Organizational Development is an organization improvement strategy. The term Organizational Development refers to a broad range of behavioural science based strategies used to diagnose the need for change in organizations and to implement changes when necessary. OD is used to encompass a collection of planned change interventions. In nutshell, change management deals with a particular change while OD deals with imparting and monitoring various changes on a continuous basis.
According to Bennis
OD is a response to change, a complex educational strategy intended to change the beliefs, attitudes, values and structure of organizations so that they can better adapt to new technologies, markets and challenges and the dizzying rate of change itself.
According to French and Bell
Organizational development is a long term effort to improve an organization’s problem solving and renewal processes, particularly through a m ore effective and collaborative management of organization culture – with special emphasis on the culture of formal work teams-with the assistance of a change agent or catalyst, and the use of the theory and technology of applied behavior science, including action research.
According to Warner Burke
Organizational development is a planned process of change in an organisation’s culture through the utilization of behavioural science technology, research and theory.
According to Dale S. Beach
OD is a complex educational strategy designed to increase organizational effectiveness and wealth through planned intervention by a consultant using theory and techniques of applied behavior services.
Features of OD
1. OD is responsive to change. It aims at preparing an organization to absorb changes comfortably.
2. OD is a strategy of planned change for organizational improvement.
3. OD efforts focus on comprehensive change in the organization rather than focusing on individuals.
4. OD consists of long term efforts to improve performance and satisfaction of people in the organization.
5. OD is dynamic process and includes the efforts to guide and direct changes as well as to cope with or adapt changes imposed.
6. OD contains a range of approaches, tools and methods to change people as well as the organisational structure. It also includes self-development efforts.
7. OD involves both psychological (like attitudes, beliefs, skills, capabilities etc.) and physical (like structure, position, place etc. ) changes.
8. OD is normative educational process. It is a problem solving approach. It is not merely a concept, but it shows alternative solution.
9. Most OD experts emphasize the need for an outside, third party change agent or catalyst. They discourage ‘do it yourself’ approach.
10. OD is treated as a profession. Many external experts conduct OD programmes for their clients on professional basis.