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Organization Development

Organization Development (O.D.) is a series of planned processes by which human resources are identified, utilized, and developed in ways that strengthen organizational effectiveness. Organization development expands people's ideas, beliefs, and behaviors so that they can apply new approaches to old problems. O.D. change efforts go beyond employee-training interventions and concentrate on the work group or organization in which new ideas, beliefs, or behaviors are to be applied.

O.D. Initiatives

  • Strategic Planning - An intervention designed to improve establishment of long-term organizational goals, objectives, and direction.
  • Conflict Resolution - An intervention designed to reduce destructive conflict between members of a work unit.
  • Group Processes - An intervention designed to focus attention on how individuals or groups interact.
  • Team Development - An intervention designed to increase cohesiveness/cooperation of people who work together.
  • Organizational Assessments - An intervention designed to collect information from members of an organization, report the results, and use the results as the starting point for action planning for improvement.
  • Process Improvement - An intervention designed to change the way in which processes are performed to make them more effective or efficient.
  • Retreats - An intervention designed to improve working conditions and to increase employee participation within the team.

When will Organization Development (O.D.) be successful?

O.D. is most effective when the following conditions exist:

  • At least one key decision maker in the organization perceives a need for change, and top managers do not actively oppose change.
  • The perceived need or problem is caused, in whole or in part, by conditions in the work environment, such as relations between or among individuals or intact work groups.
  • Managers in the organization are willing to commit to long-term improvement.
  • Managers and employees are willing to listen with open minds to the key assumptions of O.D. as articulated by an O.D. consultant.
  • Some trust and cooperation exist in the organization.
  • Top management is willing to provide the resources necessary to support the O.D. initiative.

How do I Obtain O.D. Services?


Cheryl Foreman, Training Manager
Via phone: 683-4316 or via email: cforeman@odu.edu