Read this essay to learn about organisational development. After reading this essay you will learn about:- 1. Meaning of Organisation Development 2. Objectives of Organisational Development Efforts 3. Strategies 4. Effectiveness 5. Promise.

List of Essays on Organisational Development

Essay Contents:

  1. Essay on the Meaning of Organisation Development
  2. Essay on the Objectives of Organisational Development Efforts
  3. Essay on the Organisational Development Strategies
  4. Essay on the Effectiveness of Organisational Development
  5. Essay on the Promise of Organisational Development

1. Essay on the Meaning of Organisation Development:


Managing change in individuals and organisations is a continuous process. If this is done, a good organisational climate can be maintained. Some organisations may make a thorough analysis of organisational problems and then implement a long-range programme based on it. Such an approach goes by the name Organisational Development.

Although organisational change and development are related, organisational developmental activities are principally directed at improving the process or interpersonal side of organisational life. In fact, several organisations seek to cope with changes by developing innovative ways not only to deal with change but also to promote it.

One such innovative method is organisational develop­ment. It shows great promise for helping organisations go through a process of change, renewal, and revitalisation.


Organisational development is a broad term referring to all the activities engaged in by managers, employees and helpers which are directed toward building and maintaining the health of the organisation as a total system. It is a comprehensive long-term plan, rather than one undertaken by an individual manager.


Organisational development is concerned with changing attitudes, perceptive, behaviour and expectations.

To be more specific, organisational development can be defined as “an effort planned, organisation-wide, and managed from the top, to increase organisation effectiveness and health through planned interventions in the organisation’s ‘process’, using behavioural science knowledge”.

This means that any attempt to use organisational development in an organisation needs to be systematic, must be supported by top management and should be broad in its application.


The theory and practice of organisational development are based on some very important assumptions:


(1) Firstly, employees must have a desire to grow and develop;

(2) Secondly, they must have a strong need to be accepted by other group members;

(3) And, the total organisation and the way it is designed will influence the way individuals and groups within the organisation behave;

(4) Moreover, some form of collaboration between managers and employees is necessary to take advantage of the skills and abilities of the employees and eliminate aspects of the organisation that retard employee growth, development and group acceptance.

2. Essay on the Objectives of Organisational Development Efforts:


According to Gene E. Burton, the “primary purpose of organisational development is to bring about a system of organisational renewal that can effectively cope with environmental changes.In doing so organisational development strives to maximise organisational effectiveness as well as individual work satisfaction.”

The other objectives of organisational development are the following:

1. To increase the level of trust and support among the people in an organisation.


2. To create an environment in which the authority of an assigned role is enhanced by personal authority based on expertise and knowledge.

3. To increase the level of permanent and group-responsibility in planning and implementa­tion.

4. To increase the openness of communication among the members of the organisation.

5. To search out or identify synergistic solutions to problems with greater frequency.

3. Essay on the Organisational Development Strategies:


Organisational development is perhaps the most comprehensive strategy for managers. It involves all the activities and levels of management in ongoing programmes that respond to internal and external forces. The organisational development process can be pictured as a cyclical process as in Fig.15.7.

Model for the Organisational Development Process

Organisational development strategies consist of various tools, devices, and methods for intro­ducing changes. W.L. French and C.H. Bell, Jr., have identified 12 kinds of interventions or activities that are performed in the service of organisational development. These are listed in Table 15.4.

Categories of Organisational Development Interventions

1. Diagnostic Activities:

As in medical profession, diagnostic organisational development activities analyse the current conditions of an organisation. Diagnostic techniques include various methods such as questionnaires, opinion or attitude surveys, interview, archival data and meetings. The diagnosis is likely to generate profiles of the organisation’s operating procedures and growth patterns, which can be used to identify problem areas — i.e., areas which need correction.

2. Team Building:

Team-building activities seek to enhance the effectiveness and satisfaction of individuals who work in groups, or teams. Project teams in a matrix organisation seem to be suitable candidates for such activities. And organisational development commitment might interview team members to determine their feeling about the group on the basis of which an off-site meeting could be held to discuss the issues that surfaced and to iron out any problem areas or member concerns.

3. Survey Feedback:

In survey feedback, each employee responds to a questionnaire intended to measure perceptions and attitudes (for example, satisfaction and supervisory style). The results of such survey are feedback to anyone involved, including the supervisor. Work­shops are then conducted to evaluate results and suggest constructive changes.

4. Education:

In the context of organisational development, educational activities typically focuses on ‘sensitivity skills’. That is, it teaches employees to be considerate and understand their peers and subordinates better.

5. Intergroup Activities:

The focus of such activities is improving the relationships between two or more groups. As a general rule, as group interdependence increases, so do co-ordination difficulties. Intergroup organisational development activities are designed to pro­mote cooperation or resolve conflict that may have arisen as a result of interdependence.

6. Third-Party Peacemaking:

Third-party peacemaking may proceed on the individual, group or organisational level. In this context, the third party is usually an organisational develop­ment consultant. He uses various mediation or negotiation techniques to resolve any problems or conflicts between individuals or groups.

7. Techno-Structural Activities:


Such activities are concerned with the design of the organisa­tion and its technology. Examples of techno-structural organisational development activi­ties are a structural change (such as an increase in decentralisation), a job design change (such as an increase in the use of automation), and a technological change (such as a change in work). The common objective of such activities is to improve group and interpersonal relationships within the organisation.

8. Process Consultation:

In process consultation an organisational development consultant observes groups in the organisation to develop an understanding of their communication pattern, decision-making and leadership process and methods of cooperation and conflict resolution. The consultant then provides feedback to the involved parties about the proc­esses he(she) has observed.

9. Life and Career Planning:

This technique helps employees formulate their personal goals and evaluate strategies for properly integrating these goals with those of the organisation. Such activities could include specification of training needs, plotting a career map and similar life and career-related ideas.

10. Coaching and Counselling:

This technique provides non-evaluate feedback to individuals. The objective is to help people develop a better sense of how others see them and to help people learn behaviours that are likely to assist othersin achieving their work-related goals.

11. Planning and Goal Setting:

This technique helps individuals and groups integrate them­selves better into the overall planning process. This technique is more pragmatic than others.

12. Grid Organisational Development:

The grid approach to organisational development is based on the Managerial Grid.


It may be recalled that the Managerial Grid provides a means for evaluating leadership styles and then training managers to move toward an idea style of behaviour.

Two important points may be noted in this context. Prima facie, receptiveness of organisational members is crucial to the success of organisational development efforts. Secondly, consent of the governed is required before any implementation of strategies. Usually a long time is required to pave the way for changes as well as to implement them.

4. Essay on the Effectiveness of Organisational Development:

Since organisational development is an on-going, long-term effort to introduce permanent — as opposed to transitory — changes and to reshape an organisation’s technology, structure and people, its successful implementation depends on huge investments of money and time.

Both are equally vital to accurately diagnose problems, select strategies and evaluate the effectiveness of the organ­isational development programme. Given the diversity of activities encompassed by organisational development, manufacturers report mixed results from various organisational development inter­ventions.

Some companies have trained many individuals in organisational development processes and techniques. These trained experts have subsequently become internal organisational develop­ment consultants to assist other managers in applying the techniques. By contrast, many other organisations report that they have tried organisational development but then discarded it.


Results of the organisational development evaluation do provide the necessary feedback to redirect and improve programmes, strategies and change agents. In the ultimate analysis, the effectiveness of organisational development, like any other managerial effort, depends on the quality of its expected outcomes.

It has to be based on solid research, clear goals, appropriate methods and effective change agents. Most organisations employ outside consultants as change agents because they are supposed to bring unique and specialized skills and knowledge to their tasks. Moreover, these people are objective in their approaches and may be better equipped to sell their ideas, approaches and management’s goals.

However, organisational development is not a panacea that is likely to solve all organisational problems. It requires top management support. It has worked well in organisations where the work environment favours a participative, problem-solving approach to achieve effective results.

Although organisational development appears to be so promising, very few groups and organi­sations are practising it at present. There are various reasons for this. Firstly, managers have started learning within the organisations. Secondly organisational development is a complex process and requires a large organisation for its success. Thirdly, it has not always been successful even in large organisations.

Empirical research has shown that efforts to introduce a change succeed in the following areas:

1. Profit-seeking organisations.


2. Task environments that are stable in the long run and unstable in the short run.

3. When the parties involved voluntarily collaborate in the endeavour.

4. When the change agent has a participative orientation.

5. If the solution is focused on a mix of organisational relationships.

6. If change efforts are directed at the total organisation.

7. If change efforts employ standardised strategies that involve high levels of participation.

5. Essay on the Promise of Organisational Development:


Organisational development is an outward expression of management’s effort to say flexible. It recognises that events inside and outside the organisation can happen quite suddenly and create pressures for change. Organisational development provides the personnel and mechanisms to deal with those changes and to control the evolution of change and its impact on the organisational structure, technology and people.

However, the ultimate promise of organisational development is that, when successfully applied, organisational development efforts enable the organisation to remove obstacles to individual and organisational development and renewal.

What about the future? The speculation is that organisational development will remain an important part of management theory and practice. Of course, there are no “sure things” when dealing with social systems such as organisations, and the effectiveness of many organisational development techniques is difficult to evaluate.

Since all organisations are open systems interacting with their complex external environments, an improvement in an organisation may be attributable to an organisational development intervention — but it may also be attributable to changes in economic conditions, luck or other factors.