MBA management

Process Change in the Theoretical Foundation of the Organizational Development

An insight into the process of change

Organization development as a planned change process draws heavily upon the theoretical and conceptual frameworks developed in the field of behavioral science for understanding human behavior at interpersonal ,group and organizational levels. Bringing about the change in the individuals as also the structure, processes and cultural of the organization conducive to the release of human potential towards productive pursuits and consequent individual satisfaction has been a major area of process focuses in behavioral science. The insights gained through research and experimentation in the dynamic of change at individual and organization levels provide the foundations for the process of organizational development practice. Some notable contributions to this end are as follows:

a) The actual process of change

A path braking insight in to the change process was provided by Kurt Lewin. We had already studied Lewin’s three steps change model contained in the three steps of unfreezing, moving and refreezing. However, we are now going in to the development of group dynamics as a field of action research model for a planned change. The changes conceived as a modification of the forces that maintain steady stat and kept h system’s behavior stable.

What is occurring at any point in time is the resultant in the field of opposing forces. Field of forces can be determined by force field analysis and the point of equilibrium is that which is achieved at the end. All systems including organizations are at a state of equilibrium because of two opposing forces:

i. Driving or facilitation forces:
They are factors that facilitate the movement of organization towards its goals and purposes.

ii. Restraining forces or hindering forces:
There are factors that prevent the organization to move towards its goals and purposes.

These two opposing forces, when equal in strength, create balance leading to status quo and a state of quasi- stationary equilibrium. Change by strengthening the facilitating forces and/or weakening the impact of hindering forces. Management of change would thus imply:

• Identification and analysis of facilitating and hindering forces:
These forces may be internal or external to the organization. High degree of employee engagement with requisite competencies would be an internal facilitating force, whereas a growing market for products and services offered by the organization would be an external facilitating force, whereas a growing market for products and services offered by the organization would be an external facilitating force. Likewise, inability to fully utilize IT- enabled services by the organization would be an external hindering force. These forces and to be carefully analyzed in terms of their impact on the capacity of the organization to move towards higher levels of effectiveness.

• Formulation of strategies:
Strategies and action plans for strengthening the facilitation forces and minimizing the impact of hindering forces are formulated to enable the organization achieve its higher goals and purposes. For example, if the market for a product is shrinking due to competitive pressure from the environment, the organization may either introduce a modified product in line with customer’s taste or assume cost leadership to be at the competitiveness. According to Lewin, modifying the forces facilitating or hindering, that maintain status quo would produce less tension and resistance than increasing taxes for change.

b) Seven step model of change process

The organization researcher Ronald Lippitt, has suggested seven step model of the change process described below.

1. The development of need for change.
2. The establishment of a change relationship. In this phase, the OD consultant or external change agent establishes a working relationship with the client organizations in need of help.
3. The clarifications of diagnosis of the client organization’s problem.
4. The examination of alternative routes and goals; establishing goals and intensions of action.
5. The transformation of intensions into actual change efforts.
6. The generalization and stabilization of change.
7. Achieving a terminal relationship.

The models discussed above provide useful insights into change process particularly the theory and practice of OD Dynamics of organizational change, however, involves many more challenges which cannot be captured in a generalized model of change. As a supplement to the above, certain additional principles for bringing about change in organizations have been proposed. These principles can be stated as:

• To change a subsystem or any part of a subsystem, relevant aspects of the environment must also be changed.

• To change behavior on any on level of a hierarchical organization, it is necessary to achieve complementary and reinforcing changes in organization levels above and below that level.

• The place to begin change is at those points in the system where some stress and strain exist. Stress may give rise to dissatisfaction with the status quo and thus become a motivating factor for change in the system.

• If through changes in the hierarchical structure are desirable or necessary, change should ordinarily start with the policy-making body.

• Both the formal and informal organization of an institution must be considered in planning any process of change.

• The effectiveness of a planned change is often directly related to the degree to which members at all levels of an organizational hierarchy take part in the fact-finding and the diagnosis of the needed change and in formulating and reality testing of goals and programs of change.

c) Action Research Model

1. It focuses on planned change as a cyclic process of problem diagnosis, action planning and valuation. The outcome of evaluation lads to carrying out further problem diagnosis followed by subsequent actions.

2. Members of the target group such as, organization or community are involved in all stages of action research.

3. The consultant or OD practitioner works in close collaboration with organization members. Action research thus involves joint efforts of the consultant and the client in planning and implementation of change.

4. Data gathering, diagnosis, action planning, implementation and valuation of results are carried out systematically on a continuous basis by both consultant and client. The cyclical process of planned change would typically include the following steps:

• Problem identification
• Consultation with behavioral science expert
• Data gathering and preliminary diagnosis
• Feedback to key client or group
• Joint action planning
• Action
• Data gathering after action

Action research has also been referred to as participatory action research, action, learning, or appreciative inquiry. The focus in all these approaches of planned change is to enable organization members to identify their own problems, choose appropriate interventions and gain and utilize the knowledge and skills needed to change the organization. Both the OD consultant and the target group members are co-learners in diagnosing the organization, designing changes, implementing them and assessment of the outcome.

d) Transformational Model

Like all other fields of knowledge, OD theory and practice have also undergone significant change to keep pace with the emerging reality. There has been a qualitative change in the nature of change itself during the past fifty years. Changes today are if a magnitude that necessitate a fundamental shift in the conventional patterns of thoughts and responses. There is greater realization today that massive, system wide, paradigm shifting changes in the organization and its tasks are required to enable organizations to survive and grow in an environmental characterized by discontinuous change. Organization Transformation thus represents “Second order change necessitating” a multi- level, qualitative, discontinuous, radical organizational change involving a paradigmatic shift.

(i) Transactional change:
The transactional change is called the first order change and this includes evolutionary, adaptive, incremental or continuous change organization. In this type of change, only the features change but the fundamental nature of organization remains the same.

(ii). Transformational change:
The transformational change, on the other hand, is called the second order change and this involves revolutionary, radical or discontinuous change. In this type of change the nature of organization is fundamentally and substantially altered.

The model also distinguishes between organizational climate and culture. Organizational climate refers to people’s perceptions and attitudes about the organization that are relatively easy to change whereas organizational culture refers to deep-seated assumptions, values and beliefs that are enduring, often unconscious and thus difficult to change, While in the transactional change, organizational climate is the target of change, in the transformational change strategy, the fundamental core, the culture of the organization is altered.

The two broad categories of changes will require different leadership mods: Transactional and transformational leadership. Transactional leaders are those who guide or motivate followers to achieve a goal by clarifying tasks and role requirements. Transformational leaders on the other hand inspire followers to transcend their self-interest for the greater good of the organization.

In conclusion, this question of planned change process is identical with the question: what conditions have to be changed to bring about a desired result and how can on change this conditions with the means and tools available at hand? On should view the present situation as being maintained by certain conditions or forces. A culture, for instance, the food habits of a certain group at a given time is not a static process but a liv affair like a river which moves but still keeps a recognizable from. In other words, we have to dal, in group life as in individual life with what is known as quasi—stationary processes. Food habits do not occur in a vacuum, but are a part and parcel of the daily exercise of being awake and as sleep. Somehow various factors affect food habits at any given time. Food habits of a group as well as the speed and extent of the production in an organization art h result of a multitude of forces. Some forces support each other and others oppose each other. Some are driving forces and others their restraining forces .Like the velocity of the river, the actual conduct of a group depends upon the level at which these conflicting forces reach a stat of equilibrium. To speak of a certain culture pattern- food habits of a group implies that the constellation of these forces remains the same for a period or at last thy find their stat of equilibrium at a constant level during the period.

Neither group “habits” nor individual “habits” can be understood sufficiently by a theory which limits its consideration to the processes themselves and conceives of the “habit” as a kind of frozen linkage, an “association” between these processes. Therefore to predict which changes in the conditions will have what result we have to conceive of the life of the group as a result of specific constellation of forces within a larger setting. In other words, scientific prediction or advice for the method of the process of change should be based on the analysis of the field as a whole including both its psychological and non-psychological aspects.

The various phases (or stages as they are called sometimes) under OD

While dealing with the subject of organization development one has to study the various phases of such development and understanding them will lead a manager to organize the ways and means to achieve the desired the goals of the organization.

Stages or phases of Organizational Development

There are various stages of OD and according to Larry Greiner, identifying and understanding an organization’s stage of growth can help explain its practices. Grenier defines five distinguishable phases of organizational development.

Stage 1:

Creativity: The organization is born and it fights for its survival. It distinguishes itself with unique qualities, products and processes.

Stage 2:
Direction: The organization becomes formalized and embarks on a period of sustained growth under directive growth.

Stage 3:

Delegation: The organization decentralizes to accommodate the needs of various divisions of the organization.

Stage 4:

Coordination: The organization recentralizes to achieve greater coordination and control.

Stage 5:

Collaboration: The organization develops an organizational form tailored to its particular needs and aimed at overcoming the bureaucracy obstacles inherent at the stage of coordination.

In stage 3, which has a decentralized organizational structure, individual departments have their own objectives. A heterogeneous information system fits this environment well because a department can find a system that best meets its individual needs.

However, in Stage 4, which has a centralized organizational structure, the objective is for the organization to move to an integration of systems. An IIS (Integrated information system) fits this organization structure best .Many conflicts in the organizations stem from individual departments continuing to seek the best IS for their need without regard for the institutional informational needs.

Action Planning

Action planning typically includes deciding who is going to do what and by when and in what order, for the organization to reach its strategic goals. The design and implementation of the action planning depend on the nature and needs of the organization.

One of Biggest problems in Strategic Planning: Isn’t Implemented

At this point in planning, planners are sometimes fatigued from completing the earlier phases of planning. Action planning may seem detailed and tedious compared to earlier phases of strategic planning which often seem creative in nature. Therefore, action planning is too often ignored, leaving the results of earlier stages of planning much as “castles in the air” ---- useless philosophical statements with no grounding in the day-to-day realities of the organization. Meaningful stages of earlier planning become utterly useless.

The organization’s commitment to strategic planning is commensurate to the extent that a) the organization completes action plans to reach each strategic goal and b) includes numerous methods for verifying and evaluating the actual extent of implementation of the action plan.

Developing Action Plans (or Work Plans)

1. Action plans specify the actions needed to address each of the top organizational issues and to reach each of the associated goals, who will complete each action and according to what timeline.

2. Develop an overall, top- level action plan that depicts how each strategic goal will be reached.

3. Develop an action plan for each major function in the organization, e.g., marketing, development, finance, personnel, and for each program/ service, etc. These plans, in total, should depict how the overall action plan will be implemented. In ach action plan, specify the relationship of the action plan to the organization’s overall, top – level action plan.

4. Ensure each manager (and, ideally each employee) has an action plan that contributes to the overall. These plans, in total, should depict how the action plans of the major functions will be implemented. Again specify the relationship of these action plans to the organization’s overall, top level action plan.

5. The format of the action plan depends on the nature and needs of the organization. The plan for the organization, ach major function, ach manager and ach employ, might specify:

• The goal(s) that are to be accomplished. How ach goal contributes to the organization’s overall strategic goals.
• What specific results( or objectives) must be accomplished that, in total, reach the goal of the organization.
• How those results will be achieved.
• When the results will be achieved(or timelines for each objective).

Developing Objectives and Timelines

1. Objectives are specific, measurable results produced while implementing strategies.

2. While identifying objectives, keep asking “Are you sure you can do this?”

3. Integrate the current year’s objectives as performance criteria in ach “implementer’s” job description and performance review.

4. Remember that objectives and their timelines are only guidelines, not rules set in stone. They can be deviated from. But deviations should be understood and explained.

5. Consider the following example format for your action plan.

Strategic Goal   Strategy   Objective   Responsibility   Timeline
1. (Goal #1)   1.1. (first strategy to reach Goal # 1)   1.1.1. (first objective to reach while implementing Strategy # 1.1)   (Who is going to accomplish that objective)   (When the implementer is going to accomplish that objective)

Developing a Strategy

To keep moving forward you need to have a strategy. You don’t need to have mad any final decision- you may still be working on several possibilities. You should:

• Identify and prioritize the strands—be as specific as possible
• Identify any gaps or discrepancies in your knowledge and experiences
• Explore what you can do about these
• Identify a range of possible routes to your goals
• Investigate ‘Stepping stones’ for ach route

Your Action Plan

Whatever your goals, whatever stag you are at in the decision making process, you are most likely to make progress if you break down the tasks you have to do into small steps and then identify the actions you need to take for each step. Many action plans fail because the tasks appear too difficult. You may have several goals—but you need to break ach down into a list of tasks. Set a timescale for ach action—but be realistic—do not expect the impossible.

Firstly, identify clear and specific goals--- these could vary from ‘final a job as an editor in Publishing ‘to‘ explore the training courses for secondary teaching in Scotland’ or even ‘revisit my responses in Prospects Planner to narrow down my options’.

For each goal determine:

• What actions you will take
• How you will take action
• Who or what will help you
• Why you might not take action
• When you will take action

Once you have drawn up your Action Plan make sure you use it. Put it in a prominent place, on the main door for example, so that you have a consent reminder of what you need to do. From time to time, review your strategy and action plan and revise them in the light of new information and feedback.

Action Plan for Planned Charges

Some OD experts feel that the action plan should also look at the planned changes that are required to push the organization forward to skillfully achieve all the targeted goals. Organization development has strong roots in which organization members identify, diagnose, choose appropriate intervention and evaluate the outcomes and their consequences. The target of the change is this total system consisting of identifiable subsystems. Involvement and support of the top management is considered critical to the effective implementation of various action plans.

The first action would be planned change effort which consists of the following aspects.

• Organization: The total organization or its submits and not the individual is the target of change.

• Data collection: The sources and methods of data collection on current status with a view to highlighting the problem areas are identified and organization members get involved in operationalizing the same.

• Diagnosis: Organization members participate in examining the problem from multiple perspective with a view to identifying the root causes.

• Improvement plans and Goals: Based on the insights gained from the above change, goals are set and plans for improvement are formulated.

• Resource Mobilization: Resources needed for implementation of the plan are mobilized; resources could be in terms of people. Material, finances, information and the like.

• Strategic interventions: strategic interventions in terms of team building, intergroup collaboration, alignment of organization with environment, envisioning, strategizing among others are designed.

• Action (on the job) orientation: Specific plans of action are formulated to bring about improvement in work tams, cross-functional tams, individual roles, organization processes, systems or structures.

• Long term implementation effort: For sustainable improvement quick- fix solutions are avoided and sufficient time is given for internalization of change process.

• Continuous evaluation: Organization and its various subunits monitor, review and evaluate the change effort and its impact on a continuous basis.

• Change agents (external and/or internal): facilitation from external change agent or OD consultant is needed in the initial stag of OD effort. The OD consultant provides assistance in developing a cadre of internal change agents who provide facilitation and maintain the momentum throughout the organization. The external consultant dissolves relationship with the organization, as and when his/her role is taken over by internal change agents.

The second action would be total involvement of the top management, as well as, all the employees of the organization in the change process. The top management involvement is essential as OD efforts are directed towards the total system change that will have far reaching consequences for the organization and its members. Consequently, the OD effort cannot be initiated without the long term commitment of the top level management, as well as, the employees of the organization. The degree of involvement may however differ from on organization to another. The OD action planners will have to take into account the following conditions to initiate the efforts.

• Beginning of OD efforts at the top is highly desirable but not essential.

• Optimum level will be to obtain top management’s understanding, commitment and management of OD effort.

• Minimal accepted option will be to get the initial permission from top level for OD effort to start in some target subsystem.

• Support of top management, at last over the long run, is required to initiate OD effort.

The third action will involve the correct and careful diagnosis of the current situation. Most correct organization changes are carried out in response to or in anticipation of the pressures from inside or outside the organization. Within the firm, conflicts arise, employees retire or resign and pressures mount as the organization out grows its old ways of doing things. Therefore it is very essential to plan for action to recognize the current status of various facts of the organization and the need for change. Simply, recognizing that change is needed is not enough. The managers must diagnose the pressure for change- be it impending bankruptcy or a new technology to determine how it may affect the company and what the consequences will be.

For diagnosing the problem, various models are available for planning the action. The four such models are interviews, questionnaires, observations and secondary data/ unobtrusive measures.

Interviews help management probe freely into a range of possible subjects and build rapport and support for the imminent change programme. Questionnaires are relatively easy to use with large numbers of employees, and the resultant information can be quantified and easily summarized. Survey data can also be a good starting point for gaining employees’ commitment to the change and for analyzing alternative solutions. Observing the employees produces data regarding actual behavior (rather than reports of behavior) and is in real time (rather than retrospective, as are interview and questionnaires). Finally, secondary data (such as that regarding employ turnover or productivity) can be used for quantifying the problem.

The fourth action will be to formulate the strategy for planning the change. As stated earlier, organizations must choose evolutionary and revolutionary change. A firm that pursues revolutionary change adopts a top- down change strategy. The organization waits until it believes that the costs of not changing exceed the costs of overcoming organizational inertia and then introduces its master plan for change. Generally, top-down strategy calls for intervention at the high level of an organization. Winding up of divisions or departments and downsizing are examples of this type of change.

In contrast to revolutionary change, evolutionary change depends on a bottom-up change strategy. Managers believe that the uncertainty associated with organizational change is best managed through an incremental process in which thy continually make adjustments to their strategy and structure. Firms opting for a bottom- up strategy prepare the organization for change by involving managers and employees at all levels in discussing the need for change and diagnosing the problems facing the organization.

The fifth action would be to implement the change. It is at this stage that the employees’ resistance to change surfaces. There are several ways to exhibit their resistance. Individual apathy, apparent lack of interest, excessive idling of time, corrupting valuable software and low productivity.

The sixth step will be to manage resistance and there are ways to manage this and these will be discussed later.

Intergroup Development

Intergroup behavior

Organizations are composed of individuals and groups. Organizations being a system, both individuals and group cannot remain independent, but dependent on each other. For example, on group may depend on others for raw materials, information and other assistance. The nature of interdependence among groups can be classified into the following four categories.

a) Pooled Interdependence:
When the groups belonging to the same parent organization depend on each other, it is called ‘pooled interdependence’. Such groups have limited interaction among them. Manufacturing divisions producing independent products are examples of pooled interdependence.

b) Sequential Interdependence:
Group activities occurring in a sequential manner create sequential interdependence. For example, group A’s activities or operations precede and act as prerequisite for Group B’s operations. Assembly line department represent sequential interdependence.

c) Reciprocal Interdependence:
When a group relies on the other to perform its own job effectively, it is called ‘reciprocal interdependence’. Relationship between union and management is an example of reciprocal interdependence.

d) Team Inter dependence
The reciprocal interdependence gets multiplied with interaction among multiple groups. The examples of multiple groups may be various departments such as sales, advertising and market research in marketing division.

The nature and degree of interdependence among groups will influence the degree and quality of inter-group behavior. Accordingly, groups tend to have the following two types of interactions:

i. Inter-Group openness and Co-operation:
Groups being parts of an organizational objectives. However, a co-operative relationship does not mean absence of competition among the groups. This is because the groups may not compete with each other but still groups may not be co-operative. The groups may be just indifferent. Factors like super ordinate goals, lateral communication, and suitable structure arrangement help establish co- operation among various groups.

ii. Intergroup Closure and Competition:

Intergroup relationship becomes as competitive in the following situations:

• One group sees other groups as the enemy.

• With decrease in interaction and communication, hostility of one group towards others tends to increase.

• While interacting with each other, the groups try to defend own viewpoints and finding faults with the other.

As such relationship among groups benefits non-neither groups not organizations. The managers need to take timely actions to overcome these problems.

Problems in Intergroup development

The first major problem of groups in organizations is how to make them effective in fulfilling both organizational goals and needs of their members. The second major problem is how to establish conditions between groups which will enhance the productivity of each without destroying intergroup relations and coordination. This problem exists because as groups become more committed to their own goals and norms, they are likely to become competitive with one another and seek to undermine their rivals’ activities, thereby becoming a liability to the organization as a whole. The overall problem, then, is how to establish collaborative intergroup relations in those situations where task interdependence or the need for unity makes collaboration, a necessary prerequisite for organizational effectiveness.

Some of the tricky problems can be the following:

1. The group climate changes from informal, casual, playful to work and task oriented; concern for members’ psychological needs declines while concern for task accomplishment increases.

2. Each group demands more loyalty and conformity from its members in order to be able to present a “solid front”.

3. Each group begins to see the other group as the enemy, rather than merely a neutral object.

4. Each group begins to experience distortions of perception- it tends to perceive only the best parts of itself, denying its weaknesses , and tends to perceive only the worst parts of the other group, denying its strengths; each group is likely to develop a negative stereotype of the other (“they don’t play fair like we do”).

5. Hostility toward the other group increases while interaction and communication with the other group decreases; thus it becomes easier to maintain the negative stereotype and more difficult to correct perceptual distortions.

6. If the groups are forced into interaction- for example, if they are forced to listen to representatives plead their own and the others’ cause in reference to some task- each group is likely to listen more closely to their own representative and not to listen to the representative of the other group, except to find fault with his or her presentation; in other words, group members tend to listen only for that which supports their own position and stereotype.

Preventing intergroup conflicts

Because of the great difficulties of reducing intergroup conflict once it has developed, it may be desirable to prevent its occurrence in the first place. How can this be done? Paradoxically, a strategy of prevention challenges the fundamental premise upon which organization through division of labor rests. Once it has been decided by a super-ordinate authority to divide up functions among different departments or groups, a bias has already been introduced toward intergroup competition; in doing its own job well, each group must, to some degree, compete for scarce resources and reward from the super- ordinate authority. The very concept of division of labor implies a reduction of communication and interaction between groups, thus making it possible for perceptual distortions to occur.

The organization planner who wishes to avoid intergroup competition need not abandon the concept of division of labor, but should follow some of the steps listed below in creating and handling the different functional groups.

1. Relatively greater emphasis should be given to total organizational effectiveness and the roles of departments in contributing to it; departments should be measured and rewarded on the basis of their contributions to the total effort, rather than their individual effectiveness.

2. High interaction and frequent communication should be stimulated between groups to work on problems of intergroup coordination and help; organization rewards should be given partly on the basis of help rendered to other groups.

3. Frequent rotation of members among groups or departments should be encouraged to stimulate a high degree of mutual understanding and empathy for one another’s problems.

4. Win- lose situations should be avoided and groups should never be put into the position of competing for some scare organizational reward; emphasis should always be placed on pooling resources to maximize organizational effectiveness; reward should be shared equally with all the groups or departments.

Study of Evaluation, Appraisal and follow up Procedures in the Organization Development

Evaluation Procedures

Evaluation in the first instance will study the effectiveness of various OD Interventions and is generally carried out on a continuing phase for a mid course correction. It is desirable to evaluate the intervention in terms of the various objectives of the organization which may include identifiable and measurable outputs like productivity, improvement, quality upgradation, reduced absenteeism and the like. Evaluation can also be carried out to assess the effect of intervention on values, attitude, behavior and opinions of people involve in the change process through group and individual interviews, performance appraisal, focused group discussion, opinion surveys, instruments and similar methods. For activities related to training and development purpose, evaluations are carried out in terms of the following:

• Reaction: The extent to which participant like the training and found it useful.
• Learning: The degree to which learning objectives were met.
• Behavior: The extent to which people were enabled to modify or change their behavior in their respective jobs.
• Results: The extent to which there was visible improvement in performance parameters or problem solving abilities.

In case evaluation lads to intended results, the consultant engages client organizations in ensuring that the intervention becomes part of the culture of the organization. If the interventions are found to be ineffective, casual analysis of failure is done and interventions are modified accordingly.

Performance appraisal

An essential element in the evaluation procedures under the organizational development design is the performance appraisal. This appraisal is the assessment of the individual’s performance in a systematic way, the performance being measured against such factors as quality and quantity of output, initiative, leadership abilities, supervision, dependability, co-operation, judgment, versatility and health. Now-a–days, assessing an individual’s potential for performance rather than actual performance has assumed grater relevance.

Performance assessment has the following objectives

a) To effect promotions based on competencies and performance.

b) To confirm the services of probationary employs, after completing their probationary period.

c) To decide upon a pay rise where (as in the unorganized sector) regular pay scales have not been fixed.

d) To assess the training and development needs of employees.

e) To let the employs know where they stand in so far as their performance is concerned and to assist them with constructive criticism and guidance for the purpose of their development.

f) To improve communication. Performance appraisal provides a format for dialogue between superior and subordinate and improves understanding to personal goals and concerns. This can also have the effect of increasing the trust between the rather and the rate.

Methods of Appraisal

Numerous methods have been devised to measure the quality and quality of employ job performance. Each of the methods could be effective for some purposes, for some organizations. None should be dismissed, or accepted as appropriate, except as they relate to the particular needs of the organization for a particular type of employee. Broadly all the approaches to appraisal can be classified into (i) past-oriented methods, and (ii) future-oriented methods.

Job Evaluation

Job valuation is the process of analyzing and assessing the various jobs systematically to ascertain their relative worth in an organization. Jobs are evaluated on the basis of their content and are placed in the order of their importance; in this way a job hierarchy is established in the organization, the purpose being fixation of satisfactory wage differentials among various jobs.

It should be noted that in job evaluation, jobs are ranked and not the job holders. Job holders are rated through performance appraisal. As in performance appraisal, there are different methods of job evaluation. Some of them are analytical and others non- analytical. Ranking and job classification methods come under the non- analytical category because they make no use of detailed job factors. Each job is treated as a whole in determining its relative ranking. Analytical category includes point- ranking and factor comparison methods. Analytical methods are an improvement over the non- analytical ones.

Past-oriented   Future-oriented
Rating Scales
Forced choice method
Forced distribution method
Critical incident method
Behaviorally anchored scales
Field review method
Performance test and observations
Annual confidential reports
Essay method
Cost accounting approach
Comparative valuation approaches
  Management by objectives
Psychological appraisals
Assessment appraisals
Assessment centres

Problems in Evaluation

In any organization there are myriad factors to be considered before any action is taken to resolve an organizational problem on the basis of evaluation procedures. To decide whether an action proposed was effective or not is therefore rendered very difficult. Under OD it is generally impossible to accurately trace changes in the organizational effectiveness, in respect of specific OD programs. There are multiple reasons for this difficulty.

a. It is difficult to measure the number, nature, and magnitude of confounding variables: while an OD programme is being implemented, there are numerous other influences operating internally and externally to the firm which influence its effectiveness. Assuming there is a change in the organization, it is OD program had been implemented in an automobile manufacturing firm prior to the oil crises in 1973-4, some may have concluded that the program harmed rather than helped the firm, since sales dropped after the program was implemented. While this conclusion would obviously not be warranted, neither could it be concluded that the OD intervention had kept sales from dropping even further.

b. Pre-intervention measures of behavior are not taken: In order to judge whether an OD program is effective, it is first necessary to have knowledge of the situation prior to the interventions. It is impossible to state that a training program ‘helped’ a particular manager unless we first have some specific measures of the person’s behavior prior to the training. Similarly, to stat that an MBO program increased an organization’s overall effectiveness, specific measures before and after the change must be available.

c. Those doing the evaluations of OD programs have a vested interest in proving success: Many OD programs have become commercial ventures with commercial ventures with companies paying large sums of money for consultants to “develop’ the organization. These same consultants then report specific successes regarding the programs which, or course, serve to generate more clients. This is certainly not to say that paid consultants are dishonest or misrepresent their findings, but it does point to a definite conflict of interest situation, and unfortunately, may contaminate the findings.

But any conclusion about the effectiveness of OD techniques needs to be modified in at least three ways. First, research has shown that OD interventions tend to be more effective among blue- collar employees than among white-collar ones. Second, it has been found that the beneficial effects of OD can be enhanced by using several techniques instead of just one. Finally, research has shown that the effectiveness of OD techniques depends on the degree of support they receive from top management.

To conclude, it may be stated that OD has enormous opportunity and potential in the future. Organizations throughout the world need the unique help that can be provided by highly trained interventions using people- oriented and action research approaches. The future of OD is bright, as long as the high quality and hard work of the past continue and provided top leaders do not revert to autocratic practices in times of high turbulence or crises. There is much challenging and difficult work to be done, but also great fun and many rewards in working with people in making their organization more successful and satisfying.

A study of the four important steps in Organizational development process viz. initial diagnosis, data collection, data feedback and confrontation

a) Initial Diagnosis

Organizational development is a continuous process, and being complicated it is very difficult to give a specific Old model which is applicable to the entire organization. Practitioners of OD do not agree with the various steps and their sequence in combating the problems of OD. The most important step in this exercise is the initial diagnosis technique.

This technique for diagnosing the problem comprises of various models such as interviews, questionnaire, observation technique and secondary data source. This has already been included elsewhere in this study material. However, each of these techniques is defined in a simple format.

1. Interviews help management probe freely into a range of possible subjects and build rapport and support for imminent change program. This technique is highly adaptive. It allows data collection and a range of possible and required subjects. Interviews efficiently don can lead to rich data sources. This technique is particularly very empathetic and the process of interview can create and build a good rapport between the interviewers and interviewees.

It suffers from the following potential draw backs.
• Can be expensive.
• The interviewer can bias the respondents.
• Coding and interpretation problems.
• Self report bias might result.

2. Questionnaires are relatively easy to use with large numbers of employees, and the resultant information can be quantified and easily summarized. Survey data can also be a good starting point for gaining employee’s commitment to the change and for exploring alternatives solutions.

This suffers from some disadvantages too:

• Non empathetic.
• Predetermined questions may miss the real issues.
• Data may be over interpreted.
• Response bias might result.

3. Observations produce data regarding the actual behavior (rather than reports of behavior) and are in real time( rather than retrospective , as are interviews and questionnaires).The advantages of this technique are that they are adaptive, real time and not retrospective and collect data on behavior rather than reports of behavior. This method also has certain short comings-

• Interpretation and coding problems.
• Sampling is a problem.
• Observer bias/ reliability.
• Costly.

4. Finally, the secondary data (such as that regarding employee turnover or productivity) can be used for quantifying the problem. This has the advantages of being easily quantifiable, high face validity and non reactive – no response bias. The drawbacks are

• Access/retrieval possibly a problem.
• Potential validity problem.
• Coding/interpretation problem.

Under the initial diagnosis, the management will have to first find out the overall view of the situation, the real nature for locating the real problem. Top management should met the consultant and the experts to determine the type of programs that is needed. The consultants will meet various persons in the organizations and interview them to collect the required information.

Recognizing that change is needed will not suffice; the managers must diagnose the pressure for change. Unless the initial diagnosis is properly and committedly carried out, the entire exercise may become obsolete and counterproductive.

b) Data Collection

Survey and interview methods are generally used to collect the data apart from the regular meetings, seminars, conferences, group discussions etc. The information when collected will help in determining the organizational climate and identifying the behavioral problems.

Taylor, Gustavson, and Carter (1986) observe that much of the success of the socio- technical model is due to its reliance upon a structured process, as outlined blow, for analyzing and implementing operational improvements.

i. System Scan:

The first phase of a systems scan is grounded in the following types of questions: what is the organization’s mission (What value does it create and distribute to justify itself)? What managerial philosophy and organizational values underline this mission? What relationships does the organization have with various stakeholders and the larger environment?

The next phase relates to reconciling agreement about what is and what is likely to be with agreement about what is most desired by organizational stakeholders and at the same time is viable with regard to the outside environment.

The search conference provides a useful means for implementing these phases of a systems scan. It was originated by Trist and Emery in 1959 (Weisbord, 1987, p. 282; see also Morley & Trist 1981). Meaningful mission and philosophy statements are products of this activity.

The next phase of the systems scan has to do with determining existing inputs, outputs, and systems boundaries—both physical and technological. The purpose is to identify problems, needs, and opportunities for improvement.

ii. Technical Analysis:

Socio-technical analysis defines technology in terms of inputs and outputs, rather than by tools, processes, or techniques. When input and output boundaries are defined, unit operations can be determined (the output of ach unit operation being the physical or informational transformation of input).

This approach assures that technical systems will be analyzed apart from the jobs and work of people, and apart from supervisory systems and other control system. A unit – operations flow chart is a product of this activity, and one of the issues explored is a possible reduction in the number of unit operations.

Next, all product variances- other than those representing human error or breakdowns in the technical process itself are recorded for each unit operation. The key variances- those that have an impact most importantly on quantity, quality, or costs- are identified through the construction of a key-variance matrix table.

Then, through the preparation of a table of variance control, key variances are examined to determine the manner in which they are controlled- by whom, through what actions, and with what information. Are they controlled where they arise, by appropriate personnel, and in a timely, effective, and efficient manner?

iii. Social Analysis:

A foremost concern of social analysis is called focal-role analysis: determination of the role expectations and work- related interactions of those in positions, most involved with the control of key variances. This kind of analysis entails mapping patterns of cooperation and coordination among those with focal roles and others within and outside the work process.

Another aspect of social analysis involves examination of the relationships among the work related interactions of focal persons and four “survival criteria.” Sound key- variance control, adaptation to the external environment, integration of in-system people activities, and long- term development.

This examination is aided by construction of a grid of social relations. Then, with data from this social grid, focal- role interactions can be mapped in a focal- role network that indicates their frequency, direction of contract, and function served.

c) Survey Feedback

Survey feedback constitutes a major intervention designed to help the client organization to identify and diagnose major problems encountered in achieving its objectives. Survey feedback is a process of collecting and feeding back data from an organization or its submits through the use of questionnaire or survey. The data are analyzed, feedback to relevant members of the organization and used by them to diagnose the organization and to develop interventions to improve it.

The perceptional and attitudinal data collection through questionnaire may also be supplemented with data gathered through individual and group interviews. Often, secondary sources are used to collect additional information of objective measures of productivity, quality, absenteeism and turnover. There has been another trend to combine survey feedback with other OD interventions like work redesign, structural change, and large group interventions and inter group relations.

Survey feedback generally involves the following steps:

1. Top management and other members of the organization are involved in preliminary planning of the survey. This group takes decision on the target group or the level of analysis i.e. organization, department or small group and sets the objective for the survey. Diagnostic framework to be used in survey is also discussed by the group. These diagnostic models may be drawn from Kurt Lewin’s force field analysis framework among others.

Once the objectives have been set, a standardized questionnaire or specially designed survey instrument is selected, and approval of organization members is obtained. This is a necessary step in developing shared membership of data and in ensuring that relevant problems are addressed by the survey.

2. The survey instrument is administered to all members of the organization or the department i.e. the target group. If the target group has large number of members, it may be necessary to administer the instrument to a select sample. The sample should be large enough to reflect the concerns from multiple perspectives and ensure active participation in the feedback sessions.

3. The survey data are analyzed and approaches to diagnosis are suggested by the OD consultant. The consultant assists the client members to lead the feedback process.

4. Feedback sessions are first conducted for the top management of the organization and then at successive lower levels of the organization. It is desirable to involve all the relevant organization levels in feedback sessions. In case the target group is either a department or work group, bottom-up approach to feedback process is adopted. Initially, the data are fed back to the specific work groups or department s and recommended actions proposed. The issues that are beyond the control of the target group are then feed back to the top management.

5. Feedback meetings provide an opportunity to work with the data. At each meeting, members discuss and interpret their data, diagnose problem areas and develop action plans. OD practitioners can play an important role during these meetings, facilitating group discussion to produce accurate understanding, focusing the group on its strengths and weaknesses, and helping to develop effective action plans.

The above mentioned steps reflect, in most common survey feedback design. Variations in the design do take place depending on the specific objectives of the survey, feedback and /or the nature of the target group.

d) Organization Development Process-Confrontation

In periods of stress, following major organization changes, there tends to be much confusion and energy expended that negatively affects productivity and organization health.

The top-management team needs quick, efficient ways of sensing the state of the organization’s attitudes and flings in order to plan appropriate actions and to devote its energy to the most important problems.

The usual methods of attitude surveys, extended staff meetings, and so forth demand extensive time and require a delay between getting the information and acting on it.

A short micro-mechanism called a “confrontation meting” can provide the total management group with:

• An accurate reading on the organization’s health.

• The opportunity for top management to make appropriate action decisions based on appropriate information from the organization’s goals.

• An increased involvement in the organization’s goals.

• A real commitment to action on the part of subgroups.

• A basis for determining other mechanisms for communication between levels and groups, appropriate location of decisions, problem solving within submits, as well as the machinery for upward influence.

The following is a description of the seven components which make up the specific “design” for the day-long confrontation meeting.

Phase 1. Climate setting (45 minute to one hour)

At the outset, the top manager needs to communicate to the total management group his goals for the meeting and his concern for an interest in free discussion and issue facing. He also has to assure his people that there is no punishment for open confrontation.

It is also helpful to have some form of information session or lecture by the top manager or a consultant. Appropriate subjects might deal with problems of communication, the need for understanding, the assumptions and the goals of the total organization, the concept of shared responsibility for the future of the organization, and the opportunity for and responsibility of influencing the organization.

Phase 2. Information Collecting (one hour)

The total group is divided into small heterogeneous units of seven or eight people. If there is a top-management team that has been holding sessions regularly, it meets as separate units. The rest of the participants are assigned to units with a diagonal slice of the organization used as a basis for composition- that is, no boss and subordinate are together, and each unit contains members from every functional area.

Each unit is instructed to select a reporter to present its results at a general information- collecting session to be held one hour later.

Phase 3. Information Sharing (one hour)

Each reporter writs his unit’s complete findings on newsprint, which is tacked up around the room.

The meeting leader suggests some categories under which all the data from all the sheets can be located. In other words, if there are 75 items, the likelihood is that these can be grouped into six or seven major categories- say, by type of problem, such as “ communications difficulties”: or by type of relationship, such as “problems with top management”, or type of area involved, such as “ problems in the mechanical department.”

Then the meeting breaks, either for lunch or, if it happens to be an evening session, until the next morning.

During the break all the data sheets are duplicated for general distribution.

Phase 4. Priority Setting and group Action Planning (one hour and 15 minutes)

The total group reconvenes for a 15 minute general session. With the meeting leader, they go through the raw data on duplicated sheets and put category numbers by ach piece of data.

People are now assigned to their functional, natural work units for a one- hour session. Manufacturing people at all levels go to one unit, everybody in sales to another, and so forth. These units are headed by a department manager or division had of that function. This means that some units may have as few as 3 people and some as many as 25. Each unit is charged to perform three specific tasks:

1. Discuss the problem and issues which affect its area. Decide on the priorities and early actions to which the group is prepared to commit itself. (They should be prepared to share this commitment with colleagues at the general session.)

2. Identify the issues and/or problems to which the top- management team should give its priority attention.

3. Decide how to communicate the results of the sessions to their subordinates.

Phase 5. Organization Action Planning (on to two hours)

1. Each functional unit reports its commitment and plans to the total group.

2. Each unit reports and lists the items that its members believe the management team should deal with first.

3. The top manager reacts to this list and makes commitments (through setting targets or assigning tasks forces or timetable, and so on) for action where required.

4. Each unit shares briefly its plans for communicating the results of the confrontation meeting to all subordinates.

Phase 6. Immediate Follow-up by Top Team (one to three hours)

The top management team meets immediately after the confrontation meeting ends to plant first follow- up actions, which should then be reported back to the total management group within a few days.

Phase 7. Progress review (two hours)

Follow – up with total management group four to six weeks later.

Team Building

The students who have already gone through this study material should have seen that the subject of the tam building has already been upon in details elsewhere in this book. However, being a very important component of the overall organizational development process the students are taken through another set of ideas and concepts of this building to enable them to understand the crucial intricacies thereof.

Team and not the individual is the building block of the organization. Teams therefore, are used both as targets and media of change. Team building interventions aim at enabling workgroups achieve excellence in task accomplishment and in contributing to growth of its members. Like process consultations, team- building interventions help members diagnose group processes and evolve solution to problems. The focus is on crating tam synergy through greater degree of task clarity, formulation of appropriate strategies and interchangeability of roles of members. Team building thus focuses on

a) Task accomplishment including problem solving, decision making, goal setting, and role clarification among other.

b) Developing effective interpersonal relationship including trust formation, collaborative orientation, transparency and accountability.

c) Understanding and managing group processes and culture such as norms and values, communication, leadership, conflict.

Team building is often used as a stand- alone intervention in almost all organizations around the globe. There is a growing realization that the complexities involved in technology and task demands cannot be dealt with unless organization members work in high performing teams.

Meaning and Definition - Team Building

Team are getting much attention in the workplace these days that you would almost think they are latest management mantra. Most of the time, group and tams are confused whereas team is different from an ordinary group.

A team may be defined as a group whose members have complementary skills and are committed to a common purpose or set of performance goals for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.

Yet, there are several important distinctions between group and team.

1. In groups, performance typically depends upon the work of an individual contribution, whereas performance of team not only depends on individual contribution but also the joint outcome of team members working in concert.

2. In a group individual performance is considered when it comes to issuing rewards. Whereas teams focus on both individual and mutual accountability--- that is, thy work together to produce an outcome that represents their joint contributions, and each member share responsibility for that outcome.

In short, in groups, the supervisor holds individual members accountable for their work, whereas teams, members hold themselves accountable.

3. Group, members may share a common interest in attaining a goal; team members also share a common commitment to purpose. However teams also have a broader purpose that supplies meaning and emotional energy to the activities performed.

4. Teams are of varying degrees in self managing i.e. they all are to some extent free to set their own goals, timing, and the approach that thy wish to take, usually without management interference. This is not to say that teams are completely independent of corporate management and supervision. They still must be responsive to demands from higher levels.

Whereas groups are typically required to be responsive to demands regularly placed on them by management.

How to develop successful teams. Teams are the Ferraris of work design. They are high performance in nature but are high in maintenance and expensive. Making teams work effectively is not an easy task Rather, teams and to be carefully nurtured and maintained to accomplish their mission.

Based on analyses of successful teams, seven keys to success may be identified.
- Provide training in tam skills
- Compensate tam performance
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Review Questions
  • 1. What is process consultation? What are the different stags in process consultations?
  • 2. What are the various phases (or stages) in OD?
  • 3. Write short notes on:
    i. Initial diagnosis.
    ii. Data collection needs.
    iii. Feedback.
    iv. Confrontation concepts.
  • 4. What is action planning? What are the three essential steps involved in action research? Explain in detail the four categories of OD interventions under action planning exercise.
  • 5. Explain the concept of tam building and its relevance in the totality of organizational development.
  • 6. Discuss inter group development in all its ramifications.
  • 7. How do you take up the valuation and follow of the performance related activities in an organization?
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