Organizational Development Activities

Types of OD Activities:

Change agents have many techniques and intervention approaches available to them, not all of which will be used in a given change program. One useful way of classifying these techniques is in terms of the target groups with which they might be employed. The techniques can be used to improve the effectiveness of individuals, the working relationship between two or three individuals, the functioning of groups, the relationship between groups, or the effectiveness of the total organization.

OD for the individual:

Sensitivity training was a nearly and fairly widespread OD technique. In “T” (training) groups, about ten participants are guided by a trained leader to increase their sensitivity to and skills in handling interpersonal relationships. Sensitivity training is less frequently used by organizations nowadays, and participants are usually screened to make sure they can withstand the anxiety raised by a T group. Precautions are also taken to ensure that attendance is truly voluntary.

OD for two or three People:

Transaction analysis (TA) concentrates on styles and content of communication (transactions or messages) between people. It teaches people to send messages that are clear and responsible and to give responses that are natural and reasonable. Transactional analysis attempts to reduce destructive communication habits or ‘games’ in which the intent or full meaning of messages is obscured.

Pioneered by Eric Berne, TA encourages people to recognize the context of their communications. For example, sometimes the words of a boss’s message to an employee sound pleasant such as “Please have the report on Friday”, but if the boss doesn’t think Friday is a realistic deadline, the context of the message is “Now I’ve gotcha! TA encourages people to be more open and honest and to address the contexts of their messages.

Team Buildings Activities:


Diagnostic meetings: How are we doing? Diagnostic meetings: Where would we like to go?

Task accomplishment:

Problem solving, decision making role clarification, goals setting etc. Special problems, role and goal clarification, resources utilization etc.

Building and maintaining relationships:

Focus on effective interpersonal relationships, including boss subordinate and peer. Focus on interpersonal or inter-unit conflict and underutilization of other team members as resources.

Management of group processes:

Focus on understanding group processes and group culture. Focus on communication, decision making, and task allocations.

Role analysis and role question:

Techniques used for role clarification and definition. Techniques used for role clarification and definition.

Eight Tasks of Transition management team in Leading Changes

1. Establish context for change and provide guidelines
2. Stimulate conversation
3. Provide appropriate resources
4. Coordinate and align projects
5. Ensure congruence of messages, activities, policies, and behavior.
6. Provide opportunities for joint creations
7. Anticipate, identify and address people’s problems.
8. Prepare the critical mass.

Managing Change:

Two important events focused AT&T’s efforts to manage change. The first is the consistent management style of CEO Robert Allen, who listens to employees and encourages them to speak out and to take pride in the new, aggressive AT&T, Allen often will go into a meeting and simply sit done and not say a word. He is committed to drawing on the substantial human resources of AT&T for a constant stream of creative ideas and innovations.

An indication of the success of AT&T’s planned change program is its recent aggressive takeover of NCR Corporation. At the old AT&T, businesses were built from internal capabilities. Such an aggressive move would have been unthinkable. While the jury is still out on the success of this move, AT&T is clearly looking to NCR to help its computer business and to provide yet another source of change and innovation.

OD is a long range effort to improve the organization’s problem solving and renewal processes through a collaborative management of the organizational culture. It is pervasive and requires the support of top management. It focuses on organizational culture because that has a strong and lasting influence on employee attitudes, beliefs, and actions.

OD activities focus on individuals (sensitivity training), small two or three person groups (transaction analysis), teams or groups (process consultation or team building), inter-group relations (confrontation meetings) and the whole organization (the survey feedback technique).

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