French & Bell have defined OD to be the applied behavioural science discipline dedicated to improving organizations and the people in them through the use of theory and practice of planned change.
They have said that “Basically OD is a process for teaching people how to solve problems, take advantage of opportunities, and learn how to do that better and better over time. OD focuses on issues related to human side of the organizations by finding ways to increase the effectiveness of individuals, teams and the organization’ human and social processes.”
Driven by these basics of OD, a leading Public Sector Undertaking of India, (having an employees strength of approx 33,000) embarked upon the Organization Development program in the year 1985 with the help of an eminent consultant
It started off with the Action Research Model ( French & Bell, page 100 ), involving
• Data Collection
• Analysis of the data ( with the help of a consultant )
• Action Planning on the basis of analysis of the data
Subsequent steps taken were as below -
- A company-wide climate survey was conducted to obtain the data which could throw up the areas/actions for OD interventions. - Data, thus obtained, was used to make an action plan.
- The action plan, termed as HRD framework, was presented to the Board of Directors
- After approval of the action plan by Board of Directors, Change Agents were earmarked , one for each location/division. Selection of the change agents was done, keeping the recommendation of the consultant in mind, that, since OD was a people’s program, the change agents should necessarily be line managers who have demonstrated to possess good ‘people skills’.
- The change agents were given extensive training on behavioral skills ( most of which are termed as ‘soft skills’ in present day parlance )
- The change agents were made responsible for implementation of HRD framework. They were placed administratively under Chief of HR at each location, the underlying concept being that once the HRD framework had been implemented and institutionalized, the Chief of HR would be its custodian for its assimilation with the regular HR practices and policies
The OD action plan (HRD Framework) & its implementation
Role Analysis has been a rather more acceptable strategy in India. RA has been described as one of the team building techniques and has been adequately explained by French & Bell ( page 166-168) .The two authors have also acknowledged the work of Prof Ishwar Dayal of India, with regard to RA.
In simple words, Role Analysis( RA ) implies analyzing the role of a person/position in the organization. Job description is some thing akin to RA, the subtle difference being that RA deals with total role of a person ( including competencies ) whereas JD is a mere description of the job ( may not clearly focus on competencies).
The enclosed HRD Framework shows the different derivatives (sub systems) of Role Analysis along with their linkages, pursued by the organization under discussion.
It will be prudent here to mention that many of these RA derivatives(sub-systems) were already in vogue in the organization, but not so effectively linked as they became after the OD interventions.
As on today, RA and all its sub-systems have been institutionalized and the organization is now preparing for next phase of OD Interventions.
Author - M Kaushik