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Organizational Development (OD) is the continual process of diagnosing, planning, implementing, and assessing an organization's personnel in order to inculcate skills and knowledge that will increase the organization's capacity to address various challenges and manage future change (Riggio 226). OD can also be defined as the technique of strategically changing employees' values, beliefs, and attitudes for both corporate and individual growth. Organizational development developed from human relations research in the 1930s, as psychologists discovered that organizational processes and structures have a substantial influence on employee motivation and behavior (Gabriel 43). The work of Lewin in the 1940s and 1950s also made important contributions towards proving feedback as a valuable mechanism for addressing various social processes (Gabriel 46). OD has today expanded to emphasize the alignment of organizations with their complex and rapidly changing environments through organizational learning, skills management, as well as the transformation of organizational values and norms (Riggio 330).
The purpose of organizational development is to allow organizations to have better responses and adoptions to technical advances and industrial or market changes (Riggio 336). Besides, OD assists organizations in identifying challenges which may interfere with their effectiveness and makes it easy for the assessment of the underlying causes. That is usually accomplished through informant interviews or conducting formal surveys of all stakeholders. OD also assists organizations in action planning by creating strategic interventions for addressing various diagnosed problems (Bulut and Culha 309). Additionally, OD helps organizations in evaluating various planned change efforts through tracking the progress of an organization in implementing the planned change, as well as documenting the impact of the change in the organization (Bulut and Culha 315).
One of the OD methods is Survey Feedback, which involves the collection of information through surveys. The information collected through surveys is used by organization managers for decision-making (Gabriel 48). Besides, the survey feedback method helps managers to gather a broad range of data regarding work quality, working conditions, wages and salaries, working hours, and attitude of employees (Riggio 339). The collected data then gets analyzed by team managers to identify problems, as well as evaluate them to find better solutions. Also, the information collection process occurs at all levels of the organization, including the management and employees of the organization (Riggio 342).
Another OD method is Team Building, which is specially designed for ensuring the improvement in the employees’ ability, as well as motivating to work collaboratively (Gabriel 51). Team building technique emphasizes the formation of work groups with the aim of improving the effectiveness of an organization. Such groups or teams usually consist of employees belonging to the same rank and a single supervisor (Gabriel 53). Team building, therefore, involves the application of sensitivity training to different teams from various departments in an organization (Riggio 347). The work groups usually perform group discussions under the supervision or guidance of a professional trainer, often a supervisor. The team building technique helps employees to open up their minds and give their views regarding how best to improve the organization’s performance. Besides, it exposes employees to creative thinking and encourages socio-psychological behavior in the workplace (Riggio 349).
In overall, organizational development forms one of the best tools for improving the performance of an organization. Firms that embrace organizational development commit themselves to consistently improving their services since OD creates a continuous process of improvement. Companies that use organizational development also increase their communication, as well as the interaction within the firm. Improved communication helps in aligning all the workers to shared company values and goals. Besides, organizational development influences the behavior of employees, thereby bringing about desired changes.
Bulut, Cagri, and Osman Culha. "The Effects of Organizational Training on Organizational Commitment." International Journal of Training and Development 14.4 (2010): 309-322. Web.
Gabriel, Kung'u Kamau. "Organizational Development, Organizational Culture and Organizational Change." SSRN Electronic Journal (2015): 43-56. Web.
Riggio, Ronald E. Introduction to Industrial/Organizational Psychology. London [England]: Routledge, 2016. Print.
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