Need for Organisational Development


It is possible to directly, or indirectly identify the need for an OD study by observing one or more of the following symptoms, each of which may be an indication of an organisation problem: 

1) Lack of key organisation documents such as organisation charts, and position descriptions. 

2) Organisation resistance to change and new ideas.

3) High turnover of personnel.

4) Lack of clearly defined position duties, responsibilities, & reporting relationships.

5) Lack of a succession plan or shortage of leadership skills.

6) Requests for review by regulatory authorities/agencies. 

7) Confusion regarding management roles and accountability.

8) Lack of clearly defined organizational goals and objectives.

9) Difficulty in managing the growth of the business.

10) Addition of new products, services, or locations, or acquisition of other entities, and 

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11) Low organisation performance or profitability.


Objectives of Organisational Development 

Important objectives of Organisational development OD are as follows:

1. To improve the ability of the organisation to plan and manage changes through a transparent, effective and honest process

2. To identify and allocate the precious resources of the organisation in the most productive manner. 

3. To improve the organisational and individual efficiency for the effective accomplishment of organisational goals through planned interventions.

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4. To achieve improved efficiency in the team-building process through group dynamics and better communication.

5. To develop efficient leadership styles and better decision-making processes that best suit the organisation in the changing environment.

6. To obtain the employees’ trust, cooperation and commitment by helping them effectively in skill acquisition and career development activities through the training and development process. 

7. To restructure the organisational missions, objectives and tasks in a judicious and well-timed manner by continuously observing the developments in the external environment. 

8. To identify and resolve potential conflicts among individuals through an effective conflict management process. 

9. To ensure the long-term growth and health of the organisation by ensuring a better alignment between the organisational objectives and requirements, on the one hand, the employee’s career goals and aspirations and the societal requirements on the other. 

10. To achieve increased collaboration among the different units and divisions in the organisation by reducing competition among these inter-dependent units. 

11. To improve the job satisfaction of the employees.

Organisational Development Process

There are different approaches to the Organisational Development OD process but the typical process consists of phases as shown in the figure:

Phases of Organisational Development

Figure: Phases of Organisational Development


Step 1: Entry and Contracting:

Entry and contracting begin with the initial contact between client and practitioner and are completed when there is a contract i.e. an agreement about the desired results for the consultation, the work that will be done to accomplish the outcomes, and the role each party will play in completing the work, the financial and other business terms of the consulting association.

Step 2: Diagnosis:

If executives recognise that there are inadequacies within the organisation that can be corrected by OD activities, it is necessary to find out professional and competent people within the organisation to plan and implement organisational development – OD activities. If capable people are not available within the organisation, the services of the outside consultants to help in diagnosing the problem and developing organisational development – OD activities are to be taken.

Step 3: Collecting and Analysing Data:

Several methods, such as interviews, questionnaires, and direct observation, are used to collect the data and information for determining organisational climate and identifying behavioural problems. Data collected are analysed and reviewed by various workgroups formed for this purpose to mediate in the areas of disagreement or confrontation of ideas or opinions and to establish priorities.

Step 4: Feedback on the Diagnosed Information:

Feedback is the sparkplug for the OD change engine. It served as a catalyst for collaborative change. The OD practitioner attempts to provide a non-defensive, non-reactive environment in which participants can take in the data, hear each other’s views about them, and move toward understanding and action.

Step 5: Designing OD Interventions:

At this stage, suitable interventions are to be selected and designed. The interventions are planned activities that are introduced into the system to accomplish desired improvements and changes.

Step 6: Leading and Managing Change:

Managing the OD programme effectively means maximising the difference between success and failure and converting failures to success. OD programmes include principles and practices that are applied by OD practitioners.

In other words, it refers to all activities which are designed to maintain and see that OD interventions achieve their task/ goals. The process of maintenance is designed to achieve self-correction and self-reflection. 

Hence, it becomes important to ask the following questions and find answers to them: 

1) Are the interventions timely and relevant? 

2) Are they producing the desired results? If not, what mid-course correction may be necessary?

3) Is there a continuous commitment of all concerned? 

4) What are the ramifications to the total system and what should be done about them?

Continuous feedback on these issues assists in the process maintenance of the OD intervention.

Step 7: Evaluating and Institutionalising Organisational Development OD Interventions:

Evaluation intervention provides feedback to the practitioners and organisational members about the progress and impact of an important aspect of an OD of the intervention process. Such information may suggest the need for further diagnosis and modification of the change programme, or it may show that the intervention is successful. Evaluation processes consider both the execution success of the intended intervention and the long-term consequences it produces.

Assessing organisation development interventions involves judgments about whether an intervention has been implemented as intended and, if so, whether it is having desired results. Managers investing resources in organisational development OD efforts increasingly are being held accountable for outcomes being asked to justify the expenditures in terms of hard, bottom-line outcomes.

More and more, managers are asking for a strict assessment of OD interventions and are using the results to make important resource allocation decisions about organisation development OD, such as whether to continue to support the change programme, modify or alter it, or terminate it and try something else.

Traditionally, organisational development evaluation has been discussed as something that occurs after the intervention. That view can be misleading, however. Decisions about the measurement of pertinent variables and the design of the evaluation process should be made early in the organisational development cycle so that evaluation choices can be integrated with intervention decisions.

At last, the successful OD interventions require to be institutionalised to sustain the change and elicit similar results. It is quite natural that if the processes are not repeated and followed for a longer period, the impact will slow down. To avoid these problems, the institutionalisation process should be undertaken by the organisation. The institutionalisation of OD intervention refers to making the intervention a permanent process of organisational functioning.


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