Organization Development: Process and Theories


Organization development is a discipline that entails proper planning and organization efforts to promote effectiveness of the entire organization. Organization development helps the organization to survive amidst challenges and also enhances personal development. The essay seeks to explore the process of organization development, theories related to organizational development and conditions that lead to a successful organizational development (Gareth, 2009. pp.18).

Organizational development process

The process begins with identification of a problem that needs to be addressed in order to bring about positive change to the organization. The next step of the process is assessment of the problem to establish its magnitude and to understand it further. Assessment can be done by employing several ways such as reviewing organization documents in order to identify the root cause of the problem, conducting interviews and managerial sensing. Assessment is done either by external professionals or members from the organization. After the problem is clearly understood the process proceeds by laying down intervention measures based on the desired change. Intervention may involve capacity building of individuals in order to prepare them to adopt change. The fourth step involves implementation of intervention measures that were identified by the organization. Appropriate data is collected during implementation of the intervention strategies in order to measure their impacts on organization development. Analysis of the gathered information is the sixth stage; the aim is to determine the efficiency of the intervention measures employed. Results are handed over to the decision makers who decide whether the intervention goal were met and if they were this marks the end of the process. A development bar is raised and the organization is said to have achieved organizational development (Jex & Britt, 2008, pp. 112).

Organizational development theories

Organizational development is a discipline which does not have a very strong theoretical base. However, some theories have been developed in an attempt to explore organizational development. Lewin’s three -step model is the oldest theory that explains the process of organizational change. Lewin is a psychology scholar who invented the three step model theory of organizational development. The first step is unfreezing whereby an organization identifies a problem and establishes need for change. The second step is transformation which symbolizes tangible changes that are made by the organization. Refreezing is the third step which represents permanent changes made in step two. Action research model is the second model that term organization development as a cyclical research procedure. General system theory is the third theory that suggests that organization development is a dynamic process, organizations borrow materials, transform them and return them (Lewin, 1950, pp. 53).

Successful organizational change

Support from the top managers is fundamental in promoting organizational change. Managers are respected; many people in the organizations would more likely follow their example. An elaborate guiding principle on how individuals would go about in achieving organization development is also important. This goes along with proper planning and management of organization resources. Respect of employees and their opinions is also important, human beings tend to be resistant to change managers need to incorporate to be part of the organization development process (Gareth, 2009, pp.14).


Organization development involves positive response to change by individuals and the entire organization in order to improve their skills of problem solving through efficient and collaborative ways of management. In order to realize organization development modification of organization structure is fundamental, individuals are required to change their attitudes and values which adversely affect organizational development.


Gareth, R. J. (2009). Organizational Theory, design, and Change. Web.

Jex, S.M., & Britt, T.W. (2008). Organizational Psychology. A scientist-practitioner approach. New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons.

Lewin, K. (1950). Lewin change management model. Web.

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