Chapter 1 Review Questions
1. How would you define “organization development”?
Answer: Organization development is a series of planned behavioral science intervention activities with the purpose of increasing the effectiveness of the system and developing the potential of all individual members. OD efforts are planned, systematic approaches to change that are carried out in collaboration with organization members to help find improved ways of working together toward individual and organizational goals.
2. How does OD differ from a single-change technique such as management training? Answer: OD represents a systems approach that is concerned with the interrelationship of various divisions, departments, groups, and individuals as interdependent subsystems of the total organization. A single technique such as management training is aimed at changing individual behavior, whereas OD is focused on the larger goal of developing an organization-wide improvement in managerial style. OD uses many different techniques and no single technique represents the OD discipline.
3. Identify and demonstrate the uses of the psychological contract. Answer: Psychological contract involves the expectations on the part of individuals and organizations to which they belong or in which they take part (i.e., work). Each side must understand that such a “contract” exists and that unless these expectations are met, there will be conflict.
4. Explain the difference between pivotal and peripheral norms. Answer: Pivotal norms are essential to accomplishing the organization’s objectives. Peripheral norms support and contribute to the pivotal norms but are not essential to the organization’s objectives.
5. Explain three basic responses an individual may have to socialization. Answer: Socialization is the process that adapts employees to the organization’s culture. An individual may respond to the socialization in three basic ways. At one extreme, an individual may conform to all the norms of the organization, resulting in uniformity of behavior and complete acceptance of organization values. At the other extreme, an individual may rebel, reject all values, or leave the organization altogether. Another alternative between the two previous extremes is for an individual to accept the pivotal norms and seriously question the peripheral norms, which is called creative individualism.
6. Read a book or view a video/movie (e.g., Wall Street or The Firm) and identify the organizational culture and norms it embodies.
7. Identify and explain the five stages of organization development.
Answer: Stage one is to anticipate a need for change. People in the organization perceive that the organization is in a state of disequilibrium or needs improvement. In stage two relations between the practitioner and organization members (the client) develop. The practitioner attempts to establish a pattern of open communication, a relationship of trust, and an atmosphere of shared responsibility. Stage three is the diagnostic phase where the practitioner and client gather data and analyze the data to identify problem areas and causal relationships. In stage four action plans, strategies, and techniques are developed to resolve problems and increase organization effectiveness. The plans and techniques include total quality management (TQM), job design, role analysis, goal setting, team building, and intergroup development. Stage five, the last stage, is a period of self-renewal, monitoring, and stabilizing the OD program. In this stage the change program is monitored to make sure that the new behavior is stabilized and internalized. If this is not done, the tendency is for the system to regress to previous ineffective modes or states. The client system needs to develop the capability to maintain innovation without outside support.
KEY WORDS AND CONCEPTS
Define and be able to use the following words and concepts:
Action research model -...