What is Organization Development ?

Organizational development is a systematic approach to improving efficiency, effectiveness and productivity in organizations. It is different from Human resource development in the sense that while Human resource development concerns itself with the development and training of the human beings in the organizations, Organization development is occupied with the development and improvement of organizational processes that ultimately contribute to efficiency.

The consultants involved in Organizational development apply specific efforts at distinct stages of organizational processes to achieve their objectives. These efforts are known as interventions. The process of organizational development has many dimensions and requires the combined efforts of leadership and management. The organizations of today are experiencing rapid change due to a number of reasons, such as telecommunications, customers who are increasingly aware and conscious of quality, increased competition and diversity etc.

Organization Development can be considered at three levels: 

- Philosophy and paradigm 
- Models and Theories 
- Tools and Techniques

The organization development process has certain specific steps which will be helpful 

1. Developing relationships with important people in the organizations. This is known as ‘entering’ or ‘contracting’ 

2. Studying and understanding the existing systems to identify possible lacunae or scope for improvement 

3. Developing ‘interventions’ to enhance the efficiency of the organizational processes. 

4. Applying the developed interventions to the systems 

5. Evaluation of the impact of the ‘interventions’ and monitoring the results.

Organization development leans heavily on training to develop awareness and knowledge to push forward the ‘change’ process. It is also important that everyone in the organization be involved in the process of OD. 

- Human Resources: Managing Human resources is of vital importance as manpower costs comprise a large portion of the operating costs. Effective management of Human resources can often mean the difference between success and failure 

- The changing nature of the workforce: The employee of today needs constant feedback on performance and a sense of fulfillment. Improving the efficiency and competency of the workforce is critical. 

- The globalization of the markets: The market place is changing and the organization is to respond to these changes if it is to be relevant. Today’s customers demand closer partnerships and greater responsibility. A holistic approach to resolving issues and problems is needed.

For Organization Development to be successful, the partnership of all the stakeholders in the organization is important. Organization development is initiated and coordinated usually by people who may be professionals in the field. These may be external consultants. However, experts are of the opinion that active participation of the company’s employees is also of great importance.