Organizational Development

For an organization to grow and develop, it must maximize organizational effectiveness through the best use of its resources. Organizational Development (OD) is a process used to enhance the effectiveness of an organization ad the well-being of its members through planned interventions.

The goals of Organizational Development are to improve:

  • Productivity (efficiency and effectiveness)
  • People's satisfaction with the quality of their work life
  • The ability of the organization to revitalize and develop itself over time
  • Organizational processes and outputs

Organizational Development and Culture

Organizational Culture is the shared attitudes and perceptions in an organization. It is made up of corporate values and behaviors as well as environmental and organizational realities that influence the organization. It is an informal, shared way of perceiving life and membership in an organization; it binds members together and influences how they think about themselves, their fellow employees, and their work.

Organizational Culture fulfills four basic functions:

  • Gives members an organization identity
  • Facilitates collective commitment
  • Promotes system stability
  • Shapes behavior by helping members make sense of their surroundings

In strong cultures, most employees share the same values and strive towards the same goals. Strong cultures are characterized by continuity of leadership, geographic concentration, small group size, and considerable success. New employees may be explicitly trained in corporate values and behaviors by experience mentors. For the most part, this is a positive, but strong cultures can also stifle individual expression.

Weak cultures do not share the same sense of mission that strong cultures have. They may be scattered rather than focuses when it comes to problem solving and strategy planning. Weaker cultures also have a tendency to maintain the status quo. Since it's virtually impossible to stand still in business, organizations with weaker cultures are more likely to collapse.

Culture isn't always uniform throughout an organization. One organization may have a multitude of cultures in different functional groups.

OD Intervention strategies

  • Diagnose the environment - Determine the readiness of target audience to accept change
  • Develop an action plan - identify  specific target variables, determine the strategies to be used, and implement the plan
  • Evaluate the results - Measure results and evaluate to determine if behavior toward change has occurred