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Organizational Development

“Organization Development is an effort planned, organization-wide, and managed from the top, to increase organization effectiveness and health through planned interventions in the organization's 'processes,' using behavioral-science knowledge.”[1]


Modern Definitions of Organizational Development[2]

Today's organizations operate in a rapidly changing environment. Consequently, one of the most important assets for an organization is the ability to manage change -- and for people to remain healthy and authentic. Consider the following definition of Organization Development:

“Organization Development is the attempt to influence the members of an organization to expand their candidness with each other about their views of the organization and their experience in it, and to take greater responsibility for their own actions as organization members. The assumption behind Organization Development is that when people pursue both of these objectives simultaneously, they are likely to discover new ways of working together that they experience as more effective for achieving their own and their shared (organizational) goals. And that when this does not happen, such activity helps them to understand why and to make meaningful choices about what to do in light of this understanding.” -- Neilsen, “Becoming an Organization Development Practitioner”, Englewood Cliffs, CA: Prentice-Hall, 1984, pp. 2-3.

Experts might agree that the following definitions of Organization Development represent the major focus and thrust of many of today's Organization Development practitioners.

"Organization Development is a system-wide application of behavioral science knowledge to the planned development and reinforcement of organizational strategies, structures, and processes for improving an organization's effectiveness." -- Cummings and Worley, "Organization Development and Change", Sixth Edition, South-Western Publishing, 1997, p.2.

"Organization Development is a body of knowledge and practice that enhances organizational performance and individual development, viewing the organization as a complex system of systems that exists within a larger system, each of which has its own attributes and degrees of alignment. Organization Development interventions in these systems are inclusive methodologies and approaches to strategic planning, organization design, leadership development, change management, performance management, coaching, diversity, and work/life balance." -- Matt Minahan, MM & Associates, Silver Spring, Maryland


See Also

Organization
Organizational Commitment
Organizational Commitment Questionnaire (OCQ)
Organization Design
Organizational Agility
Organizational Capability
Organizational Architecture
Organizational Change
Organizational Change Management (OCM)
Organizational Culture
Organizational DNA
Organization Chart
Organizational Absorption
Organizational Configurations
Three- Component Model Questionnaire (TCM)


References

  1. Traditional Definition of Organizational Development [-- Beckhard, “Organization development: Strategies and Models”, Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1969, p. 9.]
  2. Other Modern Definitions of Organizational Development Management Halp