14 OD Interventions | Type, Meaning, Process, Importance, Examples

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What is OD Interventions?

OD interventions are the building blocks which are the planned activities designed to improve the organisation’s functioning through the participation of the organisational members.

OD interventions include team development, laboratory training, managerial grid training, brainstorming and intergroup team building. The intervention should take place at all three levels, namely, individual, group and organisation.


OD Interventions Meaning

OD intervention refers to the range of planned, programmatic activities client and consultant participate in during the course of OD program.

French & Bell

OD intervention is a sequence of activities actions and events intended to help an organisation improve its performance and effectiveness.

Rober Zawacki

Types of OD Interventions

We can classify the OD interventions into three categories a follows:

  1. Behavioural Techniques: These techniques are designed to affect the behaviour of individuals and the group. These include:
  1. Sensitivity Training
  2. Role Playing
  3. Management by Objectives
  4. Grid Organisation Development.

2. Non-Behavioural Techniques: These techniques are much more structured than behavioural techniques. These include:

  1. Organizational Redesign
  2. Work design
  3. Job enrichment

3. Miscellaneous Techniques: In addition to the above techniques, there are certain other techniques which are used in organisation development, such as:

  1. Survey feedback
  2. Process consultation
  3. Team building
Types of OD Interventions

Some of these intervention techniques are discussed briefly:

Behavioural Techniques

Sensitivity Training

The purpose of sensitivity training sessions or T-groups (T for training) is to change the behaviour of people through unstructured group interaction. Members (ten to fifteen individuals) are brought together in a free and open environment, away from work places, in which participants discuss themselves freely, aided by a facilitator. No formal agenda is provided.

The objectives of the T-groups are to provide the participants with increased awareness of their own behaviour and how others perceive the, greater sensitivity to the behaviour of others, and increased understanding of group processes.

Role Playing

Role playing may be described as a technique of creating a life situation, usually one involving conflict between people, and then having persons in group play the parts or roles of specific personalities. In industry, it is used primarily as a technique of or modifying attitudes and interpersonal skills.

For instance, two trainees may play the roles of a superior and a subordinate to discuss the latter’s grievances.

The purpose of role playing is to aid trainees to understand certain business problems and to enable observers to evaluate reactions to them. Role playing is generally used for human relations and sales training. This technique makes trainees self-conscious and imaginative and analytical of their own behaviour.

Management by Objectives (MBO)

Managing by objectives is a dynamic system which integrated the company’s need to achieve its goals for profit and growth with the manager’s need to contribute and develop himself.

Management by objectives (MBO) is a technique designed to

  1. increase the precision of the planing process at the organisational level.
  2. reduce the gap between employee and organisational goals. MBO encourages performance appraisal through a process of shared goal setting and evaluation.

Grid development

Grid organisational development is based on Blake and Moution’s model of leadership called the managerial Grid. Their model depicts two prevailing concerns found in all organisations-concern for productivity and concern for people.

Some managers are high in concern for productivity but low in concern for people; others are high in concern for people but low in concern for productivity. Besides helping managers evaluate their concern for proper and productivity, the Managerial Grid stresses the importance of developing a team-management leadership style.

In grid OD, change agents use a questionnaire to determine the existing styles of managers, help them to re-examine their own styles and work towards maximum effectiveness.

Non-Behavioural Techniques

Organizational Redesign

The organisation’s structure may be changed to make it more efficient by redefining the flow of authority. There are call also be changes in functional responsibility, such as a move from product to matrix organisational structure. 61 Organisational structure often reflects the personal desires, needs, and values of the chief executive. Changing structure, therefore, may create resistance and concern because people are worried about their power or status, or how the change will affect their work groups.

Job Enrichment

Job enrichment implies increasing the cents of a job or the deliberate upgrading of the responsibility, scope and challenge in work.

Job enrichment is a motivational technique which emphasises the need for challenging and interesting work. It suggests that jobs be redesigned, so that intrinsic satisfaction is derived from doing the job. In its best application, it leads to a vertically enhanced job by adding functions from other organisational levels, making it contain more variety and challenge and offer autonomy and pride to employee.

The job holder is given a measure of discretion in making operational decisions concerning his job. In this sense, he gains a feeling of higher status influence and power.

Work Design

Work design is a broad term meaning the process of defining tasks and jobs to achieve both organisational and employee goals, it must, therefore, take into account the nature of the business (organisational interest), the organisational structure, the information flow and decision process, the differences among employees, and the reward system.

Within the board scope of work, design is the design of individual jobs, that is, job design. Job analysis is the process of obtaining information about jobs. Job redesign makes use of job analysis to redefine a job in terms of tasks, behaviours, education, skills, relationships, and responsibilities required.

Miscellaneous Techniques

Survey Feedback

Survey feedback is one of the most popular and widely used intervention techniques, in the field of OD. It involves two basic activities:

  • collecting data about the organisation through the use of surveys of questionnaires, and
  • conducting feedback meetings and workshops in which the data are presented to organisational members.

Survey feedback is useful in as much as it helps bring about changes in attitudes and perceptions of participants. Used along with team building the impact of the survey feedback is much more positive.

Process Consultation

Process consultation includes “a set of activities on the part of a consultant which help the client to perceive, understand, and act upon process events which occur in the client’s environment”.

Process consultation assumes that an organisation’s effectiveness depends on how well its people relate to one another. An organisation’s problems, therefore, often can be traced to the breakdown of critical human processes at key places.

consultation concentrates on certain specific areas as communication, functional roles of members, group problem-solving and decision-making; group norms and growth, leadership and authority, and intergroup cooperation and competition.

Team Building

Team building is a process of diagnosing and improving the effectiveness of a work group with particular attention to work procedures and inter-personal relationship smith in it, especially the role of the leader in relation to other group members. Both the group’s task procedures and its human interactions are the subjects of study in team building. The basic assumption of team building is that increasing the effectiveness of teams will improve the organization’s overall effectiveness.

Read: What is Organizational Development | OD Meaning, Concept


14 OD Interventions

  1. Diagnostic activities: These are fact-finding activities designed to find the current state of a client system.

  2. Team building activities: These are designed to enhance effective operation of teams.

  3. Intergroup activities:  these are the activities designed to improve effectiveness of interdependent groups.

  4. Survey feedback activities: These activities rely on gathering the information that is used in understanding problems or opportunities.

  5. Education and training activities: – Activities designed to improve individual’s skills abilities and knowledge.

  6. Techno structural or structural activities: Activities designed to improve the effectiveness of organizational structure & Job design.

  7. Process consultation activities: The activities that are designed in consultation to help the client to perceive understand and act upon events that occur in the client’s environment.

  8. Grid organisation development activities: These activities are developed by Robert Blake and Mouton which constitutes of six phase model involving the total organisation.

  9. Third party peacemaking activities: Activities designed and conducted by a skilled consultant to manage interpersonal conflict in the process of organizational change.

  10. Coaching & Counseling activities: Activities that help the individual to define learning goals, to understand others behaviour & to see how others see their behaviour.

  11. Life & Career planning activities: Activities that enable individuals to focus on their life and career objectives & way to achieve them.

  12. Planning & goal-setting activities: Activities that include goal setting, problem solving, discrepancies if any to achieve objectives.

  13. Strategic Management activities: Activities that link the interventions with basic mission & environmental scanning & which helps in long-range planning.

  14. Organization Transformation activities: Activities that involve large scale system changes or fundamental change in the nature of an organization.

Read: Planned Change | Theories & Models, Process


OD Interventions Examples

  • Microsoft relied on OD interventions aimed at behavioural changes and operational changes.

  • Cisco initiated change through substantial structural interventions, statistical evaluation interventions and process interventions. It also focuses on CSR initiatives.

  • Dell focused on six sigma as an OD intervention for zero defects.

  • Hyundai and Toyota focus on cultural interventions and quality management systems.

  • Wipro adopted for internal organizational restructuring to meet customer specific needs.

  • ONGC relies on succession planning, employee participation, training, organizational remodeling and climate surveys as OD interventions.

  • Infosys has a broad base of OD interventions like Leadership development programme, personal development initiatives, cross functional assignments, 360-degree feedback , psychometric testing (MBTI) for individual personality assessment.

Purpose & Importance of OD Interventions

  1. Boosts the quality of employee outcome
  2. Perpetually improving organization
  3. Enhanced quality of products/services
  4. Enhanced Competitive Edge
  5. Increased profit

Process of OD Intervention Techniques

OD intervention strategy is designed only after scientific research and diagnosis of a problem. This action research helps to understand the current system of an organization.

Phases of organizations interventions

Diagnosis

The search for performance gaps is called as diagnosis. These gaps help to know where the client’s performance is less than desired. For an accurate diagnosis of the current scenario, there should be a trustworthy relationship between the consultant and client^^This relationship helps in collaboration to find out the real need of the change.

Designing an OD intervention strategy

Diagnosis leads to designing an OD intervention strategy that is problem based. Objectives of OD intervention strategy are developed to have a direct link with business goals. Designing an OD intervention strategy represents the best solution, outlines specific outcomes, and role of each component in the entire process. Designing also gives specific points to keep watch on for evaluation of the process.

Development of OD intervention strategy

Design is a blueprint of developing an OD strategy. The OD intervention strategy is designed and developed with the evaluation objectives. The development of OD intervention strategy is a crucial step as it is directly related to desired outcomes.

Implementation of OD intervention strategy

The action takes place and progress is evaluated, organizational members can be engaged at this stage. The deployment needs a high level of energy and creativity of participants. Participants need to have a clear picture of change and their role at each step. Accountability with meaningful feedback is reinforced for the process to be effective. Evaluation can be conducted by constructing pilot studies and data collection.

Evaluation

It can be studied by understanding the impact after implementing OD strategy. It can be done be checking immediate feedback or learning gained through the process, or by evaluating performance. This is a continuous process.


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