Essay Sample on Organizational Development

Published: 2023-02-14
Essay Sample on Organizational Development
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Project management Goal Professional development Strategic management
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1377 words
12 min read

Organizational Development (OD) is a very crucial and significant process. OD involves each and every business operations aspect. OD is an interdisciplinary field in nature with contributions from sociology, communication, human resources management, organizational/industrial psychology, and business (Cummings, 2014, pg. 2). Because of the diverse intellectual roots, it comes as no surprise that we have many definitions of OD. However, in simple terms, OD can be said to be a planned concept of change and an extensive organizational effort to improve the viability and effectiveness of the organization (Cummings, 2014, p.g 2).

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OD is also considered to be a behavioral science aimed at managing and understanding organizational change and is also a field of scientific inquiry and study (Smither , 2016, p.g 8). Kurt Lewin is accredited with the origin and development of organizational development. Lewin's work on Group dynamics and Action-Research primarily uses the basic concepts of the Organizational Development process. Historically, the 60's made the most influential times of the T-group that saw the instilling of the Lewin's Force organizational theory and field analysis. Kurt Lewin created a planned approach of change which applied different democratic and humanistic values and focused on resolving issues involving groups and created improvement through the involvement of change consultants, employees, and managers (Cummings, 2014, pg. 6).

All definitions of OD agree that the purpose and backdrop of OD primarily is change. It is widely known that large scale organizational change can be very complicated, and it should be met without any doubts (Jones, 2013, p.g 10). This means that OD professionals should come up with interventions for change to be integrated and developed to the functioning of the organization. Organizations need to change for them to become satisfying, effective, and productive to the members. Change is also a necessity at the organizational level as consumers demand more while technologies continue to rapidly develop in a changing life cycle with investors always demanding for positive results (Cummings, 2014, pg. 99). This means that organizations need to build new organizational structures, technologies, economic structures, processes, and strategies. As a result, members of the organization are also required to change. Employees are required to learn and acquire new skills as jobs rapidly change or at times are even eliminated. Members of the organization are expected to flexibly and quickly adapt to the latest changes and developments. Individuals should ensure they are up to date with the latest skills since being reluctant and comfortable can be a fatal flaw in the modern world (Jones, 2013, pg. 311). For members of a firm, change can be exciting and enlightening and can also be frustrating, stressful, and hurting.

When companies try implementing conscious changes, whether it involves the implementation of new IT systems; direction, strategy changes, or goals; or adapting to new management, OD provides the relevant techniques and processes to make the change more efficient and successful. OD interventions incorporate skill-building and training programs. OD is mainly more centrally concerned with contexts which would lead to the success of a particular program like process design, job role clarification, or management support (Smither, 2016, p.g 22). The main aim of organizational development is to address long-term changes in a company. Even in events where the intervention is done for a short period, the change is meant to be permanent or a long-term one. The efforts of OD are meant to develop long-lasting systematic changes (Cummings, 2014, pg. 385).

An effective OD can boost the morale of employees since the development of an effective and efficient structure makes employees to feel more valued and empowered. My current role as the project manager will enable me to solve the issues facing our organization and creatively work with a team to analyze different processes and come up with effective solutions. The implementation of the OD program will require an investment of money and time which must be utilized effectively. Change is inevitable, and this significantly justifies why OD is an effective solution to the many challenges the organization faces (Cummings, 2014, Pg. 485).

The first step of the OD process will be taking the initiative and identifying the area in the operations of the organization which needs change. An analysis of every need will be done and expectations of the possible effects of changes in the management plan. I am the project manager of OD for XYZ, an American trading company with 12,000 employees, which was forced to embark on a significant strategic change program because of stiff competition. Global expansion prompted the organization to regroup into a three-division model. I have designed a decentralized, shared service structure, made of 8 new groups, established for administrative departments who are in charge of supporting internal divisions. Executives have a developed vision and mission statement to support the new organizational culture. This statement explains the firm's new core values and prompts managers to share the message with their staff. This initiative was started and by the top management while I was to lead its implementation.

Being the project manager to oversee the transition process, I contacted several external consultants. I understood that a simple communication to the staff about the new values of the company would not lead to the behavioral changes required by the new model. The established administrative groups would significantly bring changes to processes of work in the company and the lead managers in the eight groups also critically needed help to put the new beliefs and practices in practice. The outsourced consultants proposed employee surveys to gauge the feelings and beliefs of the employees and to give an upward mechanism of communication. The results of the surveys were availed to managers of each group, and the outsourced consultants coached the managers on how to interpret the results to gauge personal development and self-exploration. Our internal consultancy team also worked with the managers and helped reading the results of the surveys with staff and developed specific actions to meet the unique needs of each group. The consultants also conducted workshops for the leaders of the eight groups to assist them in developing communication skills and personal leadership. The survey results suggested that the two areas needed improvement across the team of managers. This cycle was repeated for two years using different staff survey questions, feedback steps, and manager workshops which covered different subjects every time.

The skills and knowledge gained during this assignment should be transferred and incorporated into working practices. In the final stages of the process, surveys and interviews will be carried, and they are supposed to indicate if all staff members share a common positive feeling about the change. Group managers are also expected to report a more trusting relationship between the managers and their employees, which should be backed up by evidence of increased open communication. The group managers will take the initiative of making regular improvements to their different groups. The company after the process should experience changes in leadership, management tools, structure, strategy, the cultural context of the organization, and employee orientation. The achievement of these changes requires a broad set of workshops, coaching, and surveys to support the implementation of the changes. The change supporting activities are essential in helping the application of lasting change effects. Without OD, the organization will have had a challenging time in creating effective and flexible change management programs. A group only becomes an effective team when the team members hold shared visions and goals (Jones, 2013, p.g 297). This is the primary motivation source where the coordination of collective efforts results in the completion of objectives and tasks. For example, the interviews and surveys carried ensured every member was on the same page and understood the goals and objectives of the project. The formation of smaller groups critically ensured that each group achieved their specific sub-goals. The establishment of subgroups helped to streamline the communication process as members acquired a more in-depth insight into the goal of the OD process. Furthermore, this also facilitated the execution of tasks as they became more specific. Constant changes characterize the modern environment, and this emphasizes the reason why OD is more significant than ever before.


Cummings, T.G. and Worley, C.G., 2014. Organization development and change. Cengage learning.

Jones, G.R., 2013. Organizational theory, design, and change. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson,.

Smither, R., Houston, J. and McIntire, S., 2016. Organization development: Strategies for changing environments. Routledge.

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