What are the Techniques of Organisational Development?
The term organisational development was popularised in the 1950s and 1960s. Until then, discussions were mainly focused on individual and group level changes. Organisational development was a modern approach that focused on bringing changes in the overall organisational aspect. Organisational development is a technique used for bringing change in the entire aspect of the organisation rather than focusing on individuals or groups so that the changes can be readily absorbed.
Types of Techniques of Organisational Development
- OD techniques are also referred to as OD interventions.
- OD techniques or interventions are sets of structured activities in which selected organisational units, also known as target groups (which can be groups or individuals), engage with a task or a series of tasks where the ultimate goal is the improvement or development of the organisation.
Some of the most popular techniques of OD are:
- Sensitivity training is popularly referred to as T-groups (T for training).
- This technique of OD assumes that a manager’s behaviour is not how he thinks he behaves but how others view his behaviour.
- Sensitivity training depends on unstructured group interactions to change the behaviour of people in the organisation.
- This also helps an individual to understand the effect of his behaviour on others and his reaction to the behaviour of others.
- Various characteristics of T groups are:
- A typical T group consist of 10-15 members, brought together in a free and open environment away from the workplace.
- There is no formal agenda and the individuals can interact among themselves freely aided by a facilitator.
- The facilitator’s role is to create an opportunity for the members to express their ideas, feelings, attitudes and beliefs.
Thus, T groups help in providing participants with increased awareness of their own behaviour and how others perceive them, greater sensitivity to the behaviour and increased understanding of the group processes.
There are also limitations to this technique as the benefits received from this method is only short-lived and employees tend to resort back to their old behaviour once the training is over.
Grid Training and Development
- One of the most important approaches to OD is Blake and Mouton’s Managerial Grid.
- This technique takes into account two major concerns found in all organisations, concern for productivity and concern for people.
- In grid OD, with the use of questionnaires, the consultant determines the existing styles of managers, so that they could re-examine their own styles and work towards overcoming flaws in their existing style.
- A typical grid OD program has the following stages:
- Training: The managers learn about the grid concept and how they are applied. They assess their own managerial styles and work on skills such as team development, problem-solving, communication etc.
- Team Development: What was learned during the training stage is applied to the actual organisation situation.
- Intergroup development: While the above two stages are aimed at managerial development, this stage marks the beginning of overall organisational development. Intergroup tensions are dealt with openly and joint problem-solving procedures are adopted.
- Organisational goal setting: Here, the participants contribute to and agree upon the important goals of the organisation. A sense of commitment and self-control are instilled in the participants.
- Goal attainment: In this stage, the participants attempt to accomplish the goals which they set in the
- Stabilisation: In this stage, all the efforts from the above stages are evaluated, and critical analysis is made. This helps in analysing the shortcomings and making necessary changes.
- The assumption of process consultation is that an organisation’s effectiveness depends upon how well its people relate to one another.
- An external consultant will be present. Since the consultant is not a part of the organisation, he is in a better position to suggest remedies to the problems faced by the organisation.
- Edgar Schein suggested various stages in the process consultation technique. They are:
- Initiate Contract: The client contacts the consultant with a problem that cannot be solved by normal organisation procedures.
- Define the relationship: The consultant and client enter into a detailed contract.
- Select a setting and a Method: Understanding how and where the consultant will do the job that needs to be done.
- Gather data and make a diagnosis: Diagnosis is done by collecting data using questionnaires, data and interviews.
- Intervene: Feedback, coaching, suggestions, structural interventions can be made in this stage.
- Reduce involvement and terminate: Consultant reduces his involvement with the organisation by mutual agreement but leaves the door open for future involvement.
- It is a technique of OD by which members of the group analyse how they work together and plan changes that will improve their efficiency and effectiveness.
- Workgroup problems may be task-related conflicts or personality conflicts (interpersonal conflicts).
- Team building requires the help of a skilled consultant to increase the effectiveness of the group’s tasks and maintenance roles. Feedback is also an important component of team building.
- This approach was first developed at the Institute of Social Research of the University of Michigan.
- Survey feedback involves two basic activities:
- Collecting data about the organisation using questionnaires.
- Conducting feedback meetings and workshops in which the data are presented to organisational members.
- Survey feedback helps in bringing changes in attitudes and perceptions of participants. However, it is less useful with teams that are mainly concerned with day to day activities and short term results.
- This technique focuses on the interventions by a third party to resolve conflict situations.
- The aim of this technique is to analyse the conflict’s causes and with the assistance of a third-party consultant, resolves the conflict effectively.
- The consultant uses the right intervention technique to solve the problems. The intervention techniques include wisely choosing the place, using effective intervention strategies, setting an appropriate agenda for the meeting etc.
- The objective of role-playing is narrow ie, to increase the trainee’s skill in dealing with others.
- A conflict situation is artificially created and the trainees are assigned different roles to play, without any other information given beforehand.
- It is a method of learning by doing, and the results are immediate as the trainees and the observers analyse the behaviour of the role players.
- The OD techniques discussed above are behaviourist in nature. In addition to these, there are structural approaches as well. Some of them are:
- Change in the structure of the organisation
- Job enlargement
- Job redesigning
- Job enrichment
- Training and career development etc.
The organisation should choose the proper technique that suits a particular situation so that there is better organisational development.
How to Prepare for Theories of Learning?
UGC NET Exam aspirants who preparing for commerce as their paper 2 subjects will have to go through the topic 'Techniques of Organisational Develpment'.
- All the applicants are also advised to solve as many UGC NET Previous Year Papers as possible. Previous Year Papers give you an idea of what to expect in the examination, it prepares you for the types of questions asked in the examination.
- UGC NET Mock Tests are also proven to be a great tool for preparation.
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