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INTRODUCTION TO OD. Introduction-Organization Development. Organization Development is a systematic process for applying behavioral science principles and practices in organization to increase individual and organizational effectiveness.

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introduction organization development
Introduction-Organization Development
  • Organization Development is a systematic process for applying behavioral science principles and practices in organization to increase individual and organizational effectiveness.
  • OD is about how people and organizations function and how to get them to function better.
  • The field is based on knowledge from behavioral science disciplines such as psychology, sociology, systems theory, organization behavior and management.
  • OD practitioners are consultants trained in the theory and practice of OD with knowledge from the behavioral sciences.
  • OD Programs are long term planned, sustained efforts.
  • The two major goals of OD programs are-

a) To improve the functioning of individuals, teams and the total organization, and

b) To teach organizations members how to continuously improve their own functioning.

  • O D deals with the gamut of “people problems” and work system problems” in organizations; poor morale, low productivity, poor quality, interpersonal conflict, intergroup conflict, unclear or inappropriate goals, inappropriate leadership styles, poor team performance, poorly designed tasks, poor customer relations, culture and processes and the like.
  • Planned Change-

Change means the new state of things and is different from the old state of things.

Change has different facets; for can be deliberate(planned) or accidental( unplanned). Its magnitude can be large or small. It can be fast , or slow.

The new state of things can have entirely different nature from the old state of things.

  • OD as a Distinctive Consulting method-

The fundamental difference between OD and other organization improvement programs is found in the OD consultant’s role and relationship to clients.

OD Consultants establish a collaborative relationship of relative equality with organization members as they together identify and take action on problems and opportunities.

  • OD as a Distinctive Consulting method-

The role of OD consultants is to structure activities to help organization members learn to solve their own problems and learn to do it better over time.

The aim of leaving the organization members better able to solve their own problems is a distinctive feature of OD. This process is called “self renewal” or learning how to learn” or “organization learning” .

definition of od
Definition of OD
  • According to Beckard, 1969

OD is an effort(1) planned,(2) organization-wide, and (3)managed from the top, to (4) increase organization effectiveness and health through (5) planned interventions in the organization’s “processes” using behavioral –science knowledge.

  • According to Burke, 1994

OD is a planned process of change in an organization’s culture through the utilization of behavior science technologies, research and theory.

definition of od1
Definition of OD
  • According to Porras & Robertson, 1992

OD is a set of behavioral science-based theories, values, strategies and techniques aimed at the planned change of the organizational work setting for the purpose of enhancing individual development and improving organizational performance, through the alteration of organizational members on the job behaviors.

  • According to Cummings And Worley, 1993

OD is a systematic application of behavior science knowledge to the planned development and reinforcement of organizational strategies, structures, and processes for improving an organization’s effectiveness.

characteristics of od
Characteristics of OD
  • OD focuses on culture and processes.
  • It is a system-wise process
  • It is based on behavioral science knowledge
  • It is concerned with strategies, structures, processes, people and culture
  • It is about organizational effectiveness
  • OD takes a development view that seeks the betterment of both individuals and the organization. Attempting to create “win win” solutions is standard practice in OD programs.
  • Specifically, OD encourages collaboration between organization leaders and members in managing culture and processes.
  • Teams of all kinds are particularly important for accomplishing tasks and are targets for OD activities.
  • OD practitioners are facilitators, collaborators and co-learners with the client system.
objectives of od program
Objectives of OD program
  • Individual and group development.
  • Development of organization culture and processes by constant interaction between members irrespective of levels of hierarchy.
  • Inculcating team spirit.
  • Empowerment of social side of employees.
  • Focus of value development.
  • Employee participation, problem-solving and decision-making at various levels.
  • Evaluate present systems and introduction of new systems thereby achieving total system change if required.
objectives of od program1
Objectives of OD program
  • Transformation and achievement of competitive edge of the organization.
  • Achieve organization growth by total human inputs by way of research and development, innovations, creativity and exploiting human talent.
  • Behaviour modification and self managed team as the basic unit of an organization.
  • For Individuals
    • Most individuals believe in their personal growth. Even today, training and development, promotion to the next higher position dominates the organization philosophy.
    • Majority of the people are desirous of making greater contributions to the organizations they are serving. Achievements of organizational goals are however, subject to limitations or environmental constraints. It is for the organizations to tap the skills that are available in abundance.


  • This leads to adopt the following organization strategy for development:
    • Ask questions to resolve doubts.
    • Listen to superior’s advice.
    • Support employees in their venture.
    • Accept challenge.
    • Leaders to encourage creativity and promote risk taking.
    • Give additional responsibility to subordinates.
    • Set high standards of quality.
    • Empower employees.
    • Initiate suitable reward system that should be compatible, if not more than the industry norms.


  • For Groups
    • One of the most important factors in the organization is the ‘work group’ around whom the organization functions. This includes the peer group and the leader (boss)
    • More people prefer to be part of the group because the group accepts them.
    • Most people are capable of making higher contributions to the group’s effectiveness.


  • Following strategy is required to be adopted for group development based on the above assumptions:
  • Invest in training and development of the group. Money and time spent on this is an investment for the organization. Leaders should also invest in development of skills and thus help create a position organizational climate.
  • Let the team flourish. Teams are the best approach to get the work done. Apart from the above teams enjoy emotional and job satisfaction when they work in groups.
  • Leaders should adopt team leadership style and not autocratic leadership style. To do this, jobs should be allotted to the team and not to the individual.


  • It is not possible for one individual (leader) to perform both, the leadership and maintenance functions. It is therefore necessary for team members to assist leader in performance of his duties.
  • Group should be trained in conflict management, stress management, group decision-making, collaboration, and effective interpersonal communication. This will improve organizational effectiveness. Empowerment is the corner stone of the successful organizations.
  • Leaders should pay particular attention to the feelings of the employees. It should be understood that suppressed feeling and attitudes adversely affect problem-solving, personal growth and job satisfaction.
  • Development of group cohesiveness.


  • For Organizations
    • Create learning organization culture.
    • Adopt win-win strategy for sustained growth.
    • Create cooperative dynamics rather than competitive organizational dynamics in the organization.
    • Needs and aspirations of the employees in the organization must be met. This leads to greater participation of the employees. Organizations should adopt developmental outlook and seek opportunities in which people can experience personal and professional growth. Such orientation creates a self-fulfilling prophecy.


  • For Organizations
    • People must be treated with due respect and considered important. The credit of success must be given to the employees unconditioned.
    • Promote organizational citizenship.
history of od
History of OD

Systematic OD activities have at least four important trunk stems-

  • The laboratory Training Stem
  • The Survey Research & Feedback Stem
  • The Action Research Stem
  • The Sociotechnical and Socioclinical Stem
the laboratory training stem
The Laboratory Training Stem

The T-Group

  • Laboratory training , essentially unstructured small group situations in which participants plants learn from their own actions and the group’s evolving dynamics, began to develop about 1946 from various experiments in using discussion groups to achieve change in behavior .
  • Inter- Group Relations workshop held at the State Teachers College in New Britain, Connecticut, in the summer of 1946 influenced the emergence of Laboratory Tarining.
  • This Workshop was sponsored by the Connecticut Interracial Commission and the Research Centre for Group Dynamics, then at MIT.
the laboratory training stem1
The Laboratory Training Stem

The T-Group

  • The research Centre for Group Dynamics (RCGD) was founded in 1945 under the direction of Kurt Lewin, a theorists, researcher in interpersonal group, intergroup and community relationships. Lewin had been recruited to MIT
  • Through a series of events at the New Britain Workshop of 1946, what was later to be called the “T-Group”( T for Training) began to emerge. The workshop consist of Kurt Lewin, Kenneth Benne, Leland Bradford, and Ronald Lippit.
the laboratory training stem2
The Laboratory Training Stem

The T-Group

  • A T- group is an essentially unstructured agenda less group session for about 10-12 members and a professional trainer who act as catalyst and facilitator for the group.
  • The data for discussion are the data provided by the interaction of the group members.
  • Actions, reactions, interactions and feeling accompanying them are the data for the group.
  • The group typically meets for three days up to 2 weeks
the laboratory training stem3
The Laboratory Training Stem

The T-Group

  • Learnings derived from the T-group vary for different individuals, but they are usually described as learnings to be more competent in interpersonal relationships, learning more about oneself as a person, learning how others react to one’s behaviour , and learning about the dynamics of group formation, and group norms, and group growth.
  • The T-group is a powerful learning laboratory where individuals gain insights into the meaning and consequences of their own behavior, the meaning and consequences of others behaviors, and the dynamics and processes of group behavior.
the laboratory training stem4
The Laboratory Training Stem

The T-Group

  • Uses of T-group relative to OD are varied but they are particularly appropriate for enhancing basic skills relevant to group.
  • The most frequently used T-group format is the “Stranger” lab composed of people from a variety of organizations.
  • To illustrate, a one week T-group experience might involve three trainers and 30 to 36 participants, all strangers to each other at the beginning of the lab.
  • Another format involves several clusters of two or three persons from the same organizations, with people who know each other Assigned to different T –groups.
the laboratory training stem5
The Laboratory Training Stem

Growth of T-group in India

  • Rolf Lynton conducted the first T-group in India in 1957 for youth leaders
  • He established “Aloka” in Mysore in order to develop the capacity of youth.
  • He implemented leadership training for 12 weeks including unstructured group exercise.
  • In North India, Max Coley, Dean of Teachers, College, Columbia University, USA stayed in delhi from 1959 to 1966 as a consultant to the Ministry of Education. He conducted T-groups in his house and UdaiPareek was one of participants.
  • UdaiPareek visited USA in 1961 and was trained by NTL. After his return to India, the first full scale Laboratory Training in India was implemented in 1962 in Feerozpur by Coley and Pareek.
the laboratory training stem6
The Laboratory Training Stem

Growth of T-group in India

  • Lynton and Pareek started “;L-groups” in SEIT Institute from 1964.
  • At the same time IIM Calcutta(IIM-C) invited some NTL Members as visiting professors, and they implemented Laboratory Training there.
merits of t group training
Merits of T-group training
  • The trainees learn more about themselves, specially their weakness and emotions
  • They understand that how they react to others and how others react to them
  • They discover how the groups work and identify human relation problems
  • Develop more capable and genuine relations in which feelings are expressed openly.
  • Confront interpersonal problems directly to find out solution instead of avoiding them.

Demerits T-group training

  • During the training, the trainer often create stressful situation. In such situation, the training may do a job of tearing apart people instead of bringing them together.
  • The changes trainees acquire during the training tend to face out when trainee returns to insensitive environment of workplace.
  • This training may make the management trainee as sensitive towards others that they become unwilling to take necessary hard decisions.
  • Such training may make people frustrated and upset as many stressful situations are created during this technique.

Some basics to implement the T group training

  • T-group training is more suitable for developing organisation. If such openness and flexible organizational structure is not available, this training is not appropriate.
  • The participants should be selected on the basis of their emotional stability and anxiety tolerance
  • The participation should be strictly voluntary
  • The trainees should know in advance that what sort of training they are going to receive
  • The transfer of learning back to the organization should be ensured.
the survey research and feedback stem
The Survey Research and Feedback Stem
  • Survey Research and feedback constitutes the second major stem in the history of OD.
  • The history of this stem revolves around the techniques and approach developed over a period of years by staff members at the Survey Research Centre(SRC) of the University of Michigan.
  • The SRC was founded in 1946 by RensisLikert, director of the division of Program Surveys of the Federal Bureau of Agricultural Economics.
  • After completing his Ph.d he worked for the Life Insurance Agency Management Association. There he conducted research on leadership, motivation, morale and productivity.
  • Survey research and feedback was based on refinements made by SRC staff members: The problem of how company could best use the data from the survey to bring improvement in management and performance.
the action research stem
The Action Research Stem
  • There are four versions of Action research-
  • One of which participant action research
  • Laboratory training Action research
  • Survey feedback Action research
  • Tavistock projects
the sociotechnical and socioclinical stem
The Sociotechnical and Socioclinical Stem
  • The 4th stem in the history of OD is the evolution of Sociotechnical and socioclinical approaches to helping group and organizations.
  • In later half of 1960’s individuals from India visited U.S and studied in NTL, some were supported by IIM Calcutta and some were self-sponsored, etc.
  • They started offering laboratory training to industrial companies and released soon that facilitators like NTL would be needed in India too.
  • In 1971 , by Francis Menezes proposal, a two day conference for establishing an association of T-group facilitators was held in Pune. As a result , the Indian Society for Applied Behavioural Science (ISABS) was established in 1972.
second generation od
Second-Generation OD
  • Practitioners and researchers have considerable attention to the emerging concepts , interventions, and areas of application that might called as second generation of OD.
  • Second Generation OD has a focus-
  • Interest in organizational transformation
  • Interest in the learning Organization
  • Intensified Interest in Teams
  • Interest in Total Quality Management
  • Interest in Visioning and future Search
  • Rediscovering large Meetings and Getting the “Whole System” in the Room.
values beliefs and assumptions in od
Values, Beliefs and Assumptions in OD
  • Belief: A belief is a proposition about how the world works that the individual accepts as true; it is a cognitive fact for the person.
  • Values: Values are also beliefs and are defined as “ beliefs about what is desirable or a ‘good’ and what is undesirable or a ‘bad’.
  • Assumptions: Assumptions are beliefs that are regarded as so valuable and obviously correct that they are taken for granted and rarely examined or questioned.
  • Thus, values, assumptions, and beliefs are all cognitive facts or propositions, with values being beliefs about good and bad, and assumptions being strongly held, relatively unexamined belief accepted as the truth.
values beliefs and assumptions in od1
Values, Beliefs and Assumptions in OD
  • OD values tend to be Humanistic, optimistic and democratic-
  • Humanistic Values proclaim the importance of the individual ; respect and dignity, assume that everyone has intrinsic worth, view all people as having the potential for growth and development.
  • Optimistic Values states that people are basically good, that progress is possible and desirable in human affairs, and that rationality, reason , and goodwill are the tools for making progress.
  • Democratic values assert the sanctity of the individual, the right of people to be free from illlogicalmisuse of power, the importance of fair and equitable treatment for all.
early statements of od values and assumptions
Early Statements of OD Values and Assumptions
  • In 1969, Warren Bennis proposed that OD practitioners share a set of goals based on their humanistic/democratic philosophy. He listed the goals as follows-
  • Improvement in interpersonal competence
  • Development of more effective” team management” that is, the capacity for functional groups to work more competently.
  • Development of better methods of Conflict resolution.
  • Development of organic rather than mechanical systems. Mechanical system encourage “ centralized decision making” while organic system encourage “ wide sharing of responsibility and control.
early statements of od values and assumptions1
Early Statements of OD Values and Assumptions
  • Another major player in the field was Richard Beckhard. In his 1969 book he described “ several assumptions about the nature and functioning of organizations, held by OD practitioners. The list is as follows-
  • The basic building blocks of an organization are groups(teams). Therefore, the basic units of change are groups, not individuals.
  • Decision making in a healthy organization is located where the information sources are rather than in a particular role or level of hierarchy.
  • Organizations, subunits of organizations, and individuals continuously manage their affairs against goals. Controls are interim measurements, not the basis of managerial strategy.
early statements of od values and assumptions2
Early Statements of OD Values and Assumptions

4. One goal of a healthy organization is to develop generally open communication, mutual trust, and confidence between and across levels.

5. “People support what they help create.” People affected by a change must be allowed active participation and a sense of ownership in the planning and conduct of the change.

implications of od values assumptions
Implications of OD Values & Assumptions

The implications of OD assumptions and values for dealing with individuals, groups and organizations-

  • Implications for dealing with individuals- Two basic assumptions about individuals

a. Most individuals have drive towards personal growth and development if provided an environment that is both supportive and challenging.

b. Most people are desire to make , and are capable of making , a greater contribution to attaining organization goals than most organization environment permit.

implications of od values assumptions1
Implications of OD Values & Assumptions

II. Implications for dealing with Groups- There are several assumptions relate to the importance of the work teams-

a. What occurs in the work group at both the formal and informal levels, greatly influences feelings of satisfaction and competence.

b. People wish to be accepted and to interact cooperatively with at least one small reference group, usually with more than one group, such as a work group, the family, a church or club group.

c. Most people are capable of making greater contributions to a group’s effectiveness and development.

d. Another assumption is that the formal leader cannot perform all the leadership and maintenance function required for a group to optimize its effectiveness, group member should assist the leader with the multiple roles required for group effectiveness skills such as problem solving and decision making, conflict mgmt & interpersonal communication.

implications of od values assumptions2
Implications of OD Values & Assumptions

III. Implications for dealing with Organization-

a. A key assumption in organization development is that the needs and aspirations of human beings are the reasons for organized effort in society.

b. It is possible to create organizations that on the one hand are human development and empowering, and the other hand are high performing in terms of productivity, quality of output and profitability.

c. The implication is that people are an organization’s most important resource; they are the source of productivity and profits and should be treated with care.