Organisational Development is a planned, managed and systematic process to change the culture, systems
and behaviour of an organisation in order to solve its problems and achieve its objectives.
While OD frequently includes structural and technological changes, its primary focus is on changing people and the
nature and quality of their working relationships.
Thus, OD is the modern approach to management of change for human resources development. It concentrates on people dimensions like norms, values, attitudes, relationships, organisational culture etc.
Dale S. Beach defined OD as a complex educational strategy designed to increase organisational effectiveness and wealth through planned intervention by a consultant using theory and techniques of applied behavioural service.
According to French and Bell, O.D. refers to a long range effort to improve an organisation’s problem solving capabilities and its ability to cope with changes in its external environment with the help of external or internal behavioural scientists, consultants, or change agents.
Importance of OD
- OD efforts broadly aim at improving the organisational effectiveness and job satisfaction of the employees.
- It helps in increasing openness of communication among people.
- It helps in increasing commitment, self-direction and self control.
- Increased profitability is one of the outcomes of organizational development.
- Optimising operations raises productivity and efficiency as a whole as a result of OD efforts.
- it encourages the people who are at the helm of affairs or close to the point of actual action to make the
decisions regarding their issues through collaborative efforts.
- It helps in involving the members in the process of analysis and implementation.
- It encourage the confrontation regarding organisational problems with a view to arriving at effective
- it enhance the personal enthusiasm and satisfaction levels.
- it increase the level of trust and mutual emotional support among employees.
- it develops strategic solutions to problems with higher frequency.
- it increases the level of individual and group responsibility in planning and execution.
Process of Organisational Development
The process of OD refers to the way OD efforts work for a given objective. The OD process is complicated
and it takes long time to complete the process.
The process of OD is composed of:
a) Data gathering and organisational diagnosis, : Data collection and diagnosis are an extensive task in the OD process. It involves data collection pertaining to a problem area.
b) Action intervention : Action interventions are the techniques which are appropriately chosen for use in
implementation stage of the OD process.
c) Process maintenance: Process maintenance is a management component which ensures the on going progress to avail the OD benefits in future.
Steps of OD Process in detail
There are various steps of OD process but the typical process consists of the following steps :
Initial Diagnosis : If it is recognized that there are some inadequacies within organisation which can be
corrected by OD activities, it is necessary to find out the professional and competent people within the
organisation to plan and execute OD activities. The services of the outside consultants can also be taken to
help in diagnosing the problems and developing OD activities. The consultants adopt various methods
including interviews, questionnaires, direct observation, analysis of documents and reports for diagnosing
Data Collection : Survey method is used to collect the data for determining organisational climate and
identifying the behavioural problems creeping in the organisation.
Data Feedback : Data collected are analysed and reviewed by various work groups formed for this purpose
in order to mediate in the areas of disagreement or confrontation of ideas or opinions.
Selection of Interventions : The interventions are the planned activities that are introduced into the system
to accomplish desired changes and improvements. At this stage, the suitable interventions are to be selected
Implementation of Interventions : The selected intervention should be implemented. Interventions are to
be implemented steadily as the process is not a one shot, quick cure for organisational malady. At the same
time, it achieves real and lasting change in the attitudes and behaviour of employees.
Action Planning and Problem Solving : Groups prepare recommendations and specific action planning to
solve the specific and identified problems by using the collected data .
Team Building : The consultants encourage the employees throughout the process to form into groups and
teams by explaining the advantages of the teams in the OD process.
Inter-group Development : The consultants encourage the intergroup meetings, interaction etc. after the
formation of groups/teams.
Evaluation and follow up : The organisation evaluates the OD programmes, find out their utility, develop the programmes further for correcting the deviations. The consultants help the organisation in this respect.
All the steps in the OD processes should be followed by the organisation in order to derive full range of OD benefits.