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This article is written like a personal reflection, personal essay, or argumentative essay that states a Wikipedia editor’s personal feelings or presents an original argument about a topic. Organization development as a practice involves an ongoing, systematic process of implementing effective organizational change. OD is both a field of applied science focused on understanding and managing organizational change and a field of scientific study and inquiry. Organization development, as a growing field, is responsive to many new approaches.
OD, although he died before the concept became mainstream in the mid-1950s. Kurt Lewin played a key role in the evolution of organization development as it is known today. The failure of off-site laboratory training to live up to its early promise was one of the important forces stimulating the development of OD. Laboratory training is learning from a person’s “here and now” experience as a member of an ongoing training group. Such groups usually meet without a specific agenda. Their purpose is for the members to learn about themselves from their spontaneous “here and now” responses to an ambiguous hypothetical situation. A major difficulty developed, however, in transferring knowledge gained from these “stranger labs” to the actual situation “back home”.
Underlying Organization Development are humanistic values. As objectives of organizational development are framed keeping in view specific situations, they vary from one situation to another. In other words, these programs are tailored to meet the requirements of a particular situation. This, in turn, leads to greater personal, group, and organizational effectiveness.
A change agent in the sense used here is not a technical expert skilled in such functional areas as accounting, production, or finance. The change agent is a behavioral scientist who knows how to get people in an organization involved in solving their own problems. The change agent can be either external or internal to the organization. Researchers at the University of Oxford found that leaders can be effective change-agents within their own organizations if they are strongly committed to “knowledge leadership” targeted towards organizational development. The change agent may be a staff or line member of the organization who is schooled in OD theory and technique. In such a case, the “contractual relationship” is an in-house agreement that should probably be explicit with respect to all of the conditions involved except the fee.