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What is an Organization Development PDF
(62 votes, average 2.94 out of 5)
Written by Ashim Gupta   
Tuesday, 16 December 2008 07:51

What is an organization development?

There are many different definitions of organization development available; almost all of them try to define yet another management plan and process, which if believed and followed could result in holistic improvement of the organization.

However, we believe that a plan or process is a remedy to improve the overall health of an organization, but not a definition it itself. Below is a very simple definition –

An Organization Development is an effort to improve the effectiveness of all components of an organization using the knowledge of behavioral science.

It acknowledges the fact than an organization is a social network of human beings brought together by the business need, but also influenced by the individual behaviors and aspirations. The classic “managed organization” focuses on describing the roles and responsibilities of various sub-groups, establishing certain guidelines and processes to track the progress across the organization, but fails to realize that behind all these processes, the organization is run by individuals.

As a simple example, a project manager asks the individuals in the development team to submit their weekly progress in a provided form. It’s a known fact that people hate process and forms, the team sees it as an extra task designed to make the manager’s job easier while providing no value addition to their own. However, this process is designed to track the product’s progress and cope with any risks; it does have significance in the business of the organization.   Hence to improve the effectiveness of the process, it has to address the human factor, provide a reason for the process that is developer centric and not management.

It can be said that weekly progress will help the individual member by putting some responsibilities on the project manager   

  • Manager to resolve any external dependency
  • Manager needs to address the risks of the project
  • Manager needs to fund additional resources
  • Manager needs to modify the scope or expectations of the project


In a very simplified sense, if the organization plans and processes take into account behavioral factors also as one of the measures of effectively meeting business objectives, it satisfies the broad organization development plan.


Organization Development


 Basic Components of Organization Development

  1. Plan – Devising a strategic development plan that mobilizes the resources for the change.
  2. Total organization change – Must involve the identified organization that is relatively automomous in determining it’s own plans and future.
  3. Managed from Top – the top level management must have sufficient knowledge of OD and must have commitment to it’s goals, more importantly, it must believe in the changes.
  4. Designed to improve the effectiveness of organization.
Comments (4)
  • Aisha Abdulmujib
    Thank you so much for the information and guidance. I am a student of management
    and this is good stuff. God Bless...
  • madladla
    thanx a lot, you have played a vital role to me for my assignment. :D :)
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