Nature and characteristics of Organizational Development24/08/2020
Nature of Organizational Development
- Organizational development is an educational strategy for bringing a planned change.
- It is related to real problems of the organization.
- Laboratory training methods based on experienced behaviour are primarily used to bring change.
- O.D. uses change agent (or consultant) to guide and affect the change. The role of change agent is to guide groups towards more effective group processes rather than telling them what to do. Change agents simply assist the group in problem solving processes and the groups solve the problems themselves.
- There is a close working relationship between change agents and the people who are being changed.
- O.D. seeks to build problem-solving capacity by improving group dynamics and problem confrontation.
- O.D. reaches into all aspects of the organization culture in order to make it more humanly responsive.
- O.D. is a long term approach (of 3 to 5 years period) and is meant to elevate the organization to a higher level of functioning by improving the performance and satisfaction of organization members.
- O.D. is broad-based and describes a variety of change programmes. It is concerned not only with changes in organizational design but also with changes in organizational philosophies, skills of individuals and groups.
- O.D. is a dynamic process. It recognises that the goals of the organization change and hence the methods of attaining them should also change.
- O.D. utilizes systems thinking. It is based on open, adptive systems concept. The organization is treated as an interrelated whole and no part of the organization can be changed without affecting other parts.
- O.D. is research based. Change agents conduct surveys, collect data, evaluate and then decisions are taken.
- O.D. uses group processes rather than individual process. It makes efforts to improve group performance.
- O.D. is situational and contingency oriented.
- Organization Development and Management Development are complementary rather then conflicting.
Characteristics of OD
The salient characteristics of OD implied in its definitions are gleaned as follows:
- OD is a systematic approach to the planned change. It is structured style of diagnosing organizational problems and opportunities and then applying expertise to them.
- OD is grounded in solid research and theory. It involves the application of our knowledge of behavioral science to the challenge that the organizations face.
- OD recognizes the reciprocal relationship between individuals and organizations. It acknowledges that for organizations to change, individuals must change.
- OD is goal oriented. It is a process that seeks to improve both individual and organizational well- being and effectiveness.
- OD is designed to solve problems.
Objectives of OD
The main objectives of OD are to:
- Improve organizational performance as measured by profitability, market share, innovativeness, etc.
- Make organizations better adaptive to its environment which always keeps on changing.
- Make the members willing face organizational problems and contribute creative solutions to the organizational problems.
- Improve internal behaviour patterns such as interpersonal relations, intergroup relations, level of trust and support among the role players.
- Understand own self and others, openness and meaningful communication and involvement in planning for organizational development.
Douglas McGregor, who was working in the Union Carbide, is considered one of the first behavioural scientists to systematically talking about and advocating for the implementation of OD for organizational improvement. OD as a subject is relatively new. Notwithstanding, it is becoming increasingly popular and visible in USA, UK, Japan, Norway, Sweden and even in India.
In India, OD is in scene since 1968. Since then, many public and private sector organizations like HAL, HMT, IDPL, LIC, SAIL, TELCO and TISCO have been applying the interventions of OD to solve the organizational problems.