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CASE STUDY 

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This case study provides you with background information on an imaginary context. However the issues faced by the company reflect challenges experienced by many organizations. In the examination you will be asked to take on the role of an external Organization Development consultant and asked a series of questions that will enable you to demonstrate your knowledge of OD theory and practice in response to a request for advice by the HR Director and the Chief Executive.

Servis Ltd. and Npok & Co.

Servis Ltd was a long established (est. 1920) manufacturer of expensive boots for a wealthy clientele. They had a history of very carefully hand crafted products produced by people who have worked with them for many years. Their longest serving employee had been with them for 50 years. The Director of the company trained with them as a young man and was appointed to his role 20 years ago. The company slogan was ‘Tradition is Best – if our traditional methods produce good boots then we will not change’. Servis Factory was based in the UK just south of Manchester. They employed 150 staff and had a small loyal management team. Business had been steady with plenty of orders from their regular network of independent shoe shops. They recognised however that the market dynamics were changing with new competitors and the need to become much more efficient.

Before they could make any of the necessary changes the Director (who was also the majority shareholder) was approached by the CEO of Npok & Co. with an offer to buy the company which he accepted. Npok & Co. are a much younger company with a very trendy set of products focussed on young people and those interested in keeping-fit. They pride themselves on their very trendy designs and social media presence which helps them work closely with their customers directly rather than going through the usual supply channels of, what they see as, old fashioned shoe shops. They tend to sell most of their shoes on-line. Their factory is based north of Manchester and they also have about 150 staff although they have invested a great deal in modern production equipment. 

Npok & Co. bought Servis because they wanted to benefit from the skills of the staff and also the high reputation of the name Servis has in the market. They plan to invest in new equipment for the Servis factory and in staff training. They want to merge the staff so that they can work flexibly across all the product lines and on both sites. To maintain some stability the old Director of Servis (John Right) has been retained in the new management structure working alongside the Head of the Npok & Co factory (Jane Left). The CEO (Alison Trendy) retains her role supported by an HR director and Head of Finance. 

Whilst this approach seemed at the time of the takeover to make a lot of sense to Alison, things have not worked out at all well. The integration plan has not been fully implemented because of resentment between John Right and Jane Left who strongly believe that the integration plans do not fully take into account the very considerable differences in values and beliefs held by both themselves and their colleagues. There have been lengthy arguments both at board meetings and between managers and workers in the two factories who regularly disagree about what customers really need and how products should be developed and produced. Staff from both factories say they do not feel respected or properly understood by staff in the other factory. 

Management team meetings have also become very difficult with constant arguments about what exactly the vision is for the business with John and Jane arguing for the approach they took before the merger. Alison is concerned that John is having a difficult time letting go of his old identity as boss of Servis and Jane, who was recently promoted from her old supervisor role with Npok, is having difficulty understanding what it means to be a senior manager. She does not seem to have the inter-personal and strategic business skills needed for the new role. Her poor performance is causing worry. 

A recent review of production quality has identified another set of problems with old, inefficient work practices continuing at Servis’ factory meaning delays in completing orders. At the Npok factory customer complaints about shoe quality and customer services are growing rapidly. There is evidence that staff are being rude to customers via messaging on Facebook. Alison as CEO is communicating her concerns to all staff directly through a monthly company newsletter but this does not seem to be having any impact on performance at all. Indeed there are signs that key staff are planning on leaving and that staff morale is low. Alison still thinks that the merger was the right and the business future will be good if the problems she and the team are experiencing at the present time can be overcome. Change is needed and quickly. There are signs that profits are falling and the reputation of the two different parts of the company is not as good in the eyes of customers and shoe shops. 

To help solve the problems Alison asks her HR Director to find an external consultant who can advise her on the action needed. 

You are an external OD consultant and the Director of HR sends you the following email: 

‘I am pleased to confirm your appointment as consultant to Npok & Co. Alison Trendy, our CEO has confirmed that she wishes you to advise on the following issues/questions (in no order of priority or importance): 

· How can the management team become focussed and unified? 

· What needs to be done to improve working relationships and staff morale across both factory sites? 

· How can staff be engaged in improving customer service? 

· How can changes to staff attitudes and behaviours be encouraged and supported? 

· What needs to be done to make the whole business more efficient and services more cost effective? How do we get staff ideas and creativity to make sensible changes to business processes? 

· Does the current organisational structure work for the best of the company or are there changes that need to be made? 

· How can the performance of John and Jane be improved? 

· What can be done immediately and what needs to happen in the longer term? 

· How can each member of the top team be supported to improve their individual and collective performance? 

We recognise that this is not a complete list and we sure that you will identify other issues and questions as you undertake your work. We understand that Organisation Development approaches can offer us some ways in which we can improve performance, commitment and involvement as well as supporting behaviour change amongst staff. It will be useful if you can ensure that you provide us with some of the relevant theory to support your recommendations. 

Kind regards etc.’ 

QUESTIONS 

1. (a) Using the case study as source material state what, in your opinion, are the top five organisational challenges facing the company? 

(b) What specific OD interventions (including five factors framework) do you think will be most effective in addressing the challenges you have identified? Explain briefly the reasons for your choice. 

2. (a) Assume that the CEO has specifically asked you to take a Dialogic approach to your OD work with the company. What types of activities and interventions do you think will be relevant if you take this approach? 

(b) What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of a Dialogic approach in this context? 

3. (a) What competencies of an OD practitioner will you need to use in the context of the case study? 

(b) How would you recommend someone who wishes to become an OD practitioner develop and maintain OD competencies?

Central themes

  • Emphasis on general manager, not HR specialist
  • HR as source of strategic advantage
  • “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts”
  • People are an investment
  • Incentives underpin managerial behaviour

The five factors

  • External environment: social, political, legal, and economic
  • Workforce: demographics, skill
  • Organization’s culture
  • Organization’s strategy
  • Technology of production and organization of work

Legal environment

  • Pay
  • Hiring
  • Employee voice
  • Firing
  • International differences: US vs. Europe vs. rest of world

Economic environment

  • Globalization
  • Increased competition
  • Workers more educated
  • Rising pay differences by skill
  • Narrowing gender gap
  • No apparent change in mobility

Workforce: more women

Year Participation rate % of labour force
1950 34 29
1960 36 33
1970 45 38
1980 65 42
1990 74 45

Top 10 Sources of Immigrants
1905 1991

  • Austria-Hungary
  • Italy
  • Russia
  • United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • Sweden
  • Norway
  • Japan
  • France
  • Portugal
  • Mexico
  • Philippines
  • Former USSR
  • Haiti
  • El Salvador
  • India
  • Dominican Republic
  • Jamaica
  • China
  • South Korea

Culture

  • Creativity vs. conformity
  • Flat vs. hierarchy
  • Co-operation vs. competition
  • Family vs. contract labour

Strategy

  • Source of competitive advantage

– Quality and service

– Cost

– Innovation

  • Ability to maintain advantage
  • Size objective

Changes in jobs

  • Greater use of computers
  • More work in R&D settings
  • More teams
  • TQM
  • Smart skills for what used to be manual jobs

Key technological factors

  • Training
  • Effort-results correlation
  • Interdependence of workers
  • Distribution of outcomes: Stars, Guardians and Foot-soldiers

Anatomy of an HR system

  • Recruiting
  • Selection
  • Promotion
  • Training
  • Job design
  • Performance evaluation
  • Temporary help
  • Job security
  • Base pay: level and adjustments
  • Incentive pay
  • Benefits
  • Grievances
  • Info sharing
  • Union

MANG6245
Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

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Please use the dd month yyyy format for the date for example 11 January 2008. The main title can be one or two lines long.

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Qualitative data

  • Qualitative research uses a naturalistic approach that seeks to understand phenomena in context-specific settings, such as “real world setting [where] the researcher does not attempt to manipulate the phenomenon of interest” (Patton, 2001, p. 39)
  • Comes in different shapes and forms
  • Can be narrative (i.e. from interviews) or observational (observation notes)
  • Non-standardised data – the aim is to make sense of that data
  • Analysis can be inductive or deductive

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Methods for qualitative research

  • No method is inherently qualitative or quantitative
  • Interviews
  • Focus Groups
  • Observations
  • Interviews most common form

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Why Interviews ?

  • Approach to diagnosis:
  • Exploring issues
  • Ability to probe issues in depth
  • Personal contact:
  • May enhance ability to collect data
  • Allows for exploring “softer” issues such as meanings
  • Nature of questions:
  • Open-ended rather than “closed”

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Types of Interviews

  • Structured:
  • All questions, and most responses, are pre-determined. In essence, researcher is administering a questionnaire.
  • Semi-structured:
  • Interviewer has a list of themes and issues to explore
  • Pre-determined list of questions may be used, but not stuck to rigorously
  • Unstructured:
  • Interviewer has no pre-determined list of questions, though probably has an idea of issues to be explored

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Advantages and Disadvantages of Interviews

Advantages

  • Richness of data
  • Insights
  • Personal views and perceptions
  • Sense of involvement

Disadvantages

  • Interviewer bias
  • Interviewee bias
  • Inaccuracy of recall
  • Generalisability
  • Lack of standardisation
  • Difficult to analyse

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Overcoming Problems with Interviews

Critical Incident Interviews

Flanagan, 1954

Chell, 2002

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

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Critical Incident Interviews

“A set of procedures for collecting direct observations of human behavior in such a way as

to facilitate their potential usefulness in solving practical problems and developing broad

psychological principles. The critical incident technique outlines procedures for collecting

observed incidents having special significance and meeting systematically defined criteria.”

(Flanagan 1954, p. 327).

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Critical Incident Interviews – Format

  • Establish example to examine (related to purpose of study)
  • Obtain contextual data
  • Explore Incident

– Who

– When

– What

– Where

  • Explore the interviewee’s actions and behaviours
  • What were the reactions of others
  • What were the outcomes
  • Probe throughout

An interview may well entail using a couple of examples

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Focus Groups

  • Definition: Focus groups are a small group of a selected population that are asked open-ended questions in a discussion type atmosphere to generate data. They should:
  • Involve a carefully planned discussion
  • Attempt to obtain perceptions of a defined interest area
  • Be carried out in a permissive, non-threatening environment

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Traditional formats

  • 8-12 people
  • Recorded and supplemented by notes
  • Formal setting
  • Usually 60 – 180 minutes
  • Representative people affected by the issue/problem/initiative
  • Use of different facilitator techniques
  • Brainstorming
  • Delphi

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Advantages and Disadvantages of Focus Groups

Advantages

  • Provides concentrated amounts of rich data, in participants’ own words, on precisely the topic of interest
  • Interaction of participants adds richness to the data that may be missed in individual interviews
  • Provides critical information in development of hypotheses or interpretation of quantitative data

Disadvantages

  • Small number of participants
  • Limited generalizability
  • Group dynamics can be a challenge – Particularly if moderator is inexperienced
  • Interpretation
  • Time-consuming
  • Requires experienced analysts

Observation is useful when…

  • You want direct information
  • You are trying to understand an ongoing behaviour, process, unfolding situation, or event
  • There is physical evidence, products, or outcomes that can be readily seen
  • Written or other data collection methods seem inappropriate

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

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Unit 5: Collecting data

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Advantages and Disadvantages of Observation

Advantages

  • Most direct measure of behaviour
  • Provides direct information
  • Could be easy to complete, saves time
  • Can be used in natural or experimental settings

Disadvantages

  • May require training
  • Observer’s presence may create artificial situation
  • Potential for bias
  • Potential to overlook meaningful aspects
  • Potential for misinterpretation
  • Difficult to analyse

MANG6245
Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

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Please use the dd month yyyy format for the date for example 11 January 2008. The main title can be one or two lines long.

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Collecting data – a process

Identify the objectives

  • What problems are you trying to address?
  • What information have you already got?
  • What information/data do you need?

Defining key indicators

  • What are measurable (and sensible) variables?
  • What are the broader parameters; i.e. what org level are we investigating?

Decide on data gathering methods

  • One or more methods (not limited to type/nature of method)
  • Clarity on the nature of the problem will help to decide

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Methods for assessment & diagnosis

  • (Self-)Audits
  • E.g. SWOT
  • Documentary/Secondary data
  • Sociograms
  • Qualitative methods
  • Focus groups
  • Interviews
  • Observations
  • Quantitative methods

Surveys

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Secondary

Primary

Why would you want to use a Questionnaire Survey?

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Purpose of surveys

  • To obtain information from, or about, a defined set of people
  • To obtain information that cannot be easily observed
  • To obtain information that is not readily available in written or computer held forms

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Purpose of surveys

  • Test an Hypothesis
  • Explore an Issue/Problem
  • Identify a Group for Further Research ( Qualify)
  • Obtain Reactions to an Idea
  • Monitor Changes

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Advantages and Disadvantages of Surveys

Advantages

  • Cover large numbers
  • Time
  • Cost
  • Simple
  • Face validity with leaders

Disadvantages

  • Response bias
  • Limited data
  • Misinterpretation
  • Influenced by context

Reflections and Questions

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Dialogic OD is rooted in Social Constructionist thinking

Broadly assumes that:

Meaning and understanding are central to human activity

Ways of meaning making are embedded in social-cultural processes and are specific to particular times and places

People define themselves—assumes people are self-defining and socially constructed participants in their shared lives

Contd…

  • It is appropriate to adopt a critical perspective to what is assumed to be reality. The social constructionist is often concerned with revealing the ‘operations of the social world’ (2010:8) . He/she will be concerned with patterns of relating, rituals, established and assumed rules
  • There is a desire to inquire into understanding human nature – what is happening between us all.

(Lock and Strong 2010)

Key thinkers that influence social constructionism

  • Giambattista Vico
  • Edmund Husser
  • Alfred Schutz
  • Maurice Merleau-Ponty
  • Karl Marx
  • Mikhail Bakhtin
  • Erving Goffman and Anthony Giddens

Contd…

Relevant to Dialogic OD specifically:

Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann (The Social Construction of Reality 1966)

Ken and Mary Gergen

John Shotter

Organisational Discourse—a related construct by Grant and Marshak

‘a set of interrelated texts that, along with the related practices of text production, dissemination, and consumption, brings an object or idea into being’ (2011:208)

  • Discourses are both integral to and constructive of organizational dynamics and change.
  • Discourses are created and supported via socially constructive processes that involve the negotiation of meaning among different organizational stakeholders with different views and interests.

contd…

  • Demonstrating the role of power in establishing or challenging prevailing discourses is important to understanding organizational change.
  • Discourses are embodied in texts, which come in a wide variety of genres, including written documents, speech acts, pictures, and symbols.
  • Discourses do not exist or have meaning independent of context, even as they also create context.
  • Organizational discourses and their related practices of consumption, production, and distribution comprise of sets of interrelated texts that can react to draw in and transform other discourses.

Keys Concepts in Organizational Discourse

  • Text – words, symbols, pictures etc, that conveys meaning
  • Context – historical and social settings in which texts are embedded
  • Narrative – Written or verbal accounts with a focus on themes
  • Conversation

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Conversational Consulting (a related form of Dialogic OD)

  • A contracted, helping relationship through which people skilled and knowledgeable in conversation as a change process work with clients to create conversations that make a positive difference to businesses/organisations.

Or

  • A contracted inquiry relationship, through which client and consultant learn, how to enable the social construction of new organisational and system realities through dialogic processes.

Defining Conversation

An experience between two or more people who, through the expression of thoughts and feelings, creation of new ideas, perspectives and understandings.

  • The experience of conversation will include:
  • A sense of being listened to, and of listening to others.
  • An atmosphere of trust and openness.
  • A liberty in expressing thoughts and feelings
  • A sense, for at least one person, that what is going on has some importance and value.

Contd…

Affirmation of your self-value and the value of others.

An awareness of new perspectives and ideas.

Knowing that, as a result of conversation, something is different.

The development of shared meanings and understandings.

A sense of equality between people.

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Contd…

The experience of conversation may include:

  • A profound, even life-changing, insight or “aha” moment.
  • A release of emotion.
  • The sense of being taken to a better place.
  • A close sense of unity between participants.
  • A decision to make change happen.
  • Sense making at the deepest levels. (Cantore 2004:11)

Contd…

Wheatley (2009) offers a somewhat simpler definition of conversation:

“….. where we each have a chance to speak, we each feel heard and we each listen well.”(2009:3)

Turning to one another: Simple conversations to restore hope to the future.

Key Premises of Dialogic OD Mind-set (1)

  • Reality and relationships are socially constructed
  • Organisations are meaning-making systems
  • Language, broadly defined, matters
  • Creating change requires changing conversation
  • Transformational change is more emergent than planned
  • Consultants are a part of the process, not apart from the process

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Applications of Social Constructionism in Dialogic OD

  • Appreciative Inquiry
  • Search conferences and Future search
  • Open Space
  • Circle Conversations
  • Engaging Emergence

35+ other techniques and methods

The main focus of Dialogic OD ‘involves changing narratives that underpin social reality’ (Bushe 2013:11)

References

  • BAKHTIN, M., 1984 Problems of Dostoevsky’s Poetics . Minneapolis :University of Michigan Press
  • CHEUNG-JUDGE, M. and HOLBECHE, L., 2011. Organisation Development-A practitioners guide for OD and HR. 1st edn. London: Kogan Page.
  • LOCK, A. AND STRONG,T., 2010 Social Constructionism . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • BUSHE,G., 2013 (2013) Dialogic OD :a Theory of Practice. OD Practitioner Vol 45 (1) pp 11-13
  • CANTORE,S. and HICK, W.,2013. Dialogic OD in Practice-Conversational approaches to change in a UK Primary School OD Practitioner Vol 45 (1) pp 5-10
  • GRANT, D. and MARSHAK, R.J. (2011) ‘Toward a discourse-centered understanding of organizational change’. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science 47(2), 204-235.
  • BUSHE, G.R. and MARSHAK, R.J. (2009) ‘Revisioning organization development’. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science 45(3), 348-368.
  • OSWICK, C.(2016) Discourse, Social Contructivism, Organizing and OD Lecture to PG Cert Organisational Change June 2016 London.

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Readings (Full details in Course Handbook)

  • BUSHE, G. and MARSHAK, R. Eds. (2015) Introduction + Chapters 1 & 2
  • Advances in Dialogic OD OD Practitioner Vol 45 (1)
  • LEWIS, S., PASSMORE, J., & CANTORE, S. (2016). Chapter 1,3,4


Thank You

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Discovery Interview (Activity)

Working in pairs, tell the story of a specific experience of when you felt you led or contributed to a change process that worked well.

  • Be as specific as you can
  • Get into the detail
  • Using listening skills to uncover what really happened
  • Take notes if it helps

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Organisation Development

MANG 6254 Dialogic OD

A new OD Approach

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Session Learning Outcomes

  • Distinguish between Diagnostic and Dialogic theoretical assumptions
  • Locate dialogic approaches in the history of OD
  • Connect Dialogic OD theory and practice with the idea of changing Organisational Discourse
  • Recognise the application of theory in Dialogic OD interventions
  • Identify ways in which theory can be applied to practice

Assumptions of Diagnostic OD

  • The original formulation of OD has strong positivistic orientation
  • The classical OD approach to action research as a data-based change method – no action without research and no research without action
  • Early OD theorists believed that one of the core tasks of a change agent is the creation of valid data
  • Organization exists as an entity that need examination prior to prescribing remedies
  • Diagnosis refer to gather data to compare a given organization against a model or desired future state

The OD Diagnostic Consultancy Cycle

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Summary of Meta-Framings of Change

Traditional Discourse of Change Emerging Discourse of Change
Dominant Root Metaphors Change as a journey Organization as sick/ill Change as a conversation Organization as mystery
Key Stakeholders Consultants (as doctors and navigators) & client system representatives (as patients and co-travellers) Local managers & employees (as change agents and mutual participants in a dialogue)
Nature of the Change Process Discrete change orientation (destination-oriented journey) Continuous change orientation (ongoing conversation)
Environmental Imperatives Relatively stable and predictable world Hyper-turbulent and rapidly changing world
Focus of Change Emphasis on problems (negative framing) Emphasis on improvement (positive framing)
Targets of Change Tangible objects and artefacts (e.g. rules and procedures, the design of work, aspects of organizational structure) Intangible phenomena (e.g. norms, morale, commitment, identity, power relationships)

Old (Diagnostic) OD Approaches

Change
Source
Mechanical Sciences
(1900s to Present)
Biological Sciences
(1960s to Present)
Interpretive Sciences
(1980s to Present)
Complexity Sciences
(1990s to
Present)
Perspective of Organizations Determinate, closed systems Contingent, open systems Generative, meaning making systems Complex adaptive systems
Intervention
Focus
Efficiency, plans, structure, IT,
productivity
Alignment,
congruence, strategic plans
Discourse, meaning making, culture, norms Chaos, self-
organization,
emergent design
Change
Emphasis
Fix & Re-engineer Adapt & Re-position Reframe & Rename Flux & Emergent Facilitation

New (Dialogic) OD Approaches

Change
Source
Mechanical Sciences
(1900s to Present)
Biological Sciences
(1960s to Present)
Interpretive Sciences
(1980s to Present)
Complexity Sciences
(1990s to Present)
Perspective of Organizations Determinate, closed systems Contingent, open systems Generative, meaning making systems Complex adaptive systems
Intervention
Focus
Efficiency, plans, structure, IT,
productivity
Alignment,
congruence, strategic plans
Discourse, meaning making, culture, norms Chaos, self-
organization,
emergent design
Change
Emphasis
Fix & Re-engineer Adapt & Re-position Reframe & Rename Flux & Emergent Facilitation

Bushe and Marshak’s ‘paradigm’ of Dialogic OD (2009)

  • The change process emphasizes changing the conversations that normally take place in the system
  • The purpose of inquiry is to surface, legitimate, and/or learn from the variety of perspectives, cultures, and/or narratives in the system
  • The change process results in new images, narratives, texts, and socially constructed realities that affect how people think and act
  • The change process is consistent with traditional organization development values of collaboration, free and informed choice, and capacity building in the client system

References

  • BAKHTIN, M., 1984 Problems of Dostoevsky’s Poetics . Minneapolis :University of Michigan Press
  • CHEUNG-JUDGE, M. and HOLBECHE, L., 2011. Organisation Development-A practitioners guide for OD and HR. 1st edn. London: Kogan Page.
  • LOCK, A. AND STRONG,T., 2010 Social Constructionism . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • BUSHE,G., 2013 (2013) Dialogic OD :a Theory of Practice. OD Practitioner Vol 45 (1) pp 11-13
  • CANTORE,S. and HICK, W.,2013. Dialogic OD in Practice-Conversational approaches to change in a UK Primary School OD Practitioner Vol 45 (1) pp 5-10
  • GRANT, D. and MARSHAK, R.J. (2011) ‘Toward a discourse-centered understanding of organizational change’. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science 47(2), 204-235.
  • BUSHE, G.R. and MARSHAK, R.J. (2009) ‘Revisioning organization development’. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science 45(3), 348-368.
  • OSWICK, C.(2016) Discourse, Social Contructivism, Organizing and OD Lecture to PG Cert Organisational Change June 2016 London.

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MANG6254
Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

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Please use the dd month yyyy format for the date for example 11 January 2008. The main title can be one or two lines long.

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Scope of Session

  • Role and Value of Diagnosis
  • Process of Diagnosis
  • Approaches to Gathering Data and Diagnosis
  • “Classic OD Interventions”
  • Diagnosis as a Change Interventions

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

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Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

The OD consultancy cycle

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Diagnosis

Interventions

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

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What is the Role of Organisational Assessment and Diagnosis in OD and Change?

Why is it Important?

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Diagnosis

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

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Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

The process of reviewing the development, work environment, personnel and operation of a business or another type of association. Performing a periodic detailed organizational analysis of a company can be a useful way for management to identify problems or inefficiencies that have arisen, but have not yet been addressed, and then develop strategies for dealing with them

What is Organisational Diagnosis?

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

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Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Role of Diagnosis

  • Where you are
  • Where you need to be
  • Building an evidence base
  • Identifying what needs to change
  • Identifying barriers to change
  • Identifying levers for change

Aldelfer, 2011

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

The purpose of organizational diagnosis is to establish the widely shared

understanding of a system and, based on that understanding, to determine

whether change is desirable. By stating and then maintaining that the

initial work in the client system is diagnosis, consultants provide clients

with bases against which they can be held accountable.

Organizational

diagnosis is considered as a recursive process. The topics considered include entry, data collection, and feedback.

Role of Diagnosis

Aldelfer, 2011

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

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Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Structures

Patterns

Events

Ability To learn

Ability To Influence

Too often we are fire fighting and working on the quick fixes….

Mental Models

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

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Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Structure Drives Behaviour

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Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

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MANG6245
Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

*

Please use the dd month yyyy format for the date for example 11 January 2008. The main title can be one or two lines long.

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

“Classic” OD Interventions

The OD consultancy cycle

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Diagnosis

Interventions

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

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Planning an Intervention

  • What are the change goals/aims?
  • What parts of the organisation are most receptive?
  • What are the key leverage points

– departments

– groups

– individuals?

  • What are the most pressing business issues?
  • What resources (time, financial, energy etc) are available?

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Types of Intervention

  • With Whom:

– Individuals

– Teams/Groups

– Between Groups

– Organisation-wide

  • Focus:

– Tasks (what is done)

– Processes (How it is done)

  • Mechanisms

– Feedback

– Changing Cultural Norms

– Communication

– Education and Training

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Interpersonal

Technological

Structural

  • Work Relationships
  • Process

Re-engineering

  • Job Design
  • Spans of Control
  • Reporting Relationships

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Types of Intervention

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Planning Interventions

  • What is the Change required?
  • Who is Involved?
  • Who is Impacted?
  • How quickly do we need to change?
  • How large is the change?
  • What level of Participation is necessary to succeed in making the change?
  • Are we changing Behaviours?
  • What capability do we have to implement the change?

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Individual Level Interventions

  • Feedback
  • Coaching
  • Mentoring
  • Goal Setting
  • Appraisal
  • Development Planning
  • Job/Role Redesign

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Group Level Interventions

  • Feedback
  • Team Development for established teams
  • Change Project Teams
  • Special Projects
  • Intergroup Interventions
  • Departmental meetings/workshops

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Organisational Level Interventions

  • Whole Company briefing
  • Feedback
  • Organisation Redesign
  • Process Re-engineering
  • Engagement Events

*

The perspectives of different stakeholders involved in implementing an institutional e-learning strategy.

Rich Pictures

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Diagnosis as a Change Intervention

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

The way in which we approach assessment and diagnosis can be a change intervention in itself

Diagnosis as Intervention

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Head of Change at Hewlitt Packard

“My role is to create mirrors that show the whole what the parts are doing”

Diagnosis as Intervention

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Diagnosis is an on-going Process During change

Diagnose

Plan

Implement

Review

Change Required

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

2

3

4

5

6

27

Failure to comply Operational costs Orders, sales Customer complaints Failure to innovate

Change initiatives driven by a mismatch expectations-performance..

…a ‘perceived performance gap’ (Boddy, 2011)

28

Change management: Lewin’s ‘3 step model’

Unfreezing

Moving

Refreezing

Define objective

Allocate responsibility

Fix deadlines/milestones

Set budgets

5. Monitor/control

(Source: Boddy, 2011)

9

10

Is ‘resistance’ to change inevitable?

Think of a time when you made a change in your life that went well? How did it happen?

What were the factors that made it such a good experience?

Are there times when you have resisted change? Why?

11

Harvard Business Review

Forming a guiding coalition (75%)

Communicating the vision

Creating short term wins

Institutionalization

Role of communication…

…beyond demands or

exhortation…

…. such that the need for change is elaborated in terms which have the potential to forge a coalition ..

…that the process engages with the views, concerns and fears of those working in the organization.

33

References

BECKHARD, R., 1969. Organization development: Strategies and models. ERIC.

CHEUNG-JUDGE, M. and HOLBECHE, L., 2015. Organisation Development-A practitioners guide for OD and HR. 2nd edn. London: Kogan Page.

KUBR, M., 2002. Management consulting: A guide to the profession. International

Labour Organization.

LEWIN, K., 1951. Field theory in social change. New York.

MCKINSEY & COMPANY, 2013-last update, About Us. Available:

http://www.mckinsey.com/about_us
[Jan 2nd, 2013].

GALLOS, J. 2006 Organisation Development: A Jossey Bass Reader. New York: Jossey Bass

BODDY, D. 2011 Management: An Introduction. London: Pearson

Further references

Burke, W. Warner, and George H. Litwin. “A causal model of organizational performance and change.” Journal of management 18.3 (1992): 523-545.

Burnes, Martins, N. and Coetzee, M., 2009. Applying the Burke-Litwin model as a diagnostic framework for assessing organisational effectiveness. SA Journal of Human Resource Management, 7(1), pp.1-13.

Burnes, B., & Cooke, B. (2012). The past, present and future of organization development: Taking the long view. Human Relations, 65(11), 1395-1429.

D’Amato, A. and Zijlstra, F.R., 2008. Psychological climate and individual factors as antecedents of work outcomes. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 17(1), pp.33-54.

35

Thanks for your attention!

3 Models for analysing organisations

2

Burke and Litwin

The 7S framework

Weisbord’s 6 box model

3

4

5

6

7

8

Discussion

In 3’s

What do you think these models have in common?

How do they differ?

10

MANG6254
Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

*

Please use the dd month yyyy format for the date for example 11 January 2008. The main title can be one or two lines long.

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Mental Models

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

*

Descriptive models

With descriptive models, the role of the OD practitioner is to illuminate “what is” for the client, and “what could be”.

Within descriptive models, contingency theorists

argue that the OD practitioner facilitates change only, not focus. The client determines the direction of change and the OD practitioner helps the client get there.

Most diagnostic models fit under the “descriptive” category. Examples include:

McKinsey: 7-S Model

Nadler and Tushman: Congruence Model

Types of Assessment and Diagnosis

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Skills

Style

Shared values

Strategy

Staff

Structure

Systems

Source: Peters and Waterman (1982)

The skills and experience that the org needs and possesses

How the organisation plans to win; the logic of how it competes

The unshakeable beliefs of the organisation

The people in the org –satisfaction, motivation, retention, productivity, number, age, gender,…

The systems in the organisation.

The style of senior management , “The way we do things around here”

Hierarchy levels; the way people, tasks, responsibilities and accountabilities are organised.

Descriptive Models
e.g. McKinsey 7S Model – assessing organizational effectiveness

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

*

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Normative Models

With normative models, the practitioner recommends specific directions for change, prior to the diagnosis – the “one best way of managing.”

Examples include:

Blake and Mouton’s Grid [Concern for People/Concern for Productivity 9, 9].

Yet other diagnostic approaches include a psychoanalytic approach to the client system.

Types of Assessment and Diagnosis

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions


Diagnosis: Establishing Reality of Stretch – Exploring Options

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Action Plan

Change Vision

Current Reality

Tension

Resolution

Fritz Model

Scope of Diagnosis

  • What are the factors that influence the way in which organisations work and how people behave?

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Factors Impacting on Performance and Behaviour at Work

Individual Performance and Behaviour

Management

Style

Management

Processes

Values

Selection

Development

Promotion

Resourcing

Organisation

Reward

Appraisal

Careers

Culture

Strategy

Communication

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

External Context

External Context

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

*

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Levels of Assessment and Diagnosis

  • Organisation
  • Group
  • Individual

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

What is (considered) data?

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Methods for Diagnosis

What is (considered) data?

  • Signs
  • Signals
  • Clues
  • Facts
  • Statistics
  • Opinions
  • Assumptions
  • Or an aggregation thereof!?

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Types of Data

  • Hard and Soft (Even Harder!!!) Data

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Critical issues when deciding on methods for diagnosis

  • Keep it simple!
  • Participation and involvement
  • Sense of urgency
  • Measure what needs measuring
  • Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.
    Albert Einstein, Physicist
  • “We tend to overvalue the things we can measure and undervalue the things we cannot.” – John Hayes

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

Critical issues when deciding on methods for diagnosis

BUT

  • “What gets measured gets managed” – Peter Drucker

NEVERTHELESS

  • We should use “…statistics as a drunken man uses lamp posts – for support rather than for illumination” – A Lang

and

  • “If you don’t know how to ask the right question you discover nothing” – W E Deming

Organisational Diagnosis and Interventions

SEMESTER 2 2021/22

COURSEWORK BRIEF:

Module Code:

MANG6254

Assessment:

Individual Coursework

Weighting:

100%

Module Title:

Organisation Development SEMESTER 2 2021/22

Module Leader:

Dr Tahir Nisar

Submission Due Date: @ 16:00

Friday 20th May 2022

Word Count:

3000

Method of Submission:

Electronic via Blackboard Turnitin ONLY

(Please ensure that your name does not appear on any part of your work)

Any submitted after 16:00 on the deadline date will be subject to the standard University late penalties (see below), unless an extension has been granted, in writing by the Senior Tutor, in advance of the deadline.

University Working Days Late:

Mark:

1

(final agreed mark) * 0.9

2

(final agreed mark) * 0.8

3

(final agreed mark) * 0.7

4

(final agreed mark) * 0.6

5

(final agreed mark) * 0.5

More than 5

0

This assessment relates to the following module learning outcomes:

A. Knowledge and Understanding

Yes

B. Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Yes

C. Transferable and Generic Skills

Yes

3

Coursework Brief:

Read the case study, and then please answer to the questions below. Illustrate your paper with examples of theory and practice identified as a result of your independent research. Maximum word count for this essay is 3000 (+/- 10%) words (References are not included in the word count).

CASE STUDY

This case study provides you with background information on an imaginary context. However the issues faced by the company reflect challenges experienced by many organisations. In the examination you will be asked to take on the role of an external Organisation Development consultant and asked a series of questions that will enable you to demonstrate your knowledge of OD theory and practice in response to a request for advice by the HR Director and the Chief Executive.

Servis Ltd. and Npok & Co.

Servis Ltd was a long established (est. 1920) manufacturer of expensive boots for a wealthy clientele. They had a history of very carefully hand crafted products produced by people who have worked with them for many years. Their longest serving employee had been with them for 50 years. The Director of the company trained with them as a young man and was appointed to his role 20 years ago. The company slogan was ‘Tradition is Best – if our traditional methods produce good boots then we will not change’. Servis Factory was based in the UK just south of Manchester. They employed 150 staff and had a small loyal management team. Business had been steady with plenty of orders from their regular network of independent shoe shops. They recognised however that the market dynamics were changing with new competitors and the need to become much more efficient.

Before they could make any of the necessary changes the Director (who was also the majority shareholder) was approached by the CEO of Npok & Co. with an offer to buy the company which he accepted. Npok & Co. are a much younger company with a very trendy set of products focussed on young people and those interested in keeping-fit. They pride themselves on their very trendy designs and social media presence which helps them work closely with their customers directly rather than going through the usual supply channels of, what they see as, old fashioned shoe shops. They tend to sell most of their shoes on-line. Their factory is based north of Manchester and they also have about 150 staff although they have invested a great deal in modern production equipment.

Npok & Co. bought Servis because they wanted to benefit from the skills of the staff and also the high reputation of the name Servis has in the market. They plan to invest in new equipment for the Servis factory and in staff training. They want to merge the staff so that they can work flexibly across all the product lines and on both sites. To maintain some stability the old Director of Servis (John Right) has been retained in the new management structure working alongside the Head of the Npok & Co factory (Jane Left). The CEO (Alison Trendy) retains her role supported by an HR director and Head of Finance.

Whilst this approach seemed at the time of the takeover to make a lot of sense to Alison, things have not worked out at all well. The integration plan has not been fully implemented because of resentment between John Right and Jane Left who strongly believe that the integration plans do not fully take into account the very considerable differences in values and beliefs held by both themselves and their colleagues. There have been lengthy arguments both at board meetings and between managers and workers in the two factories who regularly disagree about what customers really need and how products should be developed and produced. Staff from both factories say they do not feel respected or properly understood by staff in the other factory.

Management team meetings have also become very difficult with constant arguments about what exactly the vision is for the business with John and Jane arguing for the approach they took before the merger. Alison is concerned that John is having a difficult time letting go of his old identity as boss of Servis and Jane, who was recently promoted from her old supervisor role with Npok, is having difficulty understanding what it means to be a senior manager. She does not seem to have the inter-personal and strategic business skills needed for the new role. Her poor performance is causing worry.

A recent review of production quality has identified another set of problems with old, inefficient work practices continuing at Servis’ factory meaning delays in completing orders. At the Npok factory customer complaints about shoe quality and customer services are growing rapidly. There is evidence that staff are being rude to customers via messaging on Facebook. Alison as CEO is communicating her concerns to all staff directly through a monthly company newsletter but this does not seem to be having any impact on performance at all. Indeed there are signs that key staff are planning on leaving and that staff morale is low. Alison still thinks that the merger was the right and the business future will be good if the problems she and the team are experiencing at the present time can be overcome. Change is needed and quickly. There are signs that profits are falling and the reputation of the two different parts of the company is not as good in the eyes of customers and shoe shops.

To help solve the problems Alison asks her HR Director to find an external consultant who can advise her on the action needed.

You are an external OD consultant and the Director of HR sends you the following email:

‘I am pleased to confirm your appointment as consultant to Npok & Co. Alison Trendy, our CEO has confirmed that she wishes you to advise on the following issues/questions (in no order of priority or importance):

· How can the management team become focussed and unified?

· What needs to be done to improve working relationships and staff morale across both factory sites?

· How can staff be engaged in improving customer service?

· How can changes to staff attitudes and behaviours be encouraged and supported?

· What needs to be done to make the whole business more efficient and services more cost effective? How do we get staff ideas and creativity to make sensible changes to business processes?

· Does the current organisational structure work for the best of the company or are there changes that need to be made?

· How can the performance of John and Jane be improved?

· What can be done immediately and what needs to happen in the longer term?

· How can each member of the top team be supported to improve their individual and collective performance?

We recognise that this is not a complete list and we sure that you will identify other issues and questions as you undertake your work. We understand that Organisation Development approaches can offer us some ways in which we can improve performance, commitment and involvement as well as supporting behaviour change amongst staff. It will be useful if you can ensure that you provide us with some of the relevant theory to support your recommendations.

Kind regards etc.’

QUESTIONS

1. (a) Using the case study as source material state what, in your opinion, are the top five organisational challenges facing the company?

(b) What specific OD interventions (including five factors framework) do you think will be most effective in addressing the challenges you have identified? Explain briefly the reasons for your choice.

2. (a) Assume that the CEO has specifically asked you to take a Dialogic approach to your OD work with the company. What types of activities and interventions do you think will be relevant if you take this approach?

(b) What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of a Dialogic approach in this context?

3. (a) What competencies of an OD practitioner will you need to use in the context of the case study?

(b) How would you recommend someone who wishes to become an OD practitioner develop and maintain OD competencies?

Nature of Assessment: This is a SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT. See ‘Weighting’ section above for the percentage that this assignment counts towards your final module mark.

Word Limit: +/-10% either side of the word count (see above) is deemed to be acceptable. Any text that exceeds an additional 10% will not attract any marks. The relevant word count includes items such as cover page, executive summary, title page, table of contents, tables, figures, in-text citations and section headings, if used. The relevant word count excludes your list of references and any appendices at the end of your coursework submission.

You should always include the word count (from Microsoft Word, not Turnitin), at the end of your coursework submission, before your list of references.

Title/Cover Page: You must include a title/ cover page that includes: your Student ID, Module Code, Assignment Title, Word Count. This assignment will be marked anonymously, please ensure that your name does not appear on any part of your assignment.

References: You should use the Harvard style to reference your assignment. The library provide guidance on how to reference in the Harvard style and this is available from: http://library.soton.ac.uk/sash/referencing

Submission Deadline: Please note that the submission deadline for Southampton Business School is 16.00 for ALL assessments.

Turnitin Submission: The assignment MUST be submitted electronically via Turnitin, which is accessed via the individual module on Blackboard. Further guidance on submitting assignments is available on the Blackboard support pages.

It is important that you allow enough time prior to the submission deadline to ensure your submission is processed on time as all late submissions are subject to a late penalty. We would recommend you allow 30 minutes to upload your work and check the submission has been processed and is correct. Please make sure you submit to the correct assignment link.

You will know that your submission has completed successfully when you see a message stating ‘Congratulations – your submission is complete…’. It is vital that you make a note of your Submission ID (Digital Receipt Number). This is a unique receipt number for your submission, and is proof of successful submission. You may be required to provide this number at a later date.  We recommend that you take a screenshot of this page, or note the number down on a piece of paper.  You should also receive an email receipt containing this number, and the number can be found after submitting by following this guide.  This method of checking your submission is particularly useful in the event that you don’t receive an email receipt.

The last submission prior to the deadline will be treated as the final submission and will be the copy that is assessed by the marker. 

It is your responsibility to ensure that the version received by the deadline is the final version, resubmissions after the deadline will not be accepted in any circumstances.

Important: If you have any problems during the submission process you should contact ServiceLine immediately by email at [email protected] or by phone on +44 (0)23 8059 5656.

Late Penalties: Further information on penalties for work submitted after the deadline can be found here.

Special Considerations: If you believe that illness or other circumstances have adversely affected your academic performance, information regarding the regulations governing Special Considerations can be accessed via the Calendar: http://www.calendar.soton.ac.uk/sectionIV/special-considerations.html

Extension Requests: : Extension requests along with supporting evidence should be submitted to the Student Office as soon as possible before the submission date. Information regarding the regulations governing extension requests can be accessed via the Calendar: http://www.calendar.soton.ac.uk/sectionIV/special-considerations.html

Academic Integrity Policy: Please note that you can access Academic Integrity Guidance for Students via the Quality Handbook: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/quality/assessment/academic_integrity.page?. Please note any suspected cases of Academic Integrity will be notified to the Academic Integrity Officer for investigation.

Feedback: Southampton Business School is committed to providing feedback within 4 weeks (University working days). Once the marks are released and you have received your feedback, you can meet with your Module Leader / Module Lecturer / Personal Academic Tutor to discuss the feedback within 4 weeks from the release of marks date. Any additional arrangements for feedback are listed in the Module Profile.

Student Support: Study skills and language support for Southampton Business School students is available at: http://www.sbsaob.soton.ac.uk/study-skills-and-language-support/.

External Examiner:

External Examiner Comments:

Final Approval by External Examiner Date:

Module Leader Response to External Examiner:

(Please note these comments are REQUIRED and will be sent to the External Examiner)

Question

Given that OD is concerned with promoting ‘organisational effectiveness’ How would you define this concept based on your experiences of organisations which you perceive to be effective?

Some OD perspectives on organisation effectiveness

The total organisation and individuals in it manage their work

against goals and plans

Form follows function-the task defines how human resources are organised

Decisions are made nearby the sources of information

The reward system is such that managers are rewarded for productivity, people development and creating a viable working environment (e.g., groups, structures, etc.)

Communication laterally and vertically is relatively undistorted

Some OD perspectives on organisation effectiveness

Minimal internal rivalry between groups

Conflict exists about ideas rather than inter-personal issues

People see themselves as part of the organisation and the wider environment

Members of an organisation act in an Action Research way developing feedback loops so

learning can take place.

(Gallos et al 2006)

Gallos, J. V. (2006). Reframing complexity: A four dimensional approach to organizational diagnosis, development, and change. Organization development. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Some OD perspectives on organisation effectiveness

John Gardner (in Gallos 2006)

Effective programme for recruitment and development of

talent

Provide an hospitable environment for an individual

Built in capacity for self-criticism

Fluidity in the internal structure

A means by which people can escape from becoming prisoners of organisational procedures

Some OD perspectives on organisation effectiveness

The ability of an organisation to effectively adapt and cope with changes in the environment- the ‘adaptive coping cycle’

Edgar Schein (1965)

OD as a value driven practice

OD has traditionally held a very humanistic set as values as the basis for it’s theory making and practice including:

Democracy and participation

Openness to lifelong learning

Equity and fairness

Valid information and informed choice

Respect for the human side of enterprise

(Cheung-Judge and Holbeche 2012)

Postgraduate Grade Descriptor for [MANG6254, Organisational Development]

Percentage

0-34

35–49

50–59

60–69

70-79

80 – 100

Degree Class

Fail

Compensatable fail*

Pass

Merit

Distinction

Distinction

Cognitive/

Thinking:

Inadequate

Inconsistent

Level of critical

Good level of critical

Critical

Critical

Shows

an

evidence of critical

evidence of critical

understanding is

understanding

understanding is

understanding is

understanding

of

understanding as

understanding.

reasonable.

evident.

applied in a

applied in a very

theory

and

concepts,

required at this

Argument is just

Some confusion may

Competent in

comprehensive and

comprehensive and

adequate but may be

be evident but most

producing argument

concise manner.

concise manner.

and

an

ability

to

level. Lacks ability

poorly structured.

argument is relevant

that is well

Analysis is

Analysis is very

critically assess them.

to develop an

and adequate.

sustained, structured

appropriate and

comprehensive.

Weighting 20%

effective argument

and legitimate.

precise.

Very high degree of

as required for

High degree of

competence to

level 7.

competence to

produce innovative

produce innovative,

and original

original argument

argument

Subject Specific: Supports

No evidence.

Limited evidence.

Some relevant ideas/

Good relevant

Very good relevant

Excellent relevant

arguments with clear,

arguments evident.

examples are

examples are

examples are

effective examples/

Reasonable

evident, clearly

evident, very clearly

evident,

evidence.

articulation.

articulated.

articulated.

exceptionally clearly

Weighting 20%

articulated and

evidenced to the

topic.

Subject Specific: Scope of

No evidence.

Limited evidence

Reasonable coverage

Good coverage and

Very good coverage

Excellent coverage

relevant literature

with numerous

and referencing but

referencing with

and referencing with

and referencing.

including Harvard style

omissions.

incomplete or

minimal omissions.

minimal errors.

reference list.

numerous omissions.

Weighting 20%

Transferable Skills: Well-

No/inadequate

Poor structure with

Adequate structure

Good structure with

Very good structure

Excellent structure

structured with

structure.

limited introduction

with reasonable

competent

with concise,

with exceptionally

appropriate introduction

and conclusions.

introduction and

introduction and

comprehensive

clear introduction

and conclusions.

conclusions.

conclusions.

introduction and

and conclusions.

Weighting 20%

conclusions.

Southampton Business School: Postgraduate Module Grade Descriptor

2

Percentage

0-34

35–49

50–59

60–69

70-79

80 – 100

Degree Class

Fail

Compensatable fail*

Pass

Merit

Distinction

Distinction

Transferable Skills:

Very poor and

Significant

Adequately

Well expressed.

Very well expressed.

Exceptionally

Correct and fluent English

often/mostly

deficiencies in

expressed but some

Clear and

Confident and very

competent and

language.

inarticulate. Mostly

expression.

inconsistencies

appropriate use of

good use of

fluent use of

Weighting 20%

incomprehensible.

Inconsistent and

apparent. Adequate

language.

language.

expression.

poor use of

use of language.

Confident and

language.

excellent use of

language.

*Compensatable fail is only possible for compulsory or optional modules. ** For group submissions only

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