Organizational Development

Topics: Kurt Lewin, Theory, Action research Pages: 5 (740 words) Published: July 9, 2015


Organizational Development
Jerra Roberts
PSY 428
March 11, 2014
Cynthia Hackney

Organizational Development
Organizational development is a process using technology, research, theory, and behavioral science that changes and improves the performance and health of an organization (Jex & Britt, 2008). All organizations endure this process to adapt the organizational beliefs, attitudes and values to changes as they happen in the world. To understand organizational development we will explore the process, identify associated theories, and describe conditions necessary for success with this process. Process of Organizational Development

The first step in the organizational development process is self-reflection. The organization must look at its current situation and decide what changes and interventions they wish to make. The second step is intervention. Hiring an organizational-development consultant is helpful with this step because they can help with the planning and implementation (Jex & Britt, 2008). Intervention can occur at individual, group, or organizational levels and is not the same for each one. Interventions will vary but the need for organizational change to increase efficiency will remain consistent. The third step is evaluation. Evaluation of the process is necessary to determine how effective the programs are. One method of evaluation is multiple criteria measurement. This covers more than one area to determine maximum effectiveness. Associated Theories

There are several theories associated with influencing the organizational development process. The first one is Kurt Lewin’s Three-Step Model of Organizational Change Process. This model contains three steps. They are unfreezing, transformation, and refreezing. Unfreezing is when the organization recognizes the need for change (Jex & Britt, 2008). Transformation occurs when changes are implemented. Refreezing is when the changes are made permanent (Jex & Britt, 2008). The second theory also associated with Kurt Lewin, is called the Action Research Model. It has four steps that include problem identification, development of hypothesis, hypothesis testing, and data interpretation (Jex & Britt, 2008). The third theory is the General Systems theory developed by Karl Ludwig von Bartalanffy. This theory concludes that organizations import material from the environment, transform it into input, and then return it to the environment in an altered form (Jex & Britt, 2008). Other theories that describe specific organizational factors that contribute to the change process are Burke’s Theory of Organizational Change Process, and Porras and Robertson’s Model of Organizational Change Process. Both of these theories are similar because they propose that organizational transformation is the result of interrelated factors (Jex & Britt, 2008). Burke’s theory concludes that the external environment is a key factor, and this has a direct impact on the organizational mission, leadership, and culture. These factors then have a direct impact on the individual and organizational performance (Jex & Britt, 2008). Porras and Robertson’s theory concludes the external factor is key and the overall purpose of the organization is responsible for the organizational arrangements, social factors, physical setting, and technology (Jex & Britt, 2008). Successful Organizational Change and Development

Organizational change and development is successful only if certain conditions are present. First, the services of a skilled organizational-development consultant are necessary. The consultant has the skills needed to effectively communicate, research and analyze data, and guide the organization through the change and development process (Jex & Britt, 2008). Second support from management and employees during the change process is vital. Without management support, resources will be lacking...

References: Jex, S.M., & Britt, T.W. (2008). Organizational psychology: A scientist-practitioner approach (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.
Nelissen, P., & Van Selm, M. (2008). Surviving organizational change: how management communication helps balance mixed feelings. Corporate Communications, 13(3). 306
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