Organisational development (OD) as a practice involves an ongoing, systematic process of implementing effective organisational change. OD is both a field of applied science focused on understanding and managing organisational change and a field of scientific study and inquiry. It is interdisciplinary in nature and draws on sociology, psychology, particularly industrial and organisational psychology, and theories of motivation, learning, and personality. Although behavioural science has provided the basic foundation for the study and practice of OD, new and emerging fields of study have made their presence felt. Experts in systems thinking, in organisational learning, in the structure of intuition in decision-making, and in coaching whose perspective is not steeped in just the behavioural sciences, but in a much more multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary approach have emerged as OD catalysts or tools.
The objectives of OD are to increase the level of inter-personal trust, cooperation and collaboration among employees, and to confront problems by increasing organisational problem-solving and reducing conflict.
From the perspective of organisational transformation, it is worth considering whether a dedicated OD function could be an enabler to continually improve processes and offerings by helping to make strategic choices in all activities of the organisation.
Recommended resources: What is Organisational Development, CIPD