Over the years, a good number of business scholars have proposed the practice and principles of Organization Development as one of the solutions to the current challenges being faced in the organizations today. While quoting Bennis (1969), McLean (2006) defines Organization Development as “a response to change, a complex educational strategy intended to change beliefs, attitudes, values, and structures of organizations so that they can better adapt to new technologies, markets, and challenges, and a dizzying rate of change itself.” The practice of Organization Development therefore, provides to the managers and directors of any kind of organizations the soundest foundation upon which organizations’ success and continuity can be built.
Application of Organization Development Principles
Being a system focused practice, whose application begins with the diagnosis of the holistic organizations’ problems; Organization Development employs Force Field Analysis as the starting point to the successful positioning organizations (McLean, 2006). The force field analysis of this Dry Goods store reveals a reduction in the store’s market base as its major challenge. As such, the company is faced with the dilemma of maintaining its 100 employees against the threat of reduced sales that might result from the relocation of the town’s only major employer.
In order to understand and properly apply the principle Organization Development, it is advisable to grasp some of the main components of this principle. McLean (2006) highlights the purpose of Organization Development as realigning the company’s beliefs, attitudes and structures in order to facilitate company’s adaptation to the new market. The first problem that is so visible from this company’s challenge is the preconceived believe or assumption that its market is entirely composed of employees from the automotive support industry. The relocation of this industry to Mexico therefore presents the major challenge to the Dry Goods store, whose market is believed to be formed by employees from this industry.
The first task in ensuring the continuity of this company is to peel off the outside coating, the fears, of this company in order to discover the real issues such as its underlying assumptions and believes (Mehta, 2009). After vigorous deliberations, the Organization Development practice is able to establish other unexploited markets that this company can capitalize on rather than solely depending on the existence of this automotive support industry. Organization Development emphasizes self-awareness and action research as the basic premise upon which company’s decisions should be made.
Additionally, Organization Development principle advocates for teamwork among the 100 employees and the managers as way of generating diverse ideas for better positioning of the company. The continued operation of this business can be assured through creation of equal chances for every employee, as opposed to the system where decision making is limited to the executive managers (Buchanan, Claydon and Doyle, 1999). This all-inclusive approach also motivates every employee to put the organization’s interest at heart. As such, each and every employee is ready to lead the company thereby facilitating smooth transition whenever leadership or responsibilities are changed.
More importantly, Mehta (2009) notes the effectiveness of Organization Development in fostering organization efficiency. Mehta’s inclusion of diverse Organization Development strategies, considered relevant to the current organization’s challenge, bears the strength of this principle. For the case of the changed market niche, application of strategic planning would be a sure method of securing organization’s continuity. As a process of defining the organization’s mission and vision, strategic planning would help in redefining and setting goals of this company while developing organization’s plan of action.
A sound and strategized planning would generate new marketing techniques through restructuring of the current workforce in readiness to the coming market change (Buchanan, Claydon and Doyle, 1999). One solution can be opening up another branch of the Dry Goods store in Mexico in order to maintain customer loyalty of the relocating part of the market.
Before concluding this discussion, it is paramount to mention that both business and other non-commercial organizations are today faced with numerous challenges, some that require planned interventions and others that call for quick response. The practice of Organization Development would be very effective as a planned intervention method that works in a holistic and informed environment.