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Organizational Development (OD) is concerned with planned change in an organizational context. OD is applied behavioral science targeted at changing the total organization or system. The major goal of OD is increased organizational effectiveness and individual development. Culture and process are typical high priority targets of OD. Culture consists of basic assumptions, values, and norms of behavior that are viewed as the correct way to perceive, think, and feel. As culture has a heavy influence on both thinking and feeling even in highly technical/scientific fields, culture change is seen as necessary for lasting organizational improvement/ change/ transformation. Primary distinguishing characteristics of OD include:
  • Focus on culture and process.
  • Encourages collaboration between leaders and members in managing culture and process.
  • Teams and groups are typical targets of intervention.
  • Focus on the human and social aspects of the organization and in so doing also intervenes in the technological and structural aspects.
  • Problem solving and decision making at all levels.
  • System thinking and total system change.
  • Goal to improve the organizations ability to solve its own problems.
  • Continuous learning and self-reflection / self-analysis.
  • Action Research - a participative model of iterative diagnosis and taking action.
  • Seeks the betterment of both individuals and the organization.
Topics or fields that use methods also used in OD include: the learning organization, change management, organizational transformation, knowledge management, leadership, meeting facilitation/ effective meetings, process analysis, process improvement and business process re-engineering (BPR), strategic planning, total quality improvement, team building. Most of these topics or fields have their own sub-categories in the directory.
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Organizational Development Network - Sample articles from magazine, full access through paid membership. Resource site containing reference material and member contact information. Action Science Network - A summary of Chris Argyris's model of communication. MIT's Inventing the Organizations of the 21st Century - The mission of the center is understand emerging ways of working and to invent entirely new and more effective approaches and put them into practice. Site includes a discussion paper "What do we really want? A manifesto for the organizations of the 21st Century". MIT's Center for Coordination Science - Includes number of working papers online. The center's home is MIT's Sloan School of Management in Cambridge, MA. Action Research International - Refereed online journal of action research. Sponsored by the Institute of Workplace Research Learning and Development (WoRLD) within the Graduate College of Management at Southern Cross University, Australia. Richard Karash's HomePage - Small collection of papers on systems thinking, groupware, organizational learning. World at Work - Non-profit association dedicated to knowledge leadership in compensation, benefits and total rewards. Offers certification and education programs focusing on disciplines associated with attracting, retaining and motivating employees. Mike Wills Learning Services - A knowledge base covering aspects of individual and organizational learning and development. Society for Organizational Learning - A consortium of corporations, consultants, students, and researchers dedicated to building knowledge about fundamental institutional change. Membership and access by paid membership. Human Systems Dynamics Institute - Promoting human systems dynamics through research, training, and certification of organizational development professionals for leadership in change management. Rapid Business Improvement - Tools for coaches and consultants focused on organizational development and business effectiveness issues. Based in Hounslow, United Kingdom. Industrial and Corporate Change - A journal committed to present and interpret the evidence on corporate and industrial change. Full text of articles available to subscribers only. Resultance, Inc. - Provides consulting for business and personal growth. Includes services, news, and resources. Seattle, Washington, USA. Association for Talent Development (ATD) - Founded in 1944 ATD's membership includes more than 70,000 people, working in the field of workplace performance in 100 countries worldwide.
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