20th century, psychologist Kurt Lewin identified three stages of change that are
still the basis of many approaches today.


A basic tendency of people is to seek a context in which they have relative safety and feel a
sense of control. In establishing themselves, they attach their sense of identity to their
environment. This creates a comfortable stasis from which any alternatives, even those which
may offer significant benefit, will cause discomfort.

Talking about the future thus is seldom enough to move them from this 'frozen' state and
significant effort may be required to 'unfreeze' them and get them moving. This usually
requires Push methods to get them moving, after which Pull methods can be used to keep
them going.

The term 'change ready' is often used to describe people who are unfrozen and ready to take
the next step. Some people come ready for change whilst others take a long time to let go of
their comfortable current realities.


A key part of Lewin's model is the notion that change, even at the psychological level, is a
journey rather than a simple step. This journey may not be that simple and the person may
need to go through several stages of misunderstanding before they get to the other side.

A classic trap in change is for the leaders to spend months on their own personal journeys
and then expect everyone else to cross the chasm in a single bound.

Transitioning thus requires time. Leadership is often important and when whole
organizations change, the one-eyed person may be king. Some form of coaching, counseling
or other psychological support will often be very helpful also.

Although transition may be hard for the individual, often the hardest part is to start. Even
when a person is unfrozen and ready for change, that first step can be very scary.

Transition can also be a pleasant trap and, as Robert Louis Stephenson said, 'It is better to
travel hopefully than arrive.' People become comfortable in temporary situations where they
are not accountable for the hazards of normal work and where talking about change may be
substituted for real action.


At the other end of the journey, the final goal is to 'refreeze', putting down roots again and
establishing the new place of stability.

In practice, refreezing may be a slow process as transitions seldom stop cleanly, but go more
in fits and starts with a long tail of bits and pieces. There are good and bad things about this.

In modern organizations, this stage is often rather tentative as the next change may well be
around the next corner. What is often encouraged, then, is more of a state of 'slushiness'
where freezing is never really achieved (theoretically making the next unfreezing easier). The
danger with this that many organizations have found is that people fall into a state of change
shock, where they work at a low level of efficiency and effectiveness as they await the next
change. 'It's not worth it' is a common phrase when asked to improve what they do.


They expanded the three stage into a seven – stage model representing the consulting
process. Their seven stages are as follows :

Phase 1 :
Developing a need for change. This phase corresponds to Lewin’s unfreezing phase.

Phase 2 :
Establishing a change relationship. In this phase a client system in need of help and a change
agent from outside the system establish a working relationship.

Phase 3 :
Clarifying or diagnosing the client system’s problem.

Phase 4 :
Examining alternative routes and goals, establishing goals and intentions of action

Phase 5 :
Transforming intentions into actual change efforts. Phases 3, 4 , 5 correspond to Lewin’s
moving phase.

Phase 6 :
Generalizing and stabilizing change. This phase corresponds to Lewin’s refreezing phase

Phase 7 :
Achieving a terminal relationship, that is, terminating the client consultant relationship.


This model has five sequential stages.

1. Initiating the program
2. Diagnosing the problems
3. Scheduling the tracks
4. Implementing the tracks
5. Evaluating the results
-----change programs take from one to five years to complete

„ Initiating the program entails securing commitment from top management.

„ Diagnosing the problems requires a thorough analysis of the problems and

opportunities facing the organisation.

„ These problems and opportunities will be the targets of later interventions.

„ Scheduling and implementing the tracks involve intervening in five critical

leverage points called tracks, that, when functioning properly, cause the
organisation to be successful.


1. Culture track
2. The management skill track
3. The team building track
4. The strategy structure track
5. The reward system track

Interventions include training programs, problem solving sessions, critique of current

practices and procedures and so forth

Culture track – trust communication, information sharing, and willingness to change among

The management skill track provides all management personnel with new ways of coping
with complex problems and hidden assumptions.

The team building track infuses the new culture and updated management skills into each
work unit.

The strategy structure track develops either a completely new or a revised strategic plan
for the firm and then aligns divisions, departments, work groups, jobs, and all resources with
the new strategic direction.

The reward system track establishes a performance based rewards system that sustains all


- Warner Burke and George Litwin

This model shows how to create first order and second order change (which author calls
transactional and transformational change)

In the first order change, some features of organisation change but the fundamental nature of
organisation remains the same.

First order change goes by many different labels : transactional, evolutionary, adaptive,
incremental, or continuous change.

Second order change goes by many different labels : transformational, revolutionary, radical,
or discontinous change.

The model distinguishes between organisational climate and organisational culture


Burke and Litwin distinguish between transformational factors (yellow boxes) and
transactional factors (green boxes).

Transformational change happens in response to the external environment, which directly

affects the mission, strategy, leadership and culture of the organization.
In turn, the transactional factors are affected: structure, systems, management practices, and
work climate. These transformational and transactional factors together affect motivation,
which in turn affects performance.There is a feedback loop: the organizational performance
can directly effect the external environment.


„ Overview: the framework integrates many major change factors.
„ External environment is the main factor (although not necessarily the starting
„ The hierarchy and causality between the elements.
„ The model distinguishes between the set of variables that influence and are
influenced by organizational climate (everyday, transactional level) and those
influenced by organizational culture (fundamental, transformational level).


„ The model is a bit complex (although still an oversimplification of the reality).
„ Some organizational changes may be initiated by leadership or by internal
factors rather than by the external environment


OD as a process of diagnosing, taking action, rediagnosing and taking new action.

Action research is essentially a mixture of three ingredients ; the highly participative nature
of OD, the consultant role of collaborator and co – learner, and the interactive process of
diagnosis and action.

The action research model as applied in OD consists of :

1 a preliminary diagnosis
2. Data gathering from the client group
3. Data feedback to the client group
4. Exploration of the data by the client group
5. Action planning by the client group
6. Action taking by the client group
7. Evaluation and assessment of the results of the actions by the client group

Action Research Yields Both Change And New Knowledge

OD is a response to change, a complex educational strategy intended to change the beliefs,

attitudes, values and structure of organisations so that they can better adapt to new
technologies, markets, and challenges (Bennis,1969).

Eg. Useage of computers in Nationalized banks – training provided to employees,

Eg. Banks want to merge for strategic business advantage, then changing the attitude of the
employees is very important

Action research is a reflective process of progressive problem solving led by individuals

working with others in teams or as part of a "community of practice" to improve the way
they address issues and solve problems. Action research can also be undertaken by larger
organizations or institutions, assisted or guided by professional researchers, with the aim of
improving their strategies, practices, and knowledge of the environments within which they
practice. As designers and stakeholders, researchers work with others to propose a new
course of action to help their community improve its work practices (Center for
Collaborative Action Research). Kurt Lewin, then a professor at MIT, first coined the term
“action research” in about 1944. In his 1946 paper “Action Research and Minority Problems”
he described action research as “a comparative research on the conditions and effects of
various forms of social action and research leading to social action” that uses “a spiral of
steps, each of which is composed of a circle of planning, action, and fact-finding about the
result of the action”

Action research is an interactive inquiry process that balances problem solving actions
implemented in a collaborative context with data-driven collaborative analysis or research to
understand underlying causes enabling future predictions about personal and organizational
change (Reason & Bradbury, 2001). After six decades of action research development, many
methodologies have evolved that adjust the balance to focus more on the actions taken or
more on the research that results from the reflective understanding of the actions. This
tension exists between

1. those who are more driven by the researcher’s agenda to those more driven by
2. those who are motivated primarily by instrumental goal attainment to those motivated
primarily by the aim of personal, organizational, or societal transformation; and
3. 1st-, to 2nd-, to 3rd-person research, that is, my research on my own action, aimed
primarily at personal change; our research on our group (family/team), aimed
primarily at improving the group; and ‘scholarly’ research aimed primarily at
theoretical generalization and/or large scale change.

Action research challenges traditional social science, by moving beyond reflective

knowledge created by outside experts sampling variables to an active moment-to-moment
theorizing, data collecting, and inquiring occurring in the midst of emergent structure.
“Knowledge is always gained through action and for action. From this starting point, to
question the validity of social knowledge is to question, not how to develop a reflective
science about action, but how to develop genuinely well-informed action — how to conduct
an action science” (Torbert 2001).


Collaborative management of work team culture is a fundamental emphasis of organisational

development programs. The reality is that much of the organisation’s work is accomplished
directly or indirectly through teams, work team culture exerts a significant influence on
individual behaviour.

A work group is a number of persons, usually reporting to a common superior and having
some face to face interaction, who have some degree of interdependence in carrying out tasks
for the purpose of achieving organisational goals.

A team is a form of group, but has some characteristics in greater degree than ordinary
groups, including a higher commitment to common goal and a higher degree of
interdependency and interaction.

Accomplishments must be acknowledged and celebrated, as a group when possible and

appropriate. Organizations adopt several ways to achieve this, such as creating a periodic
newsletter and email with a section in it for accolades, institution of a peer-to-peer award
system, sending greeting cards or gift certificates from websites dedicated to these purposes.
The principles of managing teams well are similar to the principles of managing anybody or
anything well.

Practices to facilitate development of Teams in organizations

„ Organization Development facilitators should enable firms to hire team players
by putting all job candidates through demanding office-wide scrutiny.

„ Performance Incentives should be designed in such a manner that they are

group-based and performance appraisals should include team working as a

„ Intra-team conflicts should be resolved in the early stages Unresolved conflicts

caused due to employees’ mutual bickering can kill office morale and

„ Organizations are deploying paid ombudsmen to help staffers get along and
stifle office conflicts As conflicts often arise in work teams, timely
interventions to diffuse tensions and strengthen members’ interpersonal
commitment should be introduced.

„ A good team relationship requires nurturing from a strong leader. Leaders

might cling to the idea of success being based on individuals, but the value of a
great group must not be ignored by the leader.

„ Effective interpersonal interaction would take place among team players

communicate more effectively.

OD process should result in the development of a comprehensive and sustainable in-house
leadership training program that would foster teamwork. The training programs should
enable employees to learn how to handle different types of personalities.

Towards the completion phase of team building intervention, team members should be
capable of avoiding reciprocal rudeness and maintenance of unconditional politeness,
escaping the trap of cliques ,prevention of polarization (cause of division of opinion) of
members into opposing factions, perpetrating (responsible) the value of teams, overcoming
the phenomenon of groupthink which occurs out of excessive demand for unanimity,
understanding the power of group synergy and social-facilitation in raising and social-
facilitation in raising an organization’s productivity are qualities of the members of winning

Team building interventions are typically directed toward four main area :
„ Diagnosis
„ Task Accomplishments
„ Team Relationships
„ Team and organisation processes

Characteristics of High Performing Teams’ member

„ Share a common purpose / goals

„ Build relationships for trust and respect
„ Balance task and process
„ Plan thoroughly before acting.
„ Involve members in clear problem-solving and decision makingprocedures
„ Respect and understand each others' "diversity"
„ Value synergism and interdependence
„ Emphasize and support team goals
„ Reward individual performance that supports the team.
„ Communicate effectively
„ Practice effective dialogue instead of debate Identify and resolve groupconflicts
„ Vary levels and intensity of work
„ Provide a balance between work and home.
„ Critique the way they work as a team, regularly and consistently
„ Practice continuous improvement
„ Creating a team environment


Third-party intermediaries are people, organizations, or even nations (in an international

perspective) who enter a conflict to try to help the parties de-escalate or resolve it (Burgess,
2004). Formal intermediaries are people who are professional conflict resolvers and who are
hired specifically to do that job. They may be professional mediators, arbitrators, facilitators,
or judges, who work privately or with a government agency. Informal intermediaries are
people who find themselves in an intermediary role, but it is not something they usually do as
a profession.

What specific objective third-party interventions aim to achieve?

Third parties can:
• Provide breathing space (i.e. reduce tension)
• Re-establish communication between two parties
• Refocus on substantiative issues
• Repair stained relationships
• Recommend time limits
• Salvage sunk costs of stalled negotiations
• Increase level of negotiator satisfaction

So, when do you need third-party intervention?

• Deadlock or impasse between two-parties
• Unproductive tension and hostility
• Anger and resentment overwhelm negotiators
• Mistrust and suspicion are high


Walton has presented a statement of theory and practice for third-party peace making
interventions that is important in its own right and important for its role in organization
development. WALTON’S METHOD has a lot in common with group interventions but it is
directed more towards, interpersonal conflict.

Third party interventions involve confrontation and Walton outlines confrontation

mechanisms. A major feature of these mechanisms is the ability to diagnose the problem

The diagnostic model:

The model is based on four elements:

• The conflict issues.
• Precipitating circumstances.
• Conflict relevant acts.
• The consequences of the conflict.

It is also important to know the source of the conflict.


Substantive issues, which is conflict related to practices, scarce resources, and differing
conceptions of roles and responsibilities.

Emotional issues, involve feelings between the parties, such as anger, hurt, fear, resentment,

The former require bargaining and problem solving.

The latter require restructuring perceptions and working through negative feelings.

Walton has outlined the ingredients of a productive confrontation( the process of addressing
conflict), they are:

1. Mutual positive motivation, which refers to the willingness on both parties t resolve
the conflict.
2. Balance of power. There ought not be any power differentials between the parties
involved in a confrontation.
3. Synchronization of confrontation efforts. The two parties must address the conflict
4. Differentiation and integration of different phases of the intervention must be well
paced. The intervention involves working through negative feelings and ambivalent
positive feeling. The intervention must allow sufficient time for this process to take
5. Conditions that promote openness should be created. This could be done through
setting appropriate norms and creating a structure that encourages openness.
6. Reliable communicative signals. This statement refers to using language that is
understood by the parties involved in the confrontation.
7. Optimum tension in the situation. This means that the stress experienced by both
parties ought to be sufficient to motivate them but not too excessive.


These principles were outlined by Fischer, Ury and Patton.

They involve approaches to people, interests, options and criteria.

People have different feelings and perceptions therefore it is important to separate people
from feelings.
Interest. Looking at party interests provide a vehicle for resolving conflict rather sticking to
inflexible positions that entrench the conflict.
Options ought to be generated in order to come up with best option for resolving conflict.
Criteria for evaluating the success of the intervention ought to be clear and objective.

Organization Development (OD) is a unique organizational improvement strategy. The sets
of structured/planned activities adopted by groups or individuals in an organization as a part
of the organization development program, are known as OD techniques or OD interventions.

While change programs may involve either external or internal consultants, OD interventions
mostly involve external consultants. Some OD interventions include sensitivity training,
survey feedback, process consultation, team interventions and intergroup interventions, third
party peace making interventions, and structural interventions.

The most widely used structural interventions are parallel learning structures, self-managed
teams, Management by Objectives (MBO), Quality Circles, Total Quality Management
(TQM), Quality of work life (QWL) projects, large-scale systems change, organizational
transformation, and process reengineering.

The research and practice in the field of OD has led to the emergence of new concepts and
interventions. Therefore, OD is a continuously growing field. The factors that add to the
strength of OD include soundness of its processes, the emphasis of OD interventions on
democratic processes and on bringing about a simultaneous change in people as well as
technology. Though OD seems to have a promising future, there are certain factors that have
the potential to make the future of OD uncertain. These include nature of organizational
leadership and the values of top management, knowledge of management about OD, the
importance given by management to training employees in OD skills, interdisciplinary nature
of OD, dissemination of OD techniques, integration of techniques in the field of OD with
those in other fields and the recording and maintenance of the history of OD. The changes in
global economy, technology and nature of workforce have significant implications for the
future of OD. In the future, OD will become a part of organizational operations and OD skills
will be acquired by employees at every level in the organization.

OD processes will use advanced technology and the duration of OD interventions will be
reduced. OD will focus on learning and innovation and its interdisciplinary nature will
increase. As OD practitioners have to work with diverse client organizations and cross-
cultural teams, they will need to develop the required competence. Prior to solving the value
dilemmas of modern organizations, OD practitioners will be required to resolve the dilemma
within themselves regarding the focus of OD interventions.

The Future of OD

• More embedded in the organization’s culture

• More technologically enabled
• Shorter OD cycle times
• More interdisciplinary
• More diverse client organizations
• More cross-cultural
• Greater focus on ecological sustainability


Many people are suspicious of organizational consultants, and for good reason. Many change
efforts fall into three categories:

• The fad or fly-by-night initiative, which takes up a lot of time and, often, energy,
sometimes engaging the enthusiasm of a number of people, only to disappear when
managers become interested in the next new thing. These pick up the reputation of
being great for consulting firms, but a waste of time for everyone else. They may be
well-intentioned efforts by well-trained HR groups who do not have the power or
resources to get the results they need; they result of a close relationship between a
consultant and an executive; the outcome of an executive with a short attention span
and an interest in increasing performance; or ineffective processes of a large
consulting firm.
o A subgroup of this is the initiative which really does produce good results -
but whose outcome is not well publicized, so that employees think nothing has
• The false front, where a change effort purporting to help everyone turns into a
traditional time and motion study or an excuse to eliminate jobs or speed up the line
(whether the line is real or figurative).
• The less common, but still damaging, false front, where employees' reactions to an
initiative are used against them - perhaps by supervisors or unscrupulous managers,
without the knowledge of well-meaning people in HR.

There is a long history of management consultants being used to eliminate or demean jobs.
Frederick Winslow Taylor, whose name has been attached to Taylorism, was famous for
being able to extract more performance by "scientifically" determining the best work
processes. For example, he would change the size of a coal mover's shovel, provide frequent
rest breaks, train the mover in the best way to shovel coal (based on experimentation), and set
up a pay-for-performance system. Unfortunately, Taylor's system - which, while it robbed the
coal mover of some control over their own work, did at least make their job easier and less
physically damaging - was abused by many managers and consultants to follow. Pay-for-
performance systems were constantly adjusted so that the faster people moved, the less they
made per unit - Taylor, to be fair, fought this sort of thing. The frequent rest breaks somehow
didn't often make it into practice, but taking away the individual worker's ability to make
even the simplest decisions did.

For decades, managers, sometimes in the name of scientific management, used every
possible means to take away individual decision-making, pushing it upwards through the
organization. Even in the heyday of job enrichment and empowerment, many companies
were actively, and to their own detriment, pushing power upwards instead of downwards.
Some of these stories are outlined in Brave New Workplace, a good book for those wishing to
hear the less-told, non-management side of the story.

Organizational development should be beyond reproach. Based on the idea of working with
organizational culture to bring out the best in people, the goals and ethics of organizational
development are certainly laudable from a human perspective. It's hard to argue with the
financial results, either. We have yet to hear of a true "OD" intervention being abused,

though of course components of OD - the various tools used by OD practitioners - can easily
be subverted or ineffective in the wrong hands.

Generally speaking, the ethical consultant or manager can do many things to make the lives
of employees and managers better, and not just in financial terms.

Values of O.D. Professionals

As an O.D. professional, I acknowledge the fundamental importance of the following values

both for myself and my profession:

1. quality of life -- people being satisfied with their whole life experience;
2. health, human potential, empowerment, growth and excellence -- people being
healthy, aware of the fullness of their potential, recognizing their power to bring that
potential into being, growing into it, living it, and, generally, doing the best they can
with it, individually and collectively;
3. freedom and responsibility -- people being free and responsible in choosing how they
will live their lives;
4. justice -- people living lives whose results are fair and right for everyone;
5. dignity, integrity, worth and fundamental rights of individuals, organizations,
communities, societies, and other human systems;
6. all-win attitudes and cooperation -- people caring about one another and about
working together to achieve results that work for everyone, individually and
7. authenticity and openness in relationship;
8. effectiveness, efficiency and alignment -- people achieving the maximum of desired
results, at minimum cost, in ways that coordinate their individual energies and
purposes with those of the system-as-a-whole, the subsystems of which they are parts,
and the larger system of which their system is a part;
9. holistic, systemic view and stakeholder orientation -- understanding human behavior
from the perspective of whole system(s) that influence and are influenced by that
behavior; recognizing the interests that different people have in the system's results
and valuing those interests fairly and justly;
10. wide participation in system affairs, confrontation of issues leading to effective
problem solving, and democratic decision making.


Organizational development (OD) is an application of behavioral science to organizational

change. It encompasses a wide array of theories, processes, and activities, all of which are
oriented toward the goal of improving individual organizations. Generally speaking,
however, OD differs from traditional organizational change techniques in that it typically
embraces a more holistic approach that is aimed at transforming thought and behavior
throughout an entity. Definitions of OD abound, but they are all predicated on the notion of
improving organizational performance through proactive activities and techniques. It is also
worth noting that organizational development, though concerned with improving workforce
performance, should not be mistaken for human resource development. "Organization
development is the planned process of developing an organization to be more effective in
accomplishing its desired goals,"

"It is distinguished from human resource development in that HRD focuses on the personal
growth of individuals within organizations, while OD focuses on developing the structures,
systems, and processes within the organization to improve organizational effectiveness."

Organizational Development Basics

OD programs usually share several basic characteristics. For instance, they are considered
long-term efforts of at least one to three years in most cases. In addition, OD stresses
collaborative management, whereby managers and employees at different levels of the
hierarchy cooperate to solve problems. OD also recognizes that every organization is unique
and that the same solutions cannot necessarily be applied at different companies—this
assumption is reflected in an OD focus on research and feedback. Another common trait of
OD programs is an emphasis on the value of teamwork and small groups. In fact, most OD
systems use small teams—or even individuals—as a vehicle to implement broad
organizational changes.

The catalyst—whether a group or individual—that facilitates the OD process is known as the

"change agent." Change agents are often outside consultants with experience managing OD
programs, although companies sometimes utilize inside managers. The advantage of bringing
in outside OD consultants is that they often provide a different perspective and have a less
biased view of the organization's problems and needs. The primary drawback associated with
outside change agents is that they may lack an in-depth understanding of key issues particular
to the company. In addition, outside change agents may have trouble securing the trust and
cooperation of key players in the organization. For these reasons, some companies employ an
external-internal team approach, which seeks to combine the advantages of internal and
external change agents while minimizing the drawbacks associated with the two approaches.
"Once we recognize that organizational development involves substantial changes in how
individuals think, believe, and act, we can appreciate the necessity of someone to play the
role of change agent. But who should play the role? Existing managers? New managers? Or
individuals hired specifically for that purpose? Depending upon the situation, any of these
can be called upon to orchestrate the organizational development process. The point is that
the role of the change agent is necessary for organizational development to occur."

Implementing Od Programs

OD efforts basically entail two groups of activities: "action research" and "interventions."
Action research is a process of systematically collecting data on a specific organization,
feeding it back for action planning, and evaluating results by collecting and reflecting on
more data. Data gathering techniques include everything from surveys and questionnaires to
interviews, collages, drawings, and tests. The data is often evaluated and interpreted using
advanced statistical analysis techniques.

Action research can be thought of as the diagnostic component of the OD process. But it
also encompasses the intervention component, whereby the change agent uses action
plans to intervene in the organization and make changes, as discussed below. In a
continuous process, the results of actions are measured and evaluated and new action plans
are devised to effect new changes. Thus, the intervention process can be considered a facet of
action research.

OD interventions are plans or programs comprised of specific activities designed to effect

change in some facet of an organization. Numerous interventions have been developed over
the years to address different problems or create various results. However, they all are geared
toward the goal of improving the entire organization through change. In general,
organizations that wish to achieve a high degree of organizational change will employ a full
range of interventions, including those designed to transform individual and group behavior
and attitudes. Entities attempting smaller changes will stop short of those goals, applying
interventions targeted primarily toward operating policies, management structures, worker
skills, and personnel policies. Typically, organization development programs will
simultaneously integrate more than one of these interventions. A few of the more popular
interventions are briefly described below.


Empowerment and Participation It is interesting how the word communication can change
life at home and at work. When everyone is aware of what is going on around him or her,
they can function better. It is important for employees to understand the business in its
entirety. That includes the finances of the job. All of the readings in this chapter had
something to offer. I feel taking a bit from each will provide a work place of splendor.
Finances include a variety of things: From hiring a new employee to purchasing a new tool to
make the job easier. It is those decisions we make which can make difference of saving,
spending and making money. It is these decisions that can make or break a company. The old
school tells us not to share finances with anyone else in the company but those directly on
top. The new school is saying that this philosophy is all wrong. If one want an employee to
do the best he or she can do, and feel important, give them the company information. Let all
the employees know what role they play. Allow them to make decisions that will make their
job easier. The Lightening of Empowerment suggests managers help their employees take
ownership of their jobs. This requires trust, listening to the workers, and giving feedback.
The novel concept here is to treat people like humans. Like any relationship, one needs these
qualities to survive. If one gives positive reinforcements people tend to respect them.
Employers hire people everyday with the hopes and trust they will do their job. But when
people do not understand the role they really play in the company, they may not give their
full effort. Hence, we have Saps, people who lack the main ingredients of relationships
discussed earlier. We must let the employees know we trust them to make good positive
decisions. Give them the empowerment by letting them know they are valued, and
commending them on jobs well done. Open Book Management suggests we share our
finances with the other employees no matter what their status, and give them a stake in the
company. After all, this is a good suggestion, why work if one can't reap the benefits of their
work? It also suggests that many employees are business illiterate, and if we want them to
understand business we need to teach it to them. In conclusion, all of the readings I have
done so far make management more then just problem solvers. They have become part of the
problem. To solve their own problems managers need to be teachers, coaches, and a wealth
of knowledge to be shared. Businesses need to be a team, and to this they need to share every
aspect of the team. When the business succeeds all should have a share in the profit, and
when it fails all are responsible.

Participation doesn't always lead to empowerment. It takes a supportive environment in

which to nurture people's aspirations and skills for empowerment to ultimately occur.