Organization Development is a management concept dedicated to improving effectiveness and overall productivity in any organization. It has its roots in behavioral science. It includes a set of planned change interventions that improves the organizational effectiveness and well-being maintenance of employees. Several OD definitions have been presented and the continuing new approaches as well as techniques has blurred all the boundaries of this field of management. OD is focused on improving three aspects of any organizations naming: strategies, design components and processes. It is addressed towards an organization or may be a department, team. “This system wide application follows from an open-systems approach towards organization”. Organization Development has become of immense significance today as an effective organization should be able to meet its requirements today and should be also ready for tomorrow (Alsop & Smith, 2016). OD drives adaptability and helps the change smoothen out in the organization. The assignment shall deal with concept of organizational development and behavior as well as common intervention technique used in organization development. When talking about organization development concept, the assignment shall touch upon the concept of “organizational climate” which is the personality of the organization itself. The assignment shall also discuss Team Development and Group Process Interventions as part of organization development intervention technique. It shall also cover some of the usefulness, success and failure of this technique.
The assignment shall cover the concept of “organizational climate” in context to organizational development and behavior prevalent in present time. Organization Development took its roots from study of human relations back in 1930s. Psychologists slowly had woken up to the influence the organization has on workers and vice versa. They realized that every organizational process and structure within the organization had a great influence on every worker. Thus they understood and derived through extensive study that some of the key concepts of organization development are organization climate (the personality of the organization, the mood which includes the attitude and beliefs of organization which influenced the workers or employees’ collective behavior), organizational culture (the mission, vision of organization, the deeply seated norms and behavior exhibited by members) and the organization strategies (Yaman et al. 2016)
Organization change is the movement of the organization from its present state to a future state whereby his effectiveness and productivity is improved. Organizational climate is the carrier of the change. Often the change is resisted owing to various factors but more open the organization is to change the better and smoother the change shall occur. There is lot of difference in approach regarding the concept, dimensions & measurement of organization climate among researchers. Over the last three decades, as many questions have been raised as they have been answered. The concept of organizational climate has raised many different other concepts within the field of organizational development as well. All of them are well linked too in terms of comprehensive and systematic manner. For example, organizational climate cannot be distinguished from motivation, satisfaction, attitude, process, structure etc. prevalent in the organization (Wan, 2016).
Every organization differs from other not only in terms of structure but most importantly, also in behavior, attitude invoked in people. Such factors are mostly physiological factors. In fact, every individual job responsibilities added to their personalities projects a climate which is of significance both to him and the organization as a whole. Meaning, any change in the organization leads to change in attitude and behavior of individual as well. Kurt Lewin, also known as father of OD gave the ideas of present day OD in mid-thirties. He studied industrial psychology and mentioned, what we refer to today as in Lewin’s theory; the effects of environmental factors on behavior. He linked the behavior to the environmental structures. He wrote “To characterize properly the psychological field, one has to take into account such specific items as particular goals, stimuli, social relations, as well as more general characteristics of the field as the atmosphere or the amount of freedom. These characteristics of the field as a whole are as important in psychology as, for instance, the field of gravity for the explanation of events in classical physics. Psychological atmospheres are empirical realities and are scientifically describable facts (Rhoden, 2016).
Even in writings of Shah, Anwar & Irani, (2017), he clearly argued that behavior could be interpreted if it was related to behavioral environment. To understand the climate concept, it is necessary to understand some theories which have touched concepts related to climate theory. Some of the theories demonstrate the capability of integrating the climate theory within themselves. In other, it is evident that though they are related in intent but individual in focus.
They could be filed under three categories:
Theory of Individual Behavior – Vroom’s model (1964) also acknowledges the importance of situational variables. His cognitive theory is based upon a person’s choices, valences, instrumentalities and expectancies. His two propositions are:
PROPOSITION 1: The valence of an outcome to a person is a monotonically increasing function of the algebraic sum of the products of the valences of all other outcomes and his conception of its instrumentality for the attainment of these other outcomes.
PROPOSITION 2: The force on a person to perform an act is a monotonically increasing function of the algebraic sum of the products of the valence of all outcomes and the strength of his expectancies that the act will be followed by the attainment of these outcomes (Biggs, Swailes, & Baker, 2016).
Management Theory – Various organization theorists interested in management process described the indirect and subtle effects of management practices on the attitude and behavior of junior employees.
Thomsen, Karsten & Oort, (2016), used the term “organization culture” in their managerial grid stating, “when a manager sees his responsibility as that of managing a culture rather than just managing people to get work out of them, the basic unit of development is no longer the individual considered separately and alone." There was a shortcoming to this though, they did not explain what this meant for people. Also, it is difficult to gauge how the manager would connect the organizational elements with individual elements to carry out his duty?
Organizational Theory - “Large organization is loose organization. Nay, it would be almost as true to say that organization is always disorganization” (Chumg et al. 2016).
This theory views organizations as systems for making decisions and deal with them in tandem to climate. This theory mostly concentrates of organizational structure. De Vries & Van der Poll, (2016), distinguish eight such dimensions for structure. They explain situational influence on behavior. They are:
Likert in his theory (1967) mentions the above as climate variables. He states:” The intervening variables reflect the material state and the health of the organization e.g. the loyalties, attitudes, motivations, performance goal, and perceptions of all members and their collective capacity for effective interaction, communication, and decision making. The structural variables were considered as causal variables and the end results such as productivity, costs, profits etc., as dependent variables.” As is clear, Likert considers climate as the link between structural attribute as the effectiveness of the organization. Lee, Tui, & Sharif, 2016). after conducting an experiment proved that (a) if the climate was innovative, the performance was more predictable (b) if climate was more consistent, the performance was higher and (c) different climate meant that different methods to solve problems would be sought out.
According to Drake & Pritchard, (2016), climate was “The term organization climate refers to a set of measurable properties or work environment, perceived directly or indirectly by the people who live and work in this environment and assumed to influence their motivation and behaviour.” Their model for organizational climate is considered groundbreaking research in this field.
Bergmann et al. (2016), explained that organizational climate refers to collective quality of the individuals of the organization. It simply meant values or the meanings of a set of characteristics of the environment. Thus, the climate represents the organization as people seek it in a holistic and global sense. In addition to this it also explained it as a set of attributes specific to an organization that may be deciphered from the way that organization deals with its members and its environment. For members within the organization, climate meant set of attitudes and expectancies that rendered an organization both static and dynamic characteristics. Thus, it is safe to say that organizations are different owing to different behaviors that are induced. Since management defines the climate in an organization, changes in organizations and behaviors in them are significant.
Three such models are:
Autocratic, custodial and supportive. In autocratic climate, manager is the sole authority. Management thinks it knows best and employees should follow all orders. In such an environment, employee orientation(expected) is obedience. Employees are dependent on boss; their met needs are subsistence. Hence, the employee performance is met at minimum level as well. In custodial climate, everything is dependent on money. In this climate, met needs of employees are reasonable. Employee performance is never actualized but they may be happy. It is a flawed climate. In supportive model, the management provides a suitable environment to the employees to grow and reach their capability. Employees remain motivated and they tend to participate and involve themselves in interest of the organization (Ille, Risso & Sanchez Carrera, 2017).
Campbell and other theorists identified the following four dimensions of organizational climate:
“1. Individual autonomy based on factors of individual responsibility, independence, rules, orientation, and opportunities for existing individual initiative. 2. The degree of structure imposed upon the position - based on factors of structure, managerial structure and closeness of supervision. 3. Reward orientation - based on factors of reward, general satisfaction, promotion, achievement orientation, and being profit minded and sales oriented. 4. Consideration, warmth and support - based on factors of managerial support, nurturance of subordinates and warmth and support (Taylor, 2016)”.Company climate and productivity – Five aspects of organizational climate affect productivity. They were – employee welfare concern, skill development, reflexivity, innovation and flexibility & performance feedback. (Hall, 2017). Only companies which were productive were the ones which lay emphasis on the above. Thus, it is clear by now that diffused pattern of studies and the research results all point more or less towards the same thing that climate mainly consists of the aspects of social environment that are consciously perceived by members of the organization. “The essential task of management is creating opportunities, releasing potential, removing obstacles, encouraging growth, and providing guidance.”
To improve performance, the route is improving work climate. Work climate affects work behavior and workers. “A positive work climate is conducive to creative, productive work; it is a cooperative, civil workplace that is relatively free from bad mouthing, backstabbing, or petty bickering.” A good work climate leads to motivation in employees, who; would then put in extra effort and with improved capabilities will provide improved job results. A work climate is created by the organizational factors. They could be history of the organization – its founding, successes, reputation and story of setbacks as well as turnarounds. Another reason could be the culture itself. As described by Alsop & Smith, (2016), culture’ ‘refers to the deep structure of organizations’, referring to shared values, work values, traditions and even assumptions and beliefs. Management strategy and structure also lends the climate in the organization a flavor. The growth and job opportunities, roles and responsibilities along with their descriptions, appraisal and reward policies etc. The external environment also could affect the climate of the organization by its broader context of policies, regulations, politics, social barriers etc. Finally, the most crucial factor contributing to the climate of the organization- the manager himself. His competencies and temperament in team handling. Manager’s competencies and practices have the most influence in a group’s work climate. The same climate could lead the managers to improved team performance and effectiveness (Wan, 2016).
Organization Development is a long- term effort, led and supported by top management, to improve an organization’s visioning, empowerment, learning, and problem-solving processes, through an ongoing, collaborative management of organization culture. It pays special emphasis on the culture of intact work teams and other team configurations by using the consultant facilitator role and the theory & technology of applied behavioural science, including action research. Organization Development is set of planned activities followed by all members of the organization. The most critical three components of all Organization Development programs are: Diagnosis, Intervention and Program Management. Organizational interventions are sets of structured activities targeted to a group, mostly teams or departments, who engage in them with the overall goal of organizational improvement. These structured activities are only doctored to the organization by experienced consultants. Sometimes the consultants use just one intervention techniques sometimes multiple in combination simultaneously.
Organization Development intervention techniques may be applied on large systems (example organizations), group (department) or individual. OD intervention techniques could be systemic interventions, people interventions or process interventions. Systemic interventions are the interventions followed to bring about a change in systems being followed to prepare the entity for a better future with the desired incorporated changes. People interventions are to enhance people productivity. Process interventions improve a present process in terms of quality, time and cost. There are fourteen types of organizational development interventions. Some majorly used ones are-diagnostic activities, team-building activities, intergroup activities, survey feedback activities and education & training activities and structural activities among few (Wan, 2016).
Diagnostic Activities: Fact-Finding activities designed to ascertain the state of the current system, The find the "Way Things Are." Available methods range from projective devices such as build a collage that represents for you your place in this Organization to the more traditional data collection methods of Interviews, Questionnaires, surveys, and Meetings.
Team-Building Activities: Activities designed to enhance the operating system of teams. They may be task Issues, such as the way things are done, the needed skills to accomplish tasks, the resources necessary for task, allocation of tasks, accomplishments; or they may relate to the nature and quality of the relationships between the team members or between members and the leader. Again, a wide range of activities is possible. In addition, consideration is given to the different kinds of teams that may exist in the organization, such as formal work teams, temporary task teams, new teams and cross-functional teams.
Intergroup Activities: Activities designed to improve effectiveness of interdependent groups. They focus on joint activities and the output of the groups considered as a single system rather than as two subsystems. When two groups are involved, the activities are generally designated intergroup or interface activities; when more than two groups are involved, the activities are often called organizational mirroring.
Survey Feedback Activities: Related to and like the diagnostic activities mentioned in that they are a large component of those activities. However, they are important enough to be considered separately. These activities center on actively working the data produced by a survey and designing action plans based on the survey data.
Education and training activities: Activities designed to improve skills, abilities, and knowledge of individuals. There are several activities available and several approaches possible. For example, the individual can be educated in isolation from his or her own work group (say, in a t-group comprised of strangers), or one can be educated in relation to the work group (say, when a work team learns how better to manage interpersonal conflict). The activities may be directed toward technical skills required for effective task performance or may be directed toward improving interpersonal competence. The activities may be directed toward leadership issues, responsibilities and functions of group members, decision making, problem solving, goal setting and planning, and so forth.
Structural Activities: Activities designed to improve the effectiveness of the technical or structural inputs and constraints affecting individuals or groups. The activities may take the form of
The assignment is focused to discuss “team building” activities as intervention. Team development and group processes interventions aim at improving different aspects of a group performance, such as goal setting, development of interpersonal relations among team members, role clarification and analysis, decision making, problem solving, and communities of practice, among other. One of the most important objective of team building interventions relies on improving interdependency of team members. The underlying premise is that the aggregated value of the team is much greater than any individual. According to Drake & Pritchard, (2016), team building is applicable where group activities are interdependent. The objective is to improve the coordination efforts of members, which will result in increasing the team’s performance”.
Team Building activities are designed to enhance the ways the teams function. They focus solely on task-related issues like relationship between team member, their leader and team itself, skills and resources required, effectiveness of teams etc.
"Teamwork doesn't happen automatically, and it doesn't result just from the exhortations of a single leader. It results from members paying attention to how they are working together, issues that block teamwork and working them through, and consciously developing patterns of working together that all members find challenging and satisfying (Taylor, 2016).
Teams often get road blocked on its path of performance owing mostly to group dynamics. It lowers their morale, motivation, enthusiasm, productivity as well as satisfaction from job. Group process facilitation then comes handy. During a team meeting, group change activities, insight oriented activities and experiential activities are usually use by a specialist, an OD consultant, to make the team members aware of their own unique styles when communicating, collaborating, in groups and in conflict resolution. Members develop increased sensitivity towards each other’s’ styles and develop understanding of their own team members. This brings about cohesiveness within the group as well as coordination to work towards a common objective. Individuals develop greater self-awareness and the group quality changes for the better. Team building focuses on identification of challenges related to task performance and lays down concrete plans for their elimination as well. A team building programme deals with new problems everytime. It is an effective technique by which members of an organizational group diagnose how they work together and plan changes that will improve their effectiveness. Team building exercises attempt to improve effectiveness of teams by allowing the members to concentrate on setting goals or priorities for organizational groups, by also analyzing or allocating the way the work is performed, by examining the way the group is functioning, and last but not the least by also examining the relationships among the people in the team doing the work.
Thus, the chief objective of team building is to help the group members in examining their own behaviour and developing plan of action that would foster task achievement.
Sharing emotions in a group may be effective however, too much sharing of emotions could be destructive and unproductive as well. It could lead to further conflicts that groups tend to avoid such groups often known as T-groups did not work well in organizations as because they gave rise to emotional conflict instead of task conflicts. This further led to non-cooperation among team members and loss of coordination, hence, losing out on task goals. Team members blocked the performance of other by deliberately blocking work, keeping task at hand longer than needed, trust and freedom of expression was lost owing to intolerance.
To conclude the assignment, organizational development came across as a thorough process very much relevant to today’s age. The concepts born in mid-thirties still hold handy. The process comes into play on identification of a problem by the organization which recognizes presence of an issue that needs to be checked or to prepare for the future new organization with revamped values among its workforce. A plan of action is important to start the process of change in organization behaviour and that change must come in the climate of the organization itself. The organization climate is the carrier of the organization towards the planned change. It is the actual environment where the changes planned are implemented. Implementation occurs via various interventions amongst which team building interventions are crucial. In an environment of change it is easy for the team to lose track of why it was created. It may become confused to what its line of action should be in the changing environment. Specialists or OD consultants then come in play and correct their behaviour through team activities, group meetings etc. which make them self-aware and shed light also on the group behaviour by use of effective techniques.
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