Meaning of OD
"Organizational development is a system wide application and transfer
of behavioral science to the planned development, improvement, and
reinforcement of strategies, structures, and processes that lead to
The goal of OD is to enable organizations to enhance their
effectiveness; to continually mature in response to changes in the
external; to improve business performance through positive changes to
people management, competence, communication, systems and
Weisbord presents a six-box model for understanding, thereby
changing and improving, the organization:
1. Purposes: Are employees clear about the organization’s mission,
purpose, and goals? Do they support the organization’s purpose?
2. Structure: How is the organization’s work divided? Is there an adequate
fit between the purpose and the internal structure?
3. Relationship: What are the relationships between individuals, units or
departments that perform different tasks, and between the people and
requirements of their jobs?
4. Rewards: For what actions does the organization formally reward or
5. Leadership: Does leadership watch for "blips" among the other areas
and maintain balance among them?
6. Helpful mechanism: Do planning, control, budgeting, and other
information systems help organization members accomplish their
Models of Planned Change
Lewins planned change steps
Lewin proposed an early model of change which described change as
a three-stage process including "unfreezing, change and freezing." In
this model, Lewin emphasizes that change is not a series of individual
processes but rather one that flows from one process to the next.
The first stage, or "unfreezing" involved overcoming inertia and
dismantling the existing "mind set." The first stage involves getting
over the initial defense mechanisms that people put up, such as
denial, to avoid making a change.
In the second stage, the change occurs. This is typically a period of
confusion and transition where people are confused about the
change and what may happen in the future.
The third and final stage he called "freezing." The new mindset of the
change begins to become the standard and one's comfort level
returns to previous levels.
Although some managers still use Lewin's model, its most
important contribution is the idea that change should be thought of
as a process instead of individual stages.
An organization development intervention is a sequence of activities,
actions, and events intended to help an organization improve its
performance and effectiveness. Intervention design, or action planning,
derives from careful diagnosis and is meant to resolve specific problems
and to improve particular areas of organizational functioning identified
in the diagnosis. OD interventions vary from standardized programs
that have been developed and used in many organizations to relatively
unique programs tailored to a specific organization or department.
This chapter serves as an overview of the intervention design process: It
describes criteria that define effective OD interventions and identifies
contingencies that guide successful intervention design. Finally, the
various types of OD interventions presented in this book are
introduced. Parts 3 through 6 of this book describe fully the major
interventions used in OD today.
The term “intervention” refers to a set of sequenced planned actions or
events intended to help an organization increase its effectiveness.
Interventions purposely disrupt the status quo; they are deliberate
attempts to change an organization or subunit toward a different and
more effective state. In OD, three major criteria define an effective
(1) The extent to which it fits the needs of the organization;
(2) The degree to which it is based on causal knowledge of intended
(3) The extent to which it transfers change management competence to
Designing interventions steps
They include situational factors that must be considered in designing
any intervention: the organization’s readiness for change, its change
capability, its cultural context, and the change agent’s skills and
Readiness for Change
Intervention success depends heavily on the organization being ready
for planned change. Indicators of readiness for change include
sensitivity to pressures for change, dissatisfaction with the status quo,
availability of resources to support change, and commitment of
significant management time. When such conditions are present,
interventions can be designed to address the organizational issues
uncovered during diagnosis. When readiness for change is low,
however, interventions need to focus first on increasing the
organization’s willingness to change.
Capability to Change
An organization’s change capability is a function of the change related
knowledge and skills present in the organization, the resources and
systems devoted to change, and the organization’s experience with
change. First, managing planned change requires particular knowledge
and skills (as outlined in Chapter 10), including the ability to motivate
change, to lead change, to develop political support, and to sustain
momentum. Second, change requires an infrastructure to support the
transition. Program and project management offices, consulting
resources, and shared models of the change process are necessary to
oversee execution. Finally, an organization must have experience with
and learning from change to have a change capability. If an organization
does not have these resources, then a preliminary training intervention
may be needed before members can engage meaningfully in
The national culture within which the organization is embedded can
exert a powerful influence on members’ reactions to change, so
intervention design must account for the cultural values and
assumptions held by organization members. Interventions may have to
be modified to fit the local culture, particularly when OD practices
developed in one culture are applied to organizations in another
culture. For example, a team-building intervention designed for top
managers at an American firm may need to be modified when applied
to the company’s foreign subsidiaries.
Capabilities of the Change Agent
Many failures in OD result when change agents apply interventions
beyond their competence. In designing interventions, OD practitioners
should assess their experience and expertise against the requirements
needed to implement the intervention effectively. When a mismatch is
discovered, practitioners can explore whether the intervention can be
modified to fit their talents better, whether another intervention more
suited to their skills can satisfy the organization’s needs, or whether
they should enlist the assistance of another change agent who can
guide the process more effectively. The ethical guidelines under which
OD practitioners operate require full disclosure of the applicability of
their knowledge and expertise to the client situation. Practitioners are
expected to intervene within their capabilities or to recommend
someone more suited to the client’s needs.
A group is informal and meets to solve short-term problems. A team
solves long- term problems and includes more coordination and
Definition of a Team
Any group of people involved in the same activity, especially
referring to sports and work.
A common definition of a team is that it comprises a group of
A team can involve as few as two people.
A team is not a mere aggregate of individuals.
A team success depends on the interdependent and collective
efforts of various team members.
§ Team members are likely to have significant impacts on one
another as they work together.
Def of group
A number of things or persons who have some relationship to one
another. A subset of a culture or of a society.
A common definition of a group is three or more individuals who
interact around a common goal and have influence over one
A group can develop into a team if it has a coordinated effort to
reach a common goal.
A group doesn't necessarily constitute a team, because a team
requires a coordinated effort. A team is a special group
characteristic that includes common resources and collective
Intergroup Relations in Organizations
Work groups and teams are the building blocks of organizations. Not
surprisingly, then, considerable research attention in the
organizational sciences is devoted to the study of the functioning
and performance of work groups and teams.
What Are “Intergroup Relations”
Teams and work groups do not operate in a vacuum, they function in
a context of interdependent relationships with other organizational
groups. Just like team members need to coordinate their efforts for
the team to function effectively, organizational groups fulfill a role as
players in the team that is the organization. Organizational groups
are, for instance, typically interdependent for their task
performance. They need other groups to provide them with
necessary information, products, or services. They also rely on other
groups to take their interests into account and resolve potential
conflicts of interest in a constructive manner.
A strategy for generating and acquiring knowledge that managers
can use to define an organization’s desired future state Used to plan
a change program that allows the organization to reach that state
Steps in Action Research
Diagnosing the organization
Recognize problems and need to solve problems
Gap perceived between actual and desired performance.
A complex process to distinguish between symptoms and causes
Information should be collected from all levels of the organization
and outside stakeholders such as customers and suppliers.
Determining the desired future state
A difficult planning process including deciding what the structure
and strategy should be
Managers need to work out various alternative courses of action
that could move the organization to where they would like it to
Identify impediments to change
Decide who will be responsible for making the changes and
controlling the change process
External change agents: people who are outside consultants who
are experts in managing change
Internal change agents: managers from within the organization
who are knowledgeable about the situation to be changed.
Decide which specific change strategy will most effectively
unfreeze, change, and refreeze the organization
Top-down change: change that is implemented by managers at a
high level in the organization
Bottom-up change: change that is implemented by employees at
low levels in the organization and gradually rises until it is felt
throughout the organization.
Evaluating the action
Evaluating the action that has been taken and assessing the
degree to which the changes have accomplished the desired
Institutionalizing action research
Must become a norm of the organization
Necessary at all levels of management
Members at all levels must be rewarded for their efforts.
The nine steps in the AR process are as follows:
1. Identifying and limiting the topic
2. Gathering information
3. Reviewing the related literature
4. Developing a research plan
5. Implementing the plan and collecting data
6. Analyzing the data
7. Developing an action plan
8. Sharing and communicating the results
9. Reflecting on the process
Goal is to translate strategies into realized ones
The manner in which
a management achieves the right combination of differentiation and
integration of the organization's operations, in response to the level
of uncertainty in its external environment.
Differentiation refers to the subdivision of functional or
departmental units, each concentrating on a particular aspect of the
organization's operations. Integration refers to the linking of
differentiated units to achieve unity of effort in working toward
organization's goals. In times of high uncertainty, greater organizational
effectiveness is achieved through high differentiation coupled with high
integration. In times of low uncertainty, low differentiation and low
integration are more effective.
3 COMPONENTS of OD ARE
Components of organizational design
An effective organization structure would be one which can
successfully cope up with the demand and constraints which
the organization faces. A manager must be aware of the
building blocks of an organizational structure. What constitute
an organization structure is called the components of
organizational design. Identification of the factors which would
be relevant to organizational design is somewhat complicated
because many of these components lack empirical support.
Organizational design is concerned with making decision about the
forms of coordination control and motivation that best fit the
enterprise. In making these decisions, it is necessary to consider
external factors like market and internal factors like need's and
aspirations of the members of enterprise. Organizational design is
intimately concerned with the way in which the decision making is
centralized, shared or delegated and with way the enterprise is
governed. “Organization design is a process that involves decisions
about six key elements, work specialization, departmentalization, chain
of command, span of control, centralization, decentralization and
DETERMINANTS OF ORGANIZATIONAL DESIGN
The factors which affect the organization in its becoming fit in all
conditions for the attainment of organizational goal are called
determinants of organization design. These factors may be identified
as: A. Strategy and Goals B. Environment C. Technology D. Size/life cycle
Strategy and Goals: For the accomplishment of organizational goals
and missions, managers have to select specific strategy and design
option that will help organization achieve its purpose and goals within
its competitive environment. A strategy is a plan for interacting with
competitive environment to achieve organizational goals. Strategy
goals are defined where the organisation wants to go. Strategy defines
it will get that . Goal—15% Annual sales growth Strategy to achieve
may be -Aggressive adv. or -Motivating sale people -Acquiring other
business that produces same product. Etc -etc any numbers
Environment: Everything which surrounds and affect the organization
in which it operates is the environment of the organization like,
consumers, trade unions, technological breakthroughs, Govt.
regulations, international happenings, climatic conditions, political ups
Technology: It refers to the tools techniques and actions used to
transform environmental inputs into organizational output. The
strategy cannot be translated directly into output. We have to design
different technologies for different production process (batch or mass)
systems, differ control, system have to be created to maintain
efficiency and efficacy. Therefore, technology will became a
determinant for what type of structure is to be designed.
Size and life cycle: Generally size of an organization is related to the
age of organ. But it is not always true as lifecycle theories feel it. An
organization may remain small although it may grow in age. It has been
found that organization’s are more structurally differentiated with
increase in size. Smaller organizations tend to centralize themselves as
compared to large organs. Age of the organization makes it mature.
Organization’s culture is the underlying set of key values, beliefs,
understandings and norms shared by employees. These underlying
values may pertain to ethical behavior, commitment to employees,
efficiency, or customer service and they provide glue to hold the
organization together. Organization culture is unwritten but can be
observed from the stories, slogans, ceremonies, dress and office layout.
If the top manager is autocratic by nature, he/she would prefer an
organization arrangement which would allow him or he to have closer
control over people and operations. Organizational culture may or may
not allow him to play autocratic role. The studies of troubled
organization revealed that the strategy, organizational structure and
culture will often reflect the personality and fantasies of top managers.
ENVIRONMENT INTERFACE FOR CHANGE
An organization interacts with the external environment, exchanges
resources with it, influences it, and in turn is influenced by the various
variables therein. Different elements of the environment interact with
the various subsystems of the organization in different ways and to
Exchange of Information
Since an organisation is a part of its environment, it must exchange
information with the environment. The organisation as a system, with
information processing sub-systems, operates in such a manner as to
keep itself fully informed of its environment. It scans the environmental
forces and their behaviour and collects important information to be
used for decision-making and control purposes.
Exchange of Resources
An organisation in an open system who gets inputs from the
environment and in turn supplies its output to the environment. The
organisation receives inputs in the form of finance, materials, labour,
equipment and so on from the external environment through
contractual and other arrangements.
The organisation is dependent on the external environment for the
disposal of its output. This is also an interaction process—perceiving
the needs of the external environment and catering to them, that is,
satisfying the needs and expectations of the customers. Besides
customers, the management has to meet the demands of other groups
such as shareholders, creditors, workers, suppliers of materials, general
public and so on.
Exchange of Influence
The external environment holds considerable power over the
organisation both by virtue of its being more global and inclusive and
also by virtue of its being more global and inclusive and also by virtue of
its command over information and other inputs. It offers a range of
opportunities, incentives and rewards, on the one hand, and a set of
constraints, threats and restrictions, on the other.
The influence of environment on the organisation is universal as it
depends on the environment not only for procurement of inputs, but
also for sale of its output.
Sometimes, the organisation may also be in a position to wield
considerable power over some of the elements of the external
environment by virtue of its command over resources and information.
The dependence and influence between the organisation and the
external environment is reciprocal to a large extent. Organisational
dependence on the environment means environmental power and
control over the organisation.
Organizational Decision Making
Leaders are decision makers. The effort they commit to pursuing their
organisation's vision or goal involves direction on how to prioritise
effort, which resources can be employed and who should take
delegated responsibility for activities.
Whether they are the manager of a football team, directing tactics and
substitutions, or an executive leader in a manufacturing company or
government, they are required to employ decision making skills.
In an increasingly complex world with ever improving levels of
information connectivity, scarcity of resources and finance, the need to
meet stakeholder expectations and the requirement for increasingly
transparent decisions, organisations succeed or fail on the quality of
their decision making.
Organisational decision making models
• “Organizational decision making is the process by which one or more
organizational units make a decision on behalf of the organization”
– Rational model
– Political model
– Garbage can model
– Process model