The Field Of Organizational Development

1564 Words7 Pages
The field of organizational development (OD) has a rich history of research and practice that is driven by a variety of business needs such as change management, leadership development, internal communications and business process re-engineering. OD has been, and arguably still is, the major approach to organizational change across the Western world, and is globally increasing. However, the ambiguity of the OD discipline is challenged with a posture to curve a standard definition. Richard Beckhard, an organizational theorist might have formulated the first formal definition of OD, though many similar definitions emerged in that year. Beckhard (1969) defined OD as “an effort [that is] (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” (p. 9). Moving to a more modern definition, Cummings & Morley (2008) refers to organization development as a “process that applies a broad range of behavioral science knowledge and practices to help organizations build their capacity to change and to achieve greater effectiveness, including increased financial performance, customer satisfaction, and organization member engagement” (p.1). Combining these definitions, OD can be surmised as a planned process of change that aims to improve organizational effectiveness and performance through quantifiable and qualitative factors
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