Organizational Development Interventions

22/03/2021 3 By indiafreenotes

Business leaders must continually look at the changing market to develop and implement strategies within their organizations. Failure to do so results in becoming less relevant to consumers and losing revenues. Organizational development intervention techniques are designed to assess information, process new strategies, and effectively integrate new approaches. Following the eight steps for organizational development process interventions helps leaders remain focused on specifics as they proceed through organizational change.

Eight Steps for Organizational Development Interventions

  1. Entry Signals

Entry signals refer to the flags a business leaders sees outside the business that alert him to start thinking about change. An entry signal could be external, such as a new competitor with innovative solutions, or internal, such as a sudden influx of negative feedback on products and services.

  1. Purpose

The purpose step defines the core issues that are at play with newly discovered issues. This may be the step where a third-party change agent is brought in to take over the organizational development (OD) intervention. For example, an influx of complaints may have started at the onset of moving to fulfillment centers with inexperienced employees. The change agent goes to the site and gathers all pertinent information. The purpose is to develop a strategy that will resolve the issues with the fulfillment center.

  1. Assessment

Assessment takes the information gathered in the previous step and summarizes the feedback. This is presented to other stakeholders and management so the group can then review the issues, the overall company goals and budget.

  1. Action Plan

Stakeholders and leaders develop a plan to solve the problem. In the case of the new fulfillment center, the assessment may demonstrate a lack of training on company processes for fulfillment. The action plan becomes to implement a new training program to resolve it.

  1. Intervention

With intervention, leadership takes the action plan steps and begins the implementation process. Leadership explains to teams the series of changes that will happen and rolls out the change plan. In the case of the new fulfillment center, this means organizing the training in a way to least disrupt operations and running training programs.

  1. Evaluation

Once the intervention is complete, leadership evaluates the results. This is where metrics are collected and measured compared to the control defined in the purpose and assessment phase and the goals set forth in the action plan.

  1. Adoption

After evaluating the success metrics of the action plan, the stakeholders and leadership determine if the changes will become a new part of the organization policy. In the case of the training program, it might become a mandatory onboarding process for all employees to complete.

  1. Separation

Separation is the closure of the organizational development process most prominent when the change was implemented by a third-party change agent. This person begins the process of stepping away from the organization and project, providing duties to others within the organizations. If leadership was helming the intervention, a systematic delegation of duties is implemented to allow leaders to get to other tasks and projects.

Types of OD Interventions

We can classify the OD interventions into three categories:

  1. Behavioural Techniques: These techniques are designed to affect the behaviour of individuals and the group. These include:

(i) Sensitivity Training

The purpose of sensitivity training sessions or T-groups (T for training) is to change the behaviour of people through unstructured group interaction. Members (ten to fifteen individuals) are brought together in a free and open environment, away from work places, in which participants discuss themselves freely, aided by a facilitator. No formal agenda is provided.

The objectives of the T-groups are

  • To provide the participants with increased awareness of their own behaviour
  • How others perceive the, greater sensitivity to the behaviour of others
  • Increased understanding of group processes.

(ii) Role Playing

Role playing may be described as a technique of creating a life situation, usually one involving conflict between people, and then having persons in group play the parts or roles of specific personalities. In industry, it is used primarily as a technique of or modifying attitudes and interpersonal skills.

For instance, two trainees may play the roles of a superior and a subordinate to discuss the latter’s grievances.

The purpose of role playing is to aid trainees to understand certain business problems and to enable observers to evaluate reactions to them.

Role-playing is generally used for human relations and sales training. This technique makes trainees self-conscious and imaginative and analytical of their own behaviour.

(iii) Management by Objectives (MBO)

Managing by objectives is a dynamic system which integrated the company’s need to achieve its goals for profit and growth with the manager’s need to contribute and develop himself.

Management by objectives (MBO) is a technique designed to

  • increase the precision of the planing process at the organizational level.
  • reduce the gap between employee and organisational goals.
  • MBO encourages performance appraisal through a process of shared goal setting and evaluation.

(iv) Grid development

Grid organizational development is based on Blake and Moution’s model of leadership called the managerial Grid. Their model depicts two prevailing concerns found in all organizations-concern for productivity and concern for people.

Some managers are high in concern for productivity but low in concern for people; others are high in concern for people but low in concern for productivity.

Besides helping managers evaluate their concern for proper and productivity, the Managerial Grid stresses the importance of developing a team-management leadership style.

In grid OD, change agents use a questionnaire to determine the existing styles of managers, help them to re-examine their own styles and work towards maximum effectiveness.

  1. Non-Behavioural Techniques

These techniques are much more structured than behavioural techniques. These include:

(i) Organizational Redesign

The organization’s structure may be changed to make it more efficient by redefining the flow of authority. There are call also be changes in functional responsibility, such as a move from product to matrix organizational structure.

Organizational structure often reflects the personal desires, needs, and values of the chief executive. Changing structure, therefore, may create resistance and concern because people are worried about their power or status, or how the change will affect their work groups.

(ii) Job Enrichment

Job enrichment implies increasing the cents of a job or the deliberate upgrading of the responsibility, scope and challenge in work.

Job enrichment is a motivational technique which emphasises the need for challenging and interesting work. It suggests that jobs be redesigned, so that intrinsic satisfaction is derived from doing the job.

In its best application, it leads to a vertically enhanced job by adding functions from other organizational levels, making it contain more variety and challenge and offer autonomy and pride to employee.

The job holder is given a measure of discretion in making operational decisions concerning his job. In this sense, he gains a feeling of higher status influence and power.

(iii) Work Design

Work design is a broad term meaning the process of defining tasks and jobs to achieve both organizational and employee goals, it must, therefore, take into account the nature of the business (organizational interest), the organizational structure, the information flow and decision process, the differences among employees, and the reward system.

Within the board scope of work, design is the design of individual jobs, that is, job design.

  • Job analysis is the process of obtaining information about jobs.
  • Job redesign makes use of job analysis to redefine a job in terms of tasks, behaviours, education, skills, relationships, and responsibilities required.
  1. Miscellaneous Techniques

In addition to the above techniques, there are certain other techniques which are used in organization development, such as:

(i) Survey Feedback

Survey feedback is one of the most popular and widely used intervention techniques, in the field of OD.

It involves two basic activities:

  • Collecting data about the organization through the use of surveys of questionnaires, and
  • Conducting feedback meetings and workshops in which the data are presented to organizational members.

Survey feedback is useful in as much as it helps bring about changes in attitudes and perceptions of participants. Used along with team building the impact of the survey feedback is much more positive.

(ii) Process Consultation

Process consultation includes “a set of activities on the part of a consultant which help the client to perceive, understand, and act upon process events which occur in the client’s environment”.

Process consultation assumes that an organization’s effectiveness depends on how well its people relate to one another. An organization’s problems, therefore, often can be traced to the breakdown of critical human processes at key places.

Consultation concentrates on certain specific areas as communication, functional roles of members, group problem-solving and decision-making; group norms and growth, leadership and authority, and intergroup cooperation and competition.

(iii) Team Building

Team building is a process of diagnosing and improving the effectiveness of a work group with particular attention to work procedures and inter-personal relationship smith in it, especially the role of the leader in relation to other group members.

Both the group’s task procedures and its human interactions are the subjects of study in team building.

The basic assumption of team building is that increasing the effectiveness of teams will improve the organization’s overall effectiveness.


(a) It is need to bridge the gap between the existing and required abilities.

(b) It improves the processes, systems, people and management capabilities.

(c) Performance of the organisation as a whole improves.

(d) The quality and quantity of products improves as per demand of the customers.

(e) The sales and revenue of its products and services go high.

(f) The profitability of the company goes high.

(g) The financial position of the company improves.

(h) The market share of the company improves.

(i) The company gets competitive advantage over their arch rivals in markets.

(j) The reputation of the company as a whole improves.