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IPASJ International Journal of Management (IIJM)

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ISSN 2321-645X

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Volume 3, Issue 5, May 2015

The Organisational Development (OD)


interventions that influence Organisational
Culture in order to improve performance of the
schools in the Warren Park-Malbereign District
in Harare Region, Zimbabwe
Maphosa Joyce S , Maphosa Thembinkosi
1.

Scholar, Department of Educational Administration; Zimbabwe Open University, Zimbabwe

2.

Scholar, Department of Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Studies, University of Zimbabwe

ABSTRACT
The purpose of this study was to investigate the Organisational Development (OD) interventions that influence organisational
culture in order to improve performance of the organisation (school). The study was conducted in the Warren ParkMabelreign District of Harare, Zimbabwe. A number of authorities have researched and written on Organisational
Development Interventions and Organisational Culture. In this study Fifty (50) teachers and Eighteen (18) Administrators
(Heads) were used as research subjects. Two separate questionnaires were used as the research instruments. Statistical analysis
methods were used to present and interpret data. The main findings of the study were: Teachers were relatively younger than
Heads. Female teachers and male Heads dominated the schools. Heads were more mature, senior and experienced than
teachers. Teachers and Heads have agreed that demographic factors have a bearing on organisational culture. The study
recommended that staff development programmes on organisational development (OD) should be increased. The
Organisational Development (OD) Interventions would assist the schools to change the prevailing organisational culture hence
improving performance in schools. The study also recommended that the Ministry of Education needed to introduce the
concept of Organisational Development (OD) in schools in order to benefit from the interventions. There was also need to
introduce the concept of OD at all levels in tertiary education.

Keywords: - Organisational Development, Organisational Culture, Performance, School


1.INTRODUCTION
Culture depicts the norms and values of a particular group, it gives a reflection of the behaviour and how that group
conducts its business. An example would be for instance their attire, food, and language. Smith (1998) describes culture
as the way we do things in an organisation. According to this description organisational culture entails the prevailing
patterns of activities, interactions, norms, sentiments including feelings, beliefs, attitudes, values and products. These
aspects of organisational culture are taken for granted by the long established members of the organisation as they
represent the normal ways of doing things and behaviour. These cultural factors can facilitate or constrain the
performance of an organisation. Olie (1994) in Annotte Risberg, Journal of World Business Volume 36 Spring 2001
say cultural differences could be obstacles to integration and performance. Tyson and Jackson (1992) are in agreement
with Musaazi (1985) that organisational culture is not static but dynamic. Organisations are in a continuous process of
change. The head as a leader should have a vision and take note of the ice-bergs that hinder performance in the
organisation. He/she should map out strategies for change. There should be a vision statement which directs the
intended change.
1.1Background of the study
The OD concept once introduced in an organisation should be able to influence change from the existing culture to
corporate culture. Ram Charan in Harvard Business Review April 2001 considers this as a more permanent and
rewarding system. The concept of organisational development (OD) which has been popularly used in industry is now
been introduced in the Education system. It strives to bring about renewal and rebirth in an organisation. The process
of OD is concerned with harmonising human working relations and improving performance. It also enhances
effectiveness. As pointed out by Peter Drucker in Szilagyi (1981:37) effectiveness means doing the right things.
According to Robbins (1984) the main objectives of organisational development interventions are heavily biased in
humanistic democratic values. The OD interventions focus on integration of people, culture tasks, technology,

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IPASJ International Journal of Management (IIJM)


A Publisher for Research Motivation........

Volume 3, Issue 5, May 2015

Web Site: http://www.ipasj.org/IIJM/IIJM.htm


Email: editoriijm@ipasj.org
ISSN 2321-645X

systems procedures, values and norms. Hence the integration of activities is one of the cornerstones of organisational
effectiveness.
The OD interventions are introduced in an organisation to change the old culture values to new organisational values.
These are planned, structured activities introduced into the system to accomplish the desired changes and
improvements.
Interventions are techniques that have been created by the Organisational Development (OD) professionals to achieve
improvements in the functioning of organisations. The interventions once introduced in an organisation seek to create a
more positive working environment for the people within. Peoples culture may also be based on colleagueship,
belonging and consensus. William Ouchis Theory Z in Smith (1998) says: Humanized working conditions not only
increase productivity and profits to the company but also the self-esteem for employees. Thus the OD interventions are
used for transforming existing culture to corporate culture. They focus upon changing attitudes and values and enhance
interpersonal skills. Below are some of the OD interventions that a head may introduce in the school, survey feedback,
process consultation, sensitivity training, goal setting and team building.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Are the organisational development interventions able to influence organisational culture in - order to improve
performance of the school?
1.3 Objectives of the study
The objectives of the study are: To investigate the correlation between organisational culture and performance ;
To investigate if demographic factors have a bearing on culture ;
To investigate the relevance of staff development in schools ;
To establish if heads and teachers are prepared to change the existing or prevailing culture ;
To find out if Organisational Development (OD) interventions influence organisational culture change to improve
performance ; and
To establish whether OD interventions are relevant in school.

2.LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 What is Organisational Development (OD)?
Gray and Starke (1984), Robbins (2004), Owens (1995), Smith (1998) and Statt (1991) agree that Organisational
Development (OD) attempts to improve the overall effectiveness of an organisation through the use of knowledge and a
variety of interventions. As suggested by Robbins (2004) the main objective of (OD) is heavily biased to humanisticdemocratic values. It assumes that integration of individuals and organisations objectives will increase organisational
effectiveness and harmonise human working relationships.
OD is viewed by some authors as behavioural science concept that emphasises participation and collaboration. Huse
(2002) defines OD as the application of; Behavioural science knowledge in a long-term effort to improve an
organisations capacity to cope with changes in its external environment and increases its internal problem solving
capabilities. According to this definition OD places emphasis on self renewal and re-birth of an organisation. It
focuses on planned change.
2.2 Organisational Development (OD) interventions
An intervention is the process of developing an innovation. It is hoped that an intervention can resolve a problem or
bring about improvement in performance in an organisation. OD interventions bring about smooth integration of tasks,
goals, structure, technology and people. Newstrom and Davis (1993:297) define interventions as structured activities
designed to help individuals or inter-group improve their effectiveness. In a school situation change will influence
culture, enrolments, infrastructure and staffing. In view of the above OD is a collection of techniques that attempts to
effect systematic planned change. Beach (1985), Robbins (1995), Huse (2002) and Smith (1998) agree that OD
increases organisational effectiveness and health through planned interventions in the organisational process using
behavioural science knowledge.
2.3 Types of Organisational Development (OD) interventions
Robbins (1994), Owens (1995), Smith (1998), Davis (1981) and French and Bell (1990) came up with different OD
interventions that could be employed in an organisation. The major Organisational Development (OD) interventions
are listed down as follows survey feedback, skill development, sensitivity training, goal setting, intergroup relations,
action research, team building, role analysis, techno-structural activities, life and career planning, process consultations
and managerial grid (Blake and Mouton: 1985). The choice of a particular intervention strategy depends upon the
diagnostic of needs and the particular orientations of the management of the client school and of the consultant. In a
school situation the head engages a Process Consultant who meets with the school members for example in a group
discussion and observes their interactions, problem solving procedures and feedback. He / she helps the members

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A Publisher for Research Motivation........

Volume 3, Issue 5, May 2015

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Email: editoriijm@ipasj.org
ISSN 2321-645X

understand decision-making processes that have gone on in their work. The consultant must be allowed to coach and
counsel individuals and groups to help them understand and change their behaviour. The consultant gains support from
the head. In this case the head of the organisation must be well versed with the rules and regulations, policies, and
procedures from the Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture, Ministry of Public Service, School Development
Association (SDA). The Head must create a colleagueship atmosphere and conducive climate for change to be realized.
2.4 Team Building, Inter-group relations / intergroup development
Stoner (1992:421) defines team building as, ....a related approach that analyse the activities, resource allocation and
relationships of a group or team to improve its effectiveness. It can be perceived that it is a method of improving
organisational effectiveness at the team level by diagnosing barriers to team performance and improving inter-team
relationship and tasks accomplishment. Robbins (2004) simplifies teams building as an interaction among members of
work team to learn how each other thinks and works. The implication is that through high interaction, team members
learn to develop increased trust and openness. The general goal of OD is to build better teamwork throughout the
organisation. Both small and large groups are emphasized. OD tries to tie all these groups into one integrated,
cooperative group. In a school situation if infants teachers are not working well with junior teachers OD attempts to
help them learn ways to resolve differences so that they can cooperate. David (1981), Robbins (2004) and Stoner (1992)
agree that intergroup development entails changing the attitudes, stereotypes and perceptions that work groups have of
each other. Intergroup relations permit an organisation to assess its own health and to set up plans of actions for
improving it, the confrontation meeting may be used. The head may decide to have a days meeting to discuss
problems, analyse the underlying causes and plan remedial actions for example punctuality absenteeism and so on. The
confrontation meeting if used by the Head may typically be after a change in technology such as computers in education
and charting the way forward.
2.5 Managerial Grid
It is based on the managerial grid developed by Blake and Mouton (1985), Rober A. Luke, Jr in Harvard Business
Review Volume 53 (1975) label the model as a scientific method. Black and Mouton plotted different patterns of
leadership on a grid with two orthogonal axes, calibrated from 1 to 9; one axis is labelled task needs and the other
individual needs. According to the authors the desirable managerial style (9, 9) is for manager who can integrate tasks
and individual needs of his/her organisation. They also developed techniques and training programs to help the
manager locate himself/herself on their grid and develop ways to move towards the (9, 9) style of integration.
Table 1: Managerial Grid

Source: Stoner (1982:377)


Through training, key managers learn about grid concepts, assess their own managerial styles and work on improving
such skills as team development colleagueship group problem solving and collaborative communication. OD grid also
focuses on the relationship between the organisations work groups to improve coordination and cooperation, relieve
tensions and solve problems jointly. Stabilization entails the results of all the phases being finally evaluated to
determine which areas of the organisation still need improvement or alteration. In general, the OD grid attempts to
stabilise positive changes, to identify new areas of opportunity for the organisation and for organisational staff
development.
2.6 Organisational Culture
Organisational culture comprises a collection of behavioural norms. According to Musaazi (1985:19) norms specify the
kind of behaviour which has come to be perceived and accepted as the approved or non approved responses for role

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A Publisher for Research Motivation........

Volume 3, Issue 5, May 2015

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Email: editoriijm@ipasj.org
ISSN 2321-645X

incumbents in given situations. In another definition Tayeb (1996) says Culture is a set of values that underlie attitudes
and actions of members of a social group for example schools, hospital and so on. Sarup (1986) states that culture
provides the blueprint that determines the way an individual thinks, feels and behaves in society. Culture defines the
way people address, their language, and relationships and in general the way they related to each other. Everything that
people do is part of culture heritage.
In a school situation culture guides the leader to the kinds of reactions expected from the followers under certain
conditions. As teachers stay in a school for some time values develop, flourish and distinguishes each grouping from
other social entities. When training people using an OD intervention the Head has to be sensitive to those culture
factors that discriminate against prejudice other members and that encourage ethnocentrism. Ethnic centrism leads to
discrimination and prejudice. The leader should seek to integrate culture. Sarup (1986) points out that integration
brings about equal opportunity accompanied by cultural diversity in an atmosphere of mutual tolerance.
2.7 Influence of OD interventions on culture
Beach (1985); postulates that if OD interventions are used properly they modify individual, and group behaviour
culture and systems of the organisation. According to Michael Beer and Nitin Nohria in Harvard Business Review
(May, June: 2000) culture may be found to be one of the causes of conflict and a blockage to Organisational
Development process due to peoples conservative attitude to forces of change. The authors continue to say to improve
the odds of success and reduce the human carnage, it is imperative that the executives understand the nature and
process of corporate change. The effective leader needs to crack the code of change.
OD interventions play a significant role in orienting peoples attitude, behaviour and feeling about change in the
organisation. They help to abolish difference. Tayeb (1996) suggests that successful OD interventions develop peoples
understanding and cooperation and change prevailing culture to corporate culture. Whilst Stoner and Freeman (1989)
argue that when organisational culture is consistent with its strategy, the implementation of ideas is eased considerably.

3.METHODOLOGY
The researcher employed the descriptive survey design involving gathering data from a sample comprising 50 Teachers
and 18 Administrators (Heads) all in the Harare Province, Zimbabwe. The researchers instrument for conducting the
survey was mainly personal interviews. The research under study used personal interviews aided with a questionnaire.
According to Kent (1993) Personal interviews refer to a survey that gathers information through face to face interaction
with respondents. The researcher favoured personal interviews because they allowed checking and ensuring
respondents eligibility, for instance, when interviewing respondents the researcher made sure that the respondent
identified him or herself as either a Teacher of Headmaster / Headmistress. Interviews had a higher response rate than
other instruments.

4.RESULTS
4.1Gender distribution

Male
Female
Total

Table 1: The Teachers and Heads Gender Frequency Distribution.


Teachers
Heads
14
11
36
7
50
18

40
35
30
25
20

Teachers

15

Heads

10
5
0
Male

Female

Graph 1: The Teachers and Heads gender distribution.

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In terms of gender there are more female teachers than males. Male heads are more than female heads. The results
revealed that female teachers and male heads dominated the schools. The historical background in Zimbabwe may have
contributed to this gender disparity. Biases and prejudices against women have existed for a long time but the situation
is however changing at a slow pace.
4.2 The Age categories of Heads and Teachers
Table 2: Age categories of Heads and Teachers
Age Categories
Teachers
Heads
20-30 years
5
0
31-40 years
33
2
41-50 years
10
13
51-60 years
1
1
61-years and above
1
2
Total
50
18
The information obtained from the Table 2 above revealed that teachers were concentrated in the age range 31-40
years. The teachers were relatively young. The Heads were clustered in the 41-50 years age group. The age of the heads
showed signs of maturity and seniority in the teaching service. Chivore (1994); mentions that age is closely linked to
experience, seniority and stability on the job. The results revealed that the majority of teachers are younger than most
heads in the schools.
4.3 Academic and Professional qualifications for Heads and Teachers
Table 3: Academic and Professional qualifications for Head and Teachers
Highest academic qualifications
Teachers
Heads
Standard 6
0
0
Grade 11
4
Z.J.C
O Level
32
7
A Level
24
11
Degree
18
12
Professional Qualifications
PTL / T4
0
0
PTH / T3
2
2
CE / DE
27
4
Table 3 indicate that both teachers and heads had gone through O Level, A Level and teachers had CE / DE as the
professional qualifications. The majority of heads had attained degrees and the remainder had either Certificates in
Education or Diploma in Education or PTH / T3. The heads and the teachers had standard and basic requirements
stipulated by the Ministry of Education. The increase of tertiary colleges and the access to Zimbabwe Open University
has encouraged both teachers and Heads to improve their qualifications.
4.4 Heads view of Organisational Culture
All heads viewed organisational culture an important aspect of an organisation. According to the Heads views; they
agreed that organisational culture influenced performance of an organisation. The heads education level, experience
and age are contributing factors to their point of view, that organisational culture influenced performance.
4.5 Effects of Behavioural Change on Organisational Culture

Teachers
Important
More important
Teachers
Not important
0

10

15

20

25

30

Graph 2: Effects of Behavioural change on organisational culture

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According to the diagram thirty-six (36) teachers regarded the idea of behavioural change important whilst fourteen
(14) teachers were not certain. Therefore change is inevitable in organisations if teachers support the idea. Heads have
highlighted that behavioural change influenced organisational change. The majority of teachers indicated that the
heads could bring change in an organisation on their own but 48% disputed to the idea. They indicated that change was
a group effort. The teachers view revealed that they saw the head as the most experienced and influential individual in
an organisation.
4.6 Involvement in Organisational Change and Decision Making.
Table 4 Involvement in Organisational change and decision making

STRONGLY AGREE
AGREE
UNDECIDED
DISAGREE
STRONGLY DISAGREE
TOTAL

FREQUENCY
26
20
0
4
0
50

%
52
40
0
8
0
100

The results revealed that 92% of the teachers agreed that it was important to involve teachers in decision-making and
organisational change. If teachers are involved in the overall development plans of the school they developed sense of
belonging to the organisation. Participation in the schools activities is increased and corporate culture is developed.
4.7 Delegation of Duties
Table 5: Delegation of duties

FREQUENCY DISTRIBUTION

HEADS

TEACHERS

STRONGLY AGREE

10

20

AGREE

28

UNDECIDED

DISAGREE

STRONGLY DISAGREE

TOTAL

18

50

The table indicated that both teachers and heads supported delegation of duties. The age, experience and education
level attributed to the results. Shared responsibilities, developed talent and increased professional growth. Above all
delegation was important for improving cordial working relationships.
4.8 Awareness of the concept of Organisational Development (OD)
Table 6: Awareness of the concept of Organisational Development (OD)
Frequency Distribution
Not aware
Aware
Somewhat aware
More aware
Most aware
Total

Volume 3, Issue 5, May 2015

Heads
2
9
1
0
6
18

Teachers
9
23
6
4
8
50

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The majority of heads and teachers were aware of the concept of Organisational Development (OD). The contributing
factor was that most heads and some teachers had gone through degree level. There were aware that the concept
focused on humanistic democratic values.
4.9 The role of staff development
Table 7: The role of staff development

Not assisting
Assisting
Somewhat assisting
More assisting
Most assisting
Total

Teachers
N
0
28
13
2
6
50

Heads
N
0
9
3
2
4
18

The information obtained from the table showed that heads and teachers supported roles of staff development in
schools, as developmental. The teachers praised the roles of the Heads, Deputy Heads, and the Teacher-in-charge in
staff development programmes. The majority of the teachers and heads had benefited from the staff development
programmes. Staff development programmes focused on professional growth and creation of a healthy working
environment.
4.10 Improvement of the organisational performance with the introduction of OD interventions.
Table 8: Improvement of the organisation performance with the introduction of OD interventions
Frequency Distribution
Heads
Teachers
Strongly agree
6
10
Agree
8
36
Undecided
1
1
Disagree
0
0
Strongly disagree
3
3
Total
18
50
According to William Ochi in Smith (1998) Organisational Development interventions has assisted Japanese industries
to improve production and human working relations. The majority of heads and teachers who had gone through degree
level had studied the advantages of the OD interventions in industry. Organisational interventions are important in an
organisation; they bring about rebirth and renewal in an organisation.
4.11 Preparedness to participate in the organisational development interventions
Table 9: Preparedness to participate in the organisational development interventions

Strongly prepared
Prepared
Undecided
Unprepared
Strongly unprepared
Total

Frequency
11
33
2
4
0
50

Distribution %
22
66
4
8
0
100

The results revealed that 88% of the respondents were prepared to participate in OD interventions. The 12% of the
teachers were undecided. However, the majority of the teachers were prepared to participate in the different OD
activities in order to improve performance of the organisation. OD interventions assisted in culture transformation. The
whole idea of introducing OD interventions into organisations is to overhauls them.

5. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS


The conclusions are drawn from the answers provided by the participants. The answers were responses to the subproblems raised in chapter one. The researcher used two questionnaires, which had two parts, closed and open-ended

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questions. Both teachers and heads agreed that duties were delegated. The heads supervisory role was useful,
involvement in decision making existed in schools, teachers were made aware of the Ministry rules and regulations and
conducive working relations existed. They all agreed that it was important to change organisational culture in order to
improve performance. Sarup (1996) highlighted that everything that people do in an organisation is part of culture
heritage. Culture guides leadership, to the kinds of reactions to be expected from the followers, under certain
conditions.
5.0.1 Are staff development programmes of any importance in changing organisational culture?
The results of the study revealed that both heads and teachers agreed that staff development programmes were relevant
in the organisation. Teachers highlighted that the programmes were a team effort. As pointed out by Stober (1992)
team building is related to analysis of activities, resource allocation and relationships of a group or team in order to
improve effectiveness. Staff development programmes are relevant in organisations because they improve interaction
among members of a work team, in order to improve performance.
5.0.2 Can the organisational development interventions influence organisational culture in order to improve
performance?
Heads and teachers highlighted that there were aware of the concept of OD. The majority of the teachers were prepared
to participate in the OD training programmes if they were introduced in schools. This is in line with Newstrom and
Davis (1993) who echoed that OD interventions are structured activities designed to help individuals or intergroup to
improve their performance.
5.0.3 What do organisational development interventions focus on?
The results of the study indicated that organisational development interventions focused on changing the culture in an
organisation in order to improve performance. Teachers and heads foresee the introduction of OD interventions in
schools as most benefiting. An intervention is the process of developing an innovation. It is envisaged that OD
interventions could resolve cultural problems and bring about improvement in performance. As pointed out by Beach
(1985), Smith (1998) and John Stopford in Harvard Business Review (January 2001) OD interventions increased
organisational effectiveness and working relations if properly organised.
5.0.4 Other issues related to organisational culture and possible solutions
The other issues that were identified by both heads and teachers were that: differences in gender, age, experience, and
qualification affected relationships in schools. There were sources of conflict. Teachers were not free to express
themselves during discussions. There was closed type of communication and lack of grades intercommunication.
Schools maintained status core and experienced conservatism. There was high resistance to change and fear of the
unknown. Leaders were too autocratic and maintained traditional methods of leadership. Dictatorship existed. There
was lack of motivation among staff hence the high motivation of teachers and frequent head turnover.
5.1 THE SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS WERE:
To increase staff development programmes and use of professional consultants; improved communication skills and
delegation of duties should be genuine. Heads should practice good leadership styles and encourage commitment
among teachers. They all agreed that there should be clear-cut objectives, policies and regulations for operations. Work
should be well organised coordinated and planned. Other methods of supervision besides the traditional methods should
be employed. Organisational development interventions should be introduced in schools. Qualified personnel should be
hired to introduce the concept of OD. Publications on OD should be increased. OD should be taught as one of the
disciplines in teachers colleges to make everyone become aware of the concept.
5.2 RECOMMENDATIONS
In the light of the evidence obtained in this study, the researcher came up with some recommendations so as to employ
organisational development interventions to change organisational culture with the aim of improving performance in
an organisation.
The Better Schools Programme could be funded to take up the concept in schools. There is need to educate the
heads and teachers on this concept in order to improve performance in schools.
Organisational development concept may be introduced in teachers colleges as a discipline.
Heads and teachers who have studied organisational development may need further training so that they can be
employed to work as consultants.
Since OD is a process, pilot studies may be conducted to prove its practicability in schools.
More publication on OD is necessary to widen the coverage on the concept, in schools, colleges and other people
outside the Education system.
It is by this study that organisational culture had a bearing on performance. It is time for heads and teachers to be
proactive and aim to become innovative. They should accept change and articulate problems professionally. The
heads as leaders should be able to crack down the code of change and introduce organisational development

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interventions in the organisation. Michael Beer and Nitin Nohria in Harvard Business Review (May, June 2000)
purport that organisational development interventions are geared towards building up the corporate culture,
employee behaviours, attitudes, capabilities and commitment. Heads and teachers need to work harmoniously in
order to build corporate culture in their schools hence improve performance in the organisation.
FINALLY the researcher suggests that the Ministry of Education need to fund the Better Schools Programme to
introduce OD concept in schools. The organisation has the potential to take up the idea through its organised staff
development courses.

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