Your SlideShare is downloading. ×

Od assignment


Published on

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total Views
On Slideshare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

Report content
Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

No notes for slide


  • 3. 1. INTRODUCTIONThe planned change process generally starts when one or moremanagers or administrators sense an opportunity for theirorganization, department or group, believe that new capabilitiesneed to be developed, or decide that performance could beimproved through organization development. The organization mightbe successful yet have room for improvement. The organizationcould be experiencing particular problems. Conversely the problemsmight appear more diffuse and consist simply of feelings thatthe organization should be ―more innovative‖, ―more competitive‖or ―more effective‖.Entering and contracting are the initial steps in the OD process.They involve defining in a preliminary manner the organization‘sproblems or opportunities for development and collaborativerelationship between the OD practitioner and members of theclient system about how to work on those issues. Entering andcontracting set the initial parameters for carrying out thesubsequent phases of OD. Diagnosing the organization , planningand implementing changes, and evaluating and institionalizing them.They help to define what issues will be addressed by thoseactivities, who will carry them out, and how they will beaccomplished.Entering and contracting can vary in complexity and formalitydepending on the situation. In those cases where the manager ofa work group or development serves as his or her own ODpractitioner, entering and contracting typically involve the managerand group members meeting to discuss what issues to work onand how they will jointly meet the goals they set. Here,entering and contracting are relatively simple and informal. Theyinvolve all relevant members directly in the process with aminimum of formal procedures. In situations where managers andadministrators are considering the use of professional ODpractitioners, either from inside or from outside the organization , 3
  • 4. entering and contracting tend to be more complex and formal.OD practitioner may need to collect preliminary information tohelp define the problematic or development issues. They mayneed to meet with the representatives of the client organizationrather than with total membership; they may need to formalizetheir respective roles and how the change process will unfold. Incases where the anticipated changes are strategic and large inscale, formal proposals from multiple consulting firms are requestedand legal contracts are drawn up. 4
  • 5. 2. ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGEAll approaches to change must address a key issue inherent inorganizations: why they are so stable and resistant to change.Knowing how to change organizations starts from understanding theconditions that promote the status quo or no change. OD hasdiscovered a long list of causes for resistance to change, such asstructural inertia, work habits, fear of the unknown, powerfulinterests, and members‘ security needs. It has also identified avariety of forces that promote organization change, such ascompetitive pressures, performance problems, workforce changes, andnew technologies.According to Lewin approach, organization change is directed atprocesses, not things. The targets of change, such as performancelevels and work methods, are the result of ongoing socialprocesses occurring in organizations. For example, the level of ateam‘s performance is the product of a myriad of behaviors,decisions, and interactions occurring among team members overtime. Forces in the situation that drive and restrain changeinfluence those social processes. In the team example, new worktechnologies might push for change while team performance normsmight resist it. When these opposing forces are roughly equal,targets of change and the social processes underlying them arerelatively stable and resistant to change, a condition called ‗quasi-stationary equilibrium‘. This stability is not static but dynamic,like a river flowing in a particular direction at a certainvelocity. Driving and restraining forces, like the banks of ariver, shape how social processes evolve over time. They affectthe degree those processes are stable and hence resistant tochange.To change organizations, driving and restraining forces that affectthe change target must first be identified and their strengthassessed. Then, depending on the results of this analysis, thestrength of these opposing forces can either be increased or 5
  • 6. decreased to achieve desired changes. Increasing driving forces ordecreasing restraining forces may result in the same degree ofchange. The secondary effects of these two change strategies arelikely to be quite different, however. Organization changes thatresult from increases in driving forces are likely to beaccompanied by relatively high levels of tension as restrainingforces rise to push back against the changes. Such tension canlead to higher aggressiveness and emotionality, and lower levelsof commitment to change. The more effective change strategy isto reduce restraining forces, and thus let driving forces promotechange while facing less resistance. This low-pressure methodresults in greater acceptance of the changes and more positivereactions to them. In the team performance example describedabove, improvements in performance are likely to be moresuccessful if team performance norms (restraining force) aremodified first and then new technologies (driving force) areintroduced.2.1 GROUPS AS FOCUS OF CHANGEOrganization change involves, either directly or indirectly, changesin individual behavior. New structures, work methods, andperformance goals, for example, all require adjustments in theway organization members behave. To change individual behavior,however, may require changes in the groups to which peoplebelong.OD has long discovered that individual behavior is firmlygrounded in groups.Whether groups emerge formally to perform organization tasks orinformally to meet members‘ social needs, they can have powerfuleffects on members‘ behaviors, beliefs, and values.Example, groups can influence members‘ performance levels, taskmethods, and work relationships. They can exert pressure onmembers to conform to norms governing group behavior. This can 6
  • 7. make changing individual behavior extremely difficult, as membersare likely to resist organization changes that run counter togroup norms and expectations. To overcome such resistance mayrequire changing the group itself, thus making it the focus ofchange.Initially referred to as ‗participative management‘, this groupapproach to organization change is used extensively in OD. Itincludes getting members directly involved in understanding theneed for change, developing appropriate changes, and implementingthem. When members perceive the need for change, pressure forchange is likely to arise from within the group . A key methodfor creating shared perceptions of the need for change is toengage members in analyzing their own situation. This can createownership over the diagnosis and the conclusions drawn from it,therefore promoting a shared readiness for change among members.Similarly, member participation in developing organization changescan help to assure commitment to implementing them.When group members are involved in making decisions aboutwhat changes are most appropriate to their situation, their interestsare likely to be taken into account in those changes.Consequently, members will be committed to subsequentlyimplementing the changes because it is in their vested interest todo so. Moreover, such involvement can bring more diverse andlocal knowledge to decisions about change, thus improving theirquality and practical relevance. 7
  • 8. 3. APPLICATION OF ODHow OD is applied in organizations closely follows its historicalroots and psychological foundations.The processes and activities used to initiate and carry outorganization change are deeply embedded in values of openness,trust, and collaboration among organization members; they aregrounded in beliefs that members should be treated maturely andactively involved in change. Based on these fundamentals,applications of OD have evolved to meet the emerging demandsof organizations and their environments. As shown in the historysection of this chapter, OD interventions have grown larger andmore complex; they have become more strategic, involving agreater array of stakeholders and organization design components.These changes are reflected in how OD is carried out andpracticed in organizations today. To understand this evolution ofOD practice requires knowledge of three general approaches tochange:(1) Lewin‘s three steps; (2) action research; and (3) actionlearning.LEWIN‘S THREE STEPSThis approach to organization change derives from the work ofLewin and his colleagues on how to overcome resistance tochange and how to sustain change once it is made . It startsfrom the premise that targets of change and the social processesunderlying them are relatively stable when forces driving forchange are roughly equal to forces resisting change. To changethis status quo requires a three-step process:(1) ‗unfreezing‘ the balance of forces that keep the change targetstable; 8
  • 9. (2) ‗moving‘ the change target to a new level or kind ofbehavior; and (3) ‗refreezing‘ the balance of forces to reinforcethe new behaviors and to keep them stable. This simple yetprofound framework has guided OD practice for over half acentury. It has led to numerous techniques for leading andmanaging change.UnfreezingThis step underscores the need to assess the present situationbefore change is contemplated. Referred to as a ‗force fieldanalysis‘, this diagnosis examines the driving and restraining forcesin the change.Situation can reveal which forces are strongest (or weakest) andwhich are easiest (or hardest) to modify. Such information isessential for unfreezing the current situation and creating areadiness for change among organization members. For example, aforce field analysis might discover that the key forces restrainingchange are members‘ lack of understanding about the need forchange and strong group norms about task performance. Techniquesto overcome these resistances, and thus to unfreeze the statusquo, might include clearer and more direct communication aboutthe rationale underlying the proposed changes and memberparticipation in the change process itself.MovingThis stage involves intervening in the situation to change it. ODincludes a variety of interventions for improving organizations.These change programs address organization issues having to dowith human processes, strategic choices, human resourcemanagement, and work designs and structures.To implement these changes effectively, OD has devised methodsfor creating a compelling vision of the desired changes, 9
  • 10. developing political support for them, and managing the transitionfrom the current to the desired situation.RefreezingThis final step involves making changes a permanent part of theorganization‘s functioning. When this stage is ignored, organizationchanges rarely persist but regress to their previous stable state.Thus, refreezing calls for re-balancing the driving and restrainingforces in the changed situation so it remains relatively stable.OD has discovered a variety of practices that can contribute tosuch permanence.Generally referred to as ‗institutionalizing‘ change, these methodsinclude: reinforcing organization changes by making rewardscontingent on them; socializing existing members and newcomersinto the beliefs, norms, and values underlying the changes;diffusing changes throughout the organization to provide a widerbase of support for them; and sensing and calibrating thechanges to detect deviations from desired changes and to takecorrective actions.Action ResearchThis approach to organization change shows that research can bepractical; it can serve as an instrument for action and change.Action research applies scientific methods to help organizationsidentify problems, discover their underlying causes, and implementappropriate changes. It can also produce new knowledge aboutorganizations and change that can be applied elsewhere. Inaddition to its problem solving focus, action research is highlycollaborative, involving both OD practitioners and organizationmembers in the research and action process. Such participationgains members‘ input and commitment to the changes, thusincreasing the chances that they will be implemented. It can alsoresult in higher quality, more situation-relevant changes. Althoughseveral variants of action research have been developed, 10
  • 11. applications to OD generally involve the following cyclicalactivities:(1) preliminary data gathering and diagnosis;(2) action planning;(3) implementation;(4) assessment.In practice, these activities result in an iterative process whereinitial research informs action, and additional research informsfurther action, and so on.Preliminary data gathering and diagnosisAction research typically starts with a pressing problem thatorganization members are motivated to resolve. Based on thispresenting issue, preliminary data are gathered to determine whether36 foundations and applications problem has been correctlyidentified and to diagnose its underlying causes. This initialresearch is generally informed by diagnostic models that showwhat features of the organization to examine and what data tocollect to discover the source of organizational problems. ODpractitioners use a plethora of diagnostic models to assess variousaspects of organizations, from members‘ individual motivation torelationships between the organization and other organizations in itsenvironment. They use a variety of methods to collect diagnosticdata, from informal interviews with a few people to formalsurveys of the total organization. When these data are collectedand analyzed appropriately, they provide valid information aboutcauses of organization problems.Action planningBased on this preliminary research, participants develop actionplans specifying what organization changes will be made and howthey will be implemented. The choice and design of change 11
  • 12. interventions depend on a variety of factors having to do withthe target of change and the change situation itself.In selecting a change target, participants can draw on a largediversity of OD interventions to improve various aspects andproblems of organizations. Indeed, OD is known primarily for itsinterventions, such as team building, self-managed teams, and high-involvement organizations. The preliminary diagnosis guides whichof those interventions are most relevant for the organization.Moreover, it helps participants choose interventions that are likelyto succeed in their specific change situation.Researchers have identified key situational contingencies that canaffect intervention success, such as individual differences amongmembers and the nature of the organization‘s technology andcompetitive situation. Knowledge of these contingencies can help toassure that action plans fit well with the change situation.ImplementationImplementing action plans involves making changes that move theorganization towards its desired future. Such change does notoccur instantly but requires a transition period during whichmembers learn how to enact the changes and make them work.OD has identified activities and structures that can facilitate thistransition phase. These include specifying the change tasks thatneed to occur, temporally ordering them, and monitoring theirprogress. It also involves identifying key stakeholders whosecommitment is needed for change to occur and gaining theirsupport. In cases where change is large scale and involvesseveral features and levels of the organization, special structuresfor managing the change process may need to be created. Thesestructures mobilize resources for change, coordinate the changes,and account for progress. Members who have both the power tomake change happen and the respect of key stakeholders leadthem. 12
  • 13. AssessmentThis final phase of action research involves gathering andanalyzing data to determine the effects of the changes. Suchinformation is used to decide whether the changes are havingtheir intended results, and, if not, how they can be modified tobe more effective. Assessment tends to occur at different stagesof the change process both during implementation and after it iscompleted. During implementation, evaluation provides timelyfeedback about whether the changes are being implemented asintended. Because organization change generally involves considerablelearning and experimentation, such information is vital to memberslearning new behaviors and procedures needed to implementchange. Assessment that occurs after implementation providesfeedback.the overall impact of the organization changes. It helps membersdetermine whether the changes should continue to be supported orwhether other possible interventions should be tried.Action LearningAction learning has been variously referred to as ‗participatoryaction research‘ It is a relatively new and still evolving formof planned change. Action learning moves beyond the problem-solving focus inherent in traditional applications of OD, and treatschange as a continuous learning and transformation process. Itresponds to the enormous pressures for change facing organizationstoday. They are experiencing competitive demands to perform morequickly and efficiently at lower cost and higher quality. They arebeing forced to adapt to turbulent environments wheretechnological, economic, and cultural forces are changing rapidlyand unpredictably. To respond to these forces, organizations areradically transforming themselves into leaner, more flexible structurescapable of continuous adaptation and change. Such change involvesConsiderable learning and innovation as members try new 13
  • 14. Behaviors, structures, and processes, assess the results, makenecessary adjustments, and so on. It also requires significantsupport and commitment from key stakeholders including managers,employees, and staff experts.Action learning addresses these issues. It helps members acquirethe skills and expertise to design their own innovations, tomanage their own change processes, and, perhaps most important,to learn how to do these things more effectively and efficiently.It identifies key stakeholders and gets them actively involved inanalyzing the organization and its environment, designing appropriatechanges, and implementing them. It builds the capacity to changeand to improve continually into the organization so it becomespart of normal functioning.Action learning involves a number of interrelated actions thatcomprise an iterative learning process.As members move through these activities, they learn how tochange and improve the organization, including their own workbehaviors and interactions. This learning feeds into the next cycleof action learning and so on, thus enhancing members‘ capacityto change both the organization and themselves.Action learning general includes the following steps:(1) valuing; (2) diagnosing; (3) designing; and(4) implementing and assessing.ValuingAction learning generally starts with clarifying the values that willguide the change process. Organization values influence members‘behaviors and decision-making; they affect which innovations andchanges are seen as good or bad. Because organization valuesare tacit and rarely questioned, they tend to perpetuate the statusquo. Thus, valuing seeks to make explicit the organization‘s 14
  • 15. values and to judge their relevance to competitive conditions. Thismay result in modifying or replacing certain values, orconsidering entirely new ones. Moreover, because stakeholders oftenhave diverse interests, valuing attempts to uncover underlying valueconflicts and to resolve them so they do not adversely affectsubsequent design and implementation activities. Unless organizationchanges take into account the interests of different stakeholders,there is likely to be differential support and commitment forthem.OD practitioners have developed various methods for resolvingvalue conflicts, including collaborating, compromising, and negotiating.The key objective is to achieve sufficient value agreement amongstakeholders so they can proceed with changing the organizationin a shared and committed direction. A common outcome ofvaluing is a ‗vision statement‘ that explains the values that willguide organization change, including valued human and performanceoutcomes and organizational conditions for achieving them .Althoughvaluing occurs early in action learning, members may periodicallyreassess and modify the values as they continually move throughthe cycle of learning activities.DiagnosingThis phase of action learning involves assessing the organizationagainst the values. This can reveal value gaps where theorganization is not functioning or performing consistent with thevalues. Such inconsistencies direct the subsequent design oforganization changes to close the gaps. Thus, action learning isaimed at continually assessing and improving the organization ina valued direction.DesigningThis step involves developing specific organization changes toreduce value gaps and to move the organization in a valueddirection. Depending on the diagnosis, members may determine that 15
  • 16. limited change is necessary and existing conditions only need tobe fine tuned; or that more extensive change is needed requiringinnovations that either imitate what other organizations are doingor that are entirely new and original. Thus, designing is notdeterministic but involves considerable creativity and choice.Members explore new ways for organizing that are consistentwith the values. They iterate back and forth between the valueswhich serve as design guides and the designs themselves.Designing typically results in organization changes that areminimally specified and flexible. This enables members to adjustthe changes to fit situational contingencies during implementation.It provides members with sufficient freedom to modify thechanges as they learn how to enact them behaviorally and howto modify and improve them as the circumstances demand.Implementing and assessingIn this phase, members implement and assess organization changes.This involves learning by doing. Members take action to implementor modify the changes. They periodically assess whether thechanges and implementation process are progressing as intended,and, if not, make plans to modify them. This feedback–adjustmentprocess enables members to learn how to change the organizationand themselves.It continues indefinitely as members learn how to improve theorganization continuously. Implementing and assessing can involvethree levels of learning. At the most basic level, which isreferred to as ‗single-loop learning‘, members concentrate ongetting the changes implemented in accordance with the values.They seek to reduce deviations from the changes‘ underlyingvalues. This learning occurs continuously and involves considerableProblem solving and trial-and-error as members learn to move theorganization closer to its values. Single-loop learning is involvedin all approaches to organization change, including Lewin‘s three 16
  • 17. steps and action research. It enables members to implementplanned changes as intended. Organization learning processes tendto be tacit and taken for granted, members are not accustomedto examining or questioning them. This can lead to repetition oflearning mistakes and disorders. Thus, deutero learning is aimedat the learning process itself. Members examine values,organizational conditions, and behaviors that inhibit singleanddouble-loop learning; they design more effective learning processes.Members then engage in implementing and assessing the newlearning behaviors. Over time, deutero learning enables members toenhance their capacity to learn, and thus become better atimplementing change and improving the organization. 17
  • 18. 4. ENTERING INTO AN OD RELATIONSHIPAn OD process generally starts when a member of anorganization or unit contacts an OD practitioner about potentialhelp in addressing an organizational issue. The organizationmember may be a manager , staff specialist, or some other keyparticipant; the practitioner may be an OD professional frominside or outside of the organization.Entering and contracting are the initial steps inthe OD process. They involve defining in apreliminary manner the organization‘s problems oropportunities for development and establishing acollaborative relationship between the OD practitionerand members of the client system about how towork on those issues. Entering and contracting setthe initial parameters for carrying out the subsequentphases of OD: diagnosing the organization, planningand implementing changes, and evaluating andinstitutionalizing them. They help to define whatissues will be addressed by those activities, whichwill carry them out, and how they will beaccomplished. Entering and contracting can vary incomplexity and formality depending on the situation.Clarifying the Organizational Issue:When seeking help from OD practitioners, organizationstypically start with a presenting problem—the issuethat has caused them to consider an OD process.It may be specific (decreased market share,increased absenteeism) or general (―we‘re growing toofast,‖ ―we need to prepare for rapid changes‖).The presenting problem often has an implied orstated solution. For example, managers may believethat because members of their teams are inconflict, team building is the obvious answer. Theymay even state the presenting problem in theform of a solution: ―We need some teambuilding.‖ In many cases, however, the presentingproblem is only a symptom of an underlyingproblem. For example, conflict among members of ateam may result from several deeper causes, 18
  • 19. including ineffective reward systems, personality differences,inappropriate structure, and poor leadership.organization or department must be clarified early inthe OD process so that subsequent diagnostic andintervention activities are focused correctly. Gaining aclearer perspective on the organizational issue mayrequire collecting preliminary data. OD practitionersoften examine company records and interview a fewkey members to gain an introductory understandingof the organization, its context, and the natureof the presenting problem. Those data are gatheredin a relatively short period of time, typicallyover a few hours to one or two days. Theyare intended to provide enough rudimentary knowledgeof the organizational issue to enable the twoparties to make informed choices about proceedingwith the contracting process. The diagnostic phaseof OD involves a far more extensive assessmentof the problematic or development issue that occursduring the entering and contracting stage. Thediagnosis also might discover other issues that needto be addressed, or it might lead to redefiningthe initial issue that was identified during theentering and contracting stage. This is a primeexample of the emergent nature of the ODprocess, where things may change as newinformation is gathered and new events occur. 19
  • 20. Content DescriptionGoals of Proposed Descriptive, clear, and concise goals toEffort achievedRecommended Action Description of 1) diagnosis, 2) data anaPlan process, 3) feedback process, and 4) action-planning processSpecification of What will various leaders, including theResponsibilities practitioner, be held accountable for?Strategy for Provide change strategies, including education/tAchieving the political influence, structural interventions, andDesired State confrontation of resistance.Fees, terms, and Outline fees and expenses associated withconditions project 20
  • 21. 5. OD PRACTITIONERSThe system of organizations is very similar, if not the same as,the system of human beings after all, organizations are made upof humans! Therefore, when trying to understand the field oforganization development, it might be useful to compare aspectsof the field of organization development to aspects of the fieldof medicine.OD Practitioner Skills and ActivitiesMuch of the literature about the competencies of an effective ODpractitioner reveals a mixture of personality traits, experiences, knowledge,and skills presumed to lead to effective practice. For example, research onthe characteristics of successful change practitioners yields the following listof attributes and abilities: diagnostic ability, basic knowledge of behavioralscience techniques, empathy, knowledge of the theories and methods withinthe consultants own discipline, goal setting and ability to perform self-assessment, ability to see things objectively, imagination, flexibility, honesty,consistency, and trust. Although these qualities and skills are laudable, therehas been relatively little consensus about their importance to effective ODpractice. Two ongoing projects are attempting to define and categorize theskills and knowledge required of OD practitioners. In the first effort, fiftywell-known practitioners and researchers annually update a list ofprofessional competencies. The most recent list has grown to 187 statementsin nine areas of OD practice, including entry, start-up, assessment andfeedback, action planning, intervention, evaluation, adoption, separation, andgeneral competencies. The statements range from "staying centered in thepresent, focusing on the ongoing process" and "understanding and explaininghow diversity will affect the diagnosis of the culture" to "basing change onbusiness strategy and business needs" and "being comfortable with quantumleaps, radical shifts, and paradigm changes.Based on the studies available,all OD practitioners should have the following basic skills and knowledge tobe effective: 21
  • 22. 1. Intrapersonal skills.Despite the growing knowledge base and sophistication of the field,organization development is still a human craft. As the primary instrumentof diagnosis and change, practitioners often must process complex,ambiguous information and make informed judgments about its relevance toorganizational issues. Practitioners must have the personal centering to knowtheir own values, feelings, and purposes as well as the integrity to behaveresponsibly in a helping relationship with others. Because OD is a highlyuncertain process requiring constant adjustment and innovation, practitionersmust have active learning skills and a reasonable balance between theirrational and emotional sides. Finally, OD practice can be highly stressfuland can lead to early burnout, so practitioners need to know how tomanage their own stress.2. Interpersonal skills.Practitioners must create and maintain effective relationships with individualsand groups within the organization and help them gain the competencenecessary to solve their own problems. Group dynamics, comparativecultural perspectives, and business functions are considered to be thefoundation knowledge, and managing the consulting process and facilitationas core skills. All of these interpersonal competencies promote effectivehelping relationships. Such relationships start with a grasp of theorganizations perspective and require listening to members perceptions andfeelings to understand how they see themselves and the organization. Thisunderstanding provides a starting point for joint diagnosis and problemsolving. Practitioners must establish trust and rapport with organizationmembers so that they can share pertinent information and work effectivelytogether. This requires being able to converse in members own languageand to give and receive feedback about how the relationship is progressing.To help members learn new skills and behaviors, practitioners must serve asconcrete role models of what is expected. They must act in ways that arecredible to organization members and provide them with the counseling and 22
  • 23. coaching necessary to develop and change. Because the helping relationshipis jointly determined, practitioners need to be able to negotiate an acceptablerole and to manage changing expectations and demands.3. General consultation skills.OD starts with diagnosing an organization or department to understand itscurrent functioning and to discover areas for further development. ODpractitioners need to know how to carry out an effective diagnosis, at leastat a rudimentary level. They should know how to engage organizationmembers in diagnosis, how to help them ask the right questions, and howto collect and analyze information. A manager, for example, should be ableto work with subordinates to determine jointly the organizations ordepartments strengths or problems. The manager should know basicdiagnostic questions some methods for gathering information, such asinterviews or surveys, and some techniques for analyzing it, such as force-field analysis or statistical means and distributions. In addition to diagnosis,OD practitioners should know how to design and execute an intervention.They need to be able to define an action plan and to gain commitment tothe program. They also need to know how to tailor the intervention to thesituation, using information about how the change is progressing to guideimplementation. For example, managers should be able to develop actionsteps for an intervention with subordinates. They should be able to gaintheir commitment to the program (usually through participation), sit downwith them and assess how it is progressing, and make modifications ifnecessary.4. Organization development theory.The last basic tool OD practitioners should have is a general knowledge oforganization development. They should have some appreciation for plannedchange, the action research model, and contemporary approaches tomanaging change. They should be familiar with the range of availableinterventions and the need for evaluating and institutionalizing changeprograms. Perhaps most important is that OD practitioners should understand 23
  • 24. their own role in the emerging field of organization development, whether itis as an OD professional, a manager, or a specialist in a related area. Therole of the OD practitioner is changing and becoming more complex. Theresults of this study reinforce what other theorists have also suggested. TheOD practitioners of today are no longer just process facilitators, but areexpected to know something about strategy, structure, reward systems,corporate culture, leadership, human resource development and the clientorganizations business. As a result, the role of the OD practitioner today ismore challenging and more in the mainstream of the client organization thanin the past.6. OD PRACTITIONER SKILLS AND ACTIVITIESSusan Gebelein lists six key skill areas that are critical to the success ofthe internal practitioner. The skills that focus on the people-oriented natureof the OD practitioner include: •LeadershipLeaders keep members focused on key company values and on opportunitiesand need for improvement. A leaders job is to recognize when a companyis headed in the wrong direction and to get it back on the right track.Project ManagementThis means involving all the right people and department to keep thechange program on track.CommunicationIt is vital to communicate the key values to everyone in the organization.Problem-SolvingThe real challenge is to implement a solution to an organizational problem. 24
  • 25. Forget about todays problems: focus constantly on the next set of problems.InterpersonalThe number-one priority is to give everybody in the organization the toolsand the confidence to be involved in the change process. This includesfacilitating, building relationships, and process skills.PersonalThe confidence to help the organization make tough decisions, introducenew techniques, try something new, and see if it works.Practitioner Skills ProfileThe OD practitioners role is to help employees create their own solutions,systems, and concepts. When the practitioner uses the above-listed skills toaccomplish these goals, the employees will work hard to make themsucceed, because they are the owners of the change programs.Consultant’s AbilitiesTen primary abilities are key to an OD consultant‘s effectiveness. Most ofthese abilities can be learned, but because of individual differences inpersonality or basic temperament, some of them would be easier for someto learn than for others.1. The ability to tolerate ambiguityEvery organization is different, and what worked before may not work now;every OD effort starts from scratch, and it is best to enter with fewpreconceived notions other than with the general characteristics that weknow about social systems. 25
  • 26. 2. The ability to influence.Unless the OD consultant enjoys power and has some talent for persuasion,he or she is likely to succeed in only minor ways in OD.3. The ability to confront difficult issues.Much of OD work consists of exposing issues that organization membersare reluctant to face.4. The ability to support and nurture others.This ability is particularly important in times of conflict and stress; it isalso critical just before and during a manager‘s first experience with teambuilding.5.The ability to listen well and empathize.This is especially important during interviews, in conflict situations, andwhen client stress is high.6. The ability to recognize one‘s feelings and intuition quickly.It is important to be able to distinguish one‘s own perceptions from thoseof the client and also be able to use these feelings and intuitions asinterventions when appropriate and timely.7. The ability to conceptualize.It is necessary to think and express in understandable words certainrelationships, such as the cause-and-effect and if-then linkages that existwithin the systemic context of the client organization.8. The ability to discover and mobilize human energy,Both within oneself and within the client organization. There is energy inresistance, for example, and the consultant‘s interventions are likely to be 26
  • 27. most effective when they tap existing energy within the organization andprovide direction for the productive use of the energy.9.The ability to teach or to create learning opportunities.This ability should not be reserved for classroom activities but should beutilized on the job, during meetings, and within the mainstream of theoverall change effort.10. The ability to maintain a sense of humorboth on the client‘s behalf and to help sustain perspective: Humor can beuseful for reducing tension. It is also useful for the consultant to be able tolaugh at himself or herself; not taking oneself too seriously is critical formaintaining perspective about an OD effort, especially since nothing evergoes exactly according to plan, even though OD is supposed to be aplanned change effort.Role of Organization Development Professionals Position: Position:Organization development professionals have positions that are either internalor external to the organization. Internal consultants are members of theorganization and often are located in the human resources department. Theymay perform the OD role exclusively, or they may combine it with othertasks, such as compensation practices, training, or labor relations. Manylarge organizations, such as Intel, Merck, Abitibi Consolidated, BHP, PhilipMorris, Levi Strauss, Procter & Gamble, Weyerhaeuser; GTE, and Citigroup,have created specialized OD consulting groups. These internal consultantstypically have a variety of clients within the organization, serving both lineand staff departments. External consultants are not members of the clientorganization; they typically work for a consulting firm, a university, orthemselves. Organizations generally hire external consultants to provide aparticular expertise that is unavailable internally and to bring a different andpotentially more objective perspective into the organization development 27
  • 28. process. During the entry process, internal consultants have clear advantages.They have ready access to and relationships with clients, know the languageof the organization, and have insights about the root cause of many of itsproblems. This allows internal consultants to save time in identifying theorganizations culture, informal practices, and sources of power. They haveaccess to a variety of information, including rumors, company reports, anddirect observations. In addition, entry is more efficient and congenial, andtheir pay is not at risk. External consultants, however, have the advantageof being able to select the clients they want to work with according totheir own criteria. The contracting phase is less formal for internalconsultants and there is less worry about expenses, but there is less choiceabout whether to complete the assignment. Both types of consultants mustaddress issues of confidentiality, risk project termination (and other negativeconsequences) by the client, and fill a third-party role. During the diagnosisprocess, internal consultants already know most organization members andenjoy a basic level of rapport and trust. But external consultants often havehigher status than internal consultants, which allows them to probe difficultissues and assess the organization more objectively. In the interventionphase, both types of consultants must rely on valid information, free andinformed choice, and internal commitment for their success, However, aninternal consultants strong ties to the organization may make him or heroverly cautious particularly when powerful others can affect a career.Internal consultants also may lack certain skills and experience in facilitatingorganizational change. Inside he may have some small advantages in beingable to move around the system and cross key organizational boundaries.Finally, the measures of success and reward differ from those of theexternal practitioner in the evaluation process. A promising approach tohaving the advantages of both internal and external OD consultants is toinclude them both as members of an internal-external consulting team.External consultants can combine their special expertise and objectivity withthe inside knowledge and acceptance of internal consultants. The two partiescan use complementary consulting skills while sharing the workload andpossibly accomplishing more than either would by operating alone. Internalconsultants, for example, can provide almost continuous contact with theclient, and their external counterparts can provide specialized services 28
  • 29. periodically, such as two or three days each month. External consultantsalso can help train their organization partners, thus transferring OD skillsand knowledge to the organization. Although little has been written oninternal-external consulting teams, recent studies suggest that theeffectiveness of such teams depends on members developing strong,supportive, collegial relationships. They need to take time to develop theconsulting team; confronting individual differences and establishingappropriate roles and exchanges, member‘s need to provide each other withcontinuous feedback and make a commitment to learning from each other.In the absence of these team-building and learning activities, internal-externalconsulting teams can be more troublesome and less effective thanconsultants working alone.The difference between External and Internal Consulting Stage ofchange External consultant Internal consultantEntering •Source clients •Build relationships •Learn company jargon•―presenting problem‖ challenge •Time consuming •Stressful phase •Selectproject/client according to own criteria •Unpredictable outcome •Readyaccess to clients •Ready relationships •Knows company jargon •Understandsroot causes •Time efficient• Congenial phase •Obligated to work witheveryone •Steady pay Contracting •Formal documents •Can terminate projectat will •Guard against out-of-pocket expenses •Information confidential •Lossof contract at stake •Maintain third-party role •Informal agreements •Mustcomplete projects assigned •No out-of-pocket expenses •Information can beopen or confidential •Risk of client retaliation and loss of job at state •Actas third party, driver (on behalf of client or pair of hands) Diagnosing•Meet most organization members for the first time• Prestige from beingexternal •Build trust quickly •Confidential data can increase politicalsensitivities •Has relationships with many organization members •Prestigedetermined by job rank and client stature •Sustain reputation as trustworthyover time •Data openly shared can reduce political intrigue Intervening•Insist on valid information, free and informed choice, and internalcommitment •Confine activities within boundaries of client organization•Insist on valid information, free and informed choice and internal 29
  • 30. commitment •Run interference for client across organizational lines to alignsupport Evaluating •Rely on repeat business and customer referral as keymeasures of project success •Seldom see long-term results •Rely on repeatbusiness, pay raise and promotion as key measures of success •Can seechange become institutionalized •Little recognition for job well doneMarginality:A promising line of research on the professional OD role centers on theissue of marginality. The marginal person is one who successfully straddlesthe boundary between two or more groups with differing goals, valuesystems, and behavior patterns. Whereas in the past, the marginal rolealways was seen as dysfunctional, marginality now is seen in a morepositive light. There are many examples of marginal roles in organizations:the salesperson, the buyer, the first-line supervisor, the integrator and theproject manager. Evidence is mounting that some people are better at takingmarginal roles than are others. Those who are good at it seem to havepersonal qualities of low dogmatism, neutrality, open-mindedness, objectivity,flexibility, and adaptable information-processing ability. Rather than beingupset by conflict, ambiguity, and stress, they thrive on it. Individuals withmarginal orientations are more likely than others to develop integrativedecisions that bring together and reconcile viewpoints among opposingorganizational groups and are more likely to remain neutral in controversialsituations. Thus, the research suggests that the marginal role can havepositive effects when it is filled by a person with a marginal orientation.Such a person can be more objective and better able to performsuccessfully in linking, integrative, or conflictladen roles, There are twoother boundaries:the activities boundary and the membership boundary.For both, the OD consultant should operate at the boundary, in a marginalcapacity. With respect to change activities, particularly implementation, theconsultant must help but not be directly involved. Suppose an off-site team-building session, for a manger and his subordinates, he would help the 30
  • 31. manager with the design and process of the meeting but would not lead.With respect to membership, the OD consultant is never quite in nor quiteout.Emotional Demands:The OD practitioner role is emotionally demanding. Research and practicesupport the importance of understanding emotions and their impact on thepractitioners effectiveness. The research on emotional intelligence inorganizations suggests a set of abilities that can aid OD practitioners inconducting successful change efforts. Emotional intelligence refers to theability to recognize and express emotions appropriately, to use emotions inthought and decisions, and to regulate emotion in oneself and in others. Itis, therefore, a different kind of intelligence from problem-solving ability,engineering aptitude, or the knowledge of concepts. In tandem withtraditional knowledge and skill, emotional intelligence affects andsupplements rational thought; emotions help prioritize thinking by directingattention to important information not addressed in models and theories. InThat sense, some researchers argue that emotional intelligence is asimportant as cognitive intelligence. Reports from OD practitioners supportthe importance of emotional intelligence in practice. At each stage ofplanned change, they must relate to and help organization members adapt toresistance, commitment, and ambiguity. Facing those important and difficultissues raises emotions such as the fear of failure or rejection. As the clientand others encounter these kinds of emotions, OD practitioners must have aclear sense of emotional effects, including their own internal emotions.Ambiguity or denial of emotions can lead to inaccurate and untimelyinterventions. For example, a practitioner who is uncomfortable with conflictmay intervene to diffuse conflict because of the discomfort he or she feels,not because the conflict is destructive. In such a case, the practitioner isacting to address a personal need rather than intervening to improve thesystems effectiveness. Evidence suggests that emotional intelligence increaseswith age and experience. In addition, it can be developed through personalgrowth processes such as sensitivity training, counseling, and therapy. It 31
  • 32. seems reasonable to suggest that professional OD practitioners dedicatethemselves to a long-term regimen of development that includes acquiringboth cognitive learning and emotional intelligence.Use of Knowledge and ExperienceThe professional OD role has been described in terms of a continuumranging from client-centered (using the clients knowledge and experience) toconsultant-centered , Traditionally, OD consultants have worked at the client-centered end of the continuum. Organization development professionals,relying mainly on sensitivity training, process consultation, and teambuilding, have been expected to remain neutral, refusing to offer expertadvice on organizational problems. Rather than contracting to solve specificproblems, the consultant has tended to work with organization members toidentify problems and potential solutions, to help them study what they aredoing now and consider alternative behaviors and solutions, and to helpthem discover whether, in fact, the consultant and they can learn to dothings better. In doing that the OD professional has generally listened andreflected upon members perceptions and ideas and helped clarify andinterpret their communications and behaviors. 32
  • 33. 7. CONCLUSIONOD is an evolving field of applied social science with anincreasing diversity of concepts and applications. From itstraditional roots in small groups and social processes, OD hasgrown to include the total organization and work designs, humanresources, and organization structures. This development closelyparallels the changing needs of modern organizations. It movesbeyond solving the unintended social problems inherent in largebureaucracies to helping organizations become leaner, more flexible,and more performance driven, so they can compete in today‘scomplex, rapidly changing environments.To guide these applications, OD draws on a core set ofpsychological concepts. They include humanistic perspectives ofhuman beings, resulting in organization changes that enhancemembers‘ maturity and interpersonal competence; motivationframeworks that promote changes satisfying a wide array ofmembers‘ needs; process views of change that account for drivingand restraining forces; groups asthe focus of change, and the need for members to participatein developing and implementing change.These psychological foundations influence how OD is applied inorganizations. They result in change processes that are cyclicaland collaborative, and that closely tie research to action. Suchchange applications can help organizations address specific problems,or, more radically, help them learn how to continuously transformand renew themselves.Because OD is an action science, it will continue to grow andevolve as it helps organizations change and improve. Asorganizations face new challenges, OD will create new methodsand applications. It will draw on new concepts and approachesto guide future practice. OD‘s success will depend largely onhow well those ideas and innovations account for the fact that 33
  • 34. organization change is essentially a social process requiring humanbeings to change their behavior. Continued attention to thepsychological foundations of OD can help this occur. 34
  • 35. 8. BIBLIOGRAPHY(Vroom & Jago, 1988).(Beckhard & Harris, 1987)(Cummings & Worley, 2001)Alderfer, C. (1969) An empirical test of a new theory ofhuman needs.http://www.zainbooks.com 35