Organization Development (OD) is a planned system of change and can be defined 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" (Beckhard, 1969). An OD intervention is “a set of sequenced, planned actions or events intended to help an organization to increase its effectiveness” (Cummings &Worley, 2009). In other words, OD interventions purposely disrupt the status quo; they are deliberate attempts to change an organization or sub-unit toward a different and more effective state. According to Cummings and Worley (2009), three major criteria define an effective OD intervention: (1) the extent to which it fits the needs of the organization; (2) the degree to which it is based on causal knowledge of intended outcomes; and (3) the extent to which it transfers change management competence to organization members.
To effectively adapt and thrive in today’s business world, organizations need to implement effective OD interventions to improve performance and effectiveness at various levels—individual, group, and organizational levels. OD interventions involve people, trust, support, shared power, conflict resolution, and stakeholders’ participation—just to name a few. OD interventions usually have broader scope and can affect the whole organization. OD practitioners or change agents must have a solid understanding of different OD interventions to select the most appropriate one(s) to fulfill the client’s needs. There is limited precise information or research about how to design OD interventions or how they can be expected to interact with organizational conditions to achieve specific results (Cummings &Worley, 2009). This book offers OD practitioners and change agents a step-by-step approach to implementing OD interventions and includes example cases, practical tools, and guidelines for different OD interventions. It is noteworthy that about 60%–70% organizational change projects fail (Ashkenas, 2013). One reason for the failure is that the changes are not effectively implemented, and implementation of organizational changes is the focus of this book.
Designed for use by OD practitioners, management, and human resource professionals, this book provides readers with basic principles, practices, and skills of OD by featuring illustrative case studies and useful tools. This book shows how OD professionals can actually get work done and what the step-by-step OD effort should be. This book looks at how to choose and implement a range of interventions at different levels. Unlike other books currently available on the market, this book goes beyond individual, group, and organizational levels of OD interventions, and addresses broader OD intervention efforts at industry and community levels too. Essentially, this book provides a practical guide for OD interventions. Each book chapter provides practical information about general OD interventions, supplies best practice examples/case studies, summarizes the results of best practice, provides at least one case scenario, and also offers at least one relevant tool for practitioners.