Essays on Organizational Development and Change Questions Assignment

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The paper "Organizational Development and Change Questions" is a great example of an assignment on management.   When a change in an organization is part of a planned process by incorporating technology, theory, and research pertaining to the organization's culture and behavior, it is termed as organizational development (OD). In other words, it revolves around an organization's capability to address and even increase its potential to tackle problems that might arise on account of changes that are influenced by the external environment. The OD which is in practice today has developed chiefly from five major backgrounds, called stems, which include the strategic, normative, and productivity and quality of work-life approaches, action research and survey feedback, and laboratory training and T-groups.

The latter took birth in 1946 when Kurt Lewin, who is considered as OD's father, worked with groups whom he delegated a greater responsibility of acting as facilitators with regard to the groups' behavior. Lewin observed that group working provided an enriching experience about group dynamics, interpersonal relations, leadership, and personal growth. This lead to the concept of team building, which is widely prevalent today in most of the organizations.

It can be said that this stem went a long way in the making of an organizational theory which propounded teamwork makes acceptance of a change for organizations much easier on account of larger participation of individual team members. Action research and survey feedback, on the other hand, propound that in order to bring about a change, it is important to link laboratory training and T-groups with research. In today's organizations, it has tended to become an accepted norm to base any major policy changes or decision-making on the data that is collated and analyzed before the decisions are reached and changes made. Notwithstanding the above two, the normative approach to OD is based on the presumption that if an organization has to be effectively managed, there is only one "right" way of accomplishing that.

Likert (1961) and Blake & Mouton (1964) have significantly contributed to this approach. The former's contribution was the Likert scale and the latter's contribution was the Managerial Grid. Both are, sort of, graphical, and numerical in their nature. Productivity and quality of work-life approaches is a relatively new entrant on the scene, of which Eric Trist (1997) is considered as a major contributor.

Trist said more than anything else work design plays a pivotal role in how an organization implements change or develops effectively. This concept is being accepted by many organizations now which align work on the basis of people or teams who possess specific abilities to handle the same. Previously it was thought that organizations needed to grow without changing; one reason why missions and visions of organizations remained the same even after years of tremendous growth.

However, now, behavioral scientists state that since external influences on organizations have and still are of immense relevance to how organizations behave, this paradigm calls for changes within organizations that are strategic. In other words, when organizations introspect themselves internally, strategic changes become an inevitable part of their development. Answer 2. Lewin's change model forms the cornerstone of how changes are dealt with within organizations even today. Establishing its parallel with a cube of ice this model is popularly known as "unfreeze, change, and refreeze". That means if a change is to be brought to a cube of ice, say from being a cube to a cone, it has to first unfreeze (by meting), then change (by putting the unfrozen matter into the desired shape), and finally refreeze (to a cone so as to give a new shape).

In all a change, wherever it has to occur, has to follow a three-stage process. If an organization is taken as a cube of ice, the unfreezing stage would prepare it for the intended change, the second stage of 'change' would prepare its people towards the planned change, and the freezing stage would implement the change.

Change model has to follow deep contemplation before being implemented and more often than not has to be a one-time rather than a repetitive process.

References

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Trist, Eric L. et al. (1997). The Social Engagement of Social Science: A Tavistock Anthology : The Socio-Ecological Perspective (Tavistock Anthology), University of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia.

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