Classifying the different types of Organizational development interventions

Classifying OD interventions:  The inventory of OD interventions is quite extensive. We will explore several classification schemes here to help understand how interventions “clump” together in terms of

  1. The objectives of the interventions.
  2. The targets of the interventions.

Becoming familiar with how interventions relate to one another is useful for planning the overall OD strategy.

Diagnostic Activities : fact finding activities designed to ascertain the state of the system, the “way things are”. Available methods range from projective devices such as “build a collage that represents your place in this organization” to the more traditional data collection methods of interviews, questionnaires, surveys, meetings, and examining organizational records.

Team building activities : Activities designed to enhance the effective operation of system teams. These activities focus on task issues such as the way things are done, the skills and resources needed to accomplish tasks, the quality of relationship among the team members or between members and the leader, and how well the team gets its job done. In addition, one must consider different kinds of teams such as formal work teams, temporary tasks force teams, newly constituted teams, and cross-functional teams.

Intergroup activities : activities designed to improve the effectiveness of interdependent groups- group that must work together to produce a common output. They focus on joint activities and the output of the group as considered as a single system rather than as two subsystems. When two groups are involved the activities are designated intergroup or interface activities; when two groups are involved, the activities are the activities designated intergroup or interface activities; when more than two groups are involved, the activities are called organizational mirroring.

Survey feedback Activities : activities that rely on questionnaire surveys to generate information that is then used to identify problems and opportunities. Groups analyze the data regarding their performance and design action plans to correct problems.

Education and Training Activities : Activities designed to improve individual’s skills, abilities, and knowledge. Several activities are available and several approaches possible. For example, the individual can be educated in isolation from his or her own work group (say, in a T-group consisting of strangers), or one can be educated in relation to the work group (say, when a work team learns how better to manage interpersonal conflict). The activities may be directed toward technical skills required for performing tasks or may be directed toward improving interpersonal competence. The activities may be directed toward leadership issues, responsibilities and functions of group members, decision-making, problem solving, goal setting and planning, and so forth.

Techno structural or Structural Activities : activities designed to improve the effectiveness of organizational structures and job designs. The activities may take the form of

  1. Experimenting with new organization structures and evaluation their effectiveness in terms of specific goals or
  2. Devising new ways to bring technical resources to bear on problems.

Process consultation activities : activities that “help the client to perceive, understand, and act upon process events which occur in the client’s environment.” These activities perhaps more accurately describe accurately describe an approach, a consulting mode in which the client gains insight into the human processes in organizations and learn skills in diagnosing and managing them. Primary emphasis is on processes such as communications, leader and member roles in groups, problem solving and decision making, group norms and group growth, leadership and authority, and intergroup cooperation and competition.

Grid organization Development activities : Activities developed by Robert Blake and Jane Mouton, which constitute a six-phase change involving the total organization. Internal resources are developed to conduct most of the programs, which may take from three to five years to complete. The model starts with upgrading individual managers skills are leadership abilities, moves to team improvement activities, then to intergroup relations activities. Later phases include corporate planning for improvement, developing implementation tactics, and finally, an evaluation phase assessing change in the organization culture and looking towards future directions.

Third party peacemaking activities : Activities conducted by a skilled consultant the third party, designed to help two members of an organization manage their interpersonal conflict. These activities are based on confrontation tactics and an understanding of processes involved in conflict and conflict resolution.

Coaching and Counseling Activities : activities that entail the consultant or other organization members working individuals to help

  1. Define learning goals.
  2. Learn how others see their behavior.
  3. Learn new behaviors to help them better achieve their goals.

A central feature of this activity is none valuation feedback others give to an individual. A second feature is the second exploration of alternative behaviors.

Life and career planning activities : Activities that enable individuals to focus on their life and career objectives and how to go about achieving them. Structured activities include producing life and career inventories, discussing goals and objectives and assessing capabilities, needed additional training, and areas of strength and deficiency.

Planning and Goal- Setting Activities : Activities that include theory and experience in planning and goal setting, problem-solving models, planning paradigms, ideals organization versus real organization “ discrepancy” models, and the like. The goal is to improve these skills at the levels of the individual group and total organization

Strategies Management Activities : activities’ that help key policy makers to reflect systematically on the organization’s basic mission and goals and environmental demands, threats, and opportunities,  and  to engage in long-range action planning of both a reactive and proactive nature. These activities direct attention in two important directions: outside the organization to a consideration of the environment, and away from the present to the future.

Organizational Transformation activities : Activities that involved  large- scale system changes, activities design  to fundamentally change the nature of the organization.ost everything about the organization is changed- structure, management philosophy, reward systems, the design of work, mission, values, and cultures. Total quality programs are transformational: so are programs to create high performance organizations or high performance work systems. Sociotechnical systems theory and open systems planning provide the basis for such activities.


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