Reframing organizations

Essay by NupurUniversity, Bachelor's December 2004

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When talking about Organization development (OD) the first question that comes in mind is What is OD?

Beckhard (Beckhard 1969) defines OD as "an effort, planned, organization wide and managed from the top, to increase organization effectiveness and health through planned interventions in the organization's processes, using behavioral-science knowledge." In essence, OD is a planned system of change.

Today's Organizations operate in a rapidly changing environment. Consequently, one of the most important assets for an organization is the ability to manage change and for people to remain healthy and authentic. Many experts agree that the following definition of OD represents the major focus and thrust of today's OD practitioners.

"Organization development is a system-wide application of behavioral science knowledge to the planned development and reinforcement of organizational strategies, structures, and processes for improving an organization's effectiveness."

The OD approach emphasizes organizational culture, which influences the way people work.

Organizational Development transforms the Organization culture (loosely, shared beliefs, values, and behaviors) by working with social and technical systems such as culture, work processes, communication and rewards.

A discussion of Organizational culture would not be complete without a discussion of leadership. Bolman and Deal's (Bolman and Deal 1991) theory of leadership has four essential components: structural, human resource, political and symbolic. The theory assumes that these four orientations or frames represent the ways in which leaders perceive organizational situations, and in turn shape how these respective situations are defined and the manners in which they can be managed most effectively. The structural and human resource frames are related to managerial effectiveness while the political and symbolic frames are related to leadership effectiveness. It is further assumed that a leader possessing leadership orientations applicable to all four frames will yield the most effective leadership style. Bolman and Deal asserted that...