Organisation Development – Historical Perspective

Organisation Development – Historical Perspective

1. Prepare the historical perspective of organization development and Design globally and nationally. 2. Identify date wise the theoritical frameworks which have evolved. Organisational development as a concept mainly started in the field of education. Early 1950s – Stephen M. Corey and Kurt Luwin’s Action Research * Had all elements of OD but in the field of education * Concepts of starting with the top and using the entire school * Process interventions such as advanced coaching etc. Use of research with experts in the field (like consultants for a specific job) * Dealing with change by focusing on development of the people within the system * Systems model of Action Research Process: 1954 – Matthew Miles’ book on a series of interventions & Miles’ and Schmuck’s book on OD in schools and education * Various group interventions and individual interventions, on all levels, to inculcate development of the organisation as a whole * Application of OD to entire field of education This propagated organisational development as a concept in schools and education, and continued there. 947 – “Applied behavioural science” came into existence through establishment of “National Training Laboratories (NTL)” in USA * ABS: * must deal with social or group issues or individual issues as a part of the group issues * uses human process interventions like socialisation, conflict, teamwork, value and norm changes, communication, decision-making, and conflict-resolution * uses scientific problem solving approach in its interventions (therefore must also be productive in its outputs) * Action Research is a part of ABS

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This made OD important in the corporate sector and led to implementation of various processes in the corporate segment companies, especially all through the 1980s onwards. Team building activities in L-groups (learning groups) or T-groups (training groups) were conducted. The traditional approach has been to start from the top and implement L-groups along various levels of the organisation, but there have been other approaches implemented as well. The essential characteristics remain: 1. Process consultants 2. Team building 3. External consultants and internal people working together 4.

Internal people development There are further components such as Role Efficacy, Working Democracy, Work Redesign and Institution Building which come under OB, which have developed recently post 1990s. After L-groups/T-groups approach, came the Tavistock approach, where the facilitator distanced himself from the group and purely observed group dynamics, to then help enhance group work. The motivational approach came next which included setting new goals and objectives for people so they can realign themselves, their priorities and plans, to work towards the task at hand.

The Gestalt approach – it dealt with the dynamic contexts of the issues by encouraging people involved in the process to explore various aspects of any situation. Jungian approach – probing the collective unconscious to examine personal context. Transactional Analysis – it aims to enhance effectiveness by using Ego States and Life Positions. Transactional Analysis Society of India has been the facilitator for such work in India. Various tests and measures are made to examine different people’s interpersonal styles.

Creativity labs – it helps people in opening up and stepping beyond their self-perceptions to reach their creative potential. Recently, there is work being done in Value Clarification which helps people to confront their value decision making process. This is specifically important in the Indian context. Stress management is used to help people understand what part of their job causes stress and how to cope with working lifestyles best suited to each individual. All of these are used effectively in organisational development and design as frameworks currently.


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