Organization Development Objectives, Assumptions, and Strategies

by Wendell French



The article focuses on organizational development (OD) objectives, assumptions and strategies. OD refers to a long-range effort to improve an organization's problem solving capabilities and its ability to cope with changes in its external environment with the help of external or internal behavioral-scientist consultants, or change agents, as they are sometimes called. Such efforts are relatively new but are becoming increasingly visible within the U.S., England, Japan and perhaps in other countries. A few of the growing number of organizations which have embarked on OD efforts to some degree are Union Carbide Corp., Esso, TRW Systems and others. Other kinds of institutions, including public school systems, churches, and hospitals, have also become involved. OD activities appear to have originated in about 1957 as an attempt to apply some of the values and insights of laboratory training to total organizations. Although the specific interpersonal and task objectives of organization development programs varies according to each diagnosis of organizational problems, a number of objectives typically emerge. These objectives reflect problems which are very common in organizations.

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