Organization development (OD,) is a deliberately planned, organization-wide effort to increase an organization’s effectiveness and/or efficiency and/or to enable the organization to achieve its strategic goals. OD theorists and practitioners define it in various ways. Its multiplicity of definition reflects the complexity of the discipline and is responsible for its lack of understanding. For example, it has referred to as being about promoting organizational readiness to meet change, and it has been said that Organization Development is a systemic learning and development strategy intended to change the basics of beliefs, attitudes and relevance of values, and structure of the current organization to better absorb disruptive change or exploding market opportunities and ensuing challenges and chaos.
It is worth understanding what OD is not. It is not training, personal development, team development or team building, human resource development (HRD), learning and So, they do involve people – but OD also develops processes, systems and structures. The primary purpose of OD is to develop the organization, not to train or develop the staff.
Organization development is an ongoing, systematic process of implementing effective organizational change. OD is known as both a field of science focused on understanding and managing organizational change and as a field of scientific study and inquiry. It is interdisciplinary in nature and draws on sociology, psychology, particularly industrial and organizational psychology, and theories of motivation, learning, and personality. Although behavioral science has provided the basic foundation for the study and practice of OD, new and emerging fields of study have made their presence felt. Experts in systems thinking and organizational learning, structure of intuition in decision making, and coaching (to name a few) whose perspective is not steeped in just the behavioral sciences, but a much more multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary approach, have emerged as OD catalysts or tools. Organization Development is a growing field that is responsive to many new approaches.