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Monday, January 12, 2009

Organization Development (OD)

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(Refer our High Quality Management Encyclopedia “Management Universe” at:

It will be a good idea also to refer: (Learning Organization) and (Knowledge Management)


  • Richard Beckhard: Organization development (OD) is a planned, top-down, organization-wide effort to increase the organization's effectiveness and health. OD is achieved through interventions in the organization's processes, using behavioural science knowledge.
  • Don Harvey and Donald R Brown: Organization development (OD) is defined as a long-range effort to improve an organization’s ability to cope with change and its problem solving and renewal processes through effective management of organization culture.
  • Wendell French: OD refers to a long range effort to improve an organization's problem solving capabilities and it's ability to cope up with changes in it's external environment with the help of external or internal behavioral scientists, consultants or change agents as they are sometimes called.
  • Warren Bennis: OD is a complex strategy intended to change the beliefs, attitudes, values, and structure of organizations so that they can better adapt to new technologies, markets, and challenges.
  • Blake and Mouton: OD is a systematic way of introducing change based on a structural model for thinking; progressing in a programmatic sequence of steps from individual learning to organization application; focused upon those silent and often negative attributes of culture which dictates action that so frequently contradict business logic, with emphasis on confronting and resolving conflict as a prerequisite to problem solving and employing a variety of techniques of organizational study and self learning to bring about the necessary change.

OD: Putting All of These Definitions Together

  • Definitive for the organization’s long range vision and mission.
  • Supportive of the organization’s long range vision and mission.
  • Improves organization’s ability to create change and also to cope up with change.
  • Development/learning process to improve an organization’s decision making and problem solving capabilities.
  • Continually identifies, allocates, and develops resources in ways such that these resources are more available to the mission of the organization.
  • Introduces planned changes, in an organization or it's part, based on a shared diagnosis.
  • Increases organizational effectiveness and efficiency through planned interventions based on research findings and theoretical hypotheses of behavioral sciences.
  • Set of interventions into the activities of an organization to facilitate learning and to make educated choices on alternative ways of managing.

Values and Objectives of OD

  • OD is way of looking at the whole humanistic side of organizational life. OD emphasizes on the human dimension of an organization consisting of main humanistic values: 1. Oopportunities to people to function like human beings rather than be treated as mere inputs. 2. Opportunities for individual and the organization to develop to their full potential. 3. Increasing the effectiveness of individual and organization. 4. Creating an organizational environment that generates exciting and challenging work.
  • Improving mutual trust and emotional support among all the employees.
  • Promoting, in a healthy manner, incidences of intra-group and inter-group confrontations.
  • Creating a culture in which authority is based on knowledge and skills.
  • Encouraging open communication bottom up, top down, side ways and diagonally.
  • Increasing the level of enthusiasm and satisfaction among the employees.
  • Promoting problem solving culture.
  • Improving individual employee participation and group participation to plan and implement.

Process of OD

  1. Plan the changes and the process of change, necessarily, in consultations with the trained and experienced consultants/behavioral experts by advising the top management and seek their approval. It is primarily initiated by the top management.
  2. Change the attitudes and habits of individuals, particularly, in the areas of interpersonal behavior.
  3. Create a team culture in the organization.
  4. Work out appropriate new structures.
  5. Solve short term day-to-day and long term problems involving external and internal changes.

Process of Change: Action Research

Kurt Lewin believed that the motivation to change was strongly related to action. If people are active in decisions affecting them, they are more likely to adopt new ways. "Rational social management", he said, "proceeds in a spiral of steps, each of which is composed of a circle of planning, action, and fact-finding about the result of action."

The process of change takes place in three steps:

  1. Unfreezing: Faced with a dilemma, an individual or a group becomes aware of need to change.
  2. Changing (moving): The situation is diagnosed and new ways of behavior are explored and tested.
  3. Refreezing: Application of new behavior is evaluated, and if found suitable, it is adopted.

OD Interventions

Following are some of the OD interventions given under four major classifications:

  1. Human processes: T group, process consultation, third party intervention, team building, organizational confrontation meetings, survey research.
  2. Techno structural: Formal structural change, differentiation and integration, cooperative union-management projects, total quality management, kaizen, quality circles, work design.
  3. Human resource management: Goal setting, performance appraisal, reward systems, career planning and development, managing work force diversity, employee wellness.
  4. Strategic: Integrated strategic management, culture change, strategic change, self designing organizations.

For More Guidance, Assistance, Training and Consultation


Training on the subjects "Organization Development", "Learning Organization" and "Knowledge Management" is imparted by Prodcons Group's Mr Shyam Bhatawdekar and/or Dr (Mrs) Kalpana Bhatawdekar, renowned management educationists and consultants and trainers- par excellence with distinction of having trained over 150,000 people from around 250 organizations. Implementation of these initiatives is also facilitated by the team of Prodcons Group.

Also refer:, and

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