Organization Development - A step towards effective change management


Ms. Vijit Chaturvedi
Faculty (HRM /Organization Behavior)
ICFAI National College

Organization's today are moving with ever-changing speed and changes. The success factors of organization like people, task, structure and technology are highly open and flexible in approach. Organization demands changes to be inculcated in every step and dimension so that a unique image and market leadership leading to organization success and growth can be achieved.

Development is a subjective idea but is the ultimate objective of any organization. Organization first need to prepare all such factors for accepting changes and then implement the same.

O.D is a planned strategy which aims towards development of individuals and groups in an organization   and solving problems which directly or indirectly have an impact on organization growth.

As per Cecil., Wendell and French O.D. is a "Long term effort led and supported by top management to improve organization visioning , empowerment , learning and problem solving skills through an ongoing collaborative   process with emphasis on intact work teams , and utilizing consultant –facilitator role , theory and technology of behavioral science including the action research model ."

Characteristic features of O.D. - O.D. is a planned developmental strategy that aims at improving performance of individual's .The main characteristic of O.D. are –

* O.D is a planned change
* O.D. is a holistic approach
* O.D is a problem oriented and solution providing approach
* O.D.  Focuses on organizational process rather than content
* O.D. focuses on relationship social, human and structural.

Defining O.D.Intervention – O.D being process of bringing desired change and a innovative way of doing things the technique varies as per the problem and area where the intervention needs to be applied

They are planned activities in which clients and consultants participate during the course of an organization development program. They are set of planned activities which aim to bring desired change. They refer to action component to improve organization fit between individual and organization

These intervention whether aimed to improve poor morale, productivity, communication problems , organization culture ,poor quality , conflict management .poorly designed task etc. demand intervention of different type  suitable to the type of problem.

The intervention to be applied depends on and nature of problem. There is various intentions which can be applied by the facilitator or the consultant after reviewing, analyzing, diagnisosing the problem area e.g. Team interventions, sensitivity training, survey feedback, process consultation, Role analysis technique, role negotiation technique force field analysis, intercrop team interventions the effectively and success of any intervention will depend on how well the suitability and accuracy the intervention is been applied.

Process of O.D. –Different authors have given different methods and ideas about how to implement an O.D. intervention Again varying right from the needs, severity and the type of expertise required the interventions differ from organization to organization.

It is generally carried out in 4 phases.

a) Diagnosing the problem
b) Developing plans for change
c) Implementing change plan for organization
d) Follow up and evaluation

Approach towards O.D.

O.D is different in approach when discussed in terms of development because the approach and the type of intervention vary as per the requirement .It should be followed with such an approach –

* Motivation for change
* Problem identification and diagnosis
* Planning strategy for change
* Intervening in the system
* Reinforcement and follow up
* Monitoring and evaluation

Utility of Warner Barkers approach towards implementing O.D. process  in an organization

Warner Barkers gave an insight into how O.D process should be implemented after identifying and analyzing the problem area .He gave 7 phases   for implementing O.D.

1) Entry –In this phase the organization interacts and consults external or internal facilitator to acquaint him with the problem of organization. This is the first step where the management should be very cautious while conveying the same to the consultant because this decides the further success of the implementation of intervention

2) Contracting - In this phase the organization briefs his expectation and expected improvements from the consultant and both the employer (organization side) and   consultant clarify what they expect from each other.

3) Diagnosis – In this stage    the consultant or the facilitator starts interacting with the employees of an organization to know where exactly the problem and this gives an in depth idea about the problem.

4) Feedback –This phase is again very crucial to decide the growth of an organization. In this phase the consultant after analyzing and collecting data about the organization provides his feedback to the management and observation about the problem It is .this phase the right match between the problem recognition and the tools needed to resolve them comes into picture.

5) Planning change – This is the stage where the management after discussion with consultant, his expertise, information, observation and including other departmental heads or authorities in the same starts planning the changes needed and develop a consensus on the process.

6) Intervention –The final stage where after having a lot of checks and cross checks and depending upon the severity, intensity and the requirement of the problem a suitable intervention is applied .The success and result of any intervention will again depend on the communication, awareness and involvement of employees in the same.

7) Evaluation – I order to see and measure the accuracy of the intervention applied it becomes imperative to see whether the applied intervention seems to be giving desired outcome or not.

Essential factors before implementing O.D. program

a) Top management support
b) Influential managers
c) Planned efforts
d) Clarity in objectives
e) Setting a suitable reward system
f) Consistent approach 

For this purpose evaluating an O.D intervention by observation, behavioral change, attitude change, productivity improvement, level of motivation, sound Industrial relation, industrial harmony or such indicators which help in perceiving that intervention has brought changes can e done. 

Irrespective of the type of intervention applied the affectivity and outcome in form of desired change acceptance on part of employees and employer always depend on a wise judgment at every stage right from selection of consultant to informing the employees about the same or the method of selection .At every stage it becomes the prime   responsibility of both management and employees to extend their full co-operation in order to accept changes by way of intervention so that organization dream of bringing positive change in  organization can be fulfilled.

With the help of such techniques not only problem focused area can be met out but such changes also help in building trust motivation of employees and results into stability among employees The competition which the organization face today can also be made better only when   consistent effort aimed towards organization well being is practiced.

Ms. Vijit Chaturvedi
Faculty (HRM /Organization Behavior)
ICFAI National College

Source: E-mail September 15, 2008


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