Organizational Development Creating Humane Organizations- [Faculty Series :: Amity Gurgaon]

Peter Drucker predicted that the major changes in
society would be brought about by information. He argues that knowledge has become the central, key resource
that knows no geography. According to him, the largest working group will
become what he termed “knowledge workers.” Over the past few decades or
so organizations have witnessed radical transformations in terms of size,
structure, culture and so on, in particular organizations have had to adapt to
omnipresent volatile changes on a more often basis than not. This in a way has
led to organizations focusing on recruiting people who are educated,
knowledgeable & capable of adjusting to changes time and again, in short
knowledge workers constitute majority part of the organizations workforce, managing
people therefore as a result of this can now be considered as an art rather
than a function. This is purely because of the fact that no longer can
organizations have a major say in their running, organizations now tend to be
more flexible in their approach, and the transformation from authoritarian to
participative management culture is what has led to managing people becoming
difficult in current scenario.

mentioned above managing people is not the only challenge which organizations
are facing, one of the major challenges is that of adapting to volatile
changes, this includes various aspects like meeting customer needs and
requirements as per changing tastes, keeping tabs on competition, continuous
innovation and so on. These mentioned problems are external in nature, however problems
happen within the organizations as well, culture mismatch, interpersonal/
intrapersonal relationships issues, problems related to group/ team dynamics,
communication issues, politics and so on are problems which are part of most
organizations. If we look at all of the above discussion, one can easily say
that sustenance, survival & growth which most organizations are after has
become a difficult task. Keeping in mind
knowledge workers constituting major part of the workforce & external and
internal problems which are omnipresent, how do organizations create a balance
between them, employees and different stakeholders, also at the same time
sustain, survive and grow in an effective and efficient manner?

Organization development is an effort planned,
organization wide, and managed from the top, to increase organization
effectiveness and health through planned interventions in the organizations
“Processes”, using behavioral science knowledge. In short OD is a process which
involves implementing change within an organization in a planned and systematic
manner for the betterment of one and all. The process can be used when an
organization is facing problem (External & Internal mentioned above), or
when the organization wants to grow via the means of implementing a planned
change. In the former case OD consultants assess the situation at grass root
level within an organization and then suggest changes which would enable
organizations to eliminate the problem. In the latter case the OD consultant
assesses where the organization is today and where it would like to be in
future, on the basis of assessment of the two factors the OD consultant
proposes a series of planned changes that will help the organization grow.

Most researches have indicated towards the fact that
change is not something which many people are comfortable with; in particular
this becomes a very complex issue keeping in mind the number of times
organizations have to adapt to changes in the current scenario. OD as a field
makes sure that people working within organizations are capable enough of
adjusting to changes with ease; this is done via the means of showing people
the benefits they would reap as a result of change. Also organizational
development aims at creating a culture whereby both people and organizations
have the willingness to change for each other’s benefit; in short it tries to
create a right balance between people and organizations. OD uses extensive
knowledge of behavioral sciences; this gives it a very humane approach,
Marguiles & Raia (1972), have mentioned humanistic values of OD as being:

Providing opportunities for people to function as human beings rather
than as a resources in the productive process

Providing opportunities for each organization member, as well as for the
organization itself, to develop to their full potential

Seeking to increase the effectiveness of the organization in terms of
all of its goals

Attempting to create an environment in which it is possible to find
exciting and challenging work

Providing opportunities for people in organizations to influence the way
in which they relate to work, the organization, and the environment

Treating each human being as a person with a complex set of needs, all
of which are important to their work and their life

Carefully analyzing the above and comparing it with the
discussions in previous paragraphs it can clearly be seen that OD as a field
not only helps organizations manage change effectively, but also aims to eliminate
any problems which it faces at grass root level. Also the field focuses on
creating humane organizations which have right balance between itself,
employees and different stakeholders involved, on an overall basis it lays the
foundations of an organization which can sustain, survive and grow in the current
volatile and competitive business scenario.