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Organizational Development Model for Change

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“Organisation Development (OD) is concerned with helping managers plan change in organising and managing people that will develop requisite commitment, coordination, and competence. Its purpose is to enhance both the effectiveness of organisations and the well-being of their members through planned interventions in the organisation’s human processes, structures, and systems, using knowledge of behavioural science and its intervention methods."

Organisation development constitutes a set of techniques and interventions when applying various change models, including the ones discussed earlier. OD is used during Lewin’s “changing” stage for example. It is also used to identify and implement targeted elements of change within the systems model of change. Organisation development has four identifying characteristics:

  • OD involves profound change: change agents using OD generally desire deep and long-lasting improvement.
  • OD is value loaded: Because OD is rooted partially in humanistic psychology, many OD consultants carry certain values or biases into the client organisation. They prefer cooperation to conflict, self-control over institutional control, and democratic and participative management over autocratic management.
  • OD is a diagnosis/prescription cycle: OD theorists and practitioners have long adhered to a medical model of organisation. Like medical doctors, internal and external OD consultants approach the “sick” organisation, “diagnose” its ills, “prescribe” and implement an intervention and “monitor” progress.
  • OD is process-orientated: Ideally, OD consultants focus on the form and not the content of behavioural and administrative dealings.

The change agent needs to facilitate the entire process. An OD change process comprises of the following stages:

Stage 1: Analyse the Present and the Future

Diagnose the current situation: analyse the external environment, temporal and internal environment, levels of motivation, recruitment processes, leadership styles, training and development, inter-group relationships, organisational structure and culture.

Develop a vision for change: this is a creative phase that must drive the business forward, inspire and yield sustainable advantage.

Stage 2: Gain Commitment to the Vision and the Need for Change

For the change process to be implemented effectively, employees must understand the strategic direction and vision of the organisation. It is essential to communicate the vision at every opportunity and create a sense of discomfort within employees about the status quo.

Stage 3: Develop an Action Plan

Consider the scope of change activities: whether people’s behaviours need to change; whether the organisational structure and systems need to change; or whether the context or setting needs to change. An effective action plan should be relevant, specific, integrated, chronological and adaptable.

Stage 4: Implement the Change

The implementation of the change effort should specifically focus on changes in behaviour, team building, and consultation with affected parties, life and career planning, and so on.

Stage 5: Assess and Reinforce Change

The result of the change effort can be assessed through a survey or cultural audit, interviews with individuals or focus groups, an examination of staff turnover and absenteeism rates, close observation or a survey of group performance in terms of task achievement. The desired results should then be reinforced by concomitant changes in personnel policies, appraisal, career development and reward systems. Staff training and development should be aligned with the new vision and the implemented changes.