MGT 450 Organization Development and Change
THE OD ACTION RESEARCH (AR) PROCESS Action Research is a process which serves as a model for most OD interventions. French and Bell (1995) describe Action Research as a "process of systematically collecting research data about an ongoing system relative to some objective, goal, or need of that system; feeding these data back into the system; taking actions by altering selected variables within the system based both on the data and on hypotheses; and evaluating the results of actions by collecting more data." The steps in Action Research are: 1. Entry. This phase consists of finding needs for change within an organization. It is also the time to quickly grasp the nature of the organization, identify the appropriate decision maker, and build a trusting relationship. 2. Start-up and contracting. In this step, critical success factors and the real issues are identified. We link into the organization's culture and processes, and clarify roles for the consultant(s) and employees. This is also the time to deal with resistance within the organization. A formal or informal contract will define the change process. 3. Assessment and diagnosis. Here data is collected to find the opportunities and problems in the organization. This is also the time for the consultant to make a diagnosis, in order to recommend appropriate interventions. 4. Feedback. This two-way process serves to tell what was found out, based on an analysis of the data. Everyone who contributed information should have an opportunity to learn about the findings of the assessment process (provided there is no apparent breach of anyone's confidentiality.) The feedback should start with the executive client and his/her team. Usually it is cascaded down through the organization to reach all who have participated. This provides an opportunity for the organization's people to become involved in the change process, to learn about how different parts of the organization...
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