Organization development is an ongoing, systematic process of implementing effective organizational change. OD is known as both a field of science focused on understanding and managing organizational change and as a field of scientific study and inquiry. It is interdisciplinary in nature and draws on sociology, psychology, and theories of motivation, learning, and personality. Although behavioral science has provided the basic foundation for the study and practice of OD, new and emerging fields of study have made their presence felt. Experts in systems thinking and organizational learning, structure of intuition in decision making, and coaching (to name a few) whose perspective is not steeped in just the behavioral sciences, but a much more multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary approach, have emerged as OD catalysts or tools. Organization development is a growing field that is responsive to many new approaches.
The Nature of Planned Change
The pace of global, economic, and technological development makes change an inevitable feature of organizational life. However, change that happens to an organization can be distinguished from change that is planned by its members. Here, the term change will refer to planned change. Organization development is directed at bringing about planned change to increase an organization's effectiveness. It is generally initiated and implemented by managers, often with the help of an OD practitioner either from inside or outside of the organization. Organizations can use planned change to solve problems, to learn from experience, to reframe shared perceptions, to adapt to external environmental changes, to improve performance, and to influence future changes. All approaches to OD rely on some theory about planned change. The theories describe the different stages through which planned change may be effected in organizations and explain the process of applying OD methods to help organization members manage change. Theories of Planned change:
The three major theories of organization change that have received considerable attention in the field are: Lewin's change model, the action research model, and contemporary adaptations of action research.
Lewin’s Change Model:
According to the open-systems view, organizations— like living creatures—tend to be homeostatic, or continuously working to maintain a steady state. This helps us understand why organizations require external impetus to initiate change and, indeed, why that change will be resisted even when it is necessary. Organizational change can occur at three levels— and, since the patterns of resistance to change are different for each, the patterns in each level require different change strategies and techniques....