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"Organization development (OD) and organizational change are to all intents and purposes the same thing". Discuss.

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Introduction

"Organization development (OD) and organizational change are to all intents and purposes the same thing". Discuss. The nature of organizational change is very much at the core of working in the profession of OD. Organizational change and organization development are often referenced together. Both OD and organizational change have similar purposes, to improve organization effectiveness, the differences may lie within their characteristics and methods. First, this essay will begin with an attempt to identify and distinguish the definition of organizational change and organization development (OD). Secondly, this essay will discuss the relative similarities of OD and organizational change. Key relationship and their differences will be pointed out. To conclude with, the essay will discuss into whether or not OD and organizational change are to all intents and purposes the same thing. Harvey and Brown (2001) suggest that 'the primary focus of organizational change is unplanned changes from within the system in response to crises and life cycle consideration'1. Because the organizations are operating in an open system whereby it is directly influenced by the environment, there are external as well as internal triggers that force organizations to adapt and respond to changes. These factors may include; technology, customers needs, competitors' activities, changing economic conditions and legislation. These factors drive organizations to change and to closely interact with its operating environment in order to achieve 'the state of dynamic equilibrium', and improve in its operation. ...read more.

Middle

The notion 'planned' implies that the system of change is not a temporary one however; it looks at long-range effort to solve problems and to improve organization performance and efficiency. This OD system of change is viewed on 'organization-wide' basis means that OD focuses on the total system and according to Harvey and Brown (2001), it is not a micro approach to change. The emphasis here is on the development of the organization as a whole unlike management development, which highlights the progress of changing the behaviour of the individuals. This macro-level of change in turn, needs all the supports it can get from to top management for it to be effective and successful. Organization development, as being implemented organization-wide also need the support of individuals throughout the organization as well as from the top-management level. OD is an effort to increase organization effectiveness and health shows that its objective is to improve the organization as a whole via enhancing efficiency and competitiveness of its workforce. Once the preparation is sufficient, using OD activities means planned intervention can be proceed to make permanent changes to the processes within the organization. This is done using behavioural science knowledge, the knowledge gathered through the study of the interactions of business activities, understanding of the workforce, and the business system. ...read more.

Conclusion

if change the structure of the organization, this has an affect on people, as empowerment could both motivate and demotivate the workforce. The second argument here is that, if there is a problem in one area, organization can intervene that area to solve the problem. Where organizational change in this essay, is only the process to identify the need for changes in the dynamic environment, OD implies the long-term plan, intervention process to improve the organization. Huse (1980) identified ten basic classifications of OD interventions. This includes (1) the intervention of the human process (training groups, individual consultation and process consultation), (2) technostructural (Job redesign, and TQM), (3) human resource management intervention (personnel systems, reward system and performance appraisal) and (4) strategic intervention (organizational redesign, and cultural change). To conclude with, the nature of organizational change is very much at the core of organization development. Organizational change and organization development complement each other and are often referenced together. Both OD and organizational change have comparable purposes; to improve organization effectiveness and both emphasizes environmental changes. To an extent, OD incorporates organizational change. Organizational change is a stage of an OD program that detects and responses the need for change from an unplanned basis. Changes can be both planned and unplanned and OD is a deliberate process to improve the organization at all levels. ...read more.

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