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Organization Development - Intervention Processes


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Provides an overview of organization development (OD), focusing particularly on the intervention processes available. Categories or types of intervention are noted, and the depth of intervention is recognised as a key decision point for OD practitioners.

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Organization Development - Intervention Processes

  1. 1. Organization Development: Intervention ProcessesJames HuntTrimester 3, 2012GSBS6120: Managing Organisational Change
  2. 2. A Review of Last Week’s LectureOrganisational DevelopmentDiagnostic Models and Theories1. Organisational Development and the Process of Change2. Action Research and Survey Feedback.3. Five Phases of Planned Change4. Diagnostic Models and TheoriesWeisbord’s Six Box ModelThe Nadler-Tushman Congruence ModelHornstein & Tichy’s Emergent Pragmatic ModelGrid Organization DevelopmentRensis Likert’s Four Systems – measuring and mapping organisational culture
  3. 3. Organization Development and the Process of Change• OD is a planned process of change in an organisation’s system or sub-system.• It normally draws upon behavioural science technology and management andorganisational theory.• It usually impacts on the total organisational system.
  4. 4. Primary Distinguishing Characteristics of OD1. OD focuses on organisational culture and processes2. OD encourages collaboration between organisational members ofdifferent levels.3. Teams are considered to be vital to an organisation.4. OD focuses on the human, social, technological and structural aspectsof organisations.5. Participation and involvement in problem-solving efforts.6. OD focuses on total system change.7. OD practitioners are facilitators, practitioners and co-learners.
  5. 5. Primary Distinguishing Characteristics of ODOrganization Development seeks to achieve alignment of the organisation’sinfluential elements; structure, culture, systems, roles, tasks and strategy.
  6. 6. Summary Comparison of Three Models of ChangeLewin’s 3 Steps Action Research Model for OD Lippit, Watson & Westley’sPhases of Planned ChangeUnfreezingMovementRefreezingPerception of problemEnter consultantData are collectedFeedback provided to clientJoint action planningActionAssessmentFeedback provided to clientJoint action planningActionDevelopment of a need for changeEstablishment of a change relationshipDiagnosisExamination of alternativesActual changeGeneralization and stabilization ofchangeAchieving a terminal relationshipContinuing cycle
  7. 7. Rensis Likert – Diagnosing Organisational SystemsSystem One System Two System Three System FourAUTOCRATIC BENEVOLENT AUT. CONSULTATIVE PARTICIPATIVETraditionaldecisionsUnilateral actionsExploitativetechniquesHierarchicalStructured decisionsNot exploitativeSomewhat formalSome hierarchyFriendly climateSupportiveAdvisoryNot consensus-basedFull consensusParticipativeDevelopmentalTeam-buildingemphasised
  8. 8. Lecture Outline1. Organisation Development – Intervention Theories Models and Techniques2. A Sequence for Theoretical and Practical Understanding of Change3. Criteria For An Effective OD Intervention4. Planning the Intervention or Change5. Choosing the Depth of an Intervention6. An Illustration of Open Systems Planning7. Four Domains of Intervention, Huse (1980)8. French and Bell’s 14 Categories of OD Intervention9. The Burke-Litwin Model of Organisational Performance and Change10. Categories and Typologies of Interventions11. The OD Cube12. Concluding Comments
  9. 9. Organization Development – Intervention Theories,Models and Techniques
  10. 10. Organization Development – A Sequence forTheoretical and Practical Understanding of Change1. Organisational Behaviour2. Human Resources Management3. Organisational Development4. Strategic Management
  11. 11. Criteria For An Effective OD InterventionChris Argyris (1970) specified three important criteria for an effectiveOD intervention:1. Obtaining valid and useful information of relevance to theorganisation and to the change initiative (data gathering anddiagnosis)2. Provide the client organisation with alternatives for action: ODinterventions assume that no particular or specified action isautomatic, pre-ordained or imposed.3. Build internal commitment: This is a very important element in OD.The client organisation and its people need to own the choice ofchange initiative, and feel responsible for implementing it.
  12. 12. Planning the Intervention or ChangeThere are at least three considerations in planning an OD intervention:1. Determining the client’s readiness for change2. Making sure that the change is tied to the power points in theorganisation3. Arranging for internal resources to help manage, monitor, andmaintain the change process
  13. 13. Planning the Intervention or Change1. Determining the client’s readiness for change:• Diagnose and understand the system’s openness to and capability forlearning.• The need to develop a capacity for appreciative enquiry and double looplearning on the part of organisational members is pivotal• Readiness and the energy to move toward change also stem fromorganisational members’ awareness of a difference, a gap, between thecurrent status of their organisation and what they would like it to be – theidea of some improved state.
  14. 14. Planning the Intervention or Change2. Linking the change process to the power points in the organisation• If the client system is hierarchical in its authority and decision-makingstructure, the change process should be managed by the top manager ofthe system, with full involvement by his or her key subordinates.• Regardless of structure, the intervention should be linked forimplementation to the individuals who are central to the main problemsidentified in the diagnostic phase (eg: Dick DeLisle at Scott Aviation)• Referring to Weisbord’s six-box model, if the leadership box is loaded withproblems, the intervention should be tied directly to the leadership of theorganisation. If the rewards box is loaded with problems, then the HRspecialists should be directly linked with the intervention (Jim Anderson atFiggie International, p.33).
  15. 15. Planning the Intervention or Change3. Arrange for internal resources to help manage the changeprocess• If the primary consultant is from outside the organisation, an internalconsultant should be assigned to the change effort as early as possible,preferably at the very beginning.• In the planning change phase of OD practice, the consultant normallytests the system’s readiness for change.• Part of this process involves measuring broad attitudinal readiness forchange across the organisation, but another important part involvesbringing on board a number of committed internal change champions.• This ensures visible ownership of the process of change, and helps toensure that internal energy and expertise are behind the change.
  16. 16. Choosing the Depth of an InterventionIn considering the degree of a client’s readiness for change, the ODconsultant is also attempting to discern just how far he or she cango with that client:• whether the intervention should be biased toward structure andlargely systemic matters.• or toward some personal confrontations; surfacing emotional andvalue-laden issues.Roger Harrison (1970) has developed a way to think about these questionsthat has become well-established in OD intervention theory.His model differentiates interventions according to depth – how much a givenintervention requires the emotional involvement of the client.
  17. 17. Choosing the Depth of an InterventionAccording to Harrison, the deepest type of intervention is intrapersonalanalysis – analysis within an individual – eg: getting a CEO to re-examine his or her leadership style, values, assumptions and beliefsystem.
  18. 18. Choosing the Depth of an InterventionA less deep type of intervention would involve surfacecharacteristics and processes – for example, a change in theorganisation’s structure . . . or the implementation of an activitysuch as open systems planning, where the key is involvementin the process.
  19. 19. An Illustration of Open Systems Planning at an International Business School
  20. 20. Choosing the Depth of an Intervention – Harrison (1970) and Huse (1980)On the basis of Harrison’s model, Huse (1980) developed a list of types ofinterventions according to depth.Huse categorised these interventions into four domains:1. The system-wide approaches2. The individual-organisational interfaces3. The interventions concerned with personal work style4. The initiatives that involve intrapersonal analysis and relationships
  21. 21. Choosing the Depth of an Intervention – Harrison (1970) and Huse (1980)Four Domains of Intervention, Huse (1980):1. System-wide approaches:Contingency theories of organisational designSurvey feedback and developmentOrganisational confrontation meetingQuality of work life programsGrid organisation development (The six phase grid model covers almost every level of intervention)2. Individual-organisational interfacesJob designRole analysisManagement by objectivesCompetency-based training programs
  22. 22. Choosing the Depth of an Intervention – Harrison (1970) and Huse (1980)Four Domains of Intervention, Huse (1980):3. Concern with personal work style:Process consultation – exploring personal preferences for work processes in small groups or workteamsThird party interventionTeam-buildingManaging interdepartmental and intergroup relationships4. Intrapersonal analysis and relationshipsLife and career planning interventionsLaboratory training (experimental scenario participation)Encounter groupsPersonal consultation
  23. 23. Choosing the Depth of an Intervention – Beyond Huse(1980)A weakness of Huse’s (1980) model is that it doesn’t capture some of the newer managementconsultancy approaches to OD.French and Bell (2000) classify modern OD interventions into 14 broad areas:1. Diagnostic activities 10. Coaching and counselling activities2. Team-building activities 11. Life and career planning activities3. Intergroup activities 12. Planning and goal-setting activities4. Survey feedback activities 13. Strategic management activities5. Education and training activities 14. Organisational transformation activities6. Technostructural or structural activities7. Process consultation activities8. Grid Organisation Development activities9. Third-Party Peacemaking Activities W. French & C. Bell (2000) Organization Development,Prentice-Hall, New Jersey: 151-2.
  24. 24. French and Bell’s Classification of OD Interventions:1. Diagnostic activities: Fact-finding activities designed to ascertain the state of theorganisational system; it’s relative health and functionality. Methods includeinterviews, questionnaires and survey instruments, meetings, observational studies,examining organisational records, and projective devices such as “build a collagethat represents your place in this organisation”.2. Team-building activities: Designed to enhance cooperative effort and commitmentto the team, strengthen regard for other team members. Methods includeinteractive tasks, case studies, scenario exploration, problem-solving, and off-siteactivities such as adventure training.3. Intergroup activities: Activities designed to improve the effectiveness ofinterdependent groups – these focus on joint activities where groups must worktogether. This encourages groups to see themselves as part of a system, ratherthan two separate subsystems.
  25. 25. French and Bell’s Classification of OD Interventions:4. Survey feedback activities: Rely on questionnaire surveys to generate information thatis then used to identify problems and opportunities.5. Education and training activities: Activities designed to improve individuals’ skills,abilities and knowledge in a wide range of areas (decision-making, problem-solving,goal-setting, planning).6. Technostructural or structural activities: Activities geared towards improving theorganisation’s structure and technical systems (IT, finance, HR)7. Process consultation activities: Activities that help the client to perceive, understandand act upon events which occur in the client’s environment. Primary emphasisis on processes such as communication, leadership and member roles in groups,problem solving and group development.
  26. 26. French and Bell’s Classification of OD Interventions:8. Grid Organisation Development: A six-phase change model involving the wholeorganisation, commencing with leadership styles and abilities.9. Third-Party Peacemaking Activities: Activities conducted by a skilled specialistdesigned to help two members of an organisation to manage their interpersonalconflict.10. Coaching and Counseling Activities: Specialists or experts work with individuals toidentify learning goals and develop strategies for building competence in mutuallyagreed key areas.11. Life and Career Planning Activities: Guided and structured activities includegenerating life and career inventories, discussing goals and objectives, andassessing current capabilities.
  27. 27. French and Bell’s Classification of OD Interventions:12. Planning and goal-setting activities: Theoretical training and experiential exercises inplanning, goal setting and problem solving. The goal is to encourage broad capabilitiesfor divergent thinking and the identification of multiple possible courses of action.13. Strategic management activities: Activities that help key executives to reflect on theorganisation’s basic mission and goals, environmental demands, threats andopportunities, and to engage in long-range strategic planning in both the proactive andreactive frames.14. Organisational transformation activities: Activities that involve large-scale systemchanges designed to fundamentally change the nature of the organisation. Targets caninclude structure or work design, mission and strategic direction, values, culture andleadership.
  28. 28. Total Organisational TransformationThe Burke-Litwin Model of Organisational Performance and ChangeSource: W. Warner Burke, (1994) Organization Development, Figure 7.1, p. 128)
  29. 29. Categories and Typologies of InterventionsSource: Richard Schmuck and Matthew Miles (1976) Organization Development in Schools,University Associates, San Diego, CA.Beyond the categorisations developed by Harrison (1970), Huse (1980), andFrench and Bell (2000), other prominent and useful typologies have beendeveloped by Burke and Hornstein (1972), and Blake and Mouton (1976).Conceptually one of the most robust, and practically one of the most usefultypologies was presented by Schmuck and Miles (1971), who introduced athree dimensional model referred to as the OD cube.The OD cube categorises three important aspects of OD interventions:1. Mode of intervention2. Focus of Attention3. Diagnosed Problems
  30. 30. The OD CubeSource: Richard Schmuck and Matthew Miles (1976) Organization Development in Schools, University Associates, SanDiego, CA.Total organisationintergroupTeam or groupDyad or triadRole / PersonFocus of Attention:Goals, plansCommunicationCulture, climateLeadership, authorityProblem solvingDecision makingConflict or cooperationRole definitionOtherDiagnosedProblems:TrainingProcessconsultation(coaching)ConfrontationDatafeedbackProblemsolvingPlanmakingODTaskforceestablishmentTechnostructuralactivityModes of Intervention:
  31. 31. Concluding CommentsEven within the field of OD, there is an array of intervention methods availableto consultants, from process consultation and appreciative inquiry, to datafeedback and problem solving approaches.Choosing the depth of intervention is also an important consideration,dependent to an extent on the degree of readiness for change on the part of theclient organisation.In this respect, the diagnostic phase of any OD intervention is always animportant undertaking.OD practitioners recognise that total systems change sometimes needs to beginwith intrapersonal interventions, particularly at the senior executive level.Internal commitment to change is also an important prerequisite for successfulOD interventions.