Organizational Development

What is Organizational Development?

Organizational Development (OD) is the technique of hierarchical change in the organization. Organizational Development (OD) is corelated with behavioral-science which is not an overnight transformation process. It should be implemented in the organization in a systematic way, so that organization can be benefited from the process. Key concepts of OD theory include organizational culture, organizational climate and organizational strategy which emerged from human relations studies in the 1930s.


Organizational Development as per Scholar

Beckhard (1969), “Organization Development is an effort planned, organization-wide, and managed from the top, to increase organization effectiveness and health through planned interventions in the organization’s ‘processes,’ using behavioral-science knowledge.”

Cummings and Worley (1997), “Organization Development is a system-wide application of behavioral science knowledge to the planned development and reinforcement of organizational strategies, structures and processes for improving an organization’s effectiveness.”


Objectives of Organizational Development

Organizational development strategies help organization to achieve the objectives and goals of the organization. There are many objectives of organizational development which can be summarized as below-

  1. To align employees with organizations mission and vision,
  2. To handle organizational conflict in an effective manner,
  3. To increase satisfaction and commitment level of the employees,
  4. To increase interpersonal trust level of the employees,
  5. To solve problems effectively rather neglecting,
  6. To increase employee’s collaboration etc.


7 Key Benefits of Organizational Development

Organizational development enables organization to be equipped with right capabilities to adapt in a changing environment. It increases productivity and efficiency which ensure organizational growth. 7 key benefits of organizational development include the following:

  1. Continuous Development

Organization can enjoy the flavor of sustainable growth or development when they practice or participate in organizational development. Organizational development provides continuous improvement in productivity thus organizational growth occurred. In OD, strategies are developed, implemented and evaluated in regular interval to ensure the effectiveness of the system. As a result, both internal and external changes occurred for the betterment of employee and organization.


  1. Effective Business Expansion

Business exploration in new areas targeting new customers is always a good dream of OD professional and organization also. Organization expands its business when it run through OD practices. Because future business expansion depends on the vision of future operation of the organization. OD helps employees to be align with the vision of the organization and they try to contribute in effective business expansion of the organization.


  1. Increased Effective Communication

Effective communication system and culture is established through practicing of organizational development strategy. OD increases the effectiveness of communication as well as enables organization to develop efficient communication style. This system helps employees to be aligned with the mission and vision of the company. An open communication system is established through OD which helps employees to understand the importance of change in the organization for better growth and development in near future.


  1. Employee Growth

Organizational initiatives for employee growth are always treated as the best practice in OD. When organization emphasized on organizational development, ultimately employee’s communication strategy improved and they can easily fit themselves with change culture. Organizations arrange different types of outbound program to improve employee morale and make them skill as well. This initiative not only helps in organizational development, but also it increases employee growth.


  1. Improvement of Products and Services

Due to organizational development, products and services level improved as lots of innovation take place in workplace. Organizational change happens and employees feel motivated to contribute in organizational growth.


  1. Increased Organizational Profit

Organizational development ensures increased organizational profit through improvement of products and services. Due to organizational development practices in place, employee absenteeism and turn over reduces, multiple unnecessary cost reduces and ultimately productivity and profit increases. Employer’s satisfaction increases as organizational profit increases through quality product and services.


  1. Capacity Building

Organizational development (OD) strategies help organization to build the capacity of the employees through different kinds of training and workshop. As requirement is being changing over the time, organization should keep their employees updated according to trends. OD makes employees competent for the growing market.

Different small and medium scale project can be run under OD strategy to increase employee’s competency and overcome the weaknesses.


  1. Cost Reduction

Employee satisfaction is increased through OD. This OD process helps to reduce employee absenteeism and turnover which reduces the costs related to recruitment. OD strategy focuses on continuous improvement that results in improved productivity and reduces operational costs.

Related: Top 15 Employee Motivation Strategies and Benefits


The Process of Organizational Development

The organizational development process is a systematic and research-based series of steps. The steps of organizational development include the following:

  • Problem Identification: Problems should identify which are aligned with business goals. Companies can use data-driven approach to identify problems through formal surveys and employee’s feedback. Organization should collect or identify problems according to organizational development strategies and these should be considered as scope of opportunity.


  • Situational Assessment: This is the formal assessment of problems through documentation review, focus group discussion, individual consultation, survey etc. The purpose of situational assessment is to identify the reasons behind the problems, find out the barriers of improvement and solutions. This is considered as fact gathering and assessment.


  • Action Plan Preparation: This is the most important and longest step of organizational development process. Here, organization prepare action plan to overcome identified problems. Action plan should address specific action with time line and dissemination of responsibility. Actions should be SMART in action plan to ensure targeted output.


  • Implementation of Action Plan: This is the stage of putting plan in action. Strategic steps need to take for proper implementation of action plan. Continuous monitoring, feedback and communication can increase effectiveness of this implementation step.


  • Data Gathering: Company has to gather all data to know the effectiveness of changes towards business goal. This will help to manage overall process effectively, so that company can know and evaluate their initiatives against identified problems.


  • Evaluation of Result: It’s the step of evaluating employee’s feedback, whether changes can effectively meet organizations business goals or not. This process helps organization to think differently for overcoming all obstacle. Evaluation of result should process strategically so getting optimum result.


  • Feedback and Adaptation: Feedback collection sources and process need to be authentic for accurate result. Otherwise, falsified data may be gathered. Company should take corrective action based on feedback. If analysis report or feedback observed successful then company can keep current plan in their continuation plan.


Leadership and Organizational Development Jobs

Organizational development is an effective business process to improve companies’ performance through enhanced structures and strategies. OD helps companies diagnose problems, enhance employee’s satisfaction, increase profits. Presently, companies are offering jobs related to leadership and organizational development. Here are some examples of organizational development jobs with specific responsibility-

  • Organizational Development Manager
  • Organization Effectiveness Manager
  • Human Resource Specialists
  • Talent Development Manager
  • Learning Specialist
  • Organizational Consultant
  • Succession Planning Specialist.


1. Organizational Development Manager

Organizational development manager or specialists plan, develops, implements and administers development and training programs that are usually related to employee engagement and leadership development. Major job responsibility of an organizational development manager or specialist includes the following:

  • To conduct training needs assessment for employee development in order to achieve the goals and objectives of the company.
  • To design and develop training programs for management and employees.
  • To develop learning materials, audio-visual materials, instructor guides and training plan.
  • To conduct training evaluation for achieving company objectives.
  • To train employees on HR issues and best practices.



2. Organization Effectiveness Manager

Organization effectiveness managers help organization to solve different type of complex organizational challenges. This is one of the jobs in organizational development that is mostly related with the activity for achieving organizational goals and objectives. Major job responsibility of an organizational effectiveness manager includes the following:

  • To conduct training needs assessment for employee development in order to achieve the goals and objectives of the company.
  • To identifies and incorporates best practices in the organization.
  • To design and develop HR training programs for the employees.
  • To conduct training needs assessment for employee development in order to achieve the goals and objectives of the company.
  • To design and develop training programs for management and employees.
  • To develop learning materials, audio-visual materials and training plan.
  • To conduct training evaluation for achieving company objectives.


3. Human Resource Specialist

Human resource specialists or HR Specialists support organization to improve overall performances. Major job responsibility of Human Resource Specialist includes the following:

  • To create, implement and evaluate all kinds of policies and procedures to achieve business goals.
  • To design and implement effective training programs.
  • To evaluate effectiveness of training program and record keeping.
  • To conduct and analyze compensation survey.
  • To conduct quarterly and annual employee performance assessment.
  • To developing and administer health and safety programs for the employees.
  • To perform job evaluation and job analysis.
  • To perform workforce planning.
  • To maintain all employee records and hiring information.
  • To manage the recruitment process.


4. Talent Development Manager

Talent development manager of an organization identify training needs analysis, staffing and create strategies to help employees achieve goals. Major job responsibility of Talent Development Manager includes the following:

  • To drive employee engagement strategy of the company.
  • To look after rewards and recognitions programs of the company.
  • To develop specific criteria for evaluating effectiveness of training program and monitor training activities as well.
  • To lead and manage the performance management system.
  • To conduct exit interview of the employees for increasing HR functions.
  • To resolve employee relation issues.
  • To conduct investigation, prepare and maintain reports of investigation and submit to management.



5. Learning Specialist

A learning specialist generally focuses on design and development of positive educational experiences in the organization which is aligned with organization’s goal and objective. Major job responsibility of a learning specialist includes the following:

  • To develop and implement mentorship program for achieving organizational goal.
  • To develop and implement learning strategies of the company.
  • To provide guidance on adult learning theory and practice.
  • To develop learning solutions for existing organizational problems.
  • To implement and look after compliance training programs across the departments.


6. Organizational Consultant

Organizational consultants generally work with frontline supervisors and they ensure positive communication to help others grow. Major job responsibility of an Organizational Consultant includes the following:

  • To assess and reengineering of business structures, processes, and resource utilization.
  • To execute efficient and cost-effective developmental strategies in different operational stages in the facility.
  • To design and implement training programs and monitoring of training activities.
  • To conduct skills assessment of the employees and staff development initiatives as well.
  • To optimize departmental efficiency for achieving business objectives.
  • To ensure employee retention by taking necessary measures in the facility.

Read: 7 Key Steps to Succession Planning


7. Succession Planning Specialist

Succession planning specialist is one of the major jobs in organizational development. Major job responsibility of succession planning specialist includes the following:

  • To develop succession strategies in the organization that aligns with organizational business objectives.
  • To identify relevant assessment tools for talent identification and ensure availability of resources across the business.
  • Monitor the use of talent assessment tools and techniques by taking feedback from department head.
  • To ensure a fair succession assessment plan for proper selection of talent and succession management as well.
  • To ensure succession planning strategy for critical position of the organization.
  • To review succession planning strategy periodically and monitor the progress of succession planning.
  • To evaluate succession planning program documentation and relevant metrics.
  • To provide department wise training regarding the overall procedure of succession planning and career development.


There are lots of jobs in organizational development. The scope has been increased recently and it is growing day by day. Organizational development practices increase the effectiveness of the employees and ensure organizational growth. So, every organization should practice OD without any delay and should be included in organizational strategy to ensure organizational development. Organizational development strategies and models allow organization for moving towards sustainable development.


Challenges in Organizational Development

There are many benefits of OD, but organization have to face some challenges for successful implementation of OD. Some common challenges of organizational development process include the following:

  • Fear of the unknown: Employees get fear when organization try to initiate new action. They think that their job is not secured and it will make them job less. As a result, they didn’t involve themselves completely.
  • Improper Communication: New initiatives can’t see the light horizon due to improper communication system of the organization. It may create difficulties in case of OD implementation.
  • Lack of understanding: Some employees of the organization didn’t show positive attitude in case of organizational change which is considered as challenge of OD. Proper training and counselling can change employee mindset which helps to improve organizational culture.
  • Stress: In absent of proper support for the implementation, employee may feel stress. Employer should take only realistic action. It helps organization to remove employees stress or burnout and ensure work-life balance.
  • Insufficient Leadership: This is considered as a challenges of organizational development strategy. Because OD implementation is almost impossible without proper leadership skills and practices.


Organizational development (OD) increases organization effectiveness, make employees more efficient and reduces drawbacks of the organization. It also improves the importance of teamwork in the workplace. Organizational development strategies could be different from organization to organization. But the ultimate object remains same for every organization.


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