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Organizational Development

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Organizational Development

Organizational development is defined as a set of behavioral science-based theories, values, strategies, and technologies aimed at planned change of the organizational work setting for the purpose of enhancing individual development and improving organizational performance, through the alteration of organizational members' on-the-job (Jex & Britt, 2008). This paper will explain the process of organizational development, identify theories associated with organizational development, and recognized conditions necessary for successful organizational change.

Process of Organizational Development

The process of organizational development is based on the action research model. The action research model begins to identify a need for change, or detect problems within the organization that interferes with the mission, or well-being of the organization (Jex & Britt, 2008). Once a problem is identified through research, it is followed by assessment, determining interventions, implementation of established interventions, evaluating interventions by gathering data, and determining if interventions were effective. This process is deemed cyclical, and stops when desired outcomes of organizational development has been achieved.

Once a problem has been identified, development begins by assessing the problem so that changes can be made. Assessment scan be performed through focus groups, surveys, or documentation review. Assessments proceeds with establishing the proper interventions, which can include; team building, training and development, individual interventions, or structural interventions. Data is gathered after the intervention, and is used to determine the effectiveness of chosen interventions. If interventions are effective, the cyclical process ends, thus creating organizational development.

Theories of Organizational Development

Lewin's three step model is the oldest theory of the organizational change process. This system is used to explain the process of social systems. The three steps are identified as unfreezing, transformation, and refreezing. Unfreezing begins when an organizations determines the need for change. Factors such as loss in profits, or environmental changes, are eligible factors fro unfreezing. The next step, transformation, identifies tangible changes due to unfreezing. This step affects the way business is usually operated, thus creating necessary changes for the health of the organization, such as redesigning jobs, or enhancing customer service. The last step, refreezing, is the after effect of transformation. Changes that are made usually become permanent, and integrated in the daily functions of the organization.

Other theories of organizational development include; action based theory, general systems theory, and Burke's theory of organizational



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