Organizational Development in the Future

by William Halal



The enthusiasm with which organizational development (OD) swept through executive offices during the past decade seems to have faltered recently. Many factors have contributed to this decline in interest, but most knowledgeable observers would probably agree on three main causes: the considerable benefits originally promised by OD have often not been attained, OD programs have usually not been economically justified and the implicit OD stress on subjective techniques and values has proved to be not always desirable. Although most organizations continue to maintain their OD programs, they now usually have more realistic goals, are smaller and more performance oriented than before, and employ a more objective, quantitative focus. In the light of this uneven history, it is not clear what role OD will play in the future. This article attempts to describe the future of OD. The socio-economic horizon will be scanned to identify trends that should determine the future direction of OD; the character of the OD programs that are likely to evolve will be elaborated and some of the implications these developments may have on organizational life in the future will be explored.

California Management Review

Berkeley-Haas's Premier Management Journal

Published at Berkeley Haas for more than sixty years, California Management Review seeks to share knowledge that challenges convention and shows a better way of doing business.

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