Organisational Change

Organisational Change

  • Submitted By: sanjiv
  • Date Submitted: 02/28/2009 10:58 PM
  • Category: Business
  • Words: 1176
  • Page: 5
  • Views: 684

Organisation development (OD)

The field of OD has evolved over time since its beginnings in the 1930s. Even today, many different conceptions of OD exist in the literature. In the business world, many change efforts have been casually labelled “OD” even though they might have borne little resemblance to the type of programs prescribed in the literature. A review of the literature suggests four key dimensions to OD. First, most authors define OD as planned interventions aimed at increasing organizational effectiveness (Beckhard,1969; French&Bell, 1990). Second, OD relies heavily on concepts and research findings from the behavioural sciences, primarily from psychology (French & Bell,1990). Third, OD is a long-term and continuous effort (French & Bell, 1990). Fourth, OD is largely focused on human relations variables (such as culture and climate, communication, leadership styles, and job satisfaction). Typical intervention strategies have been focused on the micro level and include process consultation, team building, survey feedback, and work restructuring (French & Bell, 1990). Variations exist both in terms of theory and practice of OD (Dalin & Rust, 1983). For example, some OD consultants have focused on only one of these intervention strategies, whereas others have used different strategies in different phases of a change effort. Early work treated OD in a “humanistic” manner as a social technology that should be governed by employees (e.g., Walton & Warwick, 1973); other authors (e.g., Beckhard, 1969) emphasized that OD should be managed from the top. In some cases, the human process focus has been complemented with interventions aimed at changing structure and work processes, such as sociotechnical design principles (e.g., Pava, 1986).

There is a variety of definitions for OD and most of the theorists suggest that OD has evolved primarily out of the social sciences and the associated attitudes, beliefs and values from that field. Thus, OD has been...

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