Organization Development: Planned Environment Change

Fundamentals of Organization Development

Richard Beckhard

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  • I want to look now at organization development as a phenomenon. In this chapter, I will first develop an operational definition of organization development, or OD, as it is usually called. I will examine the characteristics of an effective and healthy organization, then look at the operational goals of organization-development efforts, and discuss some of the generalizable characteristics of organization-development efforts. I will then examine some types of organization conditions that produce such a planned-change effort. Finally, I will compare organization-development efforts with other plannedchange efforts such as management-development programs, organizationwide training efforts, and operations-research efforts. What Is Organization Development? Definition . Organization development is an effort (1) planned , (2) organization wide , and (3) managed from the top , to (4) increase organization effectiveness and health through (5) planned interventions in the organization's “processes”, using behavioral-science knowledge. 1. It is a planned change effort. An OD program involves a systematic diagnosis of the organization, the development of a strategic plan for improvement, and the mobilization of resources to carry out the effort. 2. It involves the total “ system ”. An organization-development effort is related to a total organization change such as a change in the…

    Organization Development: Planned Environment Change’, RichardBeckhardOrganization Development: Strategies and Models(Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1969), pp. 9–25. © 1969, Reprinted with permission of Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ.

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