Organization Development, a Contrast and Comparison

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Organization Development, a Contrast and Comparison
Bryan J. Derr
Indiana State University

The purpose of this investigation is to identify three Theoretical Models of Organization Development. Provide a brief overview of these models. Finally, describe the relationship between these models and how the compare and contrast. The models the will be used are, psychoanalytical, psychodynamic, and social constructionism. These models have been chosen due to the similar context in which they are derived from.

Introduction to OD
Through my brief research of Organization Development there are several reoccurring definitions that can be observed. Organization development 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” (Beckhard, 1969, p. 9). Organization development is “a response to change, a complex educational strategy intended to change the beliefs, attitudes, values, and structure of organizations so that they can better adapt to new technologies, markets, and challenges, and the dizzying rate of change itself” (Bennis, 1969, p. 2). Most people in the field agree that “OD involves consultants who work to help clients improve their organizations by applying knowledge from the behavioral sciences—psychology, sociology, cultural anthropology, and other related disciplines. Most would also agree that OD implies change and, if we accept that shifts in the way an organization functions suggests that change has occurred, then, broadly defined, OD is analogous to organizational change” (Burke, 1982, p. 3). Organization development is “a systemic and systematic change effort, using behavioral science knowledge and skill, to change or transform the organization to a new state” (Beckhard, 1999, personal communication). Organization development is “a process that applied a broad range of behavioral science knowledge and practices to help organizations build their capacity to change and to achieve greater effectiveness, including increased financial performance, customer satisfaction, and organization member engagement” (Cummings & Worley, 2009, p. 1). Beer (1980), the aim of OD are (1) enhancing congruence between organizational structure, processes, strategy, people, and culture; (2) developing new and creative organizational solutions; and (3) developing the organization’s self-renewing capacity (Kondalkar, 2009, p.3). Although the definitions seem to have a wide range of disparity, there are common threads in which we can assume. Organization Development deals with a process in which change is effected, and how that change is implemented and managed. This change should ensure that the goal of the organization is maintained and the health of the organization is maintained through planned change. Many of the Organization Development theories that have been developed address the organization at the individual level. The illustration below shows how the individual fits into the overall picture of the organization.

Organization development emerged out of human relations studies from the 1930s where psychologists realized that organizational structures and processes influence worker behavior and motivation.  Lewin’s work in the 1940s and 1950s also helped show that feedback was a valuable tool in addressing social processes.  More recently, work on OD has expanded to focus on aligning organizations with their rapidly changing and complex environments through organizational learning, knowledge management and transformation of organizational norms and values (Organisation Development, 2013). From this research many theories have been developed to try and model how organizations grow and function. The three models in which we will review are the psychoanalytical, psychodynamic, and social constructionism theories....
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