“The only constant is change”- Heraclitus, 6th century B.C., Greek philosopher. Organizational development has seen dramatic changes from earlier times till now. It has seen different phases in its journey that started from 1940’s and is continuing till now. It has been through the phase when it was considered a movement and also the phase when it became unwanted in the organization. OD has struggled hard to keep its significance alive in organizations and answer back to people raising questions to its effectiveness. But this struggle of OD to increase its effectiveness by incorporating many other values to the original values, had given it a completely different look than what it was at the time of its birth. These changes and improvements have given a challenge to researchers to recognize OD. This has also put a big question in front of all that “Has OD lost its sense of purpose and coherence?”
In this essay, firstly different arguments made by researchers about OD’s origin, its values, how and why it changed and what it is now will be presented. This will be followed by a discussion that will answer the question about OD’s purpose and coherence and finally, a conclusion will be drawn on the basis of the discussions done.
OD’s history roots back to 1940’s, when few of its values were used without the “OD” label attached to it (Greiner and Cummings, 2004). Cummings and Worley (2001) believe that OD emerged from five major background- laboratory training, Action research/survey feedback, participative management, quality of work life and strategic change, the last two being very new concepts of OD. However, the fundamental concept of OD is based on Kurt Lewin’s work of planned change (Burnes, 2009). Many researchers and
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