organizational development

Organizational Development (OD): Meaning, Values, Features, and Objectives

Organizational Development (OD)

Organizational development (OD) is a long-run plan to change the behavioral attitudes and performance of the organization. It is a process of improving organizational efficiency through planned change. Its foremost aim is to advance the overall working performance of the organization. The OD model values human and organizational growth, collaborative and participative processes.

The concept of organizational development was first introduced by Richard Beckhard in the mid of 1950s to integrate organizational and individual interest in change. The technology, market, competitor strategies, etc have been changing according to time and situation. For an effective response to a change in environment, it is necessary to change beliefs, values, attitudes, and organizational structures. A planned change must be initiated in every component and resource to cope with the change for developing the overall efficiency of an organization through behavioral modification.

Griffin R.W. – Organizational development is the process of planned change and improvement of the organization through the application of knowledge of the behavioral science

Robbins S.P. – Organizational development is a collection of planned change interventions, built on humanistic-democratic values, that seeks to improve organizational effectiveness and employee well-being.

Thus, the concept of organizational development is not easy to define in a single concept. It emphasizes human aspects rather than on mechanistic aspect. The main motive of OD is to initiate an organization more adjustable and innovative so that efficiency can be maintained on change. For this purpose, education and training culture must encourage the organization to ensure planned change to adapt to changing environment.

OD Value (Key Benefits)

The key organizational development (OD) values are:

  • Respect For People: Individuals are perceived as being responsible, conscientious, and caring. They should be treated with dignity and respect.
  • Trust and Support: The effective and healthy organization is characterized by trust, authenticity, openness, and a supportive climate.
  • Power Equalization: Effective organizations deemphasize hierarchal authority and control.
  • Confrontation: Problems should not be swept under the rug. They should be openly confronted.
  • Participation: The people who will be affected by the change are involved in decision-making, the more they will be committed to implementing those decisions.

Characteristics of Organizational Development

The common characteristics of organizational development are:

Characteristics of
Organizational Development

Long Term Plan

OD is a planned approach to manage change. It emphasizes a long-term plan to improve the working efficiency of the organization.

Broad Based

OD is a broad-based approach implemented to a comprehensive change in the overall system of the organization. These changes involve organizational redesign, change in organizational philosophies, culture, system, and skills, etc. These changes are initiated to adapt the organizational performance on the basis of time.

Dynamic Process

OD is a dynamic process and amendable on the basis of requirements. It needs investment in huge capital and time to modify its systems and procedures. It is an ongoing and interactive process up to the functioning of the organization.

System Perspective

OD is an overt and wide system. All the subsystems of an organization are interrelated to each other. Only some changes in subsystems may become worthless if they can not affect the whole system. So, it emphasizes change on the whole system on the basis of requirements.

Focus on Behavior

OD focuses on behavior science rather than the mechanistic approach. It primarily emphasizes the organizational process. The record of action and reaction of people in each stage of work is taken into account for future plans.

Research Based

Interventions of OD are based on research and experiments. OD experts collect data and information and analyze information through relevant tools for taking decisions. It facilitates implementation.

Empowered Process

It emphasizes employees utilize their full potentiality and talent. They are independent to take a decision for the work they are responsible for. They can use their own idea and knowledge to complete the assigned job.

Team Work

OD emphasizes collaborative and group effort. It recognizes that teamwork would be a strength for the achievement of the goal.

Objectives of Organizational Development (OD)

The main objective of organizational development is to develop working efficiency and effectiveness in organizational activities. The common objectives/importance of OD are as follows:

objectives of OD

Effective Performance

One of the objectives of organizational development is to bring effectiveness to organizational performance. It emphasizes cooperation, independence, and mutual support among the members. It facilitates to proper acquisition and utilization of resources in changing environments to meet objectives.

Develop Efficiency

OD emphasizes efficiency development and providing incentives to employees. It helps to improve employee efficiency through training, workshop, seminar, interpersonal competency, education, etc. It also seeks to improve living standards through a proper incentives system, a good working environment, etc.

Emphasize on Team Work

OD emphasizes teamwork. Team members are complementary in skills and supportive to each other. It helps to promote cooperation, learning, and effectiveness in organizational performance.

Conflict Resolution

One of the objectives of organizational development is to resolve conflict in organizational performance. When employees work in a group conflict is natural. However, OD emphasizes taking initiation to resolve conflict. It is essential for smooth functioning for the organization.

Adaptation To Environment

OD focuses on adaptation to changing environment of society. It emphasizes training, counseling, orientation, encouragement for employees to accept the change to meet the common goals.

Change with System

Organizational development emphasizes making changes on the basis of organizational systems and procedures. All members should perform activities according to new programs. Change with the system encourages teamwork and mutual cooperation to meet objectives.

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