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As defined by Richard Beckhard, "Organization development" (OD) is a planned, top-down, organization-wide effort to increase the organization's effectiveness and health. OD is achieved through interventions in the organization's "processes," using behavioural science knowledge. According to Warren Bennis, OD is a complex strategy intended to change the beliefs, attitudes, values, and structure of organizations so that they can better adapt to new technologies, markets, and challenges. Warner Burke emphasizes that OD is not just "anything done to better an organization"; it is a particular kind of change process designed to bring about a particular kind of end result. OD involves organizational reflection, system improvement, planning, and self-analysis. The term "Organization Development" is often used interchangeably with Organizational effectiveness, especially when used as the name of a department or a part of the Human Resources function within an organization. Organization Development is a growing field that is responsive to many new approaches including Positive Adult Development.
|Contents | |[hide] | |1 Definition | |2 History | |2.1 Early development | |2.1.1 Case history | |2.2 Modern development | |3 Action research | |4 Important figures | |5 OD interventions | |6 References | |7 See also |
At the core of OD is the concept of organization, defined as two or more people working together toward one or more shared goals. Development in this context is the notion that an organization may become more effective over time at achieving its goals. OD is a long range effort to improve organization's problem solving and renewal processes, particularly through more effective and collaborative management of organizational culture, often with the assistance of a change agent or catalyst and the use of the theory and technology of applied behavioral science. Organization development is a contractual relationship between a change agent and a sponsoring organization entered into for the purpose of using applied behavioral science in a systems context to improve organizational performance and the capacity of the organization to improve itself.  Contractual Relationship. Although neither the sponsoring organization nor the change agent can be sure at the outset of the exact nature of the problem or problems to be dealt with or how long the change agents' help will be needed, it is essential that some tentative agreement on these matters be reached. The sponsoring organization needs to know generally what the change agent's preliminary plan is, what its own commitments are in relation to personal commitments and responsibility for the program, and what the change agent's fee will be. The change agent must assure himself that the organization's, and particularly the top executives', commitment to change is strong enough to support the kind of self-analysis and personal involvement requisite to success of the program. Recognizing the uncertainties lying ahead on both sides, a termination...
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